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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 (My recommendation)
Yi Dashcam (also in black)
   
    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 (634)

Hi John,

What O/S you running the App on? Android or iOS?

Also, with the Memory Card, you have to Format the Card from working the App.

If I remember rightly, Matt (TechMoan) in his YouTube Video mentioned about Formatting the Card, just checked and he mentioned it around the 11 minutes 20 Seconds.

Hope that helps.
Mark.

July 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarkieMBR

Hi Mark,

Running Oxygen OS 3.0.2 based on Android 6.0.1, I'll try my Nexus tablet next if needed as that is stock Google.

I'll check out the video and formatting the memory card, good idea.

I also just found the About > Firmware updates > A new one is available so will give that a whirl too and report back shortly.

Much appreciated,
John

July 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

UPDATE:

So managed to use my Nexus tablet to connect to it, change settings, format the card and update the firmware but one my OnePlus Two it is really flaky!

I guess I'll have to carry my tablet around which is a pain, but I'll see how it goes and possibly open a support ticket up with them.

Thanks for the suggestions Mark!

July 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Welcome John, glad I could help, I'm running the iOS version of the Software so sorry I give more help regarding the stability of the Android App.

Mark.

July 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarkieMBR

Firstly, thanks for all the videos! One of my few YouTube suubscriptions!

Ordered a DDPai M6+ from the ebay retailer at the beginning of July, and it finally turned up yesterday (another comment said it took it's sweet time and the tracking number didn't work - I concur!)

Packaging and build quality are excellent, a cut above the usual Chinese electronics.

The weak point here is the (Android) software. I have really struggled - sometimes my phone (Nexus 5) can't see it, sometimes it can but won't connect, sometimes it connects but won't let me access settings, etc. I have tried reinstalling, deleting WiFi connection, switching off my home WiFi, but to no avail, it is really flakey. The only thing I may have done wrong was connecting to the DDpai camera from the Android menus rather than from the app (which the awful manual tells you to do).

I have got it working fairly reliably with my Hudl2 android tablet, but it is not a great app and lets the whole thing down a bit.

Things I would like to see:
- better written Android app
- MPH setting
- Less obtrusive sound effects!
- record further either side of "impact"

Mat, do you have any leverage with this company? I know some have taken on board your suggestions in the past!

Also, apologies if I missed it but is it possible to buy separate screen mounts for multiple cars?

July 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Unfortunately I don't have any contact with the manufacturers on this camera, I bought it myself from ebay. I've heard a few comments about the Android software - its hard to test these things myself and due to the wide variety of Android devices it probably wouldn't give much of an insight if it worked for me. One comment I saw was someone who found it worked better when the turned off their mobile connection and just stuck with the wifi connection to the camera.
However if you do get it set up with a tablet, there's probably very little need to re-connect it up again regularly. It's easy and quick to copy the files directly from the Micro SD.

July 28, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Original DDPAI 3m Hard Wire Kit 5V Adapter Micro USB for M6C,M6 Plus Car Dashcam. do you know anything about this additional item you cab buy for the camera is it easy to install and most of is it safe please. in this camera has several items you can buy. another one is Polarizing Lens CPL Filter Sticker For Ddpai M6 Plus so maybe when you review cameras be nice if you review the add on please

July 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Thank you for your great reviews /Please can you tell me how to change the time and date on this DDPai . mine reads 1/2/ 2015 and i can't get it to change. also i have my camera hard wired but works off the ignition, when i leave the car the power goes off so the parking mode and time lapse recording won't work how do i overcome this?? i would be grateful if you could leave a comment thanks
Rae

July 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRae

Hi Mike,

I think (sticking up for TechMoan) might find it costing a hell of a lot of money buying accessories for a Dash Cam that you might find turns out it be rubbish, I myself have purchased the Polarizing Lens Sticker, but currently awaiting it to arrive, so when I do receive it, will let you know if it was worth the wait, otherwise I'm finding the Camera to be excellent!!

Hi Rae,

I had the same problem as you, I loved the idea of the Parking Mode, but couldn't use as mine also works off the iginition, I liked the idea of the Battery that Matt mentioned in his Review, but tbh didn't want to spend that much, so instead I've purchased a RAVPower Portable Charger 22000mAh from Amazon and as it has "PassThrough Charging" means while the Portable Battery Charger is charging the Dash Camera will still work, but before you jump out of your Vehicle? Press the Button on the Power Pack, turn off the iginition and your Camera will still be powered.

As for the Date problem, I've heard (not 100%) but if you have your Phone set as 12 Hour Clock it won't work, so changing it to 24Hr clock believe will resolve the problem.

Hope that helps.
Mark.

July 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarkieMBR

@Mike
I was also looking for "Original DDPAI 3m Hard Wire Kit 5V Adapter Micro USB for M6C,M6 Plus Car Dashcam" (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/112070221423) same vendor. However, the output is 5V 1.5 A but the power requested by M6+ is 2A (what I saw on pictures not in descriptions). So, I don't know... Can handle the cam? Is this worth to buy it? Maybe someone here have one and can share with us his experience.

July 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLucian

I have just ordered the original hardwire kit and so will let you know in a week or two

July 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarko

Hello I have lost my GPS connection no blue light and no edog option in menu ! Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks Glen.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlen

Appreciate this is for the M6+ page but I plan to use the mini 2 for the front screen even though it is being advertised on Amazon UK as a partner rear view camera for the M6 model. I ordered the mini 2 six days ago from the recommended Ebay UK supplier, so was amazed today when it was delivered without any import duty charge. Out of the box it looks and feels a superior product, however the instruction sheet in english leaves a lot to be desired. Over the next few days i plan to see if i can get it working with an android LG G4 or an LG V500 tablet. So far i have downloaded the app on both from Play Store and found it impossible to setup an account without using my Facebook sign-on. Kept getting an error msg that a server was non operational. I have also written to the ebay supplier regarding a cpl filter but have yet to receive a response, that was also 6 days ago so don't hold out for feedback.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTravelbuddy

Hello Glen I would delete the app on your phone and start again and do the updates It looks like a fault with your phone connection not the camera hope that helps you

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRae

Just got the M6+ a couple of days ago and so far I have to say it's an awesome little camera. Not had any issue with it except one - the join between files drops anything from a second up to 5 seconds of the recording. I'm using a class 10 card which I formatted through the app, and have also tried another card just in case the one I was using was faulty. Sometimes the join is flawless, but most of the time there is a gap.
I was using the same SD card in the Mini 0806 up until now and did not have any issues with any frames being dropped between joins on that so I don't think it's the SD card. (as a side note, I can confirm the reliability issues of the 0806 mentioned by others - mine started randomly turning itself off about a month ago, hence the reason for buying the M6+ to replace it.)
Question for Techmoan - are you still getting seamless joins since you did the youtube video? Just wondering if there has been any subsequent firmware upgrades may have introduced the problem. Also, what SD card are you using?

July 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMark

does anyone know how to fix my DDPai camera or is it my iPhone, all my videos are back to front???

as for the question relating to mounting pads you can buy it by the roll Its called Numberplate Tape they use it in all garages to stick the numberplate on cars hope this helps and it is a lot cheaper than the pads

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRae

I wonder if the Lithium battery can withstand the Australian hear which can go well over 40 degree C. I noted that Paul Bourke raised this issue on 29 June 2016 but I do not seem to see a response. I was contemplating the Vico Opia2 which is capacitor based and has operating temperature from 0 degree to 75 degree C.

Would appreciate from any one who has experience as I am in urgent need for a Dash Cam.

Lim

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKN Lim

Sorry for the typo - I meant would appreciate advice

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKN Lim

Lim,

If you don't require the GPS, have a look at the Mini2 from ddpai. Its seems to be the same spec as the M6+ but without GPS and uses a capacitor instead.

Anthony

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

Hi Techmoan - great review, but please help camera will not connect to gps.
Camera is new.
It did connect a couple of times and now nothing no blue light and no message saying connected. I have tried it in lots of different locations and no joy.
Thanks Glen.

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlen

This is happening inside your car? What is the longest interval you driven for at one time without getting a lock on to GPS? Have you got your phone time set to 24hr mode?

August 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi,

I've purchased this dashcam after reading your review. Just to mention that there is no support provided by ddpai: as I need to siwch on / off 3 times the cam to get the wifi running and to make it stopping the continuous "dong" sound... There is no way to check or to understand the problem...

So no email support from the ddpai team nor a dedicated support forum...

thanks

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterparadox

If any of you who are having difficulties with the M6 Plus purchased it from SpyTec (on our website or via Amazon / eBay), we can provide tech support (by corresponding with DDpai). Please contact us at support@spytecinc.com.

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSpyTec

paradox,

i have to say that you are exactly right. I also purchased this dashcam after this review. Until now, I didnt get my dashcam yet, but I have already found a problem with the app. I have iphone 5s, and it can take me around 1-5 minutes to login (in case that i will succeed to login). When i was looking for a support in ddapi web, i noticed that there is no email to mail to, nothing at all. After that, i must saying that i am little bit worry about this dashcam. If i have any more new problems when this dashcam arrives, i will have to face them alone and probably i won't be able to do something about it.

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAdi Koper

I've purchased it from aliexpress.com I believe now that ddpai brand targets only the Chinese market...
I do really regret it. As I've waited some 3 weeks to receive it...

My advice is to look for another dashcam from an international brand and that work, than this one

thanks

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterparadox

@Rae That's a setting - just go to ADVANCED SETTINGS and make sure LEFT/RIGHT FLIPPING OF IMAGES IS TURNED OFF, you must have turned it on..its the bottom switch and it should not be green - the switch should be left..which is the default when you first get the camera

@Mark Still getting seamless files all the time. Using a normal 32GB Class 10 U1 Transcend card - latest firmware version. Are you using a larger card than 32GB?

@ Paradox - Wifi should take under a minute to activate on the camera itself - turning the camera on and off won't help this - it's more likely that your phone isn't seeing the wifi - I had this with other cameras (like the Polaroid Cube+) and my older phones - my most recent phone hasn't had this issue with any cams. I'd recommend turning the WiFi in your phone off - wait 5 secs and turn it on - after the camera has been on for a minute. If your phone still can't see the wifi, see if your laptop can see it - if it can then you've got phone issues. If you are using an android phone this paragraph copied from the comments under the video might be of help
"Because the Android system is single system, you have to turn off your mobile data first if you want to download or share your videos. When turn on the mobile data again, the camera will stop connecting to the internet, but it will not influence how it works (keep recording). While IOS has double system, it wont have this problem. Hope this will help you."

The dong sound you mention only happens when the camera can't use the SD card. If there is no card present or it is an incompatible memory card - either too big, too slow or just fake. Use a different card - Class 10, U1, branded, 32GB.

@Adi For weeks I didn't create any account..., never felt a need to, and never had to log on to anything. Everything worked 100%
I set a username up for the review, just in case I was missing out on something important...but as I suspected it was unnecessary, as I have no desire to take part in a Chinese language social sharing site for dashcam vids. I therefore removed my login details from the app and never logged into it again since. If I were you I'd just never log on to anything like I do, you really aren't missing out on anything.

@Paradox Did you get the camera, it sounds like you did in your first message then in the second it sounds like you didn't - If you did receive it in three weeks that's normal going from China - I order stuff from there all the time - sometimes its ten days, often two weeks, sometimes three and sometimes four - three weeks for delivery is totally acceptable for a shipment from China to the UK - other countries it can take longer. I didn't post any links to AliExpress though, so if you decided to buy from there because it was cheaper - then consider that you may have saved money but paid for it by having a longer delivery time. Unless it's longer than the promised delivery time mentioned in the advert there's no false advertising going on.

@kN Lim - Not sure what it is you are referring to - if you mean the 08 cameras they didn't have WiFi - but they overheated and had faulty connectors. I haven't heard any issues like that with these cameras. Earlier you mentioned you were in a hot climate - as this camera uses a battery I'd avoid. Lipo batteries swell up when heated - that goes for all cameras from everyone (no one has access to special batteries)...so get a camera with a Capacitor instead.

August 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Seems similar episode as mini 8xxx series so I think best to avoid l

August 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterkN Lim

Just some feedback.
I had a hard time setting it up initially (poor network) but for some reason it seemed to work better after a reboot of my phone.
I am using a 128 Gig PNY (P-SDUX128U160G-GE) that I bought from Amazon.
So far the card seems to work fine.
I do not believe that my videos look as clear as Matt’s.
Reading Texas license plates is difficult most of the time.
I generally need to be within 5 foot of the vehicle to clearly read it.
The rest of the time it is a frame by frame guess.
Either my lens doesn’t focus properly or there is a lot of compression in the video.
I think the camera can auto focus as it seems that the focus usually starts out crappy but eventually gets better.
It has a hard time focusing at night.
The time laps started out great but now it seems to fault out and only record normal video.
I now think that the time laps issue is due to heat, even if i crack the windows open.
(Texas 100 deg heat)
I think the camera is shutting down for an hour,
Then powering back up for a short time recording around 6 seconds and then stopping for about an hour.
It doesn’t seem to do this while driving. I assume the A/C is keeping the camera cool during driving.
I have a week of 24/7 video on this card, except where the camera powers down during the daytime heat.
At night it records normal and time laps without incident.
My truck leaves the acc sockets powered so I am just using the vehicle battery.

I updated the app a few times since getting the camera and now the app says that I am running the latest firmware.

Just answering questions I see in the previous posts:
I am able to download from the camera to my Note II without issue.
The ping sound is the dash cam is asking you to either install or format the SD card.
It did the same thing with my PNY SD card until I formatted in the camera using the app.
My phone is set to a 12 hour clock and the camera seems to keep time fine
Using the app from the Google Play store
The camera starts recording as soon as you provide power to it
The videos seem to still be seamless joins for me.


The social networking aspect of the app is useless for me as I am never able to play any of the videos posted there. I assume the server is in China with no mirrors in the US.
I have not created an account either.

August 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterViper DaSnake

@viper are you using the 'blu-ray' widescreen option in the highest res (the one I use in the video)...if not just give it a try, might help with the sharpness.

August 2, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@Techmoan

I am using 2K(1440P) with Blu-ray Cinema mode.
I believe it is just an issue of the size of the license lettering vs the distance and quality of the recording.
Our reg plates are much smaller in the USA.


A couple of notes I forgot to include in the previous post:
I really dislike the RED ring around the camera.
I made quick work of that with a black magic marker..!

In regards to others posing about using two cameras at the same time...
Most phones can only connect to one Wi-Fi connection at a time.
The camera's Wi-Fi SSID (Name) is dictated by the camera name.
If you change your camera name to PicardIsNoAdama then the Wi-Fi connection changes to that as well.
What happens if you change both cameras to the same name?
You would have to power up just one camera, change the name, power it down, then power up the second camera, change the name, then power up the original camera.
This is all guess work on my part. I only have one camera.
The cameras would have to detect each other and negotiate for different IP addresses.
...Now that I think of it, the camera IP is probably static so I doubt that would work...
Try at your own risk... but if I had two cameras I would try it.
If it didn't work, you would just change the names back to their original names.

August 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterViper DaSnake

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