We had high expectations from Viofo A129 Duo dash cam, and it delivered. Its Berber, the A119 Dash Cam, is a longtime favorite of ours. Simply because it was the first place in its price range to make a good night’s video. Similarly, the A129 Duo has won our hearts as the first affordable dual channel setup to offer the best 1080p day and night video from both front and rear cameras.
The A129 Duo has other selling points: an integrated GPS, and a super capacitor. That will actually keep the camera alive for a few seconds after the power is removed. There are a couple of very minor warnings, but overall, the A129 is a very cute deal.
Design and features
Both cameras in the A129 Duo scheme use the IMX291 Sony STARVIS sensor, which is talented of taking 1080p video at 30 edges per second. Both are attached to their respective windows with a lens using semi-permanent mounts that are centered vertically, but not horizontally. Use a level to make sure you have mounts parallel to the horizon when you place them on windows.
The way the front camera flips on the windshield with a 2-inch color display tilted away from you makes the display a minute harder to read than the screens on free-floating dash cams, although it’s still workable. Buttons and on-screen menus are easy to learn and use.
It’s not mainly fancy, but the A129 covers the basics better than any budget dual channel system we’ve reviewed. In fact, it compares favorably with more expensive systems than Think Ware and Black View.
The ports on the front camera are of two mini USB types, one for power and the other for connecting to the rear camera. 3.5 mm jack for AV output (breakout cable not included); An SD card slot; And a small recessed reset button. The rear camera only has a mini USB port to connect to the front camera, which leads me to one of my minor complaints about the A129 system – the overly thick USB cable used to connect the cameras. It’s feasible (most will be hidden behind internal trim pieces), but is slightly invasive and obvious.
To keep up with the times, the A129 Duo also plays Wi-Fi, which you can use to connect to your phone and share videos via the Viofo app. Woohoo!
Viofo shipped with a polarizing filter (about ڈالر 20 on Amazon). You can see the results with and without it in the performance section.
I have two more mild complaints. Connecting the rear camera to its mount took more power than I expected. As the plastic bent down a bit, it got easier, but it was a bit nervous. Finally, Viofo does not provide cable for AV output. This may not affect everyone, but Viofo may be able to thin the rear camera cable and use the savings to provide AV cable. Just saying that.
Because of my previous experience with the budget dual camera system, I wasn’t expecting great day, night and low light video from both the front and rear cameras of the A129 Duo. Our previous budget dual camera pickup, the Cobra’s CDR895D, offers better video than its rear camera, but it’s not in the similar class as the A129 Duo.
As you can see below, the front camera video of the day was the highest you could not see, the image stabilization was very good on local roads. Bad image stabilization is my biggest complaint about Garman’s best compact models. The A129 Duo sometimes has some moir, but video captures are generally quite good.
Increase brightness in post-production, and you’ll see a lot of detail in the surrounding area that makes the pair more suitable for monitoring. Although you will need to hard-wire the camera, as the A129 Duo does not have the heavy duty battery used in the Viva Dashcam and some others.
A 129 Duo Super Capacitor Camera
As a replacement for a battery, the A129 Duo uses a super capacitor. That said, unlike some of the cameras I’ve seen recently, it’s large enough to power a recording for a few seconds after a 12-volt pull or failure. Those few seconds may be all you need to capture the whole event, although ideally we would like to see 5 to 10 seconds.
The advantage of supercapacitors is that they can be cycled far more often than batteries and have a wide range of temperatures – Viofo claims from 14 degrees Fahrenheit to 149 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature range below seems a bit high, but 149 degrees is significantly warmer than most dash cams.
The latest A129 Pro Duo Dash Camera firm ware has been release, version number is V2.7 2020117, you can download the firm ware via the link below to update,
VIOFO A129 Pro V2.7 firmware
V2.7 Firmware Change Log:
- Improved image quality and solved WDR problem.
- Other bugs fixed.
How to update:
To upgrade DashCam, please do the following:
- Use a memory card (suggest 16GB-128GB memory card) format on FAT32 on camera or computer.
- Copy FWA129.bin to the root of the card. (Parallel to DCIM file)
- Control the camera and the REC will showy faster when updated
The bin file will be deleted automatically after the update.
Viofo A129 has done it again. The A129 Duo is easily our favorite modest dual camera dashcam, and has its own set of more. Expensive pairs than the ThinkWear and BlackView. Other than the somewhat unbearable rear cam cable, it’s always nice.