Smallest HD 720p

The Smallest HD 720p in car dash cam DVR is an interesting camera due to its small size and low price.  Many people are looking for this combination when looking for a dash cam.  The initial version of this dash cam had poor video quality and many reliability issues.

However, recent versions of this camera appear to be better, although reliability is still a concern.  You should look for a camera using the H264 video codec.  The newer camera also has a setting menu when connected to an external monitor / TV.  The newer camera has the date and time  in white letters in the lower left corner.

The cam records in 720p at 30fps and the image quality during the day is average while the night video is below average.  Most of these models do not come with a cigarette lighter adapter so you will need to hardwire into your vehicle.  The camera is uses the Novatek processor as pictured below (click to enlarge).

Smallest HD720p Models

Like many Chinese cameras, this model comes in a variety of names:

  1. Smallest HD 720p In Car Dash Cam
  2. Black Hero
  3. A8 (the A8 model costs a little bit more money)
  4. Recordeye DC750 (Russian Version)
  5. K9M HD 720P

Known Problems

The original version of this camera was plagued with problems.  The newer version now on sale appears to have corrected many of the issues originally experienced.

The original version had the following problems:

Out of focus

Many of these cameras have poor focus brand new.  Some people have disassembled the camera and rotated the lens to improve focus.

Date / time reset

When power is lost or reset button is pressed, the date and time is reset to 03/11/11.  The battery in this camera is very small and dies quickly.

Freezes / Hangs

Many people have complained about this dash cam frequently freezing or hanging.  To get it functioning again, you must reset it.  Reset causes the date / time to be lost.

Loss of last video file

Some users claim that when the power is turned off,  the last file recorded is lost.  In the case of an accident, the loss of power may result in no video footage being saved.  This is perhaps due to the quality of the memory card used.

Gaps between video clips

Users have complained about a noticeable gap between video clips.  There is no known solution for this problem, other than using a high quality SD card.  The new version appears not to have this problem even though the sellers indicate it still exists.

Disassembling the dash cam

Sample Videos

Day

Night

Should I Purchase?

This camera is small and inexpensive which makes it an interesting camera to consider.  The video quality is average but still quite acceptable particularly during the day.  Since some of the issues appeared to have been rectified with the newer model, consider this camera if you are ok with the video quality and are willing to take a gamble on reliability.

Where to purchase for lowest price

The Smallest HD 720P DVR typically sells for approximately $45.  eBay appears to be the best place to purchase from.

Firmware

Currently there is no publicly known way to extract or upgrade the firmware in these dash cams.

Specifications

 Smallest HD 720p
Price$45
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Manufacturer
CountryChina
Specifications 
ProcessorNovatek NT96220
CMOS
Channels1
Screen
GPS
G-Sensor
Wi-Fi
Parking Mode
Lock FilesAuto
Video 
Max Resolution720p 30fps
Max Bitrate (Mbps)12
Video FormatAVI
CompressionH.264
Diagonal Viewing Angle120˚
Recording 
SD Card TypeMicroSD
Max Size (Spec)32GB
Max Size (User)32GB
Other 
Size (mm)60 x 32
MountAdhesive
Power Supply5V
Operating Temp0˚C to 60˚C
Battery80mAh
Release DateJul 2012
AppsNone
Unique FeaturesNone
Rating 
AdvantagesSmall
DisadvantagesDisappointing video quality
Poor reliability
Video Day
Video Night
Reliability
Size / Discreetness
Price
Available Support
Overall Rating
Final WordSmall camera & cheap price with average video quality. Reliability / build quality is a concern.

Published: Oct 7, 2012