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How To Fix Bad Quality Night Vision For You Nest Cameras

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Night Vision is easily one of the top features on Nest Cameras and Doorbells — especially as a standard feature that requires no Nest Aware subscription — but that doesn’t mean it can never have problems that you’ll need to fix. And that’s exactly what this guide hopes to help you with. So if you’re noting degrading quality in Night Vision mode on your Nest cameras, read on.

Here are some common problems with this Nest feature

Now, Nest cameras that have Night Vision active can show a few different quality problems that you might want to fix. For instance, the quality of the image itself may just be bad. Whether that’s blurry or pixelated. Or whether that’s an image that cuts out intermittently. And that particular problem can, in fact, impact cameras even when they don’t have Night Vision turned on.

Conversely, you may also note that with Night Vision turned on for your Nest Cameras, part of the image is getting washed out. Or that it shows in bright white without much detail. The most common occurrences of that appear on just one side of the image. While in other cases only a ring-shaped segment or circle-shaped segment gets washed out. That’s in either a white or dark ring, specifically.

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The following set of steps can, in those cases, help you fix bad-quality images or footage from your Nest-branded cameras. Including image quality on any Nest Doorbells that you happen to have installed in your smart home ecosystem.

The best way to find a solution, of course, will be to go through the steps one by one. That’s unlike our other how-to guides. Since you’ll want to check the footage between steps to look for any improvement.

How to fix image quality problems for your Nest Camera or Doorbell Night Vision

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Your internet connection could be the problem with your camera quality.

The first and most likely culprit for bad image quality, and not just for your Night Vision mode, is your internet connection. If at all possible, you should try to install your cameras within 20-feet of the router. Especially since the cameras might be installed outside of your home while your router is not. Meaning that it needs to go through walls.

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If your image quality is dropping, you should first check your internet speed by navigating to Google.com and searching for “Speed Test.” Google will provide a test right at the top of the page under a blue-colored button. If your speed looks good, you should — if possible — move either your router or your cameras to an optimal point of distance for the connected devices. Which is to say, closer together where possible.

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Cleaning your camera lens every once in a while with a designated lens cleaning cloth can help bolster quality.

The next step to try, if the previous one doesn’t fix anything, is simply to clean your Nest cameras. Specifically, the lenses. It might be tempting to use glass cleaner and a cloth or paper towel. However, you really should invest in and use lens cleaning cloths. Such as those made by Nikon, Zeiss, or Canon. They’re inexpensive and designed to clean lenses. Clearing away dust, thumbprints, dirt, and any other build-up can dramatically improve image quality.

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Using included or first party accessories — or just moving the camera physically — can remove obstructions causing issues for your feed.

If that step doesn’t improve matters, you may need to adjust the angle of your Google Nest-made cameras or doorbells to fix bad image quality in Night Vision. Reflective objects and nearby surfaces — such as a wall or window — in the camera’s field of view can interrupt the infrared light used for Night Vision.

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As a result, you may need to physically move your camera or doorbell away. And the same will hold true if there are objects in front of the camera that have reflective surfaces. Such as metal. Or lights.

The easiest way to adjust the angle, for a doorbell, will be to install the included angle wedge, as pictured above. For a camera, those are attached to the wall mount magnetically. Or, with either, you can purchase third-party accessories to adjust angle and move the cameras away from the wall at a relatively affordable price.

So adjusting the angle or moving reflective obstructions shouldn’t prove too difficult. Ensuring that nothing is too close to the front of the camera or that it’s not pointed directly at lights.

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The camera only needs to be moved until those things are out of view. Or not directly in front of the camera. So small adjustments should work just fine.

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When all else fails, pinch-to-zoom can actually alleviate issues caused by reflections, walls, or lights.

If you are unable to move the camera any further physical or if you already are using the Nest Doorbell wedge, there is a secondary solution as well. Specifically for overly bright and dark zones. A manual zoom in the Nest or Google Home app can be used.

Namely, in order to reposition its point of focus and eliminate glare or contrast problems. When zooming in on the app, the camera will refocus and “enhance” the image. Meaning that it will physically adjust to better show the represented area. This, by the way, is different from the fake “zoom in and enhance” that’s so often referenced as a weak point in certain TV media.

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To zoom in and enhance, open your preferred app and navigate to the camera footage. Use pinch-to-zoom touch gestures, pinching your fingers out to zoom in and in to zoom out. Zoom and move the image to crop out the nearby wall, light, or reflective object. Or until the object or wall is out of view.