Best Dash Cameras in 2018

After testing 70+ dash cameras, this page is a summary of what we think is best for different drivers. We condensed thousands of hours of hands-on testing and over five years of reviews into one page. Everything we recommend we have tested ourselves. As well, all cameras have been purchased at full retail price since January 2017 to reduce bias.
Update
March 23, 2018: Completely revamped our recommendations and layout. We still have some photos to add to explain a few concepts better. Coming soon.

Sept 26, 2017: Updated camera selections and descriptions.

Jan 8th, 2017: Added our latest budget camera roundup

Table of Contents

XiaoYi (XiaoMi) showing the front and bottom of the camera Single Lens Cameras: One camera that records the front of your vehicle. The most common design. The easiest to install, similar to adding a GPS navigation device to your vehicle.
Dual Channel – Front / Back Cameras: Two cameras, one on the front, the other on your rear windshield facing outwards. Better protection and coverage, but more expensive and harder to install.
Taxi Cameras: Two cameras, the second faces passengers, sees their faces and what they do. The second camera can be attached to a short cable or more commonly integrated with the main unit. Best for taxi and ridesharing drivers.
Choose the Right Memory Card: All microSD cards wear out over time when videos are recorded to the chip. When a card becomes too damaged, your camera will stop recording. We found certain cards to be significantly more durable and resilient because of their construction. We wrote a longer explanation below or if you’re short on time get either the Sandisk High Endurance or Transcend High Endurance microSD cards (except Thinkware cameras).

Shared Features For All Our Dash Cam Recommendations
  • Automatic Start and Stop – Will turn on and start recording when power is received and safely turns itself off when power is lost. In most vehicles, this happens when you turn on or off the ignition.
  • Loop Recording – The camera records over the oldest videos when the memory card is full, so you don’t have to delete files.

Single Lens Cameras


These have a single camera and are the most common dash camera on the market. There are great choices under $100 that cover all the major features we expect from a dash camera. The installation is no different than a GPS-Navigation unit and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to do.

Our Top Value Pick for Most Drivers

Viofo A119V2 – $95

After a year on the market, the A119V2 is still the first camera we point users to. It has all the features we think are important in a dash camera: Great video quality, stealthiness, good error notifications, and heat resistance. The A119V2 is the second revision of the camera we originally recommended two years ago. It fixes power issues and added improvements like additional mounts, optional circular polarizer and vibration-reducing foam.

Physical differences between the A119 and the A119V2.

While the A119V2 lacks WiFi, for $100, it’s overall the most complete camera we could find at that price. It has a history of proven reliability (current ratings are pulled down from the power issues on the V1 model). We like to recommend this camera first and frequently use it as a comparison on what you gain or lose at different price points. Read more about the A119V2 here. We also tested the A119SV2 which has a 1080P Sony Starvis sensor. We didn’t see a significant difference in night quality to warrant the additional $10.

Read Our Full Viofo A119 Review

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The Cheapest All-Around Pick

Blueskysea B1W – $55

The Blueskysea B1W is now our top recommendation for the cheapest all-around camera we can recommend. At $50 it has surprisingly good video quality, capacitor-design for better heat resistance and warranty service in the United States and the UK. Finally, it has WiFi connectivity, a stealthy design and OK error notifications. If you need to save money or want an LCD-less camera under $100, this is the best option on the market.

BlueSkySea’s Android App Menu


There are a few reasons to spend the money on the Viofo A119 if possible. The A119’s day video is much sharper and can help you pick up fast-moving license plates. The night quality is also better but not the dramatic differences compared to the day footage. The B1W’s microphone quality can sound noisy and somewhat garbled, but you can hear what is said.

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Former Recommendations:

The B1W replaces three prior picks:

A118C2 A118C//A118C2:Worse video quality, no error notifications.
Viofo G1W-S Viofo G1W-S Poor error notifications. Lacks an RTC battery to keep the time/date. When that resets, the camera will stop overwriting videos. Major flaw.
Goluk T3 At $120 it’s double the price with worse value. It has worse error notifications, video quality and the reduced warranty support in USA, Canada and the UK.

Cheap Pick for Cool Climates

Yi Dash Cam – $45

For users in cooler environments (ex London, UK) the Yi is a fantastic choice two years after its release. It has a history of great reliability, sharp 1296P video quality and customer service. At $45 it’s the cheapest camera we can recommend but, it isn’t a good choice for warmer locations as the video becomes blurry as the heat affects the focus. As well, many people find the silvery metallic finish too noticeable. It also uses lithium-ion batteries which have swelled and damaged the camera in the past.

If you live somewhere warm or want something stealthier, we strongly recommend buying the BlueSkySea B1W. However, in cooler environments, the Yi has shaper video quality than the B1W Dash Cam with a smoother WiFi interface.

Read Our Full Yi Review

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Budget Hot Weather Pick

Transcend DrivePro 200 – $100

If you live somewhere hot and humid and can only spend $100 get the Transcend DP200. It has a history of reliable performance backed up by Transcend’s excellent two-year warranty and customer service. It has WiFi, good packaging and includes Transcend’s 16GB High Endurance card which is our top SD card for its durability. All-together with the higher 65°C/149°F operating temperature, we think the DP200 gives better protection over the Viofo A119V2.

The DP200’s biggest downside is the just passing video quality. It’ll do the job of proving who’s at fault but many people will be disappointed at the rather fuzzy 1080P video. Still, there’s nothing better unless you are paying $225 for Vicovation’s OPIA1. You can read our full review of the Transcend DP200 here.


Read Our Full Transcend DP200 Review

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Premium Upgrade – Best Single Channel Camera

Vicovation Opia1 – $225


This is our video review of the older Vicovation OPIA2.
The full review of the OPIA1 will come out in the future.

The OPIA1 is the only single-lens dash cam we think is worth spending double over the Viofo A119. It has all the features we want, and they’re done well: WiFi, 70°C/158°F operating temperature, amazing video quality, 360° rotation, and a reliable, efficient parking mode. The camera can be somewhat bulkier, but it’s matte finish and shape make it stealthy. It’s the best we can find for a single channel camera on the market today.

Still, not everyone thinks these features are worth the premium in price. You can get a decent dual budget dash camera for $130 to 200 or stick with Viofo A119V2.

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Dual Channel Front-Back Camera Recommendations


Cameras installed on the rear windshield.

These cameras record not only the front but also out the back through the rear windshield. The rear camera is connected using a long cable to the front camera body. The rear footage isn’t as crucial for proving fault, but it can help in road rage incidents, hit and runs accidents and tailgating. You can show how the other driver’s actions affected your driving.

The tradeoff is the longer time required to install these cameras. You’ll need to hide the cable running to the rear of your vehicle. For most people it will take between 30 minutes to an hour. As well it costs more money compared to comparable single channel models.

Major Problem with Our Budget Dual-Channel Picks

This warning screen flashes for a brief second then disappears. No warning sound like a beep. Unless you always look at your dash cam you’ll miss seeing this screen.

All things being equal we prefer dual channel cameras for their coverage. However, a big issue is that all the budget options we could find have poor error notifications. These alert you when there’s a problem recording such as when your SD card has failed. The warnings either flash briefly and disappear or don’t exist at all which makes it very difficult to know if you’re camera is actually recording.

We are not comfortable saying these cameras below are a perfect upgrade over one-lens cameras like the Viofo A119V2. You’ll need to check the LCD of your camera to see if it is recording. Most people won’t do this and we’ve heard too many stories of drivers only finding out their camera doesn’t work after getting into an accident.

Budget Dual Channel Review Video

We suggest watching the video below to learn about dual channel cameras and our recommendations.

For our full written review see our article here.

Great Video Quality and Ease of Use

Mini 0906 – $130

The Mini 0906 is our top recommendation for people who want a budget dual channel camera. It has the best blend of performance and features. It has very sharp 1080P quality for the front (Sony Starvis sensor) and rear camera (Sony Exmor), both day and night.

As well it also uses capacitors for added reliability. We found many dual channel cameras using lithium-ion batteries which can swell in warm weather. We were also a fan of its wireless remote which is a handy way to lock your files if there’s an issue. We’re impressed as this price-performance blend didn’t exist a year ago.

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If You Value a Longer Warranty and Heat Resistance

Aukey DR02D – $130

The Aukey DR-02D is our recommended alternative for the Mini 0906. The Mini has slightly better video quality, but the DR-02D is the way to go if you are looking for a two-year warranty, better retail availability and customer support. Make sure to buy it from Amazon as it’s the only official retailer. The DR-02D also has a higher 75°C/167°F operating temperature compared to the Mini 0906 at 60°C / 140°F. The main downside is the weaker front video quality and the lack of any firmware updates from Aukey. The DR02D also lacks a wireless remote and it’s harder to reach up and press the lock button.

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Cheapest Reliable Parking Protection

Blackvue DR590 – $200

If you’re looking for recording while parked, the DR590 is the cheapest camera we can recommend that will properly capture any incidents in the parking lot. The Mini 0906 has a parking mode, but it’s not fast enough to capture the actual impact. Blackvue has been doing motion detection and parked recording for a long time, and it just works.

The DR590 is slim, stealthy and provides everything you need in a dual channel dash camera.The video quality is worse on the rear camera compared to the Mini 0906 and Aukey DR02D. Those two cameras are better choices if you don’t need to record while parked.

Note: We only tested the DR490 but from what we’ve seen the DR590 has no hardware changes, just some minor tweaks to improve energy efficiency. It’s the same camera, repackaged. As well the DR590W will be released soon which includes WiFi, something we think an LCD-less camera needs.

Get The DR590:

We recommend BlackBoxMyCar for their expertise in hardwiring dash cameras, customer service and knowledge of installing cameras in luxury vehicles with complicated electrical systems

Use coupon code “carcamcentral10” for $10 off your order of $200 or more at BlackBoxMyCar Get it From BlackBoxMyCar USA BlackBoxMyCar CAN

Other Retailers:
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Premium Upgrade – Best Front Back Camera

Thinkware F770-2CH – $400

The Thinkware F770 is our previous recommendation as it had an amazing combination of great video quality, stealthiness, WiFi functionality, reliability, and a great, low energy parked recording mode. It also proved itself to be one of the most reliable cameras on the market. However, it’s a generation old and may not be available for sale much longer.

We’re currently testing three premium cameras, and the Thinkware F800 Pro is its successor and a contender for the best premium dash camera. Our test results should be out late April with the full review in May. If you can’t wait we think the F800 Pro will be a good choice and is the current favourite for some reviewers.

We are also testing the Blackvue DR750S and the Street Guardian SG9663DC.

Use coupon code “carcamcentral20” for $20 off your order of $400 or more

$400 from BlackboxMyCar See the Price on Amazon See it on eBay


Taxi Dash Camera Recommendations



The IR lights on the Dome GS65H. Very dim to the human eye, only shines brightly when captured on a smartphone without an infrared cut-off filter.

We define taxi cameras as dash cams with two lenses, one facing the road in front and the other facing passengers. The inside facing camera must have an infrared light to illuminate passengers at night without being distracting. Without IR lights, you can’t see anything inside your vehicle when it gets dark.

We think these cameras are best for professionals like those driving a taxi or with ridesharing companies like Uber or Lyft. A taxi cam provides evidence in passenger disputes, criminal activity or help in disproving allegations of inappropriate actions (sexual assault, harassment, etc). Otherwise, for most drivers, we think having videos of you driving is a liability unless you are driving and reacting perfectly. This includes not appearing sleepy or distracted.

Budget Taxi Camera Review Video

We suggest watching the video below to learn about taxi cameras and our recommendations.


Best Value Taxi Camera

Transcend DrivePro 520 – $170

The Transcend DrivePro 520 is our top value recommendation for a taxi camera. Transcend is a mainstream brand which delivers good video quality (1080P front – 720P rear), a two-year warranty and WiFi capabilities for a camera under $200. It also includes their 32GB Transcend High Endurance which is our top recommendation – a $30 value.

The only downside is the slightly narrow IR light illumination. We suggest buying an additional IR light emitter ($20) to better cover all passengers. We wrote about that in our article. It’s not required though.

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Potential Alternative Upgrade – Vantrue N2 Pro – $200
We’ve been keeping our eyes on the Vantrue N2 Pro as it seems to have better video quality. As well, the infrared lights appear stronger with a wider angle so you can see more of your passengers at night. Unfortunately, we may have to wait until later in the year to test this camera.

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Cheapest Taxi Camera

Dome GS65H // Coofo CFDVR-65 – $80

If you are on a strict budget, the Dome GS65H // Coofo CFDVR-65 is the cheapest taxi camera we can recommend. Overall the video quality, especially at night, is acceptable but notably worse compared to the DrivePro 520. It’s fuzzier and the coverage isn’t as good. We strongly recommend installing additional IR lights ($20) because the built-in ones are dim. Still, this is the best we could find under $100. The Coofo camera is the same as the Dome GS65H as they both come from the same manufacturer – Shenzhen Dome.

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The Best Overall Taxi Dash Camera

Thinkware F770 2CH-IR – $400

The F770 with infrared lights is a pricey upgrade to the Transcend or Vantrue cameras. It uses the main F770 body we recommended, but the rear camera has two infrared lights and has a much shorter connecting cable. The F770-IR improves on our two budget options in three ways.

The first is that it’s a much more stealthy option, the main body hides behind the rear view mirror and the passenger camera is small. The second is that it uses capacitors which have better reliability unlike the battery designs of our cheaper cameras. Third, the infrared lights are incredibly strong and have wide coverage. It’s much better than our budget options. You won’t need to add a bulky infrared light.

Get The F770-IR:

We recommend BlackBoxMyCar for their expertise in hardwiring dash cameras, customer service and knowledge of installing cameras in luxury vehicles with complicated electrical systems

Use coupon code “carcamcentral10” for $20 off your order of $400 or more at BlackBoxMyCar Get it From BlackBoxMyCar USA Get it From BlackBoxMyCar CAN



Protects Videos If Your Camera is Stolen

Janus V2 HD – $500

Passengers may be willing to steal your camera, leaving you without video evidence. The Janus V2 helps preserve your footage by simultaneously recording onto a separate USB stick. This USB drive can be secured in your vehicle, so it’s not taken with the camera. Unfortunately, this feature does not come cheap, you will have to pay a significant amount more with worse 720P video quality. We haven’t found another camera we liked that has this feature and certainly not under $500.

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Choosing the Right SD Card

Certain SD cards have better durability which is important as dash cameras put a lot of wear and tear on the memory card which can cause it to fail over time. Certain features like MLC memory are important, but it’s not obvious what to purchase. Read our full guide which gets into the details behind our recommendations.

Our Top Three Picks

Transcend64GB

Transcend High Endurance

Our Top Choice for Most Dash Cameras

Our top recommendation is Transcend’s High Endurance line. Optimized for dash cameras and has error correction codes which may factor into its long history of reliable performance. Incompatible with Thinkware cameras.

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Transcend 400X

Budget Recommendation

This is our budget recommendation. We now recommend Transcend’s 400X even though you lose the warranty when used in dash cameras. The 400X is recommended by some manufacturers we trust including Vicovation & Street Guardian. The 400X has a better history of reviews compared to other alternatives. It also has error correction codes we think contribute to its great durability. Works with Thinkware cameras.

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Sandisk_Endurance_64GB

Sandisk High Endurance

Alternative to the Transcend High Endurance

Sandisk has their own dash cam specific memory cards. Its ratings have been excellent on Amazon in the two years since it has been released. As well it’s often cheaper and has better availability than the Transcend High Endurance around the world. Incompatible with Thinkware cameras.

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Leave a Reply

119 Comments on "Best Dash Cameras in 2018"

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Mila
Guest

Hi Andrew and team,
Any recommendations on 4k dash cam? I’ve heard of so many stories where the other ones (even 1080p) failed to capture plate number in collisions, hit-and-run, etc. It would be much appreciated!

jose
Guest
Hi Andrew, Great job you have been doing! I found you from your youtube reviews. Do you know these cameras and could you review them? They are a dual channel innovations, placing two cameras in just one box, and have been selling for a year now on the UK: Vantrue N2 PRO Nextbase Duo The first one gives one thing that I have been trying to find in other dash cams that is to be able to look to the sides of a car, for lateral damages made by collisions or simply hooligans, specially when the car is parked. but it doesn’t seem very reliable. The second one is looks like a great piece of hardware, with lots of features, and is able to zoom to the back of the car making this a typical dual cam configuration. this loses however the ability to see what’s going on with the… Read more »
Ken
Guest

Hi Andrew,
Is a review of Thinkware F800 and F800pro coming?

Alona
Guest

Hi Andrew,
I’m not dash cam saavy, and I’m looking into purchasing my first dash cam. I’ve heard dual channel cams sacrifice video quality so I was thinking about getting 2 single dash cams & hooking them up in the front & rear of my car. Which dash cams would you suggest, what extra hardware would I need to buy to do this, and would my tinted windows cause a big problem with video quality from a rear mounted dash cam? Thanks for any help you can give me.

Beegle
Guest

Hey Alona, I too am looking to put 2 dash cams in, same as you. Got the Opia II for the front (used off of amazon for $120! Just needed new 3M sticky tape backing) and am needing one for the rear window. I was thinking the BlueSkySea B1w since it’s a good one on a budget, and I don’t want an lcd screen on in the back distracting me at night (I know you can turn ’em off, but if it’s there available, I’d leave it on. Just my geek side.) Got my gf the front-rear Mini 0906 for xmas, and as much as she drives (hour and a half one-way daily), she’s proven to me that the back window cam is necessary and helpful. Now I only need to figure out if it requires longer wiring.

eLo
Guest

Samsung Evo+ 32GB, died after 10months in A118C, 1h daily drives and every 3 months a 2-4h drive.

Rolands Varna
Editor

Sorry for the late reply eLo. Thanks for letting us know. All cards eventually die.

Maxim
Guest

It would’ve been great to have a list of cameras that you consider to be worse than those recommended. For example, I’m now looking at Auto-vox D7, and it is quite difficult to compare this one with 119 and Yi. So that it would help if I knew that you have tested those and they aren’t good enough, or you haven’t had a chance to test those yet 🙂

Rolands Varna
Editor

Hello Maxim. Sorry for the late reply. We did that with our budget dual channel camera review – you can see all the cameras we researched and weren’t good enough for the full review. It takes a lot of time to compile these lists and to write them down properly which is why we usually don’t focus on cameras which aren’t good but rather concentrate on everything that could be recommended. You can always ask us a question about a camera you’re interested in and we’ll try to give you our honest answer when we can.

About Auto-vox D7 – I would go for the B1W or Viofo WR-1 instead. If you don’t need WiFi – get the A119V2. All are better and more stealthy options. The D7 is a decent performer in day or night, but isn’t better than the cameras I mentioned.

Vlad
Guest

Hi,
When you talk about climate , do you mean the temp inside or outside the car ?
Yesterday was about 30 deg C outside in my country at 11 a.m
and my Mini 0903 dash cam device showed 80 deg C . The specs of the cam say that the working temp of the device is 65 deg C
but the dash cam worked fine.
Thanks

Rolands Varna
Editor

We talk about the outside. The temperature in your car can get much higher than outside because of the greenhouse effect. That’s why we try to mostly recommend capacitor cameras which on average are more heat resistant and less likely to fail in hot weather.

Bozza
Guest

Hi,
When will you be doing an in-depth review on the Opia 1?

Looking for a comparison to the Opia 2 (aware of 1080p max on the Opia 1) as Wi-Fi is not really a problem for me.

Also would be good to see the difference between the aperture on both camera’s.

Does the Opia 1 Motion Detection have a pre buffer this time round, as for the Opia 2 had a hardware limitation going by the review?

Many thanks.

Rolands Varna
Editor

Hello Bozza. Very sorry for the late reply. Right now we have other projects, but I think Opia1 should be considered as an upgrade over the Opia2. It has a f/1.4 aperture compared to f/2.0 on the Opia2 as well as upgraded hardware and added WiFi functionality. Both are good choice, but you might argue the Opia2 is the better performer of the two.

Unfortunately this model also doesn’t offer buffered parking mode.

We’ll try to take a deeper look at it, but I can’t give you any timelines right now.

John D
Guest

I’d like to buy something like a home security system: a central dash cam control module with all the customary features, but the cameras are separate from the control module. That would help me with protection from theft and the elements (I run topless for 6-8 months a year), would be much more discreet, would allow me to put a high quality video camera in front and lower quality cameras elsewhere, etc.

This seems like a fairly niche market but surely someone has made such a product.

John D
Guest

This seems like what I want: http://raytis.com/DX1/

Rolands Varna
Editor

Sorry John, not into home security systems yet. The camera you posted looks good by the specs, but I don’t know how it would perform. If I judge it as a dash cam I don’t like that it uses a battery. For home security system it might be good enough.

Mark L
Guest

First time to get a dash cam. I am looking for a dash cam that I can record continuously for only parking for 8 hours. I’ll probably try 2 a119 front and rear. My main question is if I can power them with a high capacity power bank instead of powering them to the car power? Anyone doing this??? I haven’t seen a actual video with proof that it can last. Anyone have any suggestions? I’m thinking of getting a Anker 26800 bank to power one a119 camera.

Rolands Varna
Editor

Hey Mark. Sorry for the late reply. You can power them that way, but we certainly don’t recommend it. It can get pretty hot inside your car when it’s warm outside and there’s a certain possibility your Powerbank can fail or in rare cases even blow up. All worries and reliability issues aside, the setup could work. If you want a serious setup for a parking mode, I suggest you to read our Parking mode guide here.