Garmin made a decision a few years ago to enter the camera market. They recently released a refresh to their dash camera line with the introduction of the Garmin Dash Cam 35 and Garmin Dash Cam 30. These cameras sport a way different body style versus their predecessors which were the Dash Cam 10 and Dash Cam 20 which we wrote about here. They then followed this up with the well reviewed NuviCam which we wrote about here.
Both models use incident detection via G-Sensor which automatically saves footage of collisions. The Dash Cam 30 and Dash Cam 35 have a snapshot feature allows you to take still images just like a point and shoot camera which can be activated while mounted in your car or outside the vehicle. The Dash Cam 35 is GPS enabled which means that the device records the location, direction, speed, date and time to show exactly where and when the footage was recorded. The Dash Cam 30 does is not GPS enabled. The Dash Cam 35 has a 3.0 inch LCD display where the Dash Cam has a 1.4″ display. Dash Cam 35 features helpful driver awareness warnings to help encourage safer driving. The forward collision warning alerts if you drive too close to the car ahead. The Dash Cam 35 has a red light and speed camera warning alert feature integrated with the GPS function. Both models record video to a micro SD card which can be as large as 64 GB and feature a 30-minute battery life. For the extra cost, which isn’t much, the Dash Cam 35 seems like a better buy.
The design of the Dash Cam 30 and Dash Cam 35 is a significant change from the older generation. The mounting socket is the typical Garmin 17mm size similar to what they have used for the past ten years or so in their Nuvi GPS and various dash cameras. However, they moved that socket to directly next to the camera. This provides some challenges to mounting the camera as you need a mount that is not going to get in the way of the camera lens.
The mount that Garmin includes with both devices is a little baffling. These are dash cameras. Garmin provides an adhesive windshield mount. No dash mount and no way to attach it to the car’s dashboard. If you don’t mind attaching it to the windshield, the mount isn’t a bad choice, that is, unless you live in one of those states that do not permit windshield mounts.
There are other mounts to consider with these dash cams. Past versions of Garmin’s Dash Cam series had a wide array of choices for mounts. General rule of thumb was that if it fit a Garmin Nuvi, it worked well with the Dash Cam. Not so with the Dash Cam 30 and Dash Cam 35. The lens is so close to the mounting socket that only a mount that has a thin arm and is relatively close to the camera will work without obstructing your camera’s view. Naturally if you don’t mind a little obstruction, then many of the mounts made for a Garmin Nuvi will work on the Garmin Dash Cam 30 and Dash Cam 35.
If you would like to use your Dash Cam 30 or Dash Cam 35 on your dashboard, the ARKON Sticky Suction Mounting Pedestal for Garmin nuvi GPS can attach to your windshield or dash without the use of any adhesive. This mount has an adjustment point halfway down and in the case of these Dash Cams the mount is used in an upright position. What sets this mount apart from most is the ability to attach to a textured dashboard. The bottom of the suction mount has a sticky surface and a vacuum lock which when pushed down will allow the mount to attach to smooth or textured surfaces like your windshield or dashboard. When the sticky surface isn’t sticky any longer, just rinse it warm soapy water to recharge it.
For those that prefer suction cup mounting to the windshield or dash there is the Arkon Flexible Suction Cup Mount. This mount features a 7-inch flexible gooseneck that permits an infinite number of positions for your camera. The suction cup has a vacuum lock to get a good grip on your windshield. It also comes with an adhesive dash disk if you want to use it on your dashboard instead of your windshield. The gooseneck is flexible so you can bend it out of the way of the camera lens if necessary.
The last mount to take a look at is the Garmin Portable Friction Car Mount which has the 17mm ball that fits the Dash Cam 30 and Dash Cam 35. The mount itself weighs about 6 ounces. It features a stem that can be angels forward and back. The stem can be folded virtually flat to make it easier to store within a carry case or your luggage. The ball and socket permits full swivel so that you can place your GPS at the perfect angle. The mount has a flexible base which is a unique feature and this will help on dashboards which are not perfectly flat. This mount is highly portable. We wrote an extremely detailed review on this mount which can be accessed here.
Normally, we would add a paragraph or two about mounts for a motorcycle, however, because of the strange design, I don’t see an easy way to mount this to a motorcycle and get any decent unobstructed view so cannot recommend these for motorcycle use. Cars only.
Remember that the Garmin Dash Cam 30 and Dash Cam 35 share the same size ball as the Garmin Nuvi lineup so don’t worry if the mount description mentions Garmin Nuvi and not the Dash Cam.