1. Loop recording and Auto start:
We grouped these two features because they are a given for any dashcam.
This goes without saying but if it is called a dashcam, it should definitely have loop recording. Loop recording means that your dashcam writes over older videos once the storage (usually microSD card) is full. The last thing you want while driving is to have to manually erase older videos to keep it recording.
Similarly, your dashcam should start as soon as it is powered. If a dashcam requires you to turn it on manually, chances are you might forget to do so one day. This is also why action cams are generally not suited for daily dashcam use.
2. GPS and Speed logging:
Granted, video alone is better than nothing. However, the ability to pinpoint on a map where the action happened will greatly enhance the usefulness of your footage. The GPS usually logs location data while also serving to indicate the current speed. The GPS coordinates don’t have to be overlayed on the video, as long as they are embedded in the file. In some models, the GPS can be built-in, while other may require a separate GPS unit.
With BlackVue dashcams, you have the possibility to display or hide the speed data overlay from your videos. GPS data can be viewed on a map in the BlackVue Viewer and App.
3. Impact detection and Event tagging:
Ideally, any dashcam should have a G-sensor, or accelerometer, to sense bumps, impacts and sudden acceleration or deceleration. This allows the dashcam to create and tag Event videos accordingly, so you can easily find the video you are looking for later.
All BlackVue dashcams ever sold have a G-sensor and create buffered Event videos. Some of the more recent models also allow you to prevent Event videos overwriting. Event videos, along with other types of videos, can easily be singled out in the BlackVue App and Viewer by using the available filters: [N]ormal, [E]vent, [P]arking, [M]anual.
4. Supercapacitor (NOT a built-in battery):
This is one of the most important features of a serious dashcam, assuming you want to be able to leave it in your car. A supercapacitor is a “super safe” battery– usually about the size of 2 AAA cells. It carries just enough power to let your dashcam finish recording files and shutdown without creating errors when power runs out. This way, even if the power cable gets disconnected in an accident, it will still safely record and shut down, preserving the critical video.
If you are tempted by a dashcam that incorporates a battery, please reconsider. Unless you are planning to always carry your dashcam with you, it could pose a safety risk when operating in a vehicle parked in the sun. Any dashcam that uses a built-in lithium battery instead of a supercapacitor is basically a fire hazard.
If you are looking for a way to power your dashcam in Parking Mode, look for dedicated Parking Mode accessories instead. All BlackVue dashcams use a supercapacitor. BlackVue provides both kits that power your dashcam from your car’s battery and standalone batteries that only charge when you drive.
5. Buffered Parking Mode:
To some vehicle owners, a good Parking Mode is the single most important feature of a dashcam. In Parking Mode, your dashcam monitors your parked car while you are away. Different models do Parking Mode differently but there are some constants. Generally, Parking Mode is designed to be more power and storage-efficient than regular recording mode.
Why buffered? To ensure the footage can provide irrefutable evidence, it is important that Parking Mode videos include the action happening before the actual triggering event. In case of a hit-and-run, you want to capture the moment leading to the hit. Otherwise, you will have a hard time making your case. A dashcam with buffered Parking Mode keeps constantly in its memory the last few seconds of footage, even without writing to the microSD card. Then, when an impact is sensed, it creates an Event video that includes the few seconds of footage leading to the impact.
All BlackVue models feature Buffered Parking Mode by Motion and Impact detection. Some models also feature Time Lapse and Buffered Impact detection mode.
There are a lot more features that you might consider but looking for these should set you on track to find a worthy dashcam.