I don’t know how it is where you live, but where I do – a suburb of New York City – I have never seen a private vehicle with a dash cam. In fact, the only ones I’ve seen were in taxi or car service vehicles. Dash cams are much more popular in Europe and Asia, where some countries require their use, or insurance companies offer a discount for using them, or there are just a lot of bad drivers to record. That said, if you’re thinking of adding a camera to your car, the Thinkware Dash Cam F100 might be a good choice.
The Thinkware Dash Cam F100 is a little different from other models in that it is small, and can be mounted more discretely on your windshield, say right behind your rearview mirror. It can do that because it lacks a built-in screen that some dash cams have, and a rearview camera, as well as GPS tracking, are both optional. Those may seem like reasons not to look at this dash cam, but I like the idea that it is smaller than most and less likely to be seen by others.
As with just about all of these car cameras, the Thinkware Dash Cam F100 requires that it be plugged into power, and that means a long power cord that runs from the auxiliary power outlet in your dash – where the cigarette lighter used to be – up to the dash cam on the windshield. Thinkware supplies a cable long enough to be routed under the glove compartment on the passenger side, then up the pillar next to the left front window, then across the top of the windshield to the cam itself. On nice thing, they also supply three little cable holder that you can stick in strategic places, to hold the power cord in place.
The mount for the dash cam is not suction, but rather a 3M adhesive for a more permanent mount. A second adhesive is supplied, just in case. The camera can slide on & off the mount, but it’s intended to be left in place as much as possible. The mount adjusts to position the camera, but with no LCD screen, you need to take your best guess. The Thinkware Dash Cam F100 is a wide-angle HD camera, so you’re pretty sure of getting a good view.
The dash cam comes with a 16 GB microSD card to record about 3 hours of video, plus an adapter to the tiny SD card can be used in a larger slot in a laptop or other viewing device.
With no LCD screen, the Thinkware Dash Cam F100 simply announces when it starts recording & a little light comes on – there’s also a record button – and keeps recording in one-minute segments as you drive. Should you get into an accident or other situation, the camera keeps recording for an additional 10 seconds and also saves the 10 second before the “incident.”
The Thinkware Dash Cam F100 is available on Amazon for under $160 and you can also find kits that include the rearview camera, or an infrared rearview camera, with a 32 GB microSD card and a hardwire harness (if you’re handy enough to hook it up) for just under $220.