11.11 is China’s biggest sale day – potentially bigger than Black Friday! There’s tons of deals out there if you do your due diligence and keep in mind some of the techniques that sellers use to try and entice you to buy things that are not on sale.
The SPCA 6350 / OV4689 Processor and sensor combo does a decent job faking 4K. Some Youtubers even claim (incorrectly) that it’s better than GoPro 4K! You might not be able to tell the difference on a smaller screen…
English menus are now available on the Xiaomi Mijia 4K action camera, but there are no clear instructions on how to update. Since I don’t speak Chinese it was difficult to navigate the menus and find the right options, so I have written it out in a (hopefully) concise list.
I don’t expect a $30 cam to match a $100 camera for quality, but if they advertise 4K they should AT LEAST get something close, not … this … mess …
So many cams are based on the NT96660 processor, which results in fake 4K. The results are often less than stellar. The camera I used is the MGCool Explorer 1S (because it has pretty sharp video for Novatek). This is versus the ThiEYE T5e (real 4K). In order to get real 4K you need at least 8MP sensor, and many of these cams are advertised as 12, 14 or 16 but really have more like 4MP. This comparison shows a cam with a real 12 MP sensor. I’ll do another Novatek one with a 4MP cam later.
For most users, who want a dash cam in their daily driver, the adhesive mount is the way to go because it is very low profile, stands up to heat and is semi-permanent. The downside is that it is difficult to remove, if needed. The suction cup mount is good for a first dash cam or for one that will be used in multiple vehicles. Just keep in mind that if you have these little black dots it is hard to hide the camera behind the rear-view mirror. Rear view mirror cameras, I wouldn’t currently recommend getting but that may change in the future.
In most cases dual lens dash cams are a bit too expensive to be worthwhile because they do not offer the same video quality as single channel dash cams.
My recommendation, if you’re looking at an Allwinner camera, is to stay vigilant and read the specs very carefully so you don’t get ripped off. The V3 is bundled with one of two image sensors: an OV4689, which has the best image quality out of the box despite only being 4MP, or an IMX179 which is 8MP and generally has more mediocre image quality. The V3S on the other hand is being bundled with one of two sensors: a GC2023, which is 2MP, and not even high enough resolution for 1080p let alone 4K, or the OV2720 which is also 2MP but can do 1080p resolution. At the price point of these cameras, it’s worth spending the extra $10 – $20 to get something with far more capable specs instead of cheaping out.
A couple times a year there are big holidays in China which mean massive sales from Chinese sellers. Later this week is 11.11, also known as singles day, which is basically China’s equivalent of Black Friday sales. It is the biggest sale day of the year so this will likely be the cheapest prices on import tech until 2018 and Chinese New Year.
Buy cards designed for dash cams and buy them from a reliable retailer. Avoid Sandisk (even their high endurance lines!), Delkin, silicon power. Also keep in mind that MLC is a bragging point. If a card doesn’t advertise MLC, chances are is isn’t. Don’t waste your money on cheap cards because they might fail you when you need them most.