Before 2014, there was a pretty minor problem in the world of dash cams. Yes, there were plenty of models to choose from including some good cheap ones but none of them were backed with a solid branding, a company worthy of trust. Garmin threw itself in the ring to change all of that by announcing two new Garmin products at CES 2014 aimed squarely at the dash cam market. The Garmin Dash Cam 10 is the cheaper version of the two dash cams and ultimately the more attractive one for most people.
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About the Garmin Dash Cam 10
The Dash Cam 10 is one of the first dash cams by Garmin and designed to be the budget option for dash cam seekers. Garmin did announce two new dash cams this 2015 but none of them were made to succeed the Garmin Dash Cam 10. This makes the Dash Cam 10 cheaper than its original and pricey $219 and still the definitive budget model to get.
Picking the cheap one comes with compromises but they shouldn’t be a big deal to the average driver. The most noticeable one is the small 2.3-inch TFT screen. The good news is that there isn’t really much you need to do with the Garmin Dash Cam 10. It isn’t terribly difficult to use with the four buttons on the bottom and all you’ll really be seeing on that screen is a live preview of constant high-resolution footage. The package includes a 4 GB microSD card so you can start recording continuous video right away or you can spend a few extra bucks on a 32 GB microSD which can record even longer trips.
This entry-level Garmin dash cam is around $10 to $30 cheaper than the Garmin Dash Cam 20 because it lacks GPS functionality. That’s fine because the rest of the specs are similar and the GPS function does nothing but tag location data on each video.
The Dash Cam 10 may be more expensive than the typical dash cam, but this Garmin-branded product promises more to offer “brand” protection. It comes with a special sensor called the G-Sensor which stays active scanning for any bumps or shocks. Since just about all accidents involve bumps and shocks, the dash cam should automatically start saving key moments of the accident the moment it takes place. Of course, that also means that taking your car on bumpy terrain could trigger unneeded recordings. You can avoid this by adjusting the sensitivity of the G-Sensor.
After the accident has taken place and you don’t have a spare camera to use, you can use the Garmin Dash Cam 10 as an emergency replacement. Unmounting the dash cam is simple and it is easy to start taking pictures shortly after.
Despite the small screen, the camera side of the Dash Cam 10 is very much up to modern standards. It can record 1080p and 720p at 30 fps complete with audio. Video quality isn’t spectacular given the age of the product but this camera isn’t here to make memories in the first place. However, the worst part is the fact that you can only record in AVI. That might not be a problem for Windows users but Mac users will need to download something special if they wish to edit the footage.
• Genuine Garmin product means warranty and support benefits.
• G-Sensor is a nice addition.
• 4 GB microSD card included.
• Cheaper than the Garmin Dash Cam 20 but retains most of the features.
• Videos only use the AVI format which is a hurdle for Mac users.
Considering the fact that people buy dash cams for the sake of recording accidents, other features like wide screens and GPS are of less importance to people on a budget. There are cheaper dash cams out there but they don’t have the brand backing. The Dash Cam 10 is a great middle ground choice that is now more reasonably priced.