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.
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 🙂
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.
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 🙂