I Compared Shenzhen Dome's D201 against Ausdom's A261

AndrewL

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The D201 uses the A12A55 processor (now with the upgrade to the A75 model). Ausdom uses the older A7 chip.

Quick Summary:
Dome D201:
Probably has the best video quality on the market. Metal body is nice, worried it could overheat in the summer. Camera is less discreet because of the chrome elements. The side buttons are awful. Mount you can put in backwards and break the camera.

Ausdom A261
The video quality isn't too far off the D201 but that's probably because the A7 solution is maturing and they can extract better video quality from it. Customer service is way better than Dome's. Much better menu. You can accidently turn off recording as you're reaching for the emergency record button.

Why I Wouldn't Buy Either:
If your camera fails you'll get a quick warning message (nearly invisible) then it'll return to the recording screen. I highly doubt anyone is going to notice that the LEDs aren't flashing (could be covered up) or the recording symbol (way too tiny). Eventually there will be an error and you'll be able to catch it until it's too late.

Fairly easy programming choice and none of the Chinese companies do it. Real shame.


My full written review is on my website where you can download raw videos.
 

kamkar

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10 years, many dashcams
Yeah the old style Lukas like the LK-7500 i had was perfect with the little LED display on the back, no mistaking if it read ERROR, and i allso think it sounded a loud alarm in that case.
Beeing avare of camera faliure is a big must, otherwise you end up driving around for days thinking you are "safe"
 

Sunny

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More than I can review. ;)
Yeah the old style Lukas like the LK-7500 i had was perfect with the little LED display on the back, no mistaking if it read ERROR, and i allso think it sounded a loud alarm in that case.
Beeing avare of camera faliure is a big must, otherwise you end up driving around for days thinking you are "safe"
That's why you use at least two. ;)
Both failing at the same time is not very likely.
 
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AndrewL

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That's why you use at least two. ;)
Both failing at the same time is not very likely.

I guess we all can't be dash cam reviewers =/ For everyone else there's Mastercard I suppose.
 
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AndrewL

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Just had an interesting debate with a "friend of an employee" of Shenzhen Dome. They disagreed with my review. I committed to a few revisions because she was right. I changed the video before but I didn't change everything in the written review.

Still wasn't enough for her:
"What a horrible person you are!
Never bought from DOME, are you promoting you are a bull****!"

After that I was done. All I can do is laugh. Here's the comments. What do you think?

3jbFxmI.png



Why I think "Sophia" works for Dome. She is listed as the contact on multiple pages.
WaFF3XT.jpg
 

Sunny

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More than I can review. ;)
@AndrewL
I think the mount is fine.
It's similar to most other Dome models.
It has never dropped once in my car.
Of course, you can twist wrong way and break it but you can't make it fool proof.
You can break car's dash knobs like volume, AC, etc... easily if you turn and twist wrong way.
It's probably the best camera for video quality.
Also, you are making it look like it's a bad camera just because you think it may fail.
All electronics will fail eventually.
You are nitpicking on small things. I've tested over 2 dozen cameras and none are perfect but most did the main thing properly and that is recording when car is on.

Most cameras flash LED while recording.
Only few like Lukas give audible warnings when there's error like no memory card but still not when record fails. I once unplugged rear cam and the only thing it did was flashing led and screen.
If you hide dashcam behind RV mirror, depending upon angle, there is no way to see what it is doing unless it has audible warnings and most don't have that.

There is room for improvement in any camera but I liked D201 and A261 both and nothing major issues with them that I cannot recommend to others.
Personally, I liked them so much that I used them long after many other cameras were tested and boxed.

I agree on the packing.
It's not bad that camera will be damaged but not that good either.
A lot of cameras have foam insert and many have foam cutout so they fit snug and safe. Dome packing allows camera to bounce while shipping as it only has a cardboard cutout and loose but so far all arrived safely.
 
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CaptureYourAction

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I don't know if this Sophia person works for Dome or not but if she does it's unfortunate that the conversation went down that way. My interactions with my contact at Dome have been positive. I will say that the language barrier can be difficult and the inflection in sentences/emails can come across as hard to read. I hope Sophia's rant doesn't turn people off and prevent them from buying a nice camera.

I won't pretend to understand the structure of all these dash camera companies, but the comparison of customer support between Dome and Ausdom might not be completely fair. I don't know who makes the cameras for Ausdom, but I assume they don't have their own manufacturing plant and that they buy the cameras from a company like Dome and put their name on it. Dome is the manufacturing plant who also sells the cameras as neutral/white box. Maybe a company who might buy the DAB201 as their own brand to support would be a better comparison. Their concentration would be on selling and supporting the product. I assume Domes concentration is on designing and manufacturing the product. That said, hopefully their support via the website will improve, though I have not personally tested their responsiveness.

As far as packaging, my experience has been different. All the cameras I have received have been packaged OK. The DAB202 comes with better packaging though. I have seen two reviews of the DAB201 where the contents are all simply put in the box with very little protection for the camera. Both came from the same Chinese seller. Not sure why that is, but I don't think that is the norm. The cardboard support for the 201 camera is weak/thin, so I can see where it might break in rough shipping. Again, I don't think it's the norm.
 
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AndrewL

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To respond to both of you, thanks for the replies, there was too much emphasis put on the packaging & mount which is a bit unintentional. It's not recommended on both cameras because of the poor notifications. For me that's huge. Looking at the scale at which I want to operate if more people miss that their camera isn't working then I haven't done my job. After all it's just a minor programming update. I'll be very happy to recommend both cameras as the other issues are minor.

To add more details both cameras won't go into the main recommendation section, similar to how IIHS has crash tests with different recommendation levels. I'll create another section where customers can judge if the benefits outweigh the flaws.

I've been having tech problems with the website and I can't login right now. Resolving that with my hosting company, otherwise I would have changed the written review to reflect what I said in the video.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Maybe a company who might buy the DAB201 as their own brand to support would be a better comparison. Their concentration would be on selling and supporting the product.

absolutely, the reseller is far more important, the fact that end users have to resort to contacting factories mean they have poor resellers handling their product
 
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AndrewL

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absolutely, the reseller is far more important, the fact that end users have to resort to contacting factories mean they have poor resellers handling their product
That's a good point. Corsair will buy PSU's from Kingwin and force a certain level of quality for their produced products. You don't go to Kingwin to complain even though they are the manufacturers.

I'll be happy to update the review with Blackview retailers who sell the D201. I had a commenter take a photo of the Blackview branded boxes which look far better.

Doesn't @CaptureYourAction sell them?
original.jpg
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
that's their domestic market packaging which is a lot better than what you see some of the resellers using, to be fair the biggest issue is the Chinese resellers that are shipping to other countries, the service and support is terrible but while ever these types of manufacturers are dealing with them it's always going to impact their product and how it is perceived in the market
 

CaptureYourAction

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I sell the neutral stock/white box of the dab201. I sell Domes Car Major brand of the dab202 which also has the nicer packaging.

I can get the Blackview brand of the dab201, but they will come with Chinese lettering on the front and I thought that might turn some buyers off here in the States. Though I seem to be selling more of the dab202s, which have the Chinese lettering. Go figure. Not sure it's worth it just for the box though.
 

TSN

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@AndrewL
I think the mount is fine.
It's similar to most other Dome models.
It has never dropped once in my car.
Of course, you can twist wrong way and break it but you can't make it fool proof.
You can break car's dash knobs like volume, AC, etc... easily if you turn and twist wrong way.
It's probably the best camera for video quality.
Also, you are making it look like it's a bad camera just because you think it may fail.
All electronics will fail eventually.
You are nitpicking on small things. I've tested over 2 dozen cameras and none are perfect but most did the main thing properly and that is recording when car is on.

Most cameras flash LED while recording.
Only few like Lukas give audible warnings when there's error like no memory card but still not when record fails. I once unplugged rear cam and the only thing it did was flashing led and screen.
If you hide dashcam behind RV mirror, depending upon angle, there is no way to see what it is doing unless it has audible warnings and most don't have that.

There is room for improvement in any camera but I liked D201 and A261 both and nothing major issues with them that I cannot recommend to others.
Personally, I liked them so much that I used them long after many other cameras were tested and boxed.

I agree on the packing.
It's not bad that camera will be damaged but not that good either.
A lot of cameras have foam insert and many have foam cutout so they fit snug and safe. Dome packing allows camera to bounce while shipping as it only has a cardboard cutout and loose but so far all arrived safely.

I have to agree with Sunny that you are nitpicking to dissuade readers from buying the two excellent cameras.

Since I own the D201 I have the following response to your comments:
"difficult to use menu" - not to me. I have no trouble in navigating the menu. It's actually more intuitive than some of my Android apps.
"poor button placement" - again, not to me. I have no difficulty in using the buttons.
"poor warning notifications" - when the camera is recording properly there is a strong LED light blinking continuously which is very obvious to me. Let's put it into perspective - to me, seat belts warnings are way more important than dashcam warnings. Some cars only offer a few seconds of audio warning to the driver/front passenger and most cars don't give warnings at all for the rear passengers. Are you going to avoid buying those cars? If a device doesn't operate properly because of silly user error should we blame the manufacturer?

All your criticisms are subjective, there are no numbers to support them. I am afraid most of the D201 and Ausdom users will disagree with you.

I am from Canada and I have no connection with Dome. I am just a proud owner of the D201.
 

Sunny

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More than I can review. ;)
The box I got for Dome D201 is below:

2016-03-30 04.34.23.png

Packing can be better but not bad:
2016-03-30 04.35.39.png
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
All your criticisms are subjective, there are no numbers to support them. .

I think with things like menus how you perceive them has a lot to do with what other products you've used, I'm assuming it's a standard Ambarella layout which I think is simple to use, Andrew has used a bunch of other products over the years and perhaps prefers the way other cameras operate, it's all subjective though anyway, there are no numbers to say one way is better than another, it's only an opinion
 

Sunny

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More than I can review. ;)
I think with things like menus how you perceive them has a lot to do with what other products you've used, I'm assuming it's a standard Ambarella layout which I think is simple to use, Andrew has used a bunch of other products over the years and perhaps prefers the way other cameras operate, it's all subjective though anyway, there are no numbers to say one way is better than another, it's only an opinion
That is good point.
However, menu settings are not something that you play with every day so it doesn't matter as you figure out it in few seconds versus few more seconds and once you set to your settings, you hardly ever touch it unless testing something.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
That is good point.
However, menu settings are not something that you play with every day so it doesn't matter as you figure out it in few seconds versus few more seconds and once you set to your settings, you hardly ever touch it unless testing something.

I agree it's not something you have to use often but some cameras have some very poor layouts and terrible navigation where the same buttons don't always perform the same types of functions so it certainly can be annoying on some models, personally I don't have issue with most of the common chipsets, Ambarella, Novatek etc, to me they're logically laid out and easy to follow, it's standard rotary type menus that we've seen in mobile phones for 20 years, perhaps it's just that I'm used to them, still we get the odd complaint about how confusing it all is, different people have a different take on things I guess
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
here's an example posted today about an Ambarella based camera

I have just recieved a new Dash Cam from Laptop Direct and it comes with no user manual but a link to download a file which shows you what function the camera has but no idiots guide how to actually use the camera. I can usually get my head round these dort off gadgets but this has done my head in i have had it a week and feel like smashing it with a hammer... can anybody help ....
 
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AndrewL

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I can understand how I may be overzealous to many people. The people who visit this forum doesn't comprise the larger demographics that use dash cameras.

I've fielded many questions on very basic operations of a dash camera. Topics which wouldn't come to mind for most users on this forum because they are far too simple or would be laughed at for how wrong their assumption was.

I won't be able to please everyone so I rather cater towards the larger masses and let more knowledgeable people come to their conclusions on their own.

You are all right, settings are infrequently changed. I won't drop a camera from my recommended list unless they are particularly egregious. Just another point to mention.


*Edit - Actually for Dome my main concern was the angle at which you have to push the button. You have to push diagonally from the bottom to the top. I've dismounted camera because I pushed the emergency record too many times.

Forgot to mention that in my review.
 
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