One of our most frequently asked questions when it comes to dash cam selection is in regards to how the camera will perform in high heat conditions. Most customers are familiar with the idea of capacitors which avoid many of the risks associated with batteries in extreme temperatures, and while this is definitely part of the equation, most high end dash cams (>$200) already have capacitors, so what other factors are worth noting and what models do we recommend? The form factor of the device, number of cooling vents, and internal features all play a role so here are our top 3 choices for high heat environments:
#1 BlackSys CH-200 2 Channel Dash Cam
If you're looking for a discreet 1080P/1080P parking mode and WiFi enabled 2 channel dash cam the BlackSys CH-200 is the best option out there. The flat and spread out body of the BlackSys has an abundance of cooling vents which help it achieve an impressive maximum operating temperature rating of 70 °C or 158°F. It also uses a very sleek external GPS that generates less heat than most internal units.
This camera is all about discreet 24/7 protection and has a highly customizable interface with voltage detection/cutoff built right into the device to optimize parking mode recording. In extreme cases the camera can detect the temperature and shut itself off to avoid damaging any internal components. We usually recommend installing the CH-200 just below the dot matrix in the vehicle which does a good job of reducing the direct sun exposure on the dash cam.
#2 Street Guardian SG9665GC V3
The Street Guardian SG9665GC has had an extensive track record of reliable performance in the dash cam community. It is a single channel dash cam that offers excellent video quality, a sleek wedge design, and easy to use interface. This dash cam is not what we recommend for parking mode protection but for the average user who just wants something to record their commute this is one of the best options out there. The V3 model offers an included CPL filter and revised lens/GPS design
There are a number of design features that make it an ideal choice for high heat environments. Like the BlackSys it too uses an external GPS so as not to cram an antenna into its very small body and reduce its ability to dissipate heat. The body has cooling vents on the sides, top, and front, and the lens housing is made of metal so as not to expand or deform regardless of temperature which would negatively impact image sharpness.
#3 Thinkware X550
We wanted to include the Thinkware X550 in this list to offer a solution for all sorts of customers. Generally LCD screen devices are not as good in high heat and have a tendency to need recalibration and may just fail altogether after extended use. The X550 still offers an LCD screen but uses a button interface instead to avoid the heat related issues of a touchscreen. Furthermore, this camera offers a high temperature cut off to protect internal components from any permanent damage.
This is a fully featured device that offers excellent video quality thanks to Sony sensors on both front and rear channels. It is designed to record 24/7 with parking mode by motion detection and has the durability to back up that function. We also like the automatic formatting reminders of the X550 to further enhance dependability.
These are our top 3 recommendations for different types of customers but it's important to keep in mind that with all dash cams a few things should be expected and are not necessarily cause for panic. All dash cams will run warm or even hot to the touch, especially if they've been running for a few hours in parking mode beating down in the sun. Video files will still be recorded properly and high end dash cams are able to monitor the temperature to prevent any permanent damage to the hardware. Micro SD cards should also be regarded as a wear and tear item, dash cams are especially hard on memory cards and some manufacturers will even void the card's warranty if used in a dash cam. The constant looping and high heat are stressful on the card and regular formatting (every 2-3 weeks) is crucial to maintaining good writing performance. It's also important to check footage regularly to make sure it's saving properly, if files are choppy or have gaps in between it may be time to get a new memory card.
Hopefully this article has been helpful in choosing a dash cam suitable for your climate. We are continually expanding our range to provide reliable and high quality products for all varieties of applications. If you have any questions about the dash cams discussed feel free to email us at email@example.com