Dash cams have become an essential accessory for many drivers, providing a valuable record of their journeys. One of the key features of a modern dash cam is continuous loop recording. In this article, we will explore what continuous loop recording is, how it works, and why it is important for ensuring you never miss a moment on the road.
What Is Continuous Loop Recording?
Continuous loop recording is a feature found in most modern dash cams. It allows the camera to record video continuously by overwriting older footage with new video when the installed SD memory card is full. This ensures that the dash cam always has space to record new video, capturing every moment of your drive.
How Does Dash Cam Loop Recording Work?
When you first start using your dash cam, it will record video up to the capacity of the installed memory card. Different dash cams have different maximum file capacities for the largest memory card they can accept. Once the memory card reaches its recording limit, dash cam loop recording kicks in. It automatically overwrites the oldest video files with new footage.
To ensure you don’t lose any footage from your road trips, it’s essential to have a high-capacity SD card. Additionally, if there are specific video clips you want to save, make sure to lock them immediately. Dash cams typically save video files in increments of 1 to 5 minutes, and some devices allow you to adjust the length of the clip time in the camera’s settings.
Most dash cams use SD cards, specifically Micro SD cards. These removable memory cards can be read by compatible card readers, making it easy to view and save dash cam recordings on your computer. The memory capacity of your SD card depends on the type of card used in your dash cam, with sizes ranging from 8 GB to 64 GB being common. Some dash cams even offer Wi-Fi or Bluetooth® connectivity, allowing you to manage and store videos in the cloud without removing the SD card.
Why Is Loop Recording Not Working on My Dash Cam?
There are a few reasons why loop recording may not function correctly on your dash cam:
Device settings: Some dash cams have settings that can prevent continuous recording. Check if loop recording is turned on and adjust the length of video clips if necessary.
Locked videos: In the event of a crash or similar incident, a dash cam’s G-sensor can automatically lock the video clip being recorded. This ensures it’s available as evidence if needed. However, if too many video clips are locked, there may not be enough space on the SD card to record new footage, causing loop recording to malfunction.
Incorrectly installed or unformatted SD card: If the SD card is not installed correctly or not formatted for use in the camera, it can prevent any video from being recorded.
How Many Hours Can a Dash Cam Record?
The number of hours a dash cam can record depends on various factors, including the size of the SD memory card, video resolution, the number of views being recorded, and the number of saved or locked video files on the device. When using loop recording, a dash cam can continuously record as long as it has power and is turned on.
Here are some general estimates for different capacity SD cards recording at 1080P resolution with a single view:
- 8 GB: Approximately 55 minutes of recording.
- 16 GB: Approximately 110 minutes (1.8 hours) of recording.
- 32 GB: Approximately 220 minutes (3.6 hours) of recording.
Dash cams typically save videos in short clips, allowing for more flexibility in managing and saving specific videos. If all video was saved as one long recording, manual editing would be necessary to keep only the desired portion.
How Can I Ensure Video Is Not Erased?
To prevent important videos from being overwritten or erased, follow these steps:
Lock relevant clips: On your dash cam, lock the video clips you want to keep. This prevents loop recording from overwriting them.
Export files: Remove the locked video clips from the SD card by exporting them to your computer, cloud storage, or smartphone. This frees up space on the memory card while ensuring you have a backup copy of the recordings.
If your dash cam has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth® connectivity, saving video clips to the cloud or other devices is straightforward. Otherwise, you can remove the SD card from the dash cam and use a compatible card reader to export the files.
By following these steps, you can preserve important video evidence captured by your dash cam, providing peace of mind and ensuring you never miss a crucial event on the road.