Using a GoPro as a dash cam may seem like a cost-effective solution for capturing your daily commute or road trips, but it's not a recommended practice. While GoPro cameras are designed for capturing action-packed footage, they lack the features and functionality of a dedicated dash cam. In this article, we'll explore the reasons why you shouldn't use a GoPro as a dash cam.
Ready to find answers? Let's begin.
Why Using a GoPro as a Dash Cam Isn't Ideal
GoPros excel in capturing high-motion activities, but they may not be the ideal choice for the routine recording of your commute. Consider the following points:
Lack of Automatic Recording
Unlike dedicated dash cams, GoPros don't have automatic recording features. This means that you'll need to start and stop recording manually every time you get in and out of your car. If you forget to start recording, you won't have any footage of an accident or incident. Additionally, if you're involved in an accident, you may not have time to start recording before the critical moments pass.
Limited Battery Life
GoPros have a limited battery life, which can be a problem if you're using it as a dash cam. If you forget to charge it, you may not have any recording when you need it. Additionally, if you're recording for an extended period, you may run out of battery before your journey is over.
GoPros are sensitive to temperature changes, which can affect their performance. If you leave your GoPro in a hot car, it may overheat and shut down. Conversely, if you leave it in a cold car, the battery life may be reduced. Dedicated dash cams are designed to operate in a wider range of temperatures and are less likely to be affected by extreme weather.
Mounting a GoPro as a dash cam can be challenging. Unlike dedicated dash cams, GoPros aren't designed to be mounted permanently in your car. You'll need to find a suitable mounting location and attach it securely. Additionally, you'll need to remove it from your car every time you park, which can be inconvenient.
GoPros are expensive compared to dedicated dash cams. While they offer more features and versatility, they may not be the best value for money if you're only using them as a dash cam. Dedicated dash cams are designed specifically for this purpose and offer a range of features at a lower price point.
Specific Drawbacks of a GoPro Dash Cam
If you're considering using a GoPro as a dash cam, there are several drawbacks you should be aware of. While GoPro cameras are great for capturing action footage, they may not be the best choice for recording your daily commute.
Lack of Parking Mode
One major drawback of using a GoPro as a dash cam is the lack of parking mode. Parking mode allows your dash cam to continue recording even when your car is parked and turned off. Without this feature, your GoPro will only be able to record while you're driving, which means you won't have any footage if someone hits your car while it's parked.
Limited Field of View
Another issue with using a GoPro as a dash cam is the limited field of view. GoPro cameras are designed to capture a wide-angle view, which is great for action shots, but not so great for recording your daily commute. You may find that the camera doesn't capture everything you need it to, which could be a problem if you get into an accident.
Risk of Theft
Using a GoPro as a dash cam also puts your camera at risk of theft. Dash cams are often targeted by thieves because they're easy to spot and can be sold for a decent amount of money. If you leave your GoPro in your car, there's a chance that someone could break in and steal it.
GoPro cameras are known to have overheating issues, especially when used for extended periods. If you're using your GoPro as a dash cam, you'll likely be recording for long periods, which could cause the camera to overheat and shut down.
Inadequate Night Vision
Finally, GoPro cameras are not designed for low-light conditions, which means that they may not be able to capture clear footage at night. If you're driving in the dark, you may find that your GoPro dash cam isn't able to record the details you need in order to prove fault in an accident.
Advantages of a Dedicated Dash Cam
If you're thinking about using a GoPro for your dash cam needs, be aware that specialized dash cams provide numerous benefits compared to action cameras. Here's why investing in a dedicated dash cam could be a better option:
Dash cams are designed to automatically start recording when you start your car. This means you don't have to remember to turn on your camera every time you get behind the wheel. Additionally, many dash cams have loop recording, which means that when the storage capacity is full, the oldest footage is automatically overwritten by new footage. This ensures that you always have the most recent footage available.
Longer Battery Life
Dash cams are designed to be plugged into your car's cigarette lighter or USB port, which means they have a constant source of power. This eliminates the need to worry about battery life, which can be a concern when using an action camera as a dash cam.
Most dash cams have built-in G-sensors, which detect sudden changes in speed or direction. When the G-sensor is triggered, the dash cam automatically saves the footage before and after the event. This is important because it ensures that you have footage of any accidents or incidents that occur while you're driving.
Better Adapted to Extreme Temperatures
Dash cams are designed to withstand extreme temperatures, which is important if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions. GoPros, on the other hand, are not designed to withstand extreme temperatures, which can cause them to malfunction or stop working altogether.
Equipped with Parking Mode
Many dash cams have a parking mode, which means they continue to record even when your car is parked and turned off. This is important because it can help you capture footage of any incidents that occur while your car is parked.
Overall, using a dedicated dash cam offers several advantages over using a GoPro as a dash cam. By investing in a dedicated dash cam, you can ensure that you always have reliable footage of any incidents that occur while you're driving.
While it may seem like a convenient idea to use your GoPro as a dash cam, it's important to consider the potential safety risks and lack of reliability that come with this choice.
Firstly, using a GoPro as a dash cam can be distracting while driving, as you may feel the need to adjust the camera or check the recording while on the road. This can take your attention away from the road and increase the risk of an accident.
Additionally, GoPros are not designed specifically for use as dash cams, which means they may not have the necessary features to ensure reliable and consistent recording. This can lead to missed footage or unreliable evidence in the event of an accident.
Furthermore, while GoPros may seem like a cost-effective option, they may not provide the same value as a dedicated dash cam. Dash cams are designed to provide peace of mind and reliable evidence in the event of an accident, and investing in a quality dash cam can provide long-term value and protection.
Overall, while using a GoPro as a dash cam may seem like a convenient option, it's important to consider the potential safety risks and lack of reliability. Investing in a dedicated dash cam can provide the peace of mind and protection you need while on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a GoPro replace a dedicated dash cam for car use?
While a GoPro can technically be used as a dash cam, it is not recommended to use it as a permanent replacement for a dedicated dash cam. GoPros are not designed specifically for use as dash cams and may not have the necessary features to effectively capture footage while driving.
What are the limitations of using a GoPro as a dash cam?
One major limitation of using a GoPro as a dash cam is its battery life. GoPros are designed to be used for short periods of time and may not last for an entire car trip. Additionally, GoPros may not have the same level of stability and durability as dedicated dash cams, which can impact the quality of footage captured.
Is it safe to use a GoPro as a dash cam?
While it is technically safe to use a GoPro as a dash cam, it is not recommended due to the limitations mentioned above. Additionally, mounting a GoPro in a way that obstructs your view of the road can be dangerous and may result in a ticket or accident.
What are the benefits of using a dedicated dash cam instead of a GoPro?
Dedicated dash cams are specifically designed for use as dash cams and have features such as loop recording, parking mode, and collision detection that GoPros may not have. Additionally, dedicated dash cams are often more durable and stable, which can result in higher quality footage.
What features should you look for in a dedicated dash cam?
When looking for a dedicated dash cam, it is important to consider features such as loop recording, parking mode, collision detection, and video resolution. Additionally, it is important to choose a dash cam that is easy to use and install.
Are there any legal issues with using a GoPro as a dash cam while driving?
The legality of using a GoPro as a dash cam while driving varies by state and country. In some places, it may be illegal to mount a device on your windshield that obstructs your view of the road. Additionally, using a GoPro as a dash cam may not meet the legal requirements for recording footage in the event of an accident. It is important to research the laws in your area before using a GoPro as a dash cam.