Should you get a dash camera for better car security? It seems like crime has shot up lately, even in ‘safe’ neighborhoods, petty crime seems to occur more and more often. It’s like people are getting hungrier out on these street and anyone can be the next target. One of the most common crimes across all major cities is car vandalism–getting your car broken into– your windows smashed in.
Oh the mystery to ponder of why someone just caused $900 worth of damage to your car only to steal 36 cents in change, a lighter, and an old pair of out-of-style sunglasses.
My car was broken into recently, back windshield and a quarter window were broken into with what seemed to be an umbrella. It has really left me in a constant anxious state. When I get home from work and should be relaxing at home, I’m finding myself constantly worried my car is getting broken into.
I figured I have two options. I can camp out in my backseat every night with a bat and wait until someone tries to break in and strike! That doesn’t seem like the safest idea and I’ve never had a great swing. My other option would be to get a security car dash cam that monitors my car while it’s parked.
I actually jumped the gun and bought hidden cameras but quickly realized running them 24/7 to watch my car would be a bit impossible with out a constant power source so a car dash cam with parking mode would be necessary.
There are literally hundreds of models to choose from and while I do have experience working with cameras from past photography gigs, my car expertise really isn’t quite up to par. But after speaking with a few mechanic friends and research I’ve found these are the best on the market for security car dash cams with parking mode.
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is a super discreet car dash cam that’s about as big as your thumb and can be mounted behind your rear view mirror with out being noticed. It has a wide 140 degree lens and records in 1080P video, 30 FPS, and is operable in day and night lighting. It may not be as HD as other Garmin cameras but it is still good enough for a dash cam especially with its size and price range. Due to it’s small size, a LCD screen is not included on the camera.
The Mini 2 is voice activated so you can start recording through a voice prompt or just tap a button on the side of the device. You can ask the camera to start/stop recording, save footage, take a photo. Audio recording is also possible.
The parking mode requires a Garmin’s Constant Power Cable, sold separately, which hard-wires the Mini 2 to your car.
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 uses an app called Drive where all of the footage is uploaded and can easily be transferred to your mobile or PC. The Vault storage system stores recordings for free for 24 hours or you can purchase the monthly subscription for $4.99 to save footage for a week.
It has a super easy set up that won’t take you more than a few minutes to install.
If you’re looking for feature-heavy smart cam with a full LCD display, GPS, speed monitor, etc, this may not be the camera for you as the Mini 2 is so small, it’s more meant for those seeking discreetness.
The Vantrue N2 Pro was rated the best dual dash cam for ride share drivers like Uber and Lyft.
The front and inside camera simultaneously capture the road front (170°) and back (140°) in crystal details at dual 1920x1080P and 30fps. Keep in mind the rear dual camera doesn’t record the outdoor rear of the car rather the rear passenger cabin (as well as the road). There’s also a built-in microphone to record audio.
Even though the Vantrue N2 Pro is miniature in size, there is small 1.5 inch LCD display and the camera has an external memory capacity of 256GB. Most competitor dash cams have a limit of 32GB. The LCD screen is not touch screen though and is operated with small buttons under the display.
There’s a G-sensor built in to automatically start recording when it detects collisions and emergency stops which includes Seamless Loop Recording which overwrites the oldest footage with the newest upon filling a card to capacity. The motion sensor also works in parking mode so any time someone gets too close or touches the vehicle, the camera will automatically start recording. You will need to have the dash cam hardwired to your car’s power, or an external battery pack.
One of the best features of the Vantrue N2 Pro is the high quality infrared night vision, sure to come in handy if you are parking in a dark parking spot over night making even license plates and car models easy to see. If it’s dark inside the vehicle, four LED lights will be activate to capture interior footage even in complete darkness.
The Thinkware U1000 Dual Dash Cam is what you’re looking for if you are seeking sharp, crisp, detailed footage. The camera includes a 150-degree viewing and works just as efficiently in low-light. The front camera records in 4K and the rear camera in 2K at 30 FPS and allows for a 64GB Micro SD Card.
Parking Surveillance mode is automatically activated when you turn off the ignition, and captures footage when a motion or impact is detected. A hard-wiring kit is included all though professional installation is recommended. There are 3 parking modes, Energy Saving 2.0, Impact and Motion Detection, and Time Lapse.
Initiates a recording when there is motion present in front of a camera lens or impact to the vehicle. Motion Detection mode records 10 seconds before the Motion/Impact up until 10 seconds after (20-second clip).
Records 2 frames per second (10 minute period condensed into a 2-minute video clip), provides you a continuous parking surveillance recording. Records Impacts (50 seconds before impact, up until 50 seconds after)
Energy Savings Mode (1.0/2.0)
In the Energy Saving Mode, the dash cam enters a “sleep mode” to conserve the car battery life and “wakes up” when an impact is detected to save the footage instantaneously. Records 1 second after the impact up until 20 seconds after.
The Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) can alert the driver of potential forward collisions, lane departures, and front vehicle departures. There’s also a GPS built in that can track speed on the camera footage as well as well as alert you of speed cameras.
The Thinkware U1000 uses the Thinkware Cloud smartphone app which features include remote live viewing, geo fencing, parking impact notifications, locate vehicle and driving impact notifications. As soon as impact is detected, your mobile will receive a notification and you can instantly check the timestamped footage of all incidences.
At almost $400 the Thinkware U1000 is on the higher end but it definitely proves its worth if you’re looking for 4K dash cam quality, built in GPS, and a sophisticated, smartphone/dash cam system with all the bells and whistles.