Forensic Image Comparison

What is forensic image comparison?

Forensic Image Comparison is the scientific process of extracting and comparing digital images for identification purposes. We understand the goal is to identify the persons or objects in a video recording. Can forensic enhancement of a video recording help see and identify persons or objects in the recording? Your forensic image comparison investigation is most accurate when the images or videos are of good quality.

Video quality is important

Even though your video recording is poor, forensic image enhancement can help us determine if your video recording has potential for a successful forensic image comparison. One aspect of a quality assessment is compression. Digital compression removes important information and detail while adding artifacts that were not originally recorded. This can make it difficult to identify persons or objects in the video recording.

Video recording quality is determined by a video forensic expert.  We determine the potential success of forensic image comparison. During a preliminary analysis, we determine if forensically extracted images from the video recording are good enough for identification purposes. In order to identify a person or object, we must make sure the video recording has sufficient pixel information.

In some cases, when the persons or objects displayed in the video are not clear, forensic video enhancement may help. Our goal is to explain to our clients the necessary processes to complete the forensic image comparison accurately. It is considered that today, the most prolific source for identifying criminals and objects is from video recordings.

Image comparison criteria

Our forensic comparison criteria is defined by the standards presented by LEVA (Law Enforcement & Emergency Services Video Association). Two of these standards are defined below in class and unique characteristics.

Class Characteristics

A class characteristic is an identifiable feature that assists in narrowing the statistical probability that a questioned person or object is the same. Consistent class characteristics between questioned persons or objects can only suggest similarities and cannot, by themselves, be used to infer a positive identification.

Unique Characteristics

A unique characteristic is an identifiable feature found on the questioned person or object that is found on no other person or object of similar class. A unique characteristic can be used to significantly narrow the probability that a known person or object is in fact the same.

A thorough examination of class characteristics and unique characteristics contrasted and compared between unknown and known persons and objects helps a video forensic expert to form an opinion. Is the person or object in the video the same eliminating all others of the same class?


Report, peer review and testimony

It is our duty to present observations in a simple unbiased fashion in report form. We generate our reports to assure that our scientific foundation is accurate. We do not generate opinions about the likelihood of persons or objects that may be vulnerable to various interpretations or digital compression artifacts. All forensic image comparison investigations are peer reviewed internally or externally to ensure that the methods and protocols used are accurate in accordance with the scientific community. We have 35 years experience testifying at depositions and in court.



If you have an image or video that you question or need help understanding, please give us a call for a pro bono conversation. We apply our forensic expertise to cases in the United States and many countries around the world. We accept all video formats. A retainer agreement is available on request.

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Call 800-647-4281 in the USA or +01-248-853-4091 Internationally.

Michael Primeau’s Curriculum Vitae has several references which include cases he has testified in as well as clients he has worked for.



Video Forensic Expert Edward J Primeau Curriculum Vitae