DDPai Mini2 Review

Yooshaw

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#1
I purchased the DDPai Mini 2 through E-Bay, estore009. Shipping from China took approximately 10 days,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/311660221957
DDPai Website (Product Info, specs): http://en.ddpai.com/mini2.php









Size comparison - from L to R, SG9665GC, Mini2, Mobius B Lens


I'm not going to review the app or remote button, as it functions exactly like the M6+ that Techmoan reviewed. The M6+ and Mini2 use the same sensor and chipset. Primary difference (besides form factor) is the Mini2 is capacitor based, and has no GPS.

My primary intent is to use the Mini2 as a rear facing camera, and parking camera. My Mobius B in one car is currently performing this duty, but before I mount it there, I wanted to review it against my SG9665GC that is forward facing.

In the below images/videos, I have the DDPai set to 1440P in cinema mode (cropping the top and bottom borders)

Evening Performance
Still frames

Mini 2


SG9665GC


Mini 2

SG9665GC

I see more detail in the Mini 2 images, but the colors are muted.

Videos

SG9665GC
Mini 2
Download RAW Video: https://mega.nz/#!Y8sGGQJa!0xrkMZ22TBU8yH3trmJLuhQmwVPQytun3S3cYTpsJIc

Split SG9665GC (TOP), Mini2 (BOTTOM)

Night Performance
Stills:
Mini 2

SG9665GC

I see more details (left side of picture, trees) in the Mini2. Reading moving license plates (even at slow speeds) like in the above pics is about impossible in both cameras. The SG9665GC looks slightly better in this regard. Maybe to do with the framerate. SG9665 is 30FPS, and the Mini2 is 25FPS.

Mini 2

SG9665GC

This set is interesting, because to me it looks like the SG did a better job at picking up details than the Mini2. SG looks sharper as well.

Mini 2

SG9665GC


Videos

Mini 2
Download RAW Video:
https://mega.nz/#!l9tQTbyJ!r2Sfjybspvxa7HQ3Pv3GpkTI0h6ZRmgHqiomWjWHR1g

SG9665GC

Split SG9665GC (TOP), Mini2 (BOTTOM)

While the Mini2, generally, provides more details in low light situations, it seems to do so at the cost of a noisy picture. This comes down to personal preference I think - do you want more details, or do you want a "cleaner" picture? I think I prefer the SG9665's night performance over the Mini2.

Rain Performance

Split SG9665GC (TOP), Mini2 (BOTTOM)

You can really see the saturation difference in this screenshot.


Let me know if anyone wants the RAW footage for anything above and I will post it up.

Sound
While I didn't take an audio clip, the sound is average at best. It sounds muffled, like it's recording in the glove box. The SG9665GC is much better in this regard.
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#2
Day Performance
Still frames


Mini 2


SG9665GC


Split (SG on top, Mini 2 on bottom)

Same as above, with details zoomed 300%


Videos (with Audio)
SG9665GC
Mini 2
I see some artifacts in this sample in shaded areas (under trees). 10Mbs bitrate to blame I'm sure.

Split (SG9665GC TOP, Mini2 BOTTOM)

Parking Performance
One of the main reasons I got this camera was for the parking guard function. This camera will go to parking guard mode after 3 minutes of the car being still (sensed through the g-sensor) and then goes to time lapse mode, taking 1 picture per second, and recorded at 25fps (so video playback looks like 25x speed). The camera will go back to full motion video when a shock is sensed with the g-sensor.

Unlike Techmoan's video of the M6+, I CANNOT get the Mini2 to go to full motion by sound. I tried clapping LOUDLY in front of it with no effect.

Also, the transition from full motion video to time lapse (and reverse) leaves random size gaps in video. I've seen the gap as low as 6 seconds, and as high as 26 seconds.

During time lapse, there can be significant blocking and artifacts that remain in the picture. An object passing will "clear" the blocking and artifacts.

Video. Note transition into parking guard happens at 2:47 (11:28:08 time stamp, but next frame time stamp is 11:28:36, a 26 second gap). Transition out of parking guard at 4:24 (12:10:34 time stamp, but next frame time stamp is 12:10:41, a 7 second gap).


Illustration of artifacts and blocking:

At time stamp 11:59:18. Note blocking around SUV directly to front and in shaded area. Car on right is about to pass.


At time stamp 11:59:22, car has passed and artifacts around SUV have disappeared, but blocking remains directly in front of my car.


At time stamp 11:59:27, it all clears up for no apparent reason


Another example, at time stamp 12:05:16, remnant of a lady walking on the far left. She is frozen there.


At time stamp 12:06:56, she is still there (and had been there the whole time).


At time stamps 12:06:57. the passing of this car erases her.


Other observations:

For some reason, the bitrate during time lapse doubles to about 20 Mbps. I have no idea why. I still really like the idea of time lapse for parking guard. Conserves SD card usage (reducing write cycles) while providing full details while parked. The time gap between transitions is concerning, especially if hit by a car, and it takes 26 seconds to start recording full motion. You'd probably miss some crucial details of the aftermath if the other car sped away.

On one occasion, the Mini2 shutoff for no apparent reason. The Mini2 came out of time lapse (not sure why, no apparent shock), recorded for about 15 seconds, and shut off. It was a hot and sunny day, parked in full sun. Maybe it is some type of temperature protection, but I am not sure.

Other Details
File structure - files are named with a date time stamp: YYYYMMDDHHMMSS_SEC.MP4. The SEC seems to be the recording length in seconds. Time Lapse videos are preceded with "S_" and end with "_25" (assume this indicates 25FPS).

Power consumption.
DDPai claims this unit is "low power," but I measured current draw at 2.68 Watts during normal recording, and 2.18 Watts during Time Lapse. Compare to SG9665GC (when on motion detection) at 0.86 Watts. Mini2 is consuming over double the power during time lapse compared to SG when in motion detection.

Heat. After about 5 minutes of recording, I measured the temp at 106F. The unit does get warm during usage, but not so hot it can't be touched.

App. I really only found useful for aiming, changing the settings, and doing firmware updates. Transferring files seems to take a while, I much prefer to take out the SD card and transfer manually. Regarding settings, there is no adjustment for the image (no EV balance adjustment, brightness, etc).

Button. Mildly useful (for me). Since I'll have this rear mounted, having a button up front is nice. When you hit the button, it takes a screenshot and stores it in the "101photo" folder. It also records 10 seconds of video that will automatically transfer to your phone the next time you connect to it.

Final Thoughts
I'm still on the fence to recommend this. Picture quality is good, albeit under saturated. Night video are a little grainy with lots of hot pixels. Parking guard time lapse works, but needs some refinement. As of now, I don't think I would buy another. Would like to see time lapse implemented a little better.
 
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SuperGoop

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#3
Thanks for taking the time, especially since you didn't even plan to mount it at the front, but took the time to test it there for us.
 

SuperGoop

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#4
Are your snapshots saved in the "101photo" folder on your SD card? My is always empty. Everything else works fine. Still can't figure out this bug.

Fortunately my snapshots also save to iPhone which is then saved to iCloud automatically.
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#5
Thanks for taking the time, especially since you didn't even plan to mount it at the front, but took the time to test it there for us.
I would have been kicking myself if I DIDN'T compare it. Would have drove me nuts without a direct comparison.

Are your snapshots saved in the "101photo" folder on your SD card? My is always empty. Everything else works fine. Still can't figure out this bug.

Fortunately my snapshots also save to iPhone which is then saved to iCloud automatically.
Honestly haven't played with the button much. I'll report back when I do. Unfortunately it's overcast and rainy here today, was hoping to get some bright sunlight today for the daylight comparison.

I am looking forward to having the Mini2 rear mounted, and being able to press the remote from the front for captures.
 

VIIVIIIXIII

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#6
I'm excited for this dashcam. I had the DDPai Mini ver. 1 and the video quality did not impress me at all. The Mini 2 looks like it similar hardware to the M6plus which is superb in the video quality department.
 

SuperGoop

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#7
Can you rotate the Mini2 180 degrees so that it extends to the right instead of the left of the sticky mount? And the image will flip right-side up automatically like the M6+?
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#8
Can you rotate the Mini2 180 degrees so that it extends to the right instead of the left of the sticky mount? And the image will flip right-side up automatically like the M6+?
Yes to all. It swivels almost 360. Once mounted, you can rotate the barrel towards the interior. It will even flip the video on the fly if you do that. Just can't adjust the lens left or right once mounted (horizontal adjustment).
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#9
Added RAW download links for the Mini2, linked under the appropriate YouTube Vid. Downloads are about 5 min of the YouTube vid posted.
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#10
Since it's been raining the last two days here in Florida, still been unable to get bright sunlight comparison. But, did add a rainy day comparison to the first post.
 

SuperGoop

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#11
Strange, in this Rain sample, the SG9665GC looks more blurry/soft than the Mini2. Maybe the SG incorrectly focused a bit on the raindrops on the windshield (costing it some clarity on the actual road). Whereas, the Mini2 correctly ignored the raindrops, and focused on the road ahead.
 

jokiin

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#12
Strange, in this Rain sample, the SG9665GC looks more blurry/soft than the Mini2. Maybe the SG incorrectly focused a bit on the raindrops on the windshield (costing it some clarity on the actual road). Whereas, the Mini2 correctly ignored the raindrops, and focused on the road ahead.
they don't alter focus depending what's in front but the GC lens is much closer to the glass so will look different as a result of positioning
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#13
Strange, in this Rain sample, the SG9665GC looks more blurry/soft than the Mini2. Maybe the SG incorrectly focused a bit on the raindrops on the windshield (costing it some clarity on the actual road). Whereas, the Mini2 correctly ignored the raindrops, and focused on the road ahead.
I don't see much a difference between this footage and the evening footage. Mini2 seems to be more clear in both cases. Night time, I prefer the GC.

they don't alter focus depending what's in front but the GC lens is much closer to the glass so will look different as a result of positioning
Actually, in my case, the GC is mounted to my rain sensor housing, off the glass. It's actually sitting further back than where I have the Mini2 mounted. But agree they will look different due to positioning.
 

SuperGoop

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#14
Even by your "Saturation" screenshot, the lines on the sidings and canopy on the house in the background is much clearer on the bottom (Mini2). More example can be found throughout your video.

At first, I thought the bottom was the SG, because all your other day and night videos, the SG was sharper.
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#15
Even by your "Saturation" screenshot, the lines on the sidings and canopy on the house in the background is much clearer on the bottom (Mini2). More example can be found throughout your video.

At first, I thought the bottom was the SG, because all your other day and night videos, the SG was sharper.
I agree it's clearer, but I'd argue the Mini2 was also clearer in the evening footage. SG looks slightly sharper in night conditions.

Here's an example from the evening footage.

Original screenshot (SG Top, Mini2 bottom):


Details zoomed in at 300% (SG Top, Mini2 bottom
 
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SuperGoop

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#16
I know... that's what I am saying. All your other samples, SG is better, EXCEPT for your rain sample. That's why I was surprised and found it strange.

I am referring to your RAIN sample only, but you are right that the evening is also clearer with the Mini2.
 
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SuperGoop

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#18
Is it possible to mount it on a completely vertical window? Say back of a van, or perhaps a window in your home as a security camera?

That means the camera needs to rotate all the way back and point towards the sticky mount.
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#19
Is it possible to mount it on a completely vertical window? Say back of a van, or perhaps a window in your home as a security camera?

That means the camera needs to rotate all the way back and point towards the sticky mount.
I should be able to check by tomorrow, as I'll be moving it off the front glass and too my SUV facing rearward. Will test out and advise.
 
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Yooshaw

Yooshaw

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#20
Is it possible to mount it on a completely vertical window? Say back of a van, or perhaps a window in your home as a security camera?

That means the camera needs to rotate all the way back and point towards the sticky mount.
Tested this today and you can mount the Mini2 to a completely vertical surface and move the lens freely around the mount without touching the glass. The less than 360 movement is on the opposite side of the camera, meaning if you mount it vertically on glass, and point it opposite the glass, you may not get the exact angle you want.
 

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