Using the Wyze Cam OG Telephoto for license plate capture

Great testing! Thanks for sharing!

As a followup I did some nighttime testing for a stationary license plate. Surprisingly, the camera can also read a plate up to 70 feet at night in color mode. In fact, color mode actually works better than B/W night mode due to the reflected glare of the IR diode illuminator.

The OG Telephoto could potentially be used to record license plates of parked vehicles in a lot, day or night.


Thank you for your tests! I’m debating between adding telephoto vs V3 pro for me to capture cars parked in the driveway and this is great to know.

Honestly, There would be a huge market for residential LPC market. Is it on the wishlist? @wtimothyholman @carverofchoice @sv11 @IL1 @habib

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It is on the wishlist and I just voted for it, but I’m afraid Wyze hasn’t really looked into this yet.

Also it might be helpful to check out this license plate test by LifeHackster:

I do have a lot of motion lights/spotlights around my driveway so one of these days I’ll spend time to find a spot where I can put a new camera to capture license plates without glare at night time.

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IL1 posted a good wishlist item for this. There is another similar one here too:

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Wyze wouldn’t need to develop a true LPR camera with optical character recognition. That would be overkill for 99.9% of residential homeowners. Instead, an LPC (license plate capture) camera would be more than sufficient.

The optics and electronics of the OG Telephoto are already capable of LPC in the daytime. Given a higher zoom lens (e.g. 7X) with the ability to adjust the shutter time and reduce the lossy compression (i.e. less compression with higher bandwidth), and I would bet that one could also capture plates at night from 60 to 80 feet away with sufficient illumination.

I’m tempted to crack open an OG Telephoto and see if I can locate the light sensor in order to modify the camera so that it thinks it is always daytime. This would set frame rate to maximum and shutter time to minimum, to provide a baseline for nighttime LPC performance.

A couple of OG LPC cameras (one in each direction) combined with a third wide-angle OG camera to provide context would be a perfect solution for the homeowner who wants the license plate of the car that was driven by a package thief, or who sideswiped their mailbox.

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LifeHackster makes the same mistake that many others do with nighttime LPC, by assuming that the IR glare will prevent reading the plate.

The solution is to set the shutter speed to a very low value (0.5 to 1 milliseconds) at night, just as you would for daytime operation. If you do that, the image will be very dim, to the point where all you see is a readable plate illuminated by the IR light. A properly calibrated LPC camera will show the plate along with very dim headlights or taillights at night.

If you do this, the LPC camera will be useless for determining anything else (vehicle type, color, etc.) So you need a “context” camera to provide the wide view of the scene.

A camera optimized to show the “big picture” won’t work for LPC, and vice versa. The mistake many people make is to try to make one camera do both.

I was pretty sure when I tested on other Wyze cams that all you have to do was set the “Night Vision Mode” to “Off” and then it stays in daytime mode with 20FPS. It is when you set it to nightvision mode that it changes down to 15FPS. No physical modification or voiding the warranty needed to keep the FPS at maximum.

Thanks, that is useful to know. But the frame rate is only part of the problem. You have to set the shutter time to a very small value. Wyze would need to provide some means for the user to manually adjust it.

If Wyze can make a telephoto lens that can do that I would buy it and add it to my OG. They can call it night time anti-glare telephoto or something like that without advertising it can potentially read license plates. Might be worthwhile to vote for this too:

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…and open another can of snakes. You have to keep in mind that not everyone knows what shutter speed or frame rate is. Put yourself in a general user shoes and you’ll get my point.

Most of Wyze users (and I don’t mean any disrespect) are everyday users with not much technology knowledge. All they want is a camera/gismo that works out of the box without much fumbling around.

I don’t disagree. The average user just wants to pull it out of the box and make it run without any adjustments. However, ease of use and ease of customization are not mutually exclusive. It would be straightforward for Wyze to maintain a default configuration that works for 98% of users, but also include an advanced settings menu for more sophisticated users. You can see this in various devices where you can access a menu that warns you, “Don’t adjust these settings unless you know what you’re doing.”

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I totally agree but I also see Wyze’s point of view, less headaches :grinning:

This would be a great product! I could see running a single POE line out to my mail box that feeds two cameras with a splitter. One camera gets the cars going in, and one gets cars exiting. What type of software is available to pull the license plate numbers and add them to a small database with in/out times, and maybe a picture of the vehicle too?

Ask the State of California. They use cameras to take a picture of your car and license plates every time you cross a toll bridge so they can send you a bill if you don’t have an electronic pass. They put a lot of toll takers out of a job, I liked some of those people… :expressionless:

A post was merged into an existing topic: License plate scanner?

I’d like to capture license plates at 100 feet for cars going approx 30mph.

So… the OG telephoto has no zoom feature, unlike the old skool V1 and V2 cams? I like the zoom on those cams.

Get a cop car. :rofl:

The zoom feature in the V2 and the V3 cameras is strictly digital. To capture license plates, you need true optical zoom. Otherwise you do not have enough pixels on target for the plate.

You won’t be able to read plates at 100 feet unless Wyze introduces a 10 X optical zoom version of the Telephoto.

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