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Dashboard cameras

We test 11 dashcams priced between $78 and $600.
 
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01 .Introduction

car-dashboard-cameras-lead

Here, we review 11 dashboard cameras (dashcams), priced $78 to $600.

Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which models:

  • deliver the best video quality in daylight, artificial light and low light
  • have the best angle of view
  • are the easiest to use.

On this page, you'll find:


If you’ve seen any online or news videos of crazy drivers or whacky traffic incidents, chances are they were recorded with car dashboard cameras. Also known as dashcams, they are mounted on the dashboard or windshield of the car and can be useful for recording evidence in accidents or road rage incidents. They are popular in Russia, where the high rate of traffic accidents, insurance claims and police corruption makes it common for cars to be equipped with cameras. Many videos of the February 2013 meteorite shower over Russia were captured with dashcams.

The potential benefits of a dashcam are obvious, but consider this before racing out to get one:
  • Many motorists are never involved in accidents.
  • A dashcam can only record video in its field of view (that is, in front of the car).
  • Our test found many dashcams don’t give a clear picture of another car’s number plate unless that car is very close, directly ahead, and in bright daylight without glare (and some struggle even then). 
But rear-ending another car is the most common accident type in Australia, and if you’re the driver of the rear-ending car then you’re usually considered at fault unless you can prove otherwise. If you’re innocent, a good dashcam could help prove it.

Video: dashcams

CHOICE takes a look at the dashboard cameras currently on the market.

Brands tested

  • Autocam FHD
  • Blackvue DR500GW-HD
  • DOD V680L
  • Gopro Hero 3 Silver Edition
  • Itronics ITB-100HD
  • Navig[8]r Crash Cam Pro
  • Navman Mivue 338
  • Smarty BX1500 Plus
  • Uniden IGO Cam 300
  • Vacron CDR-E07
  • Visiondrive VD-8000HDS

How we test

Our tester, Antonio Bonacruz, assesses the cameras for the quality of their video in daylight, artificial light (as in an enclosed carpark) and low light (with just headlights for illumination). He also measures their angle of view.

For ease of use, he assesses the supplied instructions, installing the mount and attaching/detaching the camera, adjusting settings with on-board and/or software controls, viewing the recordings on the built-in display (if applicable), and accessing and viewing the recordings on a computer.

As in our GPS tests, he puts the dashcams through a heat test (60°C for three hours) to see how they would survive being left in a car on a very hot day.

For more reviews of cars and accessories, see Cars.

 
 

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