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      02-25-2013, 11:12 AM   #1
digitallust
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Reverse Camera Issue

Hi guys, something that has been annoying me for a while now is the poor reverse camera at night.. has anyone experienced any issues.

I think the lens focussing is perhaps faulty, sitting in a dark spot, car in reverse, foot firmly on the brake, the image goes from dark, to bright, dark, bright. It appears that it is trying to focus but cant... quite annoying when reversing at night when the screen goes dark.. anyone else experienced this?

During the daylight, camera is perfect.

Not sure if this link to a short vid of my camera will work... if it it does, will give you an idea what I am on about.



I was told it was normal... If thats the case, ill take the camera from my old G6E.
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      02-25-2013, 02:37 PM   #2
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I was told it was normal
Of course it is NOT AT ALL normal. If this comment came from BMW, I find it very disappointing because it seems to be what so many people on this entire forum the world over are being told by BMW for real faults, when it is so very obvious it is not "normal".

My reverse camera does not exhibit those iris and/or focus changes at night or during the day. It may be somewhat 'noisy' (camera talk for grainy) at night, which IS normal, but to exhibit what your camera is doing is just plain WRONG.

No need for you to change camera or modules or whatever is needed to make the night picture stable, BMW must.
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      02-25-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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Have to concur with David there.

It is complete BS to say that was normal. God sometimes I just hate BMW dealers.
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      02-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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Hmmm.. I would be cheesed off too. That's a $700 camera!
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      02-25-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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Mine works fine it just swaps to "Night Vision".. it doesnt go off and on.. like it's freaking refocussing or something. Having said that.. it's nvr pitch black wherever I reverse.
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      02-26-2013, 08:21 PM   #6
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Speaking as a person that works with these sorts of cameras, what you're experiencing there is known as "strobing". The camera has an iris that it can open to let in more light or close to let in less, but it also includes ELC (electronic light control) to make minor adjustments to the lighting to improve detail. What can sometimes happen with PCB cameras like the one in the reverse camera of cars is that these two technologies can try to fight one another.

I doubt it's something that can be fixed without a service. When I handle cameras like this during my job that are strobing, we usually just replace them.
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      02-26-2013, 09:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozorion View Post
Speaking as a person that works with these sorts of cameras, what you're experiencing there is known as "strobing". The camera has an iris that it can open to let in more light or close to let in less, but it also includes ELC (electronic light control) to make minor adjustments to the lighting to improve detail. What can sometimes happen with PCB cameras like the one in the reverse camera of cars is that these two technologies can try to fight one another.

I doubt it's something that can be fixed without a service. When I handle cameras like this during my job that are strobing, we usually just replace them.
Wow great technical insight
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      02-27-2013, 05:09 AM   #8
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we usually just replace them.
Exactly! and that's exactly what digitallust's BMW dealer should do without question.
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      05-21-2013, 02:06 AM   #9
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My F30 is back at the dealer for other issues, but they are stuck on this reverse camera issue, they have put in a new camera and still exhibits the same issue. Go figure. Apparently they are now looking at wiring etc.
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      05-21-2013, 04:30 AM   #10
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poor camera batch? My 2009 Accord Euro reverse camera at night won't experience that colour loss issue.

How come car industry are so slow to catch up with general electronics. we pay premium for a $20 dollar camera that hook up with RGB cables to the screen at the front.

GoPro Hero is much better, one day we might just put an iPhone 4 and can still beat the quality of the reverse camera.

Just my 2cent opinion.

BMW should replace free of charge and address the issue.
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      08-02-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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Ok, so this issue is still lingering... and BMW the last time I was in Perth, gave it back to me and said it was good as new... This wasnt the case.. still the same.
So I did a bit of investigating.
It appears that when the lights are on (front and rear with LED number plate lights) I get the flickering of the camera (as above), as soon as I turn off the lights (into complete darkness) the camera stabilises and it is light enough to reverse
I am guessing the LED number plate lights are casting too much light?

Generally only happens in lower level lighting.

Keen to know if anyone else has seen or experienced this..

Frustrating
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      08-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallust View Post
Keen to know if anyone else has seen or experienced this..Frustrating
No, but the overall quality of the camera is quite poor - and that's during the day. Low resolution, 4x3 aspect ratio with fisheye lens. BMW could easily have installed a proper camera in the F3X. We pay plenty for the privilege.

At night, although I can see everything I need to via the camera, the picture quality worsens, but my camera's image does not have the same problem as yours.

It seems that there is so much light leakage into yours, that auto exposure is seemingly not functioning, causing exposure.
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      08-02-2013, 08:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
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No, but the overall quality of the camera is quite poor - and that's during the day. Low resolution, 4x3 aspect ratio with fisheye lens. BMW could easily have installed a proper camera in the F3X. We pay plenty for the privilege.

At night, although I can see everything I need to via the camera, the picture quality worsens, but my camera's image does not have the same problem as yours.

It seems that there is so much light leakage into yours, that auto exposure is seemingly not functioning, causing exposure.
Apparently they put a new camera on anyhow, so I am guessing if it is infact too much light leakage then they possibly didn't do anything at all.
Your right about the camera though.. next trip is coming up I feel.

Frustrating
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      08-02-2013, 09:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallust
Quote:
Originally Posted by David328M-Sport View Post
No, but the overall quality of the camera is quite poor - and that's during the day. Low resolution, 4x3 aspect ratio with fisheye lens. BMW could easily have installed a proper camera in the F3X. We pay plenty for the privilege.

At night, although I can see everything I need to via the camera, the picture quality worsens, but my camera's image does not have the same problem as yours.

It seems that there is so much light leakage into yours, that auto exposure is seemingly not functioning, causing exposure.
Apparently they put a new camera on anyhow, so I am guessing if it is infact too much light leakage then they possibly didn't do anything at all.
Your right about the camera though.. next trip is coming up I feel.

Frustrating
I too notice a similar problem with the reverse camera, and it might be a strange problem that mostly affects white cars.

The glare from the licence plate light reflecting off the white rear bumper lip is so strong that it's hard to make out anything else in the image.

I'll might try experimenting with putting something dark over the rear bumper lip to see if that helps.
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      08-03-2013, 06:59 AM   #15
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If replacing the rear cam itself does not resolve the issue, dealer should try replacing the camera module. They should also update your car software as there have been software updates for the camera module.
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      08-03-2013, 07:44 AM   #16
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On a similar subject, has anyone noticed the rear view camera going "green"? That is, showing strong green hues, compared to the side and door mirror cameras.
I noticed this phenomenon after I cleaned the car, and the green hue has persisted ever since.
The car will be into the dealer in the next couple of days to address this issue and an issue with chipped paint paint on the rear bumper where the boot lid closes (poor fitting in the factory).
The car has done only 1300 kms.
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      08-03-2013, 08:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UB
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallust
Quote:
Originally Posted by David328M-Sport View Post
No, but the overall quality of the camera is quite poor - and that's during the day. Low resolution, 4x3 aspect ratio with fisheye lens. BMW could easily have installed a proper camera in the F3X. We pay plenty for the privilege.

At night, although I can see everything I need to via the camera, the picture quality worsens, but my camera's image does not have the same problem as yours.

It seems that there is so much light leakage into yours, that auto exposure is seemingly not functioning, causing exposure.
Apparently they put a new camera on anyhow, so I am guessing if it is infact too much light leakage then they possibly didn't do anything at all.
Your right about the camera though.. next trip is coming up I feel.

Frustrating
I too notice a similar problem with the reverse camera, and it might be a strange problem that mostly affects white cars.

The glare from the licence plate light reflecting off the white rear bumper lip is so strong that it's hard to make out anything else in the image.

I'll might try experimenting with putting something dark over the rear bumper lip to see if that helps.
Good theory
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      08-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UB View Post
I too notice a similar problem with the reverse camera, and it might be a strange problem that mostly affects white cars.

The glare from the licence plate light reflecting off the white rear bumper lip is so strong that it's hard to make out anything else in the image.

I'll might try experimenting with putting something dark over the rear bumper lip to see if that helps.
I might go and test that theory in just a minute or two.. stand by.
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      08-03-2013, 03:26 PM   #19
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The camera on the 3 series is low quality, full stop. A Golf has a better camera.
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      08-03-2013, 06:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitallust View Post
I might go and test that theory in just a minute or two.. stand by.
How did you go? I'm in Melb at the moment, can't test it out til tomorrow night


Quote:
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The camera on the 3 series is low quality, full stop. A Golf has a better camera.
Yeah, you're not wrong there... I also drive a friend's mk6 gti from time to time, and it does have a better camera than us

Anyone know if the camera on other current BMWs are any better? Maybe we can swap in one from a 5 or 7 series
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      08-03-2013, 06:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
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The camera on the 3 series is low quality, full stop. A Golf has a better camera.
Not sure I agree. I've seen cameras in a few other cars and think the cam BMW is using is pretty good.
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      08-03-2013, 08:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
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How did you go? I'm in Melb at the moment, can't test it out til tomorrow night




Yeah, you're not wrong there... I also drive a friend's mk6 gti from time to time, and it does have a better camera than us

Anyone know if the camera on other current BMWs are any better? Maybe we can swap in one from a 5 or 7 series
Didnt end up happening last night, but will tonight for sure..

As for car quality, your right there, I had a G6ET before and the camera was crisp, clear and very high quality (and that was standard lol)
One of my employees bought a new Veloster Turbo and I took that for a drive a few weeks back and the only thing I noticed, was how phenomenal the reverse camera was.

Credit where credit is due, the F30 camera is crystal clear during the day, its just at night where it fails dismally. Saying that though, my side view cameras are pretty clear day and night.

As for other BMW models and their cameras, I had a new X3 as a hire car a couple of weeks ago, it didnt have the flicker problem that mine does, but it was pretty crap at night time, probably the same as the F30.

You do have to stop and wonder how these things slip past BMW quality control at the development stage though.
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