G90

G90

The G90 dashboard camera was launched in 2014 by the Chinese company Shenzhen Dome Technology.  Like the Mini 0803, this dash camera is one of the first to use the Ambarella A7 processors.  There are actually 3 versions of this camera for sale.

  1. G90 (also called the Blackview BL950) – based on the Ambarella A7LA30 and OV4689 CMOS.
  2. G90A – based on the Ambarella A7LA50 and OV4689 CMOS
  3. G90C (sometimes called G90-7S) – based on the Ambarella A7LA70 and OV4689 CMOS

Since there are 3 different A7 chipsets used in this camera, a common question is what are the differences.  Recording resolution and some extra features are the main differences.

    • A7LA30 records at 1920x1080p @ 30fps
    • A7LA50 records at 2560x1080p @ 30fps or 2304x1296p @ 30fps.  It also supports Forward Collision Warning System and Lane Departure Warning System
    • A7LA70 records at 1920x1080p @ 60fps or  2560x1080p @ 30fps or  2304x1296p @ 30fps.  It also supports Forward Collision Warning System and Lane Departure Warning System

The  A7LA70 and OV4689 hardware combination is one of the better / more capable combinations available for dash cams in 2014.   While the difference in video quality is not dramatically different between the A7LA30 and the A7LA70, A7LA70 does a marginally better job in capturing some details when recording.  The video quality during the day is very good and at night it is good.  Overall results are better than the cameras running the popular NT96650 chipset and AR0300 CMOS sensor.  The one complaint on video quality is some motion blurring in low light conditions.

Also since this chipset is newer, firmware is not as mature as some other ones.  In the first 6 months the camera has been available, a number of updated firmware versions have been released.  Video quality has improved over this time.  Bit rate for the G90 typically ranges between 15Mbps and 18Mbps depending on firmware.

The G90 is available without GPS or with an external GPS receiver (plugs into the AV socket on top of the unit).  However the hardware of the two versions is slightly different.  Hence you cannot add a GPS module to a non-GPS G90.   The camera is small but not tiny with dimensions of 86mm x 52mm x 38mm.  It also comes with a 2.7″ LCD screen.

We would like to thank our forum members reverend and Sunny for doing detailed reviews of the A7LA30 version.  Thanks to our members Sunny and Hilts who have done reviews of the A7LA70 version as well.

G90 Models

The G90 is sold under a variety of names

  • Lingdu T268
  • Blackview BL950
  • Flexiti FX214
  • Pago M7
  • Carcam C6000A

Size Comparison

G1WH (top) vs G90 (bottom)

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GT680W (top) vs G90 (bottom)

GT680 v G90

Dewarp Function

Many dash cams with wide angle lens create barrel distortion in the recordings.  One feature of the Ambarella A7 chipsets is a “dewarp function” which removes this distortion.  In practice, this feature works well as illustrated in the following 2 photographs.  The GT680W (top) without dewarp function based on NT96650 has barrel distortion while the G90 (bottom) does not.

GT680 No DewarpG90 Dewarp

Known problems

Out of Focus

Some owners have indicated that their G90 models have a blurry, out of focus image.  This was particularly evident when the camera heats up.  One solution is to disassemble the camera to manually adjust the focus which improves performance somewhat.

Shenzhen Dome has indicated that they will be using a “high temperature resistance lens base” to resolve this problem as of October 2014.  You can read more about this problem on the forum.

Audio Problem

The first batch of the G90 had a significant audio problem where the sound was quite garbled / broken / vibrations as demonstrated in the following video.

Updating to a newer firmware improves the audio quality but does not fully correct it.  Newer models should not have this problem.

Poor Suction Mount

The G90’s suction mount, like other suction mounts, is prone to falling off the windscreen, especially where it’s mounted over ‘sunscreen dimples’.  This can be overcome by applying an extremely slight ‘sheen’ of Vaseline on the suction cup.

One owner has indicated there mount has cracked as shown in this photo.

G90mount

Teardown

G90 Teardown 1 G90 Teardown 2 G90 Teardown 3

Mounting the Camera

G90 Mount 1 G90 Mount 2G90 GPS Mount

Sample Videos

Day Video G90 A7LA30

Night Video G90 A7LA30

Day Video A7LA70

Night Video A7LA70

Should I Purchase?

The lower priced G90 A7LA30 is a very good value for approximately $70.  It has better video quality than many of the lower priced cameras which are often based on the NT96650 chipset and AR0330 CMOS.  For $30 more than a G1WH, you are getting better video quality, a smaller camera and better build quality.  If you are not on a very strict budget, the G90 A7LA30 is a good choice.

That said, the form factor is not the greatest when compared to cameras like the Mobius or the B40.  Overall this camera is good value for the money with the exception of the poor quality mount provided.

The more expensive G90 A7LA70 is slightly better than the G90 A7LA30 but sells for  approximately $30 more but typically comes with external GPS.  If you are looking for 1080p / 60fps, this is one of the few cameras that can record at this resolution with a reasonable $100 price tag.  Overall, both cameras are quite good for the money assuming reliability is maintained.

See what other owners have to say about the G90 on our forum.

Where to purchase for lowest price

The G90 A7LA30 primarily sells on eBay, Amazon and Aliexpress for approximately $70 to $80 without GPS.

The G90 A7LA70 comes with GPS.

Firmware

WARNING!  MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR FIRMWARE ARE PERFORMED AT YOUR OWN RISK.  WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR DASH CAM AS A RESULT OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Firmware Update Instructions

  1. Copy the firmware file (*.bin) onto the root (ie top folder) of the MicroSD card.
  2. You may need to rename the firmware file to “firmware.bin” if it has any other name.
  3. Eject the MicroSD card reader via the icon in the Windows system tray (ie near the clock on the Windows task bar).
  4. Insert the MicroSD card with the firmware.bin file into the G90 camera.
  5. Connect the camera to a USB power source such as the provided car charger or a USB phone charger. Do not update on battery power!
  6. The camera should prompt to update automatically – select Yes to begin the upgrade.
  7. The camera will now go through a few update stages and will power off when complete.
  8. Remove the MicroSD card from the camera and insert into a USB reader, or alternatively connect the USB cable directly to the camera and use mass storage mode.
  9. Delete the \firmware.bin file from the memory card – otherwise the camera will prompt for upgrade at every boot
  10. Eject the MicroSD card reader via the icon in the Windows system tray (ie near the clock on the Windows task bar).
  11. Insert the MicroSD card with the firmware.bin file into the G90 camera.
  12. It may be necessary to reset the camera to default settings to make any new optimized settings take effect – please note this may reset the language into Russian so ensure you are familiar with where the language menu option is before performing this. An easy way is count how many times you have to press the right arrow until you get to the language option – after the reset just press the right arrow that many times, click OK and you will see the English option.

Latest Firmware

A7LA30

G90-..-A730-712-N-W.zip

A7LA70

20141021a_g90_zx__a7la70_eng_nogps_v683.rar

Previous Versions

A7LA30

A7LA70

User Manual

The English User Manual can be downloaded here.

Specifications

 G90
Price$70
Read Review
ManufacturerShenzhen Dome Technology
CountryChina
Specifications 
ProcessorAmbarella A7LA30
or Ambarella A7LA50
or Ambarella A7LA70
CMOSOmnivision OV4689
Channels1
Screen2.7"
GPSOptional
G-Sensor
Wi-Fi
Parking Mode
Lock FilesAuto or Button
Video 
Max ResolutionA7LA30 = 1080p 30fps
A7LA50 = 1296p 30fps
A7LA70 = 1296p 30fps or 1080p 60fps
Max Bitrate (Mbps)15 to 18
Video FormatMOV
CompressionH.264
Diagonal Viewing Angle170°
Recording 
SD Card TypeMicroSD
Max Size (Spec)32GB
Max Size (User)64GB
Other 
Size (mm)86 x 52 x 38
MountSuction
Power Supply5V
Operating Temp-10˚C to 60˚C
Battery180mAh
Release DateJun 2014
AppsPC
Unique FeaturesDewarp Function
Rating 
AdvantagesGreat video quality for the money
DisadvantagesPoor quality suction mount
Small camera but not the most discreet
Video Day
Video Night
Reliability
Size / Discreetness
Price
Available Support
Overall Rating
Final WordGood value for the money with the exception of the poor mount. A step up from the NT96650 cameras.

Published: December 5, 2014