I'm a new user, but being a photographer and videographer, I have really good knowledge of image quality and sensor technology.
In my opinion, the image with the new firmware is horrible. Way oversharpened and way oversaturated. I don't see any point for either of these things because the consequence is that the already low bitrate is wasted on things that do not matter - for example, with previous firmware the asphalt was almost a uniform surface. With the new firmware, it looks like I'm driving on pebble road - every little thing on the road just screams at you, and even worse, wastes the bitrate.
I understand the desire to make the image look more "clear" and "pretty", but this is not the way to go.
Contrasts and saturation are through the roof. I would much prefer a mild sharpening combined with very low contrast setting, and neutral saturation - which not only will make the darker areas more visible, it will also use the available bitrate better.
I think many people here don't really understand that having a punchy, saturated and oversharpened image doesn't really mean anything for the basic function - capture the road. I don't want my dash cam video to look pretty - I want to see the plates and capture as much data possible.
Contrasty image = loss of quality
Over saturated image = loss of quality
Over sharpened image = loss of quality
Or at least give us an option to control saturation, contrast and sharpening. I just want a flat look that may appear boring and not sharp, but will surely result in more captured information. And if need be, I can manually sharpen and contrast up the images to the desired point later.
Another major issue I have is that I cannot see licence plates during night pretty much 90% of the time. I drive an SUV, so my light sources are higher and when my xenons hit the plates of the cars in front of me the camera simply doesn't see anything - it's all white. Doesn't matter if its 3 meters, 6m, 10m... 100% white.
So, overall, the functionality is OK during day but too much saturated and way oversharpened and during the night it's pretty much unsuable for me since I can't identify any of the cars.