Installation and use
The installation of a dash cam is relatively simple. Nearly every dash cam comes with a suction cup that allows you to easily place it on the windscreen. For an optimal view of the road it is not wise to place it right in front of you but rather as high as possible, next to the inside mirror. The tested Trascend models are also available with a sticky base, which allows you to mount the dash cam on the dashboard.
All cameras come with a power cable and an adapter that you plug in to the 12 volt cigarette lighter. The cable is usually long enough to rout it to the windscreen without being in view, although this might not be as easy in practice. It is wise to take your time when routing the cable.
Dash cams automatically start recording when the adapter sends power and automatically stop when it does not. For a lot of cars this means that the camera automatically starts recording when the car is started and stop when the engine is turned off. However, there are also cars in which the cigarette lighter continuously provides power. In this case you will have to manually start and stop the recordings, or remove the adapter when you leave the car.
Recordings are saved on a memory card in the camera; per default these recordings are in an endless loop. All of the tested models use microSD cards. The oldest images are automatically rewritten when the memory is full. This means you do not have to pay attention to a full storage. Depending on the size of the memory this does mean that you need to copy the images to your PC or smartphone if you want to keep them. This can be done by removing the memory card, although some cameras have Wi-fi and support apps that allow you to do this. Some cameras have an ‘emergency’ button. If you press this, the running recording will be marked as important, meaning it will not be rewritten automatically.