VICOVATION VICO-OPIA 2 PREMIUM PACK CAR CAMCORDER REVIEW

 About two months ago while i was driving with my car to the movies i witnessed a hit and run involving a sport bike motorcycle and a full-size luxury crossover SUV. It only took but a couple of seconds for the entire accident to happen and i have to admit that i wasn't really paying much attention since both vehicles were on the second lane from the far right while i was on the far left (4 lane freeway) and moving quite fast. Luckily thanks to the dash camera i always have installed in my car i was able to give the license plate of that SUV to the authorities that rushed to the scene and although where i live such "evidence" is still not considered valid in a court of law this was an entirely different situation so i sincerely hope it helped. In many countries all over the world however footage obtained by dash cameras is valid evidence and there are also many insurance agencies that offer discounts if you happen to have one installed in your car so i highly recommend doing so. VicoVation is one of the leading dash camera manufacturers and after testing their very good Vico-MF3 model we decided to take the Vico-Opia 2 Premium Pack for a spin.


   VicoVation is the combination of Vico (Vision, Integration, Creativity, Observation) and Innovation. VicoVation was founded in 2010 by a group of CCTV surveillance system professionals who values the most on recording quality and the product quality. VicoVation’s team is dedicated to image and function adjustments so they can bring the best Dashcam products to the customers. The newly launched models come with the latest technology including Ultra High Dynamic Range (U-HDR), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS), Current Speed & GPS Location Overlay, GPS Tracking, and many other more advanced driving safety assistance functions.


   Just like with the Vico-MF3 Extreme Cam Recorder the Vico-Opia 2 is also based on the latest A12A SoC by Ambarella which VicoVation has paired with a 4MP CMOS image sensor (along with 6G / F2.0 aperture glass lens for superior clarity) a combination which enables single-channel recording of Quad-HD (4MP, 2560x1440p) resolution at 30fps and Full HD (1920x1080p) resolution at up to 60 fps (with HDR off) and a diagonal viewing angle of 160 degrees (the MF3 offers a diagonal angle of 150 degrees). Thanks to a combination of advanced image processing, High Dynamic Range (HDR), 3D noise filtering, smart auto-exposure and full-resolution oversampling the Ambarella A12 SoC can produce superior image quality compared to similar products. Also thanks to a high-speed 792-MHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with Neon DSP extensions the A12A offers advanced analytics algorithms including lane departure, low light warning, forward car movement detection and forward collision warning systems. The VicoVation Opia 2 also features a 3 inch TFT LCD screen at the rear, built-in G-sensor (3-axis sensor), voice reminders, smart time-lapse video recording and is compatible with Class 10 micro SD cards (up to 128GB in capacity - allows you to store up to 837 minutes at 1440p and 983 minutes at 1296p/1080p).

SPECIFICATION AND FEATURES

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PACKAGING AND CONTENTS

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The Opia 2 Premium pack arrived inside a long black box that has a product drawing at the front right next to its main features.

You can take a look at the contents of the bundle and the optional accessories from the base of the box.

The Opia 2 specifications table is placed on the left side of the box.

At the rear we see the features list in 7 languages placed right next to two 2D barcodes.

Along with the Opia 2 dash camera you will also get its 4 meter long power cable (cigarette adapter), suction cup mount, 3M adhesive mount, CPL filter quick release mount, warranty card and the user manual.

THE VICO-OPIA 2 PREMIUM PACK

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The Vico-Opia 2 shares the same enclosure as the Marcus series of dash cameras again by VicoVation so once again it measures 72mm in height, 53mm in width and 33mm in depth.

To have a better idea of its size we placed the Opia 2 next to the DR550GW model by Pittasoft.

Again just like the Marcus 3 the lens of the Opia 2 can record video with a diagonal angle of 160 degrees (this time over the Ambarella SoC offers 1440p resolution).


The micro SD card slot is placed on the left side of the enclosure and on the right we see the mini USB charging port and the mini USB GPS port.

Again just like with the Marcus series at the rear of the Opia 2 we find a 2 inch TFT color LCD screen and 5 navigation buttons.

Attaching the 52mm CPL filter mount is very easy but once again we didn't receive the filter.

I was surprised to see that the Opia 2 dash camera doesn't feature a built-in GPS so if you need that feature you will need to get the optional GPS mouse as seen above.

This time over however VicoVation has released a way to keep the dash camera running even if your car is turned off. It's called the Vico Power-PLUS and it's basically a power management device.

Contained in the box is the Vico Power-PLUS device, 3M adhesive tape, Allen key, instructions guide and a warning paper.

The Vico Power-PLUS is not hard to install if you know your way around a car (especially if you read the instructions carefully) but i do recommend asking a car electrician to do so just in case.

USING THE VICO-OPIA 2

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The Opia 2 menu contains a total of 6 areas which you can navigate to via the 5 buttons placed under the screen.


From the video section you can choose the desired recording resolution, adjust the exposure value and set the loop recording length.


The function tab contains everything related to the G-sensor, smart parking feature (time-lapse) and GPS.


You can set the screen saver, adjust the LCD brightness levels, enable/disable the timestamp feature, use your very own stamp and flip the image vertically or horizontally from the display tab.

Adjusting the speaker and microphone levels can be done via the audio page.


Finally through the system tab you can check the firmware version, update the firmware, format the micro SD card and change the time, TV system and languages.

AUDIO & VIDEO QUALITY

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As always we didn't use YouTube to place our recordings since we want all of you to see exactly what you will when using the camera (unfortunately that's why the clips are 10-15 seconds long) so to download the above clips you just need to left click with your mouse or right click and use the save as command. By default the bitrate of the Opia 2 when set to record at 1440p sits between 16300kbps and 21000kbps so although not exactly as high as the MF3 model it's pretty higher than most dash cameras in the market today. Also do take into account that since we tested the Opia 2 VicoVation (the camera footage is from March 2017, ignore the timestamp) has released yet another FW update which softens image (less noise).

CONCLUSION

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   When we tested the Vico-MF3 car camcorder many months ago we didn’t just like its aluminum housing and design (looks like a Leica camera) but also its audio and video quality (although the Ambarella chipset does produce a bit of video noise as usual). On top of that it featured a 3 inch LCD screen and it was quite compact. The Vico-Opia 2 comes very close to the Vico-MF3 but it features a plastic enclosure (which doesn’t look as nice), 2 inch LCD screen, higher aperture size (F2.0 vs F1.8 of the MF3) and reduced video bitrate (16-21.000Kbps vs 22-25.000Kbps). Also unfortunately much like previous models the Opia 2 comes with an external GPS mouse in the bundle rather than a built-in GPS and that’s perhaps the only thing we also didn’t like about the MF3 (more cables is always bad). Personally I’d probably go with the Vico-MF3 than the Vico-Opia 2 for the reasons mentioned above because quite honestly I have very little use for the smart parking surveillance/time-lapse feature of the 2nd so do keep that in mind when making your choice.


   Right now the Vico-Opia 2 Car Camcorder by VicoVation retails for USD249.95 inside the USA (Amazon.com) and for 200Euros inside the EU (Amazon.co.uk) a price tag that places it roughly 20% over the Vico-MF3 (the GPS mouse and Power-PLUS device are not included). With that in mind unless the smart surveillance features of the Vico-Opia 2 are essential to cover your needs the Vico-MF3 seems like a far better option to us. That being said the Vico-Opia 2 is obviously aimed at a different target audience and since it offers virtually the same audio/video quality as the Vico-MF3 it still manages to get our Golden Award.

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PROS


- Compact Size 
- Highest Dash Camera Recording Resolution Available Currently (2560x1440p @ 30fps) 
- Image Quality (Sharpness/Color Reproduction) 
- Built-In G-Sensor 
- Driver Assistance Features (Speed Warning/LDWS/FCWS/Radar Warning) 
- Smart Parking Surveillance Features (Time-Lapse) 
- 52mm CPL Mount

CONS

- No Built-In GPS & WiFi (For Some) 
- Digital Noise (@1440p/1296p) 
- Price Compared To The Vico-MF3