Seattle-based VIEVU this week announced the LE3, the latest iteration of the company’s wearable camera for law enforcement. Several new capabilities were added, most notably the ability to operate in both high-definition and standard-definition modes. The company accomplished this by moving to the H.264 compression scheme and by quadrupling the camera’s internal memory, from 4 GB to 16 GB.

VIEVU also decided to alter the camera’s lens and consulted with a forensic evidence expert who guided the engineering process, said Steve Lovell, the company’s vice president.

“We wanted to produce the best forensic video on the market,” Lovell said. “We decided on what’s called a flat image, which means that there’s no distortion because of the field of view. It turned out that ideal field of view is between 65-70 degrees, so we designed our lens with a 68-degree field of view.

“What that gives you is a very flat image with no curvature on the back side of the image. So, if you need to forensically enhance something, it’s of high quality all the way through.”

The company also improved image quality in low-light situations by using a CMOS sensor that does a better job of picking up ambient resolution, although VIEVU’s engineers were careful not to go too far, Lovell said.

“We don’t want the camera to see better than the human eye unadjusted, because we don’t want the camera to see better than the policeman would see,” he said. “When a policeman’s walking into a dark room and he needs to use force on somebody because he believes that [the suspect] is holding a weapon when he’s actually holding a Playstation controller, you don’t want the camera to say that it clearly was a Playstation controller.”

Other improvements include the ability to mute the audio, which is important in states that require two-party consent to record conversations; an improved battery that delivers 5 hours of operation, a 20% improvement; and lighter weight, as the camera now weighs just 2.8 ounces—in contrast, the LE2 camera weighed 3.5 ounces. In addition, the LE3 camera can be operated while it’s charging, which is important to agencies that utilize VIEVU’s mounting bracket that enables in-vehicle use of the camera.

The LE3 costs $899.95, which was the previous cost of the LE2, which now has been reduced to $699.00. Lovell said that the company is offering an introductory price of $199 for any existing customer that wants to trade in their LE2 cameras for the LE3.