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Last updated: 31 July 2018

Ever been in a car accident or road rage incident that wasn't your fault? When it's your word against someone else's, video from a dashboard camera could be useful to prove your case.

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We test more than 50 car dashboard cameras – also known as dash cams – priced from $50 to around $600, to help you find the models that:

  • deliver the best video quality in daylight, artificial light and low light, to allow you to see identifying details like number plates
  • have the best angle of view
  • are the easiest to use.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you easily compare the pros and cons of each model, and our Recommended list lets you see at a glance which dash cams get the thumbs-up.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Recommend retail price as of July 2018. Keep in mind most of the dashboard cameras tested don't come with a required microSD memory card, which will cost you more money.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 50 and 599

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Built-in display

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Type and size of screen on rear of dashcam (if applicable).

Records GPS map location and speed data

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This information can be useful for police and insurers if you're involved in an incident that results in an investigation/claim.

Impact detection

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This notes when the car has been bumped or moved. Most dash cams will highlight and isolate the video segment using a date and time stamp. This includes the moments leading up to, and after, the incident. Some will isolate and protect this segment so you won't accidentally delete it.

Shoot still photos

Internal battery

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Lets the camera run without permanent power connection for a short period. This is essentially a fail safe should the dashcam disconnect from the power supply, in most cases. Many brands replace the internal battery with a capacitor that has enough power to save the video and shut down before the power runs out. These models, however, will not keep recording.

Specifications

Highest available resolution

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This is the highest vertical resolution capability. For example, HD is 1920 x 1080.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 480 and 2160

Features

Rear camera

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A few dash cams partner with rear cameras to capture what goes on behind your car, including the NanoCamPlus DVRHD2, Navman MiVue 630 and the Kapture KPT-722, but all three rear cameras scored borderline scores less than 50 for picture quality. It should be noted, though, that the rear camera scores don't count towards the overall score for these dash cams.

Test results

Picture quality - artificial light score

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Our tester installs the dash cam in a car and parks in a well-lit enclosed garage (simulating an underground carpark or road tunnel), then assesses the recorded video for clarity, fluidity of motion and colour accuracy.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Picture quality - daylight score

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Our tester installs the dash cam in a car, drives a set route in clear daylight, and assesses the recorded video for clarity, fluidity of motion and colour accuracy.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Picture quality - low light score

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Our tester installs the dash cam in a car and parks in an enclosed garage but with most lighting and the car's headlights turned off. If the dash cam has a 'night vision' function, this is turned on. He then assesses the recorded video for clarity, fluidity of motion and colour accuracy.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Angle of view score
  • Picture quality - daylight score
  • Picture quality - artificial light score
  • Picture quality - low light score
  • Ease of use
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Status
  • Price
  • Built-in display
  • Memory card included
  • Rear camera
  • Parking mode
  • Records GPS map location and speed data
  • Internal battery
  • Continuous loop recording
  • Automatic recording when vehicle starts
  • Impact detection
  • Shoot still photos
  • Highest available resolution
  • Mounting method
  • Removable memory card type
  • Weight (g)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D, cm)
  • Origin
  • Contact
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