Help in decision: viofo A129 duo plus/pro or A139 2ch

KeAd01

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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum. Hope to get some advice.

I have no interest in recording the interior cabin of the car so I only need a 2 channel setup. From what I have read so far these three seem to offer really good quality videos. But can anyone give advice on which one to go for? Does the a139 offer enough to justify the increase in cost? Are a129 plus and pro similar and good enough in terms of specs and output?

Just some additional thoughts
- fast transfer/playback. In case of incident, on the side of the road and no laptop at hand, I don't want to wait 10mins transfer time to show authorities.
-I will plug it to my cigarette lighter socket with usb. Will any of the options above will have a problem with that? I think a139 i need to buy a separate cable
-may/may not hardwire, still thinking of it.
-which is best overall for videos in day and low light?
-only the a139 seems to have cpl included. Are these important to get for the a129?
-i will be changing vehicle in the next 2 years, any of them particularly easier to move to the next one?
 

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  • The A129 Plus has the slowest wifi, and is generally lower quality, as suggested by the lower price. A good camera for the price, but not the same standard as the others.
  • They all come with an accessory socket adaptor which should be used if you are not hardwiring with the correct hardwire kit. Don't use a third party adaptor.
  • CPL desirability depends on the car, but generally it is good to have one for the front camera, and in some cars is essential. Not really needed for the rear in most cars.
  • They all come with a spare set of stickers for when you change cars.
  • Best day video is probably the A129 Pro, best night is probably the A139. I seem to remember smallish lettering on Swiss number plates, and generally good lighting, so I would probably choose the A129 Pro for the 4K resolution. Not sure which is best in snow, probably the A129 Pro day and night since it has better dynamic range.
  • The A139 is the newest and the most likely to get extra features in firmware updates.
  • Personally, I would value the A129 Pro and A139 dual channel at about the same value, and choose the A129 Pro for making 4K videos of the Swiss Alps. I wouldn't expect a hit and run in Switzerland where I needed the video to catch a plate anyway, and for a parking incident I might expect to find a note with the details! Maybe not all of Switzerland is the same though?
 
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KeAd01

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  • The A129 Plus has the slowest wifi, and is generally lower quality, as suggested by the lower price. A good camera for the price, but not the same standard as the others.
Thanks for the extensive reply. In the case of slow wifi, what do you think about a physical microsd to phone adaptor?
  • They all come with an accessory socket adaptor which should be used if you are not hardwiring with the correct hardwire kit. Don't use a third party adaptor.
So I have a cigarette plug with dual usb connections, one of them I use for phone charging. Are you saying I shouldn't use this setup with the dashcam?
  • Best day video is probably the A129 Pro, best night is probably the A139.
  • Personally, I would value the A129 Pro and A139 dual channel at about the same value, and choose the A129 Pro for making 4K videos of the Swiss Alps. I wouldn't expect a hit and run in Switzerland where I needed the video to catch a plate anyway, and for a parking incident I might expect to find a note with the details! Maybe not all of Switzerland is the same though?
I wouldn't be making much videos but you are correct, I don't assume many hit and run moments. But there have been some dangerous driving though.

So does this mean you recommend the pro or the a139 2ch instead of the plus?
 
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Nigel

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Thanks for the extensive reply. In the case of slow wifi, what do you think about a physical microsd to phone adaptor?
MicroSD readers work well, if you can find it when you need it!

For the A129 Pro and A139 they are not needed, the wifi is fast enough, they will play live video and playback recordings without any buffering, and are reasonably quick to download a file to the phone. The card reader will download faster, but the wifi is fast enough.

For the A129 Plus there are plenty of reports of buffering on playback, and it does take a little too long to download files for many people. It does work, faster with some phones than with others, but I think most people find it a bit slow and a microSD reader is then desirable.

If you want to give a file to the police then a card reader/writer may be desirable anyway, although I would normally recommend you go home and review your videos before submitting them as evidence, via email or upload to the police. Sometimes you realise after review that something was actually your fault and it would be better not to submit it! Of course that will be different in different countries, depending on the legal system, and I think the Swiss rules are still fairly strict on what you can do with dashcam footage, so make sure you understand your law.

So I have a cigarette plug with dual usb connections, one of them I use for phone charging. Are you saying I shouldn't use this setup with the dashcam?
It is not recommended, both the A129 Pro and A139 use quite a lot of power and are likely to overload your charger, especially if it is also charging a phone. Of course there are some good ones that will work, but better to use the official one, partly because it gives a rather high voltage so that there is still reasonable voltage at the end of the long power cable. A139 in dual channel mode may be OK, it uses less power than in 3 channel mode.

For the A129 Plus, I think that would be fine with many chargers, it uses significantly less power, and so there is less chance of overload and less voltage loss.

So does this mean you recommend the pro or the a139 2ch instead of the pro?
They are both good cameras so hard to recommend one over the other. I suggest the A129 Pro because:
  • The A139 is currently more expensive, I think - check current prices and deals.
  • My experience of bad driving is that it is sometimes very useful to record continuing bad driving as they disappear at speed into the distance, the extra resolution of the A129 Pro means it can see further than the A139 can see, cars get out of range surprisingly quickly.
  • The A129 Pro is better if you have small license plates, which I think Switzerland does have although I think they are fairly easy to read.
Having said that, the A139 is a nice dashcam, in the UK I would probably go for the A139 due to rather worse lighting conditions and bad weather during much of the year, it has a little less motion blur so is better for hit and run events which are more common here.
 
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KeAd01

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It's good you pointed the power requirements. I might have to go for the plus just for this reason alone it seems. Especially if the pro and the a139 need to be plugged just by themselves
 

Nigel

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Most people hardwire them into the fusebox, but you can use an accessory socket extender, so that you can plug two chargers into one accessory socket.
 
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