If you’ve already got a dash cam, then you’ll probably know all about the fantastic features that help to keep drivers safe. What you might not know, however, is that your current dash cam may be severely outdated, with better features on newer models making it easier to share footage with friends and family or provide video evidence to insurance providers or the police.
Here are five reasons why now is the time to upgrade your current dash cam!
1. Better resolution
Just like other video cameras, dash cams record using specific video sizes, with larger pixel numbers indicating higher quality video and images. Older dash cams may record in 480p or 720p (the height of the video in pixels) and while this is okay, it’s a lot lower than what newer dash cams are capable of. By not recording at a minimum of 1080p (the standard for high-definition video), video may come out blurry or grainy on larger displays, with a lack of detail in each frame potentially resulting in your insurer being unable to use your video as evidence.
By opting for a higher resolution camera, such as 1080p, 1440p or 4K, you’ll have access to sharp and crisp images that won’t suffer from display problems, making life much easier for whoever is watching or making decisions based on the footage. For the best possible quality, we’d recommend a 4K dash cam. These cameras offer incredibly high-quality images and you’ll be able to make out things like number plates and faces, even if the vehicle or person is far away from the camera.
2. Improved night-time recording
Despite there being less traffic on the road, night-time driving can actually be more dangerous thanks to a lack of natural light. Most dash cams come with low light features that allow video recording to continue even in the dark, but older cameras may create grainy, barely visible video that may not be of any use to the police or insurers.
Investing in a dash cam with enhanced low-light recording means you’ll be able to see much more on the video, even if it has been recorded on an unlit road. For unrivalled night-time video recording, BlackVue dash cams with built-in Sony STARVIS image sensor technology are some of the best, while Nextbase and Garmin offer some great mid-range options with light sensor technology too.
3. Wi-Fi and improved connectivity
The latest dash cams come with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which means you can seamlessly view footage on your smartphone or computer and videos can be transferred without you having to remove the dash cam’s SD card.
Many BlackVue models take this improved connectivity a step further with the BlackVue Cloud. A suite of app-driven Live services, the BlackVue Cloud allows users to connect to their dash cam and check on their cars remotely, play video clips and back them up remotely, monitor live journey progress and access live location data.
4. Parking Mode and hardwiring
If you’re currently using an older dash cam, then you probably won’t have access to a parking mode feature and this means that your camera won’t record when your engine’s off due to a lack of power.
Newer dash cams tend to come with a parking mode as standard, offering everything from impact detection to motion detection. This allows you to keep recording while you’re away from your car, giving you added peace of mind that any unexpected incidents will be captured.
If you want to make the most of a dash cam’s parking mode and ensure you’re always covered, then we’d recommend having the dash cam hardwired into your car. This will allow it to draw a nominal current from your car’s battery, preventing the dash cam’s own battery from being drained (your car’s battery will also be protected from being drained thanks to in-built voltage cut offs).
Another benefit of hardwiring is that it does away with all those messy trailing wires and frees up your 12V connector to charge other devices. Here at Halfords, we’ll be happy to hardwire your dash cam for a small fee – you can find out more about our dash cam fitting service here.
5. Front and rear cameras for wider viewing angles
More and more of the top dash cam brands are offering front and rear camera options these days. Having a dual-camera system installed can give you a full 360-degree view (depending on the dash cam model), which means you’ll never miss what’s going on ahead, beside and behind you.
A number of BlackVue models include both front and rear cameras as standard, making them one of the top choices if you’re really looking for full coverage. Nextbase also offers add-on rear cameras that can be combined with the company’s front cameras to give you the bigger picture. You’ll never miss a moment!