Every time I’m behind the wheel, I use the Zero Edge Technology Z-Edge Z3 to record everything that happens in front of me. After considering dozens of stroke cams for this guide and finally choosing 10 for the test, the Z-Edge Z3 Z3 came firmly to the top.
It hits the mark in terms of image quality, usability and value, and it avoids features like GPS and Wi-Fi found in many more expensive cameras and may be unnecessary for some drivers. Instead, it focuses on good picture quality and reliable, automatic operation every time you are in your car. Other cameras tick these boxes as well, but none beat them all quite as perfectly as the Z3 at a great price too. In short, it is best for most people.
Zero Edge Z-Edge Z3
The camera has an exceptional resolution of 2560 × 1080 at 30 frames per second. It comes with a 32GB microSD card – a capacity big enough for the needs of many people – but it will accept cards up to 64GB. When buying your own microSD back up only $ 15, it’s one thing to worry about less thing, making the package an even better deal. The picture quality is crisp in all lighting conditions
Details, and the photos and videos are so good that you have no qualms about sharing the footage through social media if you want to share everything that appears in the camera’s 145-degree field of view. (Near meteor strike, anyone?) This field of view hits a sweetspot, where the cover is neither too tight nor cuts the edges, nor so wide that it is difficult to get enough details where it counts. The high resolution we prefer means that wider FOVs are better managed, as you can zoom in later when viewing footage as needed.
Vantrue OnDash R2
With its great video quality, the Vantrue OnDash R2 also impressed us in our tests when it competed with the Z-Edge Z3 for our top pick. But the R2 has often been priced higher than the Z3, even before factor factoring in the cost of the zero edge edge microSD card lacking the Vantrue. His pictures are just a hair too dark compared to the Z3, but they still blow most of the other dash cams out of the water, which causes us to recommend this as an alternative choice when dealing with it at a competitive price the Z3 or the Z3 is not available.
If you live where regular temperatures cook your car, we recommend the SpyTec G1W-CB. It has a number of disadvantages compared to our top pick-a lower-resolution, 1080p camera for a camera, but it uses a capacitor instead of a battery. Batteries do not work well in extreme heat, delaying or preventing camera startup or normal operation.
The capacitor gets its energy directly from the car, but only while driving. As a less costly alternative that should work when it is too hot (and in some cases when it is too cold) for a battery-operated shock camera to do its best, we find it hits the pole.
Why you should trust us
I have been a journalist for automotive and consumer technology for 15 years and work not only for The Wirecutter, but also for Gear Patrol, Popular Science, Wired, Men’s Health and many others. In the automotive sector, I produced content that covers both technology, driver behavior and vehicle safety. I’m also a photographer and often experiment with new camera technology, both still and video.
For this update of our bar camera work I examined about 50 cameras and worked for hours with our limited selection to see how they worked. By the way, this has made me believe in the use and usefulness of the technology – it’s safe to say now that I use those things for the rest of my riding days, and I’m looking forward to following the technology as it evolves.
Who this guide is for
You need a dash camera if you are concerned about being the victim of an accident and want documentary footage that you could provide to an insurance company or police, for a lawsuit or at a criminal trial. You might consider one because of a recent collision or you have been too close to too much before. You may also want to take pictures to help others (if you see something nearby), to improve the road conditions by having graphical examples on hand or monitoring the driving habits of others with their knowledge (eg teenagers).
Dash cams became popular first in Russia, where insurance fraud is a common problem. The drivers installed cameras to show their side of the story when others claimed that the driver was to blame. In the United States, the problem is usually the opposite (although cheating happens, of course): you want to prove what someone else is in a situation to harm you or your car. Our reader survey shows that this is what matters most to you.
You want to prove what someone else has done in a situation to harm you or your car. Our reader survey shows that this is what matters most to you.
But there are also entertaining and socially useful purposes. You’ve seen the YouTube footage of meteorite strikes (back in Russia) and police cars. You could passively film something weird, amazing, or funny on the street and share it with others for entertainment or even fondness for viral fame. Or you could record an incident that you are not directly involved in, and feel compelled to share the footage with those involved or the authorities.
Finally, as I found out in my own car within an hour of installing a dashboard camera, you can also detect incidents that indicate traffic safety issues. In the video, a driver stops at the end of a lane to stop traffic and turn left at the next traffic light, while another car stops at a green traffic light and drives over two lanes to try to take the same left turn. A pickup had to dodge twice to avoid any vehicle, and a van and a semi-trailer had to apply emergency braking so as not to hit the second driver – though the audio signal did not betray the braking. It’s an unsafe crossroads, and I forwarded the video to the community.
Most stroke cameras can take a photo, and some of the ones we tested do that well. Most also have batteries that allow limited use while detached from the car, but they work poorly as a camera you want to drag around: they do not fit well in the hand, and the rechargeable batteries do not deliver long enough use for most purposes. Dash cameras are easy to mount on your windshield, power-up every time you start the car, and video capture endlessly while driving.
First of all a word about the use of the cameras as a safety watchdogs: The tested models have not particularly distinguished. Most of them can use optical motion detection or G-sensors to “wake up” and start recording when something happens to or around your vehicle while it is parked, but the likelihood that they will catch useful information while they are turning in one direction is limited, and they also need persistent power to do so.
First, we examined the market to find out which models are available. Then we narrowed that down based on criteria we have gained from reader surveys and our own research. Short answer: That’s actually all for accident recording.
Most respondents were uninterested in additional features, such as: Built-in GPS, lane departure alerts, handheld usage and Wi-Fi functionality. We also found that most readers very hoped very well to spend $ 100 on the camera, although a quarter would go as high as $ 150. Our fundamental snack? Respondents wanted reliable, well-made cameras that do not require manipulation to automatically record video after an initial configuration every time they turn on the car.
This left us a number of cheap cameras – some of them unbelievably under $ 20 – as they lack the resolution, video and build quality and other foundations we wanted, plus we were skeptical about warranty support at this price. More expensive cameras are also available in abundance, but most have far too many unnecessary add-ons, and none of them surpass our ultimate selection of pure video qualities. The extras are not worth more than $ 175 to pay.
We also spared ourselves from cameras where we could neither trace the origin nor the manufacturer. For example, one allegedly from Philips, the renowned Dutch electronics manufacturer, allegedly in the search for a camera. But listings to buy this camera appeared mostly on sites in Singapore, and it was probably a case of the manufacturer that was legitimately licensing the Philips brand for sale in Asia. Technically speaking, it was a “Philips” product, but it is not manufactured under the direct supervision of the brand manufacturer.
Overall, we validated the camera’s heritage before testing with meaningful reviews, expert interviews, interactions with retailers, and access to corporate representatives. This included putt camera summaries at key sites: Pickguard Camera Reviews, Techmoan, Car Camera Central and Dash Camera Talk. We also looked at Amazon reviews that are more indicative of a product than a definitive answer. For example, products that have received a whole range of ratings may have benefited from giveaway programs or been paid for ratings. (Amazon has a program to publish it, and some reviewers take it voluntarily and correctly, as well.) We also find discrepancies between
Unser neues Ideal ist das Verhältnis 2560×1080-a 21:9 im Vergleich zu 1080p’s 16:9.
Nach der Feldvermessung legen wir für mehrere Bereiche Basisanforderungen fest. Wir haben die gleiche 1080p (1920×1080 Pixel) Grundlinie für die von uns getesteten Kameras beibehalten. Obwohl es selbst bei dieser hohen Auflösung äußerst schwierig ist, Nummernschilder lesbar zu erfassen, wenn nicht sowohl Ihr Fahrzeug als auch dasjenige, das Sie sich anschauen, sowohl originalgetreu als auch relativ nah beieinander liegen, wie z. B. an Ampeln.
Wir suchten nach Objektiven mit einem weiten Sichtfeld (FOV). Die von uns getesteten Modelle reichten von 120° bis 170°. Kein Wunder, dass es einen Sweetspot gibt, und unser ausgewähltes Modell, der Z-Edge Z3, trifft mit 145° FOV. Je niedriger und verlieren Sie Immobilien, während größere FOVs Gefahr einer Verzerrung und einem Verlust von Details.
Die Aufnahme von Details mit hoher Auflösung und geringer Verzerrung hilft nichts, wenn der Bildsensor und Prozessor der Kamera Details nicht in großer Entfernung oder bei unterschiedlichen Licht- und Wetterverhältnissen gestochen scharf und klar erfassen kann. Es stellt sich heraus, dass Sie für die beste Videoqualität keine Prämie zahlen müssen. Wir verworfen eine Reihe von Modellen, die anderen Features entsprachen, aber deutlich schlechtere Videoqualität hatten.
Es gibt zwei Hauptmöglichkeiten, eine Nocke an der Windschutzscheibe eines Autos zu befestigen: Absaugen und Kleben. Die Klebemontagen ermöglichen eine diskretere Platzierung, so dass die Kamera nicht so stark in Ihre Sicht eindringt und von außen nicht so auffällig ist. Es erfordert aber auch eine genaue Platzierung bei der Installation, da Sie es nicht ohne viel Mühe anpassen können oder neues Klebematerial nach dem Aufkleben erhalten. Viele sind auch schwer zu entfernen, was eine Rasierklinge und Geduld erfordert.
We prefer a suction mount, even if it falls off the mounting point, because it has two key advantages: you can easily align (and adjust) and quickly remove it if you want to set it down for any reason. (For example, you can park overnight in a sensitive area, or you may want to take it on a business trip to use in a rental car, or you can move it between several of your own vehicles, regardless of the type of bracket you want them to have has high workmanship and is firmly seated after positioning so that it can not easily be pushed through if you or your passengers accidentally knock it.
Each camera we tested automatically records while the car’s ignition is on; the recording stops when the ignition is switched off. The cameras also “loop” all their records, ie when the memory card fills, the oldest files are deleted. Users can set the camera to recording.
What you do not need
There is a flip side to the features we think every dash camera should have and our minimum acceptable specification: The ones we believed did not meet the stated needs of our readers and our evaluation – at any price or quality.
- Stamping all the videos with geographic coordinates and speeds using data from a built-in GPS receiver may seem appealing, but it does not help in the event of an accident – and could result in you being able to get away from speeding too fast.
- Some dash cams have Wi-Fi to transfer recordings to your smartphone, but we see no benefit to most users in removing the memory card and putting it in a mobile adapter or computer reader.
- Infrared night vision cameras never worked as promised. Either the infrared lights intended to illuminate the room were either too weak or the lights reflected from the windshield. Own headlamps in the car do much better work with visible light. (If you have a unit with this feature, you can disable it and we recommend it.
Some cameras have motion detection software that tracks video images to see if the camera is moving to document break-ins or vehicle damage while you’re on the move. But you have to keep the performance of the switching camera all the time for this to work. In addition, in these scenarios, the camera may not provide useful information because it only captures the view directly in front of the car.
As we tested
After narrowing our list down to 10 cameras, we tested each one for everything, from packaging and build quality, to key and menu configuration, to design, display organization, ease of use and, most critically, video quality. The first tests took place indoors, with the cameras connected to a 12V power supply. This allowed a more targeted attention during initial setup and menu navigation.
Then we use the cameras to drive on the road, either individually or in pairs, to avoid distractions and windscreen obstructions. We drove short distances with the full range of cameras on the right side of the windshield – even though this setup was not very intrusive. This was necessary to obtain footage in identical situations in order to make apple-to-apples comparisons.
We tested each camera in daylight and night, in direct sunlight and in the shade, as well as in rain, fog and overcast skies.
We tested each camera in daylight and night, in direct sunlight and in the shade, as well as in rain, fog and overcast skies. During several car rides over the holidays and occasional commutes to New York City and Philadelphia, we spent countless hours of use with the cameras. Everyone has been given a fair shake, but the leaders have quickly prevailed and eventually became our focus.
After completion of the test drives, we have subtracted the footage from the memory cards and evaluated on the PC. We’ve put together clips and screenshots that show the capabilities and weaknesses of each camera in a variety of conditions. Then we compared the results and narrowed our selection to the top picnic, taking into account value, usability and quality.
Our selection for the best dashcam
The affordable Z3 beats all markings with great video quality in a wide 2560×1080-pixel format over a range of affordable Z3 affordable outdoor light.
Der Zero Edge Z-Edge Z3 beeindruckte uns mit seinem hochwertigen Video und Build, das auf Augenhöhe mit Strichkameras ist, die fast doppelt so viel kosten. Es enthält auch eine 32 GB microSD-Karte, was es zu einem noch besseren Angebot. Kombinieren Sie das mit der besten Halterung jeder Kamera, die wir uns angesehen haben, Videomaterial, das leicht zu sehen ist, mit feinen Details, solide Bauqualität, und einfache Einrichtung, Benutzeroberfläche und Installation, und Sie haben eine Kamera, die leicht den Wettbewerb zu schlagen.
Vor kurzem haben wir gesehen, dass das Z3 auf Amazonas vorübergehend auf Lager herausgeht, während null Rand die etwas kostspieligere Z-Kante Z3P (Z3 Plus) Schlagkurve ausrollt. Wir haben ein paar Hinweise zum Z3 Plus in der Rubrik Was Sie sich freuen können, und wir planen, es in der nächsten Testrunde zu testen.
Once you have the camera installed and turned on, you may forget that the camera is still there until you need it. But you will not want it. The picture quality is so good that you want to squeal the images of sunsets, dramatic roadside vistas, and other views you might encounter on the road, but for which it might be impractical to spontaneously take photos with your smartphone.
This is due to the excellent sensor of the camera, which provides the right contrast with contrasting images, but – another case of the Z3, which hits the sweet spot – prevents dark areas are too dark. They stay balanced enough to present a clean, consistent, and true-to-life picture of the scene in front of you. Some may interpret the footage as slightly washed out, but this camera is designed for functionality rather than attractiveness. The brighter contrast helps in changing light and low light conditions as well as at night.
When we looked at the video on the computer, our selection was crystal clear. During the day the scenes were crisp: even in direct sunlight behind them you could still read street signs. At night, street lights have minimal halos around them, and the video shows similarly low levels of grain, avoiding a frequent night-time viewing problem. The camera uses a strategic balance between clarity and contrast to get the best possible picture.
We showed the material Sebastian Rex, the main critic of Dashboard Camera Reviews. Although Rex was different from us, which product was functionally better, we agreed on the overall quality: “Personally, I find the Vantrue a little sharper and the Z3 a little more washed out, with a little more glare from street lamps and so in night shots, with the exception of the night parking space image where the Z3 seems a bit sharper, it’s hard to tell if you just take a few stills, but the quality is really good for both cameras!
The Z3 has the best suction mount on all tested models, with a screw-in mount on the camera body, unlike some plastic grooves and a compact, well-built articulated arm that extends to the lockable suction mount. Everything feels strong and firm. It also uses our preferred cable configuration: Micro USB to USB Type-A, and includes a dual USB 12V adapter setup.
Using the camera is a breeze. The default settings are the best and most suitable of the options: maximum resolution of 2560 × 1080.5-minute segment lengths, motion detection off, and medium-sensitivity sensitivity sensor. The Z3 organizes its buttons on the page, with symbols that reveal their use; this is better than other cameras that have inconsistent key placement and cryptic functions. So can be z. For example, simply set the time and date via clearly marked buttons. This seemingly simple task was highlighted by other cameras due to repeated false actuations of the wrong keys – followed by swearing.
Zero Edge provides an excellent consumer experience. From the copy on the box to the manual everything is clear and concise and all functions are explained in detail in the instructions. Inside, the camera is well protected and wrapped in a vinyl sleeve with foam. That was better than some of the other top models we tested. Vantrue, our runner-up, is similarly well-presented, but the G1W-CB, our step-down model, contains only vaguely labeled packaging and incomplete instructions with embroidered translations.
The Z3 has a high capacity microSD card (32GB). You could get by with less than 8 GB, but the included card allows you to save much more material without having to make any compromises or buy an additional card. You’ll be able to take more pictures and record more events for later review, as you do not have to worry about not having to loop your video memory a long way. The microSD slot is equipped with a cover that prevents the slot from accumulating sand or spitting out the card when the slot is knocking – it is the only camera that does not have a free microSD slot.
The camera also has the largest screen of any model we tested, with a full 3-inch diagonal, while most cameras ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 inches. This is not critical for everyday use – and you might argue that smaller screens mean less interference with your field of view – but the larger screen allows you to make sure the camera is pointing to the right place and you can use the UI see clearly, with well-organized icons on the LCD display that show the settings and modes. (While many users want to turn off the screen during daily operations, with a flashing LED indicating the camera is recording, I prefer to keep the screen in. It’s just satisfying