You might have read stories about dash cams failing in cold weather. While the damage caused by a deep winter freeze is not as severe as the scorching summer heat, if a dash cam is outside of its operating temperature range, it will slow down or shut down.
Like any other battery-powered electronic gadget like your mobile phone or DSLR camera, dash cameras work at less than full capacity during below operating temperatures because the chemical reaction that occurs to provide power is hindered.
Moreover, when you change from a cold to a warm environment, condensation may form on the camera and lens. The sudden temperature shift causes moisture to collect inside the device. Condensation can also lead to electrical component damage and corrosion.
So what if temperatures fall below the operating temperature range and your dash cam won’t start? No need to panic just yet. Chances are, when temperatures drop to below freezing, the windshield will frost over, which means you will need to defrost the windows before you can drive off anyway. Luckily, the warm air you're blowing on the windshield is sufficient to warm up the dash cam, and when it's time to start driving, the dash cam will be ready to jump into action.
What if there's snow and ice build-up or condensation on the windshield blocking the camera? Unfortunately, when weather and road conditions get worse, excess snow and ice accumulating on the windshield will block the dash cam's view, so would condensation. A proper installation can help lessen the problem. Like all electronics, dash cams tend to heat up when in use so if the dash cam is hugging the windshield, the heat it gives off is often enough to melt the snow and ice enough for you to wipe down.
What we recommend: Both the BlackVue DR970X 4K UHD Dash Cam and the Thinkware U3000 are recommended for cold temperatures. BlackVue has an operating temperature of -20°C - 80°C (-4°F - 176°F), while the U3000 can operate in -10°C - 60°C (14°F - 140°F) environments.