Patrol video camera for DUI's?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by SpoiledBySig, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. SpoiledBySig

    Millennium Member

    Been looking for decent patrol video cameras for DUI's. State Attorney's Office is starting to refuse prosecuting DUI's without video of DUI Roadside sobriety Testing/Tasks on video.

    I looked into the Hero Go Pro cameras, but I have been told it's got a fisheye lens and they are terrible at night (no real idea myself, just been told that). :dunno:

    There's got to be something to put or use in a Patrol Car, or two, that doesn't cost so much, considering today's technology?

    Very small department. About 40 sworn officers. Any suggestions of where to start looking would be appreciated.

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  3. Get loaners of whatever system you are looking at and try them out for 30 days.

    What works for one agency may be completely wrong for another agency.

    A rural Sheriff's office or Highway Patrol needs a lower F/stop lens than does NYPD, LAPD, or an agency with lots of ambient lighting.

  4. SpoiledBySig

    Millennium Member

    Very good suggestion. Very much appreciated. :cool:
  5. Keep in mind a wide angle lens is almost mandated for capturing a wide scene. A wide angle lens is commonly mis-categorized as a fish eye lens and they are dissimilar.

    A fish-eye lens is rarely used in anything except photographing interiors and by savvy realtors trying to make a room look much larger in photos. They have a distorted field of view and usually require aftermarket software to make images make sense to human eyes. This can cause problems with uninformed prosecutors, defense attorneys, and jurors.
  6. Typical of lawyers. I'd love to see where the law states that it's required to be on camera. If they weren't so terrified of stepping into courtrooms, the system would work better.

    [/rant off]

    Are you looking more for in car cameras, or body worn? We use a panasonic system which works well for in car. I'll try to get the name of the cameras tonight for you.
  7. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    We have been using Digital Ally for 5 years now. They can be downloaded by the officers at the sally port or a supervisor can use a key to swap memory sticks, so your agency can choose how they want to handle that.

    I get a full week out of a memory stick and haven't had a single DUI case get lost yet. Used to happen all the time when we had Digital Patrollers.

    They also have user adjustable zoom and focus and also a day/night mode depending on the lighting in your area.

    My only complaint is the body mic is huge and the battery life fades dramatically with age.
  8. SpoiledBySig

    Millennium Member

    I was just looking at this one, wondering if the lighting/position/angle would be good enough.:dunno:
    #7 SpoiledBySig, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  9. SpoiledBySig

    Millennium Member

    I'll take a hard look at that one too. Thanks. :cool:
  10. Look at this site and the introduction section. The original photo shows an uncorrected picture taken with a fisheye lens. If you roll your cursor over the photo, the software application is applied to the photo and it corrects the image so that it makes sense to the human eye and perception.

    After seeing this, you can see how a defense attorney could argue 'altered evidence' if a true fisheye lens were used on a still or video image. A wide angle lens will show as a normal wide image, similar to a person's binocular vision.
  11. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    The Muvi's are great and can save your butt in a pinch when out of view of your car camera, but I would not want to watch an entire battery of FST's on them, it would make me nauseous.

    We had a bike officer make a DUI using one and it was hard to watch like it was filmed on a boat in rough seas.
  12. SpoiledBySig

    Millennium Member

    That sort of eliminates the Digital Ally body camera on their site that I was just looking at (it was impressive, but you have a good point regarding constant body movement driving everybody crazy during a Roadside Sobriety test). The Digital Ally still cameras (rear view mirror one and the other one) really do impress me. Now I have to make a call and see their pricing (a $200.00 dollars off coupon already tells me it's definitely over a grand).
  13. Our state police uses the Digital Ally system. They work but the officers don't like them as well as the old VHS.
    I've got one user with the Patrol Witness PWLite. It seems like a solid system.

    My department has a couple of the 10-8 video systems. They work, but I really don't care for them. They seem about half baked. Excellent recordings, though. Wires are really, really small. Tough to connect some wires without breaking them. Documentation seemed like it was a bit lacking.
  14. SpoiledBySig

    Millennium Member

    I see your point (I think?). I wouldn't even want to introduce a fixed "fisheye lens" video into court. But that site sure impressed me regarding how they fixed the fisheye images.
  15. SpoiledBySig

    Millennium Member

    That Lonestarse link really impressed me (until I saw the price of the, $3000.00. At my city Department, since 1990 until I retired in 2004, we used VHS in car video systems.

    I guess either we're going to have to spend some money, or take our chances on something cheap and lousy. I guess the body worn cameras are out of the picture (no pun intended).
  16. The 10-8 systems is the least expensive "full-featured" system that I've found. And it's $1795 or so with the good mic.
    I really like the PWLite system that I installed. That's what I would have in my unit if I can come up with the funds. :) I guess I need to sell a few more first.
  17. We just switched to the Panasonic Arbitrator 360 Systems. They are amazingly clear. They automatically switch over to night vision, and download automatically when you're within 100 yards (? ) or so of HQ. They can be accessed through username and password from the computers inside HQ. You're also logged on to the system, from your in car computer, which helps review the stop, or incident. The mics are clear too even with traffic flying by at 60 + mph on a highway. I've had my body mic off a couple of times on MV stops, and the in car microphone has picked up everything. Amazing system. I couldn't tell you the price off hand. We used to have the Mobile Vision system. They recorded to VHS tapes. They weren't bad either, the problem is, no one had VCR's anymore. haha If you're going to get a camera system for the car, I would strongly suggest the Panasonic Arbitrator 360 system. Every PD in my area that has cameras, uses them.
    #16 Pete7072, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  18. It sounds like an older recycled VHS system or a Hi-8 system would be best for you right now.
  19. We use WatchGuard and I have to say that I like them overall. We use the DV-1 system since the new 4RE are a bit on the expensive. The video is good, camera automatically switches from day to night view, audio quality is good and so is body mic range, and you can also record both cameras at the same time. The nicest thing IMHO is the fact that you can never really run out of tape since it has a hard drive and a DVD drive. It is constantly recording to the hard drive in the background and then starts writing to the DVD drive once you hit the lights. If you miss something, you can always use their Record After the Fact feature and retrieve any video that was recorded in the background. I would say that we usually can go back about a month or so with this feature.

    I know that they do trial periods for departments and they will also sell you refurbished units at a discount price. Customer service is great with them. The few times that we have had problems with the system a quick call to them was all it took and they sent out replacement parts or a replacement unit within a day or two.

    I would at least give them a call and get some prices on new and refurbished units.
    #18 x_out86, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  20. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Wow, I didn't realize there were so many in car camera options out there. I still remember copying my 8mm tapes onto VHS for court.
  21. GumbyDammit

    GumbyDammit Xtra CoCheese

    My kid has a GoPro he uses for videoing his parkour adventures. Great camera and excellent quality. They also have a case with a lens that gets rid of the fisheye.

    That said, they aren't designed or well suited for what you are trying to do. I'd go with the guys suggesting a refurb VHS unit or something. We still have several old models in use and they work fine.

    Also, don't forget about the possibility of getting a fed grant to pay for them if your city is tight. I don't know what's available, but I'm sure there are some on here who could point you in the right direction.
    #20 GumbyDammit, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012

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