Recommendations for a first new Dashcam

Pintush

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Hi,
I'm new here and in the dashcam world. i would love to get your recommendations for my first cam in my car.
The important spec i want the cam to have is:
  1. Lowest f stop for night shot
  2. High quality video shot
  3. Clear Image for the license plate
  4. GPS
Thanks a lot!
 

niko

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Welcome to forum.
What is your budget?
 

SawMaster

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Welcome to DCT :)

No cam at any price assures you of capturing number (license) plates consistently; all of the better cams do nearly the same with that aspect. It's hit-and-miss with this and with so many variables involved, unpredictable. Good cams well get most of them which are near and not moving quickly in relation to your cam.

As your climate is hot, you might want to consider super-cap powered cams since the ones with LiPo batteries don't tolerate heat well. Form-factor is worth considering too.

Niko is right asking about budget; it matters a lot with selection as not many cheaper cams will meet your needs well which makes recommendations tough.

Phil
 
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Pintush

Pintush

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Thanks everyone!

Welcome to forum.
What is your budget?

The budget is something around $100 top.

Welcome to DCT :)

No cam at any price assures you of capturing number (license) plates consistently; all of the better cams do nearly the same with that aspect. It's hit-and-miss with this and with so many variables involved, unpredictable. Good cams well get most of them which are near and not moving quickly in relation to your cam.

As your climate is hot, you might want to consider super-cap powered cams since the ones with LiPo batteries don't tolerate heat well. Form-factor is worth considering too.

Niko is right asking about budget; it matters a lot with selection as not many cheaper cams will meet your needs well which makes recommendations tough.

Phil
Thanks!
What i meant with the license plate is if you stop the video you will see the plate good.
And as for models with batteries, it's ok i don't want one like this, a powered one will be better
 

niko

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Viofo A119 with GPS is within your budget.

Sent from my LG-H962 using Tapatalk
 
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Pintush

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Whats your opinion about the Vicovation OPIA2 ?
I saw a review on the A119 and compression with the Vicovation OPIA2 and in some areas there is a difference in to the Vicovation OPIA2

here i saw a difference with the lens that the A119 was more curvy


And here i saw a difference with the image wuality that the A119 having a soft focus in comparing to the Vicovation OPIA2 thats looks sharper
 

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The "curvy" quality you see in the image is an optical distortion called barrel distortion and it is seen to one degree or another in virtually all ultra-wide angle lenses like the ones used in these two cameras. Certain very expensive lenses are able to minimize these distortions somewhat. The Vico-Opia 2 manages to eliminate the distortion using a digital technique because the camera uses an Ambarella A12 processor that has a feature called geometric distortion correction (also known as de-warping). The A119 camera uses the Novatek NT96660 processor which apparently does not have the feature implemented. For dash cams, the fact is that a "curvy" image doesn't really matter so much as long as you can capture what happens on camera. Since your budget is no more than $100 then cameras such as the Vico-Opia 2 which costs two and a half times as much than a Viofo A119 are out of the question so it may be best to not worry about curvature of field and concentrate on other important factors.

As for the Vico Opia 2 looking "sharper" I'm not so sure. This may be more of an illusion. All digital cameras, especially dash cameras use digital sharpening to some degree. It is common to see some camera manufacturers (or just certain cameras) use too much of this sharpening technique because it gives an impression of greater detail that isn't really there. Digital over-sharpening can actually make the problem worse and you would be better off with a camera that relies more on the len's inherent ability to capture detail more naturally.

Over-sharpening in the camera's firmware causes a white "fringing" effect around objects that looks like a halo. Looking closely at the two compared images you'll see that the Vico image is quite over-sharpened.

Notice the white sharpening halo around ALL the objects in the scene captured by the Vicovation but especially here on the rear windows of the car and under the bridge.
Vico.jpg

The A119 has less of this halo because it is not so over-sharpened and the image has a more natural appearance.
Cameras with less over-sharpened images will give you better image capture in the long run, especially over a wide range of lighting and weather conditions.
In my opinion, the A119 is providing a better more detailed image despite the illusion created by the Vico.
A119.jpg
 
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niko

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Whats your opinion about the Vicovation OPIA2 ?
I saw a review on the A119 and compression with the Vicovation OPIA2 and in some areas there is a difference in to the Vicovation OPIA2

here i saw a difference with the lens that the A119 was more curvy


And here i saw a difference with the image wuality that the A119 having a soft focus in comparing to the Vicovation OPIA2 thats looks sharper

100 vs 250 usd.
Your budget is max 100?
 
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Pintush

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Yes, so for all thoughts the A119 is the best one in range right?
 

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There are forums here for both cams. I'd suggest that you browse those to see what their owners have experienced. Personally I'd choose the A119S for a wedge-shaped cam at that price level. Just be sure to buy from a reputable seller and get the newest version.

As to plates, no cam can assure this even within any one frame. It is just inherent in any cam which must cope with a wide range of conditions at a price less than several thousand dollars and even then you'll still miss some. For what you pay today.s dashcams do very well for the money and they will get most plates, just not all of them or always.

Phil
 

niko

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If you looking for discrete installation then yes. If shape of dashcam is not important then can find many other dashcams.
 

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The "curvy" quality you see in the image is an optical distortion called barrel distortion and it is seen to one degree or another in virtually all ultra-wide angle lenses like the ones used in these two cameras. Certain very expensive lenses are able to minimize these distortions somewhat. The Vico-Opia 2 manages to eliminate the distortion using a digital technique because the camera uses an Ambarella A12 processor that has a feature called geometric distortion correction (also known as de-warping). The A119 camera uses the Novatek NT96660 processor which does not have the feature. For dash cams, the fact is that a "curvy" image doesn't really matter so much as long as you can capture what happens on camera. Since your budget is no more than $100 then cameras such as the Vico-Opia 2 which cost two and a half times as much than a Viofo A119 are out of the question so it may be best to not worry about curvature of field and concentrate on other important factors.

As for the Vico Opia 2 looking "sharper" I'm not so sure. This may be more of an illusion. All digital cameras, especially dash cameras use digital sharpening to some degree. It is common to see some camera manufacturers (or just certain cameras) use too much of this sharpening technique because it gives an impression of greater detail that isn't really there. Digital over-sharpening can actually make the problem worse and you would be better off with a camera that relies more on the len's inherent ability to capture detail more naturally.

Over-sharpening in the camera's firmware causes a white "fringing" effect around objects that looks like a halo. Looking closely at the two compared images you'll see that the Vico image is quite over-sharpened.

Notice the white sharpening halo around ALL the objects in the scene captured by the Vicovation but especially here on the rear windows of the car and under the bridge.
View attachment 30361

The A119 has less of this halo because it is not so over-sharpened and the image has a more natural appearance.
Cameras with less over-sharpened images will give you better image capture in the long run, especially over a wide range of lighting and weather conditions.
In my opinion, the A119 is providing a better more detailed image despite the illusion created by the Vico.
View attachment 30363
Thanks for the explanation, and examples. Now you have me looking at these photos in a completely different way. :)
 

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Yeah, it's very interesting to see these two cameras compared like this, especially considering the price difference.

Notice the Viofo A119 image detail on the left vs the Vico Opia 2 on the right.

The over-sharpening halo is much more pronounced on the Vico Opia 2 image, both on the lamp post and under the bridge.
The cars and other details off in the distance are clearer and much more visible in the Viofo A119 image.
The black Jeep in the foreground looks better to me as well.
The color balance does seem better and more neutral on the Vico. The Viofo could stand to be less warm.
viofo3.jpg vico3.jpg

Again, the over-sharpening halo is more pronounced on the Vico.
The lettering on the Congress Centre sign looks clearer on the A119 image on the left, although for some reason the logo looks different and worse. (electronic sign?)
Also, notice the better clarity in the building windows in the background and in the shrubbery.
viofo.jpg Vico.jpg

In the images above the halos are obscured by the bright sky. Here in the shadow of the building you can see the over-sharpening halos very clearly.
viofo2.jpg vico2.jpg
 
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jokiin

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The Vico-Opia 2 manages to eliminate the distortion using a digital technique because the camera uses an Ambarella A12 processor that has a feature called geometric distortion correction (also known as de-warping). The A119 camera uses the Novatek NT96660 processor which does not have the feature.

the Novatek processor has the same feature, it's just not being used, while it does make things more visually appealing it can have a negative impact on quality when you do these types of corrections, better off done in post processing rather than on the fly but not really needed for what we want from the product anyway
 

Dashmellow

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Thanks for your time and efforts. I have benefited from this, and am very appreciative.

Thanks @Gabacho! :)

So, while long term reliability is the big question between these two cameras, and perhaps the other features that are offered, in my opinion image quality seems to favor the Viofo A119 based on the results we are being shown here.
 

Dashmellow

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the Novatek processor has the same feature, it's just not being used, while it does make things more visually appealing it can have a negative impact on quality when you do these types of corrections, better off done in post processing rather than on the fly but not really needed for what we want from the product anyway

Yes, I was wondering if the Novatek could do this or if the feature was simply not being implemented. I looked and couldn't find the info, so thanks for clarifying. I 'spose if it isn't, it is the same as if it doesn't have the feature though. But either way, yeah, I agree it is best left to post processing or perhaps as I implied in my post may not even be necessary. Ultimately the point of dash can footage is to capture what is going on in the best possible way, not whether there is some optical wide angle lens distortion.
 

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@jokiin, do you have any thoughts about this over-sharpening business with certain dash cams? My SG9665GC seems quite spot on with the factory sharpening.
 

jokiin

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@jokiin, do you have any thoughts about this over-sharpening business with certain dash cams? My SG9665GC seems quite spot on with the factory sharpening.
Most engineers seem to be of the opinion that more sharpening is better, I had ours reduced, I guess the name would imply that it's a desirable trait but to my eyes the more sharpening that is introduced the worse it looks
 
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