The VIOFO A129 Duo IR is a rideshare version of the popular A129 camera. This camera uses an identical front camera as the original VIOFO A129 but the rear camera has been replaced with an IR camera suited for recording inside a vehicle.
The rear / interior camera has 4 infrared LEDs (850nm infrared wavelength) that gives off a red glow which is visible to passengers. You can manually turn on or off the LEDs or have them automatically turn on based on the illumination level.
The IR rear camera has a 160° field of view (compared to the 140° field of view in the original A129 Duo). A short cable (0.8m) and long cable (6.0m) are provided to allow you to mount the interior camera at the front of the vehicle or at the back of the vehicle. The following photo from our member LateralNW shows the differences between the IR rear camera and standard rear camera (LEDs, camera port locations, mount).
Like the A129 Duo, the A129 Duo IR uses the same Novatek NT96663 processor and Sony STARVIS IMX291 CMOS sensor for the front camera. The front camera records at 16.5 Mbps. The rear IR camera uses the same Sony STARVIS IMX291 as well and records at 16.5 Mbps. Video quality during the day is very good and night quality is good for the front.
For the rear camera, you can choose to record in color mode or monochrome mode. Since the A129 Duo IR does not have an IR-cut filter, color mode will look off and have a pinkish tinge. When recording inside your vehicle, it is recommend to use monochrome mode with the IR LEDs on.
The A129 Duo IR comes with a 2″ screen and WiFi. A GPS mount and Circular Polarizing Lens (CPL) are optional. Build quality is excellent and reliability is very good.
An excellent comparison between the VIOFO A129 IR and Blueskysea B2W (arguably the 2 best rideshare cameras available today) has been completed by our member Nigel.
The A129 received a firmware update in 2019 to allow for buffered parking mode. The 3 parking mode options are:
- Buffered parking mode: Records 12 seconds before an impact or motion detection. The camera will save a 45 second video at a bit rate of 8 Mbps. If not movement or impact detected, the camera enters low power standby mode. Audio is recorded in this mode.
- Low bitrate mode: Records continuously at 4 Mbps and does not enter low power standby mode. Audio is recorded in this mode.
- Time lapse mode: Records continuously at a low frame rate. You can choose 1fps, 2fps, 3fps, 5fps, 10fps or 15fps. Note that the camera will not enter low power standby mode and audio is NOT recorded in this mode. You can also use time lapse mode while driving.
To enable these parking modes, you will need to hardwire the dash cam to your car (the Viofo 3-wire hardwire kit has a low voltage cutoff and is recommended ) or use a powerbank.
While VIOFO does a much better job for parking mode than other Chinese cameras, they are not at the same level as the Korean cameras (Blackvue, Thinkware, etc.). Many of the VIOFO complaints we see on our forum relate to parking mode issues.
The A129 Duo IR provides error warnings to let you know if there are any issues while you are recording such as SD card errors. The camera displays any error warnings on the screen and also beeps if there is an error (which is more useful for most users).
Currently there doesn’t appear to be any widespread / systemic problems with the A129 Duo IR.
Mounting the Camera
Our member LateralNW has shared a photo of the A129 Duo IR mounted at the front of the car.
Day Video – Front
Day Video – Interior
Night Video – Front
Night Video – Interior
Should I Purchase?
The VIOFO A129 Duo IR is one of the best rideshare cameras available today. It has very good video quality, discreet wedge shaped form factor, buffered parking mode, excellent build quality and good reliability.
If you are a rideshare driver, the VIOFO A129 Duo IR is an excellent choice even though it is not the cheapest rideshare camera. Alternatively if you are looking for an all-in-one unit that is cheaper, consider the Blueskysea B2W. However you should note that the B2W does not have buffered parking mode and video quality is arguably marginally worse.
See what other owners have to say about the A129 Duo IR on our forum.
Where to purchase for lowest price
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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
- Download the firmware file
- Unzip the FWA129.bin file
- Copy the FWA129.bin file directly onto the microSD card root directory, not in any folders (card must be in Fat32 format)
- Insert the microSD card into the camera and power it on via a 5V/1A power source. Do not use computers USB ports, they do not supply enough power.
- While upgrading, the front REC red LED starts blinking (the light blinks slowly at the beginning, then blinks quickly), when the lights stop blinking, the firmware upgrade is finished. The camera will restart and the firmware file will be deleted automatically.
- IMPORTANT!! Now go into the menu and manually default your cameras settings. Do not miss this step!
The latest firmware can be downloaded at the Viofo site
On our forums, a number of passionate owners (known as the DCTeam) have customized the firmware to optimize picture quality and functions. The full thread can be found here. Use at your own risk.
Published: Jan 3, 2020