A229 Plus Test & Review PP

Panzer Platform

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
2,891
Reaction score
2,867
Location
California
Country
United States
Dash Cam
2024 Minimum Requirements: STARVIS 2 & HDR
My retail / production A229 Plus 3-CH Firmware 0912 was just delivered a few minutes ago.
I unpacked it, and connected all the cameras to make sure everything is working.
I had it connected to my power supply, and it appears to be less power hungry than the A229 Pro, (only 6 Watts compared to 8 Watts).
I’ll go deeper into this when I test power consumption.

I’m excited to test, and see the difference of the A229 Plus (IMX675) & A229 Pro (IMX678) front cameras, especially at night, and low light conditions.
Based on the last two weeks of testing the A119 Mini 2 (IMX675) has been outperforming the A229 Pro (IMX678) during my NIGHT TIME HDR tests.
It’s been explained to me by Bill (Viofo) comparing a 2K image sensor to a 4K image sensor at NIGHT & LOW LIGHT conditions is not a fair fight because the 2K has larger pixels.
Here’s some photos of the Original A229, A229 Plus, and A229 Pro.

Front .jpg
Right .jpg
Back .jpg
Left .jpg
Front 2 .jpg
 
Last edited:
I’m excited to test, and see the difference of the A229 Plus (IMX675) & A229 Pro (IMX678) front cameras, especially at night, and low light conditions.
Based on the last two weeks of testing the A119 Mini 2 (IMX675) has been outperforming the A229 Pro (IMX678) during my NIGHT TIME HDR tests.
It’s been explained to me by Bill (Viofo) comparing a 2K image sensor to a 4K image sensor at NIGHT & LOW LIGHT conditions is not a fair fight because the 2K has larger pixels.
I just jumped on the plus (x2) because I saw the same. Exited to see the results.

As a former pro photographer, that explanation of pixel size doesn't hold. The IMX678 is a larger sensor and should therefore collect more light and have better performance when looking at the same object at the same distance. Only when comparing a fixed pixel crop size, the actual area of gather light becomes smaller and counts as an excuse for lower quality per pixel... But you have more pixels to cover the same subject which together have a larger area, so...

My hunch is that the 1.6 lenses were not fully adapted to the larger IMX678 size, it's harder to make a good lens for a larger sensor... Now they are 1.8 and that could indicate that it's easier to get the sides sharp, as long as the physical lens size hasn't been reduced.

Basically just hoping the A229 plus doesn't suck compared to the Mini2.. Pricewise I was not going to stretch for the PRO with, for me, much deminishing returns of resolution advantage. Big assumption, assuming the A229 PRO issimilar to the A139 PRO...
 
As a former pro photographer, that explanation of pixel size doesn't hold. The IMX678 is a larger sensor and should therefore collect more light and have better performance when looking at the same object at the same distance. Only when comparing a fixed pixel crop size, the actual area of gather light becomes smaller and counts as an excuse for lower quality per pixel... But you have more pixels to cover the same subject which together have a larger area, so...
I know absolutely nothing about photography so I will give you the benefit of the doubt.
Ever since the A129 Pro 4K that was released October 2019, pretty much ALL 4K dash cams look great during DAYTIME, and fall apart at NIGHT TIME and just look terrible at night, and low light conditions.
On the other hand 2K dash cams have almost always out performed 4K dash cams at NIGHT, and don't seem affected as much by low light conditions.

Big assumption, assuming the A229 PRO issimilar to the A139 PRO
Based on the last two weeks of testing the A229 Pro, and the A139 Pro side by side I can definitely see the A229 Pro is much improved over the A139 Pro.
The A229 Pro also has an upgraded processor.
So far I have seen increased low light sensitivity, and it fixed the annoying flashing effect when light conditions are poor and the A139 Pro is "hunting" for the correct exposure adjustment.

Here is an example of the Low Light Sensitivity;


Here is the flickering issue;

 
As a former pro photographer, that explanation of pixel size doesn't hold. The IMX678 is a larger sensor and should therefore collect more light and have better performance when looking at the same object at the same distance. Only when comparing a fixed pixel crop size, the actual area of gather light becomes smaller and counts as an excuse for lower quality per pixel... But you have more pixels to cover the same subject which together have a larger area, so...
The explanation of pixel size is wrong anyway, since the two sensors have exactly the same pixel size, and pretty much identical pixels!
Since there are more pixels per number plate on the IMX678, it should give the better image quality in terms of resolution and noise.
The larger sensor may do worse in very dark conditions since the it has an F1.8 lens instead of an F1.6, which will drop the light level for each pixel closer to the noise threshold and should also result in a little extra motion blur if they were using the same firmware, this is quite a small difference though, and the IMX678 in the A139 Pro also has an F1.6 lens.
I think the difference is mainly down to the firmware, which is obviously not the same, could possibly be affected by the processor.
 
@LateralNW
First off these thermal photographs were taken 14 days apart, so I will have to perform this “test” again to make sure the cameras are both tested in identical ambient temperature conditions.
But it looks like the A229 Plus runs approximately 10℉ (5℃) cooler than the A229 Pro.

159F (70C) .jpg
148F (65C) .jpg
 
The explanation of pixel size is wrong anyway, since the two sensors have exactly the same pixel size, and pretty much identical pixels!
Since there are more pixels per number plate on the IMX678, it should give the better image quality in terms of resolution and noise.
The larger sensor may do worse in very dark conditions since the it has an F1.8 lens instead of an F1.6, which will drop the light level for each pixel closer to the noise threshold and should also result in a little extra motion blur if they were using the same firmware, this is quite a small difference though, and the IMX678 in the A139 Pro also has an F1.6 lens.
I think the difference is mainly down to the firmware, which is obviously not the same, could possibly be affected by the processor.
Ok, identical pixel size! Good to know.

If the aperture size f1.6 vs f1.6 (A139 Pro vs Mini 2) and f1.8 vs f1.8 (A229 Pro vs Plus) is labeled correctly, and the cameras have the same field of view, then this means the physical lens opening for the larger IMX678 sensor must be larger and thus gathers more light. So again the larger sensor should have an advantage.

One thing apart from fw that could explain the lesser performance of any larger sensor is that, all else same, the larger sensor and associated longer readout creates more heat => signal noise in the readout data...
 
Last edited:
Dam
I know absolutely nothing about photography so I will give you the benefit of the doubt.
Ever since the A129 Pro 4K that was released October 2019, pretty much ALL 4K dash cams look great during DAYTIME, and fall apart at NIGHT TIME and just look terrible at night, and low light conditions.
On the other hand 2K dash cams have almost always out performed 4K dash cams at NIGHT, and don't seem affected as much by low light conditions.


Based on the last two weeks of testing the A229 Pro, and the A139 Pro side by side I can definitely see the A229 Pro is much improved over the A139 Pro.
The A229 Pro also has an upgraded processor.
So far I have seen increased low light sensitivity, and it fixed the annoying flashing effect when light conditions are poor and the A139 Pro is "hunting" for the correct exposure adjustment.

Here is an example of the Low Light Sensitivity;


Here is the flickering issue;

Damn, that new processor is working wonders if it can handle the increased workload. Very nice...
 
Based on the last two weeks of testing the A229 Pro, and the A139 Pro side by side I can definitely see the A229 Pro is much improved over the A139 Pro.
The A229 Pro also has an upgraded processor.
So far I have seen increased low light sensitivity,...

Here is an example of the Low Light Sensitivity;


The low light HDR treatment does look better on the A229 pro, however when viewing in highest quality and 8x zoom on my S9 tablet, trying to get the best screenshot, the A139 looks like much better text resolution on the mid-highlights, although the overall image looks "sharper" on the A229 or at least more contrasty like the Mini 2

Screenshot_20230927_073848_YouTube.jpg
A229

Screenshot_20230927_073932_YouTube.jpg
A139
 
F1.8 lens instead of an F1.6
If the aperture size f1.6 vs f1.6 (A139 Pro vs Mini 2) and f1.8 vs f1.8
I got news for you guys talking about the "claimed" specifications for lens aperture & FOV.
I have found their listed specifications for FOV to be false & misleading.
So now I wonder what else are they fudging the numbers on?
See the part about FOV;
Please limit your mathematical theories to what you can back up with video & photo proof, and physical evidence.
 
The low light HDR treatment does look better on the A229 pro, however when viewing in highest quality and 8x zoom on my S9 tablet, trying to get the best screenshot, the A139 looks like much better text resolution on the mid-highlights,
Hey no fair, how dare you use my own test footage against me. lol
Just kidding, I noticed that too.
Keep in mind this was the original 0912 firmware, I just received the 4th 0926 version a few hours ago.
So I'm going to re-film all my test footage, and HDR night testing again.
 
I got news for you guys talking about the "claimed" specifications for lens aperture & FOV.
I have found their listed specifications for FOV to be false & misleading.
So now I wonder what else are they fudging the numbers on?
See the part about FOV;
Please limit your mathematical theories to what you can back up with video & photo proof, and physical evidence.
Makes it hard to cross-shop if/when companies fudge the figures :/
 
If the aperture size f1.6 vs f1.6 (A139 Pro vs Mini 2) and f1.8 vs f1.8 (A229 Pro vs Plus) is labeled correctly, and the cameras have the same field of view, then this means the physical lens opening for the larger IMX678 sensor must be larger and thus gathers more light. So again the larger sensor should have an advantage.
Although the larger sensor collects more light overall from the larger lens, each pixel does not, so the advantage is in resolution and not much else, although if you look at overall image noise rather than individual pixel noise then the image should also be less noisy.

I expect the 4K cameras to have a wider field of view than the 2K cameras, never a good idea to trust FoV specifications though! I assume the aperture specification is correct. Maybe @Panzer Platform can post some FoV comparison images for all the cameras (old and new)...

One thing apart from fw that could explain the lesser performance of any larger sensor is that, all else same, the larger sensor and associated longer readout creates more heat => signal noise in the readout data...
I think this is only going to be noticeable if the sensors get hot during hot weather and then you drive into a dark tunnel, or when parked with the lights off at night; at normal temperatures and light levels the noise should be below visible levels with these Starvis 2 sensors.
 
4K IMX678 : Sensor size 1/1.8" : Pixel size 2μm : SNR1s = 0.29
5MP IXM675 : Sensor size 1/2.8" : Pixel size 2μm : SNR1s = 0.30

On paper, they appear to have almost identical potential for low light performance. As Nigel said, FW and processor may account for as much difference between cameras as the lens and CMOS. At the end of the day, side-by-side comparisons are the only way to properly evaluate one camera vs another.

SNR1s is Sony's proprietary index for quantitative evaluation of image quality in low light. Lower number is better. More info HERE
 
Basically we are pixel peeping already. What matters in the end is, can I read a numberplate in a wide range of circumstances (and in my case, perhaps is it possible to identify the driver but that is mostly rear cam so they should be the same)

PRO should be better in number plate recognition, but from the footage I've seen of the mini 2 and A139 pro, I'll probably be happy enough with the A229 plus - something with diminishing returns. Either way, I've already ordered so this all means nothing ;) and is mostly to keep me entertained in anticipation of their arrival - first time going fancy dashcams for me :D
 
Last edited:
PRO should be better in number plate recognition,
Mainly because, with the extra resolution, it can read the plate at greater distance, 1.5x the distance, and that means that there is less motion blur on the plate since the movement of the plate across the sensor is significantly less, which in Sweden's forests might be a significant benefit.

I've already ordered so this all means nothing ;) and is mostly to keep me entertained in anticipation of their arrival - first time going fancy dashcams for me :D
Enjoy the experience; nothing wrong with pixel peeping when the important thing actually is the clarity of the individual pixels on the number plates! For normal photography it is often irrelevant, but for dashcams it is important.
 
PRO should be better in number plate recognition
Mainly because, with the extra resolution,
Based on my testing the extra resolution of 4K vs. 2K is not only meaningless, but detrimental to itself in LOW LIGHT CONDITIONS, and the 2K is LESS effected by poor lighting conditions.
This is why all my previous testing showed the A119 Mini 2 had better overall image quality than the A139 Pro at NIGHT TIME & LOW LIGHT CONDITIONS.
Would you guys just hold your horses until I get some test footage up of the;
A229 Pro
A229 Plus
A139 Pro
A119 Mini 2?
And then confirmed & verified by other tester’s footage?
Then we will have something tangible to pick apart.
I run a tight ship in my testing threads, I only want to repeat “just the facts”.
No hearsay, no theories, no conjecture.
Just cold, hard reference material.
And occasional movie quote to illustrate a point. lol
 
Just having fun till the facts arrive ;)

I did write SHOULD be and not IS better, as that is the (deeply ingrained and trained) expectation of a higher price and resolution (bigger numbers FTW), and (for me) technically its larger sensor size, however I put my bet on the plus based on my experience from photography knowing sometimes how little additional resolution does for actual quality (=nr plate recognition) as it depends on so much more, and from having watched some A139pro vs Mini 2 vids and making unwholesome deductions from that.

If the plus beats the pro outright in low light (where it matters most?) that would be quite something ... And if not, I can just solace that I've paid a good bit less.
 
Last edited:
Back
Top