Essential travel tech | Newbie's guide to Dash Cams
A dash cam or dashboard camera is a dedicated camera that is mounted on or around your car's dashboard.
There are several types of dash cam units and systems available on the market.
Selecting the right one for you depends on your vehicle type, the available budget, and your specific needs, e.g. how many camera views you want based on your coverage requirements.
1. Single Camera Digital Recorder
These are, by far, the most common type of dash cam used and also the type that will suit the most drivers. These cameras have a simple function: recording video and audio of the car's front view.
After installation, the camera automatically turns on when the ignition is on, and stops when the vehicle is shut off – this makes operation very simple and hands-free. Video files are stored on a memory card; this allows us to transfer the files for safekeeping if required, e.g. in the aftermath of an accident.
Most dash cams of this type record in high-definition, which allow license plates on adjacent vehicles to be visible for law enforcement and insurance purposes.
2. Multiple Camera Digital Recorder
Some dash cameras are actually designed to be two cameras in one: where one camera faces outward to record the road, and the other records the interior of the vehicle.
This type of dash cam is more commonly used on commercial fleet vehicles (such as buses and taxis) to provide evidence of the driver's actions and the passenger's actions in the event of an accident or crime. Most people will generally not choose this type of camera for private use vehicles for privacy reasons.
These cameras also tend to be more expensive than the single camera units.
3. Conventional CCTV Camera/DVR System
This type of system is mostly used on large commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers, buses and light rail trains, and are probably not the best choice for private passenger cars and trucks.
The advantages of a full CCTV system include:
● A very long recording loop (a week or more depending on the capacity of the DVR hard drive capacity).
● Many more camera views than the self-contained units.
The drawbacks of a CCTV system however are three-fold: high cost, complex installation, and poor photo or video quality (due to compressed video).
If your own usage case requires additional camera views, then multiple single-camera units can accomplish that goal at a much cheaper cost and much higher video resolution.
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