Recommend me a dash camera for my car

Requirements in order of importance:

-Mounting will be permanent, so the camera should be as inconspicuous as possible.
-High reliability. I hear some cameras occasionally hang and need to be rebooted.
-Ability to be powered from the car’s 12VDC supply.
-Ability to automatically overwrite old files and start over.
-Decent picture quality. If would be good if it has high enough resolution to pick up a registration number.
Any recommendations?

Why do you think you need a dash camera?

I’m tempted… I think I might mount mine facing out the rear window, to produce evidence (if needed) in cases where someone rear-ends me. I’d also send pictures of tailgaters to the highway patrol.

Because shit happens. Sometimes to you, sometimes to others.
Every accident that occurs creates two different stories for the cops when they arrive.

Amazon has many to choose from;
Look the features you want and choose one. A 32Gb card in mine gives me about 10-12 hours continuous before recording over.
Sure is fun to have the person that ran a red light/changed lanes/backed out tell the cops what a high-speed, law-breaking danger to society you are, then you get to say “let’s look at the tape!”

Jaws drop, cops smile, and you get to go on your way while asshat gets a ticket.

If you don’t do anything wrong, a camera is your best friend.

Mine was watching the neigbor’s shed get burglarized last month.
Now the cops and all my neighbors have a vehicle and suspect description to look for so we can stop him before he steals all of our stuff. Here’s a snapshotfrom the video.

Can’t see the tag at this distance, but at least we can all look for a red Dodge Ram as we drive around…

I’ve seen the cameras in Amazon but the reviews are all over the place. Some people are satisfied but on some the unit crapped out pretty fast.

Which camera are you using?

I have used many dash cams over the years. You can get a good selection over at dealextreme.

Here are a few things:

  • One thing you need for a dash cam is a fish eye lens with a fairly wide viewing angle, because otherwise a camera located on the dash will not be able to capture much of what’s ahead of you. The problem with this is that as they extend the viewing angle, fish eye lens distort the quality of the picture…

  • …as such, a camera that can both capture quality high enough to read license plates as well as have a wide viewing angle will at least be quite expensive if non-existant. This is also why stuff like dash cam cellphone apps don’t really work - the camera on a cellphone doesn’t have a wide angle lens.

  • an ideal solution would be to have 2 cameras in one unit pointing out towards either side, to capture a panoramic view of the front without distorting fish eye lens. I have seen such a unit but have not tried it.

  • as far as reliability goes, the biggest problem I’ve found is low quality power inverters, that will fry your camera randomly with power surges. The actual cameras themselves shouldn’t have any reliability issues as they are all solid state and have no moving parts. I have 1 camera that I’ve used for probably 2 or 3 years now that still works fine.

  • you will need a class 10 storage card if you want video that’s bigger than ~800x600.

Can’t help you on the mounting issue, I’ve just used a standard suction cup, but I suppose I should probably take your advice as I’ve already had 1 camera stolen from the car. :smack: Car wasn’t locked so no damage and the camera was only $30 so I can’t complain too much I guess.

I read the OP as "Recommend me a digital camera for my cat."

Hey, it’s the Dope. It’s possible.

I read it as **“Recommend me a digital camera for my car. ** I’m moving to Russia.”

(anyone else notice that, or is it just my/confirmation bias?)