An onboard camera (also known as dashcam) allows you to record continuously from the start of your vehicle, everything that takes place in front of you while you drive. In case of disaster or unexpected event, you will be able to produce an additional element of appreciationto your insurer.
Some cameras have a built-in microphone that allows you to record what’s happening inside the vehicle. If you are assaulted at the door of your vehicle, the comments of the individual will be automatically memorized.
If your camera has an integrated screen you can, on the scene of the accident, show the police what happened without waiting.
How to choose an onboard camera?
There are multiple models of embedded cameras whose price varies from 20 euros to several hundred euros. The criteria for choosing an onboard camera are; the simplicity of use and the technical characteristics:
- First and foremost Thinkware Dash Cam comes the quality of the recorded image. Indeed it is useless to have a camera whose image quality is too low because in this case impossible for example to identify a license plate of a vehicle located 10 or 20 meters. The definition of the image is not everything. The compression quality of the image also counts. Unfortunately, no manufacturer communicates on this point. We recently tested a camera with a very high definition (more than 2300 points wide) but with an execrable image compression that makes illegible license plates or faces.
- A number of frames per second: It is imperative to select a camera that makes movies with at least 30 frames per second. The more images your camera will record per second, the more easily you can identify a vehicle that passes quickly in front of the camera’s lens and therefore recognize a distinctive element when needed (plate, face, …). For example, if you place a 30 fps camera on the side window of your passenger-side vehicle, you will have a blur effect on the images if you are traveling more than 20 km / h. But beware, the more images you save per second, the less your memory will be able to store video.
- The angle of view: from 120 ° to 180 °. Keep in mind that the larger the angle, the better the image quality is for the same definition. Example if the camera records in full HD (thus 1920 pixels per line) and the angle is 120 ° then the quality of the image will be better than if the angle was 160 ° for the same number of points per line
- Zoom: Some models have a digital zoom function (less powerful than an optical zoom).
- The number of cameras: Some models of embedded cameras contain a camera to film what is happening in front and a second to film the vehicles that follow you. Often the quality of the second camera is much lower than that of the front camera without counting the time required to pass the cable between the front and the rear of the vehicle.
- Loop recording: Once the memory card is full, the oldest video is automatically erased. This feature is essential for any self-respecting camera.
- An audio recording of cabin conversations, This function is sometimes disabled. However, be careful with the quality of the microphone because it records without difficulty the words of the 2 passengers before the vehicle is sometimes much less effective to record in a recognizable way the words of people outside the vehicle just outside the window open driver (interesting during an altercation).
- GPS to geotag the video recording: In this case, a second file is recorded at the same time as the video file. This second file retains information to reread the video with particular software for viewing both the video and a map indicating the place of registration. Beware because this software works for the moment only on Windows and some are not easiest to use.
- Memory capacity: The larger the memory capacity, the longer you can keep a long video history. For example, in full HD you can keep more than 6 hours of video on a 32 GB memory card
- The accelerometer (G-sensor): A shock sensor that locks a video so that it is not erased automatically. Convenient for storing a video in case of an accident and preventing loop recording from erasing the video that caused the crash.