Zenfox T3 Triple channel dash cams free test invitation, limited quantity

kuoh

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That's a good point. Is there any other camera in the same price range with the same specs and performance that can last indefinitely in high heat? I think disclosing the temperature limits and allowing the sensor to be displayed in the recordings might help to temper some owner expectations. If it says in the manual that the camera will shutdown at 170F and I can see in the recording that my car is reaching that temperature, then I wouldn't be as disappointed in discovering that it stopped recording rather than turn into a puddle of plastic, which was what my previous 1080p+720p dashcam threatened to do until I decided parking mode wasn't an absolute requirement in the summer heat. Ofcourse if they can improve the situation without noticeably sacrificing image quality and reliability that would be ideal.

KuoH

It does only have half the pixels though, so it would be reasonable for it to generate half the heat, which is approximately what happens.
 
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kamkar1

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As i recall there was some heat issues testing the mini 0906 back in the day, but it did have a temp readout and i think thats was why i filmed the LCD on that camera.
It got resolved with the same hardware, so i assume the cut off temperature was changed with a new firmware.

This was of course just in regular driving mode.
 

HonestReview

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That's a good point. Is there any other camera in the same price range with the same specs and performance that can last indefinitely in high heat? I think disclosing the temperature limits and allowing the sensor to be displayed in the recordings might help to temper some owner expectations. If it says in the manual that the camera will shutdown at 170F and I can see in the recording that my car is reaching that temperature, then I wouldn't be as disappointed in discovering that it stopped recording rather than turn into a puddle of plastic, which was what my previous 1080p+720p dashcam threatened to do until I decided parking mode wasn't an absolute requirement in the summer heat. Ofcourse if they can improve the situation without noticeably sacrificing image quality and reliability that would be ideal.

KuoH
You raise a couple issues

1. Disclosing and displaying the cutoff temperature for each camera - Front - Rear - Interior
2. I think allowing users to toggle which cameras record in parking mode might help alleviate this problem.
3. I haven't heard of Street Guardians or Viofo A129 Duos Cameras which both run 1080p overheating so 1080p + 720p having an issue isn't encouraging.
 

kuoh

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That was more of a midrange dashcam when it was released, not comparable to the T3 or the others you listed. I'm sure there's a good market for very high performance $250+ dashcams, but I'd venture to guess that there is a sizeable sweet spot at or below that price point, which seems to be where the T3 is being targeted.

KuoH

3. I haven't heard of Street Guardians or Viofo A129 Duos Cameras which both run 1080p overheating so 1080p + 720p having an issue isn't encouraging.
 

HonestReview

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That was more of a midrange dashcam when it was released, not comparable to the T3 or the others you listed. I'm sure there's a good market for very high performance $250+ dashcams, but I'd venture to guess that there is a sizeable sweet spot at or below that price point, which seems to be where the T3 is being targeted.

KuoH
By no means am I throwing the T3 onto the same playing field as a Blackvue or Thinkware. The Viofo A129 Duo / Pro and Most street guardians range around $200-250. So this would be a Upper Mid Range on a Dash Camera. Seeing how Thinkware and Blackvues are about twice that price. On the other hand, you've got a lot of no name cameras around the under $100 range. And then it goes up from there.

Someone spending $250 is definitely going to want reliable. Zenfox isn't the only 3 channel camera on the market in that price point. A Vantrue N4 is marketed at the same price with the same features: https://www.amazon.com/gp/B083V6K8RH
I can't speak for the camera's performance, but only highlighting that the T3 isn't the only player on the field.
 

SawMaster

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There is only one directly comparable cam due to this one being 3ch; the Vantrue T4. But there are several other cams with shutdown being the method used to control overheating, and they all function at much higher temps than this one does. Those cams become what this one will be compared to, right or wrong, that's just how this world works. Vantrue is an established company; people know and trust the name and their cams are generally good or better. Zenfox isn't known but has to meet that standard of excellence if he wants to succeed.

With things as they are now this cam would be shutting down secondary cams as I'm driving, and the hottest part of summer is yet to arrive here :oops: And there is much of the US which gets this hot or hotter for at least several weeks each year, not to mention the SW where temps go way higher than here for much longer too o_O

Zenfox is aware of the issue and has had many suggestions on how to mitigate the problem. It's fix it or fail and we will see which way he goes.

Phil
 

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Agreed. If people are wanting a camera that records only while driving, the T3 is great. Otherwise, expect a lot of returns and unhappy customers. Being that you're in South Carolina, a place known to get hot, I think it's safe to say this camera wouldn't be on the top of your bucket.

I've tried offering constructive solutions that might help alleviate the issue and hope one works.

1. Selectable Cameras in Park Mode (Front, Rear, Interior, or any combination)
2. Downsample front camera to 1080P.
3. Lower bitrate
Hey, I'm only using the driving mode and I can assure it is not great yet considering the issues I have seen. At most, "it is ok" and needs more work before it can reach greatness... I just don't want potential buyers to think it is safe yet to buy this unit and to think they will be getting a reliable unit because, simply, it is not!
I'm sure Zenfox will get there soon though. I know they are working hard to sort out this issues.
 

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Hey, I'm only using the driving mode and I can assure it is not great yet considering the issues I have seen. At most, "it is ok" and needs more work before it can reach greatness... I just don't want potential buyers to think it is safe yet to buy this unit and to think they will be getting a reliable unit because, simply, it is not!
I'm sure Zenfox will get there soon though. I know they are working hard to sort out this issues.
Agreed. We are all trying to provide constructive feedback for this new manufacturer to succeed. I am very appreciative to be included in the trial. I have been able to bring to light some major issues, as have others. I hope Zenfox can take our suggestions and get things on the right track. It'll be interesting to see what can be done to make the T3 stable.
 
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HonestReview

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There is only one directly comparable cam due to this one being 3ch; the Vantrue T4. But there are several other cams with shutdown being the method used to control overheating, and they all function at much higher temps than this one does. Those cams become what this one will be compared to, right or wrong, that's just how this world works. Vantrue is an established company; people know and trust the name and their cams are generally good or better. Zenfox isn't known but has to meet that standard of excellence if he wants to succeed.

With things as they are now this cam would be shutting down secondary cams as I'm driving, and the hottest part of summer is yet to arrive here :oops: And there is much of the US which gets this hot or hotter for at least several weeks each year, not to mention the SW where temps go way higher than here for much longer too o_O

Zenfox is aware of the issue and has had many suggestions on how to mitigate the problem. It's fix it or fail and we will see which way he goes.

Phil
*Vantrue N4. Seems to have mostly favorable reviews and I believe is a known brand. I've never personally used their product.

The big issue here is that South and Central America, Most of the United States, Australia. Entire subcontinent of Africa, and Southern Europe all experiences hot summers. 80-90 Degrees Farenheit / 26.6-32.2C isn't that abnormal for many parts of the world for several months of the year. Even if we're talking 3 or 4 months, that's 1/3rd of the year that people can't properly use their T3.

That's a major setback and I know @Zenfox_Official and his team are hopefully trying to find a workable solution. My biggest concern is the camera has been brought to market and actively being sold, while these known problems remain outstanding. To save face and reputation, I would be pulling the product for all sales until the issues are sufficiently resolved. You don't get second chances to make first impressions.
 

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*Vantrue N4. Seems to have mostly favorable reviews and I believe is a known brand. I've never personally used their product.
I don't think that actually records in parking mode, it goes to sleep so will not overheat. If it detects movement then it will wake up and start recording. The Vantrue T2 takes 6 seconds to wake up and start recording, which is too long, you miss most of the event, I don't know how long the N4 takes but I guess it is similar. The Zenfox T3 will record the whole incident including the lead up to it, as long as it hasn't overheated in the sun, so for me is much better.

I might be wrong, I don't have one, and haven't seen a review that covers the parking mode.

It is also mounted via suction cup so will have a vibrating image.


Does your T3 ever stop recording at night? You have said it works fine while driving, but it is a bit hard to tell from your many posts how much of a problem it really is. Also, what is the humidity and altitude where you live, these also affects a camera's ability to stay cool. How many degrees does the cut off temperature need to be lifted before it is acceptable? Maybe the rear/interior cut off temperatures only need to be lifted to where the front cut off currently is?

I worry about the Viofo A129 continuing to record however hot the car gets, there comes a point where it really should shut down because really hot conditions will shorten its long term life considerably. It is sensible to have some protection against really high temperatures, but of course we only want that to happen in extreme conditions, not daily.
 

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Well I've had several different cams do 24/7 recording in the summers here and so far none seem to have been permanently affected by that, save for perhaps some battery wear on the LiPo models. There's a lot of concern voiced over cam heats but not many people actually try things like I have done. It's not the huge problem it's made out to be with the cam's I've tried it with, nor can I find many reports of dead cams from high heats- those few are always cheap and nasty examples.

The cams being spoken of here do run hotter than the one's I've tried as they work the processor harder, but I think they could still tolerate heat well if you reduce the processor workload, and that is a whole lot better than having a cam turn itself off when you need it to be recording. Especially when that temp level is as low as the T3's.

Even with the chanciness of motion-detect and a delay, at least the N4 does give you something when parked while this just quits the game.

Phil
 

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4K and parking mode is not a good combo
The Vantrue N4 is 2K, confusing name! Especially when their X4 is 4K!

Viofo A129 Pro records 4K in parking mode for me, very nicely.

Of course that has a temperature limit too, above which it shuts down, but here in the UK it will record most of the year, probably OK in Australia at this time of year too, haven't seen overheating reports recently. I'd rather have the 4K most of the time and miss a few hours around midday in the middle of summer than have all year round 1080 that has 1/4 the detail so less chance of catching the important stuff. As long as the camera is reliable, doesn't suffer damage from overheating and does record 100% of the time while driving.
 

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Of course that has a temperature limit too, above which it shuts down, but here in the UK it will record most of the year, probably OK in Australia at this time of year too, haven't seen overheating reports recently.
it's winter here, even the Blackvue and Thinkware 4k cameras are still working, our summers are on a whole other level though, 10 minutes after you park a car they'll turn off due to the heat
 

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I don't think that actually records in parking mode, it goes to sleep so will not overheat. If it detects movement then it will wake up and start recording. The Vantrue T2 takes 6 seconds to wake up and start recording, which is too long, you miss most of the event, I don't know how long the N4 takes but I guess it is similar. The Zenfox T3 will record the whole incident including the lead up to it, as long as it hasn't overheated in the sun, so for me is much better.

I might be wrong, I don't have one, and haven't seen a review that covers the parking mode.

It is also mounted via suction cup so will have a vibrating image.
I believe you are right on the N4. It does sound like it has motion detected parking mode versus a low bitrate continuous recroding.

Does your T3 ever stop recording at night? You have said it works fine while driving, but it is a bit hard to tell from your many posts how much of a problem it really is. Also, what is the humidity and altitude where you live, these also affects a camera's ability to stay cool. How many degrees does the cut off temperature need to be lifted before it is acceptable? Maybe the rear/interior cut off temperatures only need to be lifted to where the front cut off currently is?
Records at night without issue. So it's a heat related problem. Left camera recording hours in garage and it's been fine when I wake up. All three cameras functioning normally. I don't know at what temperature the camera begins to overheat. I don't own infrared thermometer. It would be nice if the Camera showed it's temperature, and allowed an overlay on each camera's video, so that we could see the threshold at which each camera is cutting out. Even if just for beta test.

Add that into the firmware and we'd have an accurate reading when each camera stops functioning.

I worry about the Viofo A129 continuing to record however hot the car gets, there comes a point where it really should shut down because really hot conditions will shorten its long term life considerably. It is sensible to have some protection against really high temperatures, but of course we only want that to happen in extreme conditions, not daily.
I have 2 Viofo A129 Duos in 2 separate cars. One car is outdoors and never goes in garage. Older car. Newer 2015 is Garaged. Through Hot summers and Winters neither camera has had a single problem in the 1.5 years I've owned them.
 

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I believe you are right on the N4. It does sound like it has motion detected parking mode versus a low bitrate continuous recroding.
It is not even normal motion detected parking mode, the camera is actually sleeping, image sensors powered off. I think.
Add that into the firmware and we'd have an accurate reading when each camera stops functioning.
That measurement is not useful, the value we want is the temperature of the air around the camera, and the camera has no idea what that is, it only knows the temperature of its processor. It could maybe subtract 28 degrees C, but the actual difference depends on things like humidity and altitude.
 

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The Vantrue N4 is 2K, confusing name! Especially when their X4 is 4K!

Viofo A129 Pro records 4K in parking mode for me, very nicely.

Of course that has a temperature limit too, above which it shuts down, but here in the UK it will record most of the year, probably OK in Australia at this time of year too, haven't seen overheating reports recently. I'd rather have the 4K most of the time and miss a few hours around midday in the middle of summer than have all year round 1080 that has 1/4 the detail so less chance of catching the important stuff. As long as the camera is reliable, doesn't suffer damage from overheating and does record 100% of the time while driving.
The T3 is 2K also. 2K front 1080P rear and Interior. 4K, due to smaller pixels, suffers from less visibility at night due to the smaller pixel size allow in less light. I'm happy with 1080P all around. I don't need to make a Hollywood cinematic movie. I just need proof. Like when a kid rear ended my car. Viofo caught it on the rear camera. Or when debris from other side of Highway / Expressway flew into my bumper.

The insurance company doesn't need to blow up the video and watch on a 4K television. All they need is a recording of the event to show what happened.
 

HonestReview

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It is not even normal motion detected parking mode, the camera is actually sleeping, image sensors powered off. I think.

That measurement is not useful, the value we want is the temperature of the air around the camera, and the camera has no idea what that is, it only knows the temperature of its processor. It could maybe subtract 28 degrees C, but the actual difference depends on things like humidity and altitude.
Maybe @kuoh or @EGS own an infrared thermometer. I have no way to measure the camera's actual temperature. I am deferring these tests to others. As I said I noticed this on a 31C day that all cameras shut off after the car sat outside a few hours. I even swapped out to the 2nd camera I received. No Idea the humidity. Only the Viofo kept recording.

For exact scientific data on Humidity, car temperature, temperature of dash camera, this requires investing in further equipment. So maybe @kuoh or @EGS have the proper tools. As mentioned, Ive invested the equivalent of 80 pounds on this test by buying a 256GB + 128GB High Endurance for each camera + hardwire kit. I've got other priorities with my money this moment instead of investing in equipment that'll be only once on this test.

While not scientific, I was first to bring to @Zenfox_Official attention the overheating problem (Cameras Dropping). Plus, the dark night images and 2 hour time jump. I've definitely given feedback for others to build upon.

And showing the cameras temperature is helpful. While not taking into account humidity, having a baseline temperature at which each camera is shutting down would give @Zenfox_Official data to build upon. He could code this into the firmware to overlay each camera's video.
 
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I will try to borrow my friends temperature gun, but i will probably forget it
 

kuoh

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I would disagree with that statement. The CPU/system temperature is the absolute value based on which shutdown occurs, so it would be useful to know when it is being approached and exceeded. While knowing the exterior, interior temperatures and the area immediately surrounding the camera is also useful, it does not tell us when shutdown would occur as my dark colored SUV in the sun could differ substantially from a light colored small car with dark tinted window parked under a tree. Mounting positions also play a large role as the top of the windshield can get much hotter than the middle or lower portion. In fact, others have already observed seemingly unexpected shutdown events during normal driving, but were unable to ascertain whether it was caused by heat, power, memory card performance or some other factor due to the lack of information. Having the sensor value displayed in the videos would at least allow confirmation of whether overtemp was reached as well as for each of us to establish our own baselines and calculate trends based on our vehicle dynamics.

KuoH

That measurement is not useful, the value we want is the temperature of the air around the camera, and the camera has no idea what that is, it only knows the temperature of its processor.
 
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