Chupad D501

The Chupad D501 is a wedge shaped camera made in China released in the second half of 2016.  This is the first camera we have seen from the Chinese manufacturer Chupad.  The D501 is based on the Novatek NT96658 processor and Sony Exmor IMX322 CMOS sensor.  Currently this is one of the lowest priced dash cams with a Sony CMOS sensor.

The maximum resolution of the camera is 1080p at 30fps and it records with a bit rate of approximately 12Mbps.  What is impressive on this camera is the video quality.  Video quality during the day is very good and night quality is good.  For less than $60, the D501 has arguably the best video quality at this price point.

Another surprising feature of this camera is that it comes with WiFi (Finalcam iOS / Android app), which is quite rare at this price point.  It comes with a 2.45″ screen and G-Sensor but it does not come with GPS.  No parking mode is available and be sure to turn off motion detection since it does not work well with this camera.  Build quality is quite good and the size is reasonable at 83mm x 66mm x 35mm.  The wedge shape allows it to be mounted discreetly as well.  One unfortunate aspect of the design is the chrome ring around the lens and around the mid section of the camera.  We would prefer a fully black camera to make it more discreet.

While this camera has many positives, you should be aware of the negatives as well:

  • No ability to turn off the LCD screen automatically via the settings (can be turned off manually by quickly pressing the power button or holding down M button)
  • No audible warnings when microSD card is not inserted
  • No firmware updates / limited support from the manufacturer (have not seen any firmware updates or manufacturer support)
  • 180mAh battery instead of a super capacitor is not ideal for hot climates

Our members Sunny and Agie provided detailed reviews of the Chupad D501 on our forum.  Sunny also created the following unboxing video with video clips as well.

Known problems

Wifi App Freezes Camera

Some owners have indicated that the Finalcam app can occasionally freeze the camera.  You will need to reset the camera via the pinhole reset button.  There appears to be more issues with the Android app depending on what smart phone you are using.  There is no known solution to this problem.

Mounting the Camera

Agie provided this photo comparing the A119 on the right with the D501 on the left mounted in a car.

Sample Videos

Day Video

Night Video

Should I Purchase?

If your 2 main criteria for purchasing a camera are best video quality for the lowest price, the Chupad D501 is very difficult to beat.  The video quality is some of the best for the lower than $60 price point and having WiFi as well is a great deal.    Initial reliability also appears to be good.  That being said, there are a number of drawbacks to consider (no GPS, limited / no manufacturer support, LCD screen does not automatically turn off, chrome highlights, battery based camera).

If you can live with the drawbacks, the D501 is a good choice on a budget.  If the drawbacks are a showstopper for you, the VIOFO A119 may be a better choice for a few more dollars.  You can read what other owners of the camera have to say on our Chupad forum.

Where to purchase for lowest price

The Chupad D501 sells for approximately $60.

Firmware

We have not been able to source any firmware for this camera.

Specifications

 Chupad D501
Price$60
Read Review
ManufacturerChupad
CountryChina
Specifications 
ProcessorNovatek NT96658
CMOSSony Exmor IMX322
Channels1
Screen2.45"
GPS
G-Sensor
Wi-Fi
Parking Mode
Lock FilesAuto and Button
Video 
Max Resolution1080p 30fps
Max Bitrate (Mbps)12
Video FormatMOV
CompressionH.264
Diagonal Viewing Angle170°
Recording 
SD Card TypeMicroSD
Max Size (Spec)32GB
Max Size (User)32GB
Other 
Size (mm)83 x 66 x 35
MountAdhesive
Power Supply5V
Operating Temp-10°C to 65°C
Battery180mAh
Release DateAug 2016
AppsAndroid, iOS
Unique FeaturesNone
Rating 
AdvantagesVideo quality
Discreet Wedge shaped
WiFi
Low price
DisadvantagesCan't turn off LCD screen automatically
No firmware updates / limited support
Chrome accents
Video Day
Video Night
Reliability
Size / Discreetness
Price
Available Support
Overall Rating
Final WordLikely the best video quality for under $60 but be aware of drawbacks.

Published: Feb 22, 2017