Dash Cams: The Ultimate Guide in Australia [2019]

Looking for a reliable, high-performance dash cam that is affordable too?

Having the right dash cam as your second set of eyes for the road can mean the difference between coughing up thousands of dollars on insurance fraud and enjoying complete peace of mind.  You must never compromise on the best dash cam your money can get because although you may never use it, but when you have to, it could be a lifesaver!

WHAT IS A DASH CAM?

TYPES OF DASH CAMS

HOW DO DASH CAMS WORK?

TECHNICAL FEATURES IN A DASH CAM

DIY or PROFESSIONAL DASH CAM INSTALLATION

DO YOU NEED A DASH CAM FOR YOUR PERSONAL CAR/ FLEET OR BUSINESS?

BENEFITS OF DASH CAMS?

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A DASH CAM

What is a Dash Cam?

It is an onboard video camera mounted on the dashboard or windscreen of a vehicle to continuously record the view through a vehicle’s front and even rear windscreen. Dash cams provide critical evidence in the event of a road accident and even helps thwart any attempts of car break-ins when the car is parked or left unattended.

Types of Dash Cams

The types of dash cams can be categorized by their targeted field of view.

  • Single channel (1-CH) dash cams– Record out the front windscreen only.
  • Dual Channel (2-CH) dash cams– These front and rear cameras provide an extra layer of security coverage, thus capturing everything in sight. Usually, a dash cam with a wide angle view of 120° – 150° is ideal for capturing the best view of the road.
  • Cabin or inside viewing dash cams– These dash cams have an inside of the cabin viewing mode mostly used in cabs, trucks and taxis to monitor the driver and providing an extra layer of security within the vehicle.

How Do Dash Cams Work?

Curious to know how a dash cam works? An ordinary, general-purpose basic dash cam usually come with four main components

  • The dash camera
  • Memory card
  • Power connection cable
  • Suction cup or adhesive tape mount

Most car dash cams are easily attached using the suction cup mount or direct adhesive tape mount and can be simply plugged into a power source through your vehicle’s 12-volt system or via the cigarette lighter. They automatically start when you turn your ignition on and automatically power down and stop recording when the ignition is turned off. Some also come with surveillance parking mode when hard wired to the car.

Almost all dash cams work on the function of loop recording. One can set the length of the video in3/5/10 minutes recording and once the SD card is full, it will start overriding the oldest video.This allows for quick and easy access when you wish to playback media files. Once the memory card is exhausted, most dash cams utilise the internal loop function that enables the dash cam to automatically rewrite and continuously record without the need of formatting and thus, guaranteeing the safety of the device and data.

Next-generation dash cameras like IROAD use proprietary JDR format free recording that records every second, not as usual as 30sec or 1min can be defragmented to minimize the possibility of fragmentations. Thus with no necessity to format, it brings an increase of lifespan of Micro SD card.

Premium dash cameras also come with external GPS to record your location, speed, time and date of recordings. Further, these also have G-sensors/ advanced motion sensors that automatically switch on the car’s engine if they detect any movement or impact to thwart any car break-ins or in cases when somebody bumps your car in the parking lot.

Premium dash cameras have a screen to playback all the files. Alternately, you can use your dedicated mobile app and in-built Wi-Fi to connect your smartphone to your camera and stream/send/share videos on Apple and Android devices.

Technical Features in a Dash Cam

As your second set of eyes on the road, next-generation dash cams come with ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) road safety warning system, motion detection and advanced parking mode and whole latest technology to give peace of mind while on the road.  It will prove that you are in the right in case of an incident.

Screen Resolution HD/ FHD/ 3K QHD/ 4K UHD

Generally, it is recommended to choose at least an HD dash cam for clear videos and picture. Further, choosing dash cam capable of capturing video at 3K QHD or even a 4K UHD with 30 fps or 60 fps offers you great video quality.

Front and Rear Image Sensors

Premium class-leading image sensors like Sony STARVIS image sensors guarantee the ultimate sharpness and cleanest images even under low light.

Intelligent night vision

Some dash cams come equipped with X-vision, an intelligent night time vision that automatically analyses the surrounding conditions and adjusts the recording brightness as needed (up to 3 times higher) to give outstanding night time visibility.

Wide Angle View

A viewing angle of 120 – 150 degree ensures the best coverage of the road to capture greater detail.

Touchscreens

Some dash cams include touchscreens, which vary in size. IPS panel, which is more than twice as good as general TFT panel, boasts high specs always maintaining sharpness.

G-sensor

G-sensor automatically protects video footage upon sudden impact. In case of an impact or sudden change in direction caused by hard braking, the G-sensors automatically switch on the ‘Event Mode’ and save the segment of footage into memory for later retrieval. This file is automatically protected and moved into a folder that cannot be overwritten by any further footage. You can calibrate the G-sensors from the settings to high, medium low or off.

GPS

Synced with Google maps, the external GPS helps keep track of travelling speed, records driving information, location details as also supports the ADAS function.

Motion Detection and 24/7 Parking surveillance

Under advanced parking mode, the motion detectors feature ensures that the engine starts up automatically once it detects any movement or motion when the vehicle is parked.

Automatic Rebooting

The feature automatically reboots devices at the specified time. It also checks for memory card errors and organizes the recorded data

Voice Guidance & Recording

For Bluetooth, voice commands and recordings, a built-in microphone is included. The voice guidance informs you each time some changes take place. While the high-quality microphone embedded in the device is useful as evidence in case of an accident.

Smart update

The dash cam firmware, viewer and mobile application can be easily updated through the server.

Battery

Dash cams are engineered to cut off upon reaching a certain voltage to prevent the dash cam from draining the vehicle’s battery.

SD Cards

Dash cams usually use class 10 or above microSDHC or microSDXC cards (usually 16GB or higher) or internal memory to save videos. The port to connect the GPS antenna can use a micro USB or a 3.5 mm micro jack. Usually, 128 GB card will capture approximately 29 hours shared between driving mode and parking mode.

ADAS Advanced Driver Assistance System

Leading dash cams are equipped with road safety warning system to provide visual and audio alerts for Lane departure (LDWS), Front Collision (FCWS) and Front Vehicle departure (FVDW)

4G / Wi-Fi

Premium dash cameras use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 4G connectivity to send messages, pictures, and videos in parking surveillance mode

Dedicated Dash cam Mobile App

Wi-Fi allows for easy data transfer when connected with the app. The versatile mobile app allows you to remotely manage your dash cam. Users can watch the front/ rear live screen, play recorded videos, quickly download them and easily share without having to take out the micro SD card.

Loop Recording

One can set the length of videos to be recorded to 3/5/10 minutes until the SD card is full, it will start overwriting the oldest video and this way the recording will be automatic and format free

All Glass Lens

Glass lens does not wrap under high or low temperature and as such optimise image quality.

DIY or Professional Dash Cam Installation

Dash cam owners usually choose between a hard-wired installation by an expert and a simple DIY installation. If you prefer to install it yourself, simply mount the dash cam and tuck the cable discreetly behind the weather strip, along with the door and under the glove compartment. It is finally connected to the power supply, usually the cigarette port outlet or the 12v outlet.

It is however strongly advised that you contact a professional for hardwire installation. Your local qualified dash cam installation specialist can find the right solution for you and your vehicle as well as provide you with a quality installation. The hardwired installation also has the advantage of ensuring advanced parking mode wherein motion sensors provide a continuous recording and automatically switch on the engine if there is any movement or impact.

Do You Need a Dash Cam for your Personal Car/ Fleet or Business?

The practical benefits of a dash cam are not restricted to just the law enforcement agencies. They make a great choice for your personal or even commercial use too. A professional premium dash cam can probably be the most critical piece of tech in your car in case of an accident. Even as it makes a compelling case for your personal car, it can be the perfect solution for commercial fleet car owners or even for your business. Investing in a premium FHD dash cam with intelligent night vision is unarguably a great investment and has multi-fold benefits.

Benefits of Dash Cams?

Why should you buy a dash cam? These are all the great reasons to invest in a quality dash camera for your vehicle today.

As evidence in case of an accident

Dash camera footage provides irrefutable video evidence that can be useful in resolving disputes and protect you from false accusations. Whether you are involved in an accident, a road rage accident or even insurance fraud, it can help establish how exactly the accident happened, especially when witnesses aren’t available. Given the rising incidents of ‘Crash for Cash’ scams in Australia, investing in dash car camera makes a compelling choice.

Peace of mind

New teen drivers in the family? As a parent of a teen driver, you may often grow anxious about their driving. A dash cam with a mobile app and an embedded GPS device can help you monitor their driving as also keep an eye on recording every single detail that takes place inside and outside the car.

Capture your road trips

Wish to relive your memorable road trip journey over and over again? Simply choose an FHD or 3K QHD dash cam that records at 60fps to capture your road trips and share with your social media community on YouTube, Facebook and more

Makes you a more conscientious driver

Premium dash cams that come equipped with ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) can help improve your driving and prevent collisions. It also guards you against dangerous drivers, road rage accidents and even minor parking knocks.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Dash Cam

The crucial recorded visuals from your dash cam could be the legal evidence to protect you from insurance fraud or from being falsely implicated in an accident, even though you were innocent. Here are key things to consider before buying a dash cam.

Video Quality

Probably the most important feature of any dash cam. You’ll ideally want to buy a dash cam that records FHD (1080p) in both front and rear if it is a dual lens dash cam. A dash cam with less than HD image will produce pixelated images, which aren’t useful.

Intelligent Night Vision

A dash cam must be capable of recording crisp, clean images even in a low light environment and at night. Therefore dash cams that use intelligent night vision that employs ISP (Image Signal Processing) and real-time image processing function to brighten the images and overall night recording performance offer the best bang for your buck.

Dash cam recording angle

The most favourable recording angle is usually in the range of 120° to 150° to cover the street area on both sides of the road. Should the angle of a dash cam be as big as possible? Well, although a viewing angle of 170° may seem to capture more imagery, it comes at the cost of distortion, decreased resolution and makes things look further away.

Auto Start and Stop and multiple recording modes

 Considering the fact that most dash cameras use the 12v socket or the cigarette lighter as their power source, the dash camera turns on and off the second or minute your car’s ignition is turned on. It prevents the dash cam from draining your car’s battery. Therefore choosing a dash camera that has minimal electricity will ensure that the power consumption is a fraction of the electric consumption of other dash cams in its class.

Dash cam with loop recording

The loop recording feature allows the dash cam to overwrite the previously recorded videos once it reaches its full capacity. Thus you need not manually delete or format the memory card and also ensures that it records each time without fail.

Want to know more?

Looking for expert guidance on which dash cam to buy? IROAD is the world’s leading dash camera manufacturer with the highest number of car cameras sold worldwide compared to any other global leading brands. IROAD is well known for engineering highly reliable, high performing cameras that never disappoint. Our systems include components of the highest quality ensuring the cameras do not succumb to exposure of very hot temperatures. Our premium customer service and back up support in addition to the state of the art dash cam technology offers you complete peace of mind.

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