Skip to content
Free Fast Shipping in Under 3 Days
Best Price Guaranteed
★★★★★ Over 10,000 Reviews
Financing As Low As $3/Month

The Ultimate Guide to Sony STARVIS 2.0

How Sony STARVIS 2 technology changes the game for dash cams

Looking for the best dash cam for 4K night vision? Sony STARVIS 2 technology is the breakthrough you need. This technology improves low-light performance and contrast, provides high resolution and clarity, and lowers power consumption in parking mode. This article will explore why Sony STARVIS 2 is better than its predecessor and why the VIOFO A139 PRO with Sony STARVIS 2 is the best dash cam for 4K night vision.

When choosing a dash cam, the technology behind the camera can make a huge difference in the quality of the footage you capture. Sony is a leader in the dash cam industry for image sensors. The Sony STARVIS and Sony STARVIS 2 technologies are highly sought for their ability to capture high-quality footage, especially in low-light conditions.

What is Sony STARVIS, and do all dash cameras come with it?

Sony STARVIS is a technology used in image sensors that helps improve the camera's low-light sensitivity and video quality. Note that not all dash cameras come with Sony STARVIS technology. For instance, the Garmin 65W dash cam uses the OV4689 image sensor, and the Thinkware F200 PRO uses an SOI image sensor.

Some examples of Sony STARVIS 1 image sensors in many dash cams on the market include the Sony IMX291 STARVIS, Sony IMX307 STARVIS, Sony IMX317 STARVIS, and Sony IMX335 STARVIS.

These sensors are known for their excellent low-light performance and can deliver clear footage even in challenging lighting situations.

  1. Sony IMX291 STARVIS, found in dash cams such as the VIOFO A129
  2. Sony IMX307 STARVIS, found in dash cams such as the 70mai Smart Dash Cam 1S
  3. Sony IMX317, found in dash cams such as the VIOFO A129 PRO and Vantrue X4
  4. Sony IMX335 STARVIS, is found in dash cams such as the Thinkware Q1000, FineVu GX1000, and VIOFO T130

The Sony STARVIS 2 is the latest version of this technology. It boasts a larger pixel size, allowing it to capture more light and produce clearer, more detailed footage in low-light conditions.

It's also known for its improved low-light performance, high resolution and clarity, and lower power consumption in parking mode. That's why dash cam manufacturers and consumers are choosing Sony STARVIS 2 technology for their cameras.

Here are three reasons why Sony STARVIS 2 is better than its predecessor and why the VIOFO A139 PRO with Sony STARVIS 2 is the best dash cam for 4K night vision in 2023.

Reason 1: Improved Low-Light Performance and Contrast

Clear footage is the most difficult challenge for any dash camera in low-light conditions, and Sony STARVIS 2 technology excels in this area. Compared to the previous generation of Sony image sensors, Sony STARVIS 2 offers improved low-light performance, achieved through a larger pixel size that allows more light to be captured by each pixel. This means that the Sony STARVIS 2 can capture clearer and more detailed footage even in low-light conditions.

To give you an idea of how much of a difference this makes, consider driving at night with only streetlights to light the road. Footage from a dash cam with older Sony STARVIS technology may appear dark and grainy. But with a dash cam using Sony STARVIS 2 technology, like the VIOFO A139 PRO 4K UHD, the footage will appear brighter and clearer, allowing you to see more detail.

Specs Comparison

 

IMX334

IMX317

IMX678

Sensor

1/1.8" Sony IMX334 CMOS

1/2.5" Sony IMX317 CMOS

1/1.8" Sony IMX678 CMOS

Pixel

8.42MP

8.3MP

8.2MP

Pixel Size

2.0μm x 2.0μm

1.62μm x 1.62μm

2.0μm x 2.0μm

Most effective pixels

3840(H) x 2160(V)

3840(H) x 2160(V)

3840(H) x 2160(V)

Other technologies

Digital Overlap HDR, Multiple Exposure HDR

Digital Overlap HDR

Digital Overlap HDR, Clear HDR, NIR* Enhanced

Max. Frame Rate

60FPS at 12 bit

32.8FPS at 12bit (62.5FPS at 10 bit)

72FPS at 12 bit

Dash cam example

Thinkware U1000

VIOFO A129 PRO

Vantrue X4

VIOFO A139 PRO

*NIR stands for the capacity to capture images in the near-infrared spectrum. This feature enables image capture even in pitch-dark locations using near-infrared light. NIR technology has recently seen remarkable improvements. The identifier "NIR Enhanced (Yes)" indicates that the product is mounted with the enhanced version of NIR functionality.

The larger the sensor size and the higher the resolution, the better the image quality and low-light performance.

In addition, large pixel sizes are optimal for low-light imaging conditions. For instance, Thinkware’s Super Night Vision 2.0 in the Thinkware U1000 or Q1000 vs. Super Night Vision in the Thinkware F200 PRO. On the other hand, a smaller pixel size is optimal for bright imaging conditions in which resolving fine detail is of the utmost importance, which explains the sharper details you’d see from the VIOFO A129 PRO or the 70mai A800s.

Reason 2: Higher Resolution and Clarity

Clear footage is the most difficult challenge for any dash camera in low-light conditions, and Sony STARVIS 2 technology excels in this area. Compared to the previous generation of Sony image sensors, Sony STARVIS 2 offers improved low-light performance, achieved through a larger pixel size that allows more light to be captured by each pixel. This means that the Sony STARVIS 2 can capture clearer and more detailed footage even in low-light conditions.

To give you an idea of how much of a difference this makes, consider driving at night with only streetlights to light the road. Footage from a dash cam with older Sony STARVIS technology may appear dark and grainy. But with a dash cam using Sony STARVIS 2 technology, like the VIOFO A139 PRO 4K UHD, the footage will appear brighter and clearer, allowing you to see more detail.

Whoa, Phase Detection Autofocus in plain English, please…

PDAF (phase detection autofocus) is a high-speed automatic focus technology. PDAF typically uses some of the pixels for imaging on the image sensor as pixels for phase detection.

Digital Overlap High Dynamic Range (DOL HDR)

This cool feature captures two images, one with a short exposure for the bright regions and the other with a long exposure for the dark regions. These two images are then merged to create a stunning HDR photo. However, there is a slight time gap between the two shots, so if your subject is moving quickly, you may notice some blurring or color distortion in the final image.

Clear High Dynamic Range (Clear HDR)

With this nifty feature, your camera's image sensor can capture two images simultaneously: one with a low gain level for the bright areas and the other with a high gain level for the dark areas. These images are then combined to produce one stunning, high-quality photo.

But wait, there's more! The Clear HDR feature captures moving targets without pesky artifacts like chromatic aberration. This means you can use it for your security cameras or your car's dashboard camera to monitor traffic without blur or distortion.

Say goodbye to blurry images and hello to Clear HDR!

Interested in learning more about the technicalities behind the image sensors? Give this a read: Security Camera Image Sensor Technology STARVIS™ / STARVIS 2.

Reason 3: More Efficient Power Consumption in Parking Mode

settings, recording bitrate and framerate, the hardwiring kit used, the quality of the micro SD card, the ambient temperature, and the car battery's condition (or the status of the dash cam battery pack powering the dash cam).

However, given Sony STARVIS 2's improved technology and design, it is expected to consume less power than Sony STARVIS 1. Larger pixel sizes and advanced image sensor technology allow the dash cam to capture more light, improving low-light performance and reducing power consumption. This means that the dash cam would deliver superior performance and image quality, and could potentially last longer in parking mode without draining your car's battery.

Only the front-facing camera is equipped with the STARVIS 2 sensor. For instance, the VIOFO A139 PRO's rear camera is fitted with the Sony IMX291, a first-generation STARVIS sensor.

There is limited information available regarding the power consumption of the Sony STARVIS 2 and STARVIS 1. So more testing is warranted.

Besides the VIOFO A139 PRO, which other dash cams use the Sony STARVIS 2 image sensor?

The IMX575 is commonly used in high-end action cameras, such as the GoPro Hero 9 Black and the DJI Osmo Action. VIOFO did change it to the IMX678 for the official A139 PRO release.

At the time of writing, the VIOFO A139 PRO is the only dash cam on the market with the STARVIS 2 image sensor. VIOFO dash cams are also among those that support higher recording bitrate. So, when you put STARVIS 2 and a maximum bitrate of 44.86Mbps in a 4K 2160p front + Full HD 1080p rear-facing dual-channel setup, you're bound to get great video with excellent 4K resolution.

Sony plans to launch the IMX662, a 1/3-type 2K resolution image sensor employing "STARVIS 2" for 1080p Full HD recording. So, it'll just be a matter of time before we find out which up-and-coming dash cam will be fitted with this image sensor.

Learn more about the IMX662 and the IMX678 image sensors. 

Best Dash Cam for 4K UHD Night Vision

If you're tired of worrying about whether your dash cam footage will be useful in case of an accident, it's time to consider upgrading to a camera with exceptional night vision capabilities. The Sony STARVIS 2 technology provides superior low-light sensitivity. You get crystal-clear footage in even the darkest conditions. Plus, the STARVIS 2's dynamic range enhances the quality of captured footage, making it an ideal investment for drivers who want the highest level of visibility and clarity.

With 4K video resolution, you won't miss any details that could be crucial in determining fault in an accident. So, for those who spend a lot of time on the road, the best dash cam for night vision in 2023 features Sony's STARVIS 2 technology.

If you want to purchase now, the VIOFO A139 PRO is the best you can get. It comes in the 1-channel Front-Only, 2-channel Front-and-Rear or 2-Channel Front-and-Interior, and 3-Channel Front-Rear-Interior setups. They all come with parking monitoring (hardwiring kit sold separately) and built-in wi-fi connectivity (so you can use the free smartphone app to playback videos and control camera settings).

But if you can wait a little bit longer, why stop there? If you're looking for even more advanced features, keep an eye out for Thinkware's new STARVIS 2 dash cam with Cloud capabilities, set to launch later this year; the Thinkware U3000. And just like how the Thinkware U1000 held the "Best Dash Cam" title year after year, this new Thinkware is expected to outperform all the dash cams.

Don't settle for mediocre footage. Make the smart choice for your safety and invest in a dash cam with Sony STARVIS 2 technology today.