We at Safe Drive Solutions know how it feels when you are new to the dash cam market and are looking for your first dash camera. For this very reason, we have gathered some of the most crucial aspects you should pay attention to when choosing your dash cam.
We want our customers to be well-informed before buying their first dash cam to finding a replacement camera. The today’s market offers hundreds of dash camera models to choose from. While some of them can be a great choice, others might not meet your needs or serve their main purpose – to keep you safe on the road.
The first thing you should do when choosing your dash cam is to clarify your needs and prioritize them. For instance, do you often drive at night, and therefore need high-resolution nighttime video? Will you need a large SD card capacity? Is it required to have the best parking mode recording?
After making a list of what you are expecting from your future dash cam, you can jump straight into dash cam specs. Some technical terms might make you scratch your head, and this is when Safe Drive Solution buyers’ guide comes into play. Let’s go into more detail!
Single Channel vs Dual Channel
Although these terms might sound complicated at first, their meaning is simple – single channel stands for footage out the front, and dual channel – from both ends of the car.
Front recording, also called single channel or 1-CH, captures the front windscreen only, and is nowadays a more popular option as it can be easily installed. Dual channel, or 2-CH dash cams require some more effort, as there is a power cord connecting the front camera with the back one. Nevertheless, dual cams allow to record a fuller image in case you are hit from behind or get suspicious tailgaters.
If you are looking for an all-encompassing solution providing maximum level of security, then a dual dash cam might work best for you. Nevertheless, check out all options and consult a specialist before making a final decision.
When it comes to video quality, we recommend aiming at 1080P FULL HD or higher. If you decide to go for a less expensive option offering poorer video quality, you risk lowering your ability to recognize details such as a license plate and getting blurry pixelated images. However, resolution is not the only aspect to consider. Pay attention to:
Lens apertures. The larger the aperture is, the higher the video quality will be.
ISO values. High ISO value results in clearer image at night.
Frame rate. Higher frame rates, such as 60FPS significantly improve video recording by smoothing out motion blur.
Bit rate. The higher the rate is, the sharper and clearer images your dash camera will take.
Dash Cam Appearance
When we talk about dash cam appearance, we mean not only how well it suits your car interior, but also how safe it will be for you to drive with it. Generally, the smaller the dash cam is, the less distracting it will be when driving. Moreover, smaller dash cameras are less noticeable from outside the vehicle, which will prevent any break-ins.
As for the color, we would advise to opt for darker colors with matt finish. Shiny details and bright colors can reflect the light off your windscreen, which will inevitably create greater driving distractions and obstruction in the recording. Black matt dash cameras will not only provide a safer driving experience, but also look more discreet from the outside.
If you’re scouring the internet in search of the latest dash camera technology, you may run into a few confusing tech specs. Dashcam resolution is one of the most important specifications to pay attention to, as these will affect the video quality. Good video quality can mean the difference between capturing every single aspect of an incident, or capturing a blurry moment in time. In this article, we’ll walk you through a few of the important things to know about dashcam resolution.
There are many different dashcam resolutions on the market currently, 720p, 1080p, 2k, and 4k. At Safe Drive Solutions, we offer a whole range of models varying from 1080p, 2k, and 4k resolution dashcams. Obviously, the higher the resolution, the clearer the picture. This is important for capturing video in dim light, nighttime, or dusk—or picking up minute details.
WHICH DASHCAM RESOLUTION IS RIGHT FOR YOU
As mentioned, at Safe Drive Solutions, we offer 1080p, 2k, and 4k—which are common terms when buying a tv that many people will be familiar with. Let’s begin with 1080p.
The “1080” refers to the amount of pixels that run vertically down a screen, while having 1920 pixels running horizontally. Although 1080p devices have been around for many years now, it remains the industry standard for many video or display devices. It’s also the default setting on YouTube and Netflix.
1080P, while being excellent picture quality, remains the lowest resolution among our dashcams. This doesn’t mean they’re bad—in fact most vehicle owners would be thrilled with the picture quality from their 1080p dashcam. However, 2k and 4k displays offer a sharper, clearer image that allows for a more robust capture. The Dash Cam models that record in 1080P are the; FA200, F200PRO, NX7 and T10S2.
Next on the dashcam resolution hierarchy are the 2k dashcams. 2k is a bit of a “catch-all” term used to describe devices that capture or display over 2000 horizontal pixels x 1080. The difference in pixels between a 1080p dashcam and a 2k dashcam can be a few hundred thousand, to 1.6 million pixels. This means 2k dashcams can be of exceptional quality in comparison to 1080p.
The Thinkware QA100 Elite front camera is 2560 pixels horizontally and 1440 pixels vertically so a lot more detail compared to a 1080p camera. This allows for a much wider, much clearer view with a lot more detail. This is especially apparent when you zoom in. It retains clarity far better than a 1080p dashcam would.
When you want a reliable dashcam that will pick up clear images of street signs, license plates, and other minute details—which can significantly assist you in case of a claim—then a 2k dashcam might be for you.
Our QA100 Elite is a 2K Resolution Thinkware Dash Cam.
Now, for the granddaddy of them all—the 4k resolution dashcam. 4k, just like 2k, refers to the number of pixels running horizontally on a display. It’s a generic term that encapsulates 2 different resolutions—3820 and 4096 horizontal pixels by 2160 vertical pixels.
4k is 4 times the resolution of 1080p. That means zooming in on this footage is completely seamless, allowing for a full and vivid picture of what was captured, even at super high zoom levels.
Unfortunately, in the dashcam industry, there are some pretenders. If you’ve been looking for a 4k dashcam, you may have noticed some discrepancies in quality from one 4k dashcam to the next. That’s because some companies have cheated the specs and utilized poor chipsets, which are actually just recording in HD and resizing the image to 4k.
Our 4K dashcams are TRUE, VIVID 4K. Even when viewed on huge screens, the video quality from our 4k dashcams remains pristine. The Thinkware U1000 and IROAD X10 use Native 4k Resolution to increase detail when capturing license plates at faster speeds, and for capturing detail in low-light conditions.