GoPro for dash cam - how to record while driving

GoPro for dash cam GoPro Hero 9 on desk

GoPro for dash cam GoPro Hero 9 on desk

Action cameras are great but, sometimes, if you don’t have anything exciting to record, they can feel like wasted money. But there’s more that you can do with your GoPro then underwater footage. For example you can use a GoPro for dash cam to record while you’re driving. We will show you how.

This way you’ll be extra secure on the road, should something happen you have video footage of everything which can be used for most situations. In some countries dash cams can even reduce your insurance premiums.

If you were planning to buy a dedicated dash cam, then stop what you’re doing and read this guide. We will show you how it’s possible to use a GoPro for dash cam. Read on to find out.

How to record while driving with a GoPro

There are three things you need to use your GoPro as a dash cam:

  • An accessory to mount it on your car
  • A power cable to connect your GoPro
  • Configure the GoPro with the right settings.

That’s all you need, but of course there are several options for each one, so let’s look at them in more detail.

Accessory to mount your GoPro

You can decide to use either an adhesive mount, so you can simply stick it to the dashboard or a suction cup. Which one is the best? Well, it depends on your car, for example the adhesive mount can’t be reused once it’s up and it is not a good choice for small cars.

The suction cup is clearly more flexible but needs to be secured, or it will easily fall in motion and that can be dangerous. Overall, we would recommend you take a look at your car first and see how much space you have on your dashboard, then decide.

Power cable

GoPros run on batteries and those last around a couple of hours or a little more than that. Perfect for small trips, but any longer than that and you’ll be left with a powered off accessory. Most cars nowadays come with a USB port, so that is quite simple: just connect your GoPro with the provided cable.

If your car is old fashioned, just pick up one of those cheap USB adapters for the cigarette lighter. Be careful that you secure the cable and it won’t get in the way while you’re driving. You can use adhesive clips for the job, in case.

The best dash cam settings for GoPro

Overall, the main settings to adjust for your GoPro to function as a dash cam are the video quality, field of view and the looping option.

By enabling looping, the GoPro will continue to record until the SD is full, then overwrite the old files. Naturally, this means that if something happens, be sure to take out the SD as soon as possible and save the video on your PC.

As for Field of view, you definitely want a setting to record as wide as possible. The options to be selected, depending on the GoPro model you have, are definitely “Wide” and “Superview”. The first is the best, as the latter might produce some distortion in the video.

Finally, the video quality. While you might want to go for the highest setting, that will burn through free space on a SD card much quicker and it might not be worth it. Test various settings and see what’s a good balance, but do not go too low with the settings as you still want usable footage.

That’s all you need to know about the GoPro as a dash cam. If you want to know more about this nifty action camera, check out its wrist strap accessory and the best camera backpacks.

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