All dash cams offer recording of the road ahead, but the quality of that recording differs according to what resolution each device uses. The higher the resolution, the clearer the picture, even when filmed in low light or poor weather conditions. And there is usually a direct correlation between the detail and depth that is available in any recording and the base unit price. Why is resolution so important? Because the dash cam resolution chosen can make the difference between recording every aspect of an incident, picking up the most meniscal of details, to being unable to make out distant features clearly. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about different dash cam resolutions, with the aim of helping you choose the best resolution for your needs.
Dash cam resolution explained
Tech specs can be confusing unless you know what they mean, so let’s start at the very beginning. When we talk about resolution, we are talking about the detail in which your dash cam records. The highest resolution dash cam on the market is currently 4K, which boasts image quality comparable to high-end TVs and cameras. This provides the best quality dash cam footage compared to other models through improved contrast and colour range. However, this dash cam, as seen in Nextbase’s 622GW market-leading model, has a premium price tag to match. So, you need to consider what you need from your dash cam, and whether this is worth the investment, or whether another model, still providing high quality footage but at a lower cost, will meet your needs.
What is the best resolution for a dash cam?
Again, this comes down to what you need from your dash cam. Resolution specs in Nextbase dash cams, for example, start from 720p, shooting 30 frames per second. Known more commonly as standard HD, this is a similar standard to the quality seen in HD broadcasts on TV. In terms of dash cam resolution, the next step up is 1080p. Labelled more widely as full HD, cameras with 1080p resolution, including Nextbase’s 222 and 322GW models, can record at a higher rate of 60 frames per second. This image resolution makes the video much smoother than lower resolutions. It also means twice the number of frames per second are captured compared to other models, which enables more detail, such as distant numberplates, to be easily visible when the recordings are played back. This excellent quality can be especially useful if you need to share dash cam footage with the police or insurance company to prove what happened during an incident or accident that was not your fault.
If you are looking for a seriously comprehensive HD dash cam, but do not have the budget for 4K, the more robust capture of 1440p can be a good option. Available in Nextbase’s 422GW and 522GW Series 2 in-car cameras, 1440p records at 30 frames per second, in stunning higher quality footage known as Quad HD. Because there are four times the number of pixels as standard HD, images are sharper and more defined. The benefits of this include being able to read number plates and other detail at a greater distance and being able to zoom in on detail without losing quality. 2K resolution, meanwhile, another step up again, allows for a wider image and more detailed recording.
The ultimate recording
While other resolutions may well be ample and within budget for your car and driving protection needs, 4K is undeniably the king of the road, with Nextbase’s flagship 622GW model unmatched by any competitors. Producing cinematic quality images, which can pick out important aspects and finer details such as road signs and allows seamless zooming in on any detail, it points the way to the future of dash cams and the possibilities they bring to improving driver safety and protection.
Other points to consider
While dash cam resolution is a key determiner of video quality, it’s not the only one. Video lens size and quality, as well as processing power and even the angle the camera is set up at all play a part. So, while dash cam resolution is a key purchasing and protection consideration, do also look at all aspects of your preferred model’s hardware and software as well to ensure you are making the best choice for you.