Best Dash Cams: A Buying Guide
Best Dash Cams: A Buying Guide
8:42

Best Dash Cams: A Buying Guide

Tech
Speaker 1: When it comes to dash cams, you're probably in one of two camps, Camp A. That's weird. Why would you wanna record everything like that or Camp B? They're so cool. Why don't car makers build them in standard? I recommend the ladder. You see dash cams have arrived. Let me show you why and examples of the features you make sure to consider. Speaker 1: First of all, a quick refresher what a dash cam [00:00:30] is. In case you really don't know, I bet you actually do because you've seen the output of dash cams. They capture amazing things that perhaps nobody else would've videoed, had a dash cam not been running on a nearby car. They also capture tons of accident footage. You may say, Okay, that's just like perent interest except when you're in the accident and you'd like to be able to prove what really happened. So it's not their word against yours, especially if it's a view to the rear of the car and you get rear-ended. There are also times when dash cams are handy when an [00:01:00] interaction with some authority doesn't go the way it should, and you'd like to be able to show that and not just say that. And dash cams can be really useful when nobody's around, when your car's not running when it's parked, most of them have a mode where they will wake up from sleep and start to record if your car is bumped or even if motion detection tells them someone's casing your car. That can be pretty handy stuff to have as long as they don't steal the dash cam Speaker 1: Dash cams. Do all of this by recording to an internal SD card, [00:01:30] and once they fill that up with these clips, they then start to overwrite the oldest one first. So you've always got a pretty large wealth of clips going back in time to pull from. Many of these cameras have a rear view cam. Some of them will look into the cabin, the so-called Uber view, right? And many of them also offer these add-on rear cameras that wire on a long cable back to your back window or backlight and look out at the world from the rear of your car. Again, handy if you get rear-ended. A notoriously irritating [00:02:00] and sometimes tricky thing to prove who did what. Speaker 1: I love small dash cams. All other things being equal, that's more than an aesthetic concern. You see some states regulate how big an object can be on your windshield or how much windshield it can cover or in what corner of it. Tiny cameras are in the spirit of those laws. The downside of a tiny dash cam is what do you have to give up to get it this small? For example, on [00:02:30] this one, which by the way is a quality brand name model, you still don't get 4K resolution today. A lot of folks want 4K because it allows them to zoom in when they look at a clip later and maybe read a license plate that you couldn't read in 10 80 resolution. Secondly, there's obviously no screen on this one. If you want a screen on your dash cam, you want a bigger dash cam. So this one uses entirely a wifi connection to your phone. Speaker 1: Now, before I show you the next camera, the n [00:03:00] r beam gps, let me show you how I'm gonna mount it up here because you want to think about mounts. If you have multiple cars that you're gonna use your camera in, many of them use a permanent adhesive patch and that's great. They tend to stick like mad and never let go. But this one's interesting because it has one of those little sticky gummy suction cups on the back that you often see with phone mounts, for example, and that makes it a whole lot easier to move between cars. It's not really using an adhesive per se. Speaker 1: And this one's also [00:03:30] interesting because as you can see, I think right through there, the GPS sensor is part of the mount and it becomes active with the camera once you attach this to the windshield and then plug the whole apparatus into the camera, which hangs here below. Let me show you. So I'll attach my mount like cell, and then I'm going to rotate it like any typical suction cup for gps or what have you. And then I attach my little mini built in cable here, and then the whole apparatus [00:04:00] gets put in like this and like that. Okay, I think we're in good shape now, something along those lines. Speaker 1: It may seem like I'm getting into the weeds here, but I think the mount design is nearly as important as the camera design. Take a minute to scrutinize it when you're shopping. This does have a wifi connection to your phone and your phone's usually with you in the car, right? So whenever these two are in proximity, they are gonna meet and connect, and that's going to create a defacto connection to the cloud. [00:04:30] So this is gonna operate like a cloud connected camera, constantly backing up clips to your cloud account, which by the way is free from nex r. As cams move more toward using your phone as their screen and in some cases their cloud connection, check a camera's specs before you buy it to make sure it's compatible with your phone, which is not a given. This camera didn't support my phone. Oh, by the way, if you're looking for new trends in dash cams, I guess I have to say AI is it. This one uses ai, so it claims to [00:05:00] identify important clips and automatically put the save tag on them so they don't ever get overwritten without you to push any button or say anything. Speaker 1: Now, the vant true N four is interesting because it's one of those cameras that doesn't rely on your phone as its interface. It has a ton of interface built in buttons all around the thing, a nice sized screen on the back, lots of IO ports over here on one side. So [00:05:30] this is a great camera for those who don't wanna fiddle with another device to control this device. It's also big on multi-channel recording, doing three views at once, all recording at the same time. The forward camera you see here, there's a built in always connected cabin camera over on this end with four little infrared emitters to illuminate the cabin for the camera anyway, And then you've also got packed with it this rear camera and a long cable that lets you stick this in your back window as [00:06:00] we've seen on some other cameras, and therefore have that rolling at the same time. And while just about every dash cam these days has a GForce sensor, that'll make it wake up when the car's parked and start recording, like if someone bumps it or tries to break into it. This one also has a motion sensor at the same time looking for motion visually as opposed to just waiting for bumps or impacts. Either of those can wake it up to start recording. So ideally it might catch the person who's thinking about breaking into your car before the [00:06:30] impact of them actually doing it. Speaker 1: This one represents a premium dash cam with nice materials and solid build quality that you'd actually welcome in your expensive car. Look here at the nose, there's this neural ring that lets you turn that filter on the front as a polarizer to take out some of the glare that you typically find when you aim a camera through windshield glass. Nice touch. It's got a nice screen on the back as [00:07:00] well. 4K image stabilization, which is another way to make sure that you get the resolution you need to see fine details. 4K is part of that, but having a stable image is also a key part of that because if something's shaking and vibrating every frame, that can make it hard to read, even if it's 4k. Now on this cam, smart algorithms are used to process out fog. That's a neat trick because it's actually capturing more than you can see. Speaker 1: In a sense, that can be useful given the fact that fog often [00:07:30] causes incidents on the road that you would want to have a recording of, and it also connects through your phone like so many do. But using that connection, once it's G sensors detect a major accident, it can automatically reach out to first responders and relay any information about maybe your blood type or any allergies to drugs you may have, or medical conditions that are part of its SOS report if you choose to put that into the app and have it share that information. So there's a lot [00:08:00] going on in here beyond just capturing the view of the road. So I hope you've got a little better understanding of dash cams and maybe now a little better comprehension of what makes a good one depending on what you're interested in. By the way, if it all sounds like a lot of doom and gloom collection, also know that today's dash cams are so good, they actually capture great scenic footage of really great drives you've taken. That's a whole nother side benefit that you can use a lot of the time. Let's face it, most of us aren't in accidents very often, so I hope [00:08:30] I can tell you this. Once you have a dash cam on your car, it's kind like buying a pickup truck. You'll wonder how you ever lived without one.

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