The meteor that streaked across the Russian sky last February caused a
big sensation, not just because it happened in broad daylight, being
witnessed by many, but because of the amount of video cameras that
captured this incredible event. Aside from marveling at this incredible phenomena a lot of people asked themselves, especially in the U.S., "Why do so many Russians drive around with cameras on their dashboard?" Well, police corruption and almost non-existent car insurance has forced many Russians to arm themselves with dashboard cameras to have better leverage in case of an accident.
This dashboard camera craze has resulted in a new breed of YouTube videos where you see many examples of highway collisions, extreme cases or road rage, mentally-unbalanced people taking a leisurely stroll in the middle of the road, even a guy car breaking into a car and running off with the camera -- I assume it was later recovered.
These cameras have been available in the U.S. for a while, but lately there's been a growing demand for them. Judging from comments in online forums most people purchase dashboard cameras to have some type of leverage in case of a car accident. Some have gotten so-called bogus tickets; and it's always easier to prove your point to a judge with a video of the incident instead of just your word.
Whatever the reason may be for buying one there a lot of cameras to choose from. Here's a look at three of the best-rated dashboard cameras in the market.
This dashboard camera can shoot video in two modes: 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 60fps. It has a 105 degree view angle and displays on the built-in 3" Hi-Res TFT screen. Doubles as a GPS with Google Maps support. Anti-file crash technology prevents loss of video in the event of an accident. Stores video on an SD memory card (up to 32 GB). Records audio too.
The HZZ TM Dashboard Camera has a very unique rear view mirror design, so it's the most inconspicuous of the three models listed. The whole thing clips onto your car's rear view mirror, effectively replacing it with a larger mirror that has a built-in 2.7 inch TFT LCD screen. The camera shoots video in three modes: 1920x1080, 1440x1080 and 1280x720 and begins recording as soon as you start your car. It's got an astounding 140 degree view angle. Records video and audio to a microSD memory card (up to 32 GB) in adjustable segments of 2, 5 and 15 minutes.
This Dashboard Camera has a really nice minimalistic design. It's basically a small cylinder that clips onto its own bracket, which results in a camera that is very unobtrusive. It has a Parking Mode feature so you can record even when your car is not running. This is a nice feature that many other cameras lack. Comes with a 4 GB microSD memory card, upgradeable to 32 GB. Records at 640x480, but the quality is excellent. 120 degree angle of view. Tracks GPS location and speed while recording video and audio.
Be sure to check your State's laws regarding electronically recording others. For the most part capturing video of someone out on the street or other public area is allowed, but the audio aspect can be more complicated. Depending on the State you live in it could be illegal to have a dashboard camera recording a conversation taking place inside your car. So play it safe and make sure you're not breaking any laws.
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