First time poster here, I just want to thank everyone for their insights on the forum! It’s rather easy to do a mod on a Wyze camera to enable it to zoom in and actually read license plates of vehicles crossing in front of it.
Some neighbors had criminal events happen, and discovered the most important part of the video that would help law enforcement was the identity of the vehicle, not necessarily just a color/make/model. But, the wide angle lenses on most consumer grade hardware makes identification impossible.
I was able to do a lens replacement on to my Wyze v2 to obtain this result. (I blurred out the front half of the plate on purpose).
The only part I needed to buy was this type of lens from Amazon:
(25mm 1/2 inch M12)
The main challenge is to make sure you configure your camera BEFORE you dismantle it. Once you have it working you can take it apart pretty easy to replace the lens. All you’ll need is a small screwdriver set and some patience to make sure you don’t misplace any of the teeny tiny screws. It’ll help to take a few cell phone photos to remember how things were routed and plugged in.
Once re-assembled, this lens is almost the same size as the one already in the camera. It protrudes out just far enough for you to still grab it with your finger and focus things.
The motion detection and automation still work as normal (this isn’t a panning Wyze though). Now every car that drives by gets recorded and archived.
I used one of the outdoor covers over my Wyze, but the lens area is still exposed to the elements. Nothing bad seems to have happened with recent rains, but I don’t live in brutal cold/hot areas so I don’t know what happens over time.
Unfortunately this only works in the daytime… once the sun goes down the bright lights of the vehicles and the shutter speed no longer allow this to work. So night-time LPR (license plate recognition) will need much more expensive gear.