Complete review: Dimika Action- / Sport / Dashcamera

niko

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Dimika action camera review


Dimika (1).jpg
Year 2013 brought to the market few interesting mini action cameras. One of them is Dimika.

Dimika = Die Mini Kamera = The mini camera In German.

It is tiny so called point-and-shoot mini camera for everyday use.
Affordable price starts from 69usd for basic package



Main characteristics

NB! Edited ( 25.05.14 ): Protsessor NT96650 CPU was originally reported, but thanks to @mister_rf teardown video and photos ( HERE ) we know that its NOT NT96650, but SIRI A11-A.

??? 3.5Mpix Aptina AR0330 CMOS Sensor ??? - NOT CONFIRMED !!!
1080p 30fps,
720p 30/60,
140 FOV ( diagonal )
G-sensor
Motion detection recording
Loop recording
Time laps
Photo shooting mode
Built in 600mAh Li-ion battery, approx 1h recording
Battery recharging time is about 2h.

Weight 38gr
Size: 64x38x16mm

User Manual / Firmware / Configuration Tools Support page.


Specifications from user manual

Dimika Specifications.jpg


Let's look inside package.

Basic package:

- camera
- microsub
- instruction ( quite accurate and detailed )
- pacakging



Dimika (6).jpg
Unboxing video



Also you can buy other different brackets / mounts and accessories

DImika Acessories.jpg

Dimika whole set.jpg



Interesting accessory is so called SplashBag, which maybe from professional point of view is not that practical, but still kind of give some solution in some cases. I would say it's better then nothing.

Splash bag video


Dimika Spash bag (1).jpg

Dimika Spash bag (2)a.jpg

Dimika Spash bag (3).jpg
 
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niko

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This week Dimika announced new accessory: OTG MicroSD / MicroUSB adapter, which allows the users to check, watch and edit captured footage anywhere on-the-go where he has a USB-OTG compatible android smartphone available.




dimika-otg.jpg

If you do not have OTG adapter, you can still playback captured videos on your SmartPhone, but in order to do so, you have to insert MicroSD card from Dimika into your smartphone and from there watch recordings using Playback software ( like MXPlayer ).

To watch recorded videos / photos on your PC / Laptop you can playback them directly from MicroSD card inserted into PC / Laptop card reader, or first to copy them to PC / Laptop hard-drive and playback from there. It is recommended to copy files first to PC / Laptop hard-drive and only then playback, because some time playback is not smooth if using playback directly from MicroSD card slot, depending on specifications of your PC / Laptop, data transfer, RAM, Video codecs etc.


Configuration Tool

To set or change different parameters on DImika, it uses Configuration tool. Below I have made video showing how it works.

Please turn up volume when watching a video, because I forgot to add microphone volume sensitivity when was recording this video.




Configuration tool 5.4 vs 5.5.jpg



Physical overview

Dimika made of plastic. Texturized rubber coating on top and bottom part of shell, however for some reasons the sides of shell is not rubber coated, so this is kind of weird for me: are they tried to save money / time or something else ? Although I must say It's well put together and have a solid feeling with no rattle.

Very easy to operate. Has only two buttons: one is power on/off - mode button, second button is recording / shutter button.

LED indicator which can change colour depending on mode status.

- solid green for video mode 1,
- blue for video mode 2,
- solid red is for photo and time-lapse photo modes.

At the back side of the camera there is an additional LED which lights up when Dimika is charging. When this LED turns off, - it means battery is fully charged. Charging time is about 2h.

On the bottom there is a screw-hole/ screw-mount. No need to use any additional brackets, just straight so called plug-and-play.

At the front there is a lens right at the centre of the camera ( other competitors have lens shifted off centre ). Also I must say that lens glass part is about 1/2mm deeper inside the main surface, which means that there is less of no chance to scratch lens if putting DImika upside down on the even surface ( other competitors lenses are standing out a little bit ).

Near lens there is a small microphone whole.

On the left side there is a MicroSD card slot, reset button hole and MicroUSB port, yes - it's a standard, widely used MicroUSB port, which means you can use any common mobile phone charger to charge Dimika, which is very big bonus to this mini action-camera.


Dimika (5).jpg



Let's "strip it down" and look inside Dimika

At the bottom of the case you will find two security / warranty stickers, under them there are screws. Quite easy to open a case.

Very first, maybe even unusual discovery was to find type of black "cover" on the PCB. Later I found out that it was actually thick foil, which more likely is added to block interference or / and for heat dissipation from CPU. Behind that you may find PCB with its different components and CPU.
( Edited, read below : Dimika uses Novatek NT96650 Processor, but CPU is covered with some thick square "Plate". I guess it sort of heat sink. ??? )

Edited:

NB! Edited ( 25.05.14 ): Protsessor NT96650 CPU was originally reported, but thanks to @mister_rf tear-down video and photos ( HERE ) we know that its NOT NT96650, but SIRI A11-A.

??? 3.5Mpix Aptina AR0330 CMOS Sensor ??? - NOT CONFIRMED !!!

Soldering of PCB components is well done, no excessive "over-soldiering" or any other signs of cheap-job.

Under double-sided tape of battery I found it capacity is 600mAh which is what specifications says.

Dimika Inside (1).jpg

Dimika Inside (2).jpg

Dimika Inside (3).jpg

Dimika Inside (4).jpg

Dimika Inside (5).jpg

Dimika Inside (6).jpg

Dimika Inside (7).jpg

View attachment 5034
 
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niko

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Mounted in the car

Suction Mount.JPG

InCar 3M 1.jpg

InCar 3M 2.jpg




Video / Photo taken as an "action-camera" ( not in car )


NB!
When watching a YouTube videos, please select 1080p from YouTube screen options at the bottom right corner.
P.S. - YouTube compresses files / data, so it does not show real video result.
You may download RAW video files to watch real footage ( check below )




I must say Dimika records nice and quality video with almost natural daytime colours, has good and quick AWB.


DOWNLOAD raw / original video files


Video data

Due to variable bit-rate and frame rate, you will see different data, depending on video scenario. Also you may see that MediaInfo and Windows (VLC) Media player properties are vary for some reason. It's probably due to how each system processes data ( still mystery to me ).

Bit-rate can jump from average 15 to 19Mbps depending on footage scenario.


Video 1 Data.jpg

Video 2 Data.jpg
 
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niko

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Still Photos shot with Dimika outside( 3.5Mpix )

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (1).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (2).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (3).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (4).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (5).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (6).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (7).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (8).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (9).JPG

Dimika OUT side SPar Shop DayTime (10).JPG

DOWNLOAD raw / original still photo files
 
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niko

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Still photo data


Still photo data.jpg



I have also done some side by side test in the park vs other competitors. You may find it from the link below:

Day, Park: Innovv C1 vs C2 vs Dimika vs Mobius B-lens



Let's see how it performs being used as a DashCamera.


NB! Not in all cases at night you can read vital data like car number plates, - it's all depends on light conditions, car speed and other factors. This rule applies not only for particular dash camera, but for ALL other dash cameras as well.

Big factor at night regarding reading car numberplate is what type headlights bulbs are used in the car.
I wrote about that here:Reading License Plates at Night. HID / Xenon, standard bulbs

At day time, reading numberplates depends a lot on speed of car ( cars ) and light conditions.


Daytime video



Night time video



DOWNLOAD Raw / original video files of above videos:

- DAY
- NIGHT


Day video data

Day Video Data.jpg



Night video data

Night Video Data.jpg



Dimika as a Daschamera Side by Side comparison.


DISCLAIMER
Dashcameras participated in this side by side test were using firmware you see below.
NB!By the time you are reading this thread and watching video used here, developers of those dashcameras may have released anew improved firmwares.
Please refer to each developer sub-forum or website in order to see newer firmware release and their performance.



Dimika v1.3 vs Innovv C1+C2 v06-20140109 vs Mobius B-lens v1.13 ( short test )

Dimika v1.3 vs Innovv C1+C2 v06-20140109 ( Day )

Day/Night, New April'14 FW: Innovv C1,C2 vs Dimika vs Mobius B-lens

Dimika v1.0 vs Mobius B-lens v1.13 vs Panorama S / II v1.12.02

Dimika v1.0 vs Mobius B-lens v1.13 vs Panorama S / II v1.12.02 ( NIGHT )




Pros and Cons

Negative

splash bag maybe not as practical as if it would be a proper waterproof plastic case like other action cameras do, but considering price of splash bag, - it's fairly priced and it will do the job in some way.

Microphone could be more sensitive, which I guess could be done trough firmware upgrade

Main LED indicator is too small and LED light is not bright enough, especially if its glowing green, so in day time some it is hard to see which colour of led is on, or is it ON at all, always need to cover LED with hand to create a shadow in order to see it's colour.

Battery can not be instantly removed and replaced ( from point of view of action camera use ), but still if needed, then it's about 5minute job to unscrew bottom cover and replace built in battery. However this is not so much "negative thing" if comparing to other competitors like Mobius and Innovv, because those ones also dont have instantly removable batteries. But still, being more as an action camera, I guess it would be best to have quickly removable battery.

Video quality recording at night is average and can be compared to many other same price-range dash- or action cameras. If comparing with direct competitors, then Innovv was slightly better and Mobius with (B)- wide lens was the best at night.

For people who plan to use Dimika video footage for side by side comparison with other camcorders, might be an issue where Dimika using variable frame rate and variable bit-rate compared to other products fixed frame- and bit-rate.

I must point out that probably 99% of everyday Dimika users will never going to synchronize videos for side by side comparison test with other action- or dashcameras, so overall this synchronization issue is minor in some way.


Positive

Well built quality built with few interesting design advantages over other competitors like having tripod mount built into the body, which reduces need of using and carrying around separate tripod mount bracket, which also reduces overall size and weight of action camera. This is must be a strong advantage especially for RC users where every gram is important.

Also strong point is having MicroSD port for charging a battery, which means that even if you forget ( or lose ) your original one, then you can be sure in 99% cases by walking into any of your friends house ( or small store ), you will find compatible charger, because MicroSD-port is used on almost all recent years mobile phones and many other portable electronic devices.

Easy to use with simple user operations and settings option. I also like "beep"-signal every time you click shutter button or mode switch.

Developer is active to provide new firmware release time to time when needed.

Video recording quality at day time I must say is quite good for this price range and has quick auto-white balance.



Conclusions

Dimika is for people who want universal so called point and shoot mini camera-camcorder for everyday use at non-professional level. It's easy to operate and produces good video quality at day time.

Especially can be recommended for RC group users due to being lightweight who mostly shot videos at day time.

As per dashcam-use, Dimika night video recording will lose a little bit to Innovv C1 / C2, and Mobius with B-lens is the winner at night video recording.

In case you dont want to buy few separate action / sport / holiday / dash - cameras, then Innovv will do the job for all those scenarios being universal hobby camera-camcorder, but don't forget that it can not be compared in any way to video quality and performance of GoPro or high-end daschcameras.


Thank you for reading my review.
 
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niko

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I will reserve this post in case I need to add something in future as follow-up
 
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Another excellent and thorough review. Thank you.
 

russ331

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Thanks niko. Another 'tour de force'.

So many hours / days / weeks spent in creating this review. So little reward for your efforts, other than the satisfaction of helping others make informed choices.

I bought my second Mobius B on Thursday (received it yesterday). I'm pleased to note there's nothing in this review to make me regret my choice.
 
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niko

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Thanks niko. Another 'tour de force'.

So many hours / days / weeks spent in creating this review. So little reward for your efforts, other than the satisfaction of helping others make informed choices.

I bought my second Mobius B on Thursday (received it yesterday). I'm pleased to note there's nothing in this review to make me regret my choice.
Thanks. My reward is knowledge I am getting ;)
My opinion is that Dimika is interesting product ( for sure quality built, no crashes within 2 month of use ).
It has its own pros and cons, in some of them its better than competitors in others not, depending on how you look on this and who buys it and what for buys it, where it will be used etc., so there are many factors need to be taking into consideration. It's hard for any so called universal-use all-in-one product to compete on specific markets.
My job is just to deliver all pros and cons and end customer will decide what is best for him / here depending on where it will be used.
 
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