aiptek x3

explorer2

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Thanks for a great forum, I have an Aiptek x3 dash cam and I am surprised that this camera is not mentioned in this forum, The main problems with the camera is the size but I can just about hide it behind the rearview mirror also lack of gps may be a deal breaker for some.
The camera takes great video in daytime and reasonable footage at night, there are many sample videos on utube, the information that came with the camera states that it is also resistant to high and low temperatures but living in the UK I will probably not need this.
I would be interested to hear anyones experiences and opinions with this camera, if there are any questions about this camera I would be pleased to answer them.
 

Sabe

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I have had couple of cheap Aiptek's and i have to say that image quality has never been their selling point, but i have to say also that by looking X3 samples on youtube it has become much better, good even. That's daytime video i mean, night quality is as bad as any same price range camera. I would say that size and form factor is Aiptek's worst feature, but at the same time large size can handle more heat, and maybe larger battery.
What was really funny :? was operating temperature from 0 to 65C (looked from product specs)
 
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explorer2

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I agree about the shape and size being a negative for this camera, the aiptek does not have a battery, the specifications state that it has a 'super capacitor' which powers the device for file saving when the external power is switched off.
 

Sabe

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That super capacitor is clever thing to do, and other makers should do the same decision.
Personally i don't need battery, i need camera to shut down safely preserving last video.
 

DashCamMan

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Hi explorer2,

The Aiptek X3, like many of the Taiwan manufactured cameras, is not that popular. I think it comes down to value for money. The Chinese cameras dominate the low end of the market. Usually larger cameras based on the Ambarella, Zoran or Novatek processors. The Korean cameras dominate the high end of the market. Usually smaller cameras based on Texas Instruments processors with many extra features.

The Taiwan cameras are usually more similar to the Chinese cameras. They often use Ambarella processors but have better build quality / reliability. However prices are usually quite high, so people just get a Korean camera instead.

As for the Aiptek X3, it appears to be running an Ambarella processor. So it has good quality during the day and average at best quality at night (like you mention). It has a G-sensor but no GPS. I just checked the price and I was surprised that it now sells for $130 on eBay at digigomart and taiwanmart. It used to sell for much more.

At that price I would compare it with the F500LHD. Is it worth about $40 more? The X3 has a G-sensor, slightly better video quality and better build quality. Glad to see prices are starting to get more reasonable but there is a lot of competition from lower priced cameras often with more features like GPS (GS1000, GS8000).

Overall, I haven't heard anything bad about the Aiptek X3. If looking for something of better quality than the typical Chinese camera and don't want to buy a Korean camera, this appears to be an option.
 

Gurkha9

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explorer2, since you have this camera, can you turn off the voice guidance on the Aiptek X3?
I have looked at a lot of options from Korea and China but this Taiwanese one fits my needs the best at the moment.
But having to hear "start recording" and "stop recording" day in and out is a deal breaker for me.
 
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explorer2

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Sorry for the late reply, yes you can turn the voice off, to be honest it's just a gimmick but the other features of this camera are good. One thing I noticed is that if you do a lot of very short journeys (say less than 10 mins) the capacitor gets discharged by saving the files when the ignition is switched off and the time and date must be reset, it's only happened to me a few times but is some thing to bear in mind.
 

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Thanks for the reply.
One other question, how long does it take to fully charge the capacitor through USB outside the car?
In one eBay listing it says it can go for many days when fully charged (in parking mode) have you tried this out at all?
Also have you tried the 720p 60 frames setting?
 
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explorer2

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To be honest after my initial experiments when I first got the camera it just stays on the windscreen and records my journeys in the highest resolution possible, apart from the odd removal of the memory card for operation check and formatting (32gb memory card) I just leave it alone. I do not ever remove the camera from the car, I updated the firmware when I first received it and fixed it to the windscreen and left it there. Before I fitted the camera I removed all of the stickers and blacked out the labelling with a black felt tip pen, with the adhesive plate mount it only shows about 15 mm below my rear view mirror and is unobtrusive and fairly hard to see when viewing from outside the car, I have not charged the capacitor using usb, the weather in the UK is cold now and my car spends a fair while on tick over to keep me warm when waiting for my wife to finish work so this is probably keeping the capacitor charged.
Hope this has answered your questions, if you have any more I will be pleased to answer them.
Vic
 

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Hi explorer2, I just purchased the Aiptek X3 few days ago and now I am an user like you. Have a few questions wish to ask you since you are a more senior user than me.

1) Will using lower than Class 6 SDHC memory card compromise the video quality? Currently I am using Class 4 32GB SDHC from SanDisk. The first time I downloaded the video (in full HD) and view on my netbook I feel it is not as sharp as the example video shown in the shop. It makes me wonder whether the video shown in the shop was recorded with the camera put outside the car to get such sharp video (night and daytime). Not sure is it because of the windshield tint I am using or because of the Class 4 SD card compromise on video quality.

2) I have been experiment with the camera setting and I found that only General Mode can have the LCD auto off function enable. While in Smart Mode (the mode that I wish to use most frequently) and Monitor mode, once the camera switch from power saving to normal recording the LCD will be automatically turned on. Quite problematic as I plan to directly connect the power supply to car battery so the camera can record 24 hours non-stop in Smart Mode. But the LCD keep turning on by itself during parking when something passes in front of the car. The light of the LCD illuminate the interior and make people aware that there is some kind of device in the car. I think it attracts unnecessary attention, especially from a thief. Anyway to turn it off in Smart Mode?

3) I am quite puzzle how the camera detected that I am using a car cigarette charger or not. When I enable the Auto Recording function, once the car key turns to On, power supplies to the cigarette charger and the camera can detect it and turn itself on. Very good. However when I connect the camera power cable through my computer USB port, I have to On the camera manually. It does not turn it self on automatically when power supplied to it from my computer. Is it got some kind of sensor in the Aiptek cigarette adapter?
 

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
1, speed class of the memory card should have no impact in picture quality, could have problems writing if it was too slow but unlikely

2, screen waking up in parking mode is a firmware bug, report it, maybe they're not aware

3, the wiring configuration is usually different to get it to behave like this
 

Scoutfai

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jokiin said:
1, speed class of the memory card should have no impact in picture quality, could have problems writing if it was too slow but unlikely

2, screen waking up in parking mode is a firmware bug, report it, maybe they're not aware

3, the wiring configuration is usually different to get it to behave like this
Hi jokiin, thanks for your feedback.

2) The user manual is here:
http://www.aiptek.tw/images/X3_EN_Final.pdf

According to the manual, this camcorder has only 3 modes, namely Smart Mode, General Mode, and Parking Mode. I have tried Smart Mode and General Mode, I have not yet try Parking Mode. General Mode can have its LCD turn off automatically, time of turning off can be set by user. Whereas Smart Mode user cannot turn off the LCD once the recording is resume to normal recording (at 30fps) from power saving mode (at 1fps). I think this is not a firmware bug, Aiptek designs it to be like this. I have email them regarding the problem of this unpleasant issue in Smart Mode. I think the intention of the Smart Mode as designed by Aiptek is to record all day long (with power supply of course) without the need to switch between mode manually. However the LCD keep turning on automatically in Smart Mode is really something overlook by them in my opinion. Have email them to ask for a firmware upgrade on this feature.

3) So you mean that the Aiptek cigarette adapter does has some sort of sensor in it that can signal the camcorder when it is being powered through cigarette adapter?
 
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jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
there's no sensor, the pin configuration is different between the power lead and a regular USB cable
 

Gurkha9

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It may not be a different pin configuration (vs a standard USB cable) but just sensing that when connected to a PC, the data pins are live as well so it stays off. When it's connected using the car cig adapter, only the power pins are live so it turns on.
If I understand correctly, this is how the Mobius works (for example) it's all done in FW.
 

Scoutfai

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Gurkha9 said:
It may not be a different pin configuration (vs a standard USB cable) but just sensing that when connected to a PC, the data pins are live as well so it stays off. When it's connected using the car cig adapter, only the power pins are live so it turns on.
If I understand correctly, this is how the Mobius works (for example) it's all done in FW.
Hi Gurkha9.

For this particular Aiptek model, I have tried to plug in the USB cable, one end at my computer, the other at the camcorder. My computer does not sense any device connected to it. I will have to presume that the USB does nothing other than provide electricity power. If the user wants to download the file, he/she must take out the SDHC card and put into a card reader (not included in the package of course). I think this is one of the deal breaker. However it does stated in the packaging box and spec so it could be hard for new buyer (like me) to notice this before actually using the product.
 

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Hey, i know its an old thread but there isnt enough info about the aipteks out there. I have the x2 which is the upgrade from the x3, and am very happy with it other than the size. I bought the dod ls300w which has WDR and i actually almost prefer the aiptek to it! It has much better color and no stupid looking icons all over it. The aiptek deals with bright lights at night and colors a lot better.
Excellent daytime quality!
 
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