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Announcement, Dash Cam, Dashcam, What's New

New Garmin Dashcam 56, 66W, 46 and Mini Review

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Posted: 14/05/2019 at 12:00 PM   /   by   /   comments (0)

Garmin has announced their new dashcam range which mirrors the previous iteration but introduces one new type the Garmin Dash Cam Mini. Overall the pricing has remained relatively similar between the old iteration and the latest iteration. The options are available to purchase now in Australia. There will be four models total, which I’ve outlined below along with the price.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini | $179 AUD | Box Contents: Garmin Dash Cam Mini, Low profile adhesive mount, Vehicle power cables, Dual USB power adapter, Documentation

Garmin Dash Cam 46 | $229 AUD | Box Contents: Garmin Dash Cam 46, Low profile magnetic mount, Vehicle power cables, Dual USB power adapter, Documentation

Garmin Dash Cam 56 | $249 AUD | Box Contents: Garmin Dash Cam 56, Low profile magnetic mount, Vehicle power cables, Dual USB power adapter, Documentation

Garmin Dash Cam 66W | $349 AUD | Box Contents: Garmin Dash Cam 66W, Low profile magnetic mount, Vehicle power cables, Dual USB power adapter, Documentation

What’s Changed – Garmin Dashcam: 46, 56 and 66W and Mini camera series VS the 45, 55 and 65W Series

The key takeaway points for the new dashcam series are the following, Clarity HDR Mode, improved resolution on the 66W and the new accessories included. The Field of view (FOV) has also been improved on all models except the 66W camera which remains at 180 degrees.

Dash Cam 46

Dash Cam 46

Dash Cam 56

Dash Cam 56

Dash Cam 66W

Dash Cam 66W

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Garmin Dash Cam 46 vs Dash Cam 45 – Differences and whether you should buy it

Dash Cam 46Dash Cam 45
Field of view (FOV)140 Degrees122 Degrees
Dash Cam Auto SyncYes (up to 4 cameras)No
Micro SD CardNot includedIncluded (4GB)
Dual USB Power AdapterIncludedNot Included
Voice ControlYesNo
Price$229$199

As you can see there are a few changes here, the newer 46 model comes with a larger field of view and can sync with multiple dash cams in your vehicle (think rear or side cameras) to give you full coverage. The 46 model also comes with Voice Control functionality now unlike the previous iteration, this can be particularly handy for incidents that may not impact your car and set off the automatic incident detection.

The other change is that the new series dash cams will no longer ship with a MicroSD card, you will need to purchase that separately. Instead of Micro SD cards, Garmin has included a different length cable and a dual USB power adapter. To match these inclusions and the new camera lens design the price has gone up from $199 AUD (Garmin Dash Cam 45) to $229 (Garmin Dash Cam 46).

Is the 46 worth it over the 45?

Overall based on performance, price and inclusions it’s not worth it to upgrade to this camera. The other models like the 56 and 66W have seen better resolution and visual fidelity upgrades that have been overlooked on the 46. The 46 unlike the other models does not have HDR which improves night driving performance and will only shoot in 30FPS 1080p resolution. The wider FOV is a benefit but without updating the resolution this actually makes the overall image lose its clarity rather then improving it.

Garmin Dash Cam 46 | $229 AUD 

Dash Cam 46 vs Dash Cam 56 Full Specification Comparison

4645
General
Physical dimensionsWxHxD: 5.62 cm x 4.05 cm x 2.14 cmWxHxD: 5.62 cm x 4.05 cm x 2.14 cm
Display size2.0" diag (5.1 cm)2.0" diag (5.1 cm)
Display resolution320 x 240 pixels320 x 240 pixels
Display typeQVGA color TFT LCDQVGA color TFT LCD
Weight59.7 g59.5 g
Batteryrechargeable lithium-ionrechargeable lithium-ion
Battery lifeup to 30 minutesup to 30 minutes
Magnetic MountYesYes
Maps & Memory
Data cardsmicroSD™ card (not included)microSD™ card (included)
Camera Features
Automatic Incident DetectionYesYes
Camera Resolution1080P1080P
Field of View140 degrees122 degrees
Voice ControlYesNo
Frame Rateup to 30 FPSup to 30 FPS
GPS speed and location info in videoYesYes
Dash Cam Auto Syncyes (up to 4 cameras)No
Mobile app to review footageyes (Garmin Drive™ app)yes (Garmin VIRB® Mobile app)
Camera-assisted features for forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, "Go" alert and Garmin Real Vision™YesYes

Garmin Dash Cam 56 vs Dash Cam 55 – Differences and whether you should buy it

Dash Cam 56Dash Cam 55
Field of view (FOV)140 Degrees122 Degrees
Dash Cam Auto SyncYes (up to 4 cameras)No
Micro SD CardNot includedIncluded (8GB)
Dual USB Power AdapterIncludedNot Included
Clarity HDRYesNo
Price$249$249

Similar to the 46 model the FOV has increased to give you a wider viewing angle. The resolution and framerate have stayed the same but Garmin has built in a HDR clarity mode which improves the colour fidelity of the image. The HDR mode can only be run at 30FPS on both the 1080p resolution and the 1440p resolution.

The accessories included with the camera are the same as it was for the Dash Cam 45 - No Micro SD card but a dual power adapter and extra USB cord in its place.

Dash Cam 55 1440P | 30FPS | 122 FOV

Dash Cam 55 1440P | 30FPS | 122 FOV

Dash Cam 56 1440P | 30FPS | HDR | 140 FOV

Dash Cam 56 1440P | 30FPS | HDR | 140 FOV

The 56 screenshot is on the left of the slider while the 55 is on the right side of the slider.

Is the 56 worth it over the 55?

As they are the same price I would select the 56 over the 55 as you will have a wider FOV and better nighttime driving performance. When you compare the pictures above the 55 looks to be 'prettier' but this is simply due to the lack of HDR sharpening (useful for number and letter details) and a narrower FOV. Is it worth upgrading to the newer model from a previous iteration, that's a tricky question. Moving from a camera with 1440p and below 140 FOV I would say yes but anything above those two factors you wouldn't notice a significant improvement between models.

Garmin Dash Cam 56 | $249 AUD 

Dash Cam 56 vs Dash Cam 55 Full Specification Comparison

General
Physical dimensionsWxHxD: 5.62 cm x 4.05 cm x 2.14 cmWxHxD: 5.62 cm x 4.05 cm x 2.14 cm
Display size2.0" diag (5.1 cm)2.0" diag (5.1 cm)
Display resolution320 x 240 pixels320 x 240 pixels
Display typeQVGA color TFT LCDQVGA color TFT LCD
Weight59.7 g59.5 g
Batteryrechargeable lithium-ionrechargeable lithium-ion
Battery lifeup to 30 minutesup to 30 minutes
Magnetic MountYesYes
Maps & Memory
Data cardsmicroSD™ card (not included)microSD™ card (included)
Camera Features
Automatic Incident DetectionYesYes
Camera Resolution1440P1440P
Field of View140 degrees122 degrees
Voice ControlYesYes
Frame Rateup to 60 FPSup to 60 FPS
Clarity ™ HDRYesNo
GPS speed and location info in videoYesYes
Dash Cam Auto Syncyes (up to 4 cameras)No
Mobile app to review footageYes (Garmin Drive™ app)Yes (Garmin Drive™ app)
Camera-assisted features for forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, "Go" alert and Garmin Real Vision™YesYes

Garmin Dash Cam 66W vs Dash Cam 65W – Differences and whether you should buy it

Dash Cam 66WDash Cam 65
Resolution1440p1080p
Dash Cam Auto SyncYes (up to 4 cameras)No
Micro SD CardNot includedIncluded (8GB)
Dual USB Power AdapterIncludedNot Included
Clarity HDRYesNo
Price$349$349

The 66W, unlike the other models, has the same FOV as the previous iteration at 180 but because it has a higher resolution it shows a much clearer picture. This was the biggest issue the 65W suffered when it was first released, that despite the wider FOV the 1080p resolution made the picture appear stretched and distorted.

The 66W also has the same accessory changes as the previous models, that is no Micro SD card but an extra USB cable and the Dual power adapter.

Is the 66W worth it over the 65W?

Yes. The 66W has wider FOV and finally has an increased resolution to keep the picture from looking distorted. The Clarity HDR feature is also a strong advantage over the previous iteration in terms of nighttime clarity. The screenshots above make show how the lower resolution impacts the 65W overall clarity and that by increasing the resolution to 1440p the picture is much clearer.

Garmin Dash Cam 66W | $349 AUD

Dash Cam 66W vs Dash Cam 65W Full Specification Comparison

General66W65W
Physical dimensionsWxHxD: 5.62 cm x 4.05 cm x 2.14 cmWxHxD: 5.62 cm x 4.05 cm x 2.14 cm
Display size2.0" diag (5.1 cm)2.0" diag (5.1 cm)
Display resolution320 x 240 pixels320 x 240 pixels
Display typeQVGA color TFT LCDQVGA color TFT LCD
Weight61.3 g59.5 g
Batteryrechargeable lithium-ionrechargeable lithium-ion
Battery lifeup to 30 minutesup to 30 minutes
Magnetic MountYesYes
Maps & Memory
Data cardsmicroSD™ card (not included)microSD™ card (included)
Camera Features
Automatic Incident DetectionYesYes
Camera Resolution1440P1080P
Field of View180 degrees180 degrees
Voice ControlYesYes
Frame Rateup to 60 FPSup to 30 FPS
Clarity ™ HDRYesNo
GPS speed and location info in videoYesYes
Dash Cam Auto Syncyes (up to 4 cameras)No
Mobile app to review footageyes (Garmin Drive™ app)yes (Garmin VIRB® Mobile app)
Camera-assisted features for forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, "Go" alert and Garmin Real Vision™YesYes

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Dash Cam MiniDash Cam 46
FOV140 Degrees140 Degrees
Dash Cam Auto SyncYes (up to 4 cameras)Yes (up to 4 cameras)
Micro SD CardNot included Not included
Dual USB Power AdapterIncludedIncluded
Mount TypeAdhesiveAdhesive/Magnetic
GPS Speed and Location infoNoYes
Driver Assisted FeaturesNoYes
Price$179$229

The Mini is a completely new Dash Cam model for Garmin lacking the small LCD screen display. This means everything setting-wise for the camera needs to be done through the app though it can be installed and start recording without actually using the app it just needs a MicroSD card. The Dash Cam Mini has the same camera as the 46 it just lacks the GPS Speed and location features and no Driver Assisted alerts (traffic moving and lane departure). The big advantage for this model is that it's a cost-effective Dash Cam that may not have all the bells and whistles but still records at a high-quality resolution and 140-degree FOV.

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Garmin Dash Cam Mini 1080p | 30FPS | 140 FOV

Garmin Dash Cam 46 1080p | 30FPS | 140 FOV

Garmin Dash Cam 46 1080p | 30FPS | 140 FOV

 

Unsurprisingly, as the cameras are both the same resolution and HDR quality the images look the same, as the cameras were positioned side-by-side the angle changes slightly. The only reason to purchase a Dash Cam 46 over the Mini is if you want GPS Speed/Location and Driver Alerts. Granted, GPS/Speed and location in actual accident situations could be very helpful and important for insurance purposes.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini | $179 AUD