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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

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.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however 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 price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« 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 
  
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 (99)

Hello TechMoan...

Glad to see you are here. There must have been some problem because this is the first time I've seen a response since my first post. I hope I have not insulted you in any way as I certainly did not intend to. I never did get the notification of the post you did answer from me. so there must have been an issue because I did get notified on Paul's post after you replied to me on March 31.

Anyway...

I was not aware that the developer of Registrator Viewer was killed in a crash...RIP.

I will contact Dashcam Viewer and see if they've changed their stance on adding support for higher than 1080p resolution. I just wish that VIOFO made a viewer that can display all the information that the camera is able to present - like DOD Player for my DOD LS430W.

Does anyone know of a paid for dash cam viewer that might do this? I don't mind paying for a good solution.

Thanks TechMoan...

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Hi I think my Mini 801 has died, it shows card absent, I bought 2 of these years ago on your good review so they have served me well, My question is do i buy the VIOFO A119 or the VIOFO A119S ?.
Thanks Ian
P.S. keep up the good reviews

April 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Have been watching all your episodes and have found the content very interesting. From your Dash cam episodes, I am keen to buy the 119 as out in Malaysia its always Hot. However if there is no battery on board and it only depend on the minimal charge of the Capacitors, how long will it keep the date and time if car is left idle ?

May 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEugene

It should take the date and time from the GPS, so if it does forget it...it will pick it up again. At least that's the theory. I've never lost the settings on mine so I don't know how long it takes.

May 3, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

There is a mini button battery inside which stores enough power when charged to keep the time and date..

May 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Paul,

I had promised you some information on Registrator Viewer with the A119.

Registrator viewer will play the video at 1080p and at full resolution - however you wil not get any GPS or any other data. Might as well just use VLC or whatever.
My findings have been inconsistent with other reviews. DCV simply does not play video for me at all, no matter what resolution.
I still think it is a great little camera for the price. Far superior to others in that price range.

If you have a Mac, DCV will work with full resolution and with all associated data. Why this is not the same for Windows is beyond me... and the developer has put me in the silent corner as I have not heard back from him on several inquiries. Perhaps someone else can put a bug in his ear that the Windows version can use some attention (I know, it's free technically - but I am happy to pay twice the price if it would actually work for the full version)

May 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Hi Matt
I think your emails have got mixed up with a Paul, my original email :Hi I think my Mini 801 has died, it shows card absent, I bought 2 of these years ago on your good review so they have served me well, My question is do i buy the VIOFO A119 or the VIOFO A119S ?.
Thanks Ian
P.S. keep up the good reviews
II have since bought the A119S, the bit of feed back I can give you which seems to be cropping up on faults is it turning on and off I have not had proper chance to diagnose the fault fully but since putting the mini usb into the camera by passing the GPS its not turn off yet so I am assuming there is still connection problems like in your review
Thanks for replying
Ian

May 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Andrew..... many thanks to you for getting back in regards to your tests on Registrator Viewer and DCV much appreciated..Has anyone had any issues with last file not being saved/corrupted on this camera on shut down of unit at end of the day. Read on other sites that quite a few people have had issues on that although it could possibly be down to their SD card brands. I also see there is a new (May) version 2 model of this camera on sale from China which has a new GPS mount replacing the 4 upright pins (which can sometimes break) for better connection with a foam pad attached to the mount on the camera to reduce vibration and rattle on playback. It also seems many people now plug the USB cable in the car directly into the camera itself as opposed to the GPS mount which rectifies playback issues and has no detriment to the GPS data being saved/logged.

May 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

DCV works for me with W8.1. I drag and drop the "Movie" file to its screen and wait what seems an unexpectedly long time before it plays.

May 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterwazza

Hi Mat,
I've followed your page for a while now and liked the test reviews. I finally plumped for the Viofo A119 Dash Cam and bought it from the amazon supplier you gave on your page. No problems there. My question is; the GPS co-ordinates display OK on the recorded video but I'm unaware as to how to bring up a map display showing my route taken. Do I have to find a third party software for this and do I have to download it onto the camera and my laptop? As you can see I'm new to this and have search your pages and others but not come across a defined answer. Many thanks

May 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFred Mann

You'll need to use a piece of software...like Dashcam Viewer. https://dashcamviewer.com

May 10, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi All,

I purchased an A119 and I cannot view the footage. It is recording in MP4, but I cannot play it on any pc in my house, or Mac. I have tried Windows media player, VLC, GOM, Quicktime, Dashcam Viewer and Datakam Player none of them can play the footage.

I had a separate issue where the camera would only record 3 seconds at a time and there was a gap between the clips, but I seem to have fixed that somehow.

Any suggestions on how I can play the footage?

May 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Tom...

I would suggest that you look at your PC instead of the camera (Unless the camera files are corrupted - Or you have a bad SD card, make sure to format it in the camera itself.)

For your PC, I would make sure your drivers are updated and install the K-Lite codec pack (Standard should be fine) found here:
https://www.codecguide.com/download_kl.htm

Try those two suggestion above and see how you fair.

Hope it works for you.

May 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the quick reply.

I have just tried the footage from my commute this morning on my work PC and that cannot open it either.

I have now tried on two desktops at home, my macbook running OS Sierra and also Windows 10 though Bootcamp, and now the work PC. None on them can open the footage :(

I can see the footage in windows explorer but when I click it windows media player says 'Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.'

Any more help is much appreciated!

Tom

May 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Sorry, as a side note, the memory card was formatted in the camera, and it is a Lexar Class 10 64GB.

Tom

May 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Hi I had a simlar problem with my last camera, could see the card on my computers (Mac & Windows) it would format so because the camera was old I bought the A119S, and got same promblem as Tom ,Exen after download fix from VIOFO, in the end bought a new Lexar High-Performance 633x 32 GB MicroSDHC UHS-I Card, and Bingo everything works fine, Tried an old phone card 2Gb in my old camera and that worked fine, Conclusion card faulty
Ian

May 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Hello,
Bought a viofo a199 a month ago from amazon uk also bought a lexar 32gb high endurance sd card after reading all the reviews.
problem is it is not recording to sd card when I try to view on pc, formatted via pc fat 32 & then format on camera.
the camera record light is on when engine starts but stil no video, any help please.

Regards Larry.

May 31, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterlarry coffin

I was having trouble with mine, which worked fine initially, then failed as some have described--acts like it's recording, but is actually not or makes dud files. Then it got worse and started power cycling/rebooting while ostensibly rolling.

I went through updating firmware and all the obvious connection (camera or GPS) and card issues, then went through them again with Viofo, who then only offered a foam shim to stick between the GPS and camera, instead of a new, properly working unit. Screw that! The camera worked, and then it failed. It wasn't user error, and I got tired of getting the run around from Viofo. Glad Amazon had my back!

I just returned it to Amazon, and I'll try a different model.

June 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMicah

Thanks for recommending this wonderful dashcam. It is power hungry! Asides from that issue, it has saved my butt 3 weeks into my job today when I was hit and the other driver tried to flee the scene. I have a beautiful piece of evidence now in police custody thanks to you and your recommendations. Score another one for the good guys!

June 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharley Rachide

Thanks for getting in touch...it's always great to hear when something I've featured in a video has helped someone out in some way. I hope everything works out.

June 2, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Will be purchasing the A119 but may not use the GPS data. Is there a technical or quality difference with or without the mount, and can you attach the GPS mount and turn it off or not use it to avoid connectivity problems. I've been reading about problems with the GPS mount attached. Are the v1 and v2 differences solely the GPS mount, same chip and sensor? Recommendations please

June 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Will be purchasing the A119 but may not use the GPS data. Is there a technical or quality difference with or without the mount, and can you attach the GPS mount and turn it off or not use it to avoid connectivity problems. I've been reading about problems with the GPS mount attached. Are the v1 and v2 differences solely the GPS mount, same chip and sensor? Recommendations please

June 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Hello, just an observation regarding the 720p 120fps sample clip. You didn't notice any downgrade in picture quality because in reality the dashcam does not record 120fps but only 30fps. If you look at the video frame by frame you will see that every frame is recorded 4 times exactly the same in the file. I suspect this trick is used by many producers for false advertising claims. Probably the 1080p 60fps video has the same issue.

June 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarius

Hello Mat and Readers

Did someone test a Mobile car 4ch dvr.
On this device you can connect separate camera's.
So the camera's can be very small the and the recording device is hidden inside the car.
Example is : KKmoon 4CH Car Mobile DVR Realtime DVR SD 3G Wireless GPS Video Recorder.

There are other manufactures and the price's are from 60 to 400 €.
With regards
Marco

June 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

Tried a number of cables, all of which work with my cycling Garmin computer, but I just cant get the Viofo to show on my Mac.

June 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDeepak

Hi Mat, I bought my first cam in Aug 16, since then I have bought 3 more, one of them being a A119S which is back at the supplier to be exchanged because it will not loop when the card is full. A few months ago I returned a A119 because the files were not in order.
The recommended card is 32GB Lexar, it has a lifetime warrant. Spy-tec has instruction on how to format this card before use in the cam.
I buy the extended coverage on the cam which is offered by Amazon, 4 years for a few bucks more.
I live in Florida where the temp is at the upper limit and more, of the recommended, range never had a problem with the cap yet.
I watch and enjoy all your videos, thanks, a few das cam videos would not go amiss,
Thanks again. Doublediamond

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaublediamond

Hi Mat, I have 3 A119 used front and rear in my cars, They work well even in the heat here in Florida. I recently bought a A119S and decided to try using it as a security camera, I have it fixed to a window at the front of the house. I have it set on motion detection at 1920x1080 30fps 200ms it works great, able to capture everything that goes on, night vision is very good helped out with the street lights, also everything is in color. A 64gb card fills up in about 3 days, one problem is that the loop feature does not work, so i have to format the card when it is full. I sent the first cam back for a replacement because of it failing to loop, the new replacement had the same problem so i contacted VIOFO who admitted there is a problem with the "loop" when in motion mode, they are working on it.
Believe it or not i think this set up works as good or even better than the Night Owl security cams i have around the house.
The Police were here a few days ago it take a look at some footage of cars used in a robbery on the street, they were most impressed and used the footage to identify the cars involved. No this is not a high crime area, just a sleepy subdivison near Disney.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaublediamond

I'm so glad they're working out for you, and thanks for the info about the looping issue in motion activation mode.
By the way...what are the improvements the S model brings?

August 9, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Matt, The big improvement on the "s" model is the night time recording with minimum light you get good coverage, I have motion sensor lights on the front of the house, any movement and the "s" captures everything. The regular 119 is no where near as good.
I don't see any noticeable differance in daytime video between the two. The "s" will support 128 gb card this gives about 5 days before a manual format

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaublediamond

Excellent - thanks for the info.

August 10, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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