Best Video Quality Dashcam

Jimtv

New Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Dublin
Country
Ireland
Hey all, I'm looking at using a dashcam as part of a tv pilot. I already have a Viofo a119 and a129. The quality on both is ok, but I am wondering if there are any dashcams with larger sensors, that would do a better job at dealing with dynamic range. I know this isn't what they are built for, and i have looked around and talked to people, and haven't been able to find an answer. i could rig a camera in car, but the dashcam ease of use and workflow are great, so if I could up the quality a little, it would be amazing.
Any thoughts appreciated. Cheers!
 

Nigel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
15,088
Reaction score
7,815
Location
Wales
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
Gitup F1+G3ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Viofo A229ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Blueskysea B4K
For movie making, the Viofo A129 Pro does about the best job, and if you don't like overexposed skies then turn EV down a step or two and you will get excellent results in good lighting.

The Thinkware U1000 has a slightly bigger sensor, and might be considered better in some aspects, but it is lacking bitrate so not recommended.

The Nextbase 622 also has a larger sensor and looks better than the A129 Pro at night although I don't think it records more detail and is a bit too new for people to be recommending it, plus it has a few issues like a wobbly mount which is not ideal.

All the dashcams tend to have exposure profiles set for picking up details in shadows and not worrying about the sky, while for movie making you often want it to be the other way around since that tends to look better at first impression, so you might consider using an action camera instead. Not so good when it comes to an accident though, and things like bicycles can get completely lost in the shadows. The Gitup F1 has all the functions required for use as a dashcam but uses action camera like exposure with quite nice results, very different to the Viofo A129 Pro even though it uses the same sensor, it is also available with different field of view lenses.

For maximum dynamic range, the Viofo A119 V3 with HDR firmware is interesting, no over exposure of skies and still plenty of detail in the shadows. Results in the images looking a bit flat, but maybe you can successfully edit it for TV use, it would be interesting to see the results.

Welcome to the forum :)
 
OP
J

Jimtv

New Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Dublin
Country
Ireland
Thanks for the info Nigel! I hadn't realised HDR had come in on that firmware update, I'll do that and dial back the exposure a stop during the day to see if that works. Flatness is what I'd be looking for in the image, as it contains the most information, which can then be graded in post. It's burnout during day/muddy blacks at night that I'm trying to avoid. i especially notice detail loss at night in blacks when the exposure is being pinged upwards by light sources - i.e. lights, shop signs etc.
I had considered action cams, probably Gopro as they are the ones I'm familiar with, but they come with their own suite of hassles, and was hoping to avoid it.
Wobbly mounts and low bitrate are, as you guessed, definite disqualifiers.
 

Nigel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
15,088
Reaction score
7,815
Location
Wales
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
Gitup F1+G3ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Viofo A229ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Blueskysea B4K
Gopro = you have to keep charging the batteries, and you can't do that while in use, can't even swap for a pre-charged one with current GoPros! Also they are notoriously bad in the dark. Not really up to date on action cameras but some of the Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi were doing quite a good job even though they tend to lack any control through setup options. DJI are worth looking at, in fact they probably have some professional drone cameras that could be used for TV work.

Not sure what firmware the A119 HDR is in, but there is a thread about it, best to read that, the latest images on that thread look very promising.

On the A129, make sure you keep WDR off!
 
Top