What’s with all the screen snaps?

A screen snap is a digital image, taken using a digital camera, smartphone or bodycamera, of an other image being displayed on a computer screen!

I have talked about them before (here).

Over the past 6 months, there has been increase in these snaps appearing in media publications for the purpose of subject recognition.

The following are from January 3rd 2018:



The Moire effect is seen in the image, along with (possibly), color and detail loss. It also appears a little ‘squished’ – Perhaps the image was being displayed in a proprietary player and the video is distorted horizontally? It could be a simple Aspect Ratio issue.

Although many things can be restored and enhanced – It would have been easier to work on the original video export.


Side by Side ‘Before-After’ in Amped FIVE



Another Image with considerable processing damage..


Split view of filter results in Amped FIVE

I would guess that both of these images came from video…. and as such there would have been more images to use. Even working on 2 or 3 gives a better chance to integrate, and bring out details lost in a simple frame export.

With FIVE’s Temporal Smoothing, Motion Smoothing and Frame Averaging filters – it’s only a few mouse clicks.

It is obvious to me, that this increase is partly caused by the decimation of dedicated CCTV and Video Units and the pressure on front line policing resources to do ‘something’ in order to get the subject recognized.

If you are working in a Media Unit – dealing with Video and Images from CCTV everyday, for the purpose of publication, remember that there is dedicated software to help you deal with them.

CCTV is often installed incorrectly, giving below par images to start with. Processing them incorrectly and making them worse seems a little counter productive!

..and for the videos that have come from correctly installed systems, just snapping the CCTV Monitor with your iPhone can negate all their hard work to provide quality evidence.

Not only that, but not working on the true digital export (bit for bit copy), could lead to questions further down the line concerning integrity and authenticity.

Many of us have seen news reports recently on the pressures of front line staff.


I have often stated that dealing with CCTV should not be one of those pressures. They should be able to turn to the staff and officers who are dedicated to that task. I am all too aware that those people are easy targets for cost cutting bosses and those that are still doing the job are doing the work of three people… and still have to deal with the major incidents that come in through the door!

So, if you are one of those people, one of the few people left, working day-to-day on CCTV Videos and Images – let’s work towards presenting better images and video to the public, and in turn perhaps get a few more people recognized and all without risking integrity & authenticity questions.


One comment on “What’s with all the screen snaps?

  1. Pingback: Allowing the Public to decide on the Video Evidence | Spreadys.blog

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