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How Much Video Can a Dashcam Hold?

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A dashcam is a recording device that continuously records footage and as the name suggests it is placed on the dashboard of a car to record in case any accidents happen so you have evidence.

For this piece of technology to be effective, it needs to be constantly recording for you to be fully sure that if any accidents happen that you are going to get it on camera.

Many people do not know the answer to the question of how much video can a dashcam hold, but do not worry because in this article we are going to be answering this question.

How Much Video Can a Dashcam Hold?

The amount of video that a dashcam can hold all depends on the memory card that you have inserted in your camera as the memory card is where all the footage is stored as data instead of being stored in an in-built storage system like you would find in computers for example.

Another big factor is the bit rate of your camera, the bit rate is the amount of footage that a camera is able to record per second.

The bit rate is measured in megabits per second with the average camera having a bit rate of 15 to 30 megabytes per second.

It is important to note that the bit rate is also dependent on how high of a resolution that a camera can record, for example, dashboard cameras that can record in 4K resolution will most likely have a much higher bit rate than a dashboard camera that has a maximum resolution quality of 1080p.

The bit rate can also be configured in cameras by tweaking the footage quality when you lower the quality of the footage the bit rate will drop and when you increase the quality the bit rate will also end up increasing.

Calculating How Much Video a Dashcam Can Hold

It may seem complicated but there is actually a very simple calculation that can be done in a few seconds to calculate the total length of footage that a dashboard camera can record based on the bit rate of the camera and the memory card inserted in the camera itself.

All you have to do is get the size of the memory card inserted in the camera which is for example 128 GB and then you times that by 8 as there are 8 bits in 1 byte in a gigabyte.

Finally, you divide it by the 20 megabytes per second-bit rate of the current camera setting in this example and that is how you will get how many minutes your dashcam is able to record at the current settings.

So the calculation will be:

(128,000,000,000 x 8) / 20,000,000 = 51,200.

Now that you have the minutes, you can divide them into minutes to make things easier. So you do 51,200 / 60 = 853.3 minutes.

Now you just need to divide the minutes again by 60 to get the hours. So 853.3 / 60 = 14.2 hours.

Remember to double-check the numbers and settings on your camera are correct as if you just copy all the settings in this example formula you are likely to get the wrong sum.

The simplified formula is :

(GB in seconds*8)/MB per second.

Then to get the answer in minutes you divide it by 60 and then to get it in hours you just divide that same sum by 60 again.

How Much Video Can 32 GB Hold?

On a 32 GB memory card, it is estimated that at 1080p resolution you can record for 90 minutes or 1 and a half hours.

If you decide to reduce the resolution you to say 720p then you will be able to record 200 minutes of footage or 3.3 hours.

A 32 GB memory card is able to record a few hours of footage at the lower video quality settings so it is a good option for the average driver who will not be driving on average for much longer than that per day.

High Endurance SD Cards Are the Best for Long Recordings

If you are going to be using SD cards for constant recordings such as in surveillance cameras and dashcams then it is recommended to buy a ‘high endurance’ SD card over a regular SD card.

The difference between the two is that the high endurance card is created to last much longer than the regular SD cards.

When you use an SD card to record hours of footage every day then as the footage is written and overwritten on your SD card again and again it will start getting damaged and become less efficient at storing data.

Overtime the SD card will stop storing any data at all and the worst of all is that you will not be warned when your SD card becomes faulty which is a big problem if by chance you happen to get into an accident there will be no video evidence for you to use.

However high endurance SD cards are created to be far more durable and can be rewritten a lot more times with the average high endurance SD card being able to record around 10,000 GB of footage during its lifetime if it has a total capacity of 64 GB or 5,000 GB of footage if the total capacity is 32 GB.

Additionally compared to the regular SD cards, the high endurance SD cards come with an average of 2-year warranties depending on the manufacturer which will give you peace of mind if anything happens with your SD card that is not your fault.

Moreover, the high endurance secure digital cards are designed to withstand extreme conditions such as low and high temperatures as well as being waterproof which lowers the overall chances of your SD card getting corrupted due to physical damage.

Another important aspect is that the higher the storage of your SD card the longer it will last on average, this is because for example a 256 GB card compared to a 32 GB card will have a lot more space for video footage to be written and rewritten on which in turn means that even when some of the storage space becomes worn down and is no longer usable you will still have hundreds of gigabytes to use and realize that it is time for you to buy a new SD card.

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