Mini 0805 Dash Cam – Not in Focus

I recently purchased my first dashcam: a Mini 0805.

I had read warnings that some of these units had been shipped with the lens focus set incorrectly (the focal plane is too close: objects very close to your car are in focus, but off in the distance they are blurry).

When it arrived, the pictures produced by my video camera were less than stellar. In the footage, the headlights of approaching cars were ‘blown out’ (lots of bokeh) — a sure sign that they were not in focus.


I followed the excellent instructions on Dash Cam Talk to open-up my unit and expose the lens and its focusing mechanism. However, the amount of glue that was used on my particular unit was much greater than what was shown on DCT. To make removing the glue easier, I broke-off the leads to the speaker, removed the upper motherboard (held in place with 3 connectors), and unscrewed the lens, leaving the CMOS sensor exposed to the elements. It took me a solid hour of scraping with hobby knives to remove enough glue from the threaded barrel of the lens so that I could adjust it smoothly.

To calibrate the focus, I plugged the camera into my living room television set with an HDMI cable. I then had The Wife™ walk out of the room and down the hallway as far as possible. She then aimed a small flashlight at the camera. I adjusted the focus until the light from the flashflight occupied the smallest number of pixels on my television set.

Did it work? In a word, YES!