Upgrading F/W On Discontinued Axis Models

I recently upgraded F/W on some old P3344's and a P1346 for a customer running ExacqVision and I was really surprised by the difference in picture quality after the fact. Unfortunately I do not have any before and after shots to share but it made me wonder: How often does a simple F/W update improve the picture of a camera and what changes in the F/W help them get a better picture?

In general (not specific to Axis or this model) the following could be changed to improve picture quality:


compression level

noise reduction

black level

There are also numerous settings interal to the H.264 codec that could be optimized...

Hikvision's 864 improved significantly in both WDR and low light performance from the time we originally tested it to our retest in 2013.

We also saw this in the Bosch update from 5.70 to 5.80. I don't think the changes since then have been quite so drastic. 5.80 (on the left) was a fairly significant improvement to low light:

For low light it seems like the main improvements are noise reduction and improved gain control. Those are the most obvious, but there are likely a lot of other tweaks behind the scenes, as well.