Are you in the market for a dash cam? Wondering How Much Is A Dash Cam? With a wide range of options available, from budget models to high-end systems with advanced features, it can be challenging to know which dash cam is right for you. In this buying guide, we’ll explore the essential features to consider when selecting a dash cam and what prices you can expect to pay.
Dash Cam Basics
Dash cams, also known as dashboard cameras or car cameras, are specialized digital cameras installed in your vehicle to record the road around you. They provide video evidence of incidents or unexpected situations, which can be vital in insurance claims or legal proceedings.
When shopping for a dash cam, it’s essential to look for specific features that ensure you capture high-quality, reliable footage. These features include:
- High-quality video resolution (1080p or higher)
- A suitably wide-angle view to capture most of the road
- Continuous loop recording to ensure the most recent footage is always recorded
- A microphone to capture audio
- Built-in G-sensor to automatically lock and protect footage of a likely accident
- Built-in GPS to capture your location and speed in the event of an incident
- Easy access to view or share your video recordings through Bluetooth® and/or Wi-Fi
- Simple to mount or install
- Extreme temperature protection so the dash cam will work in any condition
While these are the most basic requirements for a dash cam, there are many additional features that make paying for a more expensive dash cam worth the money.
The recording quality of a dash cam is one of the most critical factors to consider when selecting a dash cam. The higher the recording quality, the more details you can capture, which can be essential in capturing license plates or street signs. High-quality video is also more useful in insurance claims or legal proceedings.
A good quality dash cam price will typically run between $100 and $400. At this price point, you can buy a car camera from a trusted brand name, built with reliable components, and covered by a warranty.
Some models, such as the Vantrue NS2, offer 4K resolution with dual-facing cameras and a parking mode to record even when your vehicle is parked. The Vantrue NS2 is an investment at the higher end of the price range, around $220.
In contrast, models such as the Kingslim D5-4K dash cam, priced around $75, offer similar recording quality to the Vantrue NS2 but may lack other quality-of-life features such as app connectivity and cloud storage of video recordings.
The temperature range of a dash cam is often overlooked but can vary significantly between models. If you live in a region with extreme temperatures, it’s important to consider the temperature range of a dash cam to ensure it will reliably work and record footage in harsh conditions.
The Nexar Pro Dual Dash Cam has an operating temperature range of anywhere between -4°F to 158°F, one of the widest temperature ranges on the market. The Nexar Pro Dual is priced at around $250 and offers various additional features.
Some dash cams have additional features that make the overall user experience much easier than others. Features such as touchscreen, motion sensors, Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi connectivity, voice control, loop recording, and built-in GPS can make a significant difference in the quality of your dash cam experience.
A more expensive dash cam may also offer emergency alerts, such as Cobra’s Mayday alert, which notifies a designated contact in the event of a severe impact. It can also bring additional safety and security features, such as a parking security mode, advanced driver assistance warnings, and emergency alerts.
Budget Dash Cams
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, a budget dash cam may still provide you with essential video recordings in case of an incident or accident. As long as the budget model offers high-quality video, a wide-angle view, and automatic video locking, it should provide you with the essential features you need.
A budget dash cam may be smaller than a more expensive model, especially if it doesn’t include a viewing screen, making it easier to mount the device in an out-of-the-way location. Most of the less expensive dash cams also only have one camera, which can make it easier to install in your car. Budget cameras also often don’t include an SD card, so make sure to factor this into your shopping research.
Expensive Dash Cams
When you have a higher budget, you can buy a dash cam with more features to improve your safety and security, which makes the device easier to use. A good dash cam will have a resolution of at least 1080p, but at 1600p or better, you’ll be able to capture even more vital details.
Spending more on a dash cam can also bring you additional safety and security features, such as a parking security mode, advanced driver assistance warnings, and emergency alerts. Voice control is also available on some premium dash cameras, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.
One of the factors that will play a part in how much you pay for a dash cam is how many cameras it has. A single-view dash cam will typically be set up to record what’s happening only in front of the vehicle. If you want to record the road behind you or inside the vehicle, you’ll likely need to spend a little more for a model with rear-view or cabin-view cameras.
For a bit less money (in the $350 – $500 range), you can opt for a 2-in-1 driver alert system like the Cobra Road Scout. Pairing a dash cam with a radar detector will provide you with intelligent alerts and capture clear video of the road ahead.
Conclusion How Much Is A Dash Cam?
Whether or not you have the budget to spend on an expensive dash cam with all of the features it offers, having a good quality dash cam from a trusted manufacturer can bring great benefits. Once you’ve chosen a reliable brand with quality products, how much the dash cam costs over a budget model is mostly determined by the additional features you feel will add to the usefulness and security that the device provides.
When shopping for a dash cam, be sure to consider the essential features such as high-quality video, a wide-angle view, and built-in GPS. Additional features such as touchscreen, motion sensors, Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi connectivity, voice control, and loop recording can make the overall user experience much easier.
While budget dash cams may provide essential features, more expensive models may offer additional safety and security features, such as advanced driver assistance warnings and emergency alerts. Ultimately, the right dash cam for you will depend on your budget and the features you need to feel confident and secure while driving.