The A129 Professional Duo is Viofo’s flagship sprint cam, providing 4K recording in addition to a rear digital camera, Wi-Fi, GPS and parking mode. Here is our evaluate
4K sprint cams are nonetheless few and much between, and while you do spot one, it is more likely to be costly. Viofo is a relative newcomer to the world of sprint cams however has already confirmed that it has the precise recipe.
It sticks to what folks need from a touch cam: top quality recording at an honest value. It largely dispenses with pointless frills resembling lane-departure warnings and different stuff that does not work too properly and which sprint cam patrons don’t need.
The A129 Professional Duo seems to be and sounds much like the A129 Duo, reviewed, however has one key distinction: it data in 4K. So is the additional value value it? That is what we have been discovering out.
(Word that the video above has been compressed, and isn’t the unique 4K high quality.)
Viofo A129 Professional Duo: Worth & availability
When you purchase the A129 Professional Duo from Amazon, it is going to value you £229.99 / $249.90. It is also accessible with out the rear digital camera for £169.99 / $199.90 from Amazon.
Whichever model you go for, there are some things that you simply will not discover within the field. First is a microSD card, and you may need to go for a large-capacity card as a result of the 4K video information take up a number of house. Even a 128GB card will solely retailer 3.5 hours of footage in the event you set the entrance digital camera to 4K and have the rear digital camera recording at full HD. 256GB is the utmost capability supported.
Second, if you wish to use the A129’s parking modes, you may want the hardwire package which prices about £13 / $15 from Amazon.
Third, there’s an non-obligatory polariser for across the similar value because the hardwire package. This cuts down on reflections out of your automotive’s windscreen and dashboard, and may result in clearer video with higher distinction.
Lastly, you should buy – although we have not discovered it on sale at Amazon – a Bluetooth distant button which sticks to your dashboard and locks the video file at present being recorded while you press it. This prevents it being overwritten when the microSD card is full. It is probably not mandatory as there’s already a G-sensor within the sprint cam which can lock a recording robotically when triggered by an affect.
You may discover a bunch of other selections in our roundup of the very best sprint cams.
Viofo A129 Professional Duo: Options & design
It is arduous to inform the A129 other than the A129 Professional. They give the impression of being similar and have similar GPS mounts. In addition they have the identical 2in color display screen, buttons and ports, so it was a one-minute job for us to swap out the A129 Duo already current in our check automotive and set up the A129 Professional as a replacement: we merely used the ability wire and GPS mount from the A129 and plugged the rear digital camera instantly into the facet of the A129 Professional.
As talked about, the rear digital camera that comes with the A129 Duo is similar mannequin that is equipped with the A129 Professional Duo, and due to this fact data at 1920×1080 and gives precisely the identical area of view and video high quality.
Up entrance, there’s an 8.29Mp Sony sensor and a unique lens which gives a 130° area of view. I’ve seen loads of folks criticise sprint cams for having a narrower area of view, however I believe it is truly a profit because it means vehicles and different objects instantly in entrance of you seem bigger than on lenses with a wider angle of view. And meaning particulars resembling registration plates are bigger, so are readable once they would not be on ultra-wide-angle sprint cams.
The 2in display screen isn’t a touchscreen, however it’s simple sufficient to navigate utilizing the buttons – simpler, in actual fact, than some touchscreen sprint cams.
There are fairly a number of settings, however the primary ones you may most likely need to take care of when first organising the A129 Professional are the decision and bitrate.
For the previous, you are considerably restricted in the event you’ve purchased the model together with the rear digital camera. That is as a result of the entrance digital camera can solely be set to document at 30fps when the rear cam is related, and it is not sensible to document at a decrease decision than 4K. (Bear in mind the rear digital camera tops out at 1080p).
If you do not have the rear digital camera, then you may bump up the body price to 60fps at a 2K decision (1440p) or a super-quick 120fps at 1080p.
By way of bitrate, you’ve gotten 4 selections: Low, Medium, Excessive and Most. On the latter setting, which is 60Mb/sec, every minute of 4K video takes up about 450MB on the microSD card (the rear is about 120MB). In order that’s a complete of 570MB per minute.
You can even allow WDR to enhance readability at evening, and select precisely what info is stamped onto the video: date, gps coordinates, pace, automotive registration and customized textual content.
It is value noting that there isn’t any battery on this sprint cam. It makes use of a super-capacitor as a substitute and likewise has a built-in overheating safety system, so must be dependable even when baking within the solar in a carpark.
There are the identical three parking modes accessible on the A129 Duo: movement detection, low bitrate recording or timelapse (you decide between 1 and 10 frames per second).
For the previous, it really works on a buffer so it is in a position to document 15 seconds earlier than the affect and 30 seconds afterwards, which ought to make sure you see what occurred (assuming it occurred inside the view of the entrance or rear cameras, in fact).
To make use of any of those, you may must have the digital camera hardwired fairly than utilizing the bundled cigarette socket adapter. (You could possibly as a substitute use a USB energy financial institution whereas parked, however the benefit of the arduous wire package is that it’ll robotically change to your chosen parking mode while you change off the ignition – rather more handy). The hardwire package has a slider so you may select at what battery voltage it shuts down the sprint cam to keep away from a flat automotive battery.
Like virtually all sprint cam apps, Viofo’s is clunky and fundamental. It is potential to view the stay feed from the sprint cam (which may be helpful for adjusting the angle of the lens) and alter the settings extra simply out of your cellphone as a substitute of utilizing the buttons on the digital camera itself.
The principle use, although, is to view and obtain recorded video. Happily, this half works properly. I chosen 5GHz underneath the Wi-Fi menu earlier than holding down the picture-in-picture button for a second or two to change Wi-Fi on. Then, after choosing the Viofo community and coming into the default 12345678 passsword, it is potential to connect with the digital camera and faucet the bottom-left icon to see the checklist of information.
These are divided into days, however the entrance and rear clips are proven individually, not mixed. The quick connection pace afforded by 5GHz Wi-Fi means you may watch clips as in the event that they have been already in your cellphone, and they are often shortly downloaded to your cellphone for modifying and sharing.
At round 8MB/sec it takes about 45 seconds to obtain a minute of 4K video, and 12 seconds for a clip from the rear digital camera. This can be a actual boon because it implies that, for as soon as, right here we have now a touch cam that does not must be faraway from the automotive and brought to your PC or laptop computer to dump footage.
Video high quality
Having been disenchanted with the footage from Nextbase’s 612GW, I used to be extra impressed with the 4K video from the A129 Professional. Even with out the polariser, photos are crisp and detailed. It is potential to see registration plates of different vehicles on the highway (each parked and driving) and to learn indicators and different textual content.
Element ranges are maybe not fairly as superb as you may count on, however this body seize reveals that plates are largely readable even when vehicles are moderately distant, or parked to the facet.
At evening, there is a good quantity of element in shadows with WDR enabled, however the identical downside that every one sprint cams undergo from: total high quality is vastly lowered.
Plus, as a result of quantity plates are reflective, it is inconceivable to learn them when your automotive’s headlights are shining on them. Reviewing footage, virtually each registration plate was illegible at evening except the automotive in entrance stopped at a well-lit junction, whereupon its registration was good and clear as quickly as I had pulled up behind it.
High quality from the rear digital camera is – as talked about – the identical as from the A129 Duo. It is higher than most rear cameras, and delivers fairly sharp footage. Once more, high quality drops at evening significantly, and there is definitely not the extent of shadow element accessible from the 4K entrance digital camera.
The A129 Professional Duo is without doubt one of the least expensive dual-channel sprint cams round, so though it prices much more than the A129 Duo, it is value it in the event you really need the additional element accessible with 4K recording.
There’s additionally the dual-band Wi-Fi which makes it quite a bit quicker to obtain clips to your cellphone. If we’re being crucial, the app could possibly be slicker, however basically the A129 Professional Duo data excellent-quality video for the worth.
Viofo A129 Professional Duo: Specs
- Lens: F1.Eight Aperture 7 Parts Glass Lens (F1.6 Rear Digicam)
- Sensor: Sony IMX317 8Mp sensor (2Mp Sony Starvis IMX291 for Rear Digicam)
- Lens Angle: Entrance 130°, Rear 140°
- Show: 2.0-inch LCD
- Video Decision: Entrance as much as 4K at 30fps, Rear Full HD at 30fps
- Enter: DC5.0V/3.1A through mini USB
- Video Out: MP4
- Storage: As much as 256GB
- Microphone & Speaker: Constructed-in
- Wi-Fi: Constructed-in (2.4GHz /5GHz Twin band)
- G-Sensor & Movement Detection: Supported
- Parking mode: Supported
- Time Lapse: Supported
- Video Looping: 1Min / 3Min / 5Min/ 10Min
- Measurement: Entrance: 3.3×2.2×1.6″ Rear: 2.1×1.2×2.0