Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Viofo A119/B60 Dashcam (Pre-Production/BETA unit) Photos

I received a pre-production A119 dashcam for review and beta-testing purposes.  This will be the successor to the popular A118 and A118C dashcam, and it's been upgraded in a lot of ways.  It has a larger screen, thinner profile, upgraded processor and image sensor, and the lens can now pivot left and right in addition to up and down.  GPS was not included in my pre-production test unit, but it will be integrated into the mounting base so that similar to the MINI 080x series, you can simply slide the camera onto the mount and go, leaving power and GPS basically permanently attached to the windshield.  That will be great for folks who take the camera out of the car every time they park.  Personally I think that's unnecessary unless you park in a high crime area regularly, but then honestly I'd be more worried about my CAR than a cheap little camera.

Anyway, I decided to take a few photos of the camera, inside and out to share with everyone.  The new processor is a Novatek 96660BG, and the image sensor is now an OV4689.  This means higher resolutions and higher frame rates, including 1080p@60fps - higher frame rates mean less motion blur and better chances of catching a license plate number.  Early tests by other beta users are showing much improved night quality, but currently there's an issue where daytime footage looks very blue, as if there were a blue filter over the lens.  It's something that'll likely be fixed in a firmware update pretty soon, but the video is still very usable and high quality.

So without further ado, here are the photos!

Exterior Photos - compared to original A118

The lens can now pivot left...

and it can pivot right

Left side - MicroSD slot, Reset button, Microphone hole and vent holes

Right side - MicroUSB port (power and data), AV out jack (4-conductor 3.5mm), more vent holes

The red emergency/lock button is raised a bit more than the others so should be easier to find by touch when it's hidden behind your mirror

A118 (top) vs A119 (bottom) - the mount slot looks similar but they are NOT interchangeable

A119 (top) vs A118 (bottom)

A119 (left) vs A118 (right) - note that the felt on the A118 was added by me to fix a rattle caused by the loose mount. Here you can plainly see where the power and GPS connector will be on the mount of the A119

A119 (front) vs A118 (rear) showing thickness difference

Interior photos

"Clicker" for lens vertical adjustment is now plastic instead of metal - but also much more difficult to reassemble.  Also note the supercapacitors - no battery other than the tiny little round one on the right for keeping date/time/settings.

Novatek NT96660 processor.  gold plug on the right is the AV out jack, which as you can plainly see has 4 conductors. 
This empty ZIF socket will probably connect to the currently empty 4-pin connector on the mount area for GPS. That's the reset button on the left.

Overview of mainboard - yellow flex cable goes to imager assembly

With the yellow flex cable removed, you can plainly see "B60" printed on the bottom edge of the mainboard - this is relevant because the A118 was also known as the B40.  You can also see the tiny RTC battery, used to store date/time/settings. 
Backside of lens assembly with lens pivoted full right

...and full left

Lens assembly snaps apart and can only go back together one way

Imager board also has "B60" printed at the top

Also shows the image sensor to be an OV4698.  Lens is sealed all the way around with adhesive so there's no chance of it loosening and getting out of focus over time.

So there's a quick overview of the physical parts of the A119 (aka B60) dashcam, or at least, a pre-production version of it.  I'll be posting test videos in the future after I've installed it in my truck and given it a workout.  Raw video files will of course be available since YouTube reduces the quality quite a bit.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

GitUp Git2 WiFi Action Camera

** This is just the beginning of this article - I will be adding more text after I finish editing the video and get that posted.  I just wanted to get this out there for folks to read since it's taken me a while to do a proper review of this camera. **

GitUp provided me with a review unit for their new Git2 action camera.  I put it through its paces and I liked what I saw.  If you don't feel like reading the full review, here's a video review with some sample footage.  Remember that YouTube compresses video and makes it look terrible, especially during fast-motion scenes like action cameras often produce - download the raw files to judge the true quality yourself.

(video review coming soon!)

If you're like me and would rather read a written review with more detail than a short video can contain, then you're in the right place.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

GitUp Git1 WiFi Action Camera

The GitUp Git1 is a solid action camera with WiFi, a high quality Sony image sensor that delivers sharp daytime videos and pretty good night video.  It has an available wristwatch remote control, and FPV and external microphone support via the mini-USB port.  It can use all GoPro mounting accessories, even cases (gopro 3 and up), so your options for mounting are just about unlimited. The included mounts and cases work with official and generic GoPro mounts as well.

GitUp provided me with a review unit of the Git1 Pro pack along with a couple extra accessories.

The video review covers some of the highlights and has video samples, but for the full details, read the full article below.