What are dashcams?

Dashcam (or ‘carcam’ too) is made up of a ‘dashboard’ and ‘camera’. So that means a camera which is mounted in the car and films automatically.

Synonyms such as ‘car camera’, ‘car camcorder’ or ‘Russian cameras’ are common too. The latter is based on the origin of the devices. In Russia, dashcams are almost part of standard equipment. Insurance fraud is part of the daily routine there. Youtube is full of dashcamera recordings from the country.

What distinguishes dashcams from ordinary digital cameras or camcorders?

Well, in contrast to ordinary cameras and smartphones, a dashcam only needs to be mounted once in a vehicle and then nothing else needs to be done. The camera switches on and off with the ignition. This means that the films are stored in ‘little morsels’. If the memory is ever full then the oldest recording will be overwritten. In this way, the dashcam can record for an infinite amount of time. So when there has been a big crash, you have a film recording of it. Many manufacturers equip their cameras with acceleration sensors. If there is a crash, the camera will register that and save the recording permanently. It can’t be overwritten by mistake any more then, which is perfect!

How many hours does a dashcam record?

This depends on the memory used and the resolution set. In some cases, up to eight hours full of HD material saved on a 32GB SDHC card are possible.

How much does a dashcam cost?

Prices vary between approximately EUR 45 to EUR 300.

When is a dashcam a good idea?

The devices are not just suitable as ‘black boxes’ in accidents. They are a great preventative measure for fast drivers. Many cameras have a speed warning which alerts the driver as soon as they drive too fast.

A further use is to keep pushy drivers under surveillance. Thanks to the suctions cup, the cameras can also be mounted on the rear window. In the case of a dispute, valuable evidence would then be at hand.

Thanks to a parking mode, many cameras are suitable too for surveillance whilst the car is parking and unsupervised.

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