Analog vs HD Night Shootout

Author: Benros Emata, Published on Mar 26, 2011

The whole point of megapixel is better image quality but what if megapixel was actually worse than analog at night? In the consumer world, maybe this is acceptable but in surveillance, most cameras need to 'see' 24 / 7.

[WARNING: This report is OUT OF DATE and should only be used for historical review. Megapixel / HD camera low light performance has improved significantly since 2011. See: Ranking IP Camera Low Light Performance]

In this report, we share our test results of head to head comparisons between analog, SD IP and Megapixel cameras. We asked a number of analog centric integrators, including the folks at CCTVForum.com, for their recommendations on their favorite analog cameras for use in low light scenes. Based on their recommendations, we bought a Bosch Dinion and CNB Mona Lisa and set them up side by side with megapixel cameras from our previous tests. We then tested them in a series of real world scenes.

Here is a preview of our test :

Inside the Pro section, we dig through the tradeoffs and key findings revealed in the tests. For background, make sure you understand the issues in exposure setting adjustments that we explained in detail in our 'How Exposure Impacts Low Light Surveillance.'

In the next few months, we will add more tests in these series including 'Color vs Black/White Image Quality Testing' and 'Advanced Analog vs Megapixel Low Light Testing'.

*** ***** ***** ** ********* ** ****** ***** ******* *** what ** ********* *** ******** ***** **** ****** ** *****? In *** ******** *****, ***** **** ** ********** *** ** surveillance, **** ******* **** ** '***' ** / *.

[*******: **** ****** ** *** ** **** *** ****** **** be **** *** ********** ******. ********* / ** ****** *** light *********** *** ******** ************* ***** ****. ***:******* ** ****** *** ***** ***********]

** **** ******, ** ***** *** **** ******* ** **** to **** *********** ******* ******, ** ** *** ********* *******. We ***** * ****** ** ****** ******* ***********, ********* *** folks ***********.***, *** ***** *************** ** ***** ******** ****** ******* *** use ** *** ***** ******. ***** ** ***** ***************, ** bought ****** ************ **** ******* *** **** ** **** ** **** ************* ******* **** *** ******** *****. ** **** ****** **** ** * ****** ** **** world ******.

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

****** *** *** *******, ** *** ******* *** ********* *** key ******** ******** ** *** *****. *** **********, **** **** you ********** *** ****** ** ******** ******* *********** **** ** explained ** ****** ** *** '*** ******** ******* *** ***** ************.'

** *** **** *** ******, ** **** *** **** ***** in ***** ****** ********* '***** ** *****/***** ***** ******* *******' and '******** ****** ** ********* *** ***** *******'.

[***************]

[****** ****: *** ** ******* ** *** **** *** *****, including ** ** **** ****** *** ****** *** *** ***** or **** *** ****** ******* ** **** ****. *** ********, the *** ******* ******** ******** ****************.]

Key ********

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

  • ** * ******* *** *** **** ****** ***** (* ** 5 ***), ********* ******* ******** **** ******* ************ ** ***** detail **** ****** - *** **** **** *** ****** ** pixels ***** ****** ** *******.
  • ** * ***** **** ** ****** ****** ***** *** **** ambient ***** (~*.* ***), ****** ******* ******** *** **** ****** than *** ********* ****. *** ****** ******* ******** ******** ** human ******** ** * ** ** ***** *** ***** *** megapixel ******* **** ** **** **** ** *** ****** ********** to **** *** *** ***** ********.
  • ** ***** * *** ******, *** **** *** *** ********* cameras ***** ******* ******* ***** ****** ** *** ****** ******* was ** ************* ******** *** ******** *******. *******, ** ******, this ******** ****** **** - * ***** ******** ********.

** *** ***** *****, ** **** *** *** ******** ** analyzing *** ******** **** *******:

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

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

  • ***** ********* ** ** ******* ***** **** ****** ******** ** likely ***** ******** ** ****** (** ** **). ** *****, minimal ******** *** ****** *** ****** *** ***, *********** ******** can ** ********. *******, ** *****, ********* ******* *********** ***** bandwidth. ** ******** **** ***'* *** ******, ******** ******** *** resolution ***** ****** *** *****.
  • ***** ********* ** * ***** **** ** ****** ******** ** night ** ***********. ** *** ***** **** ** ********** ** these **********, ****** (*) ******** *** *******, (*) *** ** illumination ** (*) *** ** ******* ** *********. *** ** these **** ********* *********. ** *** ******** *** ******* ****** 1/8s ** *** **** ** ******* ***** ******* ** ****** subjects (*.*., ** *** *** *** ********* **** ** ******** will **** ** *** *****). *** ********** ** **** ** the ******* ** ***** ** *** ****** (**** **** ** feet). *********, *** *** ** ** (****** ****** ** *** an ********** $***+). [****: *** ****, *** ***** ********** ******.] *******, *** ** **** ** *** *** ****** **** detail ** *** *** ** **** ******* ****** *** ***.

Video ***** ******** (*** ****)

****** ********* ** ********* ****** ****** *** ****(~*** **) ********** *** *** ***** ***** *** ****** ********* during *** *******. *** ***** *** ******** ****** ** *********** player *** ****** ***** ** ** ****** ******* ** ****. In *** ***** ******'* ******* **** ** ********* ******** '**** Camera *****' ** **** *** ***** ** *** ******* **-******.

*** ***** *** ****** *** **** *** ******* **** (********* in **** ******) *** ****** (***********) ***** ** **** ** alternative ******* *****.

***********

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

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

  • ******-***- */*" ***; **.* ********; ****** (****** */*); *.*** *** (B/W); ****** $***
  • ************- */*" ***; **.* ********; ******; *.** *** (*** ***, B/W); ****** $***
  • ********-***-***- */*" ***; **.* *****, **** (*******); *.** *** (*** IRE, */*); ****** $***

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

  • ***********- */*.*" ****; **.* ********** ****; *********; *.* *** (**.*, b/w, ****: ****); ****** $***
  • ***** ************- */*" ****; **.* *****; ********; *.** *** (****, ** ms); ****** $*,***

*** ** ******* **** ******, ****** *** *** ***** ***-***. A ******************* *** **** ** ****** *** ****** ******* ** *** ExacqVision ***. ****** ******* ******* ******** **** **** ** *** Sony ******* ********* * ******* **********. *** *** ** ******* were ********** *** **** ********** ****** *** *****.

**** *** *** *** ******* ******** ******** ** *** ***** performance *** **** ******:

  • *** ***-*** - */*** *******; *** ** '**'
  • ***** ******* - */*** *******; ****** **; *** ** '**'
  • ***** ***-***-*** - */*** *******; ****** **; *** ** '**'
  • ***** ****** - */*** *******; *** ** '******'
  • ***** ***** ******* - */** *******; (** **** ******* ** interface)

** *** ***** ***** ** ******* **** ******'* ***** ********* focusing ** ******** *** **** ********, ******* *** ******** *** available ****** *** ***** ***-***** *************.

*********/************

*** (*) *********/***-***** **** ********* **** ******* **** ********** ** 'real-world' ***** ************ ************:

  • ************ *** **** (******* ***); * ** * ***
  • ** ***** (**** *****) ****; ~*.* ***

** **** ******* ********* *** ***** ******** ******* ******* ******** of ******. *** ***** ******** *** ********** ** * ******** within ***** ************* ** * ** **** **** ***. ** such *** ** ******* ******** ******* ** ******/**. *** *** MP ******* ******** ******* ****** *** ** ** ** ***/**. at *** ***** ********.

*****

** *** ***** ******* *** ******** *** (*) *** ***** were *********:

  • *** * **** ******* ** ******* ******* *** **** ********. This ***** **** *** ** ******* *** ****** */*** ** 1/60s ******* ******, *** ** ***** *** */*** *** *** MP ***** *** */** ******* ******.
  • ** ***** ****** ********** *** */*** ******* ***** ** ********* with *** ******* */*** ** */*** ******* ****** ** *** SD *******.

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

  • *** * **** ******* ** ******* ******* *** **** ********. This ***** **** *** ** ******* *** ****** */*** ** 1/60s ******* ******, *** ** ***** *** */*** *** *** MP ***** *** */** ******* ******.
  • ** ***** ****** ********** *** */*** ******* ***** ** ********* with *** ******* */*** ** */*** ******* ****** ** *** SD *******.
  • ** ***** ****** ********** *** */**** ******* *****
  • ** ***** ****** ********** *** */**** ******* *****

** ********** ***** ** ******* ** ****. *** *******, ** considered *** **** *** *****, *** *** **** ** *****. Due ** ******* ********* ****** ** ******* ** ******* **** from *** **** *****. *******, ** ** *** ** **** that ***** ***-***** *********** ****** **** ******* ** *** ***** and ***** ** ******* ******** ** *** '****' *****.

Testing ******

*** ***** ****** ******** ** **** ****** ********* ******* ****** during *** ******* *** ********. *** ***** ***** ******** ** inability ** *** *** ******* **** ** *** ******. **** became ** ***** **** ********* *** ******** ***** ** *** Exacqvision ***. ********* ** ***** **** ** * ********* ******* when ******* *** ***** *** *** ****** **, ***** *** VMS **** *** ** '*****' *** ******'* **** *******. ******* of **** ***** ** ***** *** ****** ***** **** ***** along **** *** ***** ******* ** *********** ****.

******* ***** ** ***** **** *** ***** ****** *** *** inability ** ********* * **** ******* *******. ***** ***** **** a '****' *******, *** ** ** * ******* ** *** HD4000. *******, ** *** ********** ** *********** *** '****' ******* setting ******** *** ******** ** **** *** *****. ****, *** default ******* ** */*** *** **** ********** *** *****.

** ******* ******* **** ****** ** **** **** ** ******* as ** ********** **** ***** *** ****** ** *** ** real ***** *********. *** ***** ** ******* ******* **** ******, while *** *** ****** ******* *** ****** **** ****** **** fitted **** ********** ********* ******** (**.*, **, *********) ******.

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