Garmin Unveils HD Dash Cam

Industry analyst Ross Rubin knows of my interest in dash cams and turned me onto Garmin’s CES news, as the GPS manufacturer enter this space with two models — the Dash Cam 10 and 20. They run $220 and $250, respectively, and will ship by the end of the month with the only difference being the higher end unit incorporates GPS. Like most current dashboard-mounted video cameras, these units record 1080p video in a loop and ship with a microSD chip for storage – 4GB is provided but cards up to 32GB will be supported. Beyond video, Gamin also includes a 2.3″ display… something that’s pretty critical for proper alignment and sorely missed on my Blackvue.

I’m not quite sure why this product category hasn’t been exploited or taken off in the US, the way it has in other regions. For example, my Blackvue is a grey market import from Korea (with SquareTrade warranty, thank you). But I do believe there’s a market for dash cams here. And this product will surely go onto my post-CES gadget acquisition list. Stay tuned.

12 thoughts on “Garmin Unveils HD Dash Cam”

  1. Weird, wonder if it’s a false positive or if they’ve been hacked. I swapped it for another link, but who knows.

  2. I’ve looked into dash cams from time to time over the years. It’s nice to see Garmin getting into it but that’s a pretty big unit compared to others which are more lipstick-style.

    The deal with dash cams is that they’re of no use until you need one. If you are in an accident or just getting pulled over by a disgruntled cop then they can be of use. Day to day, it should just sit there doing it’s thing and you should never think about it. That leads to the problem of you needing it, never checking it, and finding out, “oh, the SD card was fried,” or, “Looks like the Korean made camera locked up.”

    Still seems like Garmin should have made a more attractive unit instead of something that bulky. You don’t need a screen on it, just a camera, a micro SD card slot, and reliable firmware to do continuous recording and erase old recordings to make room for new ones.

  3. I don’t get it. Why would I want a dashboard camera? I’m not a cop. I don’t pull people over. And if you mean for accidents, how often am I getting in car accidents? Once every 5 years? (of course watch me get into a major accident now.) I don’t understand who would buy this thing.

  4. $220?? You can already get cheap HD dash cams for $60. The 720P models. And you can find cheap 1080P models for around $120.

  5. What I really need is a USB port (or two) on my rearview mirror and maybe one tucked up near the windshield on the dash. There are some nice phone docks and dashcams like this that would be cool, but the wiring is always annoying.

  6. For those of you not getting it, it’s kind of the same reason why you have insurance. Hopefully you’ll never need it. Still, it’s helpful when it’s there.

    I could see it being done for accidents in such cases where someone is conning people (backing into you to make it look like you hit them from behind), a cop harassing you, or you just needing to prove, “Hey, I was doing the speed limit when they hit me.” – just that extra bit of proof in court.

    BUT, you’re right. It would be super-rare to use it.

    It may be helpful in situation where you’re not involved in an accident but one happens right in front of you. Not really helpful for you but if you want to help out the persons involved in court.

    It could also be interesting for whether events like if you catch a tornado or lightning strike or something along those lines and want to share it.

    A dashboard camera is different than a normal camera. A dashboard camera will record to the SD Card and loop (opening up space by erasing old video that isn’t needed). It will also turn itself on/off based on the car moving so it’s not recording when your car is in the garage. A dashboard camera is setup to be pretty much hands-off until it’s needed. A normal camera would require that you set it up, turn it on, record, and clear out old data each time you enter the car. While it may be fine to mount a GoPro to your car for driving an interesting stretch of road, you wouldn’t want to use one as a dashboard camera because of the maintenance involved.

  7. Oh, and with the dashboard cameras like the Blackvue you’re really just running a USB wire to something the size of lipstick so it’s pretty self-contained, which is nice.

    I don’t have a dashboard camera – just looked into them from time to time.

  8. Too expensive, but most of all, way too big (the camera AND the mount). Dashcams need to blend in behind the rearview mirror. I use the Mini 0801, which is small enough to disappear behind the mirror, but large enough to have a screen. 1080p/30, with or without GPS.

  9. Wish my wife had a dash cam last night when we struck that deer coming home from CES and the airport. Wouldn’t have helped with our insurance claim, but maybe I could have made some revenue on YouTube to offset our $500 deductible. ;) Actually, it’s probably a good thing we were driving her CRV versus my Prius – the way it happened, I could imagine the deer sliding up my car’s hood into the windshield area.

  10. Quick followup… booth rep said the camera would ship by the end of January and the press release indicated February availability. However, they’ve missed their targets (as many CES promises do), as neither model is available for purchase today.

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