T130 3CH : First Thoughts

TonyM

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I received a pre-release T130 from Viofo to test & review. I have previously tested the A129, A129 Pro and A139.

Looking only at the specifications, the T130 appears very similar to the A139, Viofo's other 3CH dashcam. The front, rear and interior cameras have the same resolution. What makes the T130 different is the form factor. It is Viofo's first barrel camera, in a departure from their usual wedge style cameras, and the main body houses both the front camera and an articulated interior camera.

The T130 is seen here on the left. The remote interior camera above the T130 belongs to the A139 on the right.

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Being a barrel camera, the front-facing lens of the T130 is offset from the mount. The T130 can be mounted upside-down, so the user can install it with the front camera positioned on either the left or right side of the mount. Having such mounting options is useful and much appreciated. The A139 by comparison can only be mounted with the front lens on the right side of the main unit, which does limit where it can be installed in some cars.

The rear-view mirror (RVM) sits rather low on the windscreen in my car. Usually this is good for hiding dashcams out of sight on the passenger side behind the mirror. However doing this would leave the interior camera looking at the back of the mirror. This is a camera that needs to be seen, so it can see back into the cabin. That is fine for taxi or ride share drivers. It might not suit private drivers so much, who may prefer to hide the A139 out of sight and have only the discreet remote interior camera facing into the cabin.

After trialling a few locations, I finally decided to mount the T130 on the driver's side, above the RVM. The front camera is far enough to the right to miss the dotted area next to the rain/light sensor housing, and the interior camera gets a good view into the cabin. The rear camera cable plugged into the far end of the T130 is rather noticeable and I find it spoils the appearance of the rounded barrel shape. If possible, I would have preferred the rear camera cable connect into the mount block, near the power cable, so that the cable routing could be tidier.

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The interior camera has a good wide field of view that extends to both side doors. The new Omnivision sensor used in this interior camera appears to have excellent dynamic range and has consistently recorded video with good exposure within the cabin in all lighting conditions, both day & night.

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The upper edge of my car windscreen has a fairly shallow slope angle around 21-23 degrees. This T130 preview sample has just enough range of vertical angle adjustment to aim the front camera at the desired angle when mounted in my car. I understand Viofo are looking into whether they can increase the range of vertical angle rotation.

Initially I was concerned about access to the microSD card slot located on the top of the barrel, especially with the shallow windscreen angle. There was no need to worry though. Being able to rotate the T130 barrel towards the driver means the microSD card slot can be accessed easily.

 
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TonyM

TonyM

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T130 3CH : Day & Night Video
High bitrate. CPL on front camera. Compiled in VSDC.



In general I have found the T130 to cope well with all lighting conditions - high contrast, low light, bright sky, low sun etc. The interior camera in particular seems to have very good exposure day & night.
 
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TonyM

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T130 Test FW (17-09-2021) - Comparison to A139

Test FW received from Viofo on 17-09-21. Decided to compare against A139.


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- I prefer the warmer colours of the T130.
- The T130 seems to have less aggressive sharpening, which I like.
- The T130 has a slight halo / softening on edges. Particularly noticeable on bright lights, but also on the signs on the bus.
 

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I tend to like the A139 detail capture better than the T130. Particularly where there is fast motion the T130 seems to struggle a bit more, with some artifacts in the shaded are areas and things seem a bit too soft for my liking. Maybe bitrate related?
Colors seem to be much better now.
 

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Gitup F1+G3ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Viofo A139ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Blueskysea B4K+B2K
- I prefer the warmer colours of the T130.
So do I, but I think the A139 colours are more accurate.
However it is so close that accuracy will depend a lot on your display monitor, so I think what we like is more important than accuracy.

I tend to like the A139 detail capture better than the T130. Particularly where there is fast motion the T130 seems to struggle a bit more, with some artifacts in the shaded are areas and things seem a bit too soft for my liking. Maybe bitrate related?
Yes, especially for the rear camera, definitely worth running it on maximum bitrate if you are going to drive outside the city.
 
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TonyM

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I tend to like the A139 detail capture better than the T130. Particularly where there is fast motion the T130 seems to struggle a bit more, with some artifacts in the shaded are areas and things seem a bit too soft for my liking. Maybe bitrate related?
Colors seem to be much better now.
Ideally there would be a sharpness setting where we can choose. I often find dashcams to be sharper than I like. But I understand that capturing details is important. I like sharpness, but not artefacts.

I agree with you that there is slightly more motion blur on the T130 than the A139
 

EGS

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I like sharpness, but not artefacts.
Same here. I think that's is key. Too much digital sharpening creates ugly black edges around objects.
 

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Always capturing the images clearly and their being sharp details involved is what I want. Colors and other things matter far less. The A139 does this better for me, but as my monitor does only 1080 I could be missing something.

Phil
 
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TonyM

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I was not happy with the T130 mounted on the driver's side. It was far enough from the glass that the sun visor hit it.

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I repositioned the T130 on the passenger side, and put the A139 back in its place on the driver's side. The sun visor does not touch either the A139 main unit or rear camera in this setup. The passenger sun visor will hit the T130, but I rarely have any passengers!

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From the driver's viewpoint, the T130 interior camera can be seen easily over the top of the rear view mirror.

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Karagandinez

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I repositioned the T130 on the passenger side, and put the A139 back in its place on the driver's side. The sun visor does not touch either the A139 main unit or rear camera in this setup. The passenger sun visor will hit the T130, but I rarely have any passengers!
How does your DVR behave on the latest firmware?
My dash cam is also installed upside down. In the settings, shooting from the front and inner cameras is set in an inverted and mirror form. If you go into the application in the settings of the DVR and exit it, without even changing anything, then the video recording of the front camera changes from mirror to normal. Even if everything is configured correctly in the application, you need to turn off mirror shooting and turn it on again. You should always watch, when exiting the application, how the front camera is filming.
Do you have such problems?
 
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TonyM

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I need to review the recent days of video on the latest FW. However I have noticed that the camera rotate and mirror settings do not always stay set.
 

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I repositioned the T130 on the passenger side, and put the A139 back in its place on the driver's side. The sun visor does not touch either the A139 main unit or rear camera in this setup. The passenger sun visor will hit the T130, but I rarely have any passengers!
I like how you mounted the cameras and from your pictures I consider that T130 is a better idea compared to A139 when judging 3CH Viofo dashcams.
Maybe your T130 should be more on the right but is not because of another mount.
The biggest advantage of T130 dashcam compared to other Viofo products is that it can fit almost OK under the sensors box. An wedge mount instead of actual mount can fit even better on that position because will bring more closer the T130 to the sensors box.

enjoy,
Mtz
 
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TonyM

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Maybe your T130 should be more on the right but is not because of another mount.
I set the T130 position before adding the other wedge (for my telephoto dashcam).

Both the T130 and A139 are as close to the middle as I can get them, with a clear view ahead.

If I move the T130 further to the right, the sensor housing obstructs some of the view. I could move the T130 right and also towards the front of the car, but then the internal camera would not see over the rear view mirror.

Personally, I prefer the flexibility of the A139 interior camera being remote from the main unit. But the T130 is a tidier design in some cars.
 

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My T130 boot looped yesterday, but it stopped when i pulled out the rear camera ( that are not working as i / it broke in the early days during a FW update )
I am wondering why it suddenly decided not to play ball, i will get the replacement rear camera soon paid tax on it on Friday.
 
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TonyM

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My T130 boot looped yesterday, but it stopped when i pulled out the rear camera
Stopped working, or stopped boot looping?

I've not seen a boot loop on my T130
 

kamkar

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It stopped, after i turned it off, pilled rear camera plug from main body, and then turned it back on, have also been good today
 
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TonyM

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How does your DVR behave on the latest firmware?
My dash cam is also installed upside down. In the settings, shooting from the front and inner cameras is set in an inverted and mirror form. If you go into the application in the settings of the DVR and exit it, without even changing anything, then the video recording of the front camera changes from mirror to normal. Even if everything is configured correctly in the application, you need to turn off mirror shooting and turn it on again. You should always watch, when exiting the application, how the front camera is filming.
Do you have such problems?
Yes, I have the same problem. All 3 channels are upside down (rotated 180deg). They were all correct the last time I exited the Android app.
 

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I only have problems with the main camera. On firmware from 20.08. this was not noticed.
 
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TonyM

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I have the same problem. All 3 channels are upside down (rotated 180deg). They were all correct the last time I exited the Android app.
New App received from Viofo for testing to resolve this problem. Will update here soon.
 
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