Top Dash Cams for Cars and Motorcycles

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - updated December 21st, 2023
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Dash cams give you peace of mind. You never know when you'll need footage from your windshield – but you'll be glad to have it when you do. In this article, we look at the variety of dash cams available in NZ, examining the best value options in terms of price, recording quality and features. We've narrowed the options down to five top picks that provide exceptional value and performance. The list is simply ordered from the most affordable option up towards the most premium; so we recommend taking some time to consider the different features to determine which is best for you.

What Should You Consider in a Dash Cam?

Thankfully, shopping for a decent dash cam has become increasingly easier, as the technology has matured, resulting in models sharing common, reliable features. The market now offers numerous options with competitive pricing. This ensures that finding the perfect dash cam for your vehicle is less time-consuming and more budget-friendly than ever before. That being said, it pays to be aware of the features each dash cam offers and whether it's fit for your needs. When shopping for a dash cam, there are some features you may want to keep an eye out for. 

Video quality: Opt for a dash cam with high-resolution video recording (at least 1080p) to ensure clear footage. Higher resolutions (1440p or 2160p) offer even better clarity, especially when capturing smaller details like license plate numbers.

Field of view: A wider field of view can capture more of the road and surroundings. Look for a dash cam with at least 139° FOV. However, keep in mind that extremely wide angles (over 170°) may distort the image and reduce accuracy.

Night vision: Good low-light performance is crucial for capturing clear footage during nighttime or low-light conditions. Look for dash cams equipped with night vision capabilities or advanced sensors.

Mounting and installation: Consider a dash cam with a secure and easy-to-install mounting option, like adhesive mounts or suction cups. Ensure the mount is adjustable for optimal positioning.

Storage: Select a dash cam that has enough storage to store a reasonable amount of footage, ideally one that supports expandable memory, like microSD cards. Check the maximum card capacity supported.

Other Features: While not all of these features will be entirely necessary for everyone, they can certainly come in handy so you may want to keep an eye out for them.

  • Loop recording: Loop recording ensures that the dash cam continuously records by automatically overwriting the oldest footage when storage is full. This feature is essential for worry-free use.
  • GPS features: Built-in GPS can provide valuable information like vehicle speed, location, and accurate timestamps, which may be useful in case of an incident.
  • Auto-start: A good dash cam should automatically begin recording when the vehicle starts, ensuring continuous coverage without requiring manual activation.
  • Parking mode: This feature monitors your vehicle while it's parked with a built-in motion sensor or impact detection, providing added security.

Now onto the recommendations!

1. DDPai Mini Pro Dashcam

The DDPai Mini series are some of the most popular dash cams at PB Tech for good reason. Even the lowest-end option - the DDPai Mini Pro - packs all of the features you need into a small form factor, while still managing to stay affordable! With a small and discreet design, you won't have to worry about the Mini Pro blocking your view. Let's take a quick look at some of the features you'll find. 

The Mini Pro features a rotatable lens which makes it easy to aim the camera exactly where you need - you can even turn it around for a quick selfie on the go! It features a 2MP CMOS Sensor with f/2.2 aperture and records in FHD 1080p ensuring you get clear high-definition footage of the road before you and around you. Even night vision is in 1080p. When hardwired, you can make use of the motion detection & parking monitor features, keeping eyes on your car even when you're not on the road. 

This dash cam is slim and discrete to stay out of you view.
This dash cam is compact and discrete to stay out of you view.
Viewing and sharing footage is quick and easy using Wi-Fi and the DDPai app.
  • 140 degrees wide-angle
  • 1920x1080P resolution
  • Loop-cycle recording
  • DDPai app 

Loop-cycle recording: It's important to note you'll need to buy a memory card to store footage on your dashcam, but with loop-cycle recording, the camera will overwrite the oldest footage for a consistent loop - meaning you won't miss out on capture because your memory card was full!

2. Transcend DrivePro 10 Dash Cam

Transcend has a lot of experience in this arena, so it's no surprise that the DrivePro 10 Dash Cam is one of our most popular dash cams! With a compact, minimalist design, the DrivePro 10 takes up hardly any space and can sit nicely out of sight behind your rearview mirror or on your rear windshield. Just because it's small though, that doesn't mean it sacrifices on power and performance. 

It comes equipped with the STARVIS high-sensitivity image sensor to capture high-res images, even in low light; a 140-degree wide angle lens to get the best coverage of the road; up to 2K QHD 1440p recording at 60fps to capture every crucial moment; Wi-Fi connectivity for live monitoring on your smart gadgets; and emergency recording for optimum protection. It uses a built-in Li-polymer battery which ensures uninterrupted power to the device, even when the engine is off. 

This dash cam is slim and discrete to stay out of you view.
This dash cam is small and discrete to stay out of you view.
Transcend DrivePro 10 DashCam
Wi-Fi connectivity lets you live monitor from your smart gadgets
  • 140 degrees wide-angle
  • 2560x1440 resolution
  • Wide dynamic range
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Built-in li-polymer battery
  • DrivePro app with real-time playback


3. Transcend DrivePro 620 Dash Cam

If you want to keep an eye on the road in front of you, as well as the rear, Transcend's DrivePro 620 is a fantastic choice! It combines the DrivePro 250 as the front camera and the DrivePro 10 (FHD version) as the rear camera. At the front, the lens has a wide 140° Front Diagonal Field of View and captures in crystal-clear 1080p Full HD at 60fps. It's equipped with a STARVIS sensor to capture high-res images in rich colour, even in low light. At the rear, there's a 140° rotatable rear lens that records in 1080p Full HD at up to 60fps, and is equipped with an STARVIS sensor and night vision, allowing clear recordings at night and in low-light too. 

Recordings are saved to a 64GB microSD (included). Wi-Fi connectivity allows real-time footage playback and download - this means easy access to video evidence when needed, without the need to remove the device's memory card. In the event of a power outage, the built-in Li-Polymer battery can temporarily supply power to the DrivePro dashcam until the files being recorded are safely stored, so to prevent losing crucial images due to file damage. 

The Transcend DrivePro 250.
Records in 1080p Full HD with a wide field of view.
The small size of this dash cam makes it perfect for drivers who are concerned about driving with an obstructed view.
The DrivePro 620 Dash Cam records both the front and rear.
  • 140 degrees wide-angle front & rear
  • 1920x1080P resolution
  • Loop-cycle recording
  • Comes with microSD memory card
  • Extra logging functions and recording modes

4. Transcend DrivePro 20 Dash Cam

For those who prefer the open road on two wheels, whether you’re cruising on a motorcycle, pedaling on a bicycle, or zipping around on a scooter, the Transcend DrivePro 20 Dash Cam offers a durable and dynamic recording solution tailored to your needs. This compact dash cam is built to withstand the rigours of outdoor travel, equipped with a rugged, waterproof housing that has an IP68 rating, making it water-, dust- and shock-proof. It's small, portable, and easy-to-install on your helmet using the included adhesive mounting base and camera holder. 

The DrivePro 20 records in Full HD 1080p at 60fps, ensuring crisp, clear footage, and a 140° diagonal field of view enables you to capture the entire road in front of you. It features a Sony STARVIS sesnro with WDR to capture high-res images, and a G-sensor which detects impact in the even of a collision and begins recording and saving footage. A built-in LiPo battery ensures uninterrupted power to the camera for up to 2.5 hours of continuous recording. Everything is saved to a 64GB microSD card but if you need more storage, you can swap it out for up to 256GB of storage.

5. DDPai Mini5 Dashcam

Next up, we have another dash cam from DDPai. The Mini 5 Dash Cam is the perfect option for those who want to keep an eye on the road ahead but want a sleek and stylish form that doesn’t bulk up their dashboard and records in 4K UHD! Equipped with the latest generation of SONY's IMX415 image sensor, the MINI5 provides super crisp images and clear recordings, both in bright and dark light. If you do have an accident, the high sensitivity gravity sensor built in to the MINI5 automatically locks the captured video ensuring the accident scene is stored.

The MINI5 supports 5GHz WiFi and built-in GPS. It also has eMMC built-in storage (64GB) for faster transmission - this makes downloading and replaying your footage faster and smoother. Additionally, the ADAS feature monitors road conditions and provides driving advice. With this enabled, you'll be advised when pedestrians are near, your sitance is too close, or there are people crossing the road. This dash cam is a great choice for those who are eager to have a 4K dash cam without the high-end prices!

The rotatable lens and invisible wiring make this dash cam a great, stylistic choice.
Records in 4K UHD & equipped with SONY's IMX415 image sensor!
The companion app makes keeping track of your video easy, whether that's to record an incident or the next viral hit.
Features built-in GPS and 64GB of storage
  • 140-degree field of view
  • 4K UHD video resolution
  • 6-axis gyro sensor with impact detection
  • Built-in 5GHz WiFi
  • Built-in GPS
  • Built-in 64GB of storage

6. Black Vue DR590X Dashcam

Blackvue Dash Cams are fairly new to New Zealand but they've managed to make a pretty good impression so far. The DR590X Dash Cam records Full HD 1080p video at 60fps with a 139°diagonal field of view. Featuring Sony's STARVIS imaging sensor, it captures awesome image clarity both day and night. Additionally, it features night vision which can be activated to further enhance details in dark surroundings. It also has built-in impact and motion detection, where it'll detect sudden impacts and changes in speed while you're driving, as well as movements while parked, and it'll mark your video files accordingly so you can easily find the relevant ones.

BlackVue dashcams are super easy to install. Simply attach it to the windshield behind the rear view mirror with the provided double-sided tape. Next, simply the power cords into the cigarette lighter / accessory power socket of your vehicle and it will automatically start recording as you turn ignition on. Once set, you can forget about it, knowing it will reliably record your drive. It also comes with an optional Hardwiring cable which will enable parking mode. 

If you want to record both the front and rear of your vehicle, check out the DR590X-2CH which features an additional rear camera. 

This dash cam captures in Full HD 1080p at 30FPS
This dash cam captures in Full HD 1080p at 60FPS.
Motion and Impact Detection.
To record the rear, opt for the DR590X-2CH which includes an additional rear camera
  • 139 degrees wide-angle
  • 1920x1080p Full HD resolution
  • Built-in impact & motion detection
  • Integrated microphone and speakers
  • Loop-cycle recording
  • Night vision
  • Park mode monitoring

7. Black Vue DR900X Dashcam

Finishing off our list as the high-end option, is Black Vue's DR900X-1CH Dash Cam (also available as a dual-channel dash cam for those who want to record the rear as well). This dash cam has an ultra-wide 162° field of view, taking full advantage of the 4K UHD resolution.  It also has built-in impact and motion detection and will automatically tag video files when impact is detected. Additionally, a programmable proximity sensor lets you toggle audio recording ON and OFF with a simple hand motion, or manually trigger recording. Recordings are saved to the included 32GB microSD card. H.265 (High Efficiency Video Coding) provides higher quality video and smaller file sizes, resulting in better storage efficiency. 

The DR900X dash cam can be directly hardwired to your vehicle's fuse panel for Parking Mode, eliminating the need for optional accessories. When the vehicle's ignition is turned off, the dash cam automatically switches to Parking Mode. You can set the voltage cutoff and timer in the BlackVue App for added convenience and protection.

  • 162-degrees wide-angle
  • 4K UHD video resolution
  • Built-in impact & motion detection
  • Integrated microphone and speakers
  • Loop-cycle recording
  • Night vision
  • Native park mode
  • Dual-band WiFi connectivity

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should You Use a Dash Cam?

Having a dash cam will help to avoid the you say/they say moments by actually showing what happened during the incident. This makes the insurance process much easier - in fact, a lot of car insurance companies recommend a dash cam for this reason. There have also been instances where dash cams have helped to prove drivers as innocent (saving them from potential criminal charges) when bystanders wrongly report what happened; and other instances where they have have helped to catch crime in action. 

Another bonus of having one is every now and then, something that's frankly unbelievable happens on the road - and instead of having friends give you a doubting look as you tell your amazing tale, you can show your friends the proof. Remember that unbelievable nose to tail video in which a driver sped off, leaving their passenger behind? Or maybe you've seen some stunning meteorite footage captured by a dash cam too. Some of the most dramatic footage comes from dash cams, not TV crews! 

Can a dash cam record front and rear at the same time?

It depends on the dash cam you are using! If you'd like to record both the front and rear at the same time, look out for front and rear dash cams, also known as dual-channel dash cams. These dash cams will provide a comprehensive account of events so if it's within your budget, it's a great option to go for! From this list - the Transcend DrivePro 550, Black Vue DDR590X-2CH and Black Vue DR900X-2CH are dual-channel dash cams.

How do you install a dash cam?

The installation process may vary depending on the brand and model of your dash cam. However, you will typically be required to first mount it behind the rearview mirror for an unobstructed view. Clean the windshield, attach the dash cam, and route the power cable along the edges of the car interior, connecting it to the 12V socket or fuse box. Adjust the camera angle, test the recording, and configure settings based on your preferences. Always refer to the user manual for specific instructions related to your dash cam model.

What is the best video quality for a dash cam?

You should choose a dash cam that has a resolution of at least 1080p Full HD - this will ensure you get clear and detailed footage for reviewing incidents or reading license plates. Of course, higher resolutions like 2K or 4K offer even better image quality but may require more storage capacity and consume more power. Ultimately, choose a resolution based on your preferences and storage capabilities.

Is a 4K dash cam worth it?

A 4K dash cam certainly has its benefits, a key one being that it provides super crisp and clear images of vehicle license plates - this is especially useful when an incident or accident occurs. If you're happy to spend more to have sharper video and the dash cam has large storage capabilities, then go for it. Again, it ultimately comes down to preferences and storage capabilities. For most, 1080p FHD will suffice, but of course, there may be the occasional incident where 4K footage may come in handy. 

How much should I spend on a dash cam?

The price you should pay for a dash cam depends on your budget and desired features. Basic models range from $100 to $200, offering essential functions like 1080p video at an affordable price. Mid-range models typically sit around $200-$300 and include additional features like GPS, better night vision, and parking mode. High-end models from roughly $350 and up offer advanced capabilities like 2K or 4K video resolution, smartphone integration, and advanced driver assistance systems. Determine your necessary features and select a dash cam within your budget that meets your requirements.

Is a dash cam bad for your car battery?

Dash cams don't actually consume all that much power - especially when you consider the size of your vehicle's battery in comparison - so for the most part, this isn't something to worry about. However, if you have a dash cam that records when parked, it could potentially drain the battery if it is not wired correctly or left running continuously while the car is parked for extended periods. A few ways to combat this include: choosing one with a built-in battery (depending on the model, this can become its source of power when your vehicle is off), choosing one with collision detection and enabling that (i.e. it only begins recording when a collision is detected while parked), utilising a built-in voltage monitor, or consider hardwiring the dash cam to the car's fuse box using a specialized kit or power management module, ensuring the device receives power only when needed.

So there we have it, great to have and more affordable than ever! Shop the full range of car Dash Cams and get one for yourself today!

Written By

Staff Writer

For the words, not the glory!

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