The Best Dash Cams
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While we all hope to never be involved in an automobile accident, it's still wise to gear up for unforeseen circumstances. As they say, accidents do happen and investing into a dash cam can potentially help you prepare for possible legal action if you are ever involved in personal injury or disability-related accidents. Without video footage from street cams or your own dash cam, you can face an uphill battle to determine who was at fault if an accident does occur. Dash cam footage can also potentially save you from higher insurance premiums, and considering how affordable they are these days it's a smart investment.
We will cover everything you need to know about dash cams, including our picks for the best dash cams available in Canada, and will also walk you through some of the important specs to pay attention to when shopping.
Choosing the Right Dash Cam for Your Motorcycle or Bike
Dash cams are portable, video recording devices that can capture everything happening around your vehicle. They're often called "a motorist's independent witness" since it sees nearly every form of movement that occurs in close proximity of the vehicle. If you're ever involved in an accident, or someone breaks into your car, you can provide accurate footage of what actually happened. If you've ever seen a Russian dash cam video compilation you'll know just how important it is to have footage of an incident.
Dash cams are a good investment for every road user and we are here to show you some of the best picks. Whether you own a car or a motorcycle, our list has got you covered.
1. Editor's Pick: BlackVue DR900S-2CH
- 4K ultra high definition that allows for high quality recording
- GPS that allows you to zero in on the location of your car
- Parking mode available with the camera
- Built-In GPS & Dual Band Wi-Fi
- Has Impact & Motion Detection
- You may not need all its features
- Only has a 16GB micro SD card
- Can overheat in high temperatures
- Apps are difficult to use
|Video Resolution:||4K @ 30 fps (front)/1080P @ 30 fps (rear)|
|Viewing Angle:||162 degrees (front)/139 degrees (rear)|
As a premium option, the BlackVue DR900S-2CH offers everything you'd want in a dash cam and possibly more.
Equipped with an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor in the main camera, this dash cam is capable of capturing 4K video at 30 FPS. The front camera has an ultra-wide, 162-degree angle ensuring nearly everything in front of you is being recorded and the rear camera utilizes a 2.1-megapixel Sony Starvis sensor, recording HD (1920x1080) video at 30 FPS. It has a 139-degree angle and excels at recording in low-light conditions. As you might know, 4K video footage can take up plenty of space on your memory card but H.265 compression helps ensure those file sizes stay as small as possible all while still maintaining quality.
Along with capturing clear and high-resolution video, this dash cam can also store speed and location data. With built-in GPS and dual-band Wi-Fi, it's capable of connecting to BlackVue Over the Cloud which means that you can check on your vehicle from anywhere in the world. To help identify important video footage, the dash cam will automatically detect impacts or sudden changes in speed while driving, or movements when your vehicle is parked.
If any of those events occur, the video files are marked accordingly so you can easily review what happened. Conveniently check all of your footage from the BlackVue App for Android and iOS, or the BlackVue Viewer for Windows and Mac OS.
2. Runner Up: ThinkWARE U1000 Dual Dash Cam
- 4K video recording
- Easy-to-use smartphone app
- Super Night Vision for low-light recording
- 4K video recordings have large file sizes
- Only includes a 32GB memory card
- Adhesive is one-use only so mounting must be perfect on the first go
- Manual can be hard to understand
|Video Resolution:||4K @ 30 fps or 1440P @ 60 fps (front)/1440P @ 30 fps (rear)|
|Viewing Angle:||150 degrees (front)/156 degrees (rear)|
The Thinkware U1000 is a versatile dash cam packed with features to justify its price. One standout feature on this dash cam is Super Night Vision 2.0, a technology that reduces noise which enhances image quality in low-light conditions.
This dash cam is capable of recording 4K video at 30 FPS or 2K QHD (2560x1440) at 60 FPS from its 8.42-megapixel Sony Starvis front camera and the rear camera is a 5.14-megapixel Sony Starvis unit that can record up to 2K QHD video at 30 FPS. Viewing angle is impressive for both cameras: 150 degrees for the front and 156 degrees for the rear.
As you would expect from a premium dash cam, the Thinkware U1000 has a parking surveillance mode to continually monitor your vehicle even when you're away from it. It has impact and motion detection to capture and save video footage if something occurs near your vehicle and you can even choose to use Energy Saving Mode 2.0 which means the camera will only record footage triggered by impacts only. This is great if you're parking your car for an extended period of time in a single location - like at the airport. The company also has its own cloud service called Thinkware Cloud which allows you to check your vehicle's location and receive notifications directly to your device.
3. Best Budget Pick: Apeman C450
- Super wide 170-degree viewing angle
- Easy to setup and use
- Suction cup rotates 360 degrees
- Doesn't include a memory card
- No 4K recording
- No rear camera
|Video Resolution:||1080P @ 30 fps|
|Viewing Angle:||170 degrees|
We understand that not everyone wants a premium dash cam, which is why we include this recommendation for those shopping on a budget. The Apeman C450 records full HD 1080P video at 30 FPS and features a large three-inch LCD screen display. The front camera uses a 170-degree super wide-angle lens, capturing nearly every detail of the road in front of you. Just keep in mind that this option is a single camera, so it won't record anything that's happening at the rear of your vehicle.
Its affordable price doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality and features, though. The camera features a large f/1.8 aperture which is combined with WDR and HDR technologies to deliver clear images at night. The built-in G-sensor helps detect sudden shakes or collisions, instructing the camera to lock the video footage so it can't be overwritten. This ensures that you'll have video evidence if an accident does occur. The same goes for parking monitoring which captures footage if something happens to your vehicle while it is parked for an extended period of time. Compared to more premium dash cams, this Apeman option doesn't have Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities; if you don't necessarily need them, this is a great option.
4. Best Dash Cam for Motorcycles: HaloCam M1
- 1080P front and rear cameras
- Waterproof and dustproof lenses
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- No memory card included
- Monitor is not waterproof
|Video Resolution:||1080P @ 30 fps (front and rear)|
|Viewing Angle:||155 degrees (front and rear)|
As you can imagine, a traditional dash cam made for a vehicle isn't particularly great for a motorcycle. If you're shopping for a motorcycle dash cam, we recommend this unit from HaloCam which includes dual cameras to cover the front and rear of your bike.
Capable of recording full HD 1080P video (front and rear), it is equipped with Sony image sensors for great image quality. The lenses are both waterproof and dustproof, and each camera offers 155-degree coverage so you'll be able to record everything that's happening in front and behind you while riding. Unfortunately, the monitor is not waterproof so you'll want to keep that out of harm's way if the weather gets bad.
For nighttime situations, the large f/1.8 aperture captures 30-percent more light to ensure quality doesn't fall when the sun sets. There are also multiple ways to power this unit, like with a 12V to 5V power cord that connects to your motorcycle's light or ignition switch as well as via USB cable that connects to a portable charger. The HaloCam Moto App will let you connect your phone to the camera via the camera's Wi-Fi, allowing you to download, edit, and share videos directly from your phone. A GPS antenna is also included so you can track your whole riding route.
5. Best Dash Cam for Trucks/Ubers/Taxis: Vantrue N2 Pro
- Inside dash cam records your cabin
- Built-in microphone
- Four infrared sensors
- Included suction cup mount is frustrating to use
- Needs to be hardwired to monitor your vehicle while it's parked
- GPS sold separately
|Video Resolution:||1440P @ 30 fps or 1080P @ 60 fps (front) / 1030P @ 30 fps (inside)|
|Viewing Angle:||170 degrees (front) / 140 degrees (inside)|
If you're a rideshare driver your dash cam needs are a bit different since you'll likely want to film what's going on inside your cabin, too. Vantrue's N2 Pro does just that, with two cameras built into the unit to capture what's ahead and what's inside.
The front-facing camera has a wide 170-degree angle and uses an OV4689 sensor to capture video up to 1440P at 30 FPS or 1080P at 60 FPS and the inside camera, which is equipped with a Sony Exmor IMX323 sensor, has a 140-degree viewing angle and records at 1080P at 30 FPS. It's worth mentioning that if you're using the inside camera, then the front camera is limited to 1080P recording.
As a rideshare driver, there's a good chance you're often driving at night. To ensure you're getting clear footage, the interior camera features four infrared LED lights to enhance night vision and a built-in microphone to capture audio. The front camera has a large f/1.8 aperture lens with HDR to balance the light and dark areas of the video. This dash cam also has a motion-activated parking mode but you'll have to hardwire the unit to a power source. Like most quality dash cams, it'll automatically start recording if it detects motion or impacts. Seamless loop recording means you won't have to constantly maintain your memory card, automatically overwriting old footage once the card is filled to capacity. Of course it will lock any footage if the camera's G-sensor detects sudden shakes and collisions, so important recordings won't be overwritten. If you want GPS, however, you'll have to purchase the GPS mount separately.
6. Best for Car Rearview Mirror: CHORTAU Mirror Dash Cam [2021 New Version]
- Easy to install on your rearview mirror
- 24-hour parking monitor
- Rear camera is waterproof
- Can be used in hot weather
- No rear camera recording
- SD Card is only up to 32GB
|Video Resolution:||1080P in the front|
|Viewing Angle:||170 degrees|
Not everyone wants a camera on their dash yet they still want the advantages of recording any action that occurs with their car. This affordable option attaches to your rearview mirror for use as a front camera, a rear view, and a parking guide.
The Chortau Mirror Dash Cam, which has been upgraded for 2021, records full HD 1080P video in the front with a 170-degree angle and 480P in the back. You can capture everything that’s going on ahead of you and get a high quality image that will grab a clear image of a license plate, even at night.
The camera, which is 11.5-inches and attaches to your rearview mirror, has a large 7-inch touch screen with a 2.5D advanced anti-glare blue glass for a clear image that won’t block your view.
While the camera will record what’s going on in front of you, it won’t record what’s happening at the rear of your vehicle while you’re driving, but once you put the car into reverse to park, the screen will show you a rear camera image and parking guide lines to help guide you into that spot. Of course, if you already have a back-up cam built into your car’s dash, which is common in newer model vehicles, then you won’t need this feature.
However, this mirror dash cam does have a G-Sensor and 24-hour parking monitor function, so when these are activated, the camera will turn on and record if a car smashes into yours while it’s parked.
7. Also Consider: VSYSTO Fish Eye Camera Motorcycle Recording Dash Cam
- 1080P front and rear cameras
- Built-in camera
- Engine charges the built-in lithium battery
- Has GPS
- No memory card included
- Wind noise can prevent quality recordings
- Slow file transfer speed
- Battery often drains quickly
|Viewing Angle:||155 degrees (front and rear)|
As you can imagine, a traditional dash cam made for a vehicle isn't particularly great for a motorcycle. If you're shopping for a motorcycle dash cam, we recommend this unit from Vsysto, which includes dual cameras to cover the front and rear of your bike. Capable of recording full HD 1080P video (front and rear), it has a F1.8 large aperture to capture 30 percent more light and provide you with super night vision. Each camera offers 155-degree coverage so you'll be able to record everything that's happening in front and behind you while riding, and the six-layered glass lenses and dual fish eye camera is specially designed for motorcycles.
There is no need to charge this unit: the lithium battery is continually charged by the motor while you’re driving. The Vsysto app will let you connect your phone to the camera via the camera's Wi-Fi, allowing you to download, edit, and share videos directly from your phone. A GPS antenna is also included so you can track your whole riding route.
8. Best Mini-Cam: Blueskysea B1W WiFi Sony Sensor Mini Dash Cam
- Small in size
- [email protected] fps
- Front and rear camera
- Can work with up to 64GB SD card
- No LED screen
- SD card not included
- Poor nighttime lighting
|Viewing Angle:||150 degrees (front and rear)|
They say good things come in small packages. Well, it doesn’t get much better — or much smaller — than this mini car cam. The small size and all-black colour keeps it unobtrusive and all but hidden from view.
As small as it may be, it still performs like a mighty mouse and supports a full 360-degree rotation. The combination of a Novatek processor and a Sony high sensitivity image sensor allows for [email protected] fps high-quality recording with 150-degree wide-angle view during the day and at night. Instead of being powered by a lithium battery, this mini-dash cam’s video recorder uses dual supercapacitors which makes for more reliability in all weather conditions including hot temps. The dash cam also has built-in Wi-Fi so you can view your footage, download videos, change your settings via an app on your iPhone or Android, and share to social media. What's more, there is also a parking mode function which is triggered by a G-sensor. If an impact is detected, the camera automatically begins to record for 30 seconds.
What to Look for When Shopping for a New Dash Cam
GPS helps pinpoint your vehicle's location and can be used to record where an accident occurred. This comes in handy if you're ever having to file a suit or claim insurance following an accident. GPS can also be used to remotely track the location of your vehicle as well as record its speed.
This technology ensures your camera is already recording video footage, automatically overwriting old content when your memory card is out of space. Just keep in mind you'll also want to make sure there's a feature that automatically locks and prevents important video footage from being deleted such as clips where the dash cam detected impacts or collisions.
The importance of impact detection, as we just mentioned, is to make sure your dash cam knows when to lock and preserve video footage from being deleted. Typically, dash cams will also mark any video recordings where the unit detected an impact so you can easily find it.
If you often drive at night you'll want a dash cam with technology to enhance night vision. This could be in the form of a large aperture lens or other technology that reduces noise in low-light situations. This way, you'll get as clear video footage as you can if something occurs once the sun has set.
Best Dash Cam FAQs
What Is a Dash Cam?
A dash cam is basically a video camera that can be installed in your car (usually to the windshield) and constantly records video (and sometimes audio) as you drive.
Are There Different Types of Dash Cams?
Yes. There are the single-lens dash cams (also known as one-channel dash cams) and dual-lens dash cams (also known as 2-channel dash cams).
How Do You Install Dash Cams?
Most dash cams come with their own set of instructions that will guide you through the product's installation process. Generally, it will require hooking up a power source to the dash cam and mounting it to your windshield with a suction cup. Rear cameras typically take a bit more effort to install.
Where Does the Dash Cam Get Its Power From?
A dash cam usually comes with its own power cord that can be plugged into your car. Some dash cam cameras come with in-built batteries while others will need to be hardwired to a power source like your car's battery.
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