Garmin entered the dash cam market a few years back with the introduction of the NuviCam LMTHD. Keeping in character with the GPS lineup, Garmin refreshes their line of dash cameras periodically. Released during the first half of 2017 is the Garmin Dash Cam 45, Dash Cam 55 and Dash Cam 65W. As expected, all three of these cameras include a mount and charger.
First, a quick overview of the cameras.
The Garmin Dash Cam 45 introduces a completely different form factor to this year’s camera models. We’re talking about a 2.1 megapixel camera with 1080p video capture. It has a 2.0” LCD display. Via wireless, the Garmin Dash Cam 45 transmits video to your smartphone. Important features such as GPS-enabling with automatic incident detection (G-Sensor) will save video footage on impact to show when and where events happened. Also retained from last year’s models are some nice features such as lane departure warnings when conditions are present to support the feature. The Garmin Dash Cam 45 includes night vision capabilities.
Stepping up to the Garmin Dash Cam 55 adds voice control to the features already mentioned in the Garmin Dash Cam 45. It also improves video to 3.7 megapixels with 1440p video capture.
The Garmin Dash Cam 65W comes in at the high-end of the models. The specs are mighty impressive. Garmin formerly used the W as part of a product number to designate a wide GPS. Now, they are using it to designate a wide field of view. The Garmin Dash Cam 65W sports a 180 degree wide field of view. That’s among the widest we have seen on a dash cam so the W part of the model number is well deserved. Video quality is back down to 1080p on the Gaermin Dash Cam 65W.
Everything is recorded to a micro SD card. The camera accommodates cards up to 64 GB. Like most video cameras, be sure to use a Class 10 or faster card.
Now on to the mount discussion.
Forget everything you know about Garmin mounts. It’s completely redesigned. The mounting socket has moved from the front of the camera to the top. Makes sense especially for the wide-angle Garmin Dash Cam 65W. You don’t want tot he mount to get in the way of the wide-angle lens.
Here’s where it really changes though. The photo that accompanies this article has the traditional Garmin Nuvi suction cup with 17mm ball to the left. Next to that is the new Garmin Low-profile Magnetic Mount. It’s small. Insanely small. It’s the Baby Groot of car mounts.
The mount inserts into the socket at the top of the Garmin Dash Cam 45, Dash Cam 55 or Dash Cam 65W. All the way to the right of the photo is small hexagonal metal plate. This plate adheres to the windshield and is not easily removed. It is designed to stay on your windshield as a permanent attachment. It fits within a recess on the bottom of the mount that we just discussed.
Not being a fan of permanently attaching something permanent to the windshield, consider using something temporary in between the adhesive hex plate and the glass. The iOttie Sticky Gel Dashboard Pad might be worth checking into. This is normally used on a dash as a temporary adhesion surface for a suction cup mount. It should prove useful in making the adhesive part of the mount temporary. Adhere the hexagonal plate to the sticky pad then place the pad on the windshield. Your adhesive mount has just become removable.
Strangely, Garmin did not make a suction cup mount available when these models were introduced. Fortunately, almost a year later, the Garmin Mini Suction Cup Mount came onto the market. It’s made by Garmin so you know it will fit these Dash Cam models just fine. It has that small ball form factor that only fits these cameras. Always liked the suction cup more than adhesive because it’s easier to put on and take off. Adhesive is a one time shot. A suction cup can be reused.
Interestingly, the Garmin Dash Cam 45, Dash Cam 55 and Dash Cam 65W are difficult to use on the actual dashboard. The best options to date are windshield attachment only using the Garmin mount that is included with the cameras.