Skip to main content

The Best Dashboard Cameras – 2019 Guide

A good dash cam can be a life-saver. It could save you from insurance claims, or help you monitor your car when you’re away. Many of these situations could end up in your word against theirs, but when you have footage, you have a much stronger case. A dash cam records the front of the car while you’re driving or are parked. If you’re unfortunate enough to have an accident (or witness one), you will have the footage available on a memory card as evidence.

In this article we’ll look at dashboard cameras across all price ranges, from both popular and lesser known brands. Out top picks include the new Garmin Dash Cam 66W, a tiny dashboard camera from Garmin. All though dash cams have a lot in common with action cameras, such as GoPro, there are some key differences that make them more suited for motorists.

The right dashcam for your car

You can find dash cams in all price ranges, from cheap (low $xx) to expensive (high $xxx). Depending on your intended use, either could be a good pick. It really comes down to which features you need. Some things to consider are:

  • Field-of-view
  • Night-mode
  • Mounting method
  • Battery life
  • Size. Basically the more compact it is, the better. A larger camera is more of a distraction while driving, and also makes it easier to spot for potential thieves.
  • Storage capacity
  • Does it come with a screen (LCD display)
  • User experience and ease of use. I.e. does your cam have a mobile app?
  • Overall build quality

The higher end dash cams have Ultra HD (UHD), driver assistance technology and other smart functions. Others win points by being affordable, compact and easy to use and setup. Some cameras are permanently attached to your windscreen, and start to record when you fire up the ignition, while others are portable, and can be stored in your glovebox or taken with you.

In this article we’ve tested several models to help make your buying decision easier. You can read more on specific models, and see real footage taken with the cams by going to the read more link for each individual model.

The Best Dashboard Cameras For All-Around Use

Garmin Dash Cam 66W

Garmin Dash Cam 66W is a camera with high resolution (1440p) with an extra large field of view (180 degrees). It comes with integrated GPS and a 2 inch LCD screen (320×240). 66W is a new model, taking over for Garmin 55. This new model has the same compact size and ease of use, but has a much better field of view (122 degrees vs. 180). The recording resolution is also higher, and it has HDR (High Dynamic Range) recording. You can also hook it up to your smartphone via wifi, along with the Garmin Drive app. The app also has a multi-camera option, so you can run up to 4 cameras and synchronize the output (great for truck drivers!).

Features

Pros

  • Compact size. Portable
  • 180 degree field of view

Cons

  • Battery life isn’t great. It’s only 30 minutes, so you need to keep it hooked up to power from your car.
  • Slightly high price point, but on the other hand Garmin is a well-renowned brand, so you know what you’re getting.

Where to buy it?

We recommend that you buy the camera via Amazon. Click the link below to check out more info at Amazon.com.

Nextbase 612GW

Teh 612GW offers, as on of the first models on the market, 4k recording. With 4k you can record at 30fps, or you can choose to record in 1440p at 60fps. It has an integrated GPS unit, and a 3 inch LCD display. The video quality is great, with 4k resolution and a Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor. The GPS unit records your location meta data, so you can easily see (and prove) where an incident happened. When you put the camera in parking mode, the camera will automatically record a 2 minute caption after any movement is detected. The camera does have a battery, but with only 15 minutes battery life, leaving it plugged in is necessary.

Features

Pros

  • CMOS sensor from Sony
  • Option for 4k resolution
  • Large LCD screen
  • Will record collisions while you’re parked

Cons

  • Larger than Garmin 66W and most other cameras
  • Low battery life

Where to buy it?

We recommend that you buy the camera via Amazon. Click the link below to check out more info at Amazon.com.

Philips ADR820

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

ThinkWare F800 Pro

Motorola MDC150

Blackvue DR900S

Mio MiVue 792 WiFi Pro

Orskey Dash Cam

Nextbase 112

Roadhawk Vision Super HD

The Best Dual Channel (Front and Rear) Dashboard Cameras

Some of our readers prefer a dual channel camera (also known as front and rear dash cam)

Reasons for buying a dash cam