Review: Chupad D501 Dashcam (A Second Take) [GearBest.com]

Agie

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#1
My first review here on DashCamTalk, so let's dive right in. A massive thankyou to @GearBest for providing this review sample. You can buy the Chupad D501 right here: http://www.gearbest.com/car-dvr/pp_425427.html
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Specifications: Sony IMX322 CMOS sensor w/170 degree field of view, Novatek NT96658 chipset, 2.45 inch TFT LCD display, 1GB internal storage and 180mAh battery (no capacitor). Full HD 1080p video recorded at 13.1MBps bitrate with a 512KBps audio recording bitrate (mono at 32KHz).
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Box Contents: Chupad D501 dashcam, instruction leaflet, car charger.
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The final verdict: The Chupad D501 has quite a few functional usability shortcomings, but when looking at the image quality it is a capable performer for the price and is one of the lowest-priced entry points to a decent dash camera. With some attention to detail and camera optimisations, Chupad could have better hits on their hands in the future.


Unboxing video:


My nitpickings: The Chupad D501 comes with a Sony IMX322 sensor which is a tried and true staple that has appeared on many dash cam models. My expectations were thus very high for the output quality from this camera. Unfortunately upon Googling I could not find any firmware updates, and I believe that to cut costs the manufacturer has just taken the sensor and not applied any work in the form of image processing algorithms/optimisations etc. Other gripes:
  • Lens adjustment also doesn't give as much feedback as to the degree of rotation when you are doing this (like clicks or notches).
  • WiFi app provided by Chupad downloaded fine, but froze the camera multiple times requiring a pinhole reset, and also could not transfer the footage to my connected device (iPod touch) / Android smartphone.
  • Be careful not to smudge the lens when adjusting as this shows up on footage.
  • Would have liked to see and hear audible warnings about instances where a microSD card isn't inserted.
  • An extra 3M adhesive pad and mounting clips would have been very handy if provided in the box, in case of changing the mount of the camera (another car, another position on the windscreen). Also the car charger should have a detachable USB-A instead of being hardwired (to enable multiple USB device usage within the car).
  • Audio capture can be distorted if captured at loud volumes; lens light flare is too much at night (Star Trek anyone?)


The positive:
  • Build quality is durable and nice chrome accents, appears mostly hidden to outsiders looking at the car (save for the aforementioned chrome piece).
  • Internal storage is handy in case of card failure.
  • Battery also handy for a few minutes of recorded footage after car engine is turned off.
  • Menus easy to read and blue accents in the menu give a nice overall look to the interface.
  • Some over-processing of objects such as trees, but overall captured detail is very good for the price.
  • Loud/medium/soft voices are able to be captured without issue inside and outside the car, which is a must for any dashcam.
  • Camera handles exposure changes well, without losing foreground and background details underneath the area of exposure change. Video is therefore not blown out by extreme changes in lighting.
  • The dashcam takes in a lot of light during night-time video capture without too much grain, although there is some smearing in the detail.





Close-up photos of the Chupad D501 dashcam:

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IMG_20161029_063620.jpg

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IMG_20161029_063707.jpg

IMG_20161029_063806.jpg
IMG_20161104_164559_HDR.jpg
IMG_20161104_170207_HDR.jpg
 
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Agie

Agie

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#2
Chupad D501 Dashcam sample footage:


Daytime footage, 1080p, WDR/HDR off:




Sunset footage, 1080p, WDR/HDR off:




Sunset footage, 1080p, WDR/HDR on:




Night-time footage, 1080p, WDR/HDR on:




Night-time highway footage, 1080p, WDR/HDR on:





Official Wi-Fi app usage screenshots:

IMG_0177.PNG
IMG_0178.PNG
IMG_0179.PNG
MZZP0193.jpg
 

Harsh

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#3
:confused: What do they intend on achieving by slapping chrome on a discreet wedge shaped design? Spare the lens housing at least! :mad: Just don't get the design aspect of things with most of the Chinese manufacturers. :confused:
 

jokiin

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#4
:confused: What do they intend on achieving by slapping chrome on a discreet wedge shaped design? Spare the lens housing at least! :mad: Just don't get the design aspect of things with most of the Chinese manufacturers. :confused:
don't worry it works both ways, they look at me like I have two heads when I tell the tooling designers I want everything black and without bling, they don't understand why I want it like that
 

Harsh

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#5
Works out great for manufacturers like you and Viofo .. till the others get the drift (if they ever will). ;)
 
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#7
Works out great for manufacturers like you and Viofo .. till the others get the drift (if they ever will). ;)
I think the chrome accents look ok, but from a discreet side of things i don't like it - it sticks out like a sore thumb considering i have a black car and the other camera in my car is a Viofo A119. haha.
 

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#9
I assume some will argue " well chrome on the camera will reflect sunshine so the camera dont overheat in the windscreen"
And i assume there is some truth to that if you have parking guard running on a hot summers day, but i also think it will be marginal if you factor in camera in parking mode generate its own heat + cabin of car heating up due to sun hitting rest of car.
So what little sun the camera reflect and dont heat up due to that is so little the loss of stealth is not worth it.

Look like the focus slide in the daytime.
 

Harsh

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#10
Copying is one but copying and bettering it further whilst making it work reliably is a different thing altogether.
 
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#11
I assume some will argue " well chrome on the camera will reflect sunshine so the camera dont overheat in the windscreen"
And i assume there is some truth to that if you have parking guard running on a hot summers day, but i also think it will be marginal if you factor in camera in parking mode generate its own heat + cabin of car heating up due to sun hitting rest of car.
So what little sun the camera reflect and dont heat up due to that is so little the loss of stealth is not worth it.

Look like the focus slide in the daytime.
Not sure how much truth is in the reflection of heat statement...if one uses a sunshade when your car is parked in summer, the car is still boiling hot when you go back to it. I think the best way to go about it in summer if one is worried, is to just remove the camera and take it with you / put it in your glovebox where the heat won't go.

Luckily this is simple as with other dash cameras, just slide the Chupad to the left and it will come off.
 
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#12
I have had this dashcam fitted to my car for about a month now. I hardwired a USB/ 5V regulator to the internal courtesy lamps so minimal wiring internally.

Here is a video from sample from my youtube channel


For UK £40 from Gearbest it is very good value for money producing HD quality daytime/nighttime video footage comparable with Dashcams costing 2-3 times more, with just a couple of caveats.

Very impressed so far and no errors or missed files

What I like about this cam, is the small narrow angle footprint on the windscreen allowing easy fitment behind the rear view mirror and thus being surprisingly covert. (Even with the chrome highlights its hard to detect.)

I also like the wifi app, as when anything interesting happens, the footage can be downloaded to an iphone without touching the installation. (OK yes it takes about as long as the clip to do this, but you don't have to sit and watch it do it ;) )
Alternatively I get the Missus to download the footage, en route, with her phone.

I had no trouble with the wifi app (Finalcam) but apparently the android version can be a bit flakey.

The caveats are just small grumbles.

Firstly the chrome highlights (Why??!!) These are easily rectified with an appropriate marker.

Secondly the LCD screen is on permanently with no setting in setup to switch it off. This is no problem in daylight but may affect some depending on installation at night. (Doesn't bother me at all)
However the LCD screen can be turned off manually by pressing either power button quickly or holding down M button.
 
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#13
I am not so sure that this is a camera with a real Sony IMX322 CMOS. I am afraid that some chinese manufacturers are reading the specs of great dashcams and some of them are considering the just CMOS is the only secret of their sales. They just dont care about the real manufacturers work, just want to copy and try to sale with a lower price than the copied product.
I remember some action cameras claimed to be with Sony IMX117 sensor and were not. A pinout comparison proved that their CMOS was something else but not IMX117. Keep in mind that chinese can print anything they want on a chipset, so other methods must be used to identify a fake.
In China you can write everything about specs and the only way to check some of them is by disassembling the camera and compare with genuine components. Manufacturers like @viofo and @jokiin can put real pictures from their real Sony sensors from few angles here or in a separate thread so when somebody want to disassemble their camera can easy check by comparison.
This is the power of a forum.

enjoy,
Mtz
 
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#14
I am not so sure that this is a camera with a real Sony IMX322 CMOS. I am afraid that some chinese manufacturers are reading the specs of great dashcams and some of them are considering the just CMOS is the only secret of their sales. They just dont care about the real manufacturers work, just want to copy and try to sale with a lower price than the copied product.
I remember some action cameras claimed to be with Sony IMX117 sensor and were not. A pinout comparison proved that their CMOS was something else but not IMX117. Keep in mind that chinese can print anything they want on a chipset, so other methods must be used to identify a fake.
In China you can write everything about specs and the only way to check some of them is by disassembling the camera and compare with genuine components. Manufacturers like @viofo and @jokiin can put real pictures from their real Sony sensors from few angles here or in a separate thread so when somebody want to disassemble their camera can easy check by comparison.
This is the power of a forum.

enjoy,
Mtz
This is all very true.

All I can compare with is the fact I had a Shadow GT680W before this one, which lasted 3 years continuous use.

This cheap dashcam gives me the same, if not better performance and is in a more discrete, smaller form factor.

The video I posted has undergone Youtube processing, so is not as good as the original, and no real comparisons can be made, unless all parameters are equal.

So I got a replacement that wasnt a great expense, is better than the original, and hopefully will give me at least another 3 + years of dashcam cover that I need.
 

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More than I can review. ;)
#15
@Mtz, I think it does have imx sensor.
I compared night video of Chupad vs few others like a119, x2 and Chupad's night videos are cleaner and much brighter.
 
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#16
@Mtz, I think it does have imx sensor.
I compared night video of Chupad vs few others like a119, x2 and Chupad's night videos are cleaner and much brighter.
I have reviewed many mobile phones over the years, and as i said earlier in my review, i believe that it is the sensor and that they haven't done any work with it. For example to cut costs Xiaomi takes sensors and puts them in their mobile phones, but doesn't really implement any improvements to processing, or other algorithms to increase image quality. The fact that Chupad doesn't provide any support via firmware is a big warning sign that alludes this is the case to me.

The only way to know for sure is to disassemble it and see what's inside.
 

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