One feature we find very important in a dash cam is the ability to format a memory card quickly and simply within the device. Formatting is important for ensuring the optimal performance of your dash cam as the constant loop recording can be hard on a micro SD card. We typically recommend formatting the card every 2 to 3 weeks which will help the card last longer and keep your dash cam running smoothly. Most higher end dash cams have a convenient way to format the card inside the camera so you don't have to remove it from the device or go through a bunch of menus to format it. We'll go through how this is done on our most popular dash cams!
On the BlackSys CH-100B you can format the card in the camera by holding down the event button for 3-seconds, wait for it to say "formatting is on standby", and then click the event button once more. It takes about 30-40 seconds to format the card and start recording again. As a side note, if you are running a 64GB or higher card and want to use it with a Mac computer, we recommend formatting the card inside the mac computer and following the special instructions for MSDOS formatting.
On the Blackvue DR650 dash cams, you can format the micro SD card by holding down the WiFi button for about 10 seconds and letting go after you hear a beeping sound. If you hear the camera say "Please check the SD card", you should try formatting your card using this method. It also takes about 30 seconds for the camera to format the card, reinitialize the card, and start normal recording. This will format a 64GB and higher card to FAT32 which is not readable by Mac computers, so like the Blacksys, if you are using these larger cards on a Mac computer, you should follow the special formatting instructions on our site.
The dash cam that does memory card formatting the best in our opinion is the Thinkware F770. This camera will prompt you to format the memory card with audible reminders and the dedicated formatting button is clear and obvious for the user. It's also very fast at formatting too as it only takes about 10 seconds for the camera to format the card and start recording again! The reason we really like the F770 though is that the 64GB and higher cards are formatted to EXFAT which is readable by both Macs and Windows PCs. This makes the F770 a much more versatile camera as it's quite a hassle to have to take the card out just to format it if you happen to use an Apple computer.
Formatting your card regularly is a good practice for any dash cam user. It's not uncommon for us to come across a user who drove for 2 years without formatting their memory card, only to realize their camera did not capture anything due to a faulty card. Newer cameras like the Thinkware F770 have reminders for when to format a memory card but will also provide alerts if it detects a fault with the memory card. It's not always easy to remember when you need to format your memory card, especially if you're like most dash cam users and only check the camera when an incident happens. In our opinion these reminders really help with the reliability and user friendliness of the device.
- Thinkware F50 - hold down the manual record button for 5 seconds until it says "memory card format will now start"
- LG Innotek LGD521 - flick the camera power switch to the off position, hold down the multi-key button and turn it back on. You should hear a prompt to click the button again which will initialize the formatting process