Frequently Asked Questions

The In-Car camera is still a fairly new idea to the UK market, but as with most things, the more and more popular a product becomes the more questions people start to ask about it. Here at Eyewitness Cameras we have tried to make the whole buying process as simple and as informative as possible, this in turn will hopefully help to answer any questions you may have regarding our car camera range and enable you to make an informed decision before purchase. If for any reason you can’t find the answer to your query in the following list of FAQs or from our helpful articles, then please feel free to get in touch with us.

What is a car camera and what do they do?

Car cameras, or dash cams as they are sometimes called, are very small video recording devices. They are specifically designed to be attached to a vehicles windscreen and allow continuous recording of the road ahead. (You can also record from behind if using a dual camera system).Using a car camera gives the driver peace-of-mind that any incidents or accidents will be recorded as evidence. To find out more information please read our full article “What is a car camera?

Are car cameras legal in the UK?

Yes, some insurance companies are even offering discounted insurance premiums if you have a car camera fitted (up to 15%). Any videos recorded on the UK’s public roads are fully exempt from the Data Protection Act under section 36. And anything that has been recorded for personal use is also fine; you can even upload your footage to YouTube.

Can the footage be used in a court of law?

Yes, anything recorded from your car camera is legally binding. Most of the time any footage you have will only be used by the insurance companies to decide which party was as fault. However, with the superb high definition cameras available these days, any video evidence you provide can prove to be vital in a court of law.

Do I need a computer to playback the camera footage?

Yes, but can playback the video footage on any computer including both Windows and OSX. (The files will play back as either MP4 or AVI format). You simply insert the SD card from the camera into your computer and copy the files over. Some camera systems also come bundled with their very own viewing software which can also be downloaded to your PC; this will allow you to view additional information such as G-Sensor data and GPS maps.  However, there are also a few new camera models available that allow you to playback video footage using a smartphone and Wi-Fi connection.

Do car cameras need infrared lights to record footage at night?

No, we actually recommend not buying dash cams which have infrared lights situated on the front of the camera. In general these type of lights never work effectively on vehicle cameras, this is due to the “glare” of the infrared lights being reflected back into the camera lens from the inside of the windscreen. As long as your vehicles headlights are on, the camera will effectively pick up what your headlights do, all road and signage markings are reflective and so will easily be seen on any recorded video footage. Most of our car camera range now comes with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology which gives a well-balanced exposure at night or in dark areas. It makes night shots brighter, and reduces strong light exposure to always achieve the clearest picture possible.

Why choose a car camera with GPS?

Most of us have heard of GPS, it was used for predominantly for in-car satellite navigation systems (Satnav’s). However GPS in a car camera is very different and not used for navigation, but instead, for recording co-ordinates. This basically means that when you come to playback a recorded video on your computer, a map will be displayed showing precisely where your vehicle was at any point on the video.

Is installing a car camera easy to do?

In most cases the answer is yes. Our entire car camera range usually comes with at least one mounting bracket which has a sticky adhesive pad on it, all you need to do is peel away the backing to the pad, position where you want it on your windscreen and then push down to attach it. The camera then simply clips in to this mount and you can run the wiring around the edge of the screen and down to the cigarette lighter/12v socket. Another type of mounting option often used is the suction mount, (This is usually an optional extra). This attaches your camera to the windscreen, just like you would do with a satnav. One of the biggest advantages of using suction mountings is the fact that you can remove your car camera hassle free from one vehicle and then quickly install it in another within seconds. On the other hand, if you are looking at having your camera hardwired to your vehicles battery then we always recommend using a professional auto electrician.

Can a car camera be installed in any type of vehicle?

Yes, the list is endless. Our entire car camera range can be used in cars, vans, HGV’s, coaches, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles and even in heavy plant machinery (JCB’s etc.), basically any vehicle as long as it has a windscreen and a cigarette lighter/12v socket. Alternatively you could hardwire it in to the vehicles battery.

Where should my car camera be mounted?

Contrary to popular belief dash cams are very rarely mounted on a vehicles dash board. The vast majority of car cameras we now stock are actually made to be attached to a vehicles windscreen; this can be done by using a suction or adhesive mount. Either one of these will give you a hassle free installation but both offer different functionality and usability. Please also bear in mind that when installing a car camera it should never be fitted where it could cause an obstruction to the drivers view.

Will a car camera drain my vehicles battery when the ignition is off?

No, most, if not all of the car cameras we sell will automatically turn themselves on or off as the power to the vehicles cigarette lighter/12v socket comes on or off. The main source of power to the in-car cigarette lighter comes on once the ignition is switched on and then goes off when the ignition is turned off, this means the camera in not powered when you’re not using the car. It really is that simple. (Please make sure your cigarette lighter/12v socket does not have a constant supply of power running through it or the camera will stay on!) As an added feature certain makes and models of car camera do have a small internal battery, this is so the camera can be removed from its mount after an accident and used as a normal camera to take photographs from outside of the car. This is a great way of gathering more evidence and keeping it all in one place.

Can I hardwire a car camera directly to my vehicles battery?

Yes, by connecting or ‘Hardwiring’ the car camera directly to your vehicles battery you not only achieve a much neater installation but it also means that if you have purchased a camera with the parking mode feature on it you’ll be able to record any events triggered by its internal sensor, even once you have turned off the ignition walked away. You can purchase hardwiring kits as an optional extra in the accessories section of our shop. In our opinion these really are a very useful accessory and we highly recommend them being installed.

Do you offer a car camera installation service?

We can provide the details of professional installers who will be able to install your camera system for you.

Can the built-in microphone be disabled?

Yes, not everyone will want themselves, or maybe even their dubious taste in music to be heard whilst playing back recorded footage with others.

Will I need to buy a memory card?

No, not always, the majority of our car cameras already come supplied with an SD or Micro SD memory card, although you may wish to purchase a larger size card to be able to store more video footage. Eyewitness Cameras only sell high quality, branded (Class 10) SD and Micro SD cards; these have been tried and tested in all our car camera models.

Does the memory card need replacing once it’s full?

No, all of our car cameras have a feature known as loop recording. This enables the camera to record any event until the memory card is full, after this time it will automatically start to record the newest video over the oldest files. This means the camera should always be able to store your standard video clips for significant periods of time without the need to keep clearing old files from the memory card.

Will a car camera work in another country?

Yes, you can use a car camera anywhere in the world. It will work because the cameras do not have the maps built in, and the GPS is a global system, therefore the maps will work perfectly when you playback any recorded footage.

What are the benefits of using a car camera?

There are a number of excellent benefits of using a car camera, the main one, of course, is being able to prove your innocence in the case of a non-fault collision, others include cheaper motor insurance, protecting your car whilst it’s parked up, settling insurance claims faster and also peace of mind. Why not take some time to read our Benefits of buying a car camera article. It will give you a lot more information on the many benefits of buying, installing and using one of our in-car cameras.

I’ve seen similar car cameras cheaper, why is this?

Sales of car cameras are growing rapidly, because of this the UK market is now being flooded with cheap ‘knock-off’ copies from China. At first glance these dash cams may seem like a great deal, but more often than not, they are built from cheap, sub-standard materials and use poor quality microchips and processors. If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a non-fault accident, the last thing you’ll need is for your car camera to fail at the critical moment, without the back-up of irrefutable video evidence the insurance companies involved may settle the case on a 50/50 basis which often leads to much higher premiums for both parties. We constantly check our prices with competitors to ensure we always remain competitive.

Do your car cameras come with a guarantee?

Yes, because we only stock in-car cameras from reputable manufacturers it means you’ll be able to take full advantage of their minimum 12 month warranty, this guarantees you peace-of-mind and means you’ll never be disappointed with your purchase.

How much is delivery and how long does it take?

UK delivery is FREE on all orders over £100.00, full details and our delivery options and prices can be found on our delivery page.

How can I contact Eyewitness Cameras?

There are a number of ways to do this, please feel free to visit our contact us page for full details. We’re always here to help and we’ll always try our best to answer any queries or questions you may have.

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