Axis Daybreak App Tested

By Ethan Ace, Published Dec 07, 2015, 12:00am EST (Research)

Many users complain about cameras cutting over from day to night too early or too late. On the one hand, you want to have color as long as possible, presuming it is light out. On the other, if you stay too long in color, the video quality can be materially degraded. Cameras typically try to sense changes in light levels but many users find that imprecise or not to their liking.

Now, a new app, called Daybreak Me, that runs on Axis cameras but is not officially affiliated with Axis has released a new approach / solution for this:

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We tested this app to see how it works and how it would help or hurt camera D/N switchover.

Summary

Daybreak Me allows finer control over day/night parameters than allowed by the Axis camera itself, including switching times based on location, as well as individual settings such as WDR, contrast, brightness, etc.

It may be useful in many applications using Axis cameras where standard day/night settings do not function properly, switching too early or too late. Additionally, it remedies an issue found in past Axis WDR models, where WDR was turned on regardless of day/night status, reducing low light performance.

Key Findings

Location setup was simple, with users simply selecting the camera's location via a Google map and adjusting time zone and daylight savings settings accordingly.

Day/night switching times were roughly accurate in our tests without offset, with the camera switching to night mode around dusk (civil twighlight) and back to day around dawn.

Day/night profile settings changes provided slight improvements to image quality not otherwise possible when using the default Axis interface by allowing contrast, brightness, color, etc. to be optimized for day and night.

Daybreak Me is available free from ACAP Share. No licensing is required.

Overview

Daybreak Me installs the same as any other ACAP application, uploaded to the camera, with no license required. We review the user interface in this video:

Interface Details

There are three key sections to the Daybreak Me interface:

Location

On this tab, users set their location and adjust day/night offset and daytime period.

Offset is used to account for late switching to night mode adjusting dawn and dusk (civil twilight) to shorter periods. This may be used when sunlight is blocked by trees, hills, buildings, or other obstructions, resulting in the camera switching to night mode too late.

Users may also adjust the daytime period, from sunrise to sunset or dawn to dusk. This may be used to adjust switching in darker locations, where keeping the camera in monochrome longer ((making daytime sunrise to sunset) improves images.

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Day/Night Profiles

On the day/night profiles tab, users may select one or more parameters to adjust when the camera switches to/from night mode. The image below shows the default profiles which are created by the app.

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Additionally, users may add their own profile by entering the VAPIX parameter to adjust, as well as the day and night values. Users may refer to Axis' API documentation for more info on these settings. Users should be careful when creating these profiles, as values outside of expected may cause unpredictable results.

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Snapshots

Under the Snapshots tab, users may see a thumbnail image from each day/night event. These thumbnails are automatically updated every day when the camera reaches that event, and may also be manually triggered.

Users may use these thumbnails to quickly confirm day/night profile settings are functioning properly, without needing to use a VMS or other means to review images.

Note that this a manual visual comparison only. The application does not compare current images to reference (a feature found in some camera tampering analytics).

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1 report cite this report:

Axis Camera Optimization App (UI Me) Tested on Aug 28, 2017
A new Axis camera app (ACAP) called UI Me has been released, offering a...
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