Whether you’re looking to buy your first Dash Cam or wanting an upgrade on an old model, our guide is here to help you choose the right Dash Cam for your requirements, budget and preferences. From Dash Cam basics to info on the technology at work, you should find the information you require below. And if not? Don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Why is it called a “Dash Cam”?
- How easy is it to install?
- What should I look for in a Dash Cam?
- Where does all this footage get stored?
- What is WDR and HDR?
- What does the sensor do?
- Do the Dash Cams have GPS?
- Do the Dash Cams have Wi-Fi?
- What does the Cam Viewer app do?
- Can I edit my Dash Cam videos?
- How much is a dash cam?
- Does a dash cam record sound?
- How much does it cost to install a dash cam?
- Will a dash cam drain my car battery?
First thing’s first; let’s address something of a misnomer. “Dash Cam” is short for “dashboard camera”, but in fact only half of that name is strictly true. For while the device is indeed a camera, it doesn’t go on your dashboard. Instead, most Dash Cams are mounted on the front windscreen, near the rear-view mirror. This provides the optimum angle for recording the road ahead, while remaining out of the driver’s field of vision.
The good news is our Click & Go powered magnetic mount has been designed exclusively by the Nextbase technicians to make fitting our Dash Cams swift and simple. With the car power cable connected from the cigarette lighter socket directly into the mount, it leaves the Dash Cam itself completely wireless, allowing it to be easily slotted in and out of position.
The purpose of a Dash Cam is to record footage should it ever need to be used as an independent witness to an incident while on the road. Which means the most important factor to consider when choosing your Dash Cam is video quality. Generally, the more expensive Dash Cams boast top of the range sensors, anti-glare lenses and high-resolution picture, resulting in higher quality video and meaning more chance of being able to record a number plate or other key detail should it ever be required as evidence.
All of this recorded footage has to be stored somewhere of course. Thankfully it couldn’t be simpler with a Nextbase Dash Cam, which come with a MicroSD memory card slot ready for a memory card on which the video data can be automatically stored. We recommend that high-speed, top quality memory cards are used, such as SanDisk class 10. A 32GB card will store approximately four hours of footage, meaning you’ll always have your latest drive recorded to the card.
These techy abbreviations stand for Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) and you may well have seen them referenced in some of the many stellar reviews of our Dash Cams. That’s because these features are exactly what puts us ahead of the chasing pack, and ensures our Dash Cams are able to provide clarity of image in all conditions.
Take WDR, a feature found in our 312GW Dash Cam and above. This allows the Dash Cam to combine multiple images of differing levels of brightness to create one single optimised image. This is particularly helpful when driving in low lighting before emerging once again into bright, sunny conditions – exiting from a tunnel, for example.
As for HDR, which is included in the 512GW Dash Cam and above, this allows the Dash Cam to produce a more vibrant image by processing more light on the sensor, meaning clarity of footage is maintained in either extreme of lighting; whether in bright sunshine or during the darkness of night.
Sensors form the beating heart of our Dash Cams as they convert light coming into the lens into data that forms the video footage. And to ensure that our Dash Cams remain the most innovative and advanced on the market, we work with the industry’s best sensor manufacturers, such as Sony, to provide crystal clear footage.
All of our latest Dash Cams – from the 312GW and above – come with Global Positioning System (GPS) included. This means that your Dash Cam will automatically track and map out your journey as you’re driving, logging this information along with the video footage to ensure that your exact location can be pinpointed and proven in the event of an incident.
Any Nextbase Dash Cam featuring the letter ‘W’ in the model number – such as 312GW – features Wi-Fi capabilities. This means there’s no requirement for fiddly cables or a PC connection in order to upload your recorded footage, simply transfer direct to your phone or tablet using the embedded Wi-Fi connection.
For Nextbase Dash Cams with inbuilt Wi-Fi, the Nextbase Cam Viewer App provides the perfect companion. Once downloaded, completely for free via Google Play or the Apple App Store, Cam Viewer will link up with your Dash Cam via the Wi-Fi, allowing you to download your footage to your smartphone or tablet. You can then easily review your footage on your device before sharing any chosen video files with insurers or the police.
Certainly. The Nextbase Replay 3 software can be installed on PC or Mac and allows you to edit your Dash Cam footage. As well as being able to join videos together, there are options to trim videos, annotate frames and even add title screens, while key details such as Google Maps GPS location, date, time and even G-sensor information is provided. G-sensor data (sometimes referred to as an accelerometer) includes speed, acceleration, direction and braking.
The price of a dash cam is primarily dependent on your preferences and requirements. The Nextbase dash cams range from as little $99 to $299. Don’t be tempted into buying an off-brand dash cam sold on the cheap at gas stations as they’re likely to have insufficient video quality to capture the important details such as vehicle registration plates.
If you’re on a budget, consider the Nextbase 212 Lite dash cam for only $99 or check out our Dash Cams page for our full range, allowing you to compare their features and find which model is the perfect fit for you.
Yes, Dash Cameras record audio to compliment the video recordings, with many featuring built-in microphones and speakers. This will record audio in the vehicle when driving, which can be used to support evidence in the result of an incident. If you prefer, the audio recording can easily be muted or disabled on video recordings via the menu settings.
There are multiple ways to install a Dash Cam, which can be seen in more detail here – https://www.nextbase.com/en-us/hub/how-to-fit-a-dash-cam/
If you’re installing a Dash Cam via the supplied Car Power Cable in the box, then this is free of charge and can be done easily. There is the option to hardwire the Dash Cam to the fuse box and for this you’ll need a hardwire kit which can be purchased for $29.00
Further info on hardwiring can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wml4-DJ0YuM
The Dash Cam requires power from either the cigarette lighter socket cable/USB cable or a hardwire kit directly into the vehicles fuse box.
The recommend installation type is an ignition live power supply, this can be either the cigarette lighter cable or hardwire kit. An ignition live power supply means one which is only able to provide power to the Dash Cam when the vehicles ignition is on and running. The hardwire kit includes a voltage protection unit which stops the vehicle battery becoming completely exhausted if a permanently live fuse has been selected. This ensures that you will always be able to restart your vehicles ignition and allow the vehicle battery to recharge.
If using the cigarette lighter socket cable or USB cable inside the vehicle and the port is permanently live, this means it will continuously draw a current from your car battery. In this instance there is no protection for your car battery like there would be on a hardwire kit, it is recommended in this scenario to hardwire it into your vehicle.