Question Dash Cam: Picking up fast action (such as number plate). What should I be looking out for?

Kev_83

Active Member
I currently have a Mio Mivue 618 fitted. The image quality is alright i suppose but in challenging light it suffers. I've noticed that it can be quite hard picking up number plates as the image is really quite blurry. This is the case in pitch black or even passing in daylight. I don't know if this camera just takes a while to focus or what.

Was driving along the other day when a car came over the brow of a hill. I don't know if he was on his phone or what but he was going to end up hitting me and swerved last second otherwise he'd have hit my front drivers corner.
I played the clip back through VLC player and went frame by frame but you just cannot see the reg plate at all, absolutely nothing. Made me think - if i was ever in a situation where i didn't get the plate and i needed it, i'd be screwed.

So what should i be looking for in a dash cam that would help pick up the registration on plates at everyday speeds or is this an issue that all dash cams suffer with?

* For the next dash cam i would actually be looking to get a rear camera as well.
 

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Ayub

Distinguished Member
You’ll need a minimum of 1080p to read plates, ideally with one of those polarising lens protection.
 

Kev_83

Active Member
You’ll need a minimum of 1080p to read plates, ideally with one of those polarising lens protection.
Apparently mine is 1296p MiVue™ 618 (Legacy)

So i'm guessing i need something more than that (and i don't just mean a higher 'p' number)??

As for polarising lens protection, i don't know if mine has it or not. I'm guessing not as it's pretty bloody awful in direct sunlight in my opinion.

Is this really all i need then - something with polarising lense protection or is there something more than that?
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
I’m not sure if there is something wrong with your dash cam, but the image should not look like that.
 

Kev_83

Active Member
I just reopened that image file to see what you mean when you said it shouldn't look like that and i can see what you meant. It looks all pixelated.

Just to say that the images aren't always like that. Here's another couple from the same camera at differing times of the day...

02.JPG
01.JPG

I guess it depends on the time of day. The one in the opening post will have been around 6pm give or take and to put that in to some context - early March.

The top image in this post right here was at 5:30pm at the end of August
The second image in this post was at 12:15pm in December.

I find if the lighting is going or if it's night time then picking up reg plates at speed is pretty impossible. I would have to get pretty close, such as at a set of red lights. If we're passing each other, such as in the opening post then pretty much forget it.

Take this image for example...

03.JPG

night time. I caught this guy going the wrong way down a 1 way street. We were both going slow and as we passed each other he will have been doing say 2mph. I'd have been perhaps 5mph and as i go frame by frame in VLC player i can't clearly make out his reg plate, only what i think it might be - but when running a check on the reg i must be getting it wrong.

If the lighting is daylight and there's no direct sun then you have a chance of picking up a reg.

Little worrying since if someone clips me on a bend on the back roads or some other case where i need to check the clip back and get their reg because they've done a runner ... i want to be able to identify them, not just have an idea of the make of car and perhaps model but not much else beyond that.

Which is why i was on the lookout to see what i need to be looking for in a camera to be able to pick up reg plates in these situations.
 

IAmATeaf

Active Member
According to the specs it should be better. Are you sure it’s not vibrating on the mount? As that would cause an issue.

in terms of what to look for, you really need to look at some reviews and compare. I got a Viofo A113 V3 on Black Friday, it really had to use it in anger but it seems to produce decent footage.
 

Kev_83

Active Member
No i don't think it's vibrating. I think it's pretty solid in there.

That's not my footage but it is someone elses of the same camera and i'd say that it's a pretty fair reflection of how mine would look in similar lighting.
 

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