Adhesive mount dash cams are our preferred choice here at BlackboxMyCar, not only do they have a lower profile design but they are safer in the event of an accident as well. With that in mind, adhesive mounts come in all shapes and sizes so we wanted to talk about how we like to mount our most popular dash cams. As a rule of thumb we try to mount the camera as high up as possible with the lens as close to center as possible.
The BlackSys CH-100B is one of the most discreet dash cams we carry as the unit has a very flat shape and a low height. The height of the unit varies between 4.5 cm to 5 cm (just under 2 inches) depending on the angle of the windshield and how the mount is positioned. It's a clever design as the bulk of the unit extends into the cabin so it is not visible from the outside. A good way to think about this is how the CH-100B's design contrasts with LCD screen dash cams which have the bulk of their device going vertically across the windscreen which makes it very visible.
The short height also let's the camera slip into pretty tight spaces, the CH-100B in the picture above is installed in a 2016 Civic Coupe and has just enough room to mount above the mirror and below the dot matrix on the windshield so that the lens pokes out. The buttons are very accessible for the driver but from the front of the car, the dash cam is virtually invisible as long as the security LED is turned off.
The short height isn't the only advantage to the CH-100B's design though, it's also narrower than a lot of dash cams at just 10cm (4 inches) wide. Some of our customers have compared the size to a deck of cards. Overall it's one of the sleekest parking mode dash cams available and even when you can't hide it behind the dot matrix or mirror, the clever shape of the CH-100B makes it a pretty discreet camera in any vehicle.
The BlackVue dash cams have always been known for their sleek design and the latest DR650S-2CH carries on that tradition. The camera measures 12cm (4.7") wide and varies between 4.5cm to 5.5cm (1.7" - 2.2") depending on the angle of the windshield. The hardware of the device is spread out along the width of the device which keeps the overall depth of the device thin. This is helpful if your vehicle has a tight gap between the rearview mirror and the windshield which is a great place to mount a dash cam as can be seen on the Lamborghini below.
The slightly wider size of the BlackVue makes it a bit more visible on certain applications compared to the BlackSys. One factor that's a bit of a double edged sword on the BlackVue is the fact that on a lot of windshields, the mount ends up running parallel with the lens. What we mean by this is that if you hide the mount/tape behind the dot matrix, there's a good chance that the lens will be blocked by the dot matrix (at least partially).
Where this works very nicely though is on commercial vehicles or vehicles with very upright windshields. In those applications, the camera can be rotated to keep the overall height very low and quite slim as well. It's also worth mentioning that the rear camera cable on the BlackVue is the thinnest and very easy to run underneath the trim of the vehicle as can be seen in the picture of the Range Rover above. We typically mount the adhesive just to the right of the mirror base which keeps the lens roughly in the middle. Internal GPS also means that there's one less wire sticking out of the device as compared to the BlackSys if the GPS option is chosen.
Thinkware heavily redesigned the shell of the previous F750 to make it as discreet as possible with the F770. It's all black and even the tape is black to draw the least attention to it! In contrast, the BlackVue uses a clear tape and the BlackSys uses a grey tape, both which are more visible than the Thinkware. The mounting bracket is also extremely low profile which is possible as there's no adjustment whatsoever on the mount. Instead, Thinkware puts the vertical adjustment of the lens on the camera itself so it's independent of the mounting position. If your vehicle has dot matrix behind the rearview mirror, the F770 works great as the dot matrix can hide the bulk of the device and with just the lens poking out it's very difficult to spot from the outside!
If only the lens is visible to the exterior of the vehicle, the overall height is only about 3 cm (just over an inch). In these cases where the camera is hidden behind the dot matrix on the windshield or sensors/trim, the F770 is more discreet than the BlackSys and the BlackVue in our opinion. From the inside of the car, the camera also sits very flush against the windshield, this is because the thickness of the device is only about 3 cm as well so it does not protrude into the cabin or the driver's line of sight.
Many of our customers have drawn similarities between the design of the F770 with a toll transponder so it looks rather inconspicuous in the vehicle. This is useful in vehicles where you can't hide the camera behind something since as a standalone device it doesn't look like much. It's worth noting that the right angle plugs and the wire cover flap mean that you can run the wire right up against the headliner so that they are not visible from the outside. Visible cables/wires can be a giveaway to thieves but can also look unattractive in the cabin. We really like how clean the F770 looks in newer vehicles, it often blends in like a factory accessory (Check out how it looks on the Mazda and Mercedes!).
Where we find the Thinkware F770 a less discreet setup is on vehicles with very upright windows and no dot matrix such as a commercial truck. When the F770 is mounted upright it has a height of about 6.5 cm (2.5") so it's taller than both the BlackSys and BlackVue. That being said, as previously mentioned it does just look like a toll transponder from the outside so it should still blend in fairly well on a commercial vehicle.
It's hard to say which dash cam is the most discreet as it can vary from vehicle to vehicle. In our opinion, all 3 of the dash cams mentioned do a very good job of staying relatively inconspicuous in the vehicle. All three of these cameras have the lens to the left of the mount so it's best to place the camera slightly to the right of the mirror to get a centered image on these devices. Overall our top pick is the BlackSys as it has the shortest height and width but it's worth noting that on specific applications the BlackVue and Thinkware might look better.
As these cameras don't have LCD screens, always use the WiFi app to confirm the mounting position before you attach the adhesive. Make sure that the image isn't cut off significantly by the dot matrix, tint strip, or other trim in the vehicle! If you have questions about where you can mount the camera in your vehicle, email us a picture of the windshield from the interior and we'll try to make some suggestions. We have an extensive gallery of dash cams installed in our personal vehicles as well as customer vehicles on our Instagram as well!