A myriad of dash cams are available that are feature-packed with just about everything you’ll ever need, and then some. No different from buying any tech, our recommendation would be to go with a brand you can trust. You don’t go to a butcher’s shop to buy clothes, so look for a name with a track record in dash cam production.
If you’re ready to jump in and buy one, we’ve outlined a few suggestions here in a good, better, best scenario that will cater to all needs and budgets.
A single-lens dash cam will record footage whether it’s placed in the front of the vehicle or the rear. Extremely easy to install, single-lens dash cameras are the most popular choice and a great cost-saving option, but you can only record footage in one direction.
As the name suggests, a double lens dash cam features two cameras, one that is fixed to the windscreen and a second that attaches to the rear window. These can be run off a single 12V car battery and are easily connected using adaptors generally supplied in the box.
Navman MiVue 140 GPS Tag
Complete with GPS tagging, the MiVue 140 has in-built tech that records the location and speed of an impact and the direction. The footage is recorded in Full HD 1080p affording plenty of detail, and a wide-angle lens will capture it during the day and at night. Simplicity is the key here, with minimal buttons below the 2-inch LCD screen, making it perfect for technophobes.
Uniden iGo Cam 40 Smart Dash Cam
Small and compact, the iGo Cam 40 comes with GPS geotagging to capture all the essential details. The camera has a wide 140-degree viewing angle and captures video in HD 1080p. The 2-inch screen also displays a large speedo for easy viewing for the lead-footed among us. A Parking Mode addition will start recording if a vibration is detected.
Garmin Dash Cam 57
The Dash Cam 57 is a compact and stylish unit with a 140-degree field of view. Windscreen-mounted, it captures video in 1440p and has a high dynamic range (HDR) to lift shadows and improve picture quality. The camera can be voice-controlled, so you don’t have to take your hands off the steering wheel, and it comes with safety alerts. A 30-minute onboard battery will cover any incidents that occur when you’re parked and away from the vehicle, and a feature called Travelapse will time-lapse your drive into a video you can share online.
Navman MiVue 900 Dash Cam
What’s better than one dash cam? Two! The feature-packed 900 comes with a front and rear-facing camera to keep you covered from both ends; the front camera has an easy-to-navigate 2-inch screen. A wide-angle lens captures GPS tagged footage in 1080p on both cameras and incorporates STARVIS CMOS, a technology designed to capture low light and nighttime video in high quality. A suite of safety additions is included, like speed changes, school zones, driver fatigue alert, upcoming railway crossings, and notifications of red-light and speed cameras.
Uniden iGO85R Ultra HD 4K Smart Dash Cam
Another front and rear camera combination, with the front camera recording in 4K (3840 x 2160p) and featuring a sizeable 160-degree lens. A wide dynamic range sensor enhances low or bright light images for better details. The colour screen comes in at 2.4 inches and has a large speedo display for easy reference. GPS geotagging is included, speed camera and red-light camera alerts, and it’s powered by a supercapacitor that extends the battery life and ensures that the dash cam will operate in hot conditions.
Navman MiVue 1200 Sensor XL Dash Camera
A two-channel dash cam, the MiVue 1200 has front and rear-facing cameras capable of capturing video in Full HD 1080p via a wide-angle lens. The front camera captures at 60 fps and the rear at 30 fps, while WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) ensures the best quality vision in both day and nighttime conditions. Video is GPS geotagged, and a clever in-built sensor can determine the direction of a crash. This is the largest screen in our recommendations at 2.7 inches, and the dash cam can detect red-light and speed cameras and offer safety alerts like driver fatigue, known accident blackspots, changes of speed on highways and school zones. And to top it all off, it comes with a microSD card for ready installation.
Occasionally, dash cams come with a microSD card as part of the purchase. But more often, you’re going to need to add a microSD card to your spanking new dash cam purchase as an extra. Here are some buying tips to ensure you get the right one.
- It might sound obvious, but it’s an important point: while it can be tempting to shave a few dollars off with a no-name option, only buy a card from a reputable brand that specialises in microSDs. You won’t regret it.
- Don’t use a dash cam microSD card on another device. You may risk corrupting a file: one dash cam, one microSD card.
- We’ve already talked about memory capacity. We recommend a minimum of 32GB.
- Remember that microSD cards have a shelf life. That can range anywhere from 12,000 hours to 20,000. These lifespans are not a hard and fast rule, though. Be mindful that loop recording will increase the wear and tear on a microSD card.
- We live in Australia, where internal car temperatures can reach 70C. On the strength of that, you’ll need a microSD card that is durable and can also withstand extreme temperatures.
- The safest way to buy the right microSD card is to ask a staff member in-store or refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations.