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The Best Dash Cams For Capturing On-Board Footage

Best Dash Cameras 0 Hero

As cameras have grown smaller and more advanced, dash cameras have become increasingly popular, with these devices no longer only utilized by delivery drivers and ride share workers. With literally hundreds of available dash cams to pick from — as well as an even greater number of regular action cameras that can serve as dash cams — it can legitimately be difficult knowing where to look when shopping. Well aware of this reality, we’ve scoured the segment to deliver this handpicked guide to the best dash cameras. 

The Best Dash Cameras Breakdown

Car Cam Qualities

The Main Areas To Consider When Buying A Dash Cam

Dash cameras are a fairly unique segment, as they pretty massively differ from regular cameras. As such, it really helps to have a basic sense of the most pivotal areas to consider when shopping — the most important of which we’ve highlighted directly below. 

Video Quality: One of the biggest factors that differentiates high-end dash cams from their cheaper counterparts is video quality. Most new budget models tend to feature 1080P resolution, though there are also ore premium dash cams capable of capturing 4K footage. 

Direction & Field Of View: Forward-facing dash cams can vary in terms of their depth of vision — better known as field of view. A wider field of view allows the camera to capture markedly more footage compared to a camera with a narrower FOV. Additionally, there are also dash cameras that, in addition to recording front-facing footage, also feature additional cameras and lenses that record the inside of the cabin or even what’s happening behind the car. 

Add-On Cameras: While some dash cams feature multiple cameras and lenses built into a single housing, other utilize single-camera setup that have ports that allow them to be supplemented via optional cabin or rear-facing cameras. 

Connectivity: Pretty much every dash cam on the market will have the ability to record footage to a hard-drive or flash drive, though there are also models with connectivity to smartphone apps, WiFi, GPS, and other tech. Some modern dash cams even offer live streaming capabilities. 

Power Source: Dash cameras can draw power from a number of sources, though most commonly this takes the form of store-bought or rechargeable onboard batteries, or via hardwired connections to a car’s battery. This area is particularly important as a growing number of dash cams boast features like overnight parked recording — an amenity that requires a constant power source. 

Supplementary Features: Though a dash cam’s primary job is to capture first-person footage, some of these dash-mounted devices come outfitted with supplementary features or functions such as the ability to record a time lapse, special effects, parking mode, incident detection, night vision, speed camera warnings, and live on-demand editing capabilities. Some models can even overlays realtime speed and GPS data over footage. 

Vantrue N1 Pro

Vantrue N1 Pro
Photo: Amazon
  • Includes parking mode & 24-hour loop recording
  • Boasts great value
  • Comes w/ night vision & a built-in G-sensor
  • Camera has 160° FOV & Sony sensor
  • Using optional GPS feature requires additional hardware
  • Lacks tech of more advanced & expensive dash cams

Best Budget Dash Cam: Almost certainly the best dash cam currently available for under $100, the Vantrue N1 Pro is a compact yet powerful model that packs some impressive capabilities considering its MSRP. Utilizing a camera with a six-layer lens, a 160° FOV, and a Sony IMX323 sensor, the N1 Pro offers full-HD 1080P recording at up to 30FPS, plus comes loaded with night vision, a parking mode, a G-sensor, and 24-hour seamless loop recording. Powered by a rechargeable 130mAh Li-ion battery, the Vantrue N1 Pro also features a 1.5” TFT display and an optional GPS function. It may not be the most advanced dash cam on the market, though as far as bang for your buck goes, it really is hard to beat the N1 Pro. 

Camera Resolution: 1080p
Field Of View: 160°
Display: 1.5” TFT

Kenwood DRV-A301W Dash Cam

Kenwood DRV A301W Dash Cam
Photo: Bestbuy
  • Boasts 2 megapixel recording capabilities
  • Has automatic accident detection
  • Offers outstanding bang for your buck
  • Can be accessed remotely via the Wireless Link App
  • Kenwood Video Player compatibility makes uploading footage to social media very easy
  • Uses non-touchscreen display

Best Value Dash Cam: With roots dating back to 1946, Kenwood has long been one of the most respected names in the car audio realm, though the company has recently applied its vast expertise to the development of a range of cutting-edge yet affordable dash cameras — our favorite of which is the Kenwood DRV-A301W Dash Cam. Boasting 2 megapixel recording capabilities, the DRV-A301W features parking mode recording, 12V and 24V compatibility, a built-in G-sensor, onboard GPS, and a three-axis sensor also allows it to automatically detect collisions and accidents — even when in parking mode. Set on a quick-release magnetic windshield mount, this dash cam can also be accessed remotely from anywhere using the Wireless Link App, plus it’s compatible with the Kenwood Video Player — which makes posting footage to YouTube, Instagram, and other social media a breeze. 

Camera Resolution: 1080P
Field Of View: 136°
Display: 2.7” TFT

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem
Photo: Garmin
  • Includes both road & cabin cameras
  • Great night vision
  • Boasts voice control compatibility
  • Comes loaded w/ incident detection, GPS, & parking surveillance mode
  • Doesn’t feature a display

Best Road & Cabin Cam: The aptly-named Garmin Dash Cam Tandem is an extremely compact yet thoroughly cutting-edge dashboard camera that boasts two separate cameras both with a massive 180° FOV — a  front-facing 1440P unit and a 720P cam capturing cabin footage. Weighing only 2.3oz, the Dash Cam Tandem is absolutely brimming with features and functionality including a parking surveillance mode, voice control compatibility, incident detection, onboard GPS, and absolutely stellar night vision thanks to the use of Garmin’s NightGlo tech. What’s more, this model can also be synced with other Garmin dash cams using the Garmin Drive app. 

Camera Resolution: 1440P (Front); 720P (Interior)
Field Of View: 180°
Display: N/A

Nextbase 622GW

Nextbase 622GW
Photo: Nextbase
  • Includes both road & cabin cameras
  • Loaded w/ cutting-edge features & functionality
  • Boasts 4K video & advanced image stabilization
  • Has crash detection & emergency SOS function
  • Expensive price

Best 4K Cam: If money is no object and you’re simply interested in getting your hands on the best dash cam currently in production, we’d argue there’s no better option on the market than the Nextbase 622GW. Capable of recording 4K video at 30FPS (or 1080P at 60FPS), the 622GW features advanced image stabilization, live weather reports, voice control and Alexa compatibility, crash detection and emergency SOS function, a main a six-layer lens with a built-in polarizing filter, and a built-in rear-facing camera. It doesn’t end there, however, as this dash cam’s laundry list of amenities also includes Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, a 3.0” TFT touchscreen display, loop recording, a Super Sow Motion function, an intelligent parking mode, an extreme weather mode, enhanced night vision, Wifi connectivity, and a super advanced onboard GPS sensor that’s accurate down to 3 meters from practically anywhere on earth. 

Camera Resolution: 4K
Field Of View: 140°
Display: 3” HD IPS Touchscreen

Garmin Dash Cam Live

Garmin Dash Cam Live
Photo: Garmin
  • Is always connected via LTE network
  • Offers GPS & location info in video
  • Has forward collision, lane departure, & speed camera warnings
  • Great image quality & stabilization
  • Battery life limited to 30 minutes when not hardwired
  • Hardwired power source sold separately
  • LTE connectivity requires subscription
  • Expensive price

Best Live Streaming Cam: Moving on to the final entry on our list, we have the Garmin Dash Cam Live — an always-connected LTE dash cam that packs some impressive features up its sleeve. Above and beyond a 3.0” TFT display and a main camera with 1440P resolution and a 140° FOV, the Dash Cam Live also comes loaded with voice control compatibility, GPS and location tracking, connectivity to the Garmin Drive app, and an impressive suite of security features such as parking guard, theft alerts, and incident detection. Even more noteworthy is the fact that this Garmin Dash Cam model also boasts forward collision, lane departure, and speed camera warnings — thereby affording practically any existing car, truck, or SUV with a myriad of amenities normally reserved for brand-new vehicles. It is worth noting, however, that this dash cam’s hardwired power source is sold separately, and use of LTE connectivity does require a paid subscription. 

Camera Resolution: 1440P
Field Of View: 140°
Display: 2.95” TFT

The Best Motorcycle Helmet Cameras

Best Motorcycle Helmet Cameras 00 Hero

Two-wheelers more your thing? Then be sure to check out our guide to the best motorcycle helmet cameras for the latest and greatest options for capturing first-person footage while riding.