A new digital transformation is coming soon to your car. Most of the mirrors will either be replaced or be upgraded with digital camera systems (Dashcam). Carmakers are already partnering with electronics companies to make this shift happen. Digital dashboard cameras, or dashcams, are already well-known to car owners. Not only do these devices give a clear picture of the surroundings, some also come equipped with smart features to keep you and your car(s) safe.
A digital dashcam can be useful for a number of reasons, including road viewing, getting driving instructions, collision tracking or even receiving notifications against car theft. It is important to set up the dashcam in the position most appropriate for your purpose.
Cameras can be used on the front windshield to view the road ahead, inside the car to safeguard it when vacant, or at the back to help view what is going on behind, or to facilitate easier parking. You can also set up a multi-channel camera system, but this a different area of discussion altogether.
After deciding the position of installation, the first selection criteria for a dashcam is its video and image quality. Go for a dashcam that supports a 1080p resolution video feed for clear visibility of onroad objects. Most dashcams today come with touchscreen facilities, which is an added advantage in terms of usage.
A dashcam with motion sensor, gravity sensor (or G-sensor) and motion-based auto-record facility can be highly useful. In case there is a moving subject or object at proximity, or occurrence of some incidence, the sensors can trigger the camera to start capturing images and videos, and to store these for future use.
To store necessary videos and images, it is important to choose a dashcam with sufficient storage facilities. Devices may come with internal storage or external SD card support. Some higher-priced models may even connect with the cloud directly. Go for a device with a high storage option.
Some of the smarter dashcams come with smart functions like inbuilt Wi-Fi and GPS with navigation tracking. These features can come in handy for real-time route detection, smooth file transfer and cloud connectivity on-the-go. However, opting for these features may lead to higher upfront cost.
Some dashcams are battery-powered, while others can either be hardwired or charged through the power port of the car. You can opt for other features like night-vision and voice control, too.
Best dashcams in the market
There are many value-for-money options available in the market for you to choose from. You must ensure that the product you choose comes with a holder (that can be attached on the windshield) and is covered under a warranty of at least one year. We have mentioned a few of the recommendable options below. You may explore choices from other vendors too, based on your budget and requirements.
Blaupunkt BP 2.1
This budget-friendly offering from Blaunpunkt can record full-HD videos (1080p) and display these on a 5.08cm (2-inch) TFT screen. It has a 120-degree viewing angle. The battery-powered device has a G-sensor to record incidents automatically. Videos can be stored in an SD card (supports up to 32GB). The dashcam is available for ₹ 3300.
This dashcam has full-HD video resolution (1920p×1080p) capacity with night-vision and a unique wide dynamic range video system. It comes with added advantages through G-sensor, motion sensor and inbuilt parking monitoring system to record any motion around the car while parking or driving.
Videos can be stored using an SD card. Procus Convoy supports up to 32GB storage. It has a loop recording system that automatically overwrites recordings, unless associated with any specific event or incident. It is available for ₹ 3699.
This full-HD dashcam has a 170-degree field-of-view with night vision. G-sensor-driven videos captured are locked immediately, that is, prevented from being overwritten by new videos. Parking mode motion sensor captures surroundings in case of any movements nearby, when the car is parked.
The dashcam display automatically goes to standby when not in use. The device is battery-driven, which can be recharged through a USB. Akaso dashcam is available online for ₹ 4599.
This smart dashcam features 1080p full-HD resolution and H.264 video encoding storage compression. It contains G-sensors, and its lock collision recording feature records any collision or accident clips for further followup. The dashcam can be controlled by a mobile application, and connection can be established using Wi-Fi. Visuals can be captured in real time.
In addition, it has an intelligent voice control feature, which can be very handy. You can provide voice commands like “Take a picture” or “Shoot a video” and the camera will do the needful. It is powered using a USB cable. 70mai Mini is available for ₹ 6449.
Transcend DrivePro 230
Transcend’s dashcam offering, DrivePro 230 brings a variety of features. It has a two-channel image capture provision (at a maximum resolution of 1280p×480p) and an integrated audio system. The device has inbuilt GPS facility for route indication, with lane departure warning. It provides forward collision warning based on the speed of the vehicle and proximity to other objects in the front.
The dashcam also features driver fatigue alert and headlight reminder, which can be highly helpful to avoid accidents. The device comes with a microSD card bundled in the box. It can be bought for ₹ 11,400 online.