G-Sensor Footage Lock
This is arguably the most important two-in-one feature to look for in a car DVR system. If you should find yourself in an accident or in an emergency, you may find yourself unable to stop your dashboard camera from recording. You may be injured, the car may be totaled, or you may simply forget to do so. Whatever the case may be, your camera may end up overwriting footage of the critical event.
An in-car DVR system with a movement sensor, however, will be able to automatically detect if you’ve gotten into something like an accident. If your car suddenly decelerates, it will halt recording and “lock” the footage in place. This will allow you to retrieve the intact footage at a later date – assuming the storage device is unharmed.
High Memory Capacity
Speaking of storage devices, it will be well worth your money to invest in a car DVR system that supports high-capacity SD cards. These cards are in the 32, 64, or even 128-gigabyte range if you can find the latter type. Some systems even support external hard drives which can provide space of up to 1 terabyte or more.
You will need this extra space to give your vehicle DVR more leeway when it comes to critical events. While critical events may only need a few minutes, you may want to review footage over longer periods of time. This is particularly useful when dealing with long, drawn-out events like when negotiating with the police or other drivers. This extra storage space becomes even more important when you consider the next feature to be discussed: video resolution.
The resolution of the in-car camera attached to the car DVR will dictate the quality of the video footage at your disposal. You have low resolution (360p) normal resolution, (480p), high-resolution (720p), high-definition (1080p), and ultra-high definition (4k). You will want to work with high-res 720p and HD 1080p.
The crisper, clearer footage lets you capture finer details that may be blurred out in lower resolution videos. For example, plate numbers, traffic lights, turn signals, and hand signals could all disappear on the lower resolution. On the other hand, this high-res footage will eat up a lot of storage space – which further emphasizes the need for high-capacity memory capabilities.
Wide Operating Temperature Range
And last but not the least, you also need to keep a sharp eye out on what temperatures your car camera and DVR can tolerate before it gets destroyed. The last thing you want to do is trust an in-car camera system only to find out that it died on you because of the heat or the cold
This is an important feature to review, especially if you park your car in exposed spots. The heat from the summer sun and the freezing winter cold can kill a car DVR that’s not prepared. Even if you regularly park in protected, maybe even air-conditioned, quarters, you never know when you’ll be forced to park your car in a less-than-ideal spot – especially when you’re in a hurry.