ADI 'In The Dark' About Low Light

By John Honovich, Published on Aug 07, 2017

ADI's recent post on 'How To See Better In the Dark' makes basic mistakes, promoting outdated technical claims.

Missing: Super Low Light

Interestingly, ADI completely omits super low light cameras. This is surprising because ADI sells many of these cameras (e.g., Axis Lightfinder, Hikvision Darkfighter, Hanwha Wisenet X, etc.) and they genuinely provide much better color video in low light. ADI could have used this opportunity to upsell larger imager cameras as well (e.g., Axis Q1635 or the 1/1.8" imager Hikvision Darkfighters, etc.). Finally, there are photography imager based cameras that are excellent in low light. Understandably, ADI would not cite the Sony 35mm 4K camera since ADI does not carry Sony but they could still tout the Axis 20MP camera, which they do sell.

Avoid Slow Shutter

ADI's first recommendation is slow shutter.

Slow shutter should simply be avoided. A decade ago, slow shutter was a 'feature' but only because many cameras were so poor at low light. Now, it is something that every camera has but most need not use, because imagers have gotten much better and integrated IR has become commonplace. And slow shutter will cause blurring at night for even moderately moving objects.

Day/Night No Longer Differentiation

ADI's second recommendation is day/night:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Again, a decade ago, true day / night was a differentiator. Now, day/night is available on most cameras and essentially every camera with integrated IR, which is the overwhelming majority of cameras.

Everything Has AGC

ADI next recommends automatic gain control:

Offering AGC is not 'select' or a differentiator since every camera includes this. It is like saying 'look for a camera that supports a lens'.

However, Digital Noise reduction, used with gain control, is a differentiator that ADI omits.

Finally IR Mentioned

At the end, ADI recommends integrated IR, though with many qualifications:

ADI's link to 'IR illuminators' returns their search results showing only 2 cameras:

This is strange since overwhelmingly IP cameras today support integrated IR, including ADI's offerings. As a matter of practice, it is the #1 way of getting low light images, given its low cost and broad availability.

The distance limitation for IR illuminators is increasingly untrue. First, there are many more integrated IR cameras being released with longer IR ranges. For example, our Camera Finder shows ~700 fixed cameras with IR ranges of 30m/ 100' or more. And we have found in our testing, the bigger problem is that since most cameras today come with such wide FoVs that, regardless of the integrated IR range, the problem is that the pixel density is so low it is hard to make out details at such distances.

Low Light Recommendations

Contra ADI, avoid slow shutter, ignore day/night and AGC as 'differentiators'.

For lower cost b&w low-light, focus on integrated IR cameras, many with quite long range distances (search with our Camera Finder). For higher-priced, color imaging, consider super low light and photography sensor cameras.

ADI Pros and Cons

ADI does a lot of things well - its large branch network, extensive stock, and its masterful pitting manufacturers against each other in across the board sales. Related, see IPVM's Distributor Favorability Rankings. However, their technological understanding remains poor, which hurts their sales and also their manufacturer partners who have real differentiators here.

Comments (10)

Only IPVM Members may comment. Login or Join.

Proof they're box pushers.

Given their target audience and who they are trying to sell to some of these tips are pretty solid. That being said they are pretty dated. 

My guess is that they just copy and pasted this info from something from years ago....

They are trying to get into social media without true current thought leadership.

Wow...want to say, "the under educated and uninformed educating the under educated and uninformed." One might give the author the benefit of the doubt that he is just trying to communicate with his target audience of video illiterates. Not sure about that. 

Pick up a book and read. More importantly, pick up a few cameras and shoot them out in the real world like IPVM does. One can begin to understand optical physics pretty quickly without a physics degree. 

Then write a paper. 

Nothing here is strange to those of us in the UK used to dealing with ADI. They have extraordinarily poor technical support and an abject lack of any depth of knowledge.

They have turned Gardiner into box shifter's without having clue whats inside them.

Their preference for whatever manufacturer gives them the best "deal", then transposes into what they promote at branch level - and never on the technical attributes or intended use. Having previously sold into ADI as a manufacturer, it is astonishing what poor product knowledge exists at branch level of CCTV, intruder is fine - but IP cameras really are a bridge too far for them.

ADI's link to 'IR illuminators' returns their search results showing only 2 cameras... This is strange since overwhelmingly IP cameras today support integrated IR, including ADI's offerings.

1000+ shown thru the search "IR camera".

Although "IR illuminators" returns just 2, paradoxically if you ask for just the singular "IR illuminator", you'll receive +30 IR illuminators.

 

No idea why ADI choose the search term they did, just sloppy on their part. They do have filters for various features but evidently not for integrated IR.

Another weird element is that they have a filter for minimum illumination levels but the entries / options are all messed up, e.g.:

It's hard for me to understand how a multi-billion dollar corporation who specializes in selling video surveillance has this messed up so badly. Compare to our Camera Finder.

 

Compare to our Camera Finder.

Theirs doesn't hold a (foot) candle to it...

The real sad issue is that the useless search functionality is just how the branch network find solutions for their customers! Seriously, buy from elsewhere, from a distributor who really invests and supports both the products and the integrator. 

 

Related Reports

Don't Be Fooled By Hot Water Bottle Fever Camera Demos on Aug 24, 2020
Fever camera salesmen like to fool buyers (and themselves) with hot water...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Avigilon Now Available At ADI In EMEA, Not Americas on Jul 21, 2020
ADI, the home for Dahua and Hikvision flash sales, is now selling Motorola...
Verkada Falsely Claims "First Native Cloud-based Access Control and Video Security Solution" on Jun 18, 2020
Verkada's false claims continue, this time to be the first native cloud-based...
NDAA Compliant Video Surveillance Whitelist on Aug 10, 2020
This report aggregates video surveillance products that manufacturers have...
Uniview Deep Learning Camera Tested on Jul 14, 2020
Uniview's intrusion analytics have performed poorly in our shootouts. Now,...
CDW Sells School District 36 Low-Res, No Blackbody Hikvision Fever Cameras With Federal Funds on Oct 01, 2020
Mega IT distributor CDW sold low-resolution Hikvision fever cameras with no...
False: Verkada: "If You Want To Remote View Your Cameras You Need To Punch Holes In Your Firewall" on Jul 31, 2020
Verkada falsely declared to “3,000+ customers”, “300 school districts”, and...
Infinova, March Networks and Swann H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 02, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision, helped by fever camera sales, are recovering from...
Quantum Dots Potential for Surveillance Cameras Explained on Sep 08, 2020
Quantum dots are starting to be used in TVs for better images, but how will...
Uniview H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 08, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision, helped by fever camera sales, are recovering from...
WDR Cheat Sheet and Camera Tracking - 30 Manufacturers on Aug 26, 2020
Manufacturers are regularly cryptic about what WDR support they actually...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...
Verkada 2020 Cameras Image Quality Test on Oct 06, 2020
Verkada's first-generation cameras suffered from numerous video quality...
Injes Tiny Temperature Terminal Tested on Jul 17, 2020
While temperature terminals have trended bigger, the Injes DFace801 is...

Recent Reports

ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...