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How do I submit an RMA to repair my camera?

Lynx has an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) portal that enables customers to submit and track hardware repairs remotely by following a custom ticket number. Customers can use the Lynx RMA portal to:

  • Submit product repair requests
  • Receive repair/return notifications
  • Track updates and repair notes
  • Receive notification of return shipping

Please visit the RMA Portal page to view the necessary steps and quick-start guide.

How can I correct overexposed/underexposed FinishLynx images?

Overexposure which may be called “blown-out highlights” or “flared highlights” in photography discussions and may be due to brighter whites or reflective surfaces a bit like the White hip stickers with a black number imprinted on them. If there is overexposure in the image, then reducing the brightness value will help to even out the image exposure.

If your camera is focused properly, you are using AGC and the gain value is between 70 and 90 then you can adjust the Brightness under camera settings to reduce this overexposure.

  1. Go to Camera Settings | Parameters where you will find Brightness listed next to AGC Parameters (if you use manual gain this setting does not apply)
  2. Reduce the value in increments of 5 until you find a good image from trials of capturing images.
  3. Be aware that this will change as the sun moves so don’t forget about it.

Underexposure where detail is lost to shadows and may be called “crushed shadows” or “crushed blacks” in photography discussions. If there is underexposure in the image, then reducing the Gamma value will help to bring out some of the detail.

If your camera is focused properly and the gain value is between 70 and 90, then you can adjust the Gamma.

  1. Go to Camera Settings | Setup where you will find Gamma listed near the bottom (this will work when using AGC or Manual Gain).
  2. Make small adjustments in increments of .05 until you find a good image from trials of capturing images.
  3. Be aware that this will change as the sun moves so don’t forget about it.

To learn about additional factors that affect the quality of your FinishLynx images, click here.


Keywords: bright, dark, picture

What factors affect the quality of my FinishLynx images?

Photography basics also apply to FinishLynx image quality and many factors come into play:

  1. Light source
  2. Lens type
  3. Frame rate (fps)
  4. Field depth
  5. Lens speed (f-stops)

Light Source:  Sun,of course, is the best source of light. However, if it’s shining directly into the camera lens, it can wash out your image completely.  The sun is best when it is directly behind the camera and the light is reflecting off the object and back to the camera lens.  Shadows on the camera side of the finish images will also make it more difficult to read hip numbers and identify competitors.  Adjust the iris and gain to account for the amount of ambient light available. If you must use artificial lighting, such as indoor facilities or stadium lights, it helps to add extra light that is shining towards the finish line and reflecting back to the camera lens.

Lens Type:  A fixed lens is going to slightly improve the quality of your images because there are less moving parts and less glass for the light to pass through and be diffused.  A zoom lens does provide flexibility in placement of the camera and several fixed lenses could get expensive so you must weigh your options.

Frame Rate:  The speed of the object moving across the finish line and the frames per second (fps) are closely related.  The faster the object, the higher the fps and reverse for slower objects.  Consider the type of races being timed (sprint versus distance) and the level of competition (youth track versus D1 collegiate races).

Field Depth:  A larger field depth creates difficulty in getting all of the objects, near and far, into focus. To solve this problem, increase the height of the camera location. As the height increases, the ratio of the distances of Lane 1 (closest object) and Lane 8 (farthest object) to the camera decreases, thereby decreasing your field depth.  Closing the iris down (similar to squinting your eyes) will help bring the field into better focus.  Be aware that if the light source is poor, closing down the iris is not a good option.

Lens Speed:  This refers to the f-stops (1.4 to 16) and the distance the iris can open and close in a camera flash (fast is 1.2, 1.4).  Since the iris is fixed during capture on the Lynx cameras, it refers to how wide it can open and how much light will flood the image sensor.  Note: the iris may need to be adjusted when changing the frame rate (a higher frame rate produces a darker image; open the iris to correct).

Learn how to correct overexposed and underexposed FinishLynx images here.

If you want to learn more about taking better pictures, visit our YouTube Channel for tips and watch the “How to take better pictures” video playlist.  It also wouldn’t hurt to buy a basic photography book and learn about some of the things mentioned above if you really want to get the best possible images.


Keywords: image, blurry, focus, lens, dark, picture, light

What type of light will help when capturing in poor/low lighting conditions?

Incandescent Quartz Tungsten Halogen lamps, or overshadowing Metal Halide with Halogen will produce better lighting without creating “striations” or “bars” on the image. LED lamp technology is promising, and may be the solution of the future for photo-finish lighting. According to the speed of camera, you should aim to have between 150 to 300 foot candles, evenly spread across the finish line.

So why do you get those “bars” on the images? Artificial light running on an AC circuit is cycling on and off at 50 – 60 cycles per second, so what you’re seeing is a camera at 1,000 fps taking pictures during the portion of the cycle when the lights are off.

The 5L300 cameras have an option called Phased Light Compensation (PLC) that can be purchased. PLC helps to improve the image by sampling frames before the dark line and after the dark line, then blending pixels to deter the effect of the dark lines in the image due to the AC cycle. Contact Sales for a quote if you are interested in this feature.

The 5L500 Vision camera can be purchased with the option of LuxBoost which can dramatically increase image quality in low-light settings. See the image below for a comparison of the EtherLynx 2000+ and the new Vision with LuxBoost. Contact Sales for a quote if you are interested in this feature.

Read tips on enhancing low-light FinishLynx captures here

Keywords:  indoor, image, lighting, stadium lights, dark lines, halogen