Best Dash Cam 2016
Top 7 Dash Cams You Can Buy
Top 7 Dash Cams You Can Buy
|Best Rated||Best Seller||Best Deal|
|Modell||Next Base 512G||N/A||Next Base 402G||Transcend DrivePro 200||Next Base 312GW||AUSDOM A261||E-PRANCE G1W|
|Resolution||Full HD |
|Full HD |
|Full HD |
|Full HD |
|Full HD |
|Full HD |
|Full HD |
|Memory Card||Micro SD||TF Card||Micro SD||Micro SD||Micro SD||TF Card||TF Card|
|Memory Card included|
|Cable Length||4 m||4 m||4 m||-||4 m||3.6 m||3.4 m|
Dash cams, also known as in car CCTV or dashboard cameras, record while you’re driving so you have evidence of what happened in the event of an accident.
Dash cams give drivers peace of mind in the event of a collision and protection against crash for cash scammers, and are fast becoming the next vital piece of in-car tech to invest in. “But won’t you usually run out of space on your memory card before the end of the journey?“; “Are they even legal?“. If you read our best dash cam reviews 2016 below carefully, you’ll have the answers to all of your questions!
The Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates that 30,000 “crash for cash” incidents – for example, when a driver slams on their brakes to make a following car hit them – take place every year. Dashcams can help insurers identify fraudulent claims and determine who is at fault, so some offer a discount for drivers who have one installed, as long as they agree to provide footage on request (check with your insurer to see if a deal is available with your chosen dashcam).
For our best dash cam reviews 2016, the most important aspect of a dash cam is the quality of the footage it records. If image quality isn’t high enough, you might not be able to use your footage in the case of an accident to prove you’re not to blame. The best dash cams support at least 720p resolution (1280×720 pixels) with some devices recording with a resolution of 1080p (1920×1080 pixels). A higher resolution will generally mean a better quality of footage – although 720p should still be clear and detailed.
Prices range from around £20 to £200, so there’s a model affordable for everyone. However, those cheap models tend to lack features and won’t typically record great-quality footage.
Dash cams are smarter than your basic video camera. Yes, you could attached a forward-facing GoPro or Dogcam to your windscreen and record your whole journey in one long file, but what if you run out of space on your memory card before the end of the journey?
Dash cams get around the problem by splitting the video into small chunks, usually video files of 1-3 minutes. When the memory card is full, the oldest file will be deleted to make room for a new file, meaning it will always record.
However, important files can be locked and protected from deletion, either manually (by pressing a button on the device) or in most cases automatically if the device detects a sudden change in speed (because of an accident or emergency stop).
Purpose-built best dashboard cameras arguably offer better reliability than dash cam apps, but they don’t come cheap.
Using one of the best dashboard cameras to record your driving can reduce your insurance policy by around 10 or 15 percent.
A dashcam is legal, provided:
Recording video while driving on public roads is OK, since privacy concerns don’t generally apply in public spaces, but watch out how you use the footage (showing it to the police or insurers will be fine, but publishing it on the internet might get problematic).
All of the dash cams do a fairly decent job of recording your journey. You don’t necessarily have to pay tons to get one with GPS, and this is a useful feature if you need to prove the speed at which you were driving if you’re involved in an accident.
Wi-Fi is generally luxury as the only real advantage is being able to download clips to your smartphone. This is a slow process and in most cases it’s better to simply use a card reader (or the camera itself) and copy or watch the footage on your computer. You can also use their video outputs to review clips on a TV.
Initially we thought the lack of an internal battery would be a big problem, but it isn’t. The most models turn on when you start your car and turn off when you remove the key. While some support recording while parked, you’ll want to get professional installation for this to avoid draining your car’s battery, especially if you don’t use it for long periods.
Next to this, there sure are some factors and features you should consider for your best dash cam UK before making a buy, and since they are quite significant towards your purchasing decision, we have listed them for you below.
A Built-in display screen
So you can check the alignment of the camera when setting it up, and quickly review video without a computer.
Automatically records your location and speed and matches these to the video recording. Models that come with a GPS feature generally come with the software to view the recorded data. With dashboard cameras, a GPS feature doesn’t mean they can navigate you to a destination like a regular GPS Unit does.
Lets the camera run without permanent power connection, although generally only up to an hour. You’ll also need a cable (which comes with most models) to run the camera from the car’s 12V socket. Some models can also be hardwired to the car’s power supply.
Continuous loop recording means the camera records until the memory is full and then just records over the oldest video again, so that you always have a recording of the last few hours.
A bracket with a suction cup is easier to remove for security or to transfer to another car. But for permanent mounting an adhesive fastening may be better (the camera itself can still be detached).
The camera turns on when you start the car, and usually stops after a set time when the car is turned off.
Activates the camera when it detects that the car has been bumped or moved. This is mainly useful if the offending car comes from the front and therefore appears on the video. Even if it doesn’t, the time and date stamp on the video may be useful information. Some models automatically save this video in a separate file that won’t be deleted. Some also record data about the force and direction of the impact.
Allows the camera to keep running when the car is turned off, so that any accidents are still recorded. This requires the dashcam to be hardwired to the car’s power. Models with internal batteries may keep running for a short time after the car is turned off. Check dash cam reviews for information on its runtime.
Removable memory card
Should be easily accessible when the camera is mounted so you can remove it without having to detach the camera. More memory means more hours of video storage, and the number of hours of video depends on the selected resolution and frame rate. 16GB will usually provide several hours of recording at high resolution. Some models have a card included while for others you’ll need to purchase this separately.
Media player software can usually handle all video formats, but there are many variations of video formatting and you may have trouble playing back some files on a Mac for example.
Some models claim a ‘night vision’ mode to assist in low light or night time. But don’t rely on it; we haven’t found it to make a significant difference. WDR helps out here, as it balances the lighting in general and is integrated into the camera.
Most cameras record at 1920×1080 (1080p) but some offer higher resolutions, such as 2K – typically 2560×1440 – and even 4K, which is 3840×2160. A higher resolution is generally better as it means more detail. Sometimes that detail – such as a car registration – will be crucial. This is why cheap dash cams aren’t always the bargain they appear. If they record at only 720p (or lower) you may not be able to see the details you need in the video. However, they will show how you were driving and what happened in front before and during an incident.
Along with resolution is frame rate. For smooth video you need at least 30 frames per second, but many cameras offer double this speed. Frame rate usually increases as resolution decreases, and this is why, for example, the SJCAM SJ5000 can record 4K at only 24fps.
Storage isn’t usually an issue because all dash cams will record on a loop. This means they record for a couple of minutes, then automatically start a new file without a break. Once the memory card is full, it begins overwriting the oldest file. Unless you need a complete record of your journey you shouldn’t need a huge memory card.
Bear in mind that only some cameras come with microSD cards. For those that don’t, look for a Class 10 card (or better) as the best dashboard camera’s HD video recording requires a card with a fast write speed. Slower cards may cause problems and may not work at all.
Cameras with Wi-Fi usually allow you to install an app and view recordings from your phone or tablet. This can be useful, especially if it lets you download recordings as this is a much easier way to save them than removing the SD card (or even the dash cam from the car) and transferring the files to a laptop. It also means you can see more detail than on the small, often low-resolution screens on the dash cams themselves.
Some cameras have extra features which warn you when you veer out of your lane, or you get too close to the car in front. These are useful if they only operate over a certain speed. Otherwise they tend to beep all the time in town driving, and so will be quickly disabled.
If a dash cam has a GPS, it may provide safety camera alerts.
Other features such as time-lapse recording, or slow-motion modes, can be fun but aren’t essential. More expensive cameras may have two lenses, one which faces forward and one rearward. This means you can record what happens behind you and can be useful if someone drives into the back of you. It’s generally better to go for a model with a second camera on a long wire as those with two lenses in one unit won’t necessarily get a good view out of the rear window.
Accessories vary between dash cams, but you can expect a fairly long power cable which is designed to be routed around your windscreen and down to your 12V socket. It’s a shame that manufacturers don’t provide a long USB cable instead, as you’d then be able to use a 12V USB adaptor with multiple USB outputs. If you use the included cable, you won’t be able to use your 12V socket for anything else, such as charging your phone.
Since some insurers have a limited list of cameras, it’s important to get one they recognise. However, if you change insurers regularly, it isn’t worth paying more for a camera on one insurer’s list.
Warranty, as always, differs from model to model. Expect at least one year, but for cameras ordered from China, getting a warranty repair may be costly and take a long time. In fact, even if you purchase a camera from a UK supplier, it still may have to be sent abroad for repair, so it’s worth checking if this is your top priority.
The best dash cams from trusted brands usually also have insurers supporting their reputation by offering deals available for specific models. We’ve kept an eye on these offers for this best dash cam reviews UK article, as well as the best dashboard camera reviews 2016 and buyer’s opinions to give you the best possible oversight on what brands you cannot go wrong with!
Our top 5 picks for the best dash cam brands UK: