A119 v2 what settings do you use for best results? I can't see registration plates on videos.

Kerberos

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Hi guys.

So, bought this dash cam last year, been using it for 4-5 months already, set the recording to 1080p @60fps. Today needed to preview a video for some stuff, I was stationary, the car drove past me on the opposite lane, very close, I've seen the registration plate, video is very clear too, it was sunny, went to zoom the video and can't read a single number of the plate!? Is that really that horrible quality or am I missing something?
Firmware version A119_180730_V3.91

I've just changed the recording to 1440p@30fps, hoping it would be better.
 

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As suggested 1440 is the best on the A119. The firmware are you using you may be better with a MOD from BCHobbist at least "up grading" to V4.01 But I think you would be better off using a MOD. I suggest either 7Rg or cooler running 5Rg maybe 7Rk.
You need to stop the video at the required point to actually see the number plates. Trying to see them whilst viewing is nearly impossible unless travelling in the same direction at same speed due to video limitations.
 

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GENERALLY, would it not also depend on the speed of the vehicle going past the stopped vehicle? My thinking is that this would be because the video "shutter" is recording at what, 1/30 sec?, which is not really fast enough to freeze all motion, especially not really fast motion. Video which is just a series of still image captures in series, kind of tricks the eye in smoothing out frame to frame when it is put in motion, but when each still frame on it's own is viewed, then one sees the flaws or compromises that slow shutter speeds & wide / fast lenses apertures cause to the clarity of a still image. Normally, with a "still" camera, one would try to freeze motion with shutter speeds of at least 1/125 - 1/1000+ of a sec (depending on subject speed, length of lens, add other photo tech etc. etc.). Add the distortion of these tiny wide angle lenses, especially at the edges of the frame & sharpness is further decreased, especially when viewed as a still image, though it looks "sharp" or clear when in motion / video mode.

My experience is that video, as in dash cams (though any video at 1/30 sec is the same) is often hit or miss as there are SO MANY variables, but especially such as subject speed & direction & the ambient light intensity to influence the recording quality and that not all conditions allow for sharp clear STILL image captures, as remember, the video "shutter" is only EVER firing at a fixed rate of about 1/30 sec,. Even 1/60 sec is not fast enough to freeze motion past a certain speed & in all angles of direction. The video shutter speed cannot be increased other than as you tried, increasing the framers per second capture rate to 60 fps but then at the loss of overall resolution & or possibly software interpolation.

High shutter speed video to freeze clearly higher subject speeds (cars in motion) just isn't possible at dash cam sizes or price point. But no video camera, no matter the body size, nor the price point can freeze motion at 1/30 - 1/60 sec better than any other 1/30 - 1/60 sec capture device. It's just physics.

So some of your still image views of video captures may be sharp enough & some may not. It depends on the subject speed & angle of the motion & the light volume & if 1/30 sec (or whatever the shutter speed of the dash cam video is recording at) is fast enough to freeze the subject motion or not. Sometimes it will be, sometimes it won't.
 
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You can make out most number plates if you are not speeding along and the traffic in the other direction is also travelling at medium rate. As you say the frame rate uses motion blur to give a appearance of smooth motion hence why at faster speeds the image will be blurred and number plates difficult to impossible to read. The lighting conditions make a vast difference as to what is legible or not. The only way to combat this is a high speed camera but they are out of the realm of mire mortals unless they have a bottomless pity of money to develop your own. The up and coming IR dashcams should at least help improve night time vision.
 
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Kerberos

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My experience is that video, as in dash cams (though any video at 1/30 sec is the same) is often hit or miss as there are SO MANY variables, but especially such as subject speed & direction & the ambient light intensity to influence the recording quality and that not all conditions allow for sharp clear STILL image captures, as remember, the video "shutter" is only EVER firing at a fixed rate of about 1/30 sec,. Even 1/60 sec is not fast enough to freeze motion past a certain speed & in all angles of direction. The video shutter speed cannot be increased other than as you tried, increasing the framers per second capture rate to 60 fps but then at the loss of overall resolution & or possibly software interpolation.

High shutter speed video to freeze clearly higher subject speeds (cars in motion) just isn't possible at dash cam sizes or price point. But no video camera, no matter the body size, nor the price point can freeze motion at 1/30 - 1/60 sec better than any other 1/30 - 1/60 sec capture device. It's just physics.

So some of your still image views of video captures may be sharp enough & some may not. It depends on the subject speed & angle of the motion & the light volume & if 1/30 sec (or whatever the shutter speed of the dash cam video is recording at) is fast enough to freeze the subject motion or not. Sometimes it will be, sometimes it won't.
Well, we get what we paid for right? I'm pretty sure there are more expensive better dash cams that will do a better job.

You can make out most number plates if you are not speeding along and the traffic in the other direction is also travelling at medium rate. As you say the frame rate uses motion blur to give a appearance of smooth motion hence why at faster speeds the image will be blurred and number plates difficult to impossible to read.
As suggested 1440 is the best on the A119. The firmware are you using you may be better with a MOD from BCHobbist at least "up grading" to V4.01 But I think you would be better off using a MOD. I suggest either 7Rg or cooler running 5Rg maybe 7Rk.
You need to stop the video at the required point to actually see the number plates. Trying to see them whilst viewing is nearly impossible unless travelling in the same direction at same speed due to video limitations.
I was steady in the middle of the intersection and the car on the opposite lane moved past me at probably 30Km/h. It's alright, I'll suck it up. I've just updated to 4.01 and changed setting to 1440p. Will see if it gets any better. Cheers mate
 

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GENERALLY, would it not also depend on the speed of the vehicle going past the stopped vehicle? My thinking is that this would be because the video "shutter" is recording at what, 1/30 sec?, which is not really fast enough to freeze all motion, especially not really fast motion...
Incorrect.

The A119 does record at a frame rate of 30fps, which means that the shutter opens and closes every 1/30 sec, however that has nothing to do with the amount of motion blur - that is controlled by the relative speed of the vehicles and the length of the exposure, which in good light may be 1/2000th second and at night may be 1/45th second.

I was steady in the middle of the intersection and the car on the opposite lane moved past me at probably 30Km/h. It's alright, I'll suck it up. I've just updated to 4.01 and changed setting to 1440p. Will see if it gets any better. Cheers mate
Hard to make a judgement on your issue without seeing the relevant video frame... but 1440 is preferred for the A119.
 

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Try pausing the video. I have had video where I could not read the plates when it was playing, but pausing the video gave me a very clear image of the plate. 30 frames/sec is way too slow for any kind of movement to be clear.
 
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Kerberos

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Ok, this is the frozen video frame. I scrolled frame by frame and that one was the clearest. It is zoomed in VLC. The top left corner is a complete picture @1080p
 

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Ok, this is the frozen video frame. I scrolled frame by frame and that one was the clearest. It is zoomed in VLC. The top left corner is a complete picture @1080p
The characters on the plate appear to be only 4 pixels high, which is not enough to be readable, so you are simply not close enough for it to be readable using 1080. With 1440 it would still be at the limit, but might be possible.

I don't think there is any way to improve it other than to use 1440 resolution and get a bit closer ..., but not too close, we don't want a collision!
 
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Kerberos

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The characters on the plate appear to be only 4 pixels high, which is not enough to be readable, so you are simply not close enough for it to be readable using 1080. With 1440 it would still be at the limit, but might be possible.

I don't think there is any way to improve it other than to use 1440 resolution and get a bit closer ..., but not too close, we don't want a collision!
Wow, I was literally 4 meters far. So if I get a hit and run on a freeway and the car that hits me is in the lane next to mine then speeds off, I have 50% chance of getting a readable plate.
 

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Unfortunately TV and Movies crime shows etc. give a false impressions as to the abilities of video. In most case it is totally fictional. It's possible to improve the quality at an expense. You decide how much to spend on the possibility that there may or not be a need for the footage.
You need to be roughly square on and no more 3 to 6 foot away to be able to see the number plates clearly. Different countries have different size number plates. The one's in the sample video above are very small and would probably be difficult to see in any situation let alone the distance the vehicle is away from the dashcam.
 

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Wow, I was literally 4 meters far. So if I get a hit and run on a freeway and the car that hits me is in the lane next to mine then speeds off, I have 50% chance of getting a readable plate.
1 meter closer (moving straight towards it) and you would be able to read it easily, except by then I guess it was either at a very poor angle or suffering motion blur - I don't know what happened after that frame so can only guess.

This is normal for low resolution dashcams, a good 4K dashcam would have helped, but currently there aren't any good 4K dashcams available!


Unfortunately TV and Movies crime shows etc. give a false impressions as to the abilities of video. In most case it is totally fictional. It's possible to improve the quality at an expense. You decide how much to spend on the possibility that there may or not be a need for the footage.
You need to be roughly square on and no more 3 to 6 foot away to be able to see the number plates clearly. Different countries have different size number plates. The one's in the sample video above are very small and would probably be difficult to see in any situation let alone the distance the vehicle is away from the dashcam.
Try telling our police that it is not possible!
Police have unveiled their new weapon - Britain's biggest speed camera that can film a car a THOUSAND meters away and dubbed 'The Long Ranger'.

The massive gun has been showcased at the launch of the pilot project called Operation Indemnis.

Police in Gloucester are using the whopping camera to tackle motoring offences such as speeding and tailgating.

While speed guns have been able to detect how fast drivers are travelling, the new camera produces very clear video footage and still photographs of vehicles and the people inside them, GloucestershireLive reported.

And Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Martin Surl , said he hoped that would catch people using their mobile phones on the high-speed road.
Can you identify the dashcam in the linked article? !!!
 
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At what expense to the public pocket. The tech exists with a mixture of digital enhancement and big telescopic lens to allow more light not forgetting an extremely fast shutter speed. That sort of technology is not in common use and the media make you think it is. It a long way off before Joe public will able to afford such devices. And we all know that the motorise is an easy revenue maker for the police and would be better off spending our money on preventing knife crime and other crime.
 

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At what expense to the public pocket. The tech exists with a mixture of digital enhancement and big telescopic lens to allow more light not forgetting an extremely fast shutter speed. That sort of technology is not in common use and the media make you think it is. It a long way off before Joe public will able to afford such devices. And we all know that the motorise is an easy revenue maker for the police and would be better off spending our money on preventing knife crime and other crime.
Well, mass production means they are not too expensive (there seem to be quite a few of them in use), and they catch around 1,300 offenders per month each so probably pay for themselves in fines, and certainly in lives saved since they are being targeted largely at mobile phone users and tailgaters rather than speeders who are otherwise driving safely. Using these the police can actually prevent deaths, while with knife crime they can only deal with the results. Preventing knife crime is largely a job for the education system.

They seem to use a very good CPL!
 

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Plate capture is never certain and all cams struggle with it. At least there's hope for better with this one by using one of the modified firmware's developed HERE on DCT. Sometimes a tiny bit of lens focusing or use of a CPL can help as well. Sometimes tweaking exposure settings can make a difference. We need to remember these are essentially cheap mass-produced recorders, not a DSLR from Nikon or Canon, and even the expensive ones do no better with this. Sharpness settings in the firmware make a huge difference with this, and the Viofo cams (along with many others) factory firmware is slightly over-sharpened electronically which generally helps because the manufacturers know we want plate capture, but they can't always get that perfect because plates vary from place to place. Some here in the US are darn near impossible to get unless it's your day to win the lottery, while others like in the UK are much easier because they're well-defined and not full of background pics and such.

If plate capture is critical to you, then perhaps you'd be interested in reading about one of the telephoto lens swap threads HERE or HERE or HERE. These modded cams can do an excellent job of this, but they are meant to be an adjunct to a regular dashcam since their FOV is by necessity quite narrow. A workaround can be done by seeing the needed plate number and saying it aloud, thus letting the audio recording store it for you.

For a stock cam, the A119 (and even better the A129) are pretty darn good and perhaps the best for plate capture IMHO based on the raw vids I've seen. And the DCTeam folks here are still working on improving them even more. Falsificator has done a lot with other cams and is still improving them too. And many cams have been 'tweaked' on the Russian dashcam forums; that seems to be something they love doing over there based on the results they get. Viofo is incorporating some of the improvements found by others in firmware updates which is admirable and something I'd like to see all cam manufacturers do more of. There's a lot of time and effort in that so I can understand why only a few companies keep pressing forward once a decent firmware is developed as their costs would skyrocket to have their engineers do that job to perfection. The average customer would probably not want to pay that price. It's just a compromise we all have to live with unless we take matters into our own hands.

Phil
 

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I always use the highest resolution available on the camera to improve the chances of readable plates. I have found nothing that works at night.
 

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Always use the high resolution. Unfortunately the A119 bitrate (quality) was restricted after V3.6 and the need for improvement MODS became a requirement. I don't know if it was a market ploy to make the A129 appear better or to make the A119 more reliable. A few addition features were added which hid the lower bitrate but did little to improve the video. The low bitrate also does not help with night time use, WDR is of little to no use and needs an alternative for night time.
When I purchased my first A119 I nearly return it due to the terrible blocking especially the greenery at the roadside. I stumbled upon this site and BCHobbist's MODs which gave me confidence that thing would improve. The latest batch of MOD's is worth trying with their tweaked clarity, vibrancy and definition. There is a sample here.. https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/viofo-a119-modified-firmware-mods-archive.35602/page-17 #336
 
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1 meter closer (moving straight towards it) and you would be able to read it easily, except by then I guess it was either at a very poor angle or suffering motion blur - I don't know what happened after that frame so can only guess.

This is normal for low resolution dashcams, a good 4K dashcam would have helped, but currently there aren't any good 4K dashcams available!
So you are saying that not even the more expensive blackvue would be able to capture the plate at the same distance? Bummer. Before going for MODS I'll try out this new 4.01 with a higher resolution, and see if it suits me.
 
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