AuthorTopic: Part 8a) An Analysis of the FBI Video of the Road Block resulting in Lavoy Finicum’s Death.  (Read 834 times)

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Peter Offermann

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February 19, 2016

Click here for links to all parts of this article.

Before we get back into examining the video of Lavoy’s shooting I’d like to give you some indication of what the original resolution of the FBI video is likely to be quality wise. In order to do this I had a look at commercial grade surveillance cameras that had sample images.

One commenter mentioned that 96 megapixel (mpx) cameras were routinely used in such instances. I’m not sure about that because there is a limiting factor. Yes there are 96 mpx cameras and well above that. To produce and save a single such very high resolution frame involves a significant amount of data, especially if you need to do this continuously 30 times per second (fps). These very high resolution cameras are likely found in satellites and high altitude surveillance applications that want to capture as much detail as possible but are not overly concerned about capturing live action at 30 fps.

When you look at the specs of such cameras in the 16 mpx range, which is well below 96 mpx, the frame rate already drops to 4 frames per second. At 96 mpx these cameras are likely capturing a frame every few seconds.

Looking at specifications I found that  3mpx cameras were the top resolution range of camera capable of sustaining 30 fps. To put that into focus that’s about what an ipad or iphone (1080p) front facing video captures. Even though the resolution is similar there is a major quality difference because of the much higher quality optics and optical zoom built into the surveillance cameras.

To give you a visual sample of what the fbi are likely seeing in their version of this video I chose a representative camera called a Lumenera Le259C


This 3mpx camera is capable of capturing 30 fps with 32x optical zoom capability.

The image shown below is full frame at non-zoom resolution. (click the image to see a full sized version)

Le259C - Street scene circled

Notice the red circle I placed around a white pickup truck in a parking lot near the top right of the image. I chose this image as the truck is about the same size  as Lavoy’s truck in the un zoomed portions of the fbi video. An average city block is about 600 to 700 feet long and that is likely the distance the fbi camera was above the scene of Lavoy’s shooting.

Below is what the truck looks like with 32x zoom. (click the image to see a full sized version)

Le259C - Truck zoom - 32X resolution of VGA

The few actual, not fake, zooms in the fbi video display this level of zoom with no blurring. The manufacturer of the Lumenera Le259C also states there is no blurring of action.

Youtube videos are now commonly available at this resolution (1080p) so the fbi could easily have presented the video at this original resolution and it would then clearly have shown everyone what happened. By the name of their video they implied they did this but what they actually did was reduce the resolution by 2/3 first, if not more. They have also obviously degraded the video even more in places through digital editing techniques.

At the original resolution the close up image of the truck is about what we would see of the sequence where Lavoy is shot. Instead we see this.

* The GIF below is 13mb in size and will take some time to load on slower connections.


* The GIF above contains all 126 frames of this sequence which means the realtime period involved is 4.2 seconds. The display speed in your web page will vary according to the quality of your video card.

The frame where Lavoy appears to fall backwards is the end of the sequence.

Because of the large GIF size I’m going to break off this article here to reduce the bandwidth load on the website and continue on with my analysis in Part 8b on a new page.

Click here for links to all parts of this article.


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