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Articles by Category

    

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)

"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?"

Hello
I drove for 4.5 hours on Saturday and 2 hours Sunday and yes my phone is 24 hour clock.
Thanks for your help.
Glen

August 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlen

@Glen the only thing I'd try is to power it from a USB charger and pop it outside in your garden with a clear line of sight to the sky. Sit there with a cup of tea. If it hasn't locked on by the time you've finished your tea, it's faulty. If it locks on, it must be something in your car that's blocking the signal...e.g. A heated front windscreen.

August 2, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Without tracking back over previous emails for references to poor android support by the app and the need to submit queries to Ddpai. I uninstalled / reinstalled the app today from the Play Store (vrs 5.4.1.0503 dated 03May16) and established the android app developer can be emailed at vyou@vyoutech.com
Also there is a feedback email address listed inside the app for contacting Ddpai at feedback@ddpai.com
Have not tried using these points of contact, but with my micro sd due from Amazon this Thursday and pursuing setup thereafter I will probably be on the case.

August 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTravelbuddy

hi iv bought 2 of these ddpai m16 plus.my issue with first cam is a constant dinging sound which i thought was to do with pairing the button.on the other camera on the app my gps is showing china streets i was told to reset camera but still the same.also iv hardwired it for continues recording.i have parking mode and timelapse switched on but looking through vidios there is no timelapse in there.is it motion detection to start the parking mode or a noise?lastly my 32gig card is full after 2 days recording with up to 30 250 meg files in one day.any ideas anyone?thanks in advance

August 3, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

Hi Paul,

Did you manage to fix the constant dinging sound ? I got exactly the same issue. I have to restart the cam 3 to 5 time to stop it.
Also you may notice that when this happens no wifi is available, so this make impossible to guess what's happening

ddpai should at leat generate a log file and store it on the SD card when anything wrong is happening (I'm kind of dreamer because they don't even answer to email)

This is definitely a bad cam.

August 3, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterparadox

PLEASE READ THIS >>>>>>>> A dinging sound means that your SD card cannot be written to. It is either...
A) Not in the camera
B) Too slow
C) The wrong capacity
D) Faulty/Fake
E) The wrong format

The only thing you can attempt to resolve without buying a new card is E) ...So if you have used the card before on your computer you need to re-format the card in your computer as FAT32 before putting it in the camera...if it still doesn't work, you need to get a new SD card. Class 10, Decent Brand. The 32GB Class 10 Samsung SD cards I use in all my cameras (except 4K cameras) are on the right of the screen...I have never had any problems with these.

The most likely problem will be that someone has a card that they've formatted in their computer as NTFS or HFS+ that the camera can't read, so can't re-format. A new card out of the packet will not need to be formatted in a computer - take it straight out of the packet and put it in the camera.

This is not a unique situation for this camera - other dashcams cannot read NTFS or HFS+ formatted cards or work with fake or cheap or slow cards either. Never cheap-out on the memory used with a dash cam, and only experiment with using larger sizes when you are confident in your abilities and are happy with the idea that as you are experimenting it might not work.

Many cameras cannot accept 64GB cards and even more cannot accept 128GB cards. 32GB is a standard recognised by all current cameras.

Only buy SD cards from a recognised brand and from a reputable seller. If you get your memory from Amazon themselves using Prime delivered from their warehouses (and not a reseller on the marketplace) you can be sure that the memory is legitimate. Amazon have a lot to lose by tarnishing their reputation selling fake memory cards that don't work...whereas Dave9028 on ebay doesn't give a stuff, he just wants your cash and can do a runner if anything goes wrong.

It's bizarre when people spend £3 on a memory card for a £100 camera and then when the camera can't use the card they blame the camera. No one would buy fuel out of a bucket from a chap at the side of the road to put in your new car just to save a few £/$s. Treat your new camera to a new card - the Samsung 32GB card on the right of the screen is £8.99 and works.

August 3, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@ Paradox - Are you just going to keep complaining about things...or are you going to read anything that people have taken the time to post in order to help you with your issue.

So you ordered from a seller in China (that I didn't link to) then complained that it took three weeks to arrive.
The you said it hadn't arrived.
Then you complained the WiFi didn't work...so I gave you some advise.
Then you said it beeps - which I've explained is down to your memory card
......- then you just repeat it again.
What's your game here?
JUST GET A NEW SD CARD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

August 3, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Paul - I think the time-lapse starts when it detects a lack of movement - if it doesn't have a GPS lock then it can't see when it moves. If you look through the earlier comments it appears that people on some phones that are set in 12HR mode don't sync their time to the camera properly...this might affect the GPS location too. So put your phone in 24 hr mode and connect up to the camera.

The DINGING is to do with the SD CARD - use a different one or see above for more.

August 3, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

thank you techmoan im getting there slowly iv got 2 new cards coming today so hopefully that dinging will be sorted.iv found the timelapse files now they start with s in the folder but when i open them they are just like a still and dont play even tho they are 200 ish meg.

August 3, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

They should end with _25 as well (at least they do for me).
Play them in a different playback programme - perhaps the one you are using doesn't like them - try VLC - or install the K-lite codec pack.

August 3, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Matt, wonder if anyone is also experiencing really muffled (weak) audio quality on the PC. I am using the latest K-Lite codec, and tried it with both Windows Media Player and VLC player. Audio with VLC is a little louder, but still much weaker compared to my old A118c dashcam.

I wonder if there is something wrong with the mic on my DDPai?

Also, the WiFi download speed is a little inconsistent. Sometimes great at 1.5 to 2.0 MB/sec, but sometimes at only 300 KB/sec. Is anyone else experiencing this also? Thanks.

Albert

August 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlbert

Hi, I'm also having the same issue mentioned above whereby my gps signal states I'm either in China or somewhere over the North Sea. I've tried resetting, but no joy. Also, the only way I can see the recorded video is if I remove the memory card and use my PC to view. Any ideas?

Regards.

August 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Albert,

My microphone is also very quiet as well, and the wifi is also all over the place and sometimes at 0

hope this helps you as it isn't an isolated case for you.

August 3, 2016 | Unregistered Commentersteve

One thing I thought I should check. Is your camera plugged into the 2.1 amp output on the power adaptor. The only reason I ask is that once I had a camera that worked but the GPS didn't...when used on a 1 amp charge, because it was supposed to be powered by 2.1 amps.

August 3, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat ~ encouraging to see from blogs on your site that some people are achieving good result from DDpai M6+ cam. My M6+ proved to be excellent initially (my 23 Jul comments above refer) despite early set-up issues. However, it has now completely ceased recording. Trying to get it to function during past few weeks has tested my patience (and retention of basic principles learned in my first career as telecom tech). Info below relates. I am now trying to decide whether to persevere with DDpai or to ditch my M6+ and investigate alternative discreet cam product (such as JooVuu X - have you looked into this model ?).

The DDpai M6+ was supplied from ebay store you used (supplier for Aus, based in HK) and delivered within estim time. Product presentation & build quality is top-notch (makes many EU competitors’ products look 2nd rate). Bought top quality microSD card from B&H Photo in USA (Samsung 128GB Pro - very fast read/write) and also tried using Sandisc 4GB. Bought Cellink B (from very reputable supplier - DashCamsAust) with intent to use as power supply for ‘parking mode’ after ensuring the M6+ worked OK on my car.

Initial set-up was easy (apart from spasmodic difficulty in using DDpai APP to connect via WiFi from android to M6+ cam). Used several different androids (phone & tablets) as interface and eventually was able to connect, format SDcard and download firmware updates. Quality of video recorded by the M6+ is very impressive. Viewing live stream video on tablet was also great (not something I’d normally expect to do). Review-search function provides a terrific facility to find recorded data. Audio recording is also excellent.

My earlier email to DDpai with question about using DDpai Mini2 as rear cam generated very timely response by DDpai (Kevin Lee - Mkting Mgr), who advised I should contact him with any problems with my M6+. Disappointingly, after trying unsuccessfully to obtain any recording at all by my M6+ during last few weeks or even in re-establishing any WiFi connection to the cam, I wrote to Kevin again (twice - extracts below) but DDpai has not responded. Any comments ? Best regards ~ Leon

Summary of email sent to DDpai 3 Aug
Hello Kevin ~ (Nil reply received to my 28 Jul email).
Since 26 Jul, I have been unable to connect to my DDpai M6plus via WiFi.
I’ve tried to connect 20 times, using different phones & tablets, but nothing will work.
Only info shown on DDpai APP is “no camera is detected”.
Trying to connect camera generates “Network connection failed”.
I have repeatedly removed SDcard & inserted it in PC to find dash cam stopped recording on 26 Jul (mid-way on drive), yet all LEDs on the cam have been illuminated (2.1 amp supply used)
I have tried different SDcards, but nothing works at all now.
Please help ~ Leon.

Summary of mail sent to DDpai 28 Jul
Subject: FW: DDpai Mini 2 - 1440p
Hello Kevin ~
Thanks for previous advice about DDPai M6Plus non-compatibility with Mini 2 as ‘Guest camera”.
(Qn: if difficulties below with my M6Plus can be rectified, would a 2nd M6Plus be supported as Guest Cam ?)

I received my M6Plus 2 weeks ago.
Presentation and quality of item by DDPai is very impressive. Video quality is amazing.
Performance and discrete size of M6Plus is exactly what I wanted.
I used Sony Z1 android phone to install DDPai APP.
Installation was successful and I was able to download software update.
However, at times I could not connect to the Cam and not ensure the camera is recording.
Sometimes it is possible to access “Settings”, view video live-stream and search/review recorded video, but most times the APP simply states “No camera detected”.
I tried 2 other android platforms to obtain connection to the cam, without success
(also used top quality micro SDcard – “Samsung Pro Plus 128GB” and another card - Sandisk 4GB)
You kindly suggested that I should contact you if any problems with my DDPai M6Plus.
Do the above difficulties indicate that my M6Plus is spasmodically faulty ? Best regards ~ Leon

Email received from DDpai 5 Jul
Dear Leon:
You are welcome and thanks for trust DDpai.
if you have any problem for M6 plus, also could contact me.
Best Regards, Kevin Lee

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

In regards to the GPS and China...

My saved tracks do the same thing.
It appears that the GPS in the tracks section is hard coded for East. It may also be hard coded for North so those below the equator might be affected by that as well...?
Texas - 31°21'N 99°01'W (obviously not even close to my location)
China - 31°21'N 99°01'E

If I google the China coordinates, it looks a whole lot like what I see in the tracks app.

With that said, if you:
* Open the app
* Click on the Camera tab
* Click play on the video window (so that it connects to your camera)
* Click on the full screen arrows in the video window
* Hold your phone in portrait mode
* You will see the real time GPS window below the video.
(this window doesn't always populate for me but it shows a dot that is my position)
* Zoom out until you see the outline of your state (if your in the US) and you will see that your located in relatively the correct spot.
(the second time I connected to the camera and went full screen it actually populated the map and was correct)

Does it work the same for you?

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterViper DaSnake

Can the DDpai camera be operated usefully without an Android device? Meaning can it function as a basic live in the car camera, and have full time video protection. I realize the device is infinitly more useful with the android ap. I have Apple Iphone SE.

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRob Mason

I don't use an Android phone with mine. In the video I'm using an iPhone 6+

August 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

My "101photo" folder on my SD card is always empty. On my iPhone 6+ DDPai app, I see both the pictures and the 11-second videos (from when I press the wireless button), but I never see any pictures in the 101photo folder itself. Does anyone know how to resolve this? Where are my pictures saved? Thanks.

FYI, videos are in "100video" folder correctly..

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlbert

Loving all your videos, the dash cams in particular have spurred me into getting one myself.

I have just ordered one of the m6 plus jobbies and am eagerly awaiting delivery.

One feature I would love you to explore with these if possible, is having a second m6 plus for the rear. Hopefully they synchronise somehow and make it easy to match clips when needed.

It would be fantastic to see a follow up to the review exploring how well (or badly) the system integrates with the additional unit.
My only major reservation on picking this was the lack of dual cam option as a package but I would consider adding another if it integrates well enough.

Do you fancy having a go at this?
(I see that ddpai link your review as an official promo on YouTube so I'm sure they would be willing to help you out with the additional unit, and if we're lucky they may attempt to improve any shortcomings that you report)

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrichard

Still can't figure how why pictures are not saved inside my "101photo" folder on my SD card. I am using a iPhone 6+. Things I tried:

1) Delete and reinstall app
2) Swap out my 128GB card with an 32GB card
3) Reformatted my SD cards
4) Deleted camera from app, and reconnected camera to app.
5) Hard reset (push pin) on the camera
6) Toggled on/off "Save pictures to phone"... thinking that maybe if enabled, pictures are saved to iPhone only, and not to SD card. Issue remains.

Interesting to note: The Dashboard remembers my total mileage and hours driven, even after a hard reset and deleting the app. and formatting the SD card.

I am lost. Matt, can you confirm you still have pictures saved in your "101photo" folder using firmware 3.3.0.31? Your review still had 3.3.0.28 and folder was working then. Thanks!

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlbert

No they don't get stored in that folder on mine either. <---IGNORE

CORRECTION - YES THEY DO

I was thinking of a different camera.

August 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

hiya viper no mine still shows china il try wat u said lastly though.on my other cam when i try to connect to camera through app it keeps losing connection jumping back on to house wifi and have to keep putting password back in.lastly when i try to preview vidios it constantly buffers

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

Thanks Matt, it is just that in your video review at the 22:15 mark, you clearly showed that photos from the remote control shutter button is stored in your 101photo folder. At that time, you were running firmware 3.3.0.28. I guess DDPai must have removed savings photo to SD card in their latest firmware.

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlbert

Richard, I recall an earlier posting indicated Ddpai had responded to their email, which asked if an M6+ could be shared on the same phone/tablet device with the newly released Mini 2. The reply was that at the moment this was not possible but the M6+ could be shared with the mini or mini x model. I therefore suspect that as the M6+ and Mini 2 share the same guts apart from a battery and gps they could not be shared. However if you have access to 2 devices then you could control 2 M6+'s individually.

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTravelbuddy

Thanks Travelbudy, I guess the mini 1 would be fine for the rear cam. Has anyone here had any experience with running the m6 plus with either a mini 1 or another 6 plus in the rear?

You would hope that their recordings would be coordinated somehow without needing an android or ios device present all the time. As i haven't received my 6+ yet I don't know if the link would be via cable or wifi or if the instructions even offer any useful advice on the subject.

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrichard

Albert - you are right, I must be thinking of another camera (there are so many) - perhaps the Yi 4K, there was definitely one camera that just put everything in one folder, but created empty folders. Let me check my camera again.

August 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Responding to earlier posts...

Can the DDpai camera be operated usefully without an Android device?
--- You need a phone to setup the camera initially and to make changes. Once it is setup, you dont need any smart device for it. Just pull the SD card and put it in a normal computer when you want to use the data.

My "101photo" folder on my SD card is always empty.
--- I tested this today and when I push the button, the camera puts an image in that folder. I actually had the setting turned off for video. So I know that doesn't affect images.

hiya viper no mine still shows china...it keeps losing connection jumping back on to house WiFi and have to keep putting password back in
--- It sounds like you are using your phones wireless manager to connect to the camera. Don't do that. Let the app manage the wireless. When you let the app manage the wireless connection, you only have to put he password in when you add the camera (If I recall correctly)


Random comments...

NEW FIRMWARE released today... (at least today is the first time I've noticed it)

As someone that plays with my toys a lot, it sure is annoying not being able to power up the camera in the house to play with the settings.

August 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterViper DaSnake

@Viper, please try again whether photos are saved to the "101photo" folder after you updated firmware to 3.3.0.31. I suspect you are still running the older firmware 3.3.0.28, which is the same as Techmoan's review. It was working then, but not anymore. Please confirm. Thanks.

August 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlbert

Follow up post after the update...

I didn't notice any major changes.
Still hoping for a MPH option,
Although I suspect that would be an App update and not a firmware update.


I noticed something today that I have not noticed before.
When you look at the Tracks, if you open a Track that has snapshots associated with it, (That are stored on the phone) it will show those below the track.
I also noticed that the GPS coordinates are shown above the Tracks and they are showing East (when they should show West)
I meant to look at the GPS logs on the SD card but I forgot (hopefully tomorrow)

@paul
When watching the camera feed in full screen in portrait mode,
Do you see the blue dot showing your position on the screen?
There is an icon to the bottom far left, if you click it two or three times, it moves the map to the blue dot.
For me this worked as per the above today. I had to click that icon before the map scrolled to correctly show my location.
If you watch the video at the 10 minute mark, That is the view I am referring to. The interesting thing is that there is no blue dot on Matt's screen..! Another thing to check, Do you have a flashing green satellite icon in that view? I haven't tested it, but logically I would suspect that the app is telling us that the GPS is working by flashing that icon...

I payed with that portrait mode some today and I noticed that the GPS map in the bottom half of the screen did not update in real time.
If I exited that screen and came back, it did change to the correct location but it never updated in real time.

August 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterViper DaSnake

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