Dashboard cameras, more commonly known as dashcams have grown in popularity over the years and with good reason. A great way to keep you, your vehicle and your insurance protected is having a record of any potential incidents that may occur. A small investment in a dashboard camera could end up saving you a lot of money and trouble later down the line.
As technology has developed, so have dash cams, making way for exciting features, such app connectivity, gps built in, parking monitor and crash detection.
Mounted behind your windscreen, a dash cam will record what is happening while you are driving. We all hope the most they will ever capture is that lovely sunset on a road trip but should anything more serious occur, a dash cam can prove to be a valuable piece of kit. When you consider that there are great options under £100, it could make for a worthy investment.
The AUTO-VOX dash cam has some of the best features on the market. One feature that could be worth researching when looking at a dash camera is the video quality. This one records in full hd, so for those keen to get the best image quality, this may be a dash cam to consider.
Not only does it come with 1080p full hd, this dash cam has a nifty wide-angle lens, providing 152 degrees recording - a great wide viewing angle, along with high quality night vision. This could provide a lot of comfort to those keen to have maximum eyes on their vehicle and the roads.
AUTO-VOX aim to make the whole process simple, from installing to sharing footage. The camera comes with an app for your smartphone meaning that sharing footage is quick and simple.
An sd card is need and it will take up a memory capacity of 64gb. This may not sound huge however this camera has an automatic over write feature (otherwise known as loop recording) which means you won't need to keep changing the card. Don't worry - any emergency files are kept safe and won't be overwritten.
There is a g-sensor built into the dash cam, this can offer great peace of mind if any incidents do happen. A g-sensor will set the camera to record at the moment it senses impact, it will also record the moments before the impact too.
A great value dash cam which records footage at 1440p, meaning that number plates recognition should not be a problem should this be needed.
The Nextbase has a magnetic mount which makes it easy to click into place with a magnet keeping the dash camera in place but also easily removed when it needs to be.
There is built in gps which provides key information such as speed and location from Google Maps. Accidents can cause lots of stress and can cause use to forget important information such as street names. Features like gps could appeal to those who wish to have a useful extra security, particularly when they are on unfamiliar roads.
Nextbase dash cams come with free editing video software, this means that you can trim, edit and crop footage, increasing the resolution when needed for clarity. In addition to this there is the ability to download the high definition videos to a smartphone.
The VIOFO has a built in Sony 5MP camera which allows for crisp recordings and provides confidence that number plates will be recorded. As well as having a sony sensor fitted, there is also WDR technology within the camera, this means that the camera will balance the lighting in high contrast area or black lit contrast area to supply high-quality image. This could be particularly attractive to those who do a lot of night time driving as these model of dash cams will perform well in the dark.
On this dash cam it has the parking mode, on this model it will record 15 seconds prior to the event and also 30 seconds after, this is great for capturing vital information.
With gps on board these dash cams can record current speed and gps location also automatically correct the time by synchronising with the satellite. You will get real time speed on the camera also.
For those who are in higher temperature locations this may be the best dash cam under £100 as it has a high heat resistance. The VIOFO comes with latest super capacitors for better performance and longer lifespan. It comes with a metal base, as well as a super capacitor, which means that it is heat resistant to incredibly high temperatures. You should not have to worry about it being damaged during long and hot summers.
This dash cam offers a great field of view due to its wide angle lens of 140 degrees. This is enough to cover multiple lanes to capture more events and may appeal to those who do a lot of motorway miles and are conscious of lane departure.
There is the capacity to fit a 256gb sd cards, which is a large capacity and will allow for a lot of footage.
Garmin is a well known brand in the motoring world and has a good reputation, this Garmin dash cam has several features which considering the price points make an affordable impressive piece of kit.
For those wanting a truly discreet dash cam, this may be the camera for you. A nice key sized range of dash cams which is small enough to be discreetly mounted behind a rearview mirror. Once these dash cams are mounted onto the windscreen and plugged into the power source, it will start automatically recording and save any videos on incidents.
Bluetooth is built into the Garmin dash cam, as is wi-fi this lets you upload any footage to the Garmin Drive app if your smartphone is compatible. Once connected the app allows you to view, edit and share the dash cams footage. One of the features worth noting is that if you have multiple Garmin dash cams then you are able to record video from the front and rear. This will provide different view points from different cameras. A bonus is that the app automatically combines the media files so they can be found easily.
This dash cam records at 1080p so hd recording at 30 fps, this means that numbers plates and road signs can still be made out. While this is sufficient, some may wish to look for 60 fps to enhance the quality of recording, however may also increase the initial cost.
A compact range of dash cams with a great field of view due to the 160° high resolution wide-angle F1.8 lens, meaning that capturing number plates and other detail day or night should be possible with this dash cam due to the video quality.
The Vantrue dash cam has various features, one being 24 hour parking mode. This uses a motion detector, causes the dash cam to automatically record when it senses movement in front of your car. It is worth noting that if this is one of the features that appeals, then the camera will need to be hardwired to the car battery or connected to an external battery pack when the cars ignition is off and parked.
As with other dash camera models mentioned, this model has loop recording automatically overwrite the oldest file to save the current file when the memory card is full. Triggered by G-Sensor, the dash cams will automatically detect a sudden shake/collision and lock the footage to prevent the video from being overwritten even in loop recording.
If memory space is something which is important to you, this range of dash cams will take photos are intervals set by you and then edit them into one video clip, the result of this is a big saving on space.
The best dash cam on the market would ideally come with lots of features, these will ideally include things such a high quality camera with a decent field of view, gps built into the device and parking mode as this helps against hit and runs.
It could also be worth considering how the camera is mounted, whether that is on the car dash, suction mount, built in or windscreen, and also the size of the unit.
Some dash cams have voice control and you can update them this way but these may be expensive.
What quality footage do I need and why?
Due to the nature of what dash cams are trying to capture, the higher the quality, the better and it is advisable to go for no less than 720p definition. If you are unfortunate to be in an accident you will be wanting to record details such as number plates and potentially the drivers face, basically as much detail as possible especially if this is to result in a claim.
Where possible it would be good to aim for 1080p hd video as this will provide some zoom capability without losing quality.
What is FPS and why does it matter?
It is best to think of a video as a collection of photographs. A camera running at 30 FPS (frames per second) is taking 50% fewer images than a camera running at 60 FPS.
The reason this is important is because the greater number of frames you can capture, the smoother the footage will be. A lower frame rate results in jolty and unclear footage.
Should you be making a claim and the footage needs to be slowed down, the greater number of frames per second will produce much clearer evidence and the whole playback process will be easier. Taking all of this into account, 30 FPS would be the minimum to consider, aiming for 60 FPS is preferable, providing better image quality.
What is park mode?
Parking mode is a feature which uses the g-sensor (more on this further down!). While you are away from your car accidents can happen to it, such as another driver colliding when your car is parked, they leave the scene without leaving details. Without a dash cam with parking mode, this would leave the owner of the damaged car with potentially a sizeable repair bill.
A g-sensor will activate and record any impact even when you are not in the vehicle. This could provide the evidence to allow you to make a police report and an insurance claim.
What is a g-sensor and why is it important?
An inbuilt feature designed to detect vehicle impacts. If an impact is detected, a dash cam with a g-sensor will automatically take any footage at the time of impact and moments before, saving them in a folder. This prevents the video recording from being overwritten or lost.
Where’s the best position for my dash cam?
The ideal position for a dash cam is one which is not obstructing your view and central. A popular place to mount your camera is exactly behind the rear view mirror.
One thing worth baring in mind is a dash cam cannot obstruct your view - this can be deemed illegal as it becomes a safety hazard to yourself and other road users.
A good central, high position is recommended as it is key to capturing good quality, usable recorded video evidence. In this position the dash cam can capture the road and what is happening without obstructing the drivers view.
From our research we would recommend the AUTO-VOX WiFi Dash Cam, with an excellent range of features such as an extra wide lens so that you can get great visibility around your vehicle.
The gesture control is a nice handy added extra that isn't seen on the other dash cams we have researched and having that ability to quickly snap a shot could prove to be useful in circumstances.
The AUTO-VOX does not have an lcd display and this makes way for it being a much more compact device, something which could prove to be really useful and great for not obstructing the drivers view.
Another thing which stands out is how easy this dash cam is to install but also that fact that the usb connection comes with an additional usb port so you don't lose that ever valuable point.
Even in poor condition the camera seems to hold quality so that can provide reassurance to those who do put in a lot of miles and can be driving in less than ideal conditions.
This low price dash cam links everything together in one app, meaning the setup is simple but so is the continued use of it. Overall the vast range of features really does put the AUTO-VOX in our prime position for best dash cam under £100.
Dash Cams are gaining a lot of popularity worldwide these days because they protect drivers in a variety of ways. Insurance claims from accidents, police corruption, and other criminal activities are all recorded on these cameras so perpetrators can be prosecuted.