What is a Dashcam?
A dashcam is a camera that is fixed to the windshield of your vehicle with the ability to record video continuously on to the micro sd card. Dashcams are an increasingly popular car accessory that acts as a secondary insurance for motorists. Many different types of businesses and individuals use them just because of how cost effective they are. These may include fleet drivers, Uber drivers, taxi drivers, private car owners, and even police officers.
There are many different types of dashcams on the market. You can select a basic dashcam that records footage from the front only, or select a higher end model that records front and rear footage. Some higher end dashcams have built in extras such as GPS and WiFi that allow for tracking speed, routes, and accessing video footage directly on the device.
What is The Purpose of a Dashcam?
The dashcam provides a silent witness onboard the vehicle at all times. It ensures that you have evidence to provide law enforcement or insurance companies to investigate the situation. Here are some examples below:
Evidence of an accident
The footage below is a customer who thought he could just use eyewitnesses as evidence to support his accident. As we see down below the truck driver merged onto the 2nd lane of our customers. Having many eyewitnesses around, our customer thought he would not have any trouble with the insurance company. However, a witness testified with false evidence against him and thus his case had to be reevaluated. Ultimately after viewing the footage the insurance company had closed the case and deemed the truck driver at fault.
Hit and run
The footage below came from Alex’s own hit and run when he was eating lunch at a restaurant. The Lexus driver hit his vehicle and even glanced at the damage but proceeded to walk off without leaving a note or any no witnesses were standing around who could have provided any evidence. Without the footage below he would have had to pay a $500 deductible for the damages and the other driver would have been able to get off scot-free.
The following footage came from one of our local customers who noticed that other cars in his small apartment complex had been keyed. Equipped with dashcams they were able to find the culprit and confront him as to why he was keying the cars. His reasoning behind keying the cars was his agitation of residents parking in guest parking spots. Instead of towing the cars he decided to teach them a lesson by engaging in vandalism. Without the dashcam's video evidence it would've been difficult to catch the vandal.
A local customer of ours shared a video to us of a PT cruiser and Sienna getting into an accident where the outcome could have been either 50/50, the PT cruiser was wrong, or the Sienna was wrong. We took it to the polls and had an outcome of 187 votes deciding who was in the wrong. The results of the post can be seen here. Without video evidence the insurance company would've likely sided against the PT cruiser based on the angle of the hit, but with the video evidence many agreed that it was in fact the minivan driver who did not leave enough room for oncoming traffic to pass.
What Justifies a $300 Dollar Dashcam Over a $100 Dashcam?
The decision between going with a $100 Chinese dashcam over a $300 Korean dashcam can be difficult. However, choosing a Korean dashcam over a Chinese dashcam all comes down to the components inside the dashcam. In general, Korean dashcams are built for around-the-clock protection while Chinese dashcams are built only to run when the driver is getting from point A to point B and nothing beyond that.
Chinese dashcams have many different settings for video quality such as Full HD and even Ultra HD, whereas many Korean devices only have the settings of HD and Full HD. The reason for why Korean dashcam manufacturers prefer a more conservative setting over a more extreme setting is because the higher the video quality the harder it is for the camera to process the footage and the more storage space it takes up. Aiming for reliability over video quality, Korean dashcam companies choose the more conservative setting allowing the device to work under different extremes in temperatures which Chinese dashcams are unable to. In our experience Chinese dashcams have a fraction of the run-time a Korean dashcam has and it's more common for issues to arise after a year. However, many of our customers who have purchased older Blackvue models such as the DR380G or DR400G are still using these cameras three years down the road, despite the fact that they are virtually running all day.
Furthermore, Korean dashcams can store more video footage compared to Chinese dashcams due to the bitrate they use. Thanks to a lower bitrate a dashcam can store more hours of footage on the same size card. Relatively speaking, Chinese dashcams don't need to run a lower bitrate because they are only meant to record while you are driving which for most users is less than 3 hours a day, in which case a 16GB card would suffice. For Korean dashcams that are built to be hardwired and run while the vehicle is parked, storage space becomes a much more important issue and to avoid looping over and deleting an important file, a lower bit rate is necessary.
Most importantly, a dashcam’s job is to be a silent witness in any occurrence of an incident. What is the point of a dashcam if it cannot do its job in recording the most important footage when needed? We aren’t saying that all Chinese dashcams are poorly designed and not reliable. There are many affordable and reliable Chinese dashcams out in the market. If you want Full HD recording going from destination A to B Chinese dashcams are an excellent choice. If you want an excellent silent witness with additional features like WiFi, GPS, and motion detection, Koreans dashcams are the way to go. In the end, the main purpose of a dashcam is to be a reliable source of video evidence in case of any event around the vehicle
We highly recommend our Skyview dashcam line up for those that are looking for a cheap dashcam solution. If you are looking for something more advanced at a reasonable price point, we highly recommend the Blacksys CH100B. This dashcam is equipped with a Sony Exmor CMOS sensor to produce very good night time video quality. WiFi is built in so you can view your video over the smart phone and change settings easily!
To simplify the buying process Blackboxmycar has created simple write ups such as our Dash Cam Buyer's Guide which provides lots of information to new customers who are interested in a dash cam. Additional research and up to date news can be found at our Dashcam News & Resources page.