Looking for the best Dash Cams in Australia for 2018? Here’s our opinion of what could very well be the best products available.
BlackVue DR650S-2CH Dual Camera Dash Cam
Offering a different approach to dash cams, the BlackVue DR650S-2CH is a two camera dash cam system that is controlled via a free smartphone app and allows you to constantly monitor and record video footage through both your front and rear windscreens.
This innovative, high-quality dash cam solution includes GPS speed and location tracking and G-sensor Impact Detection so that you have complete peace of mind that you’re covered in the event of an accident involving your car. The convenience of the WiFi enabled BlackVue App that controls this dash cam system means that your valuable video footage and data isn’t saved in your vehicle, providing you with even more protection and convenience.
The stylish and innovative cylindrical design of the BlackVue DR650S-2CH dash cams means they can be mounted neatly on your front and rear windscreens and can also be rotated a full 360°, when necessary. The front camera in this system records at 1080P Full HD while the rear camera provides support for 720P HD video. The DR650S-2CH also comes with an ‘Automatic Parking Surveillance’ mode feature that, when hardwired, can monitor your vehicle while you’re away.
This premium dual camera dash system comes complete with a 2-year warranty and a 16GB BlackVue MicroSD memory card as well as everything else you need to get you new dash cam system up and running quickly and easily – two cameras, mounting brackets, cigarette lighter plug for easy installation, manuals, cable clips and a coax cable to connect the front and rear camera.
One point that we should highlight is that the DR650S-2CH works best with BlackVue branded memory cards, especially if you are planning on using larger 64GB or 128GB cards.
In summary, this feature-rich dash cam system will provide everything you need to protect your vehicle day and night. With its external control interface via the free BlackVue app and desktop software and its premium range of features, the BlackVue DR650S-2CH Dual Camera Dash Cam system is an intelligent choice for any Australian driver at $549.
DOD LS470W Dash Cam
The DOD LS470W Dash Cam is an award winning dash cam, which has been thoroughly tested against 19 other dash cams by the highly respected consumer products review site Choice Australia and came out as the number one dash cam available on the Australian market.
Featuring a large f/1.6 lens aperture and offering 1080P Full HD recording resolution, this impressive dash cam can even record excellent resolution video footage in the lowest light conditions thanks to its inclusive 12800 ISO – the highest ISO sensitivity offered in any dash cam on the Australian market. The LS470W uses a high speed 10Hz GPS processor which refreshes data 10 times per second giving accurate speed and location information constantly. This high-end dash cam performs reliably under all driving conditions.
Additional premium features you’ll have available when you invest in a DOD LS470W Dash Cam include the Heads Up Display (HUD) which monitors your speed and will alert you if you’re over the limit, the built-in G-sensor which can detect impact so it can lock and protect your footage, 150° ultra wide angle view and a 2.7” 16:9 Widescreen Display for easy control and playback of your video footage.
The LS470W also comes with automatic parking mode activation, a password protection feature for maximum protection of your data, and a choice of various video resolutions. One thing we should highlight is that the DOD LS470W can only format memory cards up to 32GB, if your memory card is larger than 32GB then you will need to format it using an external device.
In summary, this feature-rich, award winning dash cam has everything you might need from your next dash cam as well as offering truly impressive performance in all driving and weather conditions. The DOD LS470W Dash Cam is priced at $349.
Vicovation OPIA 2 Dash Cam
The Vicovation OPIA 2 dash cam with its neat and concise design and multi-format video options, up to 1440P 2K Ultra HD, is a wise choice for any Australian driver. Featuring a ‘super-capacitor’ that can withstand temperatures of up to 85°C, the OPIA 2 is very reliable, even in very hot weather conditions.
Day and night, this premium dash cam will record sharp, clear and vibrant video via its Ultra High Dynamic Range (HDR) video technology and also includes an ultra wide 160° angle of view, which means it records up to 5 traffic lanes simultaneously, as standard. Vicovation Dash Cams, including the OPIA 2, can be rotated 360° in their mounts so when you need to capture a conversation through your car window, this high-quality dash cam will make that a breeze.
Other convenient features that come with the OPIA 2 include a One-Touch Emergency Record/SOS button, which means you can lock and protect video files at the touch of a button. There is also a ‘Custom Text Feature’ included with this dash cam that enables you to label your video files for easy reference in the future while the Automatic Parking Surveillance Mode, which has an optional Time-Lapse feature, will ensure that your vehicle is fully protected while you’re away although a ‘Power Plus Hardwire Kit’, which isn’t included, is required to use this feature.
Vicovation Dash Cams are amongst the highest rated dash cams around in terms of reliability and quality. The OPIA 2, with its proven and tested performance, reliability and comprehensive feature set make it an intelligent choice for any Australian driver.
Kapture KPT-850 In-Car Discreet Dash Cam
Featuring a cylindrical design and controlled via a free app on your smart device, the Kapture KPT-850 In-Car Discreet Dash Cam captures razor sharp 1080P full high definition video footage via its 152° ultra-wide angle lens both day and night ensuring that you have all the eyewitness evidence you need in the event of a car accident.
Incorporating an ‘Auto Record’ mode the KPT-850 starts recording from the moment you start your engine while the G-Sensor feature detects any impact with your vehicle then saves and protects your video footage. The GPS enable tracking on the Kapture KPT-850 tracks both your speed and your location data and with Instant GPS Playback via the free Kapture KPT-850 App you can playback your HD video footage anytime or watch it in ‘Live View’ mode. This mid-market dash cam also comes with a ‘Gesture Sensor’ enabling your you take still photos by simply waving your hand under the unit which gives you even more convenience and protection – anytime and everywhere.
Perfect for the Australian climate, the KPT-850 includes and ‘Super Capacitor’ that provide reliable operation in all weather conditions and can withstand temperatures of up to 70°C. For even more modern day convenience, this dash cam system also includes a dual USB car adapter which provide a spare USB port so that you can connect or charge an additional USB device while you’re driving.
The Kapture KPT-850 In-Car Discreet Dash Cam is, in short, a WiFi enabled, high-resolution dash cam that, via it’s sleek and stylish design, will ensure you’re constantly protected without being over-imposing on your windscreen. This mid-market dash cam offers a great range of convenient and essential features and is an ideal choice for any Australian driver.
Navman MiVue630 Dash Cam
The MiVue630 from Navman is an entry-level full 1080P HD dash cam that records wide-angle video and GPS data. It comes complete with a broad range of convenient features to protect you day and night in the event of an accident or insurance claim.
The inclusive, high sensitivity GPS tracking on the MiVue630 automatically and consistently records and saves your location, driving direction and speed information while the High Dynamic Range (HDR) support on this dash cam automatically adjusts the video quality settings to ensure that all the necessary details are captured while your driving – day and night.
In the event of an accident or collision, the MiVue630 will have you covered with its 3-axis G-Sensor feature which detects and saves the direction the impact came from while the 360° rotating design means that you can easily record window-side conversations or other important events and information. Once you have your footage captured, the ‘Event Recording Mode’ on the Navman MiVue630 instantly saves and protects your video files meaning that you’ll have all the evidence and information you need should you be involved in an insurance claim.
The Navman MiVue630 dash cam comes complete with a vehicle power adapter, windshield mount, a 12-month warranty and supports Micro SD memory cards.
Which Is The Best Dash Cam For Your Needs?
Dash cams were something that only used to be found in police cars but as they have become more affordable, the roads have got busier and incidents of road rage and cars accidents have increased, the private use of dash cams has become more popular.
Why might you buy a Dash Cam?
Dash cams are a lot more than just another gadget in your car. There are many legitimate reasons why you might want to buy one, including;
Video Evidence Should You Have An Accident
It is often the case in the event of a road accident, that most of the ‘evidence’ is effectively hearsay, your version of what happened versus theirs. There may even be eyewitness accounts of the incident but whether they accurately reflect what actually happened can be questionable.
With video evidence from your dash cam on your side, there will be no doubt – video doesn’t lie!
Extra Protection for Your Parked Car
Some models offer a parking mode feature that will activate your cam when it detects movement near your vehicle. This can come very useful if someone damages your car when it’s parked in a public car park and then simply drives off.
We live in a world that is full of unscrupulous folks who purposely cause accidents or fake injuries and then try to make an insurance claim against their innocent victim.
A dash cam can protect you in this situation. With video evidence on your side, there is little chance they’ll succeed at extorting money from you.
Misuse or Abuse
We all need to hand our car keys over to a third party from time to time. It might be to your mechanic, a valet or even that you’ve lent your car to one of your kids.
A dash cam can give you peace-of-mind in this situation. Not only will it record how the 3rd party treats your car, some are equipped with GPS that will show you where your car goes and at what speed.
Sound great, but is it legal?
In Australia, the use of dash cams by private individuals is fully legal provided;
- The camera/s are mounted in a fixed position that doesn’t obscure the driver’s view of the road.
- You never operate or interact with the dash cam whilst your driving.
- The cam is properly and securely installed
The Good and the Bad
You could go buy a less expensive, lower-end dash cam but, in truth, you might be a little disappointed with the results. In reality, a mid-market or higher model is necessary for the video footage to be useful, especially in the event of a legal dispute but is the investment worth it?
Let’s take a look at some of the key ups and downs of investing in a dash cam.
On the upside
- In Australia, the most common form of road accident is rear-ending another vehicle. Most commonly, a driver who crashes into the back of another car is considered to be at fault in these situations but a good quality dash cam may be able to help you prove otherwise.
- Both in Australia and abroad, dash cam footage is becoming the key, decisive piece of evidence in road accident cases because it is, generally, irrefutable.
On the downside
- Many motorists are, thankfully, never involved in road accidents or incidents which means that your investment will only ever give you ‘just-in-case’ peace of mind. That can be quite expensive reassurance.
- Dash cams can only record what is in front of them (known as field-of-view) and so they may not capture that essential piece of evidence you need.
- Some cams, especially at the lower end of the market, don’t capture footage that is clear enough to be used as legal evidence.
When shopping for a new dash can it can be helpful to know what features are on offer. Below we’ve listed the most notable ones.
A built-in display on your dash cam means you can review the footage without using a computer. It’s is also useful when installing your dash cam to easily make sure it aligned correctly.
Choosing a dash cam that has GPS means that the cam will automatically save additional data like the location the footage was captured in and the speed of your vehicle.
The GPS in dash cams shouldn’t be confused with GPS navigation type gadgets – it won’t be able to direct you to your destination.
Continuous Loop Recording
Modules can offer continuous loop recording are a lot more convenient because they will use the available memory until its full and then simply record over the oldest footage, which means you always have the most recent footage available.
Tip: in the event of an incident you should quickly remove/replace the memory card so that your evidence isn’t at risk of being recorded over!
Auto mode means the camera will switch itself on and start recording when you start the engine, then switch itself off after a set period of time once the engine stops.
Impact detection will activate your cam if your car is moved or bumped and record the time and date of the incident.
Some models go even further and save information about the force and direction of the impact
With this feature, the camera will continue recording even when your car is turned off. It does, however, need the camera to be connected to the vehicle’s battery though.
Some models are equipped with movement sensors that can turn the camera on/off when movement is detected near your car.
Removable memory card
Removable memory cards are useful, provided they are easily accessible when the camera mounted because you could install a larger card to capture and store even more footage, especially at higher resolutions.
Having a removable memory card also means that you can more easily transfer video footage to a laptop or desktop for permanent storage.
Some models come inclusive of a memory card while with others you’ll need to purchase your memory card separately.
Battery and Power Sources
Most dash cams have an internal battery that allows them to work without being connected to a power source in your car but the internal latter is unlikely to last for more than 1 hour or so.
Other power options usually include either hardwiring to the vehicles power or use of the 12V socket.
Dash cams are mounted either via a permanent mounting or using a suction cup. The latter can be useful if you plan to use your can in more than one vehicle.
So know that you’re all in the know about dash cams, what they have to offer and the key features to look out for why not take a look at our dash cam reviews to find a model that suits your needs?