Dashcam Useful Tips and Tricks
Dashcams record automatically, so it's easy to forget you have one. Take the time to familiarize yourself with how your cam system works and check it periodically. The very best system doesn't do you much good if you can't use it effectively.
The SD memory card is the heart of your dashcam system. It is where the video files created by your dashcam are stored, so your camera won't be able to protect you without one. Dashcam functions put an extreme strain on a memory card, as they are constantly reading and writing data to/from the memory card. Your vehicle is the most extreme environment that a memory card can live in. Your card is subjected to temperature extremes and plenty of shock/vibration simply from everyday driving. This is why it is so important to use an ultra high-quality memory card in your dashcam.
Use only High Endurance Class 10 and/or UHS Class 1 micro SD memory cards. The Class 10 card rating means the card supports 10 MB/s as the minimum non-fragmented sequential write speed and also uses a high speed bus mode. These are ideal for HD video files. It's also better to choose a larger rather than smaller card size.
It is highly recommended to get a hardwired 2 channel system (front & rear cameras/hidden wires) to maximize your protection capabilities and safety. A 'front only' camera does you no good if someone hits you from behind.
Keep your dashboard clear of any papers, clutter or objects that reflect and obstruct visibility. Glare greatly affects automatic exposure settings.
Keep your windshield and rear window glass as clean as possible. Snow, ice, dirt or rain makes it harder for your camera lens to capture essential footage. Cracked or chipped glass should be replaced.
Keep your windshield wipers in good condition. Applying some Armor-All with a soft rag will keep them pliable longer.
If you're involved in a traffic incident, assess the scene and prioritize your actions. First, make sure a bad situation doesn't become any worse. Dial 911 and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Second, hit the "Save File" feature of your dashcam to lock the footage of the circumstance. Third, get to safety. Then document everything you can about the incident "detective style". Take photos and notes, exchange information, check for witnesses and ask how to obtain a police report.
Choose 'Wide Dynamic Range' and 'High Bit-Rate' recording settings whenever possible.
Recording shorter video segments (1 minute) will keep your file size down and make them easier to manage.
Format your memory card on a regular basis. This maximizes your SD card lifespan.
Replace your memory card annually. Repeated loop recording causes them to eventually wear out.
If a traffic event occurs, say the license plate number of the other vehicle(s) involved out loud, especially at night. Low light conditions might not allow for a clear capture of the plate info. Saying it out loud gives you some audio backup in case someone flees the scene.
Take several pictures of the incident scene if you can. This can shed light on things not caught on video.
Remember to press the 'Event Capture' button on the camera to lock the incident footage file into permanent memory.
If your battery dies or is replaced, you'll need to check and reset all of your camera settings and adjustments.
Review some video footage regularly, as it's easy to forget how your cam system works over time.
It's important to check your camera aim periodically to make sure the camera lens is clean, properly adjusted and pointing in the proper direction through clear glass.
If you happen to cause an accident, you are not obligated to reveal that you have a dashcam in your vehicle.