FOXEER LEGEND 3: 4k/30 Ambarella A12S75 / Sony IMX117 1/2.3 Inch 12MP - ANY GOOD FOR DASHCAM?

dirkzelf

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Source: http://www.foxeer.com/legend3.html

Please post your findings, pro's and con's, wishes, specials, firmware etcetera.

Please FOXEER: Watch this forum!
 
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dirkzelf

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Also @FOXEER

OK, so I got it yesterday, and there's a few odds with it... F/W design wise AND phisycal (cooling)....

I always like to get into the camera's functions to check if everything works as they should, and it's not ALL good news, cause it may record nice clips, but if it doesn't have a consistent way of working, then seriuosly, what's the use....

So, let's go:

PRO'S:

- Low frontal visibillity (car users like myself love this), well, if you get the black one....

- I like the form factor a LOT
- It has CarDVR setting (start/stop recording automatically at powerup and powerdown)
- has many MANY useful settings (if changes are actually saved and all work properly)
- I LOVE the display on the top for status and changing settings etc
- No front LED's (like the Firefly's Christmas tree...
)
- 1080p/30/60/120 and 4k/30!
- EIS (only 1080P 25/30/50/60fps) really works great on my dashboard! (Clips to come)
- WiFi (it works really good)
- LIVE VIEW works great through WiFi
- Ambarella & Sony IMX sensor, better in low light (yet to be checked, I haven't yet made my night ride with it)

Now the ODDS/CONS:

First: Initially I was worried about the heat development, but as it turns out when the battery is fully charged, the heat development is moderate. I've had it running 1080p/30 all night and it never missed a single beat.

Now here are a few things that should easily be fixed with f/w updates.

1) Changes in Date/Time format stamp are NOT stored. It persists showing Y/M/D, while we may want D/M/Y... AND... time set to 17:30 will revert to 5:30 after a reboot, or 2. This morning I found the clock at 20:30, while it should have been 8:30 (a.m.)..... Why is it doing this??? There is no option to choose between 12/24 hr time view.

And for some reason I suddenly lost date / time stamp.... while it was clearly set to stamp t&d.... it's back now, maybe I did something wrong.

NEEDS A FIX FOR SURE, we need a correct time/date stamp if we want to prove anything, right?

2) Flip/rotate image: it is not (yet?) in the firmware ...


3) WiFi: - NO connect while charging battery


Connections are only established when
- A) on external power and no battery inside OR
- B) when battery IS inside and not charging on external power

But then it works flawlessly!

UPDATE: After reflash the firmware, the WiFi connect while charging is OK.

4) Car DVR is advised without battery: Function Start/Stop is working flawlessly with battery inside.

But when I REMOVE the battery (AS ADVISED), the camera does NOT power up AT ALL, and recording starts only after MANUALLY pressing the physical power button on the side.

When power is applied to the camera WITHOUT battery inside, the red charging LED flashes very rapidly, and nothing happens. Besides when power was cut, the last file seemed to be saved, but corrupted, there seems to be no final completed save action....

Maybe it's a bug, maybe I did something wrong. FOXEER?

However, after taking the battery out, time and date apear to be saved ..... so, why not also save the last file to SD card....?!?

So, the real question here is: If the battery is removed, SHOULD the camera save the video file at all at shutdown? I tried but, like I said, the last file is corrupted, and can not be played back.

I did manage to get a last clip saved though without battery, by NOT unplugging the cable from the charger, but by removing power from the charger (take out charger, or cut mains power but keep L3 and charger connected by charging USB cable!). Maybe the residual power in the charger gets the camera enough juice to save the file in a last attempt.

Seems a bit like hit and miss to me.

I assumed that when Delay Off is set to OFF the shutdown is IMMEDIATELY after powerloss, but that may be incorrect. When I use this setting with battery IN the camera, it does not shut down at all after power disconnect... which is logical, DELAY OFF means no delay set, so no shutdown. So, for an IMMEDIATE save action this feature may have to provide an IMMEDITE shutdown setting.....

The manual says that DELAY OFF function can only be used when CarDVR setting is ON.

FOXEER: Please inform us how to start recording automatically and how to save the last file when the battery is OUT.

5) Car DVR/SUPER CAPACITOR: The battery sits VERY tight in the camera, so if we use it in the car for dashcam, the battery gets hot and may swell over time, it might get stuck. At closer inspection that may not be a problem after all, since the housing can be opened with 4 screws, exposing the battery for an easy take out.

But.... the best solution would be for FOXEER to provide us with a SUPER CAPACITOR that we can swap out for the battery, to prevent overheat, and super caps don't swell up.

Or provide clear rules as to how to save the last file in such setup.

A supercapacitor may very well be NEEDED to save the always so critical last file.....

6) TIMED MODE: the camera has no timed mode. I spoke about that before for the L2, and I still STRONGLY BELIEVE this camera should have a user defineable timed mode (please make all features available for the separate 2 time frames). Here is the reason why: at night in lower light or darkness, we need other settings, but while driving we can't safely fiddle with it.

Or maybe provide another firmware especially for car dvr use, like you did with L2, where framerate drops automatically from 60 down to 30 fps....

With this new Legend 3, 1080p / 30fps is significantly brighter than 1080p/60fps in low light conditions! (y)

But in daylight we want standard settings in 60fps or 120fps, and in night drive recorings we need brighter image, so 30 fps and higher contrast to get better image.

Changing setting is best to be triggered automatically by light meter or by a timed mode switching.

7) DISPLAY: it can NOT be shut off. In night rides the display will light up like a Christmas tree. Please provide a setting to switch off the display after some 10 ~ 30 seconds, and revive at a button press action.

8) LOOPING in CarDVR mode (on camera display setup menu): when I choose looping 3 minutes (in display setup menu), and then turn CarDvr to ON, the looping changes down to 2 minutes.... why? If I connect to wifi the setting can be corrected to 3 minutes again, while keep CarDVR ON. But in the display settings menu you can't change looping time when CarDVR is ON.....

9) BTW: CAR DVR SETTING NOT FOUND IN ANDROID APP, only in camera display menu...

10) Since it gets HOT: Where are the ventholes on the top of the camera (like L2 had)??? Makes a lot of difference! I think I'm gonna ask for a set of top and bottom enclosures to make my own version..... maybe with a micro fan like my L2
.

Or, FOXEER: can you provide CarDVR housings/shells with loads of ventholes?

[ADDED] 11)
It's minor CON, but there's no LED at the back of the housing, would be nice to see it flash when recording.

[ADDED] 12) No HDR/WDR select setting. Does the L3 have NO HDR/WDR?

[ADDED] 13) I also found NO CONTRAST selection (High/Medium/Low)

[ADDED] 14) No AUTO RECORD select ON/OFF. Replaced by CarDV?

[ADDED] 15) FILE STORAGE. Files are stored in directory AMBA, in sub directories which are name-based on the date of recording. The file names consist of the time only, but not the date. Confusing, but it gets even worse.... when I'm recording, ONLY the files in the CURRENT directory are overwritten. The older files/directories are untouched. This may be a try out from Foxeer, but I certainly DO NOT like it, because at some point the card will be full of files in older directories that are not being deleted/overwritten!

I.m.h.o. the files should ALL be stored in ONE directorie, like it's done in the L2, or give us at least the chance to opt for it.

[ADDED] 16) NO tripod / 1/4" CRADLE MOUNT for the L3?
 
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dirkzelf

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In the specs @ banggood I read:

EIS

Built-in 3 axis gyroscope and 3 axis accelerometer. Uses a cross-border compensation algorithm to compensate the motion change to produce stable video quality

Resolutions supported:1080p
Fps:60503025


A bit of a bummer.....
 
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dirkzelf

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Is there a tripod cradle mount for the L3 like there was for L2?

I couldn't find any........
 

susobarral

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Also foxeer plans to market a 4k cube with the same characteristics. 38x38x36.5 mm



 

SawMaster

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"If the battery is removed, SHOULD the camera save the video file at all at shutdown?"

Actually no- it takes a little power to properly close the last file, and what you experienced was residual PS power doing the job. I wouldn't rely on that unless I modded the PS circuit to do this reliably with some extra caps. Lacking a super-cap option is the main drawback to using an action cam for a dashcam.. They are also not meant to be exposed to high heat levels for long such as we have with dashcams in warmer climates. Both issues could be probably be solved cheaply and I think the additional sales would make it profitable. It sure seems that the action cam manufacturer's generally either don't see or don't care about this :(

There seems to be a lot I'd like with this cam but if the basic design can't do what I need then Foceer will never see me buy one. And to pursue a 'cube cam' right now is sheer folly- best to either license the design or wait to see how the lawsuit goes before sinking money into something which might not be saleable ;)

Phil
 
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dirkzelf

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I wouldn't rely on that unless I modded the PS circuit to do this reliably with some extra caps.
Phil

Couldn't we just add (solder) a few capacitors in the power cable?
 

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Then you would simply delay the power loss initiated shutdown and have the same issue again
 

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Couldn't we just add (solder) a few capacitors in the power cable?
It's not quite that simple, but I think something could be done. There are existing power-down delay circuits which used with smallish file times could ensure the last file made while driving is saved. But it's simpler and easier to just choose a cam with super-caps for dashcam work when your climate precludes powering with an in-cam battery, so that us what almost everybody does :rolleyes:

I wish somebody with less rusty and ancient circuit design skills than me would develop a SMD board-mounted cap system which could be inserted into a gutted battery pack- that would allow the use of almost any action cam for a dashcam as long as there weren't other heat-related problems :D Most folks with basic soldering skills could do that kind of conversion and it might be a profitable venture for whoever made such a thing ;)

Phil
 
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dirkzelf

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It's not quite that simple, but I think something could be done. There are existing power-down delay circuits which used with smallish file times could ensure the last file made while driving is saved. But it's simpler and easier to just choose a cam with super-caps for dashcam work when your climate precludes powering with an in-cam battery, so that us what almost everybody does :rolleyes:

I wish somebody with less rusty and ancient circuit design skills than me would develop a SMD board-mounted cap system which could be inserted into a gutted battery pack- that would allow the use of almost any action cam for a dashcam as long as there weren't other heat-related problems :D Most folks with basic soldering skills could do that kind of conversion and it might be a profitable venture for whoever made such a thing ;)

Phil

Like the idea, so basically use the same electrical connections inside the camera, and make your own supercapacitor....

Any takers for this challenge?
 
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dirkzelf

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I have noticed that the video files are stored in various subdirectories of the map AMBA. But, if we use it as dashcam, we NEED to store the files in only one directory, because as soon as the camera changes directory, the files in the previous directory are NOT deleted. So the available space on the card is going to decrease very rapidly, until there is no room anymore at all!!

FOXEER: Please change storage to ONE directory only, like MOVIE in L2, or delete oldest files in other directories.

FOXEER: Also please change the filenames in YYYYMMDD.mp4 to make easy storing/copying from card to PC, for later reference.
 
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dirkzelf

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Like the idea, so basically use the same electrical connections inside the camera, and make your own supercapacitor....

Any takers for this challenge?

I asked Foxeer, they tell me they have to change the board? Why? Joovuu and Mobius have this, and we can simply swap batts with caps....?!?!
 
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dirkzelf

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UPDATE (issue 3): After reflash the firmware, the WiFi connect while charging is OK.
 
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