Axis Q1602 Lightfinder Test

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 11, 2011

Axis says its new Q1602 camera with 'Lightfinder' technology is a 'revolutionary improvement' for video surveillance cameras. It is a very bold claim. Until now, the only thing available has been Axis produced demos so we bought an Axis Q1602 and did our own tests.

Low Light Challenges

No doubt, low light is a historical problem for video surveillance cameras. While manufacturers make crazy claims of cameras working at 0.01 lux or lower, the reality is that the video quality is fairly terrible at light levels even 10x or 100x greater than those levels. Grainy, dark images are common in low light.

Here's an example of bad low light video:

You can make out that there is a person but not much else. Pretty useless.

This is the type of video one is often stuck with unless they use digital slow shutters or illuminators - both of which have bad side effects, respectively motion blur and poor depth of field.

As such, getting a camera that has strong low light sensitivity without tricks or add ons is quite valuable.

The Test

We took the Axis Q1602 and pitted it against the top two low light performing megapixel cameras from our Megapixel Camera Low Light Shootout and a top regarded SD low light camera. In this way, we could better understand if the Q1602 really was superior to top quality products or was simply marketing fluff.

Then we did a series of tests:

  • At 0.3 lux indoors in both color and black & white mode
  • At 0.5 lux outdoors in both color and black & white mode
  • Outdoors in both close range and long range to see how far the cameras could 'see'
  • Day time at Field of View widths from 15 to 80 feet
  • Indoor / outdoor scene to test Wide Dynamic Range capability

With this approach, we could determine not only what was 'best' in low light but what tradeoffs existed during the rest of the day.

The Questions

When looking at the Q1602 as a whole and trying to determine what, if any, fit the camera has, a number of important questions should be answered:

  • How much more details can the Q1602 capture in low light compared to top competitive cameras?
  • How much better or worse comparatively is the Q1602 in color vs black and white mode?
  • Can slow shutter be used to effectively reproduce or best the image capturing capability of the Q1602?
  • How does the Q1602 compare to top performing megapixel cameras in the day?
  • How does the Q1602 handle bright lights and WDR scenes?
  • How much bandwidth does the Q1602 consume compare to top competitive cameras?

Inside, we answer all of these questions.

*********** ************** **** '***********' ********** ** * '************* ***********' *** ***** surveillance *******. ** ** * **** **** *****. ***** ***, the **** ***** ********* *** **** **** ******** ***** ** we ****** ** **** ***** *** *** *** *** *****.

Low ***** **********

** *****, *** ***** ** * ********** ******* *** ***** surveillance *******. ***** ************* **** ***** ****** ** ******* ******* at *.** *** ** *****, *** ******* ** **** *** video ******* ** ****** ******** ** ***** ****** **** *** or **** ******* **** ***** ******. ******, **** ****** *** common ** *** *****.

****'* ** ******* ** *** *** ***** *****:

*** *** **** *** **** ***** ** * ****** *** not **** ****. ****** *******.

**** ** *** **** ** ***** *** ** ***** ***** with ****** **** *** ******* **** ******** ** ************ - both ** ***** **** *** **** *******, ************ ****** **** and **** ***** ** *****.

** ****, ******* * ****** **** *** ****** *** ***** sensitivity ******* ****** ** *** *** ** ***** ********.

The ****

** **** *** **** ***** *** ****** ** ******* *** top *** *** ***** ********** ********* ******* **** ************ ****** *** ***** *********** * *** ******** ** *** ***** ******. ** **** way, ** ***** ****** ********** ** *** ***** ****** *** superior ** *** ******* ******** ** *** ****** ********* *****.

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

  • ** *.* *** ******* ** **** ***** *** ***** & white ****
  • ** *.* *** ******** ** **** ***** *** ***** & white ****
  • ******** ** **** ***** ***** *** **** ***** ** *** how *** *** ******* ***** '***'
  • *** **** ** ***** ** **** ****** **** ** ** 80 ****
  • ****** / ******* ***** ** **** **** ******* ***** **********

**** **** ********, ** ***** ********* *** **** **** *** 'best' ** *** ***** *** **** ********* ******* ****** *** rest ** *** ***.

The *********

**** ******* ** *** ***** ** * ***** *** ****** to ********* ****, ** ***, *** *** ****** ***, * number ** ********* ********* ****** ** ********:

  • *** **** **** ******* *** *** ***** ******* ** *** light ******** ** *** *********** *******?
  • *** **** ****** ** ***** ************* ** *** ***** ** color ** ***** *** ***** ****?
  • *** **** ******* ** **** ** *********** ********* ** **** the ***** ********* ********** ** *** *****?
  • *** **** *** ***** ******* ** *** ********** ********* ******* in *** ***?
  • *** **** *** ***** ****** ****** ****** *** *** ******?
  • *** **** ********* **** *** ***** ******* ******* ** *** competitive *******?

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

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

****: ********** ** ** / '******** **' ****** **** * ******* resolution ** *** * ***. ** **** ****** ** ** itx *** ********** ******* ** ** ****** (*** * ***) and * ****** ** * ** * ** *******.

** *** *** **** **** *** *.**.* ********. ******: ** December ****, * ******* *******,*.**.*.* *** ********. **** ******* **** **** ***** ******* ******* ***** ******* in *** ***** **********. ** **** *** ******** ***** *** test, ** **** *** **** **. *** ***** ***** ******* was ******* * ****** *********** ******** ** *** ******.

Key ********

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

  • *** ***** ******** ************* **** ******* ** *** ***** ******** to *** ******* ********* *** ** ***** ***-***, *** **** top *********
  • *** *****'* ********** **** **** ********** ** ***** **** **** in ***** & ***** *** *** ***** *** ******* ******** in **** *****
  • ** **** ******, *** ***** ******** ******** ** ******* **** valuable ******* ** ***** **** **** ** ***** *** ***** mode
  • **** ********** ********** **** ******* ******** *** *** ********** ********* cameras *** *** ******** *** ********* ** *** *****'* *** light ************ (****** *** *** ***** ****** *****)
  • ****** *** ***, *** *** ********* ******* ************* ************ *** Axis ***** ********* *** **** ******* **** *** ***** ** FoV ****** ******* **** ** ****
  • *** *** ****** ******** ************ *** **** ***** ** ****** light / *** ******
  • *** *****'* ********* *********** ** *** ***** *** **** *** and ************ ****** **** **** * *** * ****** *******

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

*** *** ********* **** *** ***** ** **** **'* ***** at *** ****** ********* ***** (*** *****) *** ******** ** bad ** *** ***** **** (*** **** *** ***). ****, it ** ****** ********* ** ~$*,*** ***. ** ****, *** needs ** ** ******* ***** **** ** *** **.

*** ***** ****** **** ** ******** **** ** **** ********* - ***** **** ** ***/***. ** ** ** ***/***, ** is **** ** ******* ***** **** ******. ****, ** ** night, *** **** * *** ** **** ** **** *****, the ***** **** *** ******* **** ********* *******.

**** ****, *** **** *** ** *** ******* ***** *** light ** *** - ********** *** ****** ***** ***** ***** time ********* ********** ** *** *** ****** ** ****** *********. In **** ************, *** ***** ** * ***** ****, **** complex, ****** ******* *********** ** ***** ** ************. *** ***** provides ***** ** ***** *** ***** ***** ** ***** - two ****** **** *** ********** **** ** ************.

*******, ** *** *** ***** ** *** *** *****, ** recommend ******* **** ***** **** ****** *** ********** *** ** your ***** **** ***** *** ***** **** ******** * ****** image. **** ****** ** *** ******** ** *** **** ***** black *** ***** ** *** ******* ********** ** ***/***** *******. In *** *****, ***** **** ******** ********* **** *** *** help ******* ********* ******* **** ***** ** **** ** ***** and ***** ****.

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

** ************* ***** ** ** **** ** ******** *** ***** performance. ** ***** *** ** *** ***. ***** ** * new *** ***** ************* ******* ** *** ****** ******** **** that *** * ******** ******* *** ***********. *** *** *** box ** *** ***** *****:

** ** ********* ** *** *** **** ******** (** **) and * '******' ******* *****. ***** *** ******'* ****** *** light ***********, ** ** ******** **** *** **** **** ** use * ****** *******. *** ***** *********** *** *** *** gain ***** **** ** **. *******, ** ** *** ********* it ** **** ***** ****** *** *** ***** *********** *** would *** ****** ******* ********** **********.

*******, ** ******* **** ****** ** ******* *** ****** ***** its *** ****. **** ******* ** **** **** * *** gain ** *** *** *** (********* ****'* ***** *****). *******, comparing *** ******'* *** **** ****** ******* ** ***********. *** numbers *** ****** *** **********. **** ****, ** ****** ** see **********'* ******* *** *** **** ** **** ****** ** a *** ** ****** *** *********. ** *** ***** ****, it ***** *** ** **** *** ***** ************* ** *** an ****** *** **** **** ** ***** **** ********** ** whether **** ***** ******** ***** *** ***** ***********.

Low ***** ******* *******

** ***** *** ***** **** ** ******* *.* *** ***** mode **********. **** ** *** ******** *** *** *** **** the **** ***** ** * **** ***** ** *** **** best *** ***** *********, *** ***** ***-*** ** ******.

** ********* ******* ** *** ****, *** ********** ** *********** becomes **** *******. ***** *** ***** ** ******** ** ******* of ****** ********, *** ***** ** ******* **** ** ***** and ******** ** *** **** *****.

*** ** **** ** * ********* ***** (**** *****) **** *** ******* ** *******. *** ********** ** ******* are *******. **** **** *** *********** *** *** ** ******* except *** **********.

***, ***'* ****** **** ** ***** *** ***** **** ***** in *.* *** **********. **** *** **** ***** ** ***** brighter *** **** ******** **** *** ******. *******, ***** ******, the ***** ****** ***** **** **** ***** * *** ** details.

***, ** ****** ** ******* **** ****** *******. ***** *** Axis ** ***** ********, *** *** ******* *** ******* *** narrowed **********. *** ***** ** ****** *** ******** * *** of ******* (****** **** ******* *****) *** *** *** ********* cameras *** ******* ****** **** ** ***** **** (****** ***** far ***** **** ****** ** ******).

VS **** ******* *****

*** ***** **** ********* ****** ************* (********* ****) ******** ** is *** **** ******* ******. * ************ ***** ***** **** slow ******* ** **** ****** ** *** ********** *** ***** while ********* *** ******** ** ********* ****** *** ***.

** ***** ***********, ** **** *** **** ***** ******** ** 1/30s ***** *********** *** ******* ***** *** *** ********* ******* to */*** - ** ******** ** ~***%. ** **** */*** was ********** *** ********. ************* *** ***** ****** *** ********** - */**, **, ***. *******, */*** ** * **** ******* between ******* **** ***** *** *** ****** **** ****** **** even **** ********** ****** *******.

*** ***** ********** ***** ***** ***** ** ******** ** *** scene. *******, *** ********** ** **********/******* ** **** ***** **** the ****** ******** ** *** ********* *******.

***, ***'* **** ** ** *** *******'* **** ** *** what **** ***** ** ***** ** ******* ********. *** ***** Dinion ***** ***** ****** *** ******* **** ******* **** * modest ******** ** ***** ******** ** *** **** *****. *******, the ***** ********* *******, **** **** *** **** ****** ******* still ** *** ***** *** ******* ** *** *****.

** ******, ** ******* ** **** ******* *****. ** ********** here, *** **** ** *******, **** ******* ** ****** *** going ** ** ****** ** ****** *** ********* ******* **** the ***** ********.

Low ***** ******* ********

** **** ****** ******** ** * *****. **** ***** ** moderately ******** **** ** ~*.* *** *****. ***'* ***** **** an ******** ** *** ******** ** *** **** ***** ** color ****. *** ***** ** ******* ****** **** *** **** but *** ***** ** ** ******** *****.

****'* *** **** **** ********* ******* **** *** *******'* **** and *********. *** ***** ***** ***** ******* ** ****** ******* significantly ****** *** ******.

***, ***'* ****** ** *** ******* ** *** *** ***** of ****. **'* *** ***** ****** ** *** **** ******. Again, *** ***** ******** *** ******** ***** **** *** ***** SD ****.

***, ***'* ********* **** **** *** ******* *** ** ***** 100 **** **** **** *** ****** ** ** ~*** **** wide ***. **** ** *** **** ********** ******** ** *** in *** ****** ****. ***** *** ***** ***** *** *** subject's ***** ***** *** **** ***** *****, *** ***** ******* barely ******* ** ******* ** *** *****.

********* **** ** ***** *** ***** ****, *** *** ** performance ***** *************. ****************** *** **** ***** ******** **** ******* in ***** *** ***** **** ** **** ** *****. *** Pelco ********** ******** ******** *** **** ***** ****** ** *** is ***** * ****.

******, ***'* ****** ** *** **** ***** ** **** **** our ******* ***** ** *** ****** ** ***** *** ***** mode. ** **** ******* *****, *** *** ** *********** *** shrunk *************. *** *** ******* *** ****** ***** (****** *** the ***** *******).

Long ******** / *** **** *******

*** ** **** ** *** **** *********** ** *** *** the ******* ******* ** **** ***** **********. **** ** *** trying ** ********** *** **** ** * **** ** *********** does *** ***** ****** **** ****** *** ** *******.

***** ** ***** **** * ********** ****** ~** **** **** FoV. ** *** ********** *****, *** *** ******* ******* *********** facial *** ************** ******* ****** *** *** *** **** *** Axis ***** ** *** ** ***** ** *** ** *******.

***, ** ****** ** * ****** ***** ** **** **** our ******* ****** ****. ***** *** ** ******* ***** **** facial ******* ****** *******, *** ***** ** *** ********* **** details (** ** ** ******** ** ******* *****)

** ~** **** **** ***, *** ***** ** ****** ******** meaningful ******* ** *** *******'* **** *** **** ** *** chart ****** *** *** *** * ****. ** ********, *** MP *******, ********** ***** *** ***** *** ***** ***** ********.

** * ***** ** **** ***, *** ******** *********** *** similar. *** ** ******* ***** ******* * **** ****** ** detail ***** *** ***** ****** ***** ***.

*******, ** ** ** **** **** ***, *** ** ******* still **** **** **** ******* ***** *** **** ***** ******** mostly ** ******* ** *** *******.

WDR *******

** *** **** ***** ******** *******, ** ******** **** ******* Range ***********. ** ********** **** ** * ********** **** *** scene **** ********** ** ***** ***** ** ***** ** **** the **** ***** (******) ** *** *** ***** ******** (********).

*** ***** ********** ** ** *** **** ***** / ****** area. *** **** ***** ** ******* *** ***** **** *** Axis ***** ****** *****.

***, ** **** ** *** ****** ** *** *****. *** Q1602 ***** ** *** ***** ** *** *******.

*******, **** ** * ********** ** *** ******* ** *** far ***** ** **** *** ** *** ******* ***. ***** most ** *** ** ******* ******* ****** ******* *** ** least **** ** *** ******* ***** ******, *** ***** **** neither *** ** ** *** *** ***** ********* ** **** scene.

*********

*** **** *********** ****** ** *** *****'* ********* *********** *** how *** ** *** ** *** *****. *********, **** * and * ****** ******'* ********* ****** ** *** ***** ******** 5Mb/s, ****/* ** **** ****/*. *** *** *** ** ** the ***** ******* **** *** ***** ** **** ****** ** visible *****.

** ********, ** *.* *** ** ***** **** **** *** same *********** ********** **********, *** *****'* ********* *********** *** **% lower **** *** *****. *** *****'* ********* *** ~***/* *** 768 * *** ********** ***** *** *****'* ********* *** ~****/* for *** * ***. ************* ****** ************* ****** *****.

*** ***** ** *** ***** **** ****** ** ******* *.*** Main *** ******** *******. *** ******** ******* ******** ****. *** tests ****** **** **** *** ******** ********* ******* **** ******** but *** *** ********* ********* ****** *** *** ******* ******* noise.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Axis P3225 Mk II Tested Vs. Original on Jun 20, 2017
Axis has released a number of 'Mk II' versions of their cameras, which are the same fundamental camera but with specific improvements. We tested...
VMS UI - Light vs Dark Preferences on Jun 16, 2017
Several VMS manufacturers have the ability to choose a user interface with either a light or dark color theme. 150+ integrators told us which they...
Axis 20MP Q1659 Camera Tested on Jun 13, 2017
Axis has joined the super high resolution camera trend with their Q1659, a 20MP model equipped with Canon's APS-C sensor. We tested the Q1659...
Camera Course Summer 2017 on Jun 08, 2017
Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live online classes, recorded videos, personal help, cutting edge education and...
Avigilon Announces New Lowest Cost Camera (Mini Domes) on Jun 06, 2017
Avigilon's first Micro Dome (see IPVM's test) is now 4 years old. Since that time, low-cost fixed focal Chinese manufacturer dome usage has...
Samsung SmartCam A1 Totally Wireless System on Jun 06, 2017
Hanwha is keeping the Samsung brand alive in consumer cameras with the SmartCam A1, a new offering combining an autotracking 1080p camera with base...
IP Camera - 15 Year Shootout on May 22, 2017
How far have IP cameras come? We bought and tested 4 cameras across the past 15 years to understand how much and where performance has...
48MP 180 Camera (Digital Watchdog) Test on May 10, 2017
Camera resolution continues to advance, with Digital Watchdog offering the MegaPIX PANO 48MP 180° camera, the highest resolution mainstream camera...
Hanwha 9MP Fisheye Camera Tested (PNF-9010R) on May 09, 2017
12MP sensor fisheye panoramic cameras are becoming increasingly common. We have tested Hikvision's DS-2CD63C2F as well as Panasonic's SFV481 4K...
Last Day - IP Networking Course May 2017 on Apr 26, 2017
Today is the last day to register for the May IP Networking Course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Importance of Sales To Integrators - Statistics on Jun 23, 2017
One of the top trends in the industry over the past few years has been the rise of across-the-board sales (e.g.: Hikvision Sales, Dahua Sale,...
Deep Learning Surveillance Startups Deep Problem on Jun 23, 2017
The undeniably good news for the video surveillance market is that we are seeing the rise of more startups than in many years. The cause of this...
Avigilon Announces RADAR-Based Presence Detector on Jun 22, 2017
RADAR is gaining momentum within physical security. Two months after Axis announced a network radar detector, Avigilon has announced a RADAR-Based...
Covert Cloud Camera Service Launching (KJB) on Jun 22, 2017
Cloud IP cameras, for consumers, has become increasingly commonplace. However, covert cameras, lag there, with few options. Now, North America's...
Manufacturers Shipping Unlicensed H.265 Products on Jun 22, 2017
While H.265 support in video surveillance is growing, IPVM's research shows that most surveillance manufacturers are shipping H.265 products with...
Uniview Low-Cost Bullet PTZ Tested on Jun 21, 2017
Uniview is offering a HD zoom bullet camera, the IPC742SR9-PZ30-32G, with an integrated pan / tilt positioner, for the price of a low-cost...
QSR Video Surveillance Best Practices on Jun 21, 2017
Fast food restaurants or QSRs (quick service restaurants), are frequent victims of crime and fraud. Because they are open late, deal with cash, and...
45 Drives 'Lowest Cost' Enterprise Storage Company Profile on Jun 21, 2017
45 Drives claims the "lowest cost per Hard Drive Slot in the industry." But who or what is '45 Drives'? What started as a product design to...
No Hack, Still Liable, Court Finds ADT on Jun 20, 2017
Recently, ADT has been in the news for a $16 million settlement for a cyber security vulnerability class action suit. One of the most important...
Resolver / PPM 2000 Incident Management Platform Profile on Jun 20, 2017
You might have seen the company whose employees wear hockey jerseys at trade shows and wondered "what do they do?" PPM 2000 has been active in...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact