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The Ultimate Dash Cam Buyer's Guide

Designed to Be Your One-Stop Shop For New Dash Cam Enthusiasts

New to Dash Cams? Become an Expert Here.

If you have no idea what dash cam to purchase, then this dash cam buyer's guide will have everything you will ever need to become a dash cam expert yourself. We're here to help you narrow down your choices and let you know what to look out for. These are the sort of questions we ask our customers when they contact us to point them in the right direction.

Dash cams are extremely versatile, and can be used in many different types of situations. From daily driving to driving for Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing to even fleet managers operating a fleet of commercial vehicles, there is a dash cam out there that's right for you. BlackboxMyCar covers every scenario to make sure you're protected, no matter where you are.

This buyer's guide has been updated for 2019.

Know What Features You Want? Then Come See Our Best.

Jump right into our recommendations directly with our Best Dash Cams of 2019.


Dash Cam Basics

What is a Dash Cam & Why Do I Need One?

A dash cam stands for a dashboard camera that is mounted inside the vehicle, usually on the front windshield. A dash cam, depending on the model, can do many things such as record both when the vehicle is being driven and when it’s parked, record audio, provide a connection to a smartphone app so that video can be reviewed and saved on the spot, etc.

Dash cams can come with 1-Channel (Front), 2-Channels (Front & Rear), 2-Channels (Front & Interior) or even as many as 3-channels to protect you and your vehicle. Take a read in our article to find out how many you need.

What is an IR Dash Cam & Why Do I Need One?

An IR dash cam is a dash cam with infrared lights that provide recording details under poorly-lit conditions, as well as total darkness. These are dual-channel dash cam setups with a regular front-facing unit and a secondary unit that comes with infrared lights.

The secondary unit is typically mounted to face and record the interior of the vehicle, and thus is especially recommended for rideshare users, such as for Uber and Lyft, or for commercial use, such as fleet managers.

What are the Basic Features of a Dash Cam?

The basic features of a dash cam, including its ease of use, can be important factors in the decision of purchasing a dash cam. The products we carry all do their basic jobs easily and conveniently without much work involved. This article breaks down the basic features of a dash cam, covering terms including auto-start, auto-recording, loop recording and more.

Why Consider a Premium Dash Cam?

A question that we are frequently asked is: “Why are these particular cameras so much more expensive than ones on Amazon that are priced around $100 or lower?” There are a few reasons as to why this is the case, and these reasons make a huge difference.

Learn more about premium features including designs, parking mode, smartphone integration, 4K UHD video resolution, g-force, ADAS, memory card storage and more.

Get The 'Must-Have Dash Cam Features' Checklist to Maximize Your Safety

Get the free one-page checklist delivered right to your inbox. We'll also provide you with the latest news, updates and discounts on dash cams.


Dash Cam Features

What is Parking Mode?

Parking mode recording is a feature of a dash cam that keeps your dash cam recording footage even when the vehicle is off. Typically found only in premium dash cams, parking mode provides around-the-clock protection and surveillance for the vehicle.

Remember that an accident can happen at any time, and it’s always worse when the driver is away from the vehicle without any witnesses. The ability to capture footage while parked, to prevent hit-and-runs, door dings and vandalism, can prove to be very useful.

What is Wi-Fi & GPS for Dash Cams?

The GPS and wi-fi features in a dash cam can be highly useful, and sometimes even crucial in daily use. Traditionally, only higher end premium dash cams offered these features but there are now a variety of lower-end dash cams that have these included as well. We always recommend a dash cam with these features.

What is Video Resolution?

Almost all dash cams in the market today have Full HD 1080p resolution. With prices ranging from $150-$450, actual video quality varies greatly between these dash cams. So, what exactly is 1080p and how is it different between different dash cams?

What is Form Factor?

Form factor refers to the shape and size of a dash cam. This is an important aspect to consider as it can affect the driver’s field of view as well as the amount of attention drawn from people outside the vehicle.

Dash cams are typically discreet in nature. Some are rectangular, while others are more circular. Some offer an LCD screen, while others do not and offer a phone app integration instead. Find out which one is right for you.

Should I use Adhesive or Suction Cup Mounts?

Dash cams are typically mounted on the front and rear windshields of the vehicle and come with either adhesive or suction cup mounts.

While suction cup mounts may seem convenient and easy to use, they are not recommended since they can come off the windshield easily and are much more prone to vehicle vibration, which makes video footage shaky and blurry. Almost all dash cams use adhesive mounts for good reason, as they are much more durable and reliable in the vehicle.

What are SD Cards & Storage?

When buying a dash cam system for your vehicle, many people tend to forget one hugely important item: the microSD card.

MicroSD card usage in a dash cam is so vital because some cards fail very quickly and you may lose crucial footage in case of an accident. In our experience, the best micro SD card for dash cams are high capacity cards that are Class 10 with MLC technology, which basically translate to fast download and upload cards with added durability.

What is Memory Partitioning?

Memory partitioning refers to the ability of a dash cam to separate video files based on the type of recording, so that only the same kind of files can overwrite each other. This is actually an extremely important feature, found only in premium dash cams, as it provides significantly more protection.

What is Night Vision?

This feature is a software/firmware-based processing effect on the video to boost exposure in lower exposed areas. In the sample video, you can see that the park that's on the right of the vehicle (left in the rear clips) appears a lot brighter when super night vision is turned on.

What is Impact Detection / Motion Detection / G-Sensor?

Impact and motion detection is one of the most crucial aspects of a dash cam, and typically found only in premium models. Impact detection refers to a video file being recorded when triggered by an internal, built-in G-sensor and motion detection refers to a video file being recorded when triggered by movement sensed by the video sensor.

These two features ensure that your vehicle is being protected at all times, such as when a person or vehicle pass by and, more importantly, when there is damage to your vehicle.

Download Dash Cam Firmware, Viewers & Manuals

If you are experiencing issues with your dash cam (or just purchased a new dash cam), then chances are that you may be required to perform a firmware update. Common issues include random restarts, recording errors and GPS/wi-fi issues. The good thing is that there are a lot of resources available from our manufacturers to help you troubleshoot any issues and update your firmware.

Get The 'Must-Have Dash Cam Features' Checklist to Maximize Your Safety

Get the free one-page checklist delivered right to your inbox. We'll also provide you with the latest news, updates and discounts on dash cams.

Know What Features You Want? Then Come See Our Best.

Jump right into our recommendations directly with our Best Dash Cams of 2019.

Learn About Our Dash Cam & Accessories

At BlackboxMyCar, we value the importance of buying a high quality product that will exceed your expectations. To make sure that all of our customers are well educated on their dash cam options and have accessible reliable information, we do thorough dash cam reviews and first impressions of the products we sell. Instead of letting you rely on the product description alone, we’ll give you the information you need to make a smart purchasing decision.

In our first impressions, you’ll be supplied with our expert immediate reaction to the specified dash camera. Reviews come second to our first impressions, which explain our knowledge of past products, company history, and knowledge of this new dash cam. We’ll let customers know what they should expect with this new model before we take the time to review it thoroughly ourselves.

We give our best dash cam reviews after taking some time testing the model. We provide customers with an overview of the key features of the dash cam, pros, cons, and technical specifications. Also provided are in car dash cam reviews that show real life testing of the dash cam’s filming abilities. This detailed dash cam review will make you feel like you’ve already used the camera before, and know exactly what you’re purchasing.

Ready to read up on your next dash camera? Links to our product reviews and first impressions can be found directly through our product pages. You can find them through our dash cams for sale today! If you’re looking to learn more about these products, or have other inquiries, contact us today!

Explore Our eLearning Guides

Dash Cam Buyer's Guide

New to dash cams? Try out our dash cam buyer's guide to start your journey.

Dash Cam Accessories

Want more out of your dash cam? Find an accessory that's right for you.

Our Best Dash Cams

Make great purchasing decisions with the right dash cam for you.

Installation Guides

Let us show you how to install your own dash cam & accessories.


Got More Questions?

Not to fret, our in-house product experts are here to help. We have spent years curating helpful content and video guides, helping customers with their dash cams, but we understand that we can always do better. Contact us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We love what we do, because we're here to help you make the most informed purchasing decision.

Dash Cam Buyer's Guide | Know Before You Buy

Based on 4270 reviews
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Awesome Rideshare Setup!

First of all! Very nice and knowledgeable people at blackboxmycar! Second very nice setup with power magic pro wiring kit! Also very discrete design! Love the video quality! Especially at night with the Sony Starvis! Overall good setup! Can barely see the cams. Thanks again Blackboxmycar.com/BlackVue!!! 👍👍👍

Very Good - not yet great. But getting there.

I purchased the BlackVue DR900S 2 channel with interior facing IR after an attempted theft of my 2019 F-150 Lariat. It was already a purchase I had been considering in order to add a layer of security during both active and passive vehicle usage and I didn't hesitate to go with BMC given the number of positive reviews.

After a fast and painless exchange via email, BMC matched a lower price point offer for the kit that I had found on the internet. BMC even included a slightly larger storage card. Shipping and receipt went smoothly.

If I can fault BMC it is in the install and "commissioning" of the dash cam. Though I had done a fair bit of research and certainly am not one to shy away from peeling off some trim or crimping some wires, there was no step-by-step guide to installation that would have given an illustrated and comprehensive explanation of the process; now, this information exists and I was able to access it, but it was still a bit of a patchwork construction and an installation that I thought might take one hour took 2 days.

All said, though, the system is now up and running, so far flawlessly, in my vehicle. There has been a lot of trial and error, but the dash cam community is helpful and all of the information is available. You just need to look for it.

I will post a video review of my installation shortly - including hardwired battery installation.

Hi Alexander, thank you for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that we were able to help you with your order. You brought up some great points, and we will definitely take your feedback to heart for the future. We hope that the dash cam works out for you. Please let us know if you have any questions in the future.

BlackboxMyCar Add-A-Fuse Kit

Hi Brian, thanks for leaving a review!
VIOFO A119 12V Auto Hardwire Kit

Quality hardwire kit with reasonable length to the A119 and to the 12V battery source. Voltage reducer is small enough to fit in small spaces with rounded corners for ease of fishing into place. Fuse holder streamlined but difficult to open at first, 2nd time ok.

Hi Chester, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that you were able to figure it out and install your VIOFO. Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
the ONLY place I can find this replacement part online

Blackboxmycar is the only place I could find that sells the cigarette socket power output cable for the Cellink Neo.
Fast shipping. Item as described.

Hi J. Kim, we're glad to hear you were able to find what you were looking for at our store. Thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
Great Kit- Everything you need

Our techs were able to install the dash camera and the Power Magic Pro with no problem by using this Essential Kit. We've bought 13 units so far. Very pleased.

Hi Jennifer, thanks for leaving a review. We're glad to hear that you have found everything you need in our Essential Installation Kits. Thanks!
Suction Cup add-on

I bought this suction cup mount to move and use quickly my A119 V3 from vehicle to vehicle.
After receiving I must say its smaller and lighter than expected compared to the picture but still functional and we will see how long the suction cup lasts over time.
I also saw a video of using this suction cup to turn the A119 around and take video of driver with commentary about area or something else which I plan to edit into my video at a later time.
So its a nice feature for the video I plan to make while on vacation.
Cool!

Hi John, thanks for your feedback. Let us know if the suction cup mount doesn't work well for you over time and we'll try our best to help. Thanks!
Blackbox My Car is the Best!

Sorry BB team for taking so long before writing a review, but the 2 Viofo a129 duo dashs were xmas gifts and I wanted to wait for your professional installations to be done first.
I have purchased dascams from BB before and have had nothing but a great experience for both service and products.

Both Viofo cams are working great and the installation service was the best. The team was awesome and answered all my questions without hesitation. Your waiting area and amenities are first class. Most car dealerships could learned a thing or 2 from how you operate!

Thank you again!

Hi Ken, appreciate your compliments and thank you for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that you enjoyed our facilities and that the installation and the dash cams worked out for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out at any time in the future!
Very pleased with the A119V3 and with customer service

After researching a number affordable dash cams I settled on the Viofo A119V3 and Blackboxmycar as the vendor. I chose Blackboxmycar because of its customer service. This is my first Dashcam and I had a number of questions all of which were answered promptly and to my satisfaction by Katrina. Other vendors offered a slightly less expensive final cost but Katrina's service swayed my decision.

As to the camera itself I am very happy. In the last few days I have used it in temperatures of about -28ºC and it has performed flawlessly. The video quality is excellent with the CPL: clear, sharp and with good colours and contrast. Files are around 1.15 GB for 5 mins using 2560x1440 @30 fps H.264 or around 950 MB using H.265. The audio quality is quite acceptable.

Once you get the hang of using the Menu system it is quite easy to choose or change settings.

Also impressed with Viofo in that they seem to have thought of everything. The item included everything I could possibly need to mount and operate the camera even down to string to help remove the mounts in future if necessary.

Presently I am powering the camera via the cigarette lighter but am seriously considering hardwiring or using a portable power bank. I will then try the parking modes.

We have two cars and I had thought of moving the camera from one to the other so I purchased an additional GPS mount, that I have not yet tested. However I am now leaning towards buying 2nd A119V3 to avoid the hassle and to have a permanent neat installation in both cars.

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that Katrina was able to help you out, and that the VIOFO A119 V3 was exactly what you were looking for. If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to let us know!
Easy install/ plug and play

Great product, works as it should so far. Easy installation

Hi Louie, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that the Power Magic EZ worked for you :)
Cellink Neo 6

i got this battery pack recently and everything run smoothly. now i have peace of mind leaving my car on parking lot and this battery charge faster if you're using cigarette socket for charging if you chooses not to hardwired it. overall customer service was great and they will go extra mile to make sure you are getting the right product you wanted to and give you detail...

Hi whatme, thanks for the review on your Cellink NEO. We're glad to hear that it works well for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let us know.
Great Product

Fast shipping, easy installation, works good. Used chat feature for recommendation to make sure it met expectations and was spot on with what I was looking for. Thanks

Hi Robert, thanks for chatting with us and leaving a review. I'm glad to hear that our team was able to help you out with what you're looking for :) If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Dope service!!!

Could not be happier dealing w Blackboxmycar!! Do yourself a favor and just buy from them!!

Hi Lorenzo, dope review! Thanks for leaving a review and purchasing from BlackboxMyCar :)
IROAD Power ODB-ll

Just what I was looking for,very easy to install
Just plug and play,very good product
A bit expensive though.

Hi Luis, thank you for leaving a review! We hear you - we try our best to keep our prices as competitive as possible, so we will pass your feedback to our vendors for you. Thank you for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
My Thoughts

Good so far. Hope all works out in the future. Thank you

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review!
Best Site for the Best Dashcams Around

My 2nd purchase from Alex and 2nd Blackvue camera purchased. Blackvue is my favourite dashcam because of its sleek and unobtrusive design and extremely high quality recordings. Easy to download recordings with the app now, will continue to recommend Blackvue's to everyone.

As for blackboxmycar.ca, great selection of the best Dashcams out on the market. Extremely informative website with an abundance of information and comparisons to make the right choice. Fast shipping and great customer service, this is the way to go to buy a dashcam over the cheaper but inferior choices on Amazon or anywhere else.

Hi Wesley, thanks for your review. We're glad to hear that you're loving your BlackVue dash cam as much as we do! Hope the DR590W-1CH treats you well :) If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team.
Power output cable spliced for Thinkware

These cables were well made and of great quality. Shipping was fast and customer support went above and beyond to help me understand how to DIY my first dash cam. Very much value added support!

Hi Jye, thanks for leaving a review! I'm glad that this and our team was able to help you out. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our team in the future.
Viofo A119 V3 Dash Cam

Excellent sharp video. Easy install and set up.
Used internet to find best suggested settings.

Hi John, thank you for leaving a review! Don't hesitate to reach out to our Support Team if you have any other questions.
1st time buyer from BlackBoxMyCar.com

Review Title
I have done a lot of research on finding my second dash cam and decided on a VIOFO A119 V3.
I have seen some video of reviews of the camera and compared to my 1st Dash Cam A119S V2 and figured that VIOFO was a good choice again. I have seen Alex the CEO of BlackBoxMyCar do a review video on the A119 V3 in 2019 and went to his website and decided it was very professionally designed and easy to use. Not only did I buy the camera I found some accessories.
I ordered then noticed they offered first responders and military a discount and sent an email if I could get this discount. Quick email reply from Paul who I sent documentation on proof and he who forwarded my request to get a refund on my purchase. Thank you.
Now I did order my camera knowing it was back ordered as well as this was Christmas and New Years week so I wasn’t expecting to see the camera until Jan 2020.
It did arrive in a box and was properly packed. I had numerous email from FedEx where my package was and when it would arrive and someone must be home to signature for it.
Between the initial purchase and receiving my dash cam BBMC has been above and beyond what I expected and under the leadership of Alex I see why this company is so successful.
Thank you everyone for a great purchase and plan on additional future purchase from me.
John I
Surprise, Arizona

Hi John, thank you for the kind words and the detailed review. We're glad to hear that we were able to help you find what you're looking for. We will pass on your compliments to Alex who will absolutely be delighted to read this. Thanks again, and do let us know if you have any questions.
Delivery Needs To Be Improved

I ordered it on Dec 28 with Rocket shipping and it arrived Jan 6 but I had to constantly contact them about the status of the order as it was stuck for many days with no updates. I give this service 1 star. The product itself is excellent, well made (except the App), easy to install, etc which deserves 5 stars. Overall 3 stars.

Hi Bill, thank you for leaving a review. We do want to apologize for that, and thank you for your patience. This holiday season was quite a busy one for our team, and we had some inventory delays with the unexpected surge in demand for our battery packs. We are working on smoothing that out moving forward so that we don't have this happen again. From a communication standpoint, we will absolutely work on fixing that moving forward to make sure our customers are aware of any delays. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar, and if you have any questions, Bill, please don't hesitate to reach out to our support team.
Great for extended parking mode!

Before purchased and installed the Cellink Neo I was using my Thinkware Q800Pro hardwired to my car. However, my vehicle stays parked for days on end without me having to drive anywhere. I get about 40 hours with a dual camera setup, and I couldn’t be happier to have an extra piece of mind. The installation was very easy, as I did it myself (hardwired) and mounted it under the driver seat. This would be a worth while purchase.

Hi Brandon, we're glad to hear that your new battery pack worked out for you! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us in the future.

Although my dash cam was on a backorder after Christmas, it delivered right the way I wanted it. I like the dash cam is tiny. The video is very clear.

Hi John, thank you for leaving a review. We had some inventory delays during the holiday season with the unexpected surge in demand for our dash cams, but we're glad that we were able to deliver your dash cam in time. Thank you for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar!
Great product to reduce glare!

Does what it says to reduce windshield glare, it’s easy to install

Hi Brandon, thank you for leaving a review! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us in the future.
Amazing Product - Worth Buying

This product helped hardwiring my dash cam so much easier as there were no wires that needed to be spliced. The trim tool made it convenient to tuck the wires inside the car and only show minimal wires. All in all, this all-in-one kit, made hardwiring my dash cam so much easier.

Hi Sai, thank you for leaving a review and for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. Glad to hear that this worked out for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us in the future if you have any more questions.
Driver

Great dash cam and you guys where very helpful.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks guys

Hi Andy, thank you for leaving a review and for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. We're glad to hear that our team was able to help you out! Please don't hesitate to reach out to us in the future if you have any more questions.