Spending any amount of time on the road puts you in some form of danger. Not necessarily from your driving, but potentially from the poor decisions of others. In the event of an accident, either witnessed or personally experienced, being able to recount what occurred is extremely important.
Relying on your word against theirs, or during times that it all happens so quickly you don’t know what occurred, a product like a dashcam can settle any debate and eliminate confusion.
We’ve hit the road with four models, all with their own unique features and all at different prices to suit any budget.
If the price hasn’t given it away yet, this is the one delivering value for money. It is the smallest unit we tested, uses a suction mount, and automatically starts recording when power is received from the 12V socket. The Crash Cam records in full high-definition to a microSD card, and tracks your location and speed.
The video quality in this unit is not going to be helpful in feature films, but would certainly cut the mustard in identifying who is at fault in an accident. We must add that the mount doesn’t secure the camera itself very well, which meant more bumps and movement than the others.
As indicated on the front of the unit, this model from Uniden is capturing everything you see in 4K. What this means is that you’ll be able to view the footage with a higher level of detail than any other being tested here.
Numberplates on vehicles will be easily read, the make and model will be easier to identify, and the overall image will just shine. In our testing, we found this unit to produce the best contrast of colours too.
Features such as red light/speed camera alerts and lane-departure warnings are handy, and the camera will also record if any bumps are felt while the car is parked.
One issue we have with this unit is that the mount uses tough glue to adhere to the windscreen – not ideal when you want to shift the camera from car to car often.
Looking at this product from the driver’s seat, you’d think it was a handy navigation unit with a large 6.0-inch display, and it is. It has the comprehensive mapping we know and love from Navman including live traffic updates, but on the back, facing the road, is a high-definition camera.
Much like all other units, this one will begin recording immediately and does a rather good job of it too. If your car is lacking a good GPS unit, then this will meet multiple needs while only having one unit stuck to the windscreen.
This unit can also accept a second camera for recording what occurs behind you, but it is sold separately.
For a courier, taxi driver, or just someone who spends a lot of time on the road, then this kit is worth your attention. The MiVue860 comes with a camera unit for the front bearing a 2.7-inch touchscreen, a high-definition camera for the rear view, plus four sensors that can be attached to each wheel to monitor the tyre pressures of your vehicle.
All of this combined will help you ensure your car is driving on tyres that are performing as recommended, and with the two cameras recording simultaneously you’ll be capturing all angles.
The performance of the camera was not quite as good as the Uniden during the day, but did a better job in the evening, by comparison. The camera also has Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to remove the microSD card to view footage – it can quickly be viewed on your smartphone.
While some car manufacturers, like Tesla, are starting to incorporate this technology into their vehicles, for most of us, a unit like those above will be our solution.
It is a sad reality that we’ve come to need something like this to defend our case, but if driving is your livelihood, then investing $99 is a drop in the ocean. While we love the tyre monitoring and rear camera on the Navman, some will be scared by the high price.
The Uniden at $279 will likely hit a sweet spot for many, and the performance of that camera sensor is very impressive, in any situation.
Whichever you choose, we must recommend that you use a 64GB storage card at a minimum. All of the units will overwrite the oldest files once the card is full, and you don’t want to lose any content due to continuous recording.
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