Mounting a camera to your dashboard and allowing it to record the events surrounding your vehicle can help you in a number of ways. A dashboard camera (dash cam) acts like a “silent witness”, capturing every detail within its view. It essentially provides you with the proof you may need in the case you encounter any type of vehicle accidents such as the common hit-and-run scenario, or while you attempt to fight an unfair speeding ticket - and everything in between.
While most dash cams may seem expensive at first glance, they are worth the investment in the long run. Not only can having video proof give you a peace of mind on the road, these devices are normally packed with incredible features. Beyond providing evidence when needed, dash cams benefits include: surveillance, cloud connectivity, GPS - and if you’re lucky, the ability to lower your insurance premiums.
Of course having additional features is merely a perk to owning a dash cam. That is not to say that anything beyond recording video evidence can be considered a bonus. In fact, there are certain features that are absolutely essential in any dash cam:
Camera Angles & Width
It isn’t enough to have a dash cam that simply captures what’s ahead of your vehicle. Sometimes it’s equally important to have the ability to record what’s happening behind the vehicle, as well as to the sides. An ideal dash cam would be able to record at a wide angle. Most dash cams are equipped to do so, with certain ones being able to capture approximately 160 degree angle from the front and 150 degree angle from the back. This expansion allows events occurring to the side of the vehicle to be recorded more reliably, without any type of image distortion.
High Quality Vision
This feature doesn’t simply apply to how well footage is being recorded, it also takes other conditions into account. For example, does the dash cam record 1080p quality or 4k quality. A crisp image under severe circumstances can be all the difference. Another question to consider is under what circumstances can the dash cam capture clear recordings? A dashboard camera with HDR and UHD quality resolution can not only show clear recording quality in a variety of lighting conditions (i.e. in tunnels and with harsh backlight), it can also capture clear recordings at night.
The value of a dash cam varies on a number of aspects. An important one is its ability to record when the vehicle is not in motion. Parking mode is crucial to ensuring the safety of your vehicle while it stands unoccupied. Certain dash cams can actually create a time lapse to minimize the size of the video, recording one frame per second, in order to continuously record the parked vehicle. In fact, the dash cam can automatically generate a time lapse recording in order to fast forward through to the most important portions of the night. This ties into impact detection and event tagging, which is another feature dash cams have when your car is left unattended. Instead of having to watch through hours of footage, being able to access exactly what you need is an optimal solution.
A feature that can help a dash cam continuously record through the night is storage space. Dash cams with H.265 high efficiency video coding (HEVC) have a compression rate that is two times higher than that of H.264 - meaning dash cam users can store more space. Some dash cams come with 2TB worth of memory space. At the end of the day, how much storage you want and need depends on how frequently you drive, how often you need to record your parked vehicle as well as how often you’re willing to erase footage to create more space.
Some dashboard cameras are equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Some of those features include a front vehicle start alarm (FVSA), forward collision warning system (FCWS) and lane departure warning system (LDWS). If your car doesn’t already have the built in versions, it may be worth investing in a dash cam that can do its job while providing additional benefits such as these.
There are a plethora of features beyond the ones aforementioned. Dash cams can be waterproof in the case of a flooding incident, dust-proof in order to continually capture clear recording - certain dash cams even have touchscreen capabilities, which makes navigating through them a breeze. Some dash cams on the market are actually better suited for commercial vehicles. In fact, certain ones are specifically designed for trucks and fleet vehicles with heavy duty cameras all around the vehicle. Those that use “G-Syncloud” are primarily used for fleet management. They include features such as live streaming, monitoring driver behaviour, real-time road condition updates, live GPS tracking, driver analysis report, among so much more. Some even have “geo-fences” incorporated into the device in order to trigger an alarm if an unauthorized entry occurs.
At Car Systems Installation (CSI), we sell a plethora of dash cams that can be installed into any type of vehicle. Our top contender of all the dashboard cameras are the GNET Cams. With a wide selection of GNET products in our inventory, our team of trained professionals can assist you in finding one that best fits your needs. Whether you’re looking for a dash cam for your vehicle, or one that will work for commercial fleets - we have you covered. Generally, GNET cams are equipped with a WiFi function as well as a GPS logger, allowing you to download videos on the spot as well as see where the video was taken. In addition, GNET can efficiently provide you with all five “must-have” features of a dash cam. So get in touch with our team at (416) 901-5812 and see how a GNET dash cam install, by our certified technicians, will help you stay safe on the road - no matter how long the trip.