QVIA Z970 WD dashcam review (Sony Exmor R, 3x Optical Zoom, 2CH FHD, LCD, WiFi, GPS)

Discussion in 'Dash Cam Reviews' started by VIIVIIIXIII, May 8, 2016.

  1. VIIVIIIXIII

    VIIVIIIXIII Active Member

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    QVIA Z970 WD dashcam review (Sony Exmor R, 3x Optical Zoom, 2CH FHD, LCD, WiFi, GPS)

    Thanks to Lukas Direct for supplying this unit.

    Official website: http://lukashd.com/dashcam/product_info/dash-cam-dashcam_z970wd.html
    Product link: http://shop.lukasdirect.com/lukas-store/dash-cams/z970
    Price: $459.00USD w/ free shipping

    Review:

    Up for review is the newly released QVIA Z970WD dashcam. QVIA is a sister company of Lukas/Qrontech who already have a large presence in the dashcam market. Based on their current model lineup, it looks like QVIA will be a premium brand for the company. QVIA is using Sony Exmor R sensors in all their units at the time of writing. Unfortunately, QVIA has not published all specifications regarding the Z970. From what I could gather, the Z970 is based off the LK-9370WD with some upgrades. The (limited) specifications available and cross compatibility between hardware would seem to suggest so.

    So what's changed? The Z970 main unit is now all black (finally!). It features a Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor (possibly the IMX291 2.13MP?) which records in 1080p 30fps. They have added a new f/1.2-2.3 lens capable of 3x optical zoom which helps keep the video in full focus at all times. In conjunction with the upgraded sensor, the result is a much better video output. License plates and roads signs are noticeably sharper and easier to read. The zoom function is automatic but can also be controlled manually via a slider on the side of the unit. Exposure and all other video parameters are automatically controlled by the unit as well, obviously. The front camera has a 43 - 139.5° FOV.

    The rear unit included with the Z970 is the same as the one included with the LK-9370. The rear unit is an LK-975 camera, featuring a Sony Exmor (non-R) IMX322 sensor that records at 1080p24fps. The rear camera has a 130° FOV.

    The Z970WD is a fully featured dashcam. In addition to standard functions, the Z970WD includes a built-in dual band GPS mount (GPS + GLONASS), super capacitor, a 3-axis gravity/impact sensor, as well as true motion detection and parking mode (records and saves footage from 10s before and 20s after event*). The dual SD/save function allows you to set how much SD card space to allocate between regular driving vs parking mode. The microSD is reserved for redundancy where the camera will automatically duplicate and save clips identified to be events*. This unit also has a built-in low voltage and timer cut-off function (ie. built-in hardwire kit).

    The touchscreen integration is extremely well thought out and has a lot of utility in the Z970WD. Everything can be controlled via the 3.5" LCD screen. As a 2 channel system, you can view the live feed from both cameras at the same time (in various modes like split screen, adjustable picture-in-picture, etc.). I occasionally use the live feed as an back up camera. Most importantly, the LCD allows you to control all the settings and preferences on-the-fly, such as parking mode, motion detection, dual save settings, etc.

    ‘Lukas Eye’ is Lukas’ own WiFi app designed for pairing with their dashcam units. The app allows you to stream/delete/download footage as well as modify camera settings. Likewise, Lukas also has their own video player (Windows and OSX) for ease of viewing videos and synchronized GPS data together.

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    Video output from the Z970 is definitely an improvement over the LK-9370WD. Previous Lukas dashcams were a little lacking in the video quality department. The video that this unit produces is of decent quality, but the zoom feature does wonders keeping the video as sharp as possible and renders license plates and road signs legible when most other units probably won't.

    Size is the only complaint that I have with the Z970. The main unit is literally the size of point-and-shoot camera. The one saving grace is that the unit is now all black which makes it inconspicuous from the outside. I tried to take some photographs for this review, but it doesn't show up at all from an outside POV. The color, positioning, shade, and glare help limit the visibility of the unit.

    The Z970WD is probably one of the most expensive units on the market at the moment, in competition with BlackVue. It comes in at a flagship price of $459USD. That being said, the Z970WD has plenty to offer when it comes down to video quality, features, reliability, and customer support/warranty.

    Lukas LK-9370WD review here:
    https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threa...shcam-review-2-channel-fhd-x2-lcd-wifi.16674/


    Sample clips:








    Photos:

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    Specifications and feature list (extrapolated from LK-9370WD):

    • Front camera resolution: 1920x1080p (30fps)
    • Rear camera resolution: 1920x1080p (24fps)
    • Front camera sensor: Sony Exmor R sensor
    • Rear camera sensor: Sony IMX322 2.1MP sensor
    • LCD size: 3.5” Full Touch TN Panel
    • LCD resolution: 480x320
    • Front camera sensitivity: 0.5 Lux
    • Rear camera sensitivity: 0.5 Lux
    • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi dongle
    • 37mm UV filter (basic)
    • Built-in dual memory card slots (SD + microSD): up to 512GB each
    • Dual save function (Driving + Event, Parking + Event)
    • Built-in dual band GPS: GPS + GLONASS
    • Front camera viewing angle: 43 - 139.5° (3x optical zoom)
    • Rear camera viewing angles: 130°
    • 21 multi-language support
    • Operating Temperature: -20°C ~ 70°C
    • Storage Temperature: -30°C ~ 80°C
    • OBDII compatibility
    • Current Consumption: DC 9V~24V, 370mA (4.9W)
    • Video compression: H.264 (AVI format)
    • Built-in 3-axis Gravity/Impact sensor
    • Motion detection mode
    • Pre-buffered parking mode
    • Manual and automatic format function
    • Built-in super capacitor
    • Built-in microphone and speaker
    • Built-in low voltage (set between 11.8V~12.4V) and timer cut-off function
    • Built-in dual colour security LED
    • Multi-booting (ON/ACC/OFF) system
    • Audio assistance (Voice Guidance) Multi-language supported

    Box contents:

    • FHD Front camera (built-in WiFi and GPS, UV filter pre-installed)
    • FHD Rear camera
    • Hardwire power cable
    • Front and rear connector cable
    • Standard 8GB full size SD card (max. 512GB)
    • Standard 8GB microSD w/ microSD card adapter (max. 512GB)
    • Fixed slider type bracket set
    • 3M adhesive pads
    • Cable management clips
    • User Manual

    Optional accessories:
    • CPL filter (UV filter is included)
    • Cigarette outlet power cable (hardwire kit is included)
    • OBDII connector
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    Street Guardian USA and thancam like this.
  2. mikek753

    mikek753 Active Member

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    when 43° will be useful?
    What that 3x zoom for on "static" dashcam?
    I'm not sure that driver on a road will change the zoom, or even to watch on cam LCD.

     
  3. kamkar1

    kamkar1 Well-Known Member

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    The zoom can change by itself, it do so by speed, hit XX MPH and the sucker zoom in as now things further ahead is in play due to the speed beeing larger.
    But offcourse you can allso control the zoom yourself on a button.
    I can clearly see the value of a zoom cuz with the wide angle lenses normally found on dashcams you can be so "far" behind a car the camera cant give you the plate, but even my tiered old eyes can still read it.
    3X zoom i recon only make things appera in the footage as you see them with your naked eye in the car, its not enuff for zooming in on that car far ahead of you.
    And really you do not want that much zoom, cuz with the zoom come a higher degree of vibration sensetivety.
    BUT ! i am not sure this is the way to do it, i would prefer a second camera with a lens on it thats not so wide angle.
     
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  4. jokiin

    jokiin Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    an interesting idea but not sure about the result, the zooming in and out gives the perception of sudden changes in your speed at times, might be one of those things that people are either going to love or hate
     
  5. VIIVIIIXIII

    VIIVIIIXIII Active Member

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    I certainly don't think adding a massive optical zoom lens is the most elegant solution to solving the fixed focus issue, however, I do think that it works as shown in the sample clips. The zoom autofocus is automatic so the driver does not have to operate the dashcam unit while driving. Not sure if the zoom is speed-triggered or focus-triggered, however. Will try to analyze the videos more carefully. I also didn't really notice any vibration at city nor highways speeds so I don't think that's a big concern.

    At the end of the day, the zoom feature can be turned off and you'd be left with a 140 degree wide angle f/1.2 lens which looks to be pretty decent.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  6. VIIVIIIXIII

    VIIVIIIXIII Active Member

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    Here are some comparison pictures with my LK-9370WD!

    Not too much has changed besides what I've already mentioned in the review. There is no WiFi dongle anymore, as it is now built-in. Also, the mount is actually a little shorter now (see last image), so the Z970 does not "hang" down as much as the LK-9370 did. This helps keep the already large footprint to a minimum.

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  7. Ipol

    Ipol Well-Known Member

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    @ VIIVIIIXIII Thanks for the review and presentation you obviously took time and effort as does SUNNY with his reviews. Thanks also to the other members who have presented excellent reviews over the years I have just ordered the QVIA z970 its due to be posted tomorrow I will post my findings once I have the opportunity to play around with it ......Ipol
     
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  8. jokiin

    jokiin Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    as an experienced Lukas user I look forward to your thoughts on this one
     
    Ipol likes this.
  9. Ipol

    Ipol Well-Known Member

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    Will do jokiin and thanks for the likes I am on my 4th lukas now the others have or will be passed on to my daughter and grandchildren one is in the process of taking his driving test .....the lk9750 duo after a couple of hiccups ( faulty ) GPS head now works fine after a replacement I will leave it installed until the z970 arrives .....Ipol ps just checked the conformation letter again it was yesterday the 8th so the dashcam will be posted today monday 9th may ......
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  10. Ipol

    Ipol Well-Known Member

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    QVIA z970 posted monday 9th may UPS scheduled delivery date (oh oh ) friday 13th may :eek: ......what the heck I am NOT superstitious :) Hope to have it installed and running over the weekend .........:D......Ipol
     
  11. kamkar1

    kamkar1 Well-Known Member

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    hehe my friend just mentioned yesterday, his Dodge ramcharger was bought on a friday 13, thats proberly why its such a massive wreck of a car, to be honest if it was mine i would sell the new motor to some MOPAR fan and the rest as scrap metal and that way cut my losses.

    My friend is really bad at buying used cars, which the chevy thats been in the garage for about 20 years allso indicate, in those 2 cars he must have pissed somthing like 1/5 million DKkr avay :rolleyes:

    And no 200,000 DKkr dont buy you much new car here, my 2006 Suzuki Gran viatra was like 217,000 DKkr on reduced taxes, full price would be +300,000 DKkr for a new grand viatra.
     
  12. Ipol

    Ipol Well-Known Member

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    Hi kamkar 1 you sure know how to inspire confidence in a man hehe Last tracking check the dashcam was in Philadelphia at 1 am this morning will check again later in the day......Ipol:)
     
  13. Ipol

    Ipol Well-Known Member

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    tracking progress dashcam arrived roissy charles de gaulle airport around 21.11 yesterday evening import clearance just before midnight and arrived UPS facility paris 0.21 should arrive UPS depot near me some time today and scheduled delivery for tomorrow looks to be on time ......Ipol :D........This time last year my lovely lady was in hospital fighting for her life which sadly in june she lost.....I need to keep occupied and take my mind off of things installing the dashcam will help.......they say time heals, they were not being truthful it does not
     
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  14. Ipol

    Ipol Well-Known Member

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    Dashcam arrived 12.15 today just about to open the box No customs duty to pay this time maybe it was included in the price.....Will update as soon as I get things installed and up and running ...Ipol:D
     
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  15. kamkar1

    kamkar1 Well-Known Member

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    Sacrebleu :)
     
  16. Ipol

    Ipol Well-Known Member

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    Sacrebleu indeed tested out very quickly parked in front of the house firmware loaded into the camera fine I tested the cam using the the lk9750 rear cam then the QVIA rear cam still have to match the wifi with my phone Probably do that tomorrow morning while the dog is still sleeping ......Ipol
     
  17. Smoke Pants

    Smoke Pants Member

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    Hey guys, how has this camera held up for you over the past year? I'm strongly considering it.
     
  18. Sunny

    Sunny Well-Known Member

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    More than I can review. ;)
    A feature packed dashcam.
    I liked the 9390 until it started not responding to any touch on the screen.
    Video quality is lacking even compared to cheap dashcams and huge, like a DSLR.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  19. Smoke Pants

    Smoke Pants Member

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    Yeah after I watched the reviewer's videos a few times and compared it to other dash cams, I'm a little concerned about the quality, specifically the sharpness. I wonder if that is a focus issue. It does have a high quality sensor after all, doesn't it?
     
  20. Sunny

    Sunny Well-Known Member

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    More than I can review. ;)
    Problem with Lukas cameras is low bit rate.
    1080p at 8 - 10 mbps can't have enough detail. Even a cheap G1W has more bit rate.
    Also, colors look washed out in all the Lukas models I had.
    They do have a lot of features and great night quality.
     
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