AdvoCam-FD Black-GPS Budget Recorder Review: Novatek 96650 vs Ambarella A5

    Not so long ago I talked about the flagship registrar AdvoCam-FD8 Profi-GPS Redwith "goodies" such as the LDWS system, shooting Super Full HD and warning (via GPS) about speed cameras. Despite the fact that the model turned out to be interesting, I am deeply convinced that the majority of motorists want to get a cheaper registrar, sometimes not at all interested in additional functions. Actually, as well as the quality of shooting. In general, AdvoCam decided to experiment and released the budget AdvoCam-FD Black-GPS, the essence of which is the good quality of shooting typical of the “more expensive AdvoCam black boxes”. The issue price is 4,590 rubles (~ $ 131), if you do not need a G-sensor and GPS - 3,590 rubles (~ $ 102). At the same time, they promise to shoot no worse than that in registrars with Ambarella processors (in particular, A5). For comparison, AdvoCam FD5 Profi-GPS still costs around 6-7 thousand rubles (~ $ 171-200).

    Packaging and equipment

    The information component of the box is not fundamentally different from what I saw in the AdvoCam-FD8 Profi-GPS Red. They still tell me what HDR is, how much video will fit on a N GB memory card, and most importantly, they clarify the purpose of all the buttons. As usual, AdvoCam calls its approach “One Touch” technology - they say, access to all the important functions with one touch. The only problem is that in the registrars of the vast majority of competitors, the buttons are exactly the same or close to them.

    I must say right away that there is no complete set - a memory card. That is, it does not happen in almost any registrar at the price of less than 7-8 thousand rubles. In AdvoCam, with the exception of AdvoCam-FD Black-GPS, a 4 GB microSD is attached to any model. I remember recently talking with one brand of smartphones - they say, why don't you give cards (films, covers, etc.) in the kit? The answer was the following, I quote: “They will tear us for the memory card” - in other words, the device will not be taken for implementation. Accessories need to be sold to shops!

    The paper set is presented with instructions and a brochure from the president of the college of legal protection for motorists Viktor Travin. The latter explains what to do with video files in the event of an accident.

    Software CD, miniUSB cable, cigarette lighter charging - that's the whole set. I note that in the power supply, a USB port is hidden behind the sliding plug, through which you can recharge your smartphone or other mobile device.

    Installation and appearance

    In terms of dimensions, the model turned out to be compact, despite the presence of a 2.7-inch screen - 87 x 45 x 17 mm and 62 grams of weight. The length is less than my index finger, if you are an ardent supporter of a hidden installation behind the rear view mirror, there will be no problems with this. The base of the case cover is soft touch plastic, which is “diluted” with a glossy diamond-shaped insert from the front. Not that it turned out mega-original, but the appearance of the registrar definitely diversifies.

    The assembly is high-quality, the body halves are firmly knocked down, there is no backlash on the buttons at all. With a strong press, the screen bends a couple of millimeters to the board, but as I can judge from at least three disassembled recorders, this is a normal situation.

    From the front there is a lens, and a forced reset button. The key is practically not "recessed", if necessary, you do not have to search for a needle, the tip of the key is enough. The most attentive comrades have already noticed that the backlight is not provided, this is the second saving point in the model after the memory card. It's funny that this moment is found not only in budget, but also in ultra-expensive registrars for 20,000 rubles. In the case of AdvoCam-FD Black-GPS, there is a very reasonable justification - according to AdvoCam, 6% of owners of “car cameras” use the backlight at best.

    At the bottom there are miniUSB and HDMI ports, so everything is okay with the image output to the external screen. There is no archaic AV, but if I am not mistaken, the analog output can be obtained via the AV-miniUSB cable.

    To the left of the lens we insert a memory card - nothing special.

    There are no buttons on the sides of the 2.7-inch screen, all elements are located at the ends in order to reduce the size of the case. Is it more convenient to press the keys in comparison, say, with the AdvoCam-FD8 Profi-GPS Red? A matter of taste, I was equally comfortable in both cases.

    On the right side are the "cursor" keys, which also serve to turn on / off the microphone and screen.

    The top row, with the exception of the power button, has several functions - instant photo, marking the file as emergency, “OK” in the menu. As a plus, I note that the menu call "hung" on a separate button, and not "M". In the second case, which is extremely common, you need to press the key three times - first you enter the photo mode, then the dialogue of the captured files, and only then the desired list of options.

    The bracket is more than ordinary for brand models, it is now found in AdvoCam in every first registrar. This is the same holder in which there is a power port (we don’t connect anything to the recorder case) and a swivel joint for quickly adjusting the position of the camera. The mount is small, for fixation we turn a quarter without any effort the lever, which is an external GPS module. As I already noted, if you want to hide the recorder behind the mirror is not difficult.

    A bit "inside"

    When looking inside, I immediately remembered the AdvoCam-FD5 Profi-GPS, because the small and not very assembly moments here are at the same very high level. This is expressed in little things like shielding from pickups, several "amartization" soft inserts on the board. I am far from expert evaluations of soldering, but all the elements on the board look neat, button contacts, connectors, etc. installed securely. So far I have not ventured to unscrew a separate board with a lens - it is “guarded” with screws twice as much as I ever saw before in other registrars. If at risk - be sure to supplement the photos.

    In work

    For recording without external power sources, a 250 mAh battery is provided, with the screen off, this is enough for about 15 minutes of shooting. Recording starts, as it should be in our time, exactly after turning the key in the ignition. But just a couple of years ago, registrars with auto start in response to engine sound - over 65 dB, were considered a fashion hit.

    What impresses me with the organization of the model’s settings in comparison with the current flagships on the Ambarella A7 is the lack of an inconvenient continuous list of options. The entire set is conditionally divided into two tab groups: items related to the video and all the rest. There’s nothing to complain about - in the presence of setting the on-delay (protection against power surges), various stamps (including license plate number), setting the frequency, etc. It was not by chance that I called the separation conditional - it is not entirely clear to me why the “exposure” and “white balance” are not in the “video”.

    The accelerometer functions as it should - it responds to overloads that are characteristic of an accident and excludes the current file from cyclic shooting. If the condition of the roads in your area is poor, I highly recommend choosing a low level of sensitivity. Otherwise, get ready to regularly clean the memory card from useless protected files.

    Recently, GPS-receivers in recorders have been used to alert about approaching speed cameras, while this possibility is found in models from 7,000 rubles and more. In my opinion, this is an artificial limitation that does not require special efforts to implement in the presence of GPS and in budget registrars. In AdvoCam-FD Black-GPS, I was able to communicate with satellites in less than half a minute, there were practically no errors in the track.

    The default player for viewing video on a computer was used only for the first time. Firstly, there are absolutely no editing options. Secondly, the size of the application window is fixed; it cannot be changed at all. Moreover, to increase or decrease the area of ​​the map or file list also does not work. So once again I was convinced that there was no need to change my favorite Registrator Viewer for anything.


    The optical characteristics in the model are very good. The lens has six glass lenses (f = 2.3mm, F = 2.5), the viewing angle is wide 170 degrees. Objects at the edges of the frame are slightly distorted, but this is a low price for the possibility of the most complete coverage of the surrounding space. Naturally, as far as possible within the framework of a single-channel registrar. Matrix traditional for AdvoCam recorders, 3 megapixels from Aptina, straight from the USA (though ...).

    The processor is presented as almost the protagonist of the model, it is widely known in narrow circles Novatek 96650. By the standards of the life cycle of processors - a novice who is already actively installed in the registrars. Prior to this model, Novatek let out even cheap, but too mediocre products. With Novatek 96650, everything has changed, in terms of the quality of the final picture, registrars with such a “heart” are at the level of the Ambarella A5 family. Only at the same time, Novatek components are 15% cheaper. In any case, this is exactly what AdvoCam voices.

    In general, rate the video, a link to the original is attached under each video.

    Download original file

    Download original file

    Download the original file.

    I have seen a lot of registrars in recent times, including a double and a higher price. And AdvoCam-FD Black-GPS shoots no worse, and sometimes - better than some instances. "Fly in the ointment" exactly two, the first - sometimes the white balance jumps clearly, even on a clear day, and even with a frequency of a minute or two. The second - a very tangible "stars" from light sources at night. While maintaining the overall decent clarity of the picture, which is important. In fairness, I note that the same "stars", although to a lesser extent, I also observed in examples of shooting AdvoCam-FD5 Profi-GPS in an article by my colleague Alex_SmartGadget .

    Shooting is available in Full HD, HD, WVGA and VGA resolutions, no deviations from 30 fps. The duration of the video can be 3, 5 or 10 minutes. HDR mode is enabled through the settings menu, although I would just assign it to the quick start button. In addition to standard shooting, the so-called parking mode when recording starts when there is movement in the frame. 10 seconds after the onset of "silence" recording stops. Files are saved in the MOV format, the dynamic bitrate is in the range of 11.9-13.1 Mbps frames decent for 1080p.


    Let me remind you that the price of the model is 4,590 rubles (~ $ 131), without a G-sensor and GPS - 3,590 rubles (~ $ 102). If you follow the Yandex.Market data, almost three dozen registrars with a Novatek 96650 processor are sold in Russia. Street Storm CVR-N9510-G, which has similar characteristics, is most similar to the AdvoCam-FD Black-GPS. Only for an incomprehensible reason, the Street Storm model made an extremely impractical case - it is completely glossy, only the front rhombus is matte. The price is higher than that of a competitor, 4,900 rubles (~ $ 140).

    If we talk about personal impressions, it’s somehow impossible to criticize AdvoCam-FD Black-GPS. There is no IR illumination, they didn’t attach a memory card ... In general, there are not many other minuses, and they don’t “callus” their eyes. Perhaps I would like to see a more logical grouping of menu items, a more functional player for the computer and the expansion of GPS capabilities due to a warning about Strelka ST and other radars. Pluses - a compact body, convenient mount, uncomplicated controls and, most importantly, decent shooting quality. I repeat, the device can easily argue on the part of the recording level with much more expensive models. So the maximum task of this registrar, I think, is fully implemented.

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