The Sony HDR-CX700V is my permanent dash camera, it’s a small, versatile and highly controllable camcorder that records to SD cards in full HD using the AVCHD codec. The only problem I’ve run into with the setup is that the cameras get’s a bumping noise in the audio from components shaking, the only real way around this I’ve found is to use a shotgun mic to get above the camera. Seeing as audio is not absolutely critical, the Bower Electret Condenser Microphone was perfect and the price was right at $30 dollars. Despite looking like a shotgun microphone it’s really a wide-angle stereo system that just pretends to be a shotgun mic.
All my vehicle setups are temporary and removable. I do this for simplicity and theft deterrence. To mount the camera I use a Manfrotto Magic Arm with a suction cup mount. Manfrotto has long since updated and changed their design for both components but the system as a whole I acquired back in 2002 and it has been very reliable with no major problems.
The tripod head I’ve mounted to the magic arm is a Manfrotto three position photo head. Because the road is never level and often ditches have a considerable slant to them, this head allows me to quickly tilt the camera and regain level. It’s also compact and robust.