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ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
Yi

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)

I’m quite intrigued by the newest A119S and I may buy one.
Thanks to the recommendation of Techmoan,
I’ve had my G1W-C for 3 years and it still works perfectly and served me well.
Now I’m thinking of upgrading and the Sony IMX291 CMOS Lens plus the CPL filter looks like a good addition.
I don’t know at this time how I will benefit from the GPS as I already have a Garmin GPS.
Any comments on the CPL filter or GPS?

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

I’ve been looking at sellers on ebay.ca for the last couple of days.
The Viofo A119S V2 DVR with CPL filter is my choice.
I think the CPL filter has 2 benefits, cut down the reflection from the dash
on the inside as well as bright flashes from outside the car.
I’m not getting the GPS, my Garmin is more useful and beneficial for me.
I’ve noticed some recent comments regarding hot pixels and I want to know how this issue is being resolved.
Once I rate the sellers I’ll order the Viofo A119S V2 in the next 2-3 weeks.
If any of you have any caveats about the above please let me know.

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Hi C-N I think it depends where you live as to where you buy it from US or UK, I always use Amazon for the free S&H, also buy the 3 or 4 year warrant for a few $ more, I have replace cams with no problems. I think the GPS is worth the extra if only for the ease of removal of the cam even if you don't use the GPS data. I have a CPL filter on one of my cams but don't see much difference either way. Here in the US there is quite a price difference even from the same suppliers, I always go with Spy Tec

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDoublediamond

Hi DD
I live in Ontario Canada and I'm pleased with eBay.ca service on previous orders and I always get free shipping from seller. Their customs clearance is only 2 hrs south of where I live so shipments are relatively quick arriving from China.
I was considering the GPS for the reasons you have given but I see there is a choice of 2 mounts for the unit.
I have found the Viofo site helpful. http://www.viofo.com/home/34-a119s-1080p-60fps-car-dash-cam.html
One has more of an angle than the other, see their you tube at bottom of page..
The CPL is more of an inexpensive aid to reduce glare.
Have you come across any problems with "hot pixels"?
This seems to be the only complaint I've heard so far.
I'm wondering if a person formats once a month and has a good quality micro-card it might minimize the issue.
I'm upgrading from my good reliable 3 year old G1W-C to Viofo A119S.
I like Techmoan's hands on method of testing and reviewing.
If you learn anything more about the A119S I'm listening.
Bob

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearlt Now

I forgot to mention I want to get the latest Firmware for the A119S.
Right now the latest Firmware version is 2017.6.22 Vi.7

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Sorry.
I used i instead of 1 in previous post.

The info below is from Viofo.com, producer of A119S

Latest A119S firmware is released on 2017.6.22, version number is V1.7,

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Hi C-N in the last post I was referring to the 119S, I have one of this model, and three of the 119 if you go with the GPS mount it comes with the other mounts as well, the thicker of the regular mounts I think is to give more clearance if you use CPS filter, The 119S has by far the better night vision, I use it as a security cam, see my previous posts. I only use Lexar as they have a lifetime warrant, apparently SanDisk don't last in dash cams, but I have not had any problems. Check out my problems on motion detection in my other posts. the extended warrant is a must.

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaoulediamond

DD
I agree with you that the thicker mount is meant for the CPL, plus I also am a Lexar supporter.
I notice the A119S Lens has 3 vents on each side.
Does your CPL block the air flow to these vents?
Do you use the EVA foam pads for a better fit and eliminate noise/vibration?

August 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

The air flow is not blocked. I have never had any mounting problems, EVA pads look like a gimmick to me, I have bought a roll of the same black tape that is used on the mounts from an auto store, not had any problems.

August 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDoublediamond

Glad to hear the airflow isn't blocked.
I found a seller I like and I'm going to order my A119S today.
It has the latest firmware and all the support attachments for a good installation that meets my needs.
I was a microfilm technician for 9 years and the Sony glass lens was what got my attention in the first place.
Thanks for your tips.

August 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

I have just upgraded my 119S to the latest firmware version 1.7 can" see any improvement, dose anybody know what the improvement should be?

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaublediamond

Viofo stated the version V1.7:
1. Optimized the daytime and night time IQ
2. Improved WDR performance.
3. Support auto fixing hot pixel

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

I just read a June 26, 2017 press release that was issued by Micron Technology.
They are discontinuing the Lexar retail removable media storage business.
The company will only provide support to existing customers through this transition period.
I'll return the unopened package of the Lexar High Performance 64GB 633X I just bought this afternoon
I guess I'll have to look for a new memory card.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
I guess Transcend is the next best bet for dash cams.

August 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

I've decided after researching what micro sd card to use in my A119S V2 7G F1.6 lens and Sony IMX291 sensor.
The Kingston Model #SDA10/32GBCR is my choice.

August 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Please ignore my previous post regarding the Kingston card.
I was given the wrong info..

August 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Techmoan is in the UK, I’m in Canada and the product is in China. I’m 7,200 miles from Shenzen China and I thought the info below might be useful to a Canadian who reads and supports Techmoan. The selection of the seller on eBay.ca is very important to me I contacted a number of sellers and selected 2013tranhowe123. Kristina, on the order desk, responded promptly in a forthright manner and I could tell she had excellent knowledge of the Viofo A119S. I was also impressed with the shipper. The same tracking number is used during the shipping process for 2 countries and that makes things easier. The A119S was shipped by the seller Wed. Aug. 16th and arrived 8 days later at my home, on the south shore of Georgian Bay Ontario Canada Thur. Aug 24th. The packaging is very well done and couldn’t be better. My dash camera package was received in perfect condition.

I will be formatting my Kingsorn Gold 32GB mico card model #SDCG/32GBCR and the Menu Settings and posting details later today.
I’ll install the A119S in my car Tue. Aug.29th and giving it a good 3 hour driving test on Fri. Sept. 1st and I’ll post details later.

August 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Formatted micro card and did the Menu settings, performed a small short test, no problems so far.
VIOFO A119S, V2, 7G F1.6 Lens, Sony Sensor IMX291, GPS, CPL filter, Firmware 2017.6.22 V1.7,
Using Kingston Gold 32GB Micro SD Card, Model SDCG/32GBCR
CPL filter will cut down the glare reflecting from the dash on inside of windshield.
WDR On, to aid in bringing out colour and clarity.

Following 8 settings are OFF, no use for them.:
Time Lapse - Off
Motion Detection - Off
LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System) - Off
CWS (Front Collision Warning System) - Off
LED - Off
Image Rotate - Off
Format Warning - Off
Custom text - Off

Will be installing the GPS mount in my car on Tuesday, Aug. 29th.
I have a 3 hour trip planned for Fri. Sept 1st so it should give the unit a good test.under varied road conditions.

August 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

I have had my 119S replacement camera running on the latest version 1.7 for about two weeks, as a security cam, They have fixed the loop problem, a 64gb card last about 2.5 days. There is a good video on u tube explaining how to upgrade by copying the latest version to a card, then to your cam, less likely to screw up the cam this way.

August 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaublediamond

I finally installed my A119S late this afternoon and all went well.
I had some fun trying to place the gps mount perfectly on the windshield.
It worked out real well when I got a wooden vertical paper towel holder and placed it in the middle of the windshield washer spigots on the hood. I got the paper towel holder dead center of the screen and the windshield washer spigots placed evenly above the base of the screen.
When I went out it was 6pm and the sun was very bright and setting in the west.
It had no problem picking up the colours of the traffic lights against the sun and the signage along both sides of the street was legible.
I turned south after a period of time and there was lots of clusters of tall trees creating shadows across the road and the exposure remained constant.
When I turned east I had the sun behind me.
In one instance a Ford Edge SUV was ahead of me and the sun was reflecting off a square panel below the rear window and when I got within 3 or 4 car lengths it easily picked up the license plate.
My last turn was north and the images remained consistent and clear.
I had 4 five minute clips and a partial clip and I’m satisfied with the test run..
I have a 3 hour drive Friday on various types of roads and traffic.
We’ll see how that goes.

August 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Special thank you to Techmoan for recommending the Viofo dash cam.
I bought the latest model VIOFO A119S, V2, 7G F1.6 Lens, Sony IMX291 Sensor, GPS, CPL filter, Firmware 2017.6.22 V1.7.
The quality of images including clarity and colours is excellent.
I should also mention the mic picked up the sounds of my directional signals, the clicking of the door locks when activated and the click of my seat belt when I snapped it in.
Here is the details of my micro card and menu settings.
Kingston Gold Model SDA10/32GBCR, 32GB Micro SD Card Class 10 , FAT32 , Performance 90MB/s read and 45MB/s write, UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3), Designed to withstand extreme high and low temperatures.
29 Menu Settings
01 RESOLUTION – 1920 x 1080p 60fps
02 LOOP RECORDING – 5 minutes
03 EXPOSURE – +0.0
04 WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) – ON
05 OFF - Time Lapse
06 OFF - Motion Detection
07 GPS – On
08 SPEED UNITS – kph
09 G SENSOR – Medium
10 OFF - LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System
11 OFF - FCWS (Front Collision Warning System
12 DATE STAMP – ON
13 OFF - GPS STAMP – Coordinates, Speed
14 CAMERA MODEL - ON
15 RECORD AUDIO – ON
16 SCREEN SAVER – 3 minutes
17 OFF - LED
18 DATE & TIME – ON
19 TIME ZONE – -4 Daylight Saving, change to -5 for Standard Time
20 LANGUAGE – English
21 BEEPING SOUND – All
22 FREQUENCY – 60Hz for North America
23 OFF - Image Rotate
24 FORMAT – Manually, once a month or before long trip
25 OFF - Format Warning
26 DEFAULT –
27 CAR NAME – Entered License plate
28 OFF - Custom text
29 FIRMWARE VERSION – 2017.6.22 V1,7

Thank you again Techmoan.

September 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

I'm glad I got the GPS and CPL filter.
While I have the Coordinates and Speed feature turned off on the GPS it still serves 2 functions.
It keeps the correct time from the satellite and allows for proper placement of the lens and filter from the windshield.
The filter also reduces the glare from the dash reflecting inside the windshield.

September 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

I've had an A119 with gps since February, and am impressed with the clarity and its night performance. The gps is useful, as it stamps the exact location and time on the video file. However, in July, during a 2-month 4wd road trip, it started giving trouble, resetting itself every 30 seconds and saving an unreadable file. Unplugging the unit from the gps would reset it, and it would work ok again for a while, but eventually after a couple of weeks, it just kept resetting itself, rarely starting up properly. I bought this one from Zapals, but they were unhelpful as they said it was out of warranty (6 months). Of course I was unable to make a claim then, being on the road, but I offered them date-stamped corrupt files to show it had failed under warranty, but they stood firm. They wouldn't provide me with contact details for Viofo, so I guess this unit goes in the bin. I have a second unit in my other car - I just hope it lasts a bit longer than this one.

September 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOzGezz

Here is a link to Viofo Ltd and A119 Support.

http://www.viofo.com/home/34-a119s-1080p-60fps-car-dash-cam.html

Do you have an EVA Foam Pad between the camera and the gps to prevent vibration?
Also, is the contacts between the camera and gps clean and working?

September 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

play back on smart TV and it seems as if files go missing about 3 sections (files), is this the sd card the TV or something else?????

September 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIan G

You're getting into another problem that is more.complicated for me.
I know there are some knowlegable people that would recommend you update your Firmware.
Go to Viofo.com for the Firmware information and file.

September 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Hi Ian, I have had a similar problem that some files seem to be missing, I have found that if I open a new folder on the PC/Laptop then open the files on the sd card, by inserting the card into the PC/laptop useing an adapter, then select all files on the card then drag them, all together, to the folder you first created, the transfer could be slow. I have found that all the files will be in the folder and in the correct order.

September 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaublediamond

Hi Mat,I have several 119 &119s cams, one i use as a security cam, very effective and always in color, one I bought with a CPL filter, i did not think it was any use as it did not make any change to the reflection off the IP. A few days ago i was looking around u tube and came across a site by P C HOBBYIST who has a lot of videos on the 119, One of them shows how to check your CPL filter and how to correct it. I checked mine and found that it was out of orientation, I adjusted it according to the instructions in the video, what a difference it made, now the IP reflection is almost gone. Check it out.

September 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDaublediamond

I’ve had my A119S with GPS & CPL for just over a month now.
It stays in place 24/7 except if it has to be cleaned.
I alternate the micro sd card at least once a month.
The only other function is change my Time Zone Sun. Nov. 5th.
I’m in Time Zone -4 Daylight Saving Time.
On Sun. Nov. 5th I will reset the Time Zone to -5 for Eastern Standard Time.
I’m very satisfied with all aspects of this unit.

September 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

The Viofo A119 v2 definitely does the job, as I expected it. According to Car Cam Central is is the best value dash camera on the market today.

Purchased from 5 star seller in Aliexpress:
http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/qvj2BII

October 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLoui

Congratulations, great to hear you are happy with your Viofo A119 V2 and your supplier.

I’ve had my A119S V2 c/w GPS & CPL over 5 weeks and couldn’t be happier.
I’m very pleased with my Seller on eBay.ca.
I used Seller 2013tranhowe123 in Shenzen China, item #222606396856.
I live in Canada and they provided me with excellent product and service.

I was particularly interested with Viofo’s use of the 6 element glass lens.
I noticed Apple also used the same type of 6 element lens in their design in 2 their new Apple iPad Pro.
It must be a proven lens system.
I owe my initial interest to the Viofo dash cam to Techmoan and after researching settled on the A119S.
I think Viofo is an excellent company making a very good product.

October 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

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