As popular as they are, it is understandable that some people may not know exactly what a dash camera is all about. Whether you refer to it as a dash camera, dashboard camera, or a dash cam, it’s all the same. They have become so popular, that police often appeal to drivers for footage following serious accidents to determine fault.
Dashboard cameras have been one of the fastest growing categories in consumer electronics, especially in the UK. As at 2015, sales in the UK have skyrocketed for this particular item. Additionally, there are quite a number of them on the market, including helmet-mounted cameras for motorcyclists.
What is a Dash Camera?
A dash camera or dash cam, is a small on-board (the camera is placed in or on a moving object, in this case, a vehicle) camera “that continuously records the view through a vehicle’s windscreen.” It may be attached to the interior windscreen or to the top of the vehicle’s dashboard. This is done by using a suction cup or some type of adhesive-tape mount.
These cameras are also referred to as a car DVR or a car black box, since it records what’s happening within or outside of the vehicle. An internal memory card is used to record and save your footage. This saved footage can then be transferred to a computer for future reference or when needed. A simple dash camera with an internal 32 GB card, will record about a four-hour trip.
Types of Dash Cameras
The type of dash camera is defined depending on the view it offers and they can be of the following types:
#1. Exterior view
For recording the front view only, or the back view, or both. This is referred to as a dual dash. cam.
#2. Cabin view
Sometimes called a “taxicam.” This type of dash camera records what’s happening within the interior of the vehicle. Similar to what you see on the game show Cash Cab.
Overall, these cameras are not expensive. In fact the benefits far outweigh the price. The key thing to look for is video quality. While you might be tempted to get yourself the cheapest one, you are really defeating the purpose, if the video quality is poor. Poor video quality will not help you support your claim.
Use of Dash Cameras
These cameras are widely used in Russia. They are used as additional evidence to guard against insurance fraud and police corruption. “They have been called “ubiquitous” and “an on-line obsession.” They are so prevalent that dash cam footage was the most common footage of the February 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor. This resulted in the incident being documented from at least a dozen angles.
Additionally, there have been thousands of dash camera footage showing “automobile and aircraft crashes, other aviation accidents, close calls, and attempts at insurance fraud. More often than not, these videos are uploaded to social sharing websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Yandex, and other websites.” You most likely have seen a few of theses videos.
In China, these cameras became well known by a dramatic event of a road rage.