Dashboard Cameras and Buying a Dash Cam for your Drive

Dashboard Cameras and Buying a Dash Cam for your DriveBuying a Dashboard Camera

On the Arrive Alive website, we find information on the importance of having a dashboard camera. It not only helps as a silent witness to any road crash but also can assist the motorist to ensure that he is not the victim of corruption or attempted bribe when pulled over.

But how do we know what is a good dashboard camera recorder? Those of us who are not techies can benefit from the assistance and guidance from the experts. We decided to approach the experts from Garmin for some assistance:

What are the most important aspects to consider when choosing a dashboard camera?

Quality and reliability. The role a dash cam could play in proving your innocence in an incident or providing crucial evidence in a matter is something users need to consider. As such, it is important to get a reliable dash cam from a reputable provider such as Garmin, that users can count on.

Should there be a difference in the dashcam used for fleets/ commercial usage as compared to the individual vehicle owner?

This is dependent on the user. The most important thing is reliability.

Would the dashboard camera, once purchased, require any additional expenses in terms of software upgrades etc?

Garmin Dash Cam cameras come with free software updates. Units are shipped with either a 4GB/8GB class 10 micro SD card, the only potential expense for a user would be should they wish to increase the card size (Garmin cameras accept up to 64GB class 10 or above micro SD cards) to prolong recording time.

How easy would it be to access any recorder, to download and to share such recordings with my insurer or on social media

How easy would it be to access any recorder, to download and to share such recordings with my insurer or on social media?

User experience and ease of use is important to Garmin and as such the Garmin Dash Cam 45/55 and 65W all feature wi-fi, which allows a user to easily access footage from the dash cam on their compatible phone, through a free app called Garmin VIRB (available on the Google Play store and the iPhone App store). Users can then share footage straight from their phone to either email, messages, WhatsApp, facebook, twitter or youtube and more.  

Where would you recommend as the best place on the windscreen for the dashboard camera recorder?

In the middle of the vehicle’s windscreen, as high as possible to allow for the best, unobstructed view. The Garmin 45/55/65W has a 2.3” screen to allow users to set up the camera perfectly in the vehicle. The cameras are shipped with a 4-meter-long cigarette lighter charger to allow users to install the camera and run power to it neatly in the lining of the vehicle.

Would high temperatures impact on the functionality? What are the most important steps to secure quality recording and playback?

Garmin Dash Cam products are designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 55°C. The products record in high resolution (ranging from 720p to 1440p). the most important thing to do is to make sure the camera has an unobstructed view.

How long should a dashboard camera be able to record and is any action required from the part of the owner to clean/ clear any recordings?

Garmin Dash Cam cameras loop record and files can either be manually saved or will save automatically if the G-Sensor in the camera is triggered in the event of an incident. Should the card be full of saved recordings, the camera will prompt the user that the card is full and that they need to delete some of the saved files to free up space. Recording times vary based on the size of the SD card, and the resolution of the footage being recorded. The below tables shows indicative recording times based on card size and resolution.

Garmin Dash Cam 45/65W:

 

SD Card Rated Capacity

Recording Mode

4GB

8GB

16GB

32GB

64GB

720p (30 fps)

95 minutes

190 minutes

380 minutes

760 minutes

1,530 minutes

1080p (30 fps)

55 minutes

110 minutes

225 minutes

445 minutes

890 minutes

Garmin Dash Cam 55:

 

SD Card Rated Capacity

Recording Mode

4GB

8GB

16GB

32GB

64GB

720p, 30fps

95 minutes

190 minutes

380 minutes

760 minutes

1,530 minutes

1080p, 30fps

55 minutes

110 minutes

225 minutes

445 minutes

890 minutes

1080p 30fps + HDR

55 minutes

110 minutes

225 minutes

445 minutes

890 minutes

1080p 60fps

35 minutes

70 minutes

140 minutes

280 minutes

560 minutes

1440p 30fps

30 minutes

60 minutes

115 minutes

235 minutes

475 minutes

What, if any, road safety features may the dashboard camera recorder be able to offer?

The Garmin Dash Cam 45/55/65W all feature the following safety features*:

  • Lane departure warning

  • Forward Collision Warning

*Certain conditions may impair the warning functions. Visit www.garmin.com/warnings for more information.

What are the most significant features of a dashboard camera that the ordinary road user might not be aware of?

It has been said before, but things happen in the blink of an eye, so continuous recording gives an account of what happened in those split seconds. They are indeed “eyewitnesses that never blink”. Footage from a Garmin Dash Cam is stamped with GPS coordinates (to show exactly where an event occurred), speed the user was travelling at, and date and time. Garmin Dash Cameras also feature a built-in microphone to record audio inside the vehicle.

What would the price range be from the most ordinary to the high-end dashboard camera recorder?

Garmin Dash Cam cameras have a suggested retail price ranging from R2799.00 to R3999.00 including VAT.

Also view:

Dashboard Camera Recorders and Road Safety

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