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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« Retro Tech: The Wire Recorder | Main | The flashing lights on this EL USB cable aren't just for show. »
Thursday
Jun232016

Dashcam Review: DDPai M6+ is the best mini cam I've used

In the video below you'll see a full Review of the best Mini Dashcam I've used. I've been using this in my car for six weeks and I can't fault the performance. I'm so happy with it that I have plans to buy a couple more when I can get the money together. Then I can replace the camera in my other car as well as try the dual camera functionality in my roadster. 

The highlights of this camera for me are the magnetic mount, the video quality and the time-lapse parking mode. Other notable features include WiFi, GPS and a wireless remote.

I bought mine from the ebay store linked below: (Click your country to see the current price). 

 UK   US   AU   DE   AT   BE   CA   CH   ES   IE   IT   NL

I’ve purchased from this store plenty of times over the years without any problems. Delivery usually takes approx 10-14 days to the UK.

 

I cannot report on the long term reliablity of a product that has only been on the market a few weeks...but I do hope it carries on working for a long time, as I really like this one. 

Downloadable sample clips here: http://pc.cd/WSdctalK - Please don't be that guy who always tries streaming the videos and then gets back to me to say that they look terrible when streamed. These are provided for Downloading - they look like they were recorded with a potato if streamed over pcloud.

My 'BEGINNERS GUIDE to Dashcams' can be seen here: https://youtu.be/HQ0Tm9FFpKM

UPDATE - I must stress that this is not a basic simple camera suitable for beginners - it has a lot of features and you need to have a bit of experience with apps, smartphones and previous dashcams before you buy this camera.  If you are looking for your first car camera...this is not suitable. I have a list of recommended dashcams and something like the Transcend Drivepro 200 is a good place to start. Big clear screen, minimal options and simple features, no WiFi or reliance on smartphone apps which can lead to potential compatibility issues with specific phones. 

UPDATE 2 - OCTOBER 2016

I was getting a lot of questions about this camera - if you read through the comments below you'll see that the same questions keep popping up - so to help anyone out who is having issues with the smartphone features of this camera - please watch the video below - you'll also see a demonstration of the CPL filter in use. I recommend you watch this one on Youtube itself (click the youtube logo at the bottom of the video) and then you can skip to the appropriate section you need. 

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Reader Comments (663)

BE WARNED ! BE WARNED ! I am very happy with the camera. I'm relatively happy with paying about £100 for it with free postage.
What I am not happy with is getting an invoice from TNT for £28.55 for taxes and duty. The Ebay website does mention this in tiny, almost greyed out, print.
IT'S THE LAST THING I BUY FROM ABROAD.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Y

Hiya

Can I please ask why BlackVue cameras have not been reviewed or mentioned? Only reason I ask is that there are raving reviews everywhere about this dual camera set up Blackvue DR650S-2CH but there is no mention of any blackvue cameras. Possibly the most successful dual camera set up?

Would like to get your thoughts on this.

Many thanks.

Ali

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAli Naqvi

I am not very computer literate and always have trouble connecting my IPhone to the camera. It always asks me for an email address and a password but won't accept it. So I end up creating a new password but the email verification doesn't work. It asks me for a phone number but won't accept any I put in. I tried to create a new account but it tells me there is already that account. Where am I going wrong?

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Y

I was interested in purchasing one of these and to use the time lapse feature. I was wondering if anyone has used this feature by plugging the dashcam into a powerbank overnight to power it. i recently bought one from Tesco and wondered if this woudl work to power the feature.

Cant hardwire it as it is a lease car

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPAVAROTTI

@Pavarotti, I can confirm that the camera can be powered by a battery bank. After 5-6 mins it will enter timelapse mode (if enabled). Since it takes 5-6 mins befoer activating timelapse, I think there are better options for this task though.

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterYngve

Yngve. what would you suggest to better perform task?

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPAVAROTTI

That would depend on the use case. You don't have much control over the images taken with timelapse on the DDPai. If I remember correctly there is 1 image per second, that is made into a timelapse movie. You have no control over the chosen exposure or anything really. But if this is fine, no worries. If not, a cheap consumer entry camera can be bought used for a low price, and outperform the ddpai in almost every way (as a camera, not a dashcam).
You could also consider the Mobius action camera. I have the first generation.

Maybe @tehmoan can make a video regarding version 2?

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterYngve

the DDPai was the camera that was of interest simply due to image quailty and the fact i could pretty much hide it away around the mirror. The time lapse function would be useful for security but not essential. Mobius also interested me but i fancied taking it apart and making it as covert as possible which would have bumped up the expense

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPAVAROTTI

@Barry Y

Probably because you ordered with express mail and they used TNT. I got mine through regular post and no bill. I think the courier companies are stricter about the contents.

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter@Barry Y

I learnt a lesson from that.

September 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Y

I bought the DDPai M6 Plus, listed as a Boblov M6 Plus from the seller Boblov on Amazon with a bundled polarising filter (CPL) and additional sticky bracket for £115. The product shipped from China, but luckily I didn't get stung for import taxes.

The camera is a genuine DDPai M6 Plus and is recognised by the DDpai app, the only difference was that Boblov keyring had been added with the optional extras I'd added to the order. Now about that app, don't try getting it via the QR Code in the the box or the DDPai website, the links provided by that led me to a web page which Firefox blocked as a security risk - just go to Google Play or Apple's App Store and search for DDPai's app on there.

The CPL that Boblov supplied, and I assume the same for the other similar ones I've seen, is the stick on variety, the only problem being that the front of the M6 Plus is very slightly curved, but the CPL is not, meaning that it is held on in the middle by a very small contact area. It probably won't stay stuck on for long because of this, so I'd recommend skipping this option.

Overall the video quality is pretty good and the electronic stabilization seems to work well. There is some yellow/purple colour fringing towards the edge of the lens (to be expected with wide angle lenses), some compression artefacts (unfortunately there is no option to increase/lower the video bit rate in the app) and some orbs that appear around bright lights (e.g. traffic lights, headlights, street lights, etc.) in lower light conditions. Overall colour reproduction is fairly accurate, but it starts skewing and looses some contrast in very bright light conditions (e.g. driving towards a low sun).

The DDPai website lists several image processor features: 3D de-noise, image stabilisation, lens correction and de-mist, the Android app doesn't provide anyway to toggle these features on and off, should you find them detrimental, which is a shame (I was hoping to find these options in the camera advanced settings).

As for sound/alerts, I discovered a few things: While adjusting the camera's volume in the app, the camera plays a chime sound, unfortunately when exit that option the chime doesn't stop and the only way to stop it is to turn the camera's power off! Secondly, although you can stop the start up noise ("Hello ding ding pai") there doesn't seem to be a similar option to turn off the GPS lock noise (it would be nice to be able to toggle on and off all of the noises individually). The only way to turn off all alerts seems to be to turn the volume down to zero, but that would also mute the camera click noise when pressing the Bluetooth which you probably don't want to do.

My two favourite features of the camera are the magnetic mount (which makes removing the camera from the car for security reasons easy) and the Bluetooth button (which is much easier than trying to reach over and find an incident button on a camera).

The two improvements I'd really like to see most in the app is a video bit rate option and options to toggle the image 'enhancement' features on/off. For the camera itself, make the red ring around the lens on the front back and magnetic (for fitting a magnetic CPL).

Overall pretty pleased with this dash cam's performance and features.

September 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDavid P

I have been digging around to get some information about how to make this into a 2 channel camera and so far, there is nothing concrete. The amazon seller says to buy the smaller camera for it to work as dual channel, however there is no explanation of how that works. Will the second camera have an individual SD card? Will the app sync the to channel videos together via timestamp?

What I am thinking is getting 2 of these for front and back and running them individually. No harm in that I guess. Might mess up the app and how it works, but who cares?

Actually thinking about getting a third for passengers in my car, yes just my family but my kids are little and I want to capture some of the fun stuff we do in the car.

September 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAli Naqvi

when i plug the DDpai m6+ into my USB port on my computer to power it on there's a loud beep coming from the camera about every 8 seconds. Even when I disconnect the USB from the computer, the beeping continues until the internal battery runs out out power. What's with that? Also, I purchased a SanDisk Ultra 64 GB micro SDXC card to use with the camera and I'm getting an error message. I reformatted as NTFC and still get the error message. Any suggestions? This is a quality card and should work with the camera.

September 9, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchris g

OK, can figure out how ro remove a previous post, but I figured the beeping is from a bad format on the SD card. reformatting as FAT32, this should help ( hope). NEXT QUESTION, is there a way to start/stop recording with the app or is the camera always recording so long as power in going to the camera,,,and when I turn the car off, will the camera keep recording until the camera battery is depleted...

September 9, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchris g

In answer to your question Chris g
You have to hard wire the camera on your car NOT through the ignition
you can purchase a hard wire kit on ebay for a few pounds
the camera will go into sleep mode when nobody is around
hope that helps

September 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRae

I've tried unsuccessfully to register so I can upload clips etc. But not sure exactly what data the app is asking for on the second signin page. I notice other uk users have managed to register as some have uploaded clips which I can see. So it must be possible. Can someone explain the registration and signin requirements. Thanks

September 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAllerley

Hi, Love the reviews so thanks for all your research. I will have to stop buying your recommendations soon though as its getting to be expensive. I have just bought the DDpai M6+ but the disk (formatted in the camera) is not seen by my iMac. As you use a mac I wonder how I should have formatted the card to read it on a mac/imovie. Like Glenn I can't see the movies on my phone, but I think its because I don't have enough storage, so I will have to get extra memory for the phone too! Once I have got everything to work I can move on to the battery for the parked videos. I had not realised there were so many comments that you had to keep on top of too. impressive that you find time for new reviews. Also just used the Arlo wireless camera (which you reviewed) to catch a squirrel slowly eating its way into our garden shed. Thanks again as your reviews are interesting and informative.

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Thanks for the advice to hard wire power to the camera. I'll consider that. I have 2 cameras, one for front , one for rear. on one of the cameras, the snapshot remote isn't working properly. The blue light illuminates when the button is pressed but no snap shot is taken. A snap shot is taken if I use the button in the app, but not with the remote. Do I need to have to re-sync the remote and camera? How would I do that? Or do I just have to have the seller send a new camera & remote? Thanks!

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchris g

@Peter Are you using a USB memory card reader to plug the memory into the Mac? The camera itself can't be used as a memory card reader...so don't attach it up via a USB lead.
@Chris Re-sync that one...it'll just take a couple of secs.

September 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Chris g
have you tried pairing your camera on the app

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRae

Yes, camera is working fine with the app. If i click the camera icon in the app it will take a snapshot but if I click the remote button, no snapshot. I have 2 cameras, the 1st camera, the remote works fine. the remote with the 2nd camera is not taking the snapshot :(

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchris g

Techmoan, did you also look at the DDpai mini2 dash cam? Other than not having the GPS, seems like a similar camera except that it has a capacitor rather than the battery. I prefer the capacitor so the unit doesn't get too hot. While it doesn't have the magnetic mount of the M6 plus, there are 3rd party mounts available to make it removable. Just wondering, thanks!

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchris g

GPS is very useful for keeping precise time and date without needing to set it. All my older dashcam never kept time accurately. I think that alone is worth the price of the GPS.

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlbert

Thanks for the reply Albert. Yes, I agree, GPS is very useful. Not really a function of the extra cost, more of a battery vs. capacitor issue for me. Kind of with the M6 plus had a capacitor version.

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchris g

Is anyone able to see my comments?

It's just that I've answered questions but no one seems to respond...

September 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Techmoan, I am able to see your last comment but don;t see any immediately prior tto that one. BTW, I don't see the last question I posted about the remote not working, but I was able to get it working via the remote pairing setting in the camera advanced setting in the app.

Chris

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchris g

Hi

Thanks for the answer. I took the card out of the camera and put it in the back of the screen in an SD adaptor in the card slot on the iMac. After not being able to read the card I did try to use a usb as a connector but as you said it didn't work. I added a memory card to my phone and can now get the movies there, but would love to be able to get them directly on the mac.
As there was a question about dash cam reviews, for my part, even though I have a dash cam now, your reviews are good viewing. If you still enjoy them I will still be watching.

Thanks again.

September 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

It looks like somethings not working properly with the comments. Thanks for the reply.

September 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

My Mac reads the cards fine. That's the way I downloaded the clips that I use in the video and in the samples. Just yesterday I downloaded some clips from the camera using the SD card in my Mac.

September 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi

Card problem solved. If it helps anyone this is what I did. Tried reformatting in the mac as ExFAT but the camera could not see the card, letting me know by pinging at me. I had already let the camera format the card which didn't work. Then I tried formatting the card in the mac using the FAT option and thankfully the camera saw it and then the mac could see the clips. Both camera and mac seem to be able to see over 60Gb too. Thanks again and good filming.

Peter

September 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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