VIOFO A129 Duo new Cameras including Infrared for Uber Lyft Taxi

BCHobbyist

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The A129 Duo Dual Channel 5Ghz WiFi Dash Cam has the most features of all VIOFO products. The accessories and options keep expanding and improving and now include new Cameras. This post will be updated will all Camera versions.
The new camera 180 degree Lens rotation feature is a real game changer. IR Camera has much wider 140-160 degree angle. New side cable port enables multiple mounting options including along top edge of window and the double clip mount improves stability. My tests confirmed no vignetting.




 
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The side USB port and 180 degree rotation should also make it good for mounting flat on the window ledge (at the bottom of the side windows) instead of mounting it on the glass, thus avoiding making it impossible to open the windows...

I don't think your tests of the IR camera show what it can do - you need to turn the IR LEDs on!

The mouse test looked a bit dangerous!
 
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The side USB port and 180 degree rotation should also make it good for mounting flat on the window ledge (at the bottom of the side windows) instead of mounting it on the glass, thus avoiding making it impossible to open the windows...

I don't think your tests of the IR camera show what it can do - you need to turn the IR LEDs on!

The mouse test looked a bit dangerous!
The new camera design is excellent, won't be surprised if they phase out the current 90 degree rotation Rear camera and replace with 180 rotation model.
As stated in video, VIOFO failed to share the Beta Firmware so there is no way to access any Infrared controls using current firmware. Plan to post much more test footage in this thread when firmware is available. If you think the purple glare is bad now just wait.
 

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Quite a few...
Do you know if the A129 will be able to turn on the IR lamps only when the ambient light falls to a defined level?

I like the new side cable port.

Does that new IR lens have its IR cut filter removed?
 

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Do you know if the A129 will be able to turn on the IR lamps only when the ambient light falls to a defined level?
Not sure that matters much, since it is intended for recording the interior which is often poorly lit even in daylight? If you want to record the faces of taxi passengers then maybe they should be on all the time?

If the camera is used as a rear camera then you don't want the IR LEDs on because they would reflect off the glass, but that version doesn't appear to have any LEDs!

I like the new side cable port.
Yes, I think there are more advantages than disadvantages.

Does that new IR lens have its IR cut filter removed?
I think it is clear from the IR (magenta) colouring in daylight that it has no IR cut filter - it is an IR camera.
 

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If you think the purple glare is bad now just wait.
I expect the purple colour from a colour IR camera, it has to turn the IR colour into a colour our monitors can display. If you don't like the purple then set it to monochrome (when you get the firmware!) like most IR cameras, although doing so will loose the colour information that it can record.

Not sure those lens reflections are much worse than other lenses given the lighting conditions - recording the interior and exterior in the same image, as in your video, needs a huge dynamic range.
 
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Do you know if the A129 will be able to turn on the IR lamps only when the ambient light falls to a defined level?

I like the new side cable port.

Does that new IR lens have its IR cut filter removed?
I've tested the new lens indoors and nothing changes in darker conditions, conclusion - requires new firmware activation.
Its obvious from video the filter is cut, yes. In fact I powered it up holding circuit board in my finders, no change.
There is some automated detection since I forced this to occur using WiFi on/off sequence randomly looks like full IR LED power during the day and stayed on till stopped recording. Took many laps around the block till I found the perfect woman with same shade dress for this screenshot to be appreciated.

A129-IR-Rear-LED-full-power.JPG
A129-IR-Rear-LED-low-power.JPG
A129-nonIR-Rear-cam.JPG
 
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I expect the purple colour from a colour IR camera, it has to turn the IR colour into a colour our monitors can display. If you don't like the purple then set it to monochrome (when you get the firmware!) like most IR cameras, although doing so will loose the colour information that it can record.

Not sure those lens reflections are much worse than other lenses given the lighting conditions - recording the interior and exterior in the same image, as in your video, needs a huge dynamic range.
The Extreme Low Light Sensitivity Test failed not producing enough LED power so it must require the newer firmware setting. I'm not sure where the offset value is in to modify but I'm sure Bill @viofo will jump in and save the day with some Alpha IR FW version to test.
 
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Update: now have Beta A129_IR Firmware v1.01 for internal use only testing.
new Menu option > IR Camera Color > Mono / Auto / IR Color
Selecting Mono (black&white) activates IR LED lamps adds 0.10 amp drain for total 0.60 Amps
The 4 LEDs easily illuminate 20ft x 20ft pitch black room in black&white IR mode. Major glare from window but a bonus for interior vehicle view.
Stock Bit Rates = Front 16.4 Mb/s + Rear 16.4 Mb/s
Repeating Extreme Low Light Sensitivity Test and Interior Night View Test for all 3 new IR Modes in a few hours.

Well this is a huge surprise the Full intensity IR LEDs do work through the rear window without a CPL filter. The white bar is one defrost grid wire close to Lens.
Amazing and unexpected results from this one test, well done Viofo.

A129-IR-Rear-Mono.JPG
 
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Looking forward to your review.

Would the infrared be the type not visible to the human eye? E.g 940nm

The other wave length attracks attention as they shine a dull red to the human eye.

Many home cctv camera's use them which I think defeats their purpose. E.g a thief knows where the camera is.

Perhaps you could pass this on to Viofo.
 
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Looking forward to your review.

Would the infrared be the type not visible to the human eye? E.g 940nm

The other wave length attracks attention as they shine a dull red to the human eye.

Many home cctv camera's use them which I think defeats their purpose. E.g a thief knows where the camera is.

Perhaps you could pass this on to Viofo.
You guessed correctly, its the dull red bad boys, easily noticed when on full intensity and they don't work through glass. <-- proven wrong, look at Mono screenshot above, IR LEDs work well through glass.
 
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Looking forward to your review.

Would the infrared be the type not visible to the human eye? E.g 940nm

The other wave length attracks attention as they shine a dull red to the human eye.

Many home cctv camera's use them which I think defeats their purpose. E.g a thief knows where the camera is.

Perhaps you could pass this on to Viofo.
It is intended to be used mainly as an interior camera for taxi use - ie recording the passengers, I don't think there is any point in using the IR illumination for external use, unless someone stops close enough for the LEDs to illuminate their numberplate, but they are not really bright enough for that.

So I don't think that being able to see a faint glow from the LEDs is an issue? You can't see the actual light given off except when looking directly at the LEDs.

The 850nm LEDs are used because they give very good image quality, significantly better than the alternatives...

If you wanted to, you could turn the IR LEDs off and use a separate IR lamp to illuminate the car behind, it doesn't need to be 850nm, the sensor and lens will work with 940nm, just not as well.

If a thief breaks in and steels the camera ... the SD card is in the front camera, not the IR interior camera!
 
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I think you need to delete you previous review and make a new one. Reasons:
1. not using correct firmware
2. no camera testing for its main feature: interior mount, complete darkness. This is why a camera have IR lights. Your video just shows minimal difference between IR and non-IR camera on streets with much light. In complete darkness will be a very big difference. I consider is not necessary to insist between interior recording of IR and non-IR camera, you should compare Viofo IR camera with some other IR dashcam to see which is better. The actual Viofo rear camera is for recording outside thru the glass.
3. not needed to mount the IR camera behind a glass
4. not needed to test it with CPL or not
5. not needed to say that is possible to have some focus issue
6. test should be made with official firmware only, no matter if beta or not. Please not mod an official firmware for camera tests. This is not correct for users.
7. if the official cable is just 55cm long for the IR camera then the test on the back of the car is not useful because because people will not mount it there. But if you want to keep you in a private area and not showing your face on Youtube and forums then is OK to test the IR camera where you tested it already.
8. wasting our time to watch a not needed review because it is not containing the most expected feature. It is like testing a smartphone only for games and not for phone calls.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate your work but make the things in a good way, ti help people, not to confuse them.

enjoy,
Mtz
 

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It is like testing a smartphone only for games and not for phone calls.
Who uses a smartphone for phone calls? :unsure:

But I agree, it would be good to end up with a post #1 test of the IR cam that is relevant to its intended use, good to see what else it can do too, but the main review/testing of the IR cam should be aimed at taxi use and the main testing of the rear cam for rear use, with side use as an extra. The rest is interesting and nice to see, but maybe shouldn't end up at the start of post #1.

The IR hardware/firmware is presumably optimised for close focus and correct exposure of peoples bright faces, while the normal hardware/firmware will be optimised for medium/distant focus and exposure of cars/road, allowing bright sky to be overexposed. Testing it in the wrong situation may show focus/exposure issues that are not issues if used as intended.
 
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Yes, maybe the focus issue reported by OP was because the lens was adjusted for small distances recordings which is different from the rear camera of A129 which is expected to record from a longer distances. I don't think this distance can be focused from firmware, but maybe having different exposure table for example which is expected for interior recordings. So the A129 DUO IR firmware should have not only changes in menu but also in IQ settings.

enjoy,
Mtz
 

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Would I be right in thinking that this may help to enhance the rear night image for people like myself who have a very dark limo like tint on the rear window?

Is that correct @viofo? Are you going to release any to current owners for beta testing like you did with the hardwire kits?

Ta
 

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Would I be right in thinking that this may help to enhance the rear night image for people like myself who have a very dark limo like tint on the rear window?
the IR lights are intended for interior illumination, it won't help with your tint
 

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Would I be right in thinking that this may help to enhance the rear night image for people like myself who have a very dark limo like tint on the rear window?

Is that correct @viofo? Are you going to release any to current owners for beta testing like you did with the hardwire kits?

Ta
Window tints often claim to block 99% of IR light to help keep the car cool, but I'm not sure what they do with the near infrared used by the camera, I guess they let some through and so the A129 IR interior camera may be a bit brighter than the standard camera for rear views, it's definitely brighter for interior views, but it's not going to be a big difference for exterior views and I suspect the FOV is undesirably wide anyway for use as a rear camera.

The answer for your limo tint is to remove, or reduce, the tint!
That way you will be able to see out yourself, being able to see makes driving much safer ;)
 

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Or increase the EV for rear camera.

enjoy,
Mtz
 

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The answer for your limo tint is to remove, or reduce, the tint!
That way you will be able to see out yourself, being able to see makes driving much safer ;)
Haha, I can see out fairly well anyway but as we know, most cameras aren't as sensitive to light as the human eye ;)
I had thought about having the tint removed and replaced with a lighter one.
Or increase the EV for rear camera.
I have done this but unfortunately this generates a lot of artificial noise on the image.
 

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