LS300W

LS300W

The LS300W was released in mid 2013 under the DOD brand.  An identical unbranded model is sold as the GT300W by a company called TioTech.  Initial impressions of this camera are excellent.  Video quality during the day is very good and night quality is good as well.  It is based on the popular Novatek NT96650 processor and the Aptina AR0330 CMOS sensor.

It records 1080p at 30f/s with an average bit rate of approximately 15,000kpbs.  This is one of the few cameras utilizing such a high bit rate.  The camera is relatively small but comes with a 2.7″ screen.  The camera does not come with GPS.

Note that reliability appears to be average at best.

DOD and TioTech

From our knowledge DOD is a brand / marketing company.  They do not actually manufacture cameras.  There is speculation that TioTech is just the OEM brand for DOD and they may not manufacture cameras either.  This has not been confirmed as of yet.  What has been confirmed is the LS300W and GT300W are nearly identical.  The LS300W has a printed circuit board that is labeled GT300W.  Also the LS300W firmware can be flashed on the GT300W.

Note that the Carscam WDR650 appears to be similar to this camera as well.  We do not have much information on this camera and have not been able to confirm if they are identical.

Processor and CMOS Sensor

Some of the advertising material for this camera claims that it uses a Tiotech A8S711KL processor and an Omnivision CMOS sensor.  When owners have disassembled the camera, the TioTech processor is visible.

But what is a Tiotech A8S711KL processor?  All indications are that the LS300W uses the Novatek NT96650 Processor silk screened with the Tiotech brand.  We are unsure why they choose to do this.  The EXIF information from the camera indicates that it is a Novatek camera as well.

Also the size of the CMOS sensor and text in the firmware leads us to believe this cam is using the Aptina AR0330 CMOS sensor.

Wide Dynamic Range

This dash cam claims to have Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) capability to improve low light video quality.  Unfortunately this is not true.

Dynamic Range is measured in decibels (dB) and most cameras have a dynamic range of 60 dB to 80 dB.  The human eye has a dynamic range of approximately 100 dB.  Anything higher than 100 dB is often referred to as “Wide Dynamic Range”.

While the Novatek NT96650 Processor supports Wide Dynamic Range, the CMOS sensor used, the Aptina AR0330, has a dynamic range of 72.4 dB (see datasheet).  Hence from a pure technical perspective, this camera is not providing true Wide Dynamic Range.

But night video quality is good and there is improved night performance with WDR enabled on this camera.  Note that a high dynamic range number (>100 dB) does not guarantee great night performance if other aspects of the camera are poor (processor, lens, firmware).

Known problems

This camera has recently been released and there is limited information on reliability.  Some owners have reported the following however:

Blurry Picture when Overheating

Numerous owners have complained of blurry picture quality when the camera operates for 10 minutes or more.  This happens frequently in hot weather.  This is likely due to a low quality plastic lens holder but has not been confirmed.

GPS Interference

There has been 1 report that this camera interferes with GPS navigation devices.  The cause and resolution are not known.

Camera Hangs / Freezes

Numerous owners have indicated that the cameras freeze or hang.  A potential solution is to use a different SD card but this does not solve the problem in all instances.

SD Card Compatibility

Many users claim that certain SD cards do not work well with this camera.  A full topic on this issue can be found here and this summarizes which SD cards are known to work and not work with this cam.

Dead Battery

A few users have complained of a dead battery in this camera which no longer holds a charge.

Disassembling the Camera

Sample Videos

Day Video

Night Video

Should I Purchase?

The DOD LS300W when purchased through authorized channels is quite expensive at over $200.  However, the best deal appears to be the GS300W which sells for just over $100 from China.  The impressive video quality, relatively small size and price tag make it an attractive camera.  If reliability proves to be good, this camera is a winner.

Where to purchase for lowest price

There are a few places to purchase this camera from:

For the LS300W:

E-prance on Amazon

Amazon.co.uk

For the GT300W:

Shadow on Amazon

Firmware

WARNING!  MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR FIRMWARE ARE PERFORMED AT YOUR OWN RISK.  WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR DASH CAM AS A RESULT OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Firmware Update Instructions

You can download the firmware update instructions here.

Latest Firmware

The latest firmware is 130823

Firmware version 305230-SC-2 is also available but we have not been able to find a copy.

Firmware version 130328 is available here.

User Manual

You can download the English manual here.

Specifications

 LS300W
Price$170
Read Review
ManufacturerDOD
CountryChina
Specifications 
ProcessorNovatek NT96650
CMOSAptina AR0330
Channels1
Screen2.7"
GPS
G-Sensor
Wi-Fi
Parking Mode
Lock FilesAuto or Button
Video 
Max Resolution1080p 30fps
Max Bitrate (Mbps)15
Video FormatMOV
CompressionH.264
Diagonal Viewing Angle140°
Recording 
SD Card TypeMicroSD
Max Size (Spec)32GB
Max Size (User)64GB
Other 
Size (mm)114 x 48 x 37
MountSuction
Power Supply5V
Operating Temp-25°C to 75°C
Battery500mAh
Release DateFeb 2013
AppsNone
Unique FeaturesNone
Rating 
AdvantagesGood video
Reasonable price
DisadvantagesBelow average reliability
Does not work with some SD cards
Video Day
Video Night
Reliability
Size / Discreetness
Price
Available Support
Overall Rating
Final WordImpressive video quality . Lack of GPS is main drawback. Reliability is a concern as well.

Published: May 31, 2013

Last Updated:  Oct 17, 2013