In your search for a good dash cam to buy you probably have read about the Garmin Dash Cam 20.
In fact, I’m guessing you’re here because you’re really thinking about buying one, but just need a little more information to feel good about the purchase.
There’s nothing wrong with information gathering, so we’re going to present to you all you need to know to make an educated decision on whether to buy a Garmin Dash Cam 20 or not.
The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is a no frills, basic dash cam with great video quality and built-in GPS useful for any driver looking to record incidents that occur while on the road.
Thant's why you have to choose a rearview mirror dash cam.
Our other review: G1W-Dash-Cam
Garmins’ Dash Cam 20 is a high definition, GPS enabled dash cam that mounts to your windshield for easy setup.
Manufactured by Garmin, a leading supplier of GPS related products, the Dash Cam 20 is Garmins’ most popular addition to its line of dash cams.
It’s list price is $249.99, which makes it slightly more expensive than its counterparts in the market.
While providing high quality video and still images, it does not include software that works with MacOS.
Additionally, it records videos in AVI format rather than universally accepted MP4, which ends up taking more space on the very small SD Card provided by the manufacturer.
Still, despite its lack of features, the product is backed by Garmin’s reputation for making high quality portable equipment.
This device is great for users who just want a reliable dash camera that works without all the bells and whistles
While the Garmin Dash Cam 20 does not boast a plethora of features, the features it does have really helps the device stand out from many of its competitors.
By simply adjusting the settings, you can decide to record in WVGA, 720p, or 1080p high definition. On the highest setting, the 4gb Micro SD card can hold about an hours worth of saved videos.
The viewing angle of the lens is 90 degrees, which provides a clean, non-distorted widescreen view. Some drivers however have complained about not capturing enough footage before being side swiped.
Nighttime viewing is clear but some exposures can wash out some of the images. Plate reading is rather clear so long as the vehicle is close.
Garmin is known worldwide as a leader in GPS navigation technology, so it’s no surprise that the Garmin Dash Cam 20 comes included with GPS capabilities.
GPS information is listed in the bottom left of the video, displaying the date, time, latitude and longitude, as well as speed, to give a better idea of what happened before an incident.
Additionally, when using the PC Tools software included with the dash cam, you can see the direction of travel with google maps.
Unfortunately, at this time the PC Tools software does not work with Mac OS.
The G-Sensor in the Garmin Dash Cam 20 measures sudden movements and when detected, protects the video that had just previously been recorded and the few moments after the detection of sudden movement.
This protection ensures any incidents that occur are saved and protected from deletion until user intervention, similar to the “save until I delete” feature on DVR recordings.
There have been reports the sensitivity of the g-sensor can generate a lot of false positives, but that sensitivity can be changed in the settings of the device.
The Garmin Dash Cam 20 can also be removed from its mounting on the windshield and be used to take still images capturing damage and setting photos that would be helpful in any investigation.
Not many Dash Cams offer that feature. And the still images are clear and sharp. Similar to the still shots taken from a GoPro camera.
If you’re looking for an easy to set up, trusted name brand dash cam that has a few solid features but not much else, the Garmin Dash Cam 20 is perfect for you.
It’s small size, great video quality and built in GPS make it an attractive option. However, it’s cost, limited functionality, and disappointing compatibility issues (as it pertains to the software) may lead you to another device.
This is really meant for users who just want a camera to record video when needed and nothing more. This device certainly handles that with flying colors.