Testing Axis' 1/2" Q1635 Camera

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Nov 23, 2015

Low light performance continues to improve, first driven by advances in image processing and now increasing number of 1/2" imagers in 1080p HD cameras.

IPVM has recently tested new super low light, super low cost offerings from Hikvision and Dahua, and in this report we see how Axis' 1/2" Lightfinder model, the Q1635, stacks up.

We tested it against other large imager super low light models from Dahua, Hikvision, and Samsung, and past 1/3" low light leaders from Axis and Samsung in multiple scenes, including outdoor low light scenes including a dark field area (left) and a moderately lit parking lot (left):

Along with these scenes, we checked bandwidth, configuration, and other factors to see how it compares to these low cost leaders and others.

*** ***** *********** ********* ** *******, ***** ****** ** ******** in ***** ********** *** *** ********** ****** ** */*" ******* in ***** ** *******.

**** *** ******** ****** *** ***** *** *****, ***** *** cost ********* *********************, *** ** **** ****** ** *** *** ****' */*" Lightfinder *****, *** *****, ****** **.

** ****** ** ******* ***** ***** ****** ***** *** ***** models **** *****, *********, *** *******, *** **** */*" *** light ******* **** **** *** ******* ** ******** ******, ********* outdoor *** ***** ****** ********* * **** ***** **** (****) and * ********** *** ******* *** (****):

***** **** ***** ******, ** ******* *********, *************, *** ***** factors ** *** *** ** ******** ** ***** *** **** leaders *** ******.

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

*******

*** ***** ******** ******* ******* ** ***** */*" ***** *** ***** models ** ***** **** *********** ********** ** ******* ** ***** ****** (*** ** *********), ***** ************* **** ********* **** ***** ***** *** ***** models. 

*******, ** ******** ****** ****** **** ***** */*" ****** ******, ***** *** make ** **** ******** ** **** *** ***** (***** *.* lux), ***** ******* *** *** ********, **** *********. ***** ******* for **** ********* ******* ** ***** ****** *** ****** ****** served ** ********* ** ***** */*" ******.

*** ***** ******* ** **** ** *** **** **** *** requiring *** ******** **** *** ***** (***-**) ***********, *** ***** offers ****** ******* **** *** ***** **** ***** ** **** tested.

*************, *** ********* **** ** ******** **** ***** *** ***** performance, ****** ********* *** ************* ****** ******* ** *** **** ** Dahua, ********* *** *******.

Notable ***** ********

*** ********* *********** **** ******** *** ******* ********* ******, ****** ********** noticeable ******** ** *** ***** **** ***** *** **.** ********* ******* lens, ******** ******* ** *** ****** ** ***** *******.

*** */*" ***** ********* ************* ****** **** *** */*" *********** *****, the *****, ** *** ***** ****** ***** **** **** **** (<0.01lx) ***** **** ******** **** * ***** *****.

*** *****, *** ** ********* ********, *** ** *** *** lowest ******** ** *** */*" ***** *** ***** ******, ***** 1 **/* ** ~*.** ***. ********* *** ***** ******** *-** the *********.

*******

*** **** ***** ***** ***~$*,*** *** ******, ********* * ***** **.* ****.

**** ******* ** ************* ****** **** **** */*" ******, **** ** Dahua, *********, *** *******, **** ** **** **** ****** **** as *** ***-*****, ****'* */*" **********.

Physical ********

**** ***** ******* *** ******** ************ ** *** *****. **** that ********/******** ******** *** ****** ********* ** *** *****, **** the ***** *********** ***** *** ****** ****** *** ************* **** (F1.6 *-***** **** ******* ****). **** **** ** ****** ** large ** *********'* **.** ******* ****, **** ****** **** ******** ******.

*** ***** *** ***** **** ******* ******** ********** ********, **** as ***** *************, ***** *********, ******** **********, ***.,******** ** *** **** ** *** *****.

*** ***** ***** ***** *** ******** **** ** *** *****'* image ****** (*/*") ******** ** *** *****, ********** *******.

Hikvision **.** **** *******

******* *** ****** ** *** *********** ***** **** ***** ** noticeable ******** ** *** ***** *** ****** ***** ** *** Hikvision *********** ****** **** *** **.** ****. ** ****** **** lens ** *** **** ***** ** *** ** **** ******** was *******, *** **** *****, ******* *** **** **** ** the ********* **** ** *** ** ****** **** *******.

** *** ***** (~*.* ***), ** ***** **** ******* ** our **** *****, ** **** ** *** ***** ** *** chart ****** **** **** ******* **** ***** *** ********* ****. Using *** **** **.* **** ** *** ********* ******, *** scene *******, *** ***** *** *******. **** ******* ** ** overall ******** ***** ***** *** ********* ******/****, *** ****** ** ** increase ** ****** *******, ** **** *** ****** *** ** less ***********.

Open ***** *******

** ****** *** ******* ** *** **** ***** ******* ******, first ******* ****** *** **** ** * ********/**** *****, ***** ~0.01 **. ** ******* ****** **** *** ******** **** ****** on.

** **** *****, *** ***** *** ****** **** ***** */*" ****** models ******, ****** ******* ********* *** ******* ******* *** ** the ********* ***** ** ***** ******* *** ******** ** *** Hikvision ****. ** ** ******* ******** **** *** */*" *****, ***** produces ** ***** ** *** *******.

******** ***, *** ***** ** ~**. ******* *** ******* ****, **** Axis ******, ********* *********, *** ****** ******* *********** *******.

***** *** *****

******* ******* **** ***** **** ** *****, *********** ********* ** *** cameras *** *** ********* *********** *****. ** **** ******, *** increased ***** ********** ***** *** *******'* ******* ******* ******* *** green ***** **********.

Parking *** *******

**** ** ****** *** ******* ** * *** ******* ***, ~0.3lx ** ******, ********** ******, **** ****:

*** ** *** ********** ****** ******** ** **** *****, *********** of *** ******* ** ******, **** *** ******* *** ***** easily ************ ** *** ******* ** * ~**' ****.

****** *********** ****** **** ********** **** *** *** ** ******* to ~**', ****** ******** *********** ** ***** **** ****** **** in ***** ***** ******. ** **** *****, **** *** **** cameras ** *** **** *** *** *****, ***** *** ***** cameras ****** ***, ** ******* ******, **** *** */*" ******* SNB-6005 ***** *****.

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

******* *** ******* **** ***** ****, *********** ** ******* ** monochrome. ****** ** **** ***** **** *** ** ********** ** in *** ***** *****, **** *** ***** ***** **********. **** objects **** *****, *****, *****, ***., ** **** ***.

Indoor ***********

*******, ** ~*.** ***, ******* *** *******. ********* *********** ******** the ******** ****** ** **** *****, ******** ** *** ***** starlight *****. **** ** *** ***** ******* ******** ****** ******* of *** **** *******.

** **** *** *****, ***** ~*.** ***, **** *** ********* and ***** ******* ******* ****** ** ***.

 

Bandwidth ***********

*** ***** *** *** ****** *** ***** ******** ** *** camera ** **** ****, *** ** *********, ********* **** **** 1 **/* ** **** ~*.* *** *** ~*.** ***. *** next ****** */*" ***** *** ***** ***** *** *** ********* DarkFighter ****, ***** ******** ***** *.***+ ***** ***** (******* ** Zipstream). **** **** **** ******* ****** ****** ************ ** **** low *****, ****** *** ******* ** ***** **** (~** **/* and ** **/* ** *** **** *** ****, ************). 

Test **********

******* **** ****** ***** ******* ********, **** *** ********* ******** applied ** *** *******:

  • ******* ***** *** *** ** * ******* ** */***
  • *.*** **** *******, ** ***, ~** ************ *** ****

*** ********* ********/******** ******** **** ****:

  • **** *****: *.**.*.*
  • **** *****: *.**.*.*
  • ***** ***-*******: *.***.******* **.*.*, *****: ****-**-**
  • ********* **-***********-*: **.*.*
  • ******* ***-****: *.*********
  • ******* ***-****: *.*********
  • ***********: *.*.*.***** 

Comments (19)

[Note: Poster is from Raytec Canada, an external illuminator manufacturer]

all the images suck, this clearly defines the fact that outdoors in a very low light scene every camera requires light, be it IR or White light! no one should accept these images, even in the context of price as a driver.

"all the images suck"

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

That said, a few years ago, even in moderately dark conditions, most surveillance cameras where pitch black. It's gone from that to an image showing quite a bit of details.

Paolo, you wouldn't happen to be the same Paolo Polano from RAYTEC Canada by any chance?

If so, now I can see where you're coming from when you say

this clearly defines the fact that outdoors in a very low light scene every camera requires light, be it IR or White light!

and

no one should accept these images

and of course

all the images suck

Next time, maybe mention it up front or try a little subtlety at least?

I did not hide my name like you. at the end of the day I stand by what I said. quality images need light, plain and simple.

if you do not agree that is fine also.

Paolo, IPVM requires disclosing relevant affiliations when criticizing or advocating products. I've added that to your original comment.

I also think the tone of your comment and failure to disclose up front is a blemish on Raytec and I'd advise you to review this tactic with David Lambert.

I'd advise you to review this tactic with David Lambert.

Good call. He's got quite lot of experience with it himself. ;)

Let's let bygones be bygones, ok? :)

Anyway, there's a new discussion needing your input:

Does Your IR Illumination Advertise Your Blind Spots To Criminals?

IR is OK but lack of color information, where the low light cameras could help a lot expecially in moderately dark conditions with low speed objects. For most CCTV Customers, color information is always valuable.

This image, taken at 0.05 lux does not suck. Nor is it washed out like IR can do.

BTW, No one is accepting these cameras because of price, they are the more expensive models from every manufacturer.

Its odd that you would be so disappointed in these images anyway since, as John pointed out they were far worse just recently.

Maybe another f-stop or two will help you see the light? ;)

On second look, I have to agree; these images wouldn't be hurt by a little external illumination.

And, come to think of it my Axton Smart-AT has never let me down, illuminating my courtyard in a way an integrated IR camera would be jealous of.

Just a tip also, you might automatically think that IR illumination = RAYTEC, but there are other choices and possibly better values out there, especially when your customer can't stomach spending more on LEDS than the camera!

I have had terrific success with Sony cameras in low light scenarios, and given that the SNC-VB635 compares identically to Axis' 1635 MSRP-wise, I'd love to see how it compares.

Thank you, this was very interesting!

In very low light, below ~0.01 lux, only the Hikvision and Dahua cameras produce images at all.

Well, there you have it!

With the latest and greatest low-light technology available on the market, ~0.01 lux images are at the very edge of usability.

Shame on all the manufacturers touting .001 and .0001 lux, what are they smoking?

It would be interesting to see a test of low light cameras on moving vehicles to see if license plates can be read both approaching a camera and leaving a camera. We have 4 Axis 1765LE cameras and we had to narrow down the FoV quite a bit and adjust other settings to be able to read a license plate at night. We had issues with washout and blurring but after some adjustment we can read probably about 70% of plates although the image is very dark. It would be good so see what other cameras can do. Once the light goes below a certain level night mode kicks in and it zooms into a predefined area. The image gets pretty dark, but the plates can be read. If we did not do that we had a very good color image of the overall scene, but had zero chance of reading plates.

Larry,

For sure, the shutter speed would need to be shorter / faster in that scenario. We test with 1/30s shutter but with a moving vehicle, getting a clear plate would require 1/100s or 1/200s, etc. (depending on just how fast it is). And with the faster shutter speed, that means less light and a darker image.

To that end, at night, you really need IR for getting license plates on moving vehicles. Related: License Plate Shootout

John,

Yeah, we are using IR and we adjusted the shutter speed faster which would cause less light. I will look at the shoot out.

Paulo, not every scene/situation permits active illumination. In some real-world situations, active illumination is tactically unsound and may be lethal. Please do not assume that your perspective, experience, or professional self-interest encompasses everyone else's needs.

IPVM is one of the few groups performing objective camera comparison tests, especially those at the fringe of usability. Their work has been tremendously helpful in characterizing total system performance, insuring graceful video system degradation, establishing worst-case performance, and documenting relative performance differences between camera generations/performance evolution.

How does the Axis Q-Series':

-Lightfinder

-WDR

-bandwidth/Zipstream findings

Match up against Sony's EM/VM series?

We haven't tested the 1/2" Sony VB model, so I'm not sure how it compares to the Axis Q1635, but:

The Sony VB630 was moderately better in low light than the Axis Q1615, both 1/3" 1080p models.

Sony's WDR was similar to Axis' Forensic Capture (their latest WDR variant).

Bandwidth isn't a competition anymore. Axis wins with Zipstream. As would a lot of smart CODEC cameras vs. cameras without. Sony introduced what they call "Intelligent Coding" in their 4K model but I don't think that's filtered to the rest of the line yet.

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

October 2018 Camera Course on Sep 13, 2018
Today is the last day to save $50 on the October 2018 Camera Course, register now. This is the only independent surveillance camera course,...
SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance 2018 on Aug 21, 2018
Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or...
Axis First IR PTZ Tested (Q6125-LE) on Aug 21, 2018
Axis is very late in releasing IR PTZs. While competitors such as Hikvision and Dahua have offered them for years, Axis has just released their...
Hikvision PanoVu Mini Tested (Multi-imager + PTZ For ~$500) on Aug 07, 2018
Hikvision has released their first PanoVu Mini multi imager, the PanoVu DS-2PT3326IZ-DE3, with four 1080p imagers, including a PTZ and integrated...
Panasonic 9MP Panoramic Fisheye Tested (WV-X4571L) on Aug 02, 2018
Panasonic has released their latest fisheye camera, the WV-X4571L, with 12MP sensor and 9MP resolution, claiming "extreme image quality" under...
Eagle Eye Networks Cloud VMS Tested on Jul 26, 2018
Eagle Eye has become one of the most significant players in the industry in the past few years: Eagle Eye's Owner Acquired Brivo Eagle Eye...
July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration is closed. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals.  Lots of network training...
Panoramic Fisheye Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek on Jun 27, 2018
IPVM tested Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek 12MP panoramic fisheye cameras head to head, as shown in the test setup...
Hikvision 12MP Fisheye Camera Tested (DS-2CD63C2F-IV) on Jun 14, 2018
Hikvision's DS-2CD63C2F-IV is their flagship panoramic camera, with a 12MP imager, 15m integrated IR, smart codec, and more. We tested the 63C2 in...
Introducing Effective PPF (ePPF) - Improving Video Surveillance Designs on Jun 11, 2018
Pixel density (PPF / PPM) is the best metric the industry has to define and project video quality. It allows simple communication of estimated...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Chinese Government Praises Hikvision Following Xi Jinping on Sep 17, 2018
The Chinese government council responsible for managing China's state-owned companies praised Hikvision’s obedience to China’s authoritarian leader...
Amazon Ring Spotlight Cam Tested on Sep 17, 2018
Amazon's Ring has released their latest camera entry, the Spotlight Cam, which we bought and tested in our Consumer IP Camera Analytics...
European Mega Security Firm Verisure Pushing Security Fog on Sep 17, 2018
The European mega security firm Verisure (Securitas Direct), with a reported 2 million customers, is pushing security fog, as shown in this BBC...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...

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