Seven things you need to know before buying that hidden car dashcam

September 22, 2018

Have you seen those crazy road rage videos and car dash clips on social media sites? They are always entertaining since they have some pretty crazy things happening in them. You might be wondering how people even manage to get a hold of these videos. Who shoots them when it’s happening? How do people always have their phones out and cameras on while the craziness goes down?

In reality, people have spy cams and dashcams on their cars. Sometimes, it is to find out where their significant other goes or who gets in the car with them. Most of the times, it is to gather proof against a claimant of a fraudulent insurance claim. For insurance purposes, you will need a camera that is reliable, with a wide range of view, large storage capacity or exporting options, and long battery power. Moreover, if there is a break-in, you can catch the thief in action. That can speed up the legal action and help with an insurance claim as well. Some cameras come with GPS so you can prove exactly where the incident took place and at what time.

Here are a few things you may want to consider before you get a camera –

  1. You should try to get the smallest camera with high portability options. The smaller the camera, the easier it is to hide inside the vehicle. Now, you will come across several options depending on the age of technology, the budget, and the brands. Consider more than one online store or brick-and-mortar store before you pick one. Check out a wide range of dashcams for your vehicle.

2.  What are you trying to record? Are you afraid of someone breaking into your car while you are in a sketchy neighborhood? Are you trying to save yourself from false insurance claims? Are you trying to make another viral video after safeguarding other causes? Well, depending on the purpose of your recording, you will need to place it either facing the front of the car, so it captures the bonnet and sides. For recording a break-in, you need to cover all the inside views. For tailgating cases, you should try to include the bumpers of the cars. All you need to think about is the placement and the range before you place it.

3. One of the niftiest ways to hide a camera is to install it inside something that is removable. It can be a part of the mobile holder, a decorative item on the dashboard, or a part of the clips on the overhead flaps. Keeping it inconspicuous is the key to catching potential thieves and insurance scammers. Making the installation too visible can lead to the destruction of the cameras and lenses before the incident takes place.

4. You can also camouflage the camera as a part of your car. It will take more work than the process of hiding it in plain sight as a removable object. However, it is one of the most secure ways to hide it and prevent the perpetrators from removing it. Some of the most popular places for hiding cameras include the vents, the rearview camera, and the seat cushions.

5. Before you can call it a day, you need to do some testing. Find out if the camera covers all critical spots. Does it include both the front and the back? Does it cover the windows and the doors? You might have to install a separate camera for covering the exteriors of the car. Do not forget to test it with people in your car to see if it can catch their movements. You may need to fine-tune the placement, height, and angle a little after installation.

6. You might want to decide if you want a camera that records 24/7, or if you want one that starts recording when movement triggers its inbuilt motion sensor. The advantage of the latter is that it consumes less battery since it is on standby and it will take up less space on the memory card. Moreover, you won’t have to sift through hundreds of hours of footage to find the relevant few minutes. While it will be on when you are driving, it will sit dormant when your car is in the parking. Only movements like someone coming too close to the car, someone keying it, breaking the window, or brushing past the vehicle in their vehicle will trigger its recording.

7.The memory and storage are important factors while buying a car dashcam as well. Depending on the on/off mechanism, resolution and recording sizes, you might want to select one with inbuilt memory functions or one with expandable memory. The former has a limited memory that you can dump on an external hard drive. You might have to do it every couple of days unless it has an auto-rewriting option. Some cameras with built-in memories record and save new files in place of old ones. The ones with external SD card slots do not require the removal of the entire camera. You can remove the card and use a reader to dump the files on your laptop or PC. You can use two or three cards, in case you do not have enough time to transfer the data and go through them. The ones with removable memory cards are convenient since they offer expandable memory options.

Modern technology offers multiple add-ons. Some cameras enable you to choose from various resolutions and file sizes for the standard recording. Others help with mobile connectivity. If your dashcam is running out of space or draining the final bit of battery, you can receive a notification on your mobile phone for necessary updates. You can also pick dashcams for night vision since these can record inside dimly lit spaces, inside commercial parking lots at night and even inside your garage without the lights on.

Research your options before you can get the best gadget for your car and safety. Now, stay free from the fear of insurance scammers and thieves, no matter which part of town you are visiting.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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