A118C or G1W

FransM

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Hi,

I was looking for an inexpensive dash cam to take with me on my next vacation to Iceland to film the road while driving. I'm only recording during daytime but the weather conditions can vary.

I've been reading several of the reviews and I have more or less narrowed my choice to A118C (now eur 38 at gearbest) or G1W-CB (eur 31,60 on gearbest).

If I read the reviews A118C seems a bit better. Then again G1W is a bit cheaper and has a suction mount (which is more convenient in a rental car).

Any opinions that could help me with my choice?

Also I noticed on ebay that for about 7 dollars I can get a GPS module for the A118C. Is that nice to have?

Thanks a lot! Frans
 

SawMaster

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The G1W-C I had was a reliable cam with good daytime image quality from cloudy to sunny, never had an A118 but the vid's I've seen look equally good. I never saw a need for GPS. On form factor the G1W wins for the more versatile mount, but if you're thinking of using this cam in your personal car after the trip, the A118 might still be a better choice if it suits that purpose better.

Both of these are 'generic' cams made by many manufacturers so the chances of getting a 'dud' are higher than with better cams. The warranty process with direct purchases from China is hideous and slow, so I'd recommend purchase from a local seller to be sure you've got a working cam in time for the trip unless you've got a couple months time to spare before leaving. Get a good quality 64GB SD card (no SanDisk!) so you can record without the need to stop and download the vids so often- that should give you at least 8 hours recording time. You'll need to pre-format it with your PC to Fat32 then format it in cam (lots of freeware to do this with). Use the cam before the trip to see which settings you prefer but with both cams G-sensor and M/D should be off as they don't work well if at all, and will fill the card with locked files. Either one will serve you well.

Enjoy your vacation!
Phil
 

Mtz

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Viofo A139. A129+. SGGCX2. GitUp.
You can buy the original Viofo A118C or the new model A118C2.


enjoy,
Mtz
 

Module 79L

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Get a good quality 64GB SD card (no SanDisk!) so you can record without the need to stop and download the vids so often- that should give you at least 8 hours recording time. You'll need to pre-format it with your PC to Fat32 then format it in cam.
@FransM, regardind what's highlighted in @SawMaster's quote, beware that there's a high probability the G1W-C will revert the card to ex-FAT if formatted in the camera. Both my Novatek cameras do that with cards >32GB. It's always better to test it first and if the camera does what I said, just format the card to FAT32 with the computer and leave it that way.
 
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SawMaster

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I've had 2 G1W-C and 2 G1W-HC plus I've read quite a bit about them, yet I've never heard about these cams changing a card's formatting before so I think this is an anomaly you're unlikely to encounter. With >32GB cards you must first reformat to FAT32 from EXFAT on a computer, then do an in-cam format for correct operation. These cams cannot do a format change in-cam, and will not set the partition correctly if you try to reformat only in the cam. Sometimes the 2nd (in-cam) formatting isn't needed but the general advice given is that it's the best approach to take. ;)

Phil
 

Module 79L

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I've had 2 G1W-C and 2 G1W-HC plus I've read quite a bit about them, yet I've never heard about these cams changing a card's formatting before so I think this is an anomaly you're unlikely to encounter.
Well, you've heard it now and I've proved it to be true. Have you ever tried to format a FAT32 64GB card or higher in any of those cameras? I also thought that after formatting the card to FAT32 in the computer the cameras wouldn't change that format but I was wrong. Despite having the same chipset, the SG9665XS formats these cards in FAT32 but probably because the firmware is modified to be compatible with larger cards, while the G1W-H and the AT11DA are officially "limited" to 32GB. It would be a hell of a coincidence if these two units are the only "abnormal", among hundreds of Novatek-based cameras.

With >32GB cards you must first reformat to FAT32 from EXFAT on a computer, then do an in-cam format for correct operation. These cams cannot do a format change in-cam, and will not set the partition correctly if you try to reformat only in the cam. Sometimes the 2nd (in-cam) formatting isn't needed but the general advice given is that it's the best approach to take. ;)
That's what I do, obviously, but if I do an in-camera format afterwards both cameras will change the card's file system back to ex-FAT, so apparently they can. And, also apparently, the ex-FAT's partition attributes of the in-camera formatting are correct because when I did the experiment of recording with the card formatted to ex-FAT the camera filled the card and overwrote the old files without any issues. :cool:
 

SawMaster

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My last G1W-C (from SpyTec so a good one) went toast with the Buick but it didn't change format, nor do the 2 G1W-HC's I have now, All have been using Transcend 400x 64GB cards (direct from Transcend and verified as real). Same thing using a Samsung 32GB card (which is of course native as FAT32). I haven't tried any other cards in these cams since these work excellently. I've forgotten to pre-format new cards with these cams and they would not even recognize the card until it was FAT32.

Same results with my Mobius which does support EXFAT but I run it with FAT32. As the G1W's cannot read or run EXFAT I don't understand why yours would change things, but strange things happen sometimes ;) And given the generic nature of these cams with lots of different firmware and hardware, it's darn near impossible to state something which applies to all the different versions or even only the Novatek ones.

In trying to find formatting freeware which works on this W8.1 laptop along with trying different freeware with the XP tower before it died, I found that there was even some variation in the re-formatting results using different tools :eek: I thought there would be a 'standard' but apparently there's some leeway there too as the data space behind the partition varied in size even when using the same card throughout o_O If nothing else this can be interesting stuff even if I don't understand it all but I'm learning! :cool:

Phil
 

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I've always thought that since these cameras were "restricted" to cards up to 32GB and they only worked with FAT32, they'd format all non-FAT32 cards to this file system, until I found out my cameras didn't do it. But then @jokiin said that this was very unusual, they should format all cards to FAT32, regardless of the card's size. Well, I think either we have a mystery here or I am the luckiest person in the world and I have the "only" two dashcams that format ex-FAT cards to ex-FAT. :eek::p

Anyway, we're going very off-topic here. I opened a thread on this subject here but it looked like not many people were interested in it.
 

SawMaster

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I'm speaking only of G1Wx cams- your other thread is about other cams. The G1Wx cannot read EXFAT like some other cams do, therefore it does not recognize the card unless it is a FAT32 format. Since anything above 32GB comes as EXFAT from the factory, it must first be changed to FAT32 outside of the cam and then the cam can read it and format it.

G1Wx cams advertise accepting cards only up to 32GB for that reason. Many of them, but not all of them, can use bigger cards if they are first reset to FAT 32 format. Apparently this 'trick' doesn't work with the GeneralPlus chispset which is why I mentioned that in my review. I don't want people to expect like I did that a larger card will work. It does seem to work with the Novatek chipset which most G1Wx cams use; IIRC some have even reported getting 128GB cards to work in these cams but I can't afford those cards, The 64GB cards are much more affordable and are worth using for those of us who need extended recording times.

Phil
 

Module 79L

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I'm speaking only of G1Wx cams- your other thread is about other cams.
My thread is about that cam because it was the one I used for the experiment. In any case, it has the same chipset as the large majority of G1Wxs and no modified firmware. Oh, and did I already mention that my G1W-H with the DA380 2015.0121 firmware also formats the same card to ex-FAT? So now we're speaking about the same cams. ;)

The G1Wx cannot read EXFAT like some other cams do, therefore it does not recognize the card unless it is a FAT32 format.
My G1W-H reads ex-FAT, recognizes the 64GB card and records.

Just out of curiosity, a moment ago I took my dismantled G1W out of the box (also with no modified firmware), put the same 64GB Transcend Premium formatted to ex-FAT card in, plugged the cam to an external PS and it started recording immediately. Ok, the experiment told me the cam recognized the card and wrote to it, but what if I do an in-camera formatting? Will it format the card to FAT32? Surprise, surprise, it doesn't! It also formats the card to ex-FAT like the other two cams, so just to be 100% sure I formatted the card to FAT32 in the computer using guiformat, put it back in the cam, formatted it again and, no surprises, the card went back to ex-FAT. So now I have 3 cams that do what apparently they can't do. I must be the luckiest person in the world! :D
 

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Did you check the card afterward to see that us was actually recording? With my G1HC's I've noticed that with any card or cam problems, the warning on the screen only stays there for a few seconds, and then disappears with the cam acting like it is recording when it isn't. And it takes a few seconds before a warning displays. :eek: I discovered that foible when I wanted to save a clip from my side cam only to discover no card in it. Not sure if I forgot that or if the cam spit it out. The workvan is a mess and I'll look for the card when I clean it. A similar thing happened when my DIY rear mount inadvertently pressed a button :rolleyes: I always check the cams at startup and a bit later before the screen saver ends the display but I was missing the "No SD Card" message in between :( I know better now!

Oh the joys of dashcams :p
Phil
 

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More than I can review. ;)
You'll hate time spent on taking the sticky mount off the windshield and cleaning the residue compared to suction cup.
 

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Did you check the card afterward to see that us was actually recording?
Of course. The AT11DA recorded until the card was full and then started overwriting without any problems (all the footage was copied to my computer during the experiment), the G1W-H recorded the 3 min footage I used to make my DIY dashmat's video and the G1W recorded two >30 sec videos, which were in the card but I didn't bother to look at because, as I said before, the cam is half disassembled, lens included.
I can't say how the two G1Wx would perform in the long run with an ex-FAT card because I don't use them anymore, but and to end this long off-topic, what matters to this discussion is that if a camera formats larger cards to ex-FAT one can't do an in-camera format after formatting the card to FAT32 in the computer. :)
 

SawMaster

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My perspective on most things is this:

If it's doing what it's supposed to be doing correctly and shows no signs of doing otherwise, there can't be much wrong with it so leave it alone ;)

Phil
 

Module 79L

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My perspective on most things is this:

If it's doing what it's supposed to be doing correctly and shows no signs of doing otherwise, there can't be much wrong with it so leave it alone ;)

Phil
Exactly. It the cam wants to record in ex-FAT, who are we to say otherwise? ;)
 

vagner

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I have a g1w for a few months and it stop running like dashcam, no record video. So, I am using like a webcam in my PC. I don't recommend G1W.
 
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FransM

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Hi all,

Thanks for your replies.
I've decided to go for the G1W-CB.
Most important reason was the suction cup (and I do not need the privacy; this is for a one time use to record a road trip)
The price dropped a bit and they gave me 100 points for signing up which eventually brought the price down to eur 28 aka usd 31.

I expect it to take a few weeks before it arrives here; but then again I only need it in half a year, so there is plenty of time to experiment upfront.

Best regards, Frans
 
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