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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K

 

Drift Stealth 2

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

 

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
DDPai M6 Plus (My Pick)
 

A119

Transcend DrivePro 220
MINI CAMERAS
(The Mobius also works as a dashcam)
Mobius
Polaroid Cube+

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

VERY IMPORTANT. These links go to the product, but Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the going rate for a real item against the price of a fake one that won't work.

As an example of the extent of the problem of fake goods online...In a recent survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold by Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

 

            

 

« Behind the scenes - how to make a 5 second channel ident | Main | I love a good bad idea - and the Sony Ruvi was one of the best »
Wednesday
Nov022016

Dashcam Review: Viofo A119 - Simple Capable Capacitor Camera

The A119 does everything that many people need a dashcam to do. It records high quality video at resolutions including 1440p30 and 1080p60. It has great low light performance, uses a capacitor rather than a battery (more suited for hot countries) GPS is optional and the camera can be neatly mounted at the top of a windscreen.
Watch the video below to see the review.
    
If you like the look of this camera you may want to consider ordering one from the links below
    
Amazon 
  
 
    
ebay 
  
This first ebay link is to a seller I regularly use (I bought mine here)
UK  US   DE   CA   AU   NL 
   
The following ebay link shows all the sellers
UK   US   DE   CA   AU   NL 
   
Manual, Specifications & Firmware available here 
  
My guide to Dashcam Basics
   
You can download sample clips here - Do not try to stream them, there is no point as the streamed re-encoded videos look awful....these are just for downloading and playing locally on a computer. 
  

Note - links are affiliated. The long term reliability of any items reviewed cannot be assessed. This dashcam has been in use for three months with no problems.

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Reader Comments (32)

Capacitors are good also for the colder countries, where it gets below -20 C during the winters.

November 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMikk36

Hi Mat,

Good to see a capacitor dash cam, I liked the review generally but not overly mad on the design and a big deal for me would be the poor microphone (you mentioned you had to increase the volume 400% to play the in car recording, that doesn't sound great to me - excuse the pun). I'm still using my Mobius car cam - as the sound on that car cam is brill.

Great work - as always thanks for listening

Daz

November 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

I have just bought one of these dash cams .They now have black M3 sticky pads and up dated firm ware but an even newer firm ware as just been released.I drive a lot in the sticks on unlit roads and the night time images are really good.I was only thinking today that I was surprised you had not reviewed this camera, should have known it was on the cards.The sound on mine seems to be clearer than yours. Do not know if new firm ware may improve sound.

November 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterL.Fletcher

Matt, Viofo have confirmed on Dashcamtalk that you CAN plug the power cable into the side camera input and still work the GPS.
So you could have mounted the cam higher on your screen. Did you actually try this to check if the GPS does work as they say?
My A119 has very good audio on playback using free VLC software on a Macbook by the way.

November 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDavidUK

I have checked and can confirm that the GPS does indeed work with the power connected to either the camera or the GPS mount.
Perhaps it needs making clear in manual that this is the case.

November 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterL.Fletcher

FYI, I noticed that the first US link (for the seller you bought from) doesn't ship to the US.

November 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFrank H

Hi

Can you turn off the speed kmh/mph but keep the GPS switched on. If not do you know if the latest firmware update covers this.
Great reviews Thank you
Marcus

November 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarcus

The firmware info here indicates you can have any combination of the data
http://support.viofo.com/support/solutions/articles/19000019600-viofo-a119-car-dash-camera-firmware

November 12, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Techmoan,

Inspired by your video i ordered myself this A119 camera, and not only video quality that I enjoyed, but also the fact that camera can be rotated tells that it is not hard soldered to the main board, as many cameras have, but connected through a cable. I fact i want to repeat the hack that you made with Mobius, and get the camera cable extended, and camera hidden somewhere inside car plastic.

Did you have a chance to look inside how camera is connected, what kind of cable is it, is it soldered to the mainboard, or using connector (again as on Mobius)? I was thinking to order the cable parts in parallel, as i'm waiting for cam to be delivered.

Thanks,
Roman

November 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoman

Hi Techmoan. I had problems with my A119 files working with dash cam viewer but installed the latest firmware (version 2) and down loaded the latest version of dash cam viewer(version 2.5.0) and it now works fine. Both up dates were released this week.The dash cam viewer web site says that support for the A119 with V 2 firm as now been added.I can confirm that it now works OK . Dash cam viewer also as some new features added.

November 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterL.Fletcher

Techmoan,

I purchased this Dash Cam as I found the picture quality really good from looking at your review and the downloaded files.

I ordered the GPS from eBay on one of your links, got this in good time.

Easy enough to install with the supplied cable, however I'm going to hardware this soon as plugging into the cig lighter is a pain as I have to keep pulling it out to prevent battery drain (my cig lighter is not ignition on / off)

Some things I noticed, audio as already noted is not the best on firmware version 1.1 so updated to version 2, much better and better than other dash cams from what I have listened to.

On my unit with GPS I notice a pulsating hiss on the audio, GPS not activated there is no pulsating hiss so I'm unsure if I have a slightly faulty GPS module? If anyone else can confirm if they get the same issue to see if this is a common issue with the units or something that could be remedied by a firmware update.

On my unit attached to the windscreen, I get an annoying rattle through the audio which is obviously from the GPS mount to the Dash Cam, obviously the plastic is rattling, I will need to work out if I can add something between the GPS module and the actual Dash Cam to stop this, I find it irritating when watching back, might as well mute the audio but I would like the option of having audio.

I think the Dash Cam by Viofo could be tweaked to improve, I like the look and shape of this Dash Cam, it looks professional and the build quality of the actual dash Cam unit is pretty good as far as plastic goes.

I am pleased with my purchase, audio issue with potential GPS unit and rattle do let it down though and I hope that Viofo look at this, I will make attempts to contact them about this, if I resolve the issue with the rattle I will update here (if possible?)

If you are looking for a reasonably priced Dash Cam this a good one still in my opinion, audio on most Dash Cams are sketchy to be fair and it's the video footage that is more important, unless you like hear your own voice or do carpool karaoke.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay

*** UPDATE ***

I have added some foam to the GPS mount, this seems to have sorted the rattle, one less annoyance!

However I'm still getting this pulsating hiss on the audio, it is happening with GPS on and off as I have tested with this feature several times.

Today I noticed more skipping on the video / audio, glitchy at times. I purchased the recommended Samsung Class 10 SD card from Amazon, I don't suspect this to be "FAKE" but I'm thinking I either have a suspect SD card or a suspect Viofo Dash Cam with my issues... if a suspect Viofo this is my concern with purchasing items from overseas, sending back and the potential long delay to get a replacement rather than buying local I.e. Halfrauds!

Any advice appreciated.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Very valuable thx Techmoan.

You touched on the fact that you can use 64GB cards (& I read elsewhere 128GB too). What I discovered is that, regardless, you MUST format in FAT32 which can be tricky as Windows 8, alone at least, can't do that. I used GUIformat (free download) to achieve FAT32. TIP.. do the formatting with the card in the camera which, in turn, is connected to the PC as some card readers cannot handle.

The Firmware upgrade info. in the manual differs from the instruction file in the firmware update too.

The card should be pushed in with the contact surfaces towards the screen.

How long does it take the capacitor to charge?

December 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWarren

Just to follow up on my issues with the Viofo and the sound hiss issue, I discovered that this must be an issue with the V2 firmware update as I went back to V1.1 and the hiss issue has gone, surprisingly the audio level is not too bad either.

On downgrading I discovered a bug, emergency button not working! seems you have to have G-sensor activated for it to work, firmware V2 the bug is sorted, I'm just sticking with V1.1 for now.

I will make contact with Viofo on their forum about the audio hiss in the new year.

I'm upgrading my SD card to a SanDisk Ultimate Pro 64GB, my playback issues might be due to my daughters laptop.


Now got my A119 hardwired, well worth doing this IMO

December 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Previously I asked how long the capacitor takes to charge. I gather that it is very quickly. Another thing to know about the cap is that Viofo say it has (only) enough charge to "save the file at power off".

As I understand it that means it is useless for the Motion Detection / Parking feature UNLESS you have an engine-off-power thing, but I don't think the Manual tells you that. Also, to turn on Motion Detection, at present the only way is to drill down the the sixth item in the menu. So yes, it does have Motion Detection but .......

December 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWarren

If somebody is interested, I found Viofo A119 is now at a promotional price: http://www.gearbest.com/car-dvr/pp_392248.html?wid=21&lkid=10365784

February 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCGO

After years of watching your videos, and never quite seeing anything i liked in my price range i finally decided this was the one.
The video quality is excellent, the capacitor was definitely a consideration with the temperature extremes my car will sit through in Canada. I am very happy with it so far.

February 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJD

So I just picked one of these up, and it shows V2.01 firmware (STI_A119_161216_V2.01). The Viofo website doesn't have anything that new. I'm wondering where these updates come from/can be found?

February 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMicah

Actually a V2.02 has just appeared http://support.viofo.com/support/solutions/articles/19000019600-viofo-a119-car-dash-camera-firmware

the forum at Dashcamtalk is very useful ..... https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/ When you get there, scroll down the "Popular dashcams" section to Viofo then over to A119

February 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWarren

VIOFO A119 is good car dashboard camera with GPS and CPL filter. It records wide view angle (170 degrees) and has high HD quality. The shipment was fast and packed well. You can find below in the link full description and real recorded video to see the quality.

Here is the seller which I've purchased from:
http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bImEqFi

February 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLoui

Hello Techmoan...

I am thinking of moving to a different dash-cam. I currently run a LS430W by DOD which is hardwired. I am hoping to get the VIOFO A119 as my LS430W is running in to issues where it randomly stops recording until I have turned the car off, and back on again - which I realize is simply power cycling the dash-cam - but it's hard to do on the highway let alone in town traffic.

My question to you is: Is it worth replacing the LS430W with the A119 regardless of the issues I have with the DOD unit. In your opinion, is the A119 a better unit or not?

Thanks in advance if you have a moment to share your opinion with me.

Andrew. - Canada.

March 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Hi. I guess you get a lot of questions. I was wondering if you can help. I do like your reviews. I am after a dash cam under £50 or around that price. I wonder if you can recommend one for me. Twin cam front and back would be very useful but in that price I don't think there is one. It has to be compact and hidden with good day and night videos and can record when the car is parked and I am not there. Also what is important is the decide should start when the car is on the move. I will have a power pack for the device. Don't need screen on it as it makes the device big. wifi or not is not that important. I do like DDPai M6+ but bit pricey for me. Any other device around £50 but has the same features as DDPai M6+ would be very good.

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFahid

Recently I've purchased by recommendations - VIOFO A119. It is good car dashboard camera with GPS and CPL filter. It records wide view angle (170 degrees) and has high HD quality. The shipment was fast and packed well. You can find below in the link full description and real recorded video to see the quality.

Here is the seller which I've purchased from:
http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bImEqFi

Enjoy this great DVR Product!

March 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLoui

Ok...

So I don't know if TechMoan is actively responding here since I have heard nothing on my last post. I have since gone ahead and purchased the VIOFO A119 and I am super happy with it. I based my purchase largely of off the review done here. Thank you TechMoan for your detailed review. However, what I am really, really annoyed with is that I cannot find a playback software that will play back the video at it;s highest resolution including the GPS, G Sensor, and Map data like "Dashcam Viewer" (DV) does. DV unfortunately only displays up to 1080P and the resolution capability of the VIOFO A119 is higher than that. So I can see the map info in DV but not play the video. I can play the video in standard Windows Media Player but then I lack the GPS data, Map functionality, etc....

Is there a player that will work with the VIOFO A119 at full resolution including the Map and G-Force data etc....? And for those that will recommend to run your camera at a lower resolution I say this: Why would I lower the resolution when one of the primary reasons to buying this camera was its resolution capabilities? It defeats the purpose. And I would say, why does VIOFO not make a player that can display all the information its camera captures?

It's annoying, frustrating, with plenty of unreasonable compromises to the resolution capability of the camera.

If there is something out there I don't know about, please...please let me know....
Dashcam Viewer and Registrator Viewer both do not work for the VIOFO A119 at full resolution.

Andrew, in Canada.

Side note - I am super happy with the video quality of this unit. I did have to put some felt tape in the mounting slot to stop the camera from shaking, which you hear in the audio also - if you have that turned on - but once that was resolved I absolutely love this camera.

March 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Unfortunately I don't know about playback software. You are probably aware that the programmer of Registrator Viewer was killed in a motorcycle accident, so that's why development stopped. You could email the programmer of Dashcam Viewer to see if he has an update planned. I don't use any playback software other than standard video players like QuickTime or VLC so I haven't noticed this issue.

March 31, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I am looking at updating my old Mini 0801 dash cam which has served me reasonably well over 3 years despite having had to re solder a number of batteries after they died each year. Now seen this review with a capacitor as opposed to a battery makes a big difference and this review looks very good. I have used Registrator Viewer for the last few years which is excellent for viewing and zooming in on footage. Andrew from Canada has posted above that this unit does not work at maximum resolution on Registrator Viewer..if it is lowered to 1080p does anyone know if the footage is then playable/zoomable on Registrator Viewer please. (Dashcam Viewer does not work for me on Windows 7 as the footage is very jerky in playback)..Thanks...

April 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Paul,
I can test this to see if it works. Give me some time to get back to you on this.
Unfortunately I have not heard back from TechMoan on this post at all - not sure if he's monitoring this or not.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

******HELLO CAN ANYONE READ THIS********
*****TESTING******
Can someone confirm if my replies are showing up at your end - please let me know if you can see this.
I've replied to comments earlier but I'm not sure they are showing up - I'm wondering if there is a fault.
***** PLEASE REPLY*********
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

April 5, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks Andrew for your offer to test out my earlier query and Techmoan YES am able to read your update to your earlier post today.. Regards...Paul..

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Thanks that's great news...I do spend a lot of time answering the hundreds of questions I get each week...but recently I haven't been hearing back from anyone I responded to, so I thought perhaps something was broken. I wouldn't be surprised as this is a very old version of Squarespace.

April 5, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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