X
Get all access to the world's best video surveillance information.
Logo
680-70-2015-free-banner

WDR Megapixel Camera Shootout

by Antony Look, posted on Jul 30, 2011

Dealing with direct sunlight is one of video surveillance's toughest problems. Avoiding the sun is frequently impossible. Making things worse, when a scene has direct sunlight creating both dark and bright areas, image quality can suffer dramatically.

In video surveillance, the technical term used to describe a camera's ability to handle these conditions is WDR or Wide Dynamic Range. In this context, range refers to the variations of light levels that a camera can capture and deliver a quality image. The greater the range, the more likely the camera can handle both very bright and dark areas (e.g., sunlight on a person's face, shadow on the car in the corner).

Earlier this year, we did our first WDR shootout with (2) SD and (2) MP cameras. One of the clear, yet surprising, results was that cameras with more pixels (i.e., megapixel) tended to outperform (i.e., capture more image details) than standard resolution cameras, even if the SD cameras were marketed as supporting WDR.

Given those results, in this test, we wanted to learn more about the differences in megapixel camera WDR performance. To do so, we tested 6 Megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision (AV1315), Axis (P1344), Panasonic (WV-SP306 and WV-NP502), Sony (CH140) and Vivotek (IP8151P) to see who was the best and worst at handling WDR scenes.

[UPDATE 2012: We have tested the Axis Q1604 against the best performing WDR cameras in this group.]

We picked 2 common real world scene:

  • Doorway entrance facing outdoors - this is a common pain point for users who cannot properly identify individuals coming inside for hours a day as the sun faces the door
  • Sun setting in the line of sight of an outdoor camera - this is a frequent problem for parking lot and street surveillance. Accidents or thefts occurring during those times of day can be obscured by the sun.

In addition to testing core WDR performances, we did additional testing of 2 advanced features to see what benefits they provide:

  • Face WDR: Panasonic has an optional feature that can detect faces and then adjusts exposure to maximize the image quality of the detected face.
  • Exposure Regions: A number of cameras, including Arecont and Axis, support exposure regions that allow lighting to be optimized for a specific area of the scene (e.g. region specified for where faces normally appear).

Below is a preview of our test results from the doorway showing fairly dramatic differences among the 6 megapixel cameras tested:

Inside the Pro section, we share full results and rankings of each camera's doorway performance.

Below is a preview of our test results from the outdoor setting sun scene showing major performance differences among the 6 megapixel cameras tested:

Inside the Pro section, we share full results and rankings of each camera's setting sun performance.

The complete report is available only to PRO Members.
Inside the Pro Section

Inside, we rank each camera's WDR performance based on a series of image comparisons and video clips that you can download. We also provide results on advanced features such as Face WDR and exposure regions. Finally, we offer recommendations on camera choices and WDR best practices.


Log in to read this IPVM research.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM does original testing and research that is funded by member's payment enabling up to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information in the industry.

General ********

*** ***** ******** * ****** ********** ******* ** *********** **********. ***** ** ********** *********** ** ***** ******* ********, ** **** *** * ******'* *********** **** * ***** **********:

  • ********: **** *****
  • ***** *******: ********* **-***** *** **-*****
  • ***** *******: ******* ****** *** **** *****
  • ********: ******* *******

*****, ** ******, *** *** *** ***** ***** *** *** ******** ***** *********** ** **** *** *** ***** *** ********.

Key ******** *** ***************

**** *** *** *** ********:

  • *** *********** *** ********* ****** ** ******* ************ ********* ** ******* *** ************/************ - ****** ********* **-*****, ********* **-*****, *** **** *****. *** ********* *** *** ******* *******
  • ******* ************* ****/****** *** *********** (****** *******), ****** ** ****** ***** ****** ******** ********** *********** ** ****
  • ****** ***** ******** **** *** *********** ******* * ******** ************ **** ** ************** ** * *** *****, *** *** ************ ****** ** ******* ***** ******* ***********
  • *** **** ***** ************ ************ *** ***** ********** *** *** *****
  • *** ********* **-***** *** **-***** ********* ************ *** *****, ****** *** **** *****, ********** *** *** *****
  • *** ********* **-***** ********* ********* ** *** ********* *********** *** *********** *** **-***** ** *** ******** ** *** *****. **** ** ******* ********* ****** **** **************** (**-*****) ** **** ******** **** ************ (**-*****)
  • *** ********* **-***** ********* ***** '******* **' *** **** ********** ******* ********
  • *** ********* ******'* **** *** ******* *** *** *********** *** ********* ******** ** *** *****.
  • ******** ******* (**** ** **** *** *******) **** ********* ** ******* *********** ** ***** ******* *** * ******** ** *** *** **** *********

** ***** ** ***** ******** *** ********* ** ***********:

  • ******** ******* **** ****** *** ************ *** **** ************ *** ****** (*.*. ****** ******* ** ******) *** ****** **** ****** ********. **** ******* *** ************* ******* ***** ******* ***** ***** ********* ******** **********
  • ** *** *** *********** * **** ****** *** * *** ***********, **** **** *** ** **** ********* ** ***** ******* **** (* ******, *.*., *** ***** *** *** *** *****)
  • ** **** *** *********** ********* ****** ******* ** ******** (*.*. **** ******* ********) ******** * **** *** **** * ********* *** ******. ** *** ******* ** ****** ******* ** ********, *** *** **** ** ******** *** ********* **-***** ** ~$*** **** **** *** **** ***** ******
  • ** *******, ** *** ****** ** **** ** ******** ******* ** ***** ****** ** *** **** ******

Download ***** *****

** ****** *** *** *****, ******** *** ****** ***** **** **** **** ***:

Indoor ******* (**** *******)

**** ** * ************ *** ******** ** * **** ******* **** * ******* **** ******* ******** ** ******* ********* ******** ** * ***** *** *******. *** *** ************ ***** ** ******* *** **** *** ******* ** ********** **** **** ** *** *******.

****** (~**** ***)

***** ** ***** * ******** ** ********* ** *** ******* ******* ** *** ******* ***/********* ** **** *****. ** *** *** ** *** *****, ***** ******* ****** ******* ****** *** ******* *******. *** **-***** *** **-***** *** **** ** ******* ****** ***** ** ******* ****** *** ******* *******. ** *** ***** *** ** *** ******** ** *** ******, ** ***** *** ***** ** ****** ********** ****** *** *** ** ** ****** ******* ** **** *****.

**** (~*** ***)

** **** ***** ** *** ***** *** ******** ************ ** ~***, *** *** *** ********** *** *** **** ****** ** ****** *** ********* ***** ***********. ** ******** *** **** ** *** ***** ******* **** ***** ** **** ******** ** ************** ***** **** ******.

****** (~** ***)

**** ** * ~*** ******** ************ ** ***** *********** ****** **** **** ******** ******* *******. ** *** ****** *** ****** *** *******'* **** ** ******** ***** ******* - ****** * ******** **********. *** ********** *** *** ***** ******* * ********** ****** ***** ** ******** ** *** *******. *************, *** *****'* ***** ** *** ******* ** ******** ****-*******.

Indoor ******* (**** ******/****)

**** ******** ** * ********* ** *** **** ******* *****, ****** **** *** **** ** *** ****** *** ******. *** *** *********** ** **** **** *** **** *** ************ ** ********** '********' **** *** ***** **** *** ******* ***** *** ****; *** ***********, ** *** **** ****** ********* ****** *** ******* *** ******** ************ ********* ******* - ********** ********* ** * ***-*** *****.

****** (~**** ***)

** *** **** ** ****** *** ***** *********** ** ****** ******** ** *** *********. ************* *** **-***** ******* **** ** *****. **** ** ********* ** *** ******* ********* ******** **** ****** *** ** **** ***** ****** *** ******** ***** ***** *** **** ** ******* ****, *** **** ** *** **** **** *** **** ** *** **** - '*' - ** ********** ********.

**** (~*** ***)

**** *** ******* ******* ** **** ******** *** ******* ****** ** ************ **** **** *** ~**** *** ** ******* *******. *** *** ************ ** ********* **** ~**, *** ****** *** ***** ******* ****** ** ******* ****** ***** ******* ******** ** *** ******** *** '****' *****.

****** (~** ***)

** **** ***** *** **** *** ********** ****** *** *** ***** ** ** ****** *** **** *** ***************. ** * ****** **** *** ****** *** ******, ***** **** ********** *****-******* ** *** ******** '*******' *********** ***** *** ******* ********** **** ******* ****** ** *** *******.

Outdoor ****** ********

** **** ***** ***** ******** ** ******** **** *** ******* *** ***** * ************ *********** ******** *********. *** ***** ********* ** ***** ****** *** ** *********** *** ******* ****** *** ********* ******** *** ** **** ******.

******** *********

*** **** ******* ********** **** ** *** ****** *** ****** (******, *** **-*****, **-***** *** *****) ****** ** ** **** ** **** ******* ***** ** **** . *** ******** ******* **** ** **** **** *** *****, ****** *** ****** ******* ***** ** ********** **** *** ***** ********.

********* ****** ********* (**** *** ~****)

*** ***** *** ****** *** ******** ****** *** ******** ** *** *****. **** **** **** * ******** ******* ***** ** **** ********** ***** ******. *** ********** *** **** *** ********** ****** **** *** **** ** *** *****, *** ********** *** **** ** ********* ***** ***** ****** ******* ** **** ***** ***.

********* ****** ********* (****** *** ~****)

** **** ****** *** ******* ***** ** ****** **** *** ********** *** **** ******. ***** ** ****** **** ** ******** ************ ******* ** ***** ****** ** ****. *** **-***** ******** ************ **** ******** *** ****** *******. ** ******** *** ***** *** ****** ******** ** ******* **** ******* ****** ******* *** **** ************ ***** ** ******* ******** *******.

Additional *** **********

**** *** (*********)

**** ********** ****** ******* * ******* ****** **** ***. ** ******** **** ** ******** ******* ****** **** ********* ** *******. ***** * **** ** ******** ****** *** *****, *** ****** ******** ** *** *** ************ ****** *** **** ** ****** ******* ****** *******.

***** ** *** **-***** **** * **** *** ***/** **********:

***** ** *** **-***** **** * **** *** ***/** **********:

*** ********* *********** ****** **** **** *** *** ****** ********* ** *** ***** ** *** '**' *********. *******, ** **** ***** ** ********* ******* * ******** ********* (*** ******'* *** *********), ***** ************ *** ********* ** *********. ***** ** *********** ******* *******, *** ******* ** ** * ****** ***** *** **** ********* ****** * **** *********** ** ***** *********. ******* ***** ******* ***** ** *** **** ******* **** **** *********/**** *** ****** *** *** ********** ** *** ********** ************ ** ****** ****** ** *******.

**** ***** ************ ** ****, *** ****** ****** ** ***** ********** ** ***** **** *** ** **** ********** **** ********.

******** ****** (*******)

** **** ******* ** *****, ** ********* ******** ******* ** *** ****** ***** ** **** *** ****** ******* ***** *** *** ******* ***** ******** *****. *** ******* ******* ** **** ******** *** ********* *** *** ********* *****:

******* ** ******** ****** ****** *** **** ***** **** *** **** ** ******* ****, ********* ******* ******** ** *** ******* **** ** *** ****** ****. **** ***** ** ******* * ****** ******* ***** ** *** ******* ** **** *****. *******, *** **** ** *** ***** ** *********** '*******-***', *** *** ******* ** ******* ************ ********** **** ***** ** *** ******* ********.

** *** **** ******** **** *** **** ** ********* ******, *** ****** ******* ****** *** ******* ** ****** *****-******* **** *** **** ******** ****** ** ******. *** ******* ** ***** ************ *****-******* ** ** ***** ****** *** ** *** ****. ** *** ******* **********, *** *** **** ***** ****** ***, *** ***** ********* ******** (*** *****) *** **** ** *** ** ** ******* *** ** ******** (**** ** *** *********) ** *** ***** *** *** *** ** *** ******** ******.

** *** ******* ******** ** ******** ****** ****** **** *** ****** ******* ****** *** ****** ******* ** ******. ** * ******, *** ******** ** *** ***** ** ******* *****-*******, ************* ********* ******* *** ***** ****** *******.

***********

**** *** *** *** (*) ******* **** ** *** *** ****-********:

  • ******* ******** (****** $***) - *.*** */*; */*.*" ****; ****-**; *.*/* (*****/**)
  • **** ***** (****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; **.* ******** ; *.** *** (**)
  • ********* **-***** (****** $***) - *.*** */*; */*" ***; **-*****/* ****; *.*/*.** *** (*****/**)
  • ********* **-***** (****** $***) - *** */*; */*" ***; **-*****/* ****; *.*/*.** *** (*****/**)
  • **** ***** (****** $***) - **** */*; */*" ****; **.* *******; *.* *** (**)
  • ******* ****** (****** $***) - *.***; **.* ********; *.**/*.*** (*****/**)

*** ****** ****** **** ********** ** * ******* **** ***** (~** *******) ** ***** ** **** **** ***********. ***** *** ************** ******** *** ******** ** ***** ******* *** ********* ***********. *** *** ******* ** *** ******* ********** ** (**-*****, **-*****, *****, *****). **** *** ****** ******* ** * *** ******** ******, *** ********** **** *** ******* ** ** ******* ********; **** *** ****** ** *** ******** ** ****** ** ******** *** **********.

**** *** *** * *** *********:

  • ****** ******* (**** *******)
  • ****** ******* (**** ******/******)
  • ******* ***** ****** ********

**** ******** ******** *** (*) **********. *** ***** ******** ***** *** ****** **, ***** *** ****** ******** ******* ** **** *** ** *** ********* ******* *** ** ******** ****** ********** ** *** ********.






Most Recent Industry Reports

HD Analog Four Way Cameras Tested on Aug 28, 2015
One camera that delivers AHD, HDCVI, HDTVI and 960H, all for as little as $15 a camera. Both on price and claimed support, that is pretty outstanding. And we are hearing from people all over the w...

The Prox Reader Shootout on Aug 27, 2015
In this report, we put eight readers of the popular 125 kHz contactless format head to head and see which one rises to the top. Over a third of integrators call 125 kHz 'favorite', and tens of t...

Axis WDR Zipstream Low-Cost M1125 Tested on Aug 26, 2015
Axis has been busy promoting speciality devices like IP horns and video intercoms. However, they have quietly released a new series of low-cost HD cameras with true WDR and Zipstream support, spec...

IPVM Launches Live Chat Room on Aug 24, 2015
Now you can get help or talk with colleagues any time with IPVM's new Live Chat. Chat is as old as AOL chat rooms and as hot as mega-startup Slack. Benefits of Chatting Ask a question anytime,...

SMB Market Video Surveillance Guide on Aug 20, 2015
This 13-page guide explains the key uses, design factors, and players in the small-medium business surveillance market. A global group of 90 integrators responded, each offering insigh...

The $100 Intrusion System Korner Tested on Aug 18, 2015
Multi-year contracts at $30 per month are the norm. Now a startup is offering an intrusion system for $59 up front and just ~$3 monthly. The company, Korner, has billed itself as the "Home S...

Panasonic 4K / 12MP Camera Tested on Aug 17, 2015
We bought the new Panasonic 4K / 12MP WV-SFV781L dome camera and tested it against the:  Axis P1428E Bosch NBN-80122 Dahua IPC-HFW4800E In this in-depth report, we tested: ...

Testing Petzi, The Pet Cam That Shoots Treats on Aug 14, 2015
Do you love dogs? Do you love the Internet of Things? Then we have a product for you. Half camera, half remote-controlled pet treat dispenser, Petzi lets you shoot treats at your dog. That'...

Genetec Cloud Tested on Aug 12, 2015
Not since Axis public and prolonged agony with AVHS, has a major manufacturer bet as heavily as Genetec is now doing on the cloud. Genetec started with Stratocast, which took a similar small ...

Samsung AHD Tested on Aug 11, 2015
Not long ago, an individual MP camera was commonly $300 and a DVR was commonly $300. Now, Samsung is offering (4) MP cameras plus a DVR for ~$330 all-in. We bought the Samsung SDH-...