Garmin Dashcam 35

The Garmin Dashcam 35 is a little camera that can be mounted on your card dashboard and then as soon as power is applied it will start recording. It's size is 9.43 cm x 4.85 cm x 3.89 cm and it has a 3" TFT LCD display and weighs about 113g.

The supplied mount need to be pushed into the socket on the front of the camera (it takes a fair bit of effort to snap it in) and the mount then attaches to the windscreen with a sticky pad. Unfortunately that means the mount is pretty well permanently attached to the the windscreen as it's pretty strong glue, it's a shame there aren't other types of mount that say attach to a heating grill or some other part of the dashboard that can easily be removed. A bodged mount can work by attaching some sticky tape to the mount and the bottom of the camera and it will just about sit on the dashboard with an unobstructed view ahead.

The system records HD video (1080p or 720p) and will stamp the video with GPS coordinates and the system records in a continuous loop i.e. if it runs out of space it will overwrite older video. The system should come with a 4GB microSD card (though the unit supplied didn't have one) which is enough for about an hour of video. It supports up to 64GB cards.

It also has a microphone which records what's happening in the car!!! There's also an accelerometer which will detect a collision (and start recording if it isn't and log GPS coordinates) which is detected as an "event". However when it's recording an event can be pushing the mount into it or it falling off the dashboard on to the car floor.

There's no software in the box, though Garmin's Dash Cam Player is available for download (for Mac and Windows) through their site. This will show the video and the GPS route next to it (when run it will look for an attached camera or videos on the SD card and import them on to the PC/Mac). The actual video files are MP4 so can be viewed in pretty much any video player. The player shows the route taken, speed and time (there is a pointer on the route that moves as you play the video).

A quite nice feature is that it's possible to select Bing (default)/ Baidu or OpenStreetMaps for the map display. It's also possible to convert any unsaved videos to saved (on the PC/Mac), export GPS positions to a GPX file and take a screen shot.

It's also possible to by a Cyclops subscription from the Garmin store (for various countries including UK/Europe) which will alert the user to speed cameras etc.

Apart from the niggling permanent windscreen mount, it's a nice little unit. It retails for £159 from Garmin, but can be had on-line for at least £20 cheaper.