Opel has been manufacturing the famous Astra model for almost 30 years now, ever since 1991. The model has traditionally followed a few rules and has quite a few recognizable trademarks, but by far the most important ne is the ability to evolve and adapt to the needs of the driver.
Most if not all Astra models are spacious and have a lot of light inside, in other words they have a lot of window surface. This is a good thing for us as you will see later.
Car dashboard cameras are manufactured so that they can adapt to any vehicle and accommodate any driver, but the details differ from model to model, there are loads to choose and there is no shortage of websites dedicated to dash cam reviews which makes it pretty easy to pick one that fits your needs.
First of all, most car dash cameras use a suction cup as a mounting method. The suction cup is usually high quality, and often has that switch for pressure control. So, it may not be the most fancy way of mounting, but it is effective and the suction cup can stick to any surface in your car, part from the cloth of course.
The default position and the best spot for your standard car dash cam is in the middle top part of the windshield, right behind the rearview mirror. This way the front of the car is optimally covered.
If you happen to have a dual camera, there are two ways you can benefit from this. If your front and rear cameras are separate, you can set up your rear cam wherever you want – the rear windshield or any interior surface it can stick to.
But, if your front and rear cams are a part of a single camera body. Here is where you will benefit from the large windows, the high lighting and visibility from inside of your Astra.
The power for dash cams is almost always provided by your cars cigarette lighter socket, and the cams are supposed to be plugged in constantly, though they can be unplugged and work for 20 or 30 minutes without power, again depending on the model. This is important if you need to light a cigar or you want to take your camera out of the car with you to record something or shoot pictures.
Most of the dash cams take decent pictures and can be used in a number of ways separate from its primary use in the car. You can take it out and shoot photos on a vacation, take a video of you and your family on some road trip, etc…
But, one of the most important things your car dash camera can do for you is that it can safeguard your car while it is parked and turned off.
These cameras usually have sensors for movement, besides the usual sensors for impacts.
These motion detection sensors pick up movement near your car and turn on to make an audio and video recording, or they take periodical pictures. This all depends on your settings. You can preset the sensitivity level in most cases, as well as the mode of protection.
The most interesting thing perhaps is that there are even some advanced cameras that have their own Wi-Fi network, which you can join with your smart phone, and so this way the camera can also warn you via your phone if your car’s safety is in question. You can even use your smart phone to take a peek at what the camera sees in and around your car.
Car dashboard cameras sometimes have the ADAS features, which can also be of great help on the road.
The ADAS is short for advanced driving assistance system. It consists of a few features tied to your GPS locator and the sensors in your cam.
There is a feature that warns you if a collision with the vehicle in front is eminent – forward collision warning system or FCWS. Also, there is the lane departure warning system or LDWS.
The versatility and the usefulness of these gadgets is increasing every season.
Besides these advanced features, car dashboard cameras provide the basic stuff, they record your driving and anything that happens on the road.
This is achieved by continuously recording everything. In order to do so, the cam has to have constant power as we mentioned earlier, but it also needs a good memory management.
In order to continuously record, these cameras automatically overwrite the oldest recordings with new ones, once the memory is full, and it will be full no matter the capacity.
Most cams come with 8GB of their own memory space, but you are always offered an optional bonus micro SD card for additional 32 or 64GB or higher.
For easier recording management, all car cameras have the loop recording feature. This feature divides all your recordings into loops, the length of which you can set up in your options.
All footage is divided, but the complete recording runs without cuts and seamless.
This loop separation makes it easier for other features to work, like the gravity sensor or the G-sensor, as it is called.
This G-sensor detects impacts or sudden shifts in your cars gravity and immediately marks the current loop being recorded.
What this marking does is that it locks that particular loop from ever being overwritten by the system. In some cases it is also automatically stored in a separate folder in your camera’s memory.
These gadgets make pretty decent recordings, with sharp details and lively colors and light. On most cams, with 1080p resolution and some other picture quality features, it is possible to easily identify license plates on cars that are even quite far from yours. You can easily make out the street signs and road directives.
With all these features, and more depending on the model, these gadgets are an ideal safety precaution and a pretty useful tool for any driver, not just in your Astra, and it is highly recommended for use in any situation.