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Can you use a GoPro as a dashcam?

Updated on June 1, 2015

A quick overview of dash cams

I’ve previously discussed the needs for having a dash cam in your car, but for the sake of completeness I’ll discuss it again. Basically, a dash cam is a way of recording the footage whilst you’re driving.

This is in a way a form of protection against anything that may happen to you, be it someone walking front of you whilst you’re driving, someone cutting you up, or any other potential accident causing event. It could also be a way to protect yourself against any potential false claims made against you stating that you caused the accident when you haven’t, since you’d have the footage showing that you were in the right.

The question is, can you use a GoPro as a dash cam?

The answer of this is, yes, of course you can. In terms of mounting the camera in the car, you have two potential options. Your first option is to get a suction cup and mount it to the windscreen and then attach the camera to that. This is a great way to record your footage. However, it can be a bit cumbersome if you’re going to be constantly taking it on and off each time you enter and leave your vehicle. If you do decide to go down the suction cup mount route, I’d recommend that you that you buy the official GoPro suction mount instead of a generic one. I’ve purchased a generic one before, and sadly it lost its suction and the camera fell of the windscreen and smashed into the gear stick. However, there is more on that below. The widget below will allow you to buy the official suction cup mount from Amazon. If you live in the UK, that widget won’t work, but this link will take you to the UK version of Amazon to get the suction cup mount.

Another great way to mount the GoPro in your car is using one of the adhesive mounts included with the camera and attaching it to your dashboard. This will of course depend on the depth and curvature of your dashboard, but when using this method all you need to do is slide the camera into the mount before you set off on your journey and you’re good to go!

GoPro cameras are extremely sturdy!

Remember how I mentioned above that when I was driving that the generic suction mount failed and the camera smashed into the gear stick? The camera was completely fine. There wasn’t even a smash on the lens despite it falling directly onto the stick. No damage at all occurred to the camera and to this day it still works flawlessly.

This is something that should be taken into consideration if you’re ever in a crash. In all cases, the car will normally be shaken pretty violently and there is a chance that you’ll end up seeing the camera move a fair bit. In the event that it had to separate from its mount, you’re safe in the knowledge that the camera can withstand a fair amount of knocking about before it’s damaged.

Image quality is second to none

GoPro’s are synonymous with excellent quality, and when you’re using this brand for capturing road footage, it’s something that is paramount. Indeed, you’ll ideally be wanting something that can record registration plates in the event that someone caused damage to your car and then drove off.

Also, GoPro’s also have great low light modes, so you can still record footage when the light levels are poor, something that you can’t say about conventional dash cams.Further, they offer a wide range of resolutions, including 720p and 1080 at varying frame rates.

Comparing a GoPro to dedicated dash cams

A lot of dash cam enthusiasts don’t believe that GoPro’s are viable options since that wasn’t the purpose they were developed for. Well correct me if I’m wrong, but computers weren’t originally developed to play games or watch films. People will adapt a piece of technology to suit their needs, and the GoPro is no exception. One thing the GoPro doesn’t have is the ability to record your speed. However, this feature in dedicated dash cams is poor at best. Only the extremely expensive dedicated dash cams have accurate odometers in them to measure speed.

Further, a dedicated dash cam can only be used in the car, whereas having a GoPro doubling up as a dash cam allows you to use it for other applications. These include extreme sports, tutorials (such as cooking, playing the guitar etc), as well as a normal camera for vlogging.

GoPro’s also generally allow you to store more on them thanks to the memory size of micro SD cards they support, as well as the small file size of the video that is being recorded. I hope that this Hub has shown you that you can use a GoPro as a dash cam. Below is a widget for Amazon USA to buy the entry level camera which will be more than capable for your needs. For those in the UK, this link will take you to the Amazon UK page for the GoPro.

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