Recommend Dashcam car camera

I was researching for car camera recently. Google “Recommend Dashcam” or “Popular Car camera” and 20 brands pop up easily! After my requirements gathering and shortlisting process, I have some tips for dashcam shopping.

dashcam recommend

Have you seen footages from “Singapore Reckless Drivers” before? It is getting more stressful to drive on the road and perhaps a dashcam can provide some assurance.

1) The first question : What are your dashcam requirements?
1a) Motion sensor – do you need your camera to standby after engine off( prevent hit and run, vandalism)
Car battery is tapped, any motion and camera will start recording (also known as parking-mode).
1b) If you constantly park under the sun, ensure good camera quality. Under Singapore’s hot weather, recording quality should not be adversely affected, and dashcam should not overheat.
1c) Decent video recording at night (no use having a camera which cannot see the carplates infront)
1d) Do you need HD (high definition) recording?
1e) Do you need front and rear camera?
1f) Dashcam should be able to capture a wide angle, at least 120 degrees

2) The second question : Your budget?

There are dashcam from $30 to $400. If you add two dashcams (front and back), price might go up to $600. I thought the high-end dashcams are ridiculously priced. Robbers might even be tempted to smash and grab the dashcam!

Ironically, the most expensive car cameras might not garner the best results!
IT-Shows do have promotions for Dashcam, but the brand/model might not be your shortlisted unit.

Do enquire whether dashcam package includes :
2a) Installation? (might cost $30 to $50 to setup one camera, concealing the cables)
2b) External battery source? Refer 1a) above, there are instances of Dashcam which drain car battery! External battery source or voltage-cutoff device might mean an extra $200 to $500!

3) Additional considerations :
3a) Which dealer more reputable? Some might even consider getting export set direct from Korea (example)
3b) If buy from QOO or Taobao, how do we distinguish original from fakes?
3c) Most dashcam runs on 12v, need to connect to cigarette socket or 12V powerbank to run (most powerbanks are only 5V). To prevent flat car battery the next day, you can consider getting a 12V powerbank ($70 and above)
3d) Research, compare, research again. Customer reviews are vital, but everyone will say their own dashcam is good πŸ™‚

It is a competitive market, if manufacturer do not have an Internet presence, other “top brands” will always be shortlisted. Do a Google and some popular brands listed.
“Blackvue, Iroad, Thinkware, Safevue, Marbella, ITB100H, Garmin, DOD. Even GoPro and China replica SJ4000” can be used as car camera! I was using my GoPro Hero3 before I got my dashcam.

More research :
– SGcarmart top cameras (link)
– Dashcam comparison https://dashcamtalk.com (why no Safevue?)

safevue f178 car camera
(Image credit CEF ideas)

I got a Safevue F178 for myself, and these are my plus and minus points :
+ $66 only!
+ Decent video quality day and night
+ Fisheye lens offer paranomic 170 degrees angle!
+ Safevue is running on 5V, and I can just use any powerbank usb slot
+ 20000mAh powerbank cost $30+, and can record 1.5 days of video footage! (ideal for weekend cars or traveling period)
– Every 2 days, I need to swap the powerbank (this option is better than a flat battery)
– Safevue F178 does not come with motion-sensor, thus I let my camera record 7×24! So far no over-heat issues.
+ If unit spoil, I will just grab another unit. For the price of an “atas” Blackvue DR650, I can grab 9 SafeVue F178!

Video (link) : Our night recordings

If you ask me to recommend dashcam, I will just say there is a camera for every requirement.
This is not a sponsored post, Happy shopping πŸ™‚

*updated 2016 Jun
Car thefts prevention
– Driving Tips for Malaysia (First timers)

Author: SengkangBabies

I am a Blogging Daddy of four. Our kids are roaming Singapore to bring you FUN, This blog is use to capture our kids' growing up phases, and we want you to leave our blog with a smile :)

22 thoughts on “Recommend Dashcam car camera”

    1. Most welcome, Lyn πŸ™‚
      One more tip, if you need to run 7×24, disable “motion-sensor”.

      The motion-sensor feature is useless and can cause recording delays of up to 10s between files.

  1. Why no Safevue F178 mentioned at the DashCam Talk link? Simple. It’s not available at Amazon US or anywhere on US eBay. I can’t find it available anywhere in the US.

  2. Hi!I am looking for a Dashcam and happened to chance upon your review which is certainly very useful! Thanks!

    Was initially considering Blackvue but am now very tempted to go for SafeVue F178 which satisfy the basic reqments i hv in mind and at just a small fraction of the price of Blackvue! Before I commit to the buy, would like to seek some 1st hand feedback from you, being an end user of numerous months. So far, do u hv any complaints/Hiccups on its usage? How’s the night video footage quality or footage under cloudy dim light condition? Do we need to format the SD card manually n regularly to clear storage for recording? If yes, how often, given 7×24 rec?Does it use the car battery power at all as powerbank swapping is required? For 7×24 rec, no issue at all with overheating, even if car is parked under scorching hot sun for a few hours?

    The above are really my concerns for now for SafeVue. Your feedback will be very much appreciated!

    1. Hi May, thanks for dropping by.

      Quality – I seldom park under hot sun for long, I got two units so far so good (6 months and counting)
      Video night quality – Highway quality ok for me, branded cams will definitely have better playback quality.
      Reformat – Sometimes 9once a month) I get sdcard full (ensure class 10), just reformat will do. I keep cameras running 7×24
      I brought x2 20k powerbank from same dealer, swap every 1.5 days or 2 days (warm but confirm no overheating from powerbank)- in sheltered carpark

      Two more points :
      1) The branded cameras are good, but way overpriced (markups!), and most require you to buy extra battery-pack for “parking mode” (to prevent battery drain).
      2) I can plug and play my safevue to Malaysia, should I rent a car there.

      cheers, andy

  3. Hi Andy,

    Many thanks for your prompt feedback πŸ™‚ Β 

    I had assumed Safevue F178 has both front and rear recording but I just read somewhere that it only has front recording. Did you then get 2 units of Safevue (one for front and the other for rear), like someone else suggest or u only require front recording? Β For night highway video, quality is fine for u, guess that level of lighting is fairly equivalent for a typical hdb outdoor carpark at night and hence in general the video quality should be acceptable? Concern is hit and run of vehicle when park at night. Β 

    Lastly, assume we need to park car under hot sun for numerous hours (eg visit to park and limited parking and can’t find shady spot), we can choose to off the recording if we arevconcerned with overheating? Β  Thanks again! Β πŸ˜€ Β 

    Regards, May

    1. Hi May, I brought two separate units for front and back.

      Night video, I just upload an old copy (email Youtube link to you)
      Slightly less inferior compared to branded cams, normally infront very clear, but left/right can be blurish. (Please check youtube other brands night videos)
      My concern is carpark hit and run too, whether can capture carplate (only consolation is minimum can capture car-makeand colour, then depend on ERP-camera at carpark exit, to confirm car plate number.

      Maximum outdoor under sun is only 2 to 3 hours, camera is super hot, but still working.

  4. Hello, how big is your SD card? I’m reading you right, that you are recording 24/7 non stop since the motion detect mode is quite crappy?

      1. Wow. Can 16Gb last that long? 20k powerbank should be at least 40hours of recording right? Did you set it at a lower resolution? I went to the qoo10 site and it says 1080p.

        TIA!

  5. Hi,your insights are very helpful. My hubby who is planning to drive with a Private Car Hire company needs a good dash cam but we are on a very tight budget and have concerns like most of you..whether it’s the heat and how long the battery etc can last but most importantly is to be able to capture the video of the hit and the car plates relatively clearly. Is this camera you’re recommending suitable for this as being on the road 12 hours a day and with some crazy drivers here there is a chance of getting into a accident. Also can you recommend the place you got the camera and powerbanks from? We are looking for a one stop shop we can get all these things from. Also can this cam be self installed as we are trying to save costs and every cent counts. Sorry for the long post.😊thanks in advance

    1. hi Jo, daytime, all cameras are ok. The challenge is finding a camera (within budget) which can capture carplates clearly in the night. Safevue might be lacking in this aspect, do enquire about other brands’ night-video capturing quality. (for $60+, I am ok with the quality)

      I got camera and powerbank from Qoo “Cef ideas”, link in blog.

  6. You’re a life saver! Thank u for the detailed writeup.

    Do u happen to know if the xiaomi yi cam works with xiaomi 20k powerbank too? And how long does it last before replacing fresh battery.

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