In recent months, Bright car tester Rutger has been on the road with dash cams on his windshield. Seven dash cams competed against each other. Watch the video to see which car camera is our favorite.
The cheapest dashcam from our test costs 129 euros. For that amount you don’t get one, but two cameras. Because the package also contains a camera that can be glued to the rear window.
It is a compact model that you can easily hide behind your mirror and that seems ‘inspired’ by the popular Blackvue cameras. For only 15 euros you can buy an installation package with which you can hang it on the 12 volt battery without it draining. The camera also records when you have parked and something happens.
The app is great to watch and easy to use. The image is fine during the day with 1440P and 30 frames per second. At night it is no longer useful to see details. And with bad weather or the sun on the hood you miss a polarization filter.
The Kenwood is the best looking camera in my opinion. By that I mean that you can stick it in such a way that you can barely see that it does not belong in your car as standard. The Kenwood costs 179 euros and for that you get a single camera with image quality comparable to the Nordval (again also 1440p and 30 fps). With rain and reflection, the Kenwood is better thanks to an included polarizing filter. There is a possibility to connect a rear window camera, but it is not included in the box and costs 50 euros extra. The app looks like it was designed in the 90s. But works effortlessly.
The disadvantage of the Kenwood is that it beeps a lot as a warning, even if I have turned off as much as possible in the app. A cigarette lighter is not included, because Kenwood assumes that you install it permanently. That wiring is standard in the box.
Mio Mivue 866
The Mio is completely new and has a few special features. With the built-in battery you can turn the parking position for 48 hours, for example. It can film at 60 frames per second and that produces a sharper image, especially at high speeds. In addition, it can warn you about speed cameras and section controls. So for 199 you have a lot of extra options compared to the Kenwood. The Mio also has a screen, so you don’t need a smartphone to set it up or view images. Personally, I don’t like that because you have bright light in your car at night when you drive away. It always takes time for the screen to go into standby mode. But for the ease of use it is an advantage. The app looks neat and does the basics.
What sets the Mio apart is that it can give your car all kinds of features that normally cost extra. For example, you can turn on Lane Departure Warning or a reminder if you leave your lights on. If you cross the line too often, your Mio will warn you that you may need to take a rest. If you do not have those options on your car and you would like them, the Mio is a cheap option to add them.
The Nextbase is also a special device for a price of 299 euros. You can click in the side cameras to film the passengers (useful if you drive an Uber) or even to see the traffic through the rear window. In theory that sounds very good, in practice it means that you have to hang the camera in a place that is always a compromise. Or you can hardly operate it from the driver’s seat, or it hangs in your sight. I do not recommend that option.
If you do not use it, the Nextbase has a nice dashcam, at least if a screen for operation makes you happy.
The image is 4K and you can see that difference in the details. If you want to use dashcam material for your holiday movie, then that is a nice extra. It is also the only one with digital image stabilization. It’s fun that you can control it with Alexa, but tell me what you would like to say to your dashcam? I can’t think of it.
If I wanted a dashcam with a screen, it would be this one. The app is easy to use.
The BlackVue is one of the most popular makers in the Netherlands. It is easy to hide, because it is barely larger than the Nordval and provides a beautiful image. For 349 euros you have the version with 1 camera. For 50 more you have an extra camera for the rear window. You can have the BlackVue send the images directly to the cloud via an extra module or via a hotspot in your car. Ideal for stalkers who want to park their car somewhere and watch them remotely.
The app is easy to operate and looks fresh. Just like the images, by the way. You can see that the DR750X films at 60 frames per second.
The odd one out in the test is the Garmin Tandem. It costs 350 euros and is therefore seriously on the price, but for that you get a dashcam that delivers a very nice image despite “only 1440p” and can film both outside and inside. This also means that it has the same disadvantage as the Nextbase: it is difficult to hang it in a place where it is not in the picture. The Garmin also has voice control, for which I have not yet found a useful application.
Assembly is easy because you install a small round magnet on which you can place the Tandem.
The Garmin app also looks modern and provides insight into all your videos. Because of the second camera and the price, I can not really recommend the Tandem, unless you are a taxi driver or Uber driver.
The most expensive boy in our test is the Thinkware U1000; almost 500 euros. This can film in 4K or in 1440P and 60 frames per second. I must say that it is difficult to choose between the two. Because at 60 frames per second you can read texts better at speed, but at 4K you have a nicer image.
The camera can run in parking mode for about a month without draining your battery. That is special, because it means that the U1000 draws little power. It is also an easy to hide model, just like the Kenwood. The included polarization filter cannot be screwed on as with the Kenwood, but you have to stick it on once and you have to make sure that the lens does not get dirty on the inside. Exciting to do.
If you drive over a bump or too close to another car, the Thinkware automatically records an event video. It is not just overwritten. You will hear a short beep to let you know.
If you are looking for a dashcam to have evidence in the event of an accident and you do not want to spend too much, we heartily recommend the Nordval. That’s a great device in most circumstances. If you want maximum security and spend some money for a good picture, then the Thinkware U1000 is your candidate. Or alternatively the big brother of the BlackVue that we have tested. The DR900X costs the same as the ThinkWare. Which one you prefer most depends on the ideal form factor: a horizontal roll or a standing block.