Your dashcams wouldn’t be suitable for me as I would most certainly not want to be carrying a digital camera around with me everywhere. Especially those the size of Nextbase units.
Also, the necessity to plug the unit back in everytime you get in the car, then power it up, then ensure that the unit is pointing in exactly the right direction, is just going to be a major hassle over time which will lead you, imo, to becoming lazy and just leaving the camera in the car instead.
It’s true that technology has advanced, but right now, the manufacturers are playing catch up with dashcams. What they are doing is exploiting a cheap as chips option of taking what is essentially an existing digital camera (of which the markets are flooded) and rebadging it as a dashcam. All they have really done is enabled loop recording on it.
This is NOT a real solution to the requirements a motorist has regarding filming driving footage. No solution should involve bulky electrical units fixed to a dashboard that are constantly plugged in, unplugged, set in place, removed, set back in place and so on. It’s cumbersome, outdated and just plain silly.
Technology has had tiny discrete cameras for years nad years now. As Realspeed highlights, many modern cars have reversing cameras which are simply tiny discrete lenses attached by long wires to control units.
A dashcam should be no different. It should comprise of separate parts. One part should be the lens itself attached to a decent length of wiring. That lens should be able to be installed almost anywhere, ideally inside the mirror housing at the top of the windscreen. The other part should be the control unit with the recording media and electronics. This part should be able to be installed elsewhere.
All an end user needs is the ability to put in and take out a Micro SD card. The footage can be reviewed later using any laptop/PC or digital camera.
There is absolutely no requirement to my mind, to have a dashcam with a built in screen. It’s a distraction whilst driving and having it means the entire device has to be big and bulky and therefore can not be properly hard wired and done so covertly. I realise you can turn the screens off whilst driving but the main issue is the size of the unit and inability to install in an integrated way.
In short the manufacturers are currently just pandering to a relatively non tech savvy audience and producing products that give everyone an “easy life” or at least seem to. In practice they are anything but, because of the need to keep removing the devices everytime you leave the car.
They know people are lazy and won’t bother.
It’s the same with Sat Navs. I mean seriously, how many people with TomToms and Garmins actually take those devices away with them every time they leave the car?
Answer, extremely few people. It’s just a major hassle.
They just throw the unit in the glove compartment and of course thieves know that’s what they are doing. Many of those people even leave the suction unit attached to the windscreen so it’s blatantly obvious that the car is a Sat Nav car.
The technology for a “proper” dashcam is already out there being used in different applications. We just need manufacturers to stop pandering to the Sheeple and start building proper devices.
There ARE a few contenders. The Mobius Action Cam was certainly one of them. Very small, very discrete. Could be bought with long cables to separate the lens from the main unit for covert installation. Had the option to replace rechargeable batteries with capacitors (which is essential for any dashcam imo).
There’s another tiny device, can’t remember the name, but it’s a tiny cube the size of a cube of snooker chalk. Has a magnetic attachment so it can be simply stuck anywhere.
Overall the place to be looking for the ideal dashcam is actually the Radio Control Hobby market. i.e. the sellers of radio controlled aeroplanes, helecopters and of course drones which are on the increase. These toys/hobbycraft require excellent HD cameras that can record well and which are tiny, very light and reliable.
The Mobius Action Cam was one such camera. Used extensievly by radio control enthusiasts for a long time with great success. The manufacturer hadn’t realised how great the device would be as a dashcam, but the public were catching on.
So my recommendation for those thinking about a dashcam is to ignore the mainstream nonsense which just offers bog standard digital cameras and start looking at the radio controlled action cameras that can loop record.