Getting a mini camera, or dash cam for your car is just a smart choice these days. In fact, some manufacturers are even offering this as a standard option (for example, BMW’s Advanced Car Eye).
There are a ton of benefits to having a mini cam for your car, including evidence in case you get into an accident, as a way to combat road rage because nobody likes to be recorded displaying bad behaviour. You may also want to use it if you own a taxi company or have teenage children who drive your car to make sure they’re doing so safely.
Police offers use them all the time as well to back up their reports. Or, they can be useful at preventing insurance fraud. Did you really hit that person in the crosswalk, or did they run into your car when you were completely stopped? A dash cam can provide some irrefutable evidence in these kinds of cases.
Here’s a sneak peak at some of our top picks:
What is a Mini Car Camera?
So, what is a dash cam? Basically, it’s a small camera that is put on your car’s dashboard/windscreen. Then, it records everything happening ahead of you. You may also want a camera that records what’s happening behind you as well.
What about a Spy Camera for Cars?
Some of them are obvious to any observer and can be plainly seen. However, there are other spy cameras for cars that are less obvious. These button cameras, or mini cameras are so small and blend into the background that they may not be noticed unless someone is doing some counter-surveillance.
The Top Picks for Car Cameras
Which ones do we recommend? We’ve done the hard work and put all these cameras through their paces. The result? Recommendations for the top car cameras and spy dash cams for your money. Keep on reading to see your top picks.
The Best Car Camera: Our #1 Choice
APEMAN Dash Cam 1080P FHD DVR Car Driving Recorder 3 Inch LCD Screen 170° Wide Angle, G-Sensor,...
- 【1080P FULL HD DASH CAM】Simultaneous recording with Super High Resolution 1080P FHD Lens, and 3"...
- 【170° SUPER WIDE ANGLE】This car driving recorder employs 170°super wide angle lens. Ultra-wide...
- 【BUILT IN G-SENSOR】With built-in G-sensor, apeman dashboard camera can automatically detect a...
- 【SUPER NIGHT VISION】The combination of F1.8 large aperture, WDR, HDR ensures the clarity of...
- 【EASY TO SET UP & USE】 Motion Detection, Seamless Loop Recording, Parking Monitor satisfy your...
Our overall winner for the best dash cam is this one from APEMAN. It’s a top-quality car camera with a ton of features that you’ll love. The best part? It’s super easy to set up and get running, perfect for your first one.
It you don’t need a spy camera, but just want something that does the job, this may be your best bet. It has a large, 3 inch screen that allows you to easily move the menu options. It’s robust, and capable of doing a lot of things for such a small, affordable package. Keep on reading to learn more about why we like it so much.
- 1080P full HD recording
- 3 inch LCD screen
- 170 degree wide angle viewing
- Loop recording once the memory card is full
- Night vision
- Motion detector
- G-Sensor that can detect a sudden shake or accident and lock the footage to prevent losing valuable information when in an accident
- Parking monitor for up to 24 hours when the engine is not running
- Supports up to a 32 GB memory card (not included)
- External power is required (small back-up battery only for emergency use)
- Comes with suction and adhesive mounts
“Took me just a few minutes to set up and it came all neatly packaged up into a small box. Works well in low light conditions and basically just does the job it says it will do—recording what’s happening while you’re driving. Also like the parking monitor thing for up to 24 hours. It’s ideal for parking it in high crime areas.”
“I kind of thought you get what you pay for and worried about choosing a lower price dash cam (some of them are a few hundred dollars). I’m happy to report I was very wrong! This thing has a ton of features and I actually couldn’t be happier with it. It does everything I need it to do, and even more.”
Where Can I Get It?
This top-of-the-line dash camera can be easily found on Amazon.com. Check now for the lowest prices on electronics:
Apeman Dash Cam Review
Spy Camera for Car: Our Top Recommendation
Smart 1080p Mini Spy Camera with Audio, Hidden Security Cube Camera Recorder, HD, Night Vision and...
- PEEPHOLE CUBE CAMERA 📸Perfect for home security or nanny cams. This tiny video recorder...
- NIGHT VISION 🌔 6 Infra Res (IR) LED lights make the camera capable of capturing images and...
- MOTION ACTIVATED 👁Sensor allows it to activate recording upon detecting movement, saving...
- PORTABLE AND EASY TO USE 🤔Just insert a Micro-SD card [NOT INCLUDED & REQUIRED TO USE]. Loop...
- PREMIUM QUALITY HD VIDEOS AND PHOTOS 🌟 Supports up to 32GB memory card. Free SD card reader....
If you’re looking for something that’s small, and will likely be unnoticeable to most people, then consider this car spy camera. It’s discrete, works well and also comes in at a very reasonable price.
Because it doesn’t run on Wi-Fi (records to an SD card), it’s ideal for the car. It just does its thing, and if you have a problem, you can go back through the footage to see what happened. You should be able to get it set up in just a few minutes. Basically, just set and forget.
- High quality HD recording
- Comes with audio as well
- Mount and micro-SD reader are included
- Night vision (6 IR lights)
- Motion detection that activates recording
- Automated memory management (the oldest pictures are deleted to make room for new ones automatically)
What do People Think About It?
“Works as stated and does the job. The night vision doesn’t work that well in total darkness, but does do the job in lower light conditions. Simple to use and I like the fact that it records to a card instead of relying on Wi-Fi. This makes it ideal to use in my car as kind of cheaper dash cam.”
“Not a Go-Pro or something like that, but it does take decent enough videos to see clearly what’s going on. I bought this to use in my car and it works really well for that. Love having some footage in case I get into an accident or have an encounter with the police.”
Does it sound like the right mini car camera for you? You can easily find it online—check now for the best prices and deals that may include free shipping:
Front and Rear Cameras: Rexing V1P
Rexing V1P 2.4" LCD FHD 1080p 170 Degree Wide Angle Dual Channel Wi-Fi Dashboard Camera Recorder Car...
- DUAL CHANNEL RECORDING & DISCREET DESIGN DASH CAM: Signature low-profile design allows the V1P to be...
- 170 DEGREE ULTRA WIDE ANGLE LENS & WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE: The 6 layer glass lens opens up to capture a...
- SUPERCAPACITOR & PARKING MONITOR: The dash cam uses a supercapacitor which can withstand extreme...
- WIFI CONNECT: View, save, and share dash cam recordings wirelessly on your mobile device with the...
- LOOP RECORDING AND G-SENSOR: Video can be recorded in 1, 2, or 3 minute intervals. When the storage...
Next up on our list is one of the most expensive options. But, in addition to a camera that you place on your dash, you also get one for the rear of your car.
This can be very useful in case you get rear-ended, or it can also catch vandalism or theft happening around the trunk of your car. Although it’s not a spy camera for your car, it is quite small and discrete. The average person walking by your car won’t really notice it unless they look very closely.
Keep on reading to find out more about this top-quality car camera.
- High quality 1080P recording at 30 FPS
- 170 degree viewing angle
- Front and rear cameras
- Dual channel dashboard
- Loop recording
- G-sensor (accident auto-detection)
- Performs well in low-light conditions
- Supports SD cards up to 256 GB
- Parking monitor that runs on battery for up to 24 hours
- Auto on/off
- High temperature resistance
What are People Saying About It?
“One accident more than payed for it already. We had proof that I wasn’t at fault and the result? My insurance premiums won’t be raised.”
“Love having the front, as well as rear camera. This takes a bit of time to get set up, but definitely worth it and I appreciate having this feature that many other cameras don’t have. Be sure to get the firmware updates with this device…you’ll find that it doesn’t work that well unless you do it.”
Get your Today
If you want a premium dash cam option, then this may be the right one for you. Check it out for yourself online and learn more about it:
Rexing Dash Cam Review
Garmin Dash Cam 55
Garmin Dash Cam 55, 1440p 2.0" LCD Screen, Extremely Small GPS-enabled Dash Camera with Voice...
- Extremely small GPS enabled dash cam, inconspicuous when magnetically mounted on windshield
- High quality 3. 7 megapixel camera with 1440P video capture; works even in low light conditions
- Forward collision and lane departure warnings plus alerts for nearby red light cameras and speed...
- Voice control allows you to start/stop recording, take a still picture or start/stop the travel apse...
- Notice: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit use of this device. It is your responsibility to...
One of the highest end options is this one from Garmin. The 2 inch screen allows for instant playback, and it also has high-qualtiy video that records the time and location data.
Along with the smartphone app and a ton of extra features like forward collision and lane departure warnings, it’s an obvious winner. Keep on reading to learn more about it here.
- Top-quality 1440P recording capability
- 2 inch screen
- GPS enabled
- Loop recording
- Gravity sensor in case of accident
- Voice control
- Driver alerts (collision and lane departure)
- Red light and speed camera alerts
- Includes a memory card
- Inconspicuous when mounted on the windshield (magnetically)
- Works well in low light conditions
- Wirelessly sync to your smartphone
What Do People Think About It?
“There are lots of negative reviews that mention this thing overheating. However, once you install the latest firmware, you should have no problems whatsoever. Like with any electronic device, it’s important to keep it up to date. I think it’s an amazing tool to keep an eye on things when I’m driving. I love the alerts, especially the one about drifting over into the other lane.”
“Just works well and is easy to get set up in a few minutes. I’m very happy with it would recommend it to anyone. Garmin is one of the most trusted names in the GPS space, and this unit lives up to that reputation.”
Does it sound like the right dash cam for your car? You can easily find it online. Check now for the best prices on the Garmin Dash Cam, as well as whether it’s eligible for free shipping with an Amazon Prime membership:
What Factors Should I Consider When Buying a Mini Cam Camera?
There are a number of things you should consider when buying a camera for your car. Here are a few of the most important ones.
This should definitely be your top consideration. Most cameras have HD 1080P recording capabilities. This means that the image will be sharp, clear and will provide adequate footage to the police or insurance company should you get into an accident.
The Garmin Dash Cam that we’ve reviewed here offers 1440P, a cut above their competition.
These days, most spy cameras and dash cams offer top-notch lenses, even at the lower end so there’s no excuse to settle for something less than this.
Front Only, or Front and Rear Cameras
Some people may only require a front-facing camera, while others may want a rear-facing camera as well. Having both cameras increases the cost, but it may be worth it to you to have this.
Spy Camera, or Out in Plain Sight
You may want a spy camera for your car that’s small, discrete and unnoticeable. This could be a nice solution if you have frequent incidents of vandalism in your neighbourhood for example.
Memory Card Capacity
Most mini car cameras don’t come with an included memory card. You’ll have to provide your own.
However, where they do differ is what capacity they can handle. This ranges from 28 GB to 256 GB or even more. Obviously, the higher the better so that you have more footage at your disposal.
The way it works is that these things record on a loop. Once the memory card is full, it automatically starts to delete old footage to replace it with newer stuff.
Night Vision and Motion Sensor Quality
Most mini cameras have a motion sensor of some kind. This is very useful because you really only need footage when something in going on, not all the time.
However, only some of the higher end cameras have night vision.
For both night vision and motion detection, quality varies widely. The top of the line cameras are excellent in most cases, while the cheaper ones barely work at all in some cases!
There are various ways to install a car camera. They include:
- Permanent (glue or something sticky)
- A clip
What’s best for you really depends on your needs
Have your Say about these Car Cameras
What’s your top pick for a dash cam, or a spy cam for cars? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
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Last update on 2019-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API