One exciting innovation that we have seen lately in the world of photo and video has been, just how common (and compact) cameras have become. Today, even your cellular/mobile phone has 3-5 cameras! It is thanks to this innovation that we’ve seen a rise in dashboard cameras for your vehicle. In this article, we’re going to tell you why you should care, plus, which are best dash cams for your car.

Simply put, as we mentioned, cameras are so cheap to make now that literally, anyone can become a manufacturer and seller. Unfortunately, many brands are of very poor quality. In fact, virtually all vehicle dashcam brands are using the same or very similar hardware/parts! That is, most are using the same camera sensor and often a very similar lens.

So, which are the truly decent, good dashcams? Let’s dive in to find out.

The Best DashCam For Your Car | Read This First!

the truth about the best dashcam for your car

As photographers and videographers, we understand the subject of image quality far better than most. Unfortunately, considering our higher standards, the majority of dashcam cameras will give either poor or downright terrible video

So, before you read any further, here are three very important things you need to know about the dashcam market in general:

  • The most expensive option is not always the best!
  • The highest-rated option is not always the best!
  • The specifications (especially the resolution) don’t tell the whole story…
    (Not all 4K is created equal!)

In other words, most of the dashcams on the market are sold by marketing and advertising, plus unfortunately, due to most customers’ basic lack of knowledge about camera image quality. Therefore, if you want the “actual” best dash cam for your vehicle, read on!

NOTE: there is one more important thing you need to remember before you purchase a dashcam for your car: quite honestly, none of these cameras will come even close to the image quality you get from your professional or even beginner-level camera. Whether it’s the ultra-affordable Sony A6100, the Nikon Z50, or the Canon EOS R50, …literally any dedicated camera will provide infinitely better 4K video. Heck, even the aging, $199 GoPro Hero 8, let alone its newer replacements, will offer superior video quality to virtually all vehicle dash cameras. Why? Because, as you’ll find, the best dashcams are far more affordable, of course.

Why You Should Have A Dash Cam For Your Car

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The reasons for owning a dashcam should be obvious, such as proving your side of the story in the event of an accident, and in some cases, helping to prevent theft. However, it’s not that simple. If you have a dash cam running all the time, that means you need to drive safely and responsibly, too! Otherwise, you may prove your own fault in an accident.

Some auto insurance companies may offer you a discount on your insurance if you own (and use) a dash cam, depending on where you live. (In some countries, of course, having a dashcam is required by law.)

Also, if you park your car in a public space overnight, you may think it wise to have a dashcam that is capable of running all night, however, the device may actually attract thieves, not deter them. Just some things to keep in mind as we proceed to our list of the best dash cams…

VIOFO A229 DUO ($259)

viofo a229 duo review

Viofo is one of the few brands with some of the best dash cam options available. We are not going to focus on all of the extra bells and whistles that their various different options offer, because all you really need to know is that this option simply works. It has one of the best feature sets around, and that is why it is one of the more expensive options.

With 2K resolution and a 60 FPS framerate, it may seem modest, but the image sharpness is just as good as options claiming to offer 4K. (In fact, in our experience, it almost seems as if some of the 4K options are just using a similar 2K or even 1K (1080p)  sensor, and enlarging it!)

VIOFO A229 DUO | Specifications

  • Dual Channel Quad HD + Quad HD
  • Sony Starvis Sensor for Front and Rear
  • Built-in 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Built-in GPS Logger
  • 3 Parking Modes


VIOFO A119 MINI ($139)

viofo a119 mini dash cam review

For everyone who is looking for a good balance of value, video quality, and overall features, the Viofo A119 Mini is a good choice. Again, these dash cams are all using nearly the same sensor, (the Sony Starvis) so the image quality is almost identical. It is mainly a matter of whether or not you want all the features, (such as the rear camera and/or interior camera) …or if you’re just looking for something basic.

VIOFO A119 MINI | Specifications

  • Quad HD+ 2560*1600P
  • Sony STARVIS IMX335 5MP Sensor
  • 1.5’’ HD LCD Display
  • Dual Band 2.4GHz & 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Voice Notification
  • Bluetooth Remote Control (Optional)

Thinkware F70 1080p Dash Cam ($69.99)

thinkware f70 review

Yes, the Thinkware F70 is “only” 1080p with 30 fps. However, here’s the dirty little secret that all those 4K and other dashcams don’t want you to know: there’s barely any difference, because the sensor quality of those 2K, 4K etc cameras is just not very good. This Thinkware, with a shockingly affordable price tag, is a solid choice for everyone on a budget. You may not be able to read a license plate in front of you while your car is in motion, but at least you’ll have good quality footage overall and smooth operation.

Thinkware F70 Dash Cam | Specifications

  • 1920 x 1080 Resolution at 30 fps
  • 140° Diagonal Field of View
  • Multiple Recording Modes
  • Built-In Microphone and Speaker
  • G-Sensor
  • Built-In Supercapacitor
  • Integrated Thermal Protection
  • PC Viewer Compatible with Windows & Mac
  • Supports microSD Cards up to 64GB
  • Includes 8GB microSD Card

Gopro HERO8 Black ($199)

gopro hero8 review

We are only including this Gopro unit on the list for those photographers/videographers who are truly picky about image quality. Yes, this is not a dash cam. Yes, it is annoying to have to remember to hit record every time you start driving, and to make sure the recording loop settings are correct, and that the camera battery doesn’t die and/or it is kept plugged in. Oh, and you really don’t want to leave it mounted in plain sight on your car’s dashboard all night, probably!

However, maybe you already own one of these, or maybe you’ve been thinking of buying one. Either way, if you want some truly excellent (for a “tiny camera” image/video quality, then consider putting up with the aforementioned inconveniences.

Gopro HERO8 Black | Specifications

  • Up to UHD 4K Video, Slow Motion, Webcam
  • HyperSmooth 2.0 Video Stabilization
  • TimeWarp 2.0 Stabilized Time-Lapse Video
  • SuperPhoto 12MP Stills with HDR Support
  • Waterproof to 33′ without a Housing
  • Direct Live Streaming to Facebook Live
  • Night-Lapse Video, Live-Burst Stills
  • Intuitive, Smartphone-Like Touchscreen
  • Face, Smile & Scene Detection
  • 15-Command Multi-Language Voice Control

Best Dash Cam For Your Vehicle | Conclusion

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Remember, there are hundreds of different brands of dashboard cameras out there, and most of them are, well, junk. As photographers and videographers, your expectations are probably going to be woefully unmet.

Whether you purchase the absolute cheapest option, or you try to buy whichever one has the best reviews, or even the most expensive dashcam, you may still be disappointed. This is why we recommend so few! Having said that, depending on your budget, we believe that one of these options is the best for you.