A119 Mini - Review / Testing

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rcg530

rcg530

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How is it held there? Glue?
It looks like there are tabs on the side of the A119 Mini case that the microphone resides in. The appears to be some sort of "rubber" ring around the microphone that fits in between the microphone and the tabs on the side of the case. I don't see any glue being used (pressure fit?).
 

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It looks like there are tabs on the side of the A119 Mini case that the microphone resides in. The appears to be some sort of "rubber" ring around the microphone that fits in between the microphone and the tabs on the side of the case. I don't see any glue being used (pressure fit?).
I wonder if the rubber blocks the mic at all. Hard to tell by the pics.
 

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If I recall correctly, the early units had the mic taped to the capacitors. They eventually moved it to the side, taped in front of the vents. Seems that's were it is on the Mini now, so I'm surprised it's that low.

Edit… I do recall tweaking of the A119V3 firmware to help the audio as well.

I wasn't aware that the mic was repositioned in later models but since the two V3 units I purchased from you in late 2019 would likely have had the microphones in their original position I've assumed that the improved audio levels I've been experiencing were a result of a firmware fix-it. It would be interesting to hear an audio comparison between an original A119 V3 and a recently manufactured one.
 

Kremmen

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That's interesting.

When I opened up my V3 there was a small black 'thing' in the centre that was held by its lead, by tape, to a capacitor.

It was held showing about half an inch of lead so I'm surprised it doesn't rattle, especially if the lead gets hot and more pliable.

Is that the mic ?
 

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That's interesting.

When I opened up my V3 there was a small black 'thing' in the centre that was held by its lead, by tape, to a capacitor.

It was held showing about half an inch of lead so I'm surprised it doesn't rattle, especially if the lead gets hot and more pliable.

Is that the mic ?
Sounds like the mic. I'll see if I can find a picture of it.

The A119V2 and the A119 Pro had the mic soldered directly to the board, no lead wires (that recall).

a119promic.jpg
 

Karagandinez

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I wasn't aware that the mic was repositioned in later models but since the two V3 units I purchased from you in late 2019 would likely have had the microphones in their original position I've assumed that the improved audio levels I've been experiencing were a result of a firmware fix-it. It would be interesting to hear an audio comparison between an original A119 V3 and a recently manufactured one.
To improve the sound at A119V3, Viofo released firmware V2.2 from 23.12.2020.
 

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The white arrows point to what I think is the speaker and that was held with weak double sided tape that came away and pushed back easily, to the side pointing outwards.

The mic was more like the red arrows.

Odd thing is that both of my V3's have good sound even though one is old and the other is new. I thought the newer ones needed the firmware fix ?
 

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The white arrows point to what I think is the speaker and that was held with weak double sided tape that came away and pushed back easily, to the side pointing outwards.

The mic was more like the red arrows.

Odd thing is that both of my V3's have good sound even though one is old and the other is new. I thought the newer ones needed the firmware fix ?
Yes, white arrow points to the speaker. Red arrow to the mic.
 

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The A119 Mini's audio level has been an issue from day 1 of testing. I was given a test firmware V1.0_0714 which optimized the audio level in the firmware and it did slightly increase the audio level from almost impossible to hear to what I'm calling "a whisper" level. The A119 Mini's audio level is 15 to 16 decibels below the levels of the A229 Duo and T130 audio.

Yeah, as I mentioned, it was the same with the V3. Over the years here on the forum this has been a fairly common problem with a number of brands when new models come out. For example, a couple of Street Guardian models had low audio levels when they were first introduced.

Like many other members here, I'm not your average Amazon dash cam buyer. I have five cameras in my vehicle. (front wide, front telephoto, left side, right side and rear). So, that gives me 5 microphones recording at any given time. If one cam's audio doesn't perform well, the others take up the slack in a pinch. It's also been interesting for comparing brands, models and cabin placement for audio capture over time. Three of my cameras are from Mobius and they have offered up the absolute best audio quality (and volume/sensitivity) of any camera I've owned or tested (dozens). They are good enough that I've even used them as a dedicated hand held recording device occasionally. You can even elect to record in .WAV format (Sound Only) if you choose to. Other manufacturers should take a cue from what Mobius is doing with camera audio.

wav.jpg
 

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Here is an A119V3 I just opened up. It's not from any recent batch, so not sure when it was manufactured. As you can see the mic is taped to the capacitor. At some point, I believe they moved it to the side of the casing, up in front of some vent holes. Seems it's moved around quite a bit though.

A119V3 Mic.jpg
 
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I updated my A119 Mini with a test firmware (V1.1_0817) that has HDR support. The firmware settings for HDR are Off, On and a time based schedule to enable HDR.

This morning, I drove my weekly shopping trip route. I posted a frame grab of license plates in my Vantrue E1 review thread where I mentioned there was a color change in A119 Mini video. I'm not sure (yet) whether it's my A119 Mini having a problem, some other change in the V1.1_0817 firmware or if it's the HDR feature being enabled.

I have a frame grab showing the A119 Mini with HDR enabled and the A229 Duo (without HDR support). In the past, those two dash cameras with the same image sensor were very close in the what colors ended up in the video.

I've sent an inquiry to VIOFO asking if they have observed this behavior with HDR enabled, with the test firmware version or if it's my A119 Mini.

20220819_a119mini_hdr_vs_a229_nohdr.jpg
 

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I updated my A119 Mini with a test firmware (V1.1_0817) that has HDR support. The firmware settings for HDR are Off, On and a time based schedule to enable HDR.

This morning, I drove my weekly shopping trip route. I posted a frame grab of license plates in my Vantrue E1 review thread where I mentioned there was a color change in A119 Mini video. I'm not sure (yet) whether it's my A119 Mini having a problem, some other change in the V1.1_0817 firmware or if it's the HDR feature being enabled.

I have a frame grab showing the A119 Mini with HDR enabled and the A229 Duo (without HDR support). In the past, those two dash cameras with the same image sensor were very close in the what colors ended up in the video.

I've sent an inquiry to VIOFO asking if they have observed this behavior with HDR enabled, with the test firmware version or if it's my A119 Mini.

View attachment 61547
The A119M looks WAY over saturated, to the point of starting to look a bit like Anime lol o_O
 
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The HDR feature in the V1.1_0812 and the V1.1_0817 test firmware versions has a firmware settings screen of its own. It's not currently settable via the VIOFO app (Android 3.2.5 tested). There is a "HDR Timer" option which allows you to turn on/off the HDR feature based on a start/stop time and by default the "On" time is 19:00 (7:00 PM) and the "Off" time is 07:00 (7:00 AM).

viofo_a119_mini_v11_0817_hdr.jpg
 
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Today August 25, 2022, VIOFO released V1.1_0817 firmware for the A119 Mini. It adds HDR support and "fix other bugs".

1661445298553.png

HDR vs No HDR

I've been testing V1.1_0817 for the past several days. I find that when HDR is enabled that some of the colors are a bit off (cartoon like at times). I have two A119 Mini dash cameras setup in my car. Both with V1.1_0817 firmware installed and CPL filters, but one has HDR enabled and the other doesn't have HDR enabled.

Here's a side-by-side screen shot. The HDR screenshot (left) has better sign readability of the white background sign on the right and the rear of the truck just past the stoplight. The tree leaves have a strong yellow hue to them (almost late fall like). The screenshot (right) which has HDR disabled has more accurate colors for the tree leaves, but the signs are more difficult to read and the sky color is much brighter than the HDR sky color.

1661445734296.png

Taking a look at a license plate when I zoom in by 500% with and without HDR enabled. My current speed was 45 MPH and I have to believe the car on the other side was traveling at about the same speed. The video from the A119 Mini with HDR enabled is almost clear enough (at 500%) to make out the license plate characters. The video from the A119 Mini with HDR disabled has the white of the car and license plate a bit overexposed. In this case, HDR seemed to help make the license plate characters almost readable.

a119_mini_v11_0817_hdr_vs_nohdr.jpg
 
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gse

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V1.1_0817
So far I've noticed.
HDR - ON
1. There is no off in the menu. screen so that it does not turn off.
2. Some kind of gray artifact climbs, reads the numbers.
 

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