Dec 6: Circular polarizer now available for purchase
See this video first to learn everything you need to know about the Viofo A119
Viofo was the original creator of the A118 which we recommended in a previous review. Unfortunately the design and tooling were copied and multiple factories started producing the A118 which resulted in lower quality units coming onto the market.
Viofo launched the A119 as its successor in July 2016 and greatly improved the hardware in conjunction with feedback from the community at Dash Cam Talk. It has a similar wedge profile but otherwise everything else has been changed. It looks nicer and less industrial.
|Date Released||July 2016|
|Max Resolution||2560 x 1440P @ 30FPS|
|Image Sensor||Omnivision OV4689|
|Lens||Glass f/1.8 Lens|
|Capacitor // Battery||Capacitor|
|Operating Temp||Max 65°C|
|Size||8.5 cm x 5.2cm x 3.6cm|
A119 Dash Camera • Non-GPS Mount • GPS Mount (Optional) • 11.5″ Power Cable • 3.1 Amp Dual USB Port Car Adapter • 6 x Cable Management Clips • String to Detach Mount • USB Data Cable • English User Manual
Update: Jan 2017. A119 and A119S now shp with a black adhesive
Video Quality & Raw Videos
Viofo’s A119 has excellent video quality. It’s not the absolute best but it ranks amongst the top cameras we reviewed. There are some tradeoffs such as having worse low-light performance and reduced dynamic range. It’s much better the popular and similar looking Rexing V1 or KDLinks X1.
We directly compared the A119 against a few cameras:
Yi: Our former budget pick for functionality/video quality but it’s worse than the A119 in everything but having WiFi and being cheaper
Dome D201: A camera we recognized as having the best video quality for $100 but has many flaws so it’s not a recommended pick.
Vicovation OPIA2: A $300 premium camera with the same excellent video hardware as the Dome D201 but the video quality is better.
Against the older A118 it holds up quite well during the day. Details are the same if you look at the builds and foliage in both cameras but is noticeably different in the license plate of the white truck.
Surprisingly the Yi had the worst results, it’s very dark under the hotel vestibule even if you increase brightness. The A119 and A118 were again tied in performance. Finally the OPIA2 had the clearest performance. The A118 was taken on a different day but the conditions were similar and we drove in the same position.
When we compared how quickly the cameras responded to bright and dark we found it paled in comparison to the OPIA2. There’s a small period of time where you can’t see anything before the contrast fixes itself.
The Yi has very little ability to grab license plates once again due to the resolution and very wide angle. The OPIA2 is better but probably because of the angle it’s filming at.
The A119 is comparable to the Dome D201 when rendering license plate while moving. It looks fuzzier but has slightly better sharpness. Again sharper than the A118.
In general the A119 excels at more brightly lit scenes but falls behind when the light drops off. That’s why the Yi which has a smaller pixels has better quality.
Slightly blurrier than the Yi and OPIA2 even though they have a wider angle than the A119.
Under ultra low lighting conditions where only your headlights can be seen the A119 is blurrier but does a respectable job in bringing out the details.
128GB Cards Accepted
On Viofo’s website it states that the A119 only takes up to 64GB cards. I have confirmed with Viofo staff that it does indeed take 128GB cards. Here’s their quoted answer: “You can say the 128GB cards are compatible, we released an action camera based on NTK96660 last year, so know it works.”. If you’re wondering what card to pick (and it makes a big difference in reliability) see our guide on SD cards.
A119S Sony Exmor Model
Viofo has launched their low-light A119S in December 2016. The A119S uses a Sony Starvis IMX291 sensor, a faster f/1.6 glass lens and a new lens housing which does not allow side to side movement. We purchased a production unit and tested it against the A119 (firmware version v2.0). Overall Video Quality
The A119S has worse sharpness and more motion blur compared to the A119 even under low light situations. The A119S does have better dynamic range which means you can see more at night but in my opinion isn’t a significant improvement. The A119S at 60FPS runs close to natively and there’s not much reduction in quality compared to other cameras.
The A119S has much less distortion in the corners due to the reduced field of view. From what I understand the A119S’ Sony Exmor IMX291 firmware is still new and image improvements are coming. As well I want to do a number of tests I listed at the bottom.Videos
Original comparison which includes a very low light test.
The A119S was moved to the left hand side which is less blurry compared to the original video.
While the A119S in my opinion does NOT have better video quality it may be the better camera in the future depending on firmware improvements. We’ll keep this section updated with the latest information.
Official Viofo Clip-OnThis version clips onto your lens and allows you to perfectly adjust the polarization angle for best performance. Unfortunately the A119 lacks the detent slots and you’ll need to use tape or blutack to make sure it doesn’t fall off. On the A119S there are handy slots so no extra effort is needed.
BlueSkySea Adhesive VersionMade by a very well known retailer this version is smaller and sticks onto your lens. This allows you to continue using the side to side adjustment of your lens but you won’t be able to remove the filter often the as the adhesive will wear down.
Overall: Expect a camera that delivers on the major features with a few shortcomings that’s easily looked over.
|The Good||The Bad|
Viofo released v2.0 in Oct 31, 2016 which fixes a number of bugs with the camera. Since the original version Viofo has improved the image quality, added imperial units and customization for your speed and location stamp on the video. You can download and read more about it here: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/a119-firmware.22223/
Loop Recording – 3 Minutes: Anything but off will work. 3 Minutes is a good compromise between too many video files and discoverability.
Exposure – 0EV: If it’s overly bright or dark you can change this number
WDR – Off: WDR does nothing but worsen night quality for minimal gains in dynamic range
Time Lapse Record – Off
Motion Detection – Off
GPS – On
G-Sensor – Off: No reason to turn this on
LDWS/FCWS – Off: Too many false warnings
Record Audio – Depends: Make sure it’s legal where you live. Otherwise it’s your choice.
Screensaver – 15 seconds:
LED – On: Turns the status LED on/off. Helpful in checking for problems.
Date/Time: No GPS, adjust date/time here.
Time Zone: If you have a GPS your camera will calibrate time/date to the set timezone
Beep Sound: On Disabling this will disable audio notifications. Keep it on.
Frequency: Depends on your electrical grid. 60HZ in North America, 50HZ in Europe.
Format Warning – 30 Days:
Car No – Optional: Some people put their license/name here
Where to Buy It?
Viofo has a number of authorized retailers listed on their webpage. We’ll list them below and talk about the sellers. It’s worth paying the additional $10 for the GPS mount as it improves convenience but it’s not necessary.
Spy-Tec is a well known USA retailer and has been serving the dash and surveillance industry for many years. They are based out of New York and have a great reputation for customer service.
Capture Your Action is newer and primarily focused on dash camera. They have been working hard at finding good products and have been spending lots of time on Dash Cam Talk and interacting with the community.
CanadaUpdated: Sept 17th
Get the Viofo A119 from BlackBoxMyCar
On Amazon the most reputable seller is Baiklov and fulfilled by Amazon.ca (Canadian Warehouse). Baiklov is the very reputable seller “estore009” on eBay. To differentiate their products they use the “BlueSeaSkyBrand”. It’s not different than other products but it does help if there are counterfeits on the market. But, if you have problems after 30 days you may have to ship the product back to China.
DashCamsCentral is your only local choice. I have seen them mentioned but I haven’t done any research on them.
Outside of the above countries there are no other local retailers so you have to buy from online retailers which makes warranty more difficult:
Sold through eStore009 who we’ve been recommending for years and is a great seller. Highly recommended.
GearBest is a well known China-based retailer for having low prices. They are consistent with shipping out genuine products but their customer support ratings have been mixed. Use coupon code “A119GBC” on the GPS model to get it for $90 and “A119GB” on the non-GPS to get it for $80.
Foxoffer is a Chinese based electronics retailer who happens to owns Viofo. As with most Chinese internet retailers they have a spotty record but they probably want you to have good service on their own product.