Best Car Cameras
What Is It
A car camera or a dash camera serving as an impartial "witness" can help you disentangle from many controversial situations that occur on the road. Such camera will record all the traffic accidents and bear evidence of the unexpected situations. The car camera is a miniature recording device, which performs a recording of the videos of various length. The auto camera records the video footage of a traffic incident to a memory card, and when the memory is filled the new footage files overwrite the old ones.
Modern car cameras may have a variety of additional features implemented, such as a GPS or a radar detector for notifying you of the police radars detected ahead on the road. You can get a more detailed information on such detecting devices if you read our Radar Detectors review.
What Features to Compare
The car cameras are primarily distinguished by the Design, which governs their size, mounting type and functionality of the car camera. Drive cameras have the following design types: classic, with a flip-out display, rear view mirror overlay and the ones with a remote camera. Monoblock dashboard cams have a one-piece case, small size, and are equipped with one or two video cameras, and are either supplied with a display or have none. The devices are mounted to the windshield from the inside of a car using the suction cups. Such an installation is simple and allows you to turn the device or the camera in the desired direction. Dashboard cameras with a flip-out display, as a rule, have a flat case, allowing folding and retracting even a large display. Often the devices with this design have a rotating camera that enables you to turn it toward the side window. Another auto cam type is mounted as an overlay on the rear view mirror. There are models with one and two surveillance cameras. This type of car camera has a concealed mounting, it does not attract attention to the device from the outside of the vehicle and does not hinder the driver's view. There are also models with a remote camera. This camera is connected to the main unit with a cable and can be installed both on the windshield and on the rear windshield of your car. The unit of such a device is small in size, has a built-in display, thus, you can hide the unit where you feel comfortable, for example, in the glove compartment or on the dashboard.
Perhaps the most important point that you should pay attention to when choosing a car camera is the Video recording quality as it affects the quality and the detail of the video evidence of traffic accidents. The video with an optimal quality is recorded at HD resolution (1280x720), FULL HD (1920x1080) (requires at least 2.1 megapixel CCD-matrix) while the best quality option is provided by the Super HD resolution (2304x1296). The video of such a quality has the highest detail, and you will be able to discern the license plates, traffic lights, and other important details easily on it. Another important parameter is the car camera Angle of view. Typically, the manufacturer specifies the value of the viewing angle measured diagonally, not horizontally. The value of this angle ranges from 90˚ to 178˚ depending on the model. The modern high-quality camera recorders have a minimum viewing angle of 110˚, with that the camera with such a viewing angle shoots the image approximately in the same way as the human eye perceives it in reality. Using the car camera with an Angle of view exceeding 140˚ (higher than 110˚ measured horizontally) results in significant geometric distortion, especially at the edges of the image frame. It is desirable to use a glass optical lens in the car camera, but often the cheaper models equipped with plastic lenses perform their functions well.
With regard to Extra features of a car camera, the manufacturers have made efforts to make the device some kind of a "black box" for your car, which can perform many useful tasks. For example, a built-in GPS can help pinpoint your position and speed, and will also notify you in case of exceeding the speed limit. A G-sensor or a shock sensor initiates the video recording at the device on detecting the vehicle shaking or collision. Almost all the recorders use the battery, of a built-in or a removable type, by means of which the car camera device can continue the recording and save the footage with the engine stopped, or perform the night shooting.