A119S hot pixels - need help with calibration

Peylix

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Hello all. I just purchased a VIOFO A119S off Amazon and received it today. Come to find out when I reviewed footage. I have the dreaded hot pixel issue.

I have added 2 photos to show.

I'm on the newest firmware (1.2). I've seen a fix for the regular 119, but going through the menu on mine, there is no such thing as "ENGMODE".

Can we even calibrate the 119S? At $120 USD, there should NOT be an issue like this. I have over 10+ hot pixels.

I do a lot of night driving and it's the main reason why I bought the 119S over the standard 119 and even other cams in this price range. It's replacing my old 118. I'm not too happy to have a brand new camera out of the box crippled heavily like this.


*Edited to add video sample:
 

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OCD Tronic

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I'll ask how the A119S is done, stand by as I wait for a factory reply. I'm in Hong Kong for a few weeks so don't have one handy to test at the moment.

Once we confirm how it's done, feel free to run this as many times as you want. (Try both hot with the camera on for 15 minutes first or cold). The Sony Sensor is being pushed running at maximum sensitivity so it's pretty tough to get every single pixel 100% perfect without losing night performance. (but you shouldn't have any fully bright ones after Calibration)

The challenge with calibration is when VIOFO does them in the factory on a brand new sensor not every bright pixel will show up in such a short time

as an FYI all sensors have this, Sony acknowledges that it is impossible to avoid based on current manufacturing technology and consider it to be normal, there are other variables as well, see below

the calibration process (calibration is probably an inaccurate description but that's how it is termed) does not actually calibrate the sensor but masks the effect by mapping which pixels show this issue and when the pixels around the affected pixel are dark or light (whichever the case may be) turn off the affected pixel,

Sony Doc:
 

DT MI

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More than my wife thinks I need.
While the hot pixels are a bit 'irritating' they certainly do not cripple a camera - give it some time. I have an SG9665GC that had hot pixels and was all set to do the calibration process to map them out. Before doing it I wanted to confirm the specific locations so I could do a 'before and after' compare. When checking some more current videos there were no hot pixels at all, even though a couple months earlier they were obvious.

To make a long story short(er), after some research and testing I determined they were dependent to a great extend on temperature. The colder it was the more hot pixels there were - as ambient temperatures went up there were fewer and fewer. Also found out that, even when the hot pixels were there, as the camera warmed up they would begin to fade away until they were gone.

Also, new sensors will function differently after they've 'aged' a bit so what's there today may well not be there in a few weeks.
 
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Peylix

Peylix

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Here is my problem with that though. I have a 30 day window to send this unit back. So waiting for something that may never come, or hope VIOFO actually does give the S the ENGMODE for those of us stuck with this:

(Oh yeah, forgot to mention it got a lot worse. Over 3x the amount now after a 30 minute drive)



So I either wait for the fix or for it to age and then get stuck with it should neither fix this or gets worse like it has. Or send it back and hope I get a brand new one w/o defects that is also not a referb. I've done enough RMA processes over the years and it ends up being a giant game of cat and mouse. Not to mention the down time of not having a cam while I wait. Which knowing my luck, I'll get hit within this window.

This issue is present across all resolutions and framerates. WDR on and off. Multiple different exposure settings and more. Nothing fixes it so far.

It would be nice to get a response from VIOFO regarding time frame of the ENGMODE being added. That way I can keep this product and not have to play RMA hot potato.
 

OCD Tronic

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@viofo is preparing to attend the huge Global Sources trade show in Hong Kong in the next few days so might not be monitoring the forum for a bit. I just landed in Hong Kong myself last night and will be meeting with VIOFO after the weekend. I'll ask for the procedure or time line.
 
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Peylix

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Ok, I appreciate the feedback so far btw.

Other than this issue. I do like the cam. It's a step up in the right direction from the 118 imo despite some flaws (nothing is perfect nor do I expect anything to be). I mean, my GPS mount was loose and my cam wobbled like most other people. But I fixed that real quick using small squares of tape to shim the base and cam making a solid contact now with no wobble.

I just do a lot of nighttime driving and that's why this is a big issue for me. It's one thing to have just a few pixels. But it's a whole other problem when you have so many it looks like it's snowing haha. Anyways, thanks for the heads up. I have a month so it's not like this is an ASAP thing.
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The calibration can be done at anytime, it won't be an issue for them to enable this once they have a chance to get to it
 

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@viofo is preparing to attend the huge Global Sources trade show in Hong Kong in the next few days so might not be monitoring the forum for a bit. I just landed in Hong Kong myself last night and will be meeting with VIOFO after the weekend. I'll ask for the procedure or time line.
Looking forward to photos :)
 
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Peylix

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So after having this camera for a few weeks. I have come to notice how BAD the daytime footage is and focal issues. As you can see, the entire right side and even part of the middle is out of whack. My 118 records better than this and that's really aggravating.

So now I have this on top of the hot pixels.

VIOFO, you have some major quality control issues going on.


 

viofo

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So after having this camera for a few weeks. I have come to notice how BAD the daytime footage is and focal issues. As you can see, the entire right side and even part of the middle is out of whack. My 118 records better than this and that's really aggravating.
PM sent, please check.
 

gse

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Многие 119S есть проблема мыла, справа и слева, это брак! Что Viofo сказать?
Can replace marriage ?
 

viofo

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Многие 119S есть проблема мыла, справа и слева, это брак! Что Viofo сказать?
Can replace marriage ?
Please send PM with original video link, we will check and reply.
 
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Peylix

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I wanna add an update to my issue.

VIOFO has offered to exchange my current cam for a new one. They have been helpful throughout this process as well. So I want to extend my thanks to them.
 

gse

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Спасибо, я послал Viofo, до сих пор молчит.
 
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Peylix

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***Update***

I got my replacement cam in the mail today. Got it hooked up and excited to test it out. This replacement unit suffers from the same damn thing. Hot Pixels all over the image. I don't know if this one has any focal issues since it's hard to tell at night. But there have been a few spots in the clips I pulled tonight that are better as far as I can tell. Will have to wait for daytime to really see if this will make it or break it.

I still want to thank VIOFO and OCDTronic for getting this RMA set up and done in a really amazing time frame.

But alas, back to square one. Though slightly better if the focal issue was fixed.

So, do we have an ETA on ENGMODE for the 119S so I can get rid of this? Or at least try to for that matter.



 

OCD Tronic

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Peylix

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I just find it frustrating is all. The fact that there are so many videos of the 119S online that do not suffer from this, even in locations like that post that says the cosmic rays would be the highest. Clean image. Then all of the sudden, videos left and right are suffering from it. All from products purchased recently with both firmware versions. It makes zero sense that it's "not" a hardware problem. It very much is a hardware problem. The latest batches of the sensors coming out are subpar at best compared to earlier runs. I also find it interesting that if this is an "inevitable issue with no way around it" as Sony puts it. Why would VIOFO risk using this sensor in the cam marketed for night capture?

The other thing that makes me frustrated and question the "not hardware" is the fact that this camera's number one issue is the lens being way out of wack either on the left. Or from newer batches, the right now.

I love the B40 wedge design. I loved my 118-C to death. The amount of issues the 119S is having though, isn't something that you would really expect out of a quality camera like this.

In all honesty. If the replacement 119S has proper focus, I'll probably end up keeping it. Despite the fact that the whole reason for me choosing the S over the base 119 is the much better night capture. Where this interesting issue rears it's ugly head. I'll either deal with it and curse under my breath or replace it with something not high risk. I get that some people may not care about the issue. But to me, it makes my footage look like crap and that it came from a broken camera. Not a feeling I want to have after spending over $100 on it. This is something I would expect from a $20 Ebay special or other cheaper entry levels. The 119 and 119S are not top range, but they are mid range.

Something isn't right is what I'm saying. Someone dungoofed somewhere and the S is suffering for it with a slew of problems.

Anyways... /rant
 

jokiin

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these aren't subpar sensors, all sensors have this but there is a software process which masks this effect, at the moment the process to do it can be done manually or automatically, manual calibration is good at masking whatever it sees at the time of calibration however this can change after the fact and you'll then see some pixels, auto calibration is better at keeping it so that you don't see it happen and can keep things in check dynamically but at the moment if using the auto process it is having a negative impact on picture quality, the auto calibration process is being rewritten at the moment to deal with this better, it's something that just takes a bit of time, it will get sorted though I'm sure
 
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