Ausdom A261 & Dome D201 Review

By Andrew Lam on March 7, 2016
Update: Aug 25th, 2017: The Ausdome A261 and Dome D201 are old and there are better and cheaper choices in the market. We recommend you see our videos on the top budget cameras to learn what’s best.
The Ausdom A261 almost became our recommendation for a “budget, high-quality video” camera. It’s easy to use, has excellent video quality and is supported by a company who cares about technical support. However, the notifications which let you know that your camera is working or has a problem are done poorly and could leave you without video evidence.The Dome D201 likely has the best video quality on the market. But it’s harder to use compared to Ausdom and has similar problems with notifications. The customer support is non-existent but that’s fairly typical as it’s a budget Chinese camera. You’ll be dependent on your retailer or reading forums for support. We don’t think it’s a bad camera, just a few flaws which prevent us from giving it our full recommendation.

Video Review


Table of Contents


The Cameras

Shows Ausdom and Dome Dash Cameras from the front
Both cameras were released in late 2015 and are amongst the new generation of budget cameras which record at resolutions above 1080P.

Ausdom A261

Made by a Chinese company the Ausdom A261 uses the Ambarella A7 chip which is found in many cameras with excellent video performance. It records in an ultra wide format at 2560×1080 or at 2304×1296 for reduced coverage. To turn on High-Dynamic Range Processing (HDR) you will need to lower the resolution to 1920x1080P.

Shenzhen Dome D201

The Dome D201 is one of the first cameras to use Ambarella’s A12 chip which can theoretically deliver better video quality over the older Ambarella A7 chip. The resolution increases to 2560×1440 and also allows for HDR processing at that size.


Ausdom A261 Dome D201
Date Released Oct 2015 Oct 2015
Max Resolution 2560*1080 or 2304*1296 2560 x 1440P
Processor Ambarella A7LA50 Ambarella A12A55
Image Sensor OV4689 CMOS OV4689 CMOS
Lens f/2.0 6G f/1.8 6G
Battery 190mAH 190mAH
LCD 2.0″ LCD 960×240 2.7″ LCD 960×240
Diagonal FOV 130° (Probably larger @ 2.5K) 170°
GPS Yes Optional
Bitrate 20000 KBPS 2.5K HDR – 25000 KBPS
Size 5.7 x 6.5 x 3.0cm 2.2 x 2.6 x 1.2 inches 9.8 x 4.9 x 3.5 cm 3.9 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches
Weight 90g 109g

Packaging & Accessories

Ausdom's Box
Both cameras include the standard accessories: Mount, Charger and USB cable. Dome has an optional, external GPS dongle. The accessory quality was the same for both companies. Packaging was a completely different experience:
Opening the Box of Ausdom's A261 Showing the Camera

Really enjoyed my experience.

Ausdom A261

Ausdom does a great job. Its plain cardboard construction is an economical choice but it was also nicely designed. You’ll first encounter a cardboard flap for flair and protection before revealing the camera. Inside a custom cardboard cradle securely hold the camera during shipping. There’s an additional cardboard flap for protection and a bit of flair in revealing the camera.
Opening Dome's box it's incredibly messy inside.

This is how I received my shipment

Dome D201

I received my package in terrible condition. Everything was thrown into a box with the cardboard camera holder unused and broken. Looking at other reviews only rarely did it come in a similar condition Depending on your country you may receive better packaging if you buy the “Blackview” branded cameras.

Build Quality & Design


Ausdom A261

Shiny Plastic of Ausdom Ausdom uses an interesting combination of a shiny blue front and a matte black plastic back. My personal opinion – I like it. It’s different from other cameras but it doesn’t attract additional attention. Pressing on the edges and tapping the camera it feels and sounds quite solid. The buttons have a nice raised edge and provides good feedback when pressed. The plastic screen surrounding the LCD screen and most of the rear of the camera is well made and fits well with the design.

Dome D201

Closeup of Dome's Chrome Grills and Lens The Dome D201 uses a mix of metal and plastic. The front cover is painted metal which is fairly reflective and more noticeable especially with the chrome accents and the larger lens turret. An additional concern is that the metal can heat up in hotter weather and potentially damage components.
Tiny Buttons on the Dome D201 On the back a nice sheet of plastic covers the entire surface. Great fit. The buttons were poorly designed. Small, hard to press and there’s not much tactile feedback. The OK button was stuck in place and didn’t move when pressed.


Ausdom_Attach_MountInstallation was mostly straightforward on both cameras. Ausdom was easier. There’s one less wire to hide because it doesn’t use an external GPS. The mount made more sense. There’s one obvious direction for installation and it slides in securely.
You can barely see the ramp in the green box.

You can barely see the ramp in the green box.

Dome’s mount was problematic. You have to locate a nearly invisible ramp which is used to wedge the mount in place. The problem is the lack of instructions and the mount can be inserted backwards damaging the camera. Boo Dome. The mounts were surprisingly good for their small size as commonly there are problems with suction power. These mounts locked strongly, keeping your camera snugly in place.
Installing/Removing the SD cards was easiest with Dome as the slot is located on the bottom of the camera. It won’t be obstructed by other objects such as your rear view mirror. Ausdom has a side slot, a common design but not ideal. It’s also somewhat difficult to remove and actually caused me to lose a card as it violently ejected somewhere in my vehicle.


Is it Easy to Use?   Going through the setup menu on Dome's camera
While the menu design was the same in both cameras there were significant differences in organization and navigation with Ausdom coming on top. Both cameras still fell behind the simplicity of better designed cameras such as Garmin’s Dash Cam 20.



Ausdom uses a digital interface which can apply different functions to each button depending on the screen. It sounds complicated but in practice I found it quite easy to use. In certain instances the interface was poorly designed. For example to exit the menu there’s no “escape” option but rather the menu button which brings you to the “delete file” screen. Only after is the escape arrow presented. Dome was far more difficult. It uses a conventional system of permanently assigned functions to each button. It’s less intuitive and you’ll either have to go slow or end up making mistakes as you move through the menu. The menu is also split into two pages which is easily skipped as there are few visual clues. Entering the menu on Dome was also a challenge. You first have to stop recording which can be frustrating as nothing will work until it’s turned off. On Ausdom you can access the menu at any time. Recording is automatically turned back on after you finish.

Organization & Manual

Once you have learned how to navigate through the menu you’ll notice that both cameras share a similar layout. The descriptions for the various options are easy enough to understand. You shouldn’t have a problem. There are some options such as LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System) which require additional explanation and unfortunately both manuals weren’t very helpful. At least Ausdom made some effort in producing something readable. Dome was downright unusable. Both cameras were missing options to control GPS. It’s permanently enabled. Dome always prints your speed on the video. You also can’t change the speed units to MPH or change the exposure values (EV). Ausdom doesn’t include your speed on the video but includes MPH and EV settings.

Daily Use

Pressing the Emergency Record Button on the Ausdom
We looked at a couple features you’ll frequently interact with such as notifications and the emergency lock. Unfortunately both cameras had significant problems.

Startup Notifications:

On Ausdom and Dome you can easily miss that your camera has a problem with recording until you actually need the footage. Ausdom_Camera_Error When something goes wrong you get a nearly invisible warning message which flashes a few times, then disappears. You’ll then return to the recording screen where it’s very difficult to spot the missing recording symbol or blinking LEDs which can be covered by the rear view mirror. One of our review criteria is that your camera should gracefully let you know when there are problems. Neither of these cameras comes close. Too bad for Ausdom as it’s a major oversight in an otherwise great camera.
I'm pretty sure Mercedes does not endorse the D201

I’m pretty sure Mercedes does not endorse the D201

The startup chime is equally dangerous. Both cameras make a sound when it turns on even if it fails to record. You’ll be trained to associate a working camera with the startup noise. The cheapest camera I’ve seen get this (mostly) right is the Garmin 20 we covered in a previous review.

Emergency Recording

Most cameras have an emergency button which when pressed will save the current video from being overwritten. This is pretty useful if you need to document an accident or an interesting scene. On Dome this feature is difficult to use as it requires you to feel for a small button located at a strange angle on the camera. On Ausdom it’s much easier to find but you can accidently turn off recording with a mispressed finger. The emergency button is poorly placed beside the recording button.


Ausdom_Turn_Camera_Side_Window Both cameras can turn to face the side windshield in case you want to record any interactions. Ausdom’s slim body will encounter few problems whereas Dome’s wider shape may bump up against some windshields.

Battery Life

The smaller battery in both cameras results in about 15 minutes of recording time when it’s not connected to a power supply. It’s just enough to film following an accident or perhaps a police encounter. If you need a larger battery you can look at the Garmin 20 which records for 80 minutes.

Video Quality & Raw Videos

Overall quality was excellent. Shenzhen Dome’s D201 had better video quality in numerous instances. Still Ausdom’s A261 looked great matching higher end cameras such as DOD Tech’s LS460W Our review cameras are significantly better than the cheaper no-name budget cameras we previously reviewed. We used our budget favourite the A118-C for comparison. We found a large jump in visibility at similar exposure levels. Both cameras match the quality of top cameras such as the DOD LS460W. However at night you’ll still have blurry license plates when vehicles drive by. Still the quality is the top in the field and we await the day where manufacturers optimize for legibility over image quality. Here’s the videos we think supports our views. You can also download the raw videos below. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


During daylight, differences in quality are minimized between cheaper and more expensive cameras. There is still a noticeable improvement in clarity. Look at the signs and license plates, the letters are fuzzier. Details on the outer edges have degraded. See the parked cars on the right hand side. Download Raw Videos: A118AusdomDome In this shot Ausdom’s resolution was set to 1080P to enable HDR. As you can see the quality significantly drops making it about equal to the A118C. Download Raw Videos: A118AusdomDome Both cameras actually have a slight edge in quality when moving at speed and clarity over the top rated DOD Tech’s LS460W. There’s less motion blurring on Dome compared to the LS460W. Download Raw Videos: AusdomDomeLS460W

Night Time

Night shots seperate the quality of Ausdom and Dome against older cameras. You can see how Dome D201 has the best image quality. Ausdom trails with the A118C showing lots more grain. While moving Dome reduces motion blur but this improvement is only noticeable on smooth roads at comparable speeds. Download Raw Videos: A118CAusdomDome Once you start moving it’s impossible to see any of the license plates even when comparing it against a top video pick the DOD LS460W. You would have to be moving at the same speed on a smooth road to see anything. In this video Ausdom is using the alternative 2560x1080P resolution which is the default setting which captures a wider image at the expense of height. I didn’t notice a difference compared its alternate setting at 2304x1296P. Download Raw Videos: AusdomDOD LS460WDome Both cameras are sharper when compared against another Amaberalla A7 camera, the Mini 0806. Download Raw Videos: AusdomDomeMini 0806 Since Ausdom uses the older A7 chip, it can only enable HDR processing at lower resolutions. You’ll have to switch from the preferred 2560x1080P to 1920x1080P. As you can see above this significantly lowers video quality. Download Raw Videos: Ausdom 2560Ausdom 1920 HDR

Video Playback

On both players information on speed, position and G-Forces are recorded into the video’s metadata. This can only be seen using a specialized player. Ausdom’s player was fairly basic and did the job. The better option is to use the universal player RegistratorViewer which provdides more options. Dome has a player but it’s difficult to find as their website is poorly designed. Found in the FAQ through a Google docs link you encounter a windows only program. I couldn’t get it to work, it crashed every time. In addition Dome is using a proprietary format. I couldn’t use the RegistratorViewer program mentioned above.

Lane Departure & Forward Collision Warnings

Both of these systems are supposed to help the driver avoid accidents and prevent drifting in lane. Good ideas in theory but useless in reality. When it’s turned on it results in frequent false alarms and annoy more than they help. No one has created a system good enough for mainstream use. These systems are more marketing to advertise a camera than for any practical purposes.

Lithium Ion Batteries & Reliability

Both cameras use lithium-ion batteries which are more sensitive to heat compared to capacitors. While many say you should only purchase capacitors I think it all depends on your location and behaviour. If you frequently park out in the sun without using a reflector and you live in a hot climate then it wouldn’t be advisable to use any of these cameras. Otherwise go ahead and use precautions such as putting away the camera when it’s especially hot. Much of the reliability of the camera is dependent on other factors such as assembly, components and quality control. For both cameras there isn’t enough data to predict long term success. Dome D201 has few reviews while Ausdom has amassed quite a few happy customers and seeing their excellent customer support discussed below would be put more at ease if I were to order from them.

Warranty & Support

Shenzhen Dome is the typical Chinese manufacturer who provides no service to the end user. In fact I was attacked by a representative in the comments below who claimed elsewise. In the end you’ll have to rely on forums and your retailer for technical support Ausdom has demonstrated a significantly better attention to their customers. You can tell how they provide timely responses, dedication to the North American market by building a service depot. You can tell they care throughout the various ways the company interacts with you from product to technical support. On Ausdom you’ll receive a 1-year warranty. For the first thirty days you’ll deal with the retailer who sold you the product. After you’ll have to deal with Ausdom who may require you to ship it back to China.


  I wanted to talk about the better firmware which is available for the Dome D201. I was told that Russian firmware and an official Dome update exists which fixes these problems. There is no mention of such firmware on Dome’s website (none that is easily found), only through forums such as Dash Cam Talk. We will not be testing such unofficial means of delivering firmware. If it’s not on the company’s website or trusted retailers we will not test it. Most users will not go through pages of posts to determine if it is safe.  


I feel confident that cameras that natively record above 1080P will become the new budget standard for 2016. While resolution is not a clear indicator of quality it does suggest the manufacturer has put in better components

Ausdom A261

Ausdom_Summary_Photo Ausdom gets a lot of things right but doesn’t quite make our “recommended” list. The camera does an extremely poor job in letting users know that their camera has failed which may leave you unprotected. Otherwise the video quality was great, the user interface was mostly easy to use. Packaging was done well. The company was also very responsive to questions.
The Good The Bad
  • Great value for $90 purchased overseas.
  • Great video quality. Sharp with little noise.
  • Sturdy camera body.
  • Good balance between discreteness and style
  • Easy, simple operation
  • Great minimalist packaging and protection for the camera
  • Easy Installation
  • Sturdy Mount with Great suction.
  • Rotates to film interactions at your side window
  • 64GB SDXC compatibility
  • Responsive customer service
  • Accidentally turn off recording when pressing emergency lock.
  • No options to turn off GPS or add your current speed to the video
  • Startup chime can lull you into a false sense of security
  • LED Status light is dim and can be obstructed by the rear view mirror
  • Warning messages are very difficult to see and quickly disappear.
  • Shipping your camera back to China for Warranty service
  • Not very good user manual

Dome D201

Dome_Summary_Photo The Dome D201 has some of the best video quality on the market but it’s overshadowed by the poor experience in using the camera. If you want amazing video quality and don’t mind the downside the D201 is a good choice.
The Good The Bad
  • Amazing video quality, possibly best in the market.
  • Ambarella A12 processor increases coverage, reduces motion blur, increases legibility.
  • Bottom card slot location makes it easy to access regardless of it’s position.
  • Sturdy Camera.
  • No Customer Service from Dome. Your retailer provides warranty support.
  • Poor mount design. Can be inserted backwards and cause damage.
  • Buttons are small, difficult to find. Camera hard to hold
  • Frustrating menu navigation.
  • Large chrome vents and lens turret draws attention.
  • No options to turn off GPS or remove the speed stamp from the video
  • No exposure value adjustment or changing speed units to MPH.
  • Poorly translated manual
  • Metallic body may overheat in hotter climates.
two videos on budget cameras

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Have to say Dome D201 is better. the review is in favour of Ausdom A261 with no good reason.


Hi Andrew,

thank you for this review, but I have two questions.

1. How long is the recording time for the Dome201 with highest quality?

2. What for a SDXC Card are the best for this Cam (D201)? I looked for Samsung pro, pro+ and evo+ but I dont know what are the difference.

Thank you for your support on this site.


Nice review. Seems like the A261 will be safer to buy. (English is not my native lanuague, I’m sorry)

I already own a DOD LS460W, the A261 would probably be nice as a rearcam for me.


Thank you for the review.

Will either of the units record in 30 to 60 minute increments (versus 1, 2, 3, 5)? I don’t need looping, as in the oldest files being overwritten once storage capacity is full. I just need longer captures (in mp4 format).

Actually, if you know of any camera that will record in 30 or 60 minute increments, in mp4 format, and that will support a resolution allowing 24+ hours of video on a 64 or 128 GB card, then I’d appreciate knowing.


Andrew, I’d like to thank you for the great in depth review as it helped me decide in favor of the A261. As someone who has two Ausdom A261s currently in two cars and made the mistake of buying one Dome I think I can add my 2 cents here from experience. I have posted my thoughts and complaints on the dash cam forum as well. I initially had SD card issue with the Ausdom which was due to the card and not the camera, apparently dashcams dont like SanDisk products, switched over to samsung SD card and the both A261s have been running flawlessly. I am more than happy with the Ausdom as its a far far superior product than the Dome, dont let anyone tell you otherwise. The A12 chip is great and all but it cant compensate for all the flaws that the Dome has, poor packaging,… Read more »

Michael Chan

I love that the Ausdom is competitive in pricing with the A118-c but with the flaws listed, and the fact that it is a battery and not capacitor powered camera, maybe I’ll continue to be patient and wait for the next series of reviews and next generation of dash cams. The price and video quality is to die for but the other features really turn me off. Hopefully that Xiaomi Yi review comes soon and will be my savior, but I’m pessimistic at some of these chinese brands.

Best case scenario is a decent build quality, cheap, and nice quality of video such as the Ausdom, with an A118’s build quality. Maybe that’s asking for the cake and to eat it too though.

Andrew Lam

Hi Michael,

Xiaomi is going on our recommended list. Almost everything I hoped Ausdom to be – at a cheaper price. Video is great, notifications are mostly done well, they even have a metal heatsink in the teardown.

Build quality is good but is much more noticeable than even the A261.

Review is going to be delayed. I’m waiting on the international edition to arrive.

Geoff S
Geoff S

Hi, Andrew. I have tried to download videos from the links that you provided but all I get is a ‘invalid source’ message. I am particularly interested in the Dome videos. Thanks.

p s. It only happens with the Dome links.

Andrew Lam

Hi Geoff, I retested the Dome links. There is hotlink protection so you will need to access the links off this page. If you are trying to copy and paste links or use a download accelerator it won’t work.

If it’s just Dome that’s causing you problems, I don’t know what happened. I’m hosting on Amazon S3 so perhaps there was a problem at that time.

Geoff S
Geoff S

It must be the Dome site. Still getting ‘invalid source’ The others are fine.

Andrew Lam

Interesting – Oh I see. The browser tries to play the file using the built in player. Gotcha.

The Dome file is a little bit weird. I would have suggested to right click and download the file but I’m glad it works for you now.


Excellent customer service! Russian-speaking users the first to receive new firmware and share with everyone. According to the recommendations of customers in the firmware added EDOG function. Andrew Lam aware of such functions of the DVR?

Andrew Lam

I’ve seen some reports but I don’t delve into the Russian forums as much anymore. What are EDOG features?


You are a bad tester, if you do not delve into the features of the firmware, which is set not only in Russia. Read forum.

Andrew Lam

This was the comment I was looking for. Do you expect all smartphone reviewers to test unofficial firmware versions? It would be ridiculous for Android reviewers to be called a bad reviewer for not mentioning features which come in a fan created mod. It’s very difficult to find firmware and I’m going to test like most consumers will receive their dash cameras. Most people will not read 13+ pages of discussions, that’s a ridiculous concept. If Dome wants to put up a more official firmware or if they have official retailers I’m more than willing to test out those versions. I am not going to send anyone to forums for firmware. If people are interested in unofficial versions I am more than happy for Dash Cam Talk to host those discussions. If people are willing to speak respectfully here about those modifications, sure. I think there is a lot of… Read more »


You are too ambitious and resentful. You need to change, but do not delete my messages.

Andrew Lam

I’m going to use Tim Ferriss’s rules here: “Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff.”

The thing about being a reviewer is not everyone will agree with you methodology or opinions. I’ve done my best and I’ve shown that I’m more than willing to update my review.


The DVR DOME D201 has a range of kilometers or miles.

Capture Your Action

Yes, there are now versions where you can switch between MPH and KPH. This is fairly recent. Hopefully they will add even more of the options that a lot of customers want. The option to remove the speed stamp is one.

Also, you seem to have different packaging. You have Blackview brand packaging. Most users in the States and Canada probably get neutral stock/white box packaging which usually is not as nice. It’s fine though. All the cameras I received and sell where/are packaged fine.

Overall, the camera is nice with great picture quality. All cameras have little quirks that bother some more than others.


Andrew Lam must change The Good and The Bad. Otherwise, biased test.

Andrew Lam

I had an earlier discussion with captureyouraction. I changed the video, just some elements left on the written review.


Gadget improved. This is a good reason to change the assessment! There is no reason to discuss, if the score does not change.


Excellent customer service! Russian-speaking users the first to receive new firmware and share with everyone. According to the recommendations of customers in the firmware added EDOG function. Andrew Lam aware of such functions of the DVR?