Garmin Dash Cam 20

Garmin Dash Cam 20

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is one of the few name brand dashboard cameras currently available.  It has a squarish design similar to many of the Taiwanese dash cams available like the HP F210 and Transcend DrivePro 200.

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 records 1080p at 30fps.  Video quality is very good during the day and average at night.  Bit rate is approximately 11Mbps.  Some owners have indicated the video quality is worse than the affordable G1W.  This is disappointing for a $200+ camera.   Another negative is the form factor of the camera.  While the camera is all black, the squarish design and large suction cup mount make it too noticeable.  Also many owners complain the suction cup mount is of poor quality.  On the plus side it has a 2.3″ LCD screen which makes it easy to configure the camera.

Another negative is that the power cable provided is too short if you want to install around the windshield and it is a proprietary Mini USB cable.  Garmin will gladly sell you a 5M extension for $25 which really should have been included with the camera.

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 comes with GPS (the Garmin Dash Cam 10 is nearly identical but without GPS) and G-sensor.  Another positive is that this camera can be found at many “bricks and mortar” retailers like Best Buy and Costco for people who are not comfortable buying online.

You can read more about Garmin cameras on our forum here.

Known problems

Freezing

A few owners have indicated that this camera freezes / stops working randomly.  There is no known resolution for this problem.

AVI Files and Mac

Many Mac owners have indicated that this camera does not work with there computers.  The solution is to install and use VLC Media Player to watch the AVI files.  If you want to edit videos with iMovie, you will have  to convert the AVI files to MP4 or another compatible format.

Mounting the Camera

Garmin Dash Cam 20 Mount

Sample Videos

Day

Night

Should I Purchase?

The average video quality, large form factor, short power cable and high price tag make this a difficult camera to recommend.  While it is a brand name camera, build quality is good and can be found at large retailers, there are many other cameras that are better for much less money.  The Transcend DrivePro 200 is a better buy with a similar form factor (includes WiFi but not GPS).  Alternatively,  look for a smaller, more discreet camera.

Where to purchase for lowest price

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 sells for approximately $200 on Amazon and eBay.

Firmware

WARNING! MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR FIRMWARE ARE PERFORMED AT YOUR OWN RISK. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR DASH CAM AS A RESULT OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Latest Firmware

The latest firmware can be found on the Garmin site.

Owners Manual

You can download the owners manual here.

Specifications

 Garmin Dash Cam 20
Price$200
Read Review
ManufacturerGarmin
CountryChina
Specifications 
Processor
CMOS
Channels1
Screen2.3"
GPS
G-Sensor
Wi-Fi
Parking Mode
Lock FilesAuto and Button
Video 
Max Resolution1080p 30fps
Max Bitrate (Mbps)11
Video FormatAVI
CompressionH.264
Diagonal Viewing Angle
Recording 
SD Card TypeMicroSD
Max Size (Spec)32GB
Max Size (User)32GB
Other 
Size (mm)82 x 66 x 37
MountSuction
Power Supply5V
Operating Temp-20° to 55°C
Battery
Release DateApr 2014
AppsPC
Unique FeaturesNone
Rating 
AdvantagesBrand Name
DisadvantagesNot discreet
Video quality is not the best
Power cable is too short
Video Day
Video Night
Reliability
Size / Discreetness
Price
Available Support
Overall Rating
Final WordA brand name camera which is not discreet and has worse video quality than cheaper cameras.

Published: January 10, 2015