If you’ve been trying to find just the best, we recommend taking a look at Vantrue N2 Pro. It’s our pick of the litter when it comes down to it. On the other hand, you might be in the market to find the perfect cam for yourself, which means you’ll have to do a bit of research. We recommend taking a good look over our favorites, and then we’ll give you the information you need to make an informed decision on one of these vital cameras.
Dash cams are one of the best ways to make sure that you’ve got everything covered in case of an accident. They have other uses as well, but that’s where most people find them to be the most handy. They’re also becoming increasingly popular. With so many of them on the market it can be a bit hard to figure out which is going to be the best for your vehicle.
If you can put up with the minor flaws and the high price tag, however, the Vanture N2 is simply the best of the best. Snatch it up today and get almost 360° of protection for your vehicle.
Top 5 Dash Cameras
|Rexing V1||1080p||Rechargeable Battery||Check Price|
|Vantrue N2 Pro||1080px2||Hardwired||Check Price|
|Pruveeo F5 WiFi||720p||Hardwired||Check Price|
|econoLED||180×960 Standard||Hardwired||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Dash Cam
Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam
The Rexing V1 is one of the most popular dash cams around, and for good reason. This camera is 1080p and powered by a rechargeable lithium battery. On top of that it comes with all of the requisite features, such as G-sensors and looping to make sure you get the most out of it.
You’ll be able to install an SD card with up to 128GB of memory as well, making it perfect for road trips. The lens on this camera is super wide angle, giving you a 170° view of the area, making sure that you don’t miss a thing while you’re going down the road.
It also has some integrated tech which will automatically refocus in the dark. It’s not true night vision, but it’s close enough to work in most urban areas during the night.
This is our favorite of the dash cams currently on the market. If you’re looking for something feature packed and reliable, then take a closer look at this camera and you’ll be surprised.
Pros and Cons
- 1080p resolution
- Super wide angle lens
- Rechargeable battery
- 2.4” LCD control screen
- Rather expensive
- Battery life is short, get a hardwiring kit
2. Best Professional Dash Cam
Vantrue N2 Pro Dual Dash Cam
The Vantrue N2 Pro is outside of the price range of the average consumer, but it’s simply one of the best on the market. This system comes with a pair of 1080p cameras, one for the front and one for the rear, to give you stunning clarity and an excellent view of whatever is happening around your vehicle.
On top of that, it has excellent infrared night vision and all of the required electronics to make a dash cam super useful. It even comes with a built-in GPS for both geotagging and giving you directions.
It also records crystal clear audio, but you can turn it off to make sure that you’re in the clear legally depending on what state you’re in. You can also make sure that you’re covered while parked, since the camera will automatically record if it registers a hit.
There are only two problems: it only supports up to 64GB SD cards for longer storage and it requires you to figure out a hardwiring or external battery solution. If you can put up with the minor flaws and the high price tag, however, the Vanture N2 is simply the best of the best. Snatch it up today and get almost 360° of protection for your vehicle.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent night vision
- Dual camera system covers 310° total
- GPS system integrated
- Advanced and easy to use electronics
- Have to figure out your own power supply option
3. Best Discreet Dash Cam
Pruveeo F5 Dash Cam with WiFi
If you’re looking for a discrete dash cam then you’ll be in good hands with this one. It also connects to wifi, which is a bit unique but of somewhat dubious usage while on the road. For the most part, you’ll just use that feature to update the firmware.
It can record in 1080p but both we and the manufacturer’s recommend against it. It’s simply not great at the task, but the 720p option works pretty well for the average person and should be enough to get a vehicle make and license plate number.
It does have all of the requisite electronics like G-sensor technology and crash protection attached to the video recorder.
It’s not the best of the best, but this one comes with a sleek, discreet design that makes it stick out above the competition.
Pros and Cons
- Sleek, discrete design
- Has G-sensor to record on crashes
- Takes great 720p video
- Can modify video
- No night vision
- 1080p option isn’t great
4. Runner Up for Best Overall Dash Cam
Bekhic Dash Camera for Cars with Full HD 1080P
While this wasn’t our favorite of the bunch, we can definitely see some potential in this little 1080p camera. It also has some semblance of night vision, although we wouldn’t rely on it.
The main potential we see here is in the cost compared to other comparable options. It still hs the wide angle lens that we love, coming in at 170° wide.
You’ll need to hardwire this one, but fortunately it’s easy enough to power through your USB port in the car. This is great for those with modern vehicles, but not so much for those who have an older car.
We also weren’t particularly fond of the design, as it seems to be a bit difficult to mount overall. On the other hand, if you’re willing to work around its flaws then you might want to save some money and spring for the Bekhic Dash Camera.
Pros and Cons
- 1080p with 170° wide angle lens
- Easy to use screen
- Comes with G-sensor and other electronics for crash detection
- Hard to mount appropriately
- Night vision is subpar
5. Best Budget Dash Cam
Dash Cam,Car DVR,Dashboard Camera,Car Recorder
They can’t all be winners, but for the price of a couple of cups of coffee this dash cam can help to add to the protection of your vehicle. This is a standard definition camera and if it wasn’t for the low price we wouldn’t bother recommending it.
On the other hand, something is definitely better than nothing. And this one comes with the requisite G-sensor and other features which make it a fairly functional dash cam. The only real issue you’ll have is with the resolution.
Even the 2” LCD screen is remarkably easy to use overall. It also comes with a great mount and it’s compatible with SD cards so it can be used to record trips if that’s your pleasure. In fact, that might be the best use for it for most people.
It’s not the hottest dash cam in town, but this one is super affordable and fully functioning. Just don’t count on it picking up all of the small details if you do need to use it for evidence.
Pros and Cons
- Can use SD cards up to 32GB
- Super cheap for the value
- Fully functioning despite low cost
- Easy to install and use
- Standard definition doesn’t capture all the details
- No real night vision available
Why You Need a Dash Cam
There are a lot of reasons why people use dash cams, but if you’re on the fence then let us try to convince you.
If any of the following sound compelling, you may want to make sure that you snatch one up:
- Documenting accidents is the most compelling reason. They’re not perfect, but a good dash cam can make sure the insurance company knows who’s fault it was in the aftermath.
- They’re also useful for recording if your car gets hit while it’s parked. This is one of the biggest causes of minor cosmetic damage and a well-placed camera can make sure you get your money out of the offender.
- They can also be used to capture unsafe drivers and report them. Since calls in of drunk or otherwise dangerous drivers often devolve into a “he-said, she-said” type of encounter, this is actually an invaluable way to report and have evidence on those who put others at risk on the road.
- There have been cases of people intentionally throwing themselves in front of vehicles as an insurance scam. You can help catch these inherently dishonest people if they happen to throw themselves in front of your camera.
- Many people use them to document road trips when they’re driving the distance. Some cameras are better for this than others, but with the right one you’ll have compelling evidence of your memories.
- The same cameras which are good for road trips can be used to showcase driving skills as well. Just don’t use them as an excuse to turn the freeway into a NASCAR-esque stunt of course.
- Sometimes you’ll just catch crazy stuff with them. Whether it’s an animal darting in front of the car or a meteor in the sky, you never know what you might catch while you’re on the road.
Some more security minded people also use them to document police encounters in case anything goes awry. Really they’re pretty much essential for modern life, and they often make a much less intrusive recording than if you were to whip out your smart phone at every given opportunity.
What You Need in a Dash Cam
There are a few specific things to look for in your dash cam to make sure that it’s usable. A few of them are even more important than you’ll find them in a regular camera, so you need to be careful to select something which is useful instead of just a regular precaution.
Resolution is the most important feature of your camera. Even if everything else is in order, your camera is pretty much useless if you can’t get a clear picture.
For this reason, we always recommend that you don’t go under 720p. Sticking with 1080p or above is a much better idea. Both of these resolutions are readily available, and standard definition simply won’t cut it during a high speed impact when it comes time to administer evidence.
There is one problem with resolutions over 720p, which is the fact that the files will be a lot bigger so the in-camera storage means less.
Looping is the second most important feature for cameras which are intended to be used for evidence.
With looping in place, the camera will automatically record over older footage as time goes on rather than just filling up. This is imperative to making sure that you always have the footage you need in the incidence of a crash.
There are some additional features which can be tacked on to looping. G-force sensors can make sure that you don’t lose a recording the event of an accident for instance.
Night vision isn’t just useful… it’s pretty much required. Most of us don’t stop driving just because the sun is down, and if you’re looking to make sure that you’ve got that vital footage you need good night vision.
This is one place where the cheaper cameras tend to skimp. Even if you don’t drive at night, however, this is vital to ensuring your camera is usable as evidence overall.
This is where things are more up to user choice. As long as you have a looping feed and you’re just concerned about accidents it’s not that big of a deal. Most will have 64GB or so of storage, which is over 24 hours of driving at 720p.
On the other hand, if you want to record some tricky track driving or get a great feed of your next road trip you’ll want to make sure that you have a ton of storage. In that case, you may want to look for something a bit bigger.
Those recording for pleasure may also want to look for cameras which take SD cards so they can quickly switch them out and rearrange them in order to make sure they have only the best footage. Most people will be fine with a single SD card or just onboard storage however.
The choice between a hardwired camera and a battery powered one isn’t quite as simple as many make it out to be. Hardwiring in a car, after all, is still going to be drawing power from the battery of your vehicle.
So there’s a definite trade-off. It’s more convenient at the end of the day, but it’s not quite as pain-free as people make it out to be.
If you do opt for a battery operated dash cam, then you’ll also need to arrange to make sure that the camera you’re using has a decent battery life. If not, you’ll be recharging it frequently and that increases the chances of you not having it when you need it.
In addition to the above, you’ll want to look for the following features to make sure the camera is at its peak.
- G-force sensors can make sure that you get the footage in the event of a crash. They’re probably the most important of the “extra” features that are present on dashcams.
- Automatic on/off are super handy as well. Chances are the one day you forget to turn your camera on is the day you need it. With the right one, you’ll have the footage you need no matter what.
- GPS tracking will let you “prove” that an accident happened where you said it would by geotagging the footage.
Physical Properties of Your Dash Cam
You also need to pay attention to the physical properties of your camera, since everything else could be in order but you’ll still end up with a camera which is a bit difficult.
The biggest thing for most people is going to be the size of the camera itself. You want something as small as possible in order to keep your view unobstructed while you’re driving. Something modern and sleek will cost a little bit more, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
The other big thing to look for is your mount. Different types of mount are available, but not all cameras will come with one.
Some mounts will hang from the rear view mirror of the car rather than it strictly being on the dash. These are pretty useful and give a high vantage point for seeing license plates but they’re also highly visible and more likely to be damaged in a serious collision.
On the other hand, dash mounts are optimal for many vehicles, but for those performance vehicles with large air scoops or other hood obstructions they may not provide an optimal view of the road or the other vehicles on it.
Just make sure the camera isn’t going to get in your way and that you’ve got a mount which lets you view things possible.
Making Sure Your Dash Cam Protects You
Since most people invest in a dash cam as a way to make sure that their insurance claims go through, it’s important to… well, make sure they’re usable.
This can take a little bit of calibration but if you need it you’ll find it can pay off.
Regardless of your usage, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right spot for your camera. This means being able to view things clearly about ten feet in front of the car for the most part, and it’s why HD is so important: high speeds tend to blur standard definition recordings.
This is why we put such a heavy insistence on making sure that your camera is always on as well. If you don’t have the footage then it’s basically useless as far as evidence goes.
This is where things can get a little bit tricker than you’d think.
Nominally, dash cams are legal in all 50 states since they’re recording a public space. However cameras which record the interior of the car require the people in the vehicle to give consent to being recorded otherwise it’s technically illegal electronic surveillance.
The other sticky issue is audio.
Audio recording requires two party consent in many states, and that means that the evidence may be inadmissible in court if the worst happens. You’re better off just skipping the issue entirely by not recording audio.
What Dash Cams Don’t Do
Some people seem to think this technology is going to be earth-shattering. The truth of the matter is that they’re useful but definitely not perfect.
Whether that’s because the world hasn’t quite caught up to the tech or simply because it won’t is kind of up to society at large. Keep in mind the following when you consider the investment, however:
- A dash cam won’t automatically be taken in as evidence. There’s always the chance of the video not being clear enough to catch something and they’re only useful in the direction which they’re pointed.
- While a few different UK insurance companies offer minor discounts to drivers with dash cams, the technology has been slower to catch on in the US. This means that most companies are barely aware of them, let alone at the point of offering a discount just because you have one. There’s really no evidence they prevent crashes after all.
Dash cams might not be the sexiest technology around, but they’re definitely pretty awesome for a ton of different reasons. Making sure that you have the best dash cam around increases your chances of making sure your insurance claim goes through, lets you record your trips, and can even help you report bad drivers. It’s a great idea to have one.