How Long Do Dash Cameras Record For: A Detailed Look

How Long Do Dash Cameras Record For: A Detailed Look
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“How long do dash cameras record for?” is a question that might seem simple, but it’s more complicated than you think when you combine everything that plays a part in your dash camera’s performance. Don’t worry though as we’re here to provide you with bits of information so that you know the fundamentals of how long dash cameras record, which will also make a big difference when you are planning to buy one.

How Long Do Dash Cameras Record For: The Different Factors

Many things need to be considered when you’re trying to determine the recording time of a dash camera, and some of the most important ones are:

1. Memory Cards

Memory cards have a significant influence when it comes to how long your cameras will record and take live footage as well as store it into files. Space inevitably fills up over time, especially if you aren’t a person who checks your memory card and cycle through those files daily. Naturally, the larger memory card space, the more data stored, which results in longer recording time.

The majority of both dash and rear cameras include a feature that’s called “loop recording.” That means as soon as your memory card is full, the older footage gets rewritten with the new one.

With that in mind, it’s recommended that you purchase high-endurance SD cards for your dash cameras because every time the writing cycle begins again, it deteriorates the memory card bit-by-bit. In short, high-endurance SD cards are designed for multiple recording, whereas the standard memory card isn’t.

We also recommend determining the maximum storage card space that your dash cam supports, and then purchase that one. The more storage space, the less overwriting it’s going to need to do.

2. Video Resolution

Another critical component that you need to think about is the video resolution. The improvement in technology made it possible that even dash and rearview cameras can record full, high-definition quality footage and store it on the memory card. The higher the resolution, the more storage space it takes, which ultimately results in less recording time.

As an example, a 16GB SD card can store up to two hours’ worth of footage when the resolution is set to record at HD 1080p at 30 frames per second. After that, it begins to rewrite any footage that doesn’t get locked into place.

When using a 32GB SD card, you can expect to get approximately four hours of footage at HD 720p or full 1080p at 30 frames per second. If you choose to increase the resolution to 1440p HD, your recording time would be cut in half and give you approximately two hours before it starts rewriting unlocked footage.

3. Features

One main thing that people are interested in with dash cams is whether or not it comes with a parking monitoring feature, and how they can get it to run for 24 hours. If your dash camera connects to the cigarette lighter, it’s not going to work when your car is turned off. If you want to get a 24-hour parking recording, it needs to be hardwired to your car’s battery.

However, doing this can cause some nuisances. Not only do you risk draining the battery completely, but if the sensor is hyper-sensitive, you might get an overwhelming amount of alerts. If it is connected with your smartphone, those alerts might become too annoying.

The best thing to do to get the most out of your recording time with the parking monitoring feature is to ensure that you have a dash cam that only turns on when motion around your vehicle is detected. The more settings that you have, the better since you can customize them, allowing you to get more life out of the storage card, recording time, and car battery.

Other features such as G-Sensor are highly significant as well. The feature is extremely useful when you have a low recording time set because it causes your camera to start recording when it notices a sudden, sharp hit to the breaks or any collision.

However, the footage gets safeguarded and locked away into a secured file, so it won’t get rewritten. Hence, if you don’t remove it from the SD card as soon as possible, you end up taking additional space on the SD card, which lowers your standard recording time.

4. Settings

Settings are also essential when it comes to recording time since you can choose your preferred recording time and set it to various intervals such as two, three, four and five minutes. In some cases, you can set the recording time all the way up to 15 minutes. However, it’s critical that you understand that the longer the time, the more memory is used, so most manufacturers recommended the two- or three-minute setting.

Depending on the model of a dash camera that you have, you might be able to change your video file format. Today, the majority of dash cams come with the option of recording in AVI or MOV. Manufacturers recommend recording in the MOV file format to extend recording time and save space, as it compresses the file and takes up less storage than AVI.


There’s no exact set time to how long your dash camera is going to record for because settings, features, and SD memory cards play significant roles in the recording time. If you’re going on a road trip and you want to record the entire thing, the overwriting process might not be an excellent option for you because you lose additional footage. In rare cases such as those, it’s best to look for dash cams that enable you to transfer files from a smartphone app to free up space on your card.

It might take you some time to adjust different settings and figure out how your dash camera’s features work for you, but once you do, you won’t have to ask how long do dash cameras record for. Start on the lowest setting if you aren’t sure, and slowly work your way up as needed. The most important thing is that your dash camera is configured in a way where you know, without question, that it’s going to record should you experience any accident.

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