Best Dash Cams 2024

A small black dash camera stuck to a front windscreen of a car.
Credit: Garmin

A small black dash camera stuck to a front windscreen of a car.
Credit: Garmin

Dash cams have transitioned from a novelty to a necessity for drivers these days. These compact devices not only document your journeys but also offer invaluable evidence in the event of accidents, protect against insurance fraud, and enhance road safety. They're extremely versatile and useful is what we're trying to get at, offering a range of benefits that make them a must-have for drivers. Fortunately, acquiring the best dash cam has been made easier with our list of top picks.

Our selection criteria focused on key attributes such as video clarity, field of view, storage capabilities, and connectivity options. Recognizing that money is tight for most of us, price was also a critical factor in our evaluation. For instance, the Kingslim D5-4K stands out for delivering 4K footage at a price that doesn't break the bank, offering great value without sacrificing performance.

So, whether you're looking to document scenic drives or seeking peace of mind on the road, our guide to the top dash cams is designed to assist you in finding the perfect match for your needs. Our comprehensive list includes a variety of models to suit different preferences and requirements. Here are our top picks...

Best dash cams

  1. Garmin Dash Cam 67W - a well-rounded choice for most people
  2. Nextbase 622GW Front and Rear - best front and rear camera
  3. Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 - a great wireless device
  4. Kingslim D5-4K - best budget pick
  5. Rove R2-4K - an excellent mid-range alternative
Garmin Dash Cam 67W product image of a small black camera with a wireless antenna and a sticky mounting point.
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Credit: Garmin

1. Garmin Dash Cam 67W

Best dash cam overall

Orientation: Front
Connectivity: Wireless, Bluetooth
Resolution: 1440p
Viewing angle: 180 degrees

The Garmin Dash Cam 67W is a sleek, pocket-sized camera incredibly well-suited to recording on-road footage. Despite measuring just 56 x 41 x 22 mm, it excels at capturing impeccable 1440p resolution video of the road ahead. Its unobtrusive nature also allows it to blend seamlessly onto your windshield, keeping it discrete and non-distracting as you drive.

Impressively, this diminutive camera also offers a wide 180-degree field of view, guaranteeing comprehensive coverage of any incidents that may arise, as well as any stunning scenery you drive past.

If an incident were to occur though, then its built-in GPS timestamps your recording (which happens automatically) with location details, giving proof of where the accident occurred for insurance purposes.

You can also control it with your voice, with commands including save video, start and stop audio recording, take a still picture, and more, all of which means you never have to take your hands off the wheel. With wireless and Bluetooth connectivity as well, allowing you to pair it with your phone, there's really little downside to owning this impressive Garmin device.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's small and not that expensive yet incredibly mighty
  • Built-in GPS timestamps
  • You can control it with your voice

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Nextbase 622GW product image of a dark grey front and rear camera next to a monitor with a blue and purple background on the display.
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Credit: Nextbase

2. Nextbase 622GW Front and Rear

Best front and rear dash cam

Orientation: Front and Rear
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Resolution: 4K / 1080p
Viewing angle: 140 degrees

Okay, so while that Garmin camera is great, it does come with the drawback of having only one camera. However, the Nextbase 622GW bundle presents an enticing alternative by offering dual-camera capability for both front and rear vehicle capture.

The front camera boasts stunning cinematic 4K recording at 30 frames per second (fps), ensuring every detail is captured with remarkable clarity. Complementing this, the rear camera records footage at 1080p resolution, providing a comprehensive view of your surroundings as you navigate the roads.

Similar to the Garmin, this Nextbase device features automatic footage saving in the event of an incident, enhancing peace of mind on the road. Moreover, it integrates Alexa Skills, enabling convenient control through voice commands.

Other notable features include an intelligent park mode that automatically records 30 seconds of footage if it detects an impact, super slow-motion playback at 120 fps, and the ability to send footage, location, and your policy number to your insurance company at the touch of a button. With this array of advanced functionalities, the Nextbase 622GW bundle stands out as a great choice.

Reasons to buy:

  • Record both the front and back of your vehicle
  • The front camera boasts 4K capture
  • It records intelligently and in slow motion if you want it too

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Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 product image of a black vertical dash cam featuring red lights at the bottom
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Credit: Garmin

3. Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

Best wireless dash cam

Orientation: Front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Resolution: 1080p
Viewing angle: 140 degrees

Moving back over to Garmin and the even smaller Dash Cam Mini 2, a delightfully compact device capable of recording detailed 1080p video, covering an impressive 140-degree field of view.

It is also completely wireless as it can be paired to your phone using a Wi-Fi or data connection. Once connected, it saves videos automatically and secures them in what Garmin calls an online "Vault", making it easy to view and share clips later from the Garmin Drive app.

It also comes with a feature known as Parking Guard, which monitors activity around your parked vehicle and alerts you via the app if an incident has been detected. This means that, even if you're not behind the wheel, your vehicle is still safely guarded.

The sturdy construction is a notable highlight as well. Garmin proudly emphasizes its ability to endure challenging in-car conditions, such as intense sunlight and high temperatures, even if it remains in your vehicle throughout the day. This truly positions it as the ideal compact on-the-road partner. So, if you're seeking a wireless dash cam, it's certainly a compelling option to consider.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's completely wireless
  • Keeps an eye out when your car is parked up
  • It has a pretty sturdy build too

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Kingslim D5-4K product image of a black dash cam with red trim next to footage of yellow New York taxis on devices.
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Credit: Kingslim

4. Kingslim D5-4K

Best budget dash cam

Orientation: Front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Resolution: 4K
Viewing angle: 170 degrees

As touched on in our introduction, the Kingslim D5-4K is a great, budget-friendly dash cam worth checking out if you don't want to break the bank to buy one.

Despite its affordable price point, this smart camera impresses with its ability to capture a wide 170-degree field of view in stunning 4K. That said, it can also capture an impressive 60 frames per second if you drop the quality down to 1080p, which means you get HD visuals that are smooth and easy to watch back when needed.

The Kingslim D5-4K is also equipped with a Sony image sensor, six-layer glass lenses, and an HDR function that allows it to capture in low light conditions, plus it comes with a handy Parking Mode that starts recording when it detects impact or motion.

The Kingslim app makes it easy to playback and download videos too, which only adds to the appeal of this budget-friendly D5-4K dash cam.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's relatively inexpensive compared to competitors
  • It can record in 4K, or at 60 fps in 1080p
  • It's great in low light and has a parking mode

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Rove R2-4K product image of a graphite-coloured dash cam with a sticky mounting point next to recorded footage on the rear display and a phone.
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Credit: Rove

5. Rove R2-4K

Best mid-range dash cam

Orientation: Front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Resolution: 4K
Viewing angle: 150 degrees

Finally, we have the Rove R2-4K, a dash cam whose price is a little too high to be categorized as budget, but won't completely empty your bank account at the same time.

For slightly more cash, you're getting a powerhouse that captures crystal-clear 4K footage, covering a wide 150-degree view ahead. Rove prides itself on being at the forefront of dash cam tech, flaunting features like the ultra-low light Sony STARVIS sensor and a nifty F1.8 aperture, ensuring top-notch visibility even during nighttime drives.

Its display is useful too, as it feeds you live speed, date, time, and even compass direction - crucial deets if you need evidence after an incident.

Setting up is made easy as well with a 360-degree rotating mount, meaning you're not just limited to the front view. Plus, the Wi-Fi connectivity makes syncing with your smartphone a breeze. And hey, that's just scratching the surface of what this Rove gem offers. If you're eyeing a new dash cam, this one's worth a peek.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's a little more expensive but still fits nicely in the mid-range
  • It records in 4K
  • Does well in low-light conditions

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Buying a dash cam isn't a straightforward task, so we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding these compact devices below.

What is a dash cam?

If you've come this far and are not quite sure what a dash cam is, don't worry. The simple answer is that a dash cam, short for "dashboard camera", is a small video camera that is typically mounted on a vehicle's dashboard or windshield to record the view from the front (and sometimes rear) of the vehicle while driving.

These cameras are designed to capture real-time footage of the road and surrounding environment, meaning you can record picturesque scenery as you drive.

However, one of the key advantages of owning a dash cam is it gives you valuable evidence that can be used in case of accidents or collisions. Your recorded footage can help establish the sequence of events and determine fault, which can be especially helpful when dealing with insurance claims or legal matters. It really is useful in all kinds of scenarios, even extending to insurance fraud such as "crash for cash" schemes.

It's worth noting that dash cams vary in terms of features and capabilities. Some models may have built-in GPS to record speed and location data, while others may include Wi-Fi connectivity for easy sharing and remote access to footage. Therefore, it's worth researching if you're interested in buying one. This, coincidentally, leads us to...

What features should you look for when choosing a dash cam?

Selecting the right dash cam involves careful consideration of various features to ensure it meets your needs and provides reliable performance. However, one of the most important factors to bear in mind when making your selection is the number of cameras it comes with. As shown by our list, most dash cams come with a single camera to capture what's immediately in front of you. But you also get some that come with a second camera for rearview capture. You'll therefore need to first consider how many angles you want to record from.

Once you've figured that out, you'll want to consider the video quality. We'd highly recommend something that offers high-definition (HD) or even ultra HD (4K) capture, as this will ensure clear and detailed footage of road incidents, license plates, and other crucial details you may need to build a case. Higher video quality is particularly important when dealing with low-light or night conditions, as it can significantly enhance the clarity of recorded footage.

The field of view is also something you need to look into as it determines how much of the surrounding environment the dash cam in question can capture. A wider field of view is beneficial as it enables the camera to record a broader perspective, minimizing blind spots, and thus recording more relevant details. A typical range for the field of view is between 120 to 180 degrees, although we'd recommend going for something closer to the top end of this range.

It's also vital you consider storage capacity as dash cams continuously record footage. Most dash cams use microSD cards to store videos, so opt for a model that supports larger capacity cards to ensure sufficient room to record extended trips. Some dash cams may also offer loop recording, which automatically overwrites the oldest footage when the storage is full.

Finally, take into account a dash cam's connectivity options. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity is ideal here as it enables you to wirelessly transfer footage from the dash cam to your smartphone or other devices. This feature simplifies the process of viewing and sharing videos without the need for physical connections.

And that sums up the key features to look out for. Any technology beyond this, such as parking sensors and low light capture modes, becomes more relevant depending on your needs.

Where is dash cam footage kept?

Dash cam footage is usually stored on an SD or micro SD memory card. You can then insert the memory card into a laptop or PC to review the footage if you want to look back on a previous journey,

However, dash cam footage can also be stored in online, cloud-based storage if the dash cam in question is Wi-Fi-enabled, or can be connected to a smart device via Bluetooth. The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2, for instance, saves footage automatically to Garmin's online "Vault", from which you can evaluate and decide whether or not to save the footage to offline storage.

Do dash cams record audio as well as video?

Yes, dash cams can record audio in addition to video. Many dash cam models feature built-in microphones that capture the sounds inside and around the vehicle, including conversations, engine noise, and other background sounds.

This audio recording feature can be valuable for providing a more comprehensive record of events in case of accidents, road rage incidents, or other situations where audio context may be important. However, it's important to be aware of privacy laws and regulations in your region, as recording audio without consent may be subject to legal restrictions in some areas. Always check and adhere to local laws when using the audio recording feature on your dash cam.

If you are after a dash cam that can record audio, just double-check the camera specifications to ensure it comes with a built-in microphone as not all of them do.

Do dash cams have built-in GPS for tracking location and speed?

As touched on already, some dash cams come with built-in GPS to help provide location and speed information, in some cases, if an incident occurs.

More specifically, with a built-in GPS, it allows a dash cam to receive signals from global positioning satellites, which enables the device to determine its location. As you drive, the dash cam will likely record your vehicle's coordinates and embed this information into the footage it captures for later use.

However, it's important to note that not all dash cams come with GPS capabilities, or they may not track both location and speed. As a result, some may require an external GPS module that can be purchased separately. Whether or not to opt for a GPS-enabled dash cam though depends on your specific needs and preferences, as well as the level of detail you desire in your recordings.

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