Bosch Starlight Tested vs Axis

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 03, 2013

[UPDATE June 2013: We tested the Bosch Starlight camera against the new Sony Gen 6 camera. When doing so, we upgraded Bosch to its newest available firmware (5.80). We found this change (moving from 5.70 to 5.80), resulted in significant improvements in image quality and bandwidth consumption. The March 2013 test has been updated inside.]

Low light performance is critical for high end surveillance cameras. Delivering high quality, detailed low light images without any added light is highly valued and a key competitive differentiator.

In the past two years, Axis has boasted 'Lightfinder' technology in their top tier camera line, claiming quality color images even in extremely dark environments. And those cameras have performed well in IPVM shootouts - see our tests of the Q1602 and Q1604. Plus, Axis has integrated Lightfinder to many new cameras, helping to differentiate and justify its premium prices.

Now, Bosch has launched a new 'Starlight' series claiming exceptional low light performance.

Lightfinder vs Starlight

We wanted to see how they would compete so we matched up Axis's Q1602 and Q1604 vs Bosch's Starlight NBN-733V and their NBN-932V 1080p box camera.

We did series of tests indoors at very low light levels including 0.1 lux, 0.5 lux and outdoors from 5 lux to less than 1 lux.

[UPDATE: The report now includes comparisons of image quality and bandwidth for Bosch's new 5.80 firmware.]

[****** **** ****: ** ****** *** ***** ********* ************* *** *** **** *** * ******. **** ***** **, ** ******** ***** ** *** ****** available ******** (*.**). ** ***** **** ****** (****** **** *.** to *.**), ******** ** *********** ************ ** ***** ******* *** bandwidth ***********. *** ***** **** **** *** **** ******* ******.]

*** ***** *********** ** ******** *** **** *** ************ *******. Delivering **** *******, ******** *** ***** ****** ******* *** ***** light ** ****** ****** *** * *** *********** **************.

** *** **** *** *****, **** *** ******* '***********' ********** in ***** *** **** ****** ****, ******** ******* ***** ****** **** in ********* **** ************. *** ***** ******* **** ********* **** in **** ********* - *** *** ***** ** ****************. ****, **** *** ********** *********** ** **** *** *******, helping ** ************* *** ******* *** ******* ******.

***, ***** *** ******** * *** '*********' ****** ******** *********** *** ***** ***********.

Lightfinder ** *********

** ****** ** *** *** **** ***** ******* ** ** matched ** ****'* ***** *** ***** ** *****'* ********* ***-**** *** their ***-**** ***** *** ******.

** *** ****** ** ***** ******* ** **** *** ***** levels ********* *.* ***, *.* *** *** ******** **** * lux ** **** **** * ***.

[******: *** ****** *** ******** *********** ** ***** ******* *** bandwidth *** *****'* *** *.** ********.]

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

Key ******** 

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

  • *** ***** *********** ***** ** ****** **** ******* *** ***** ******* from **** (***** *** *****), ********** **** *** ******** *.** firmware.
  • ******** *** ***** *********** **** ***** *****'* ******* ****, **** the ******* ***, ** ******** ****, **********, *** ********.
  • ****** ****** **** ******* ** **** *** ***** ******. ***** says ** ** * ****** ** ***** *********** ******* ***** correction, *** **** *******.
  • ********* *********** ********* ********** *** ****** **** ********** **** ****** across *** ***** **** *** **** ******** ******* ** *** light.
  • ******** *.** ******* ******** ****** **** *** ***** ****** ** low ***** ******. **** **** ****** ** **** **** *** using *.** ********, ****** ***** ***** ** ****.** **. *.** *******.

Other *** *******

  • ******* ** ** ** ** *** ** **** **********, ****** **** frame **** ** ******** ******.
  • **** *********: ***** ***** **** ********* **** * ****** **-********* ***/***** ********* lens. ***** ********** *** *** ** ****** ****** **** ***** ******* (********* * * **** ****), *** ** did *** **** *** *** *** ****.
  • *****: *** ***-**** *** * ****** ***** ** ************* $*** *** without ********** *********, ** ***** $*** **** *****'* *** ** board, *** ********* ****. ****** * **** ****** ***** ***** ** about $*** *** *** ***-******** *******, *** $*** *** *** IVA *****. **** ** ***** ****' *******, **** *** ***** and ***** **** ******* *** ***** $***-*,*** ******. ****' **** ****** P1354 **** ***** **** *********** ** ****** ** ***** ** *** ***-****, ******* *** $***-***, ********* ****. ****** ** **** *** ****** **** ******** *****, we ****** *** *********** ** ** *** **** *** *****, since **** ***** *** *** ***** *********** *** ****.
  • ******** ********* ******: ** ******** ** *** ***-****, ***** **** ** ********* two **** ********* ****** ** ** ****, ** ****** *** vandal-resistant **** **** *******. ***** ******* **** ** **** *** the **** ******** ** ****, ***** ****** *********** ** ***, ** **** as ****** *** ****** ********* **** **** *******.

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

*** ***-**** ** * *********** ****** *** *** ***** ************, at ** ********** ***** *****. ** **** ******, ** *********** Axis. *******, ***** ****** ** ***** ** *** ******** ****** blur ******, ***** **** *** *** ******* ** *** *****, and *** ** * ******* *** ****-****** *****.

***** *** ***** ***** ****** ** * *** **** ********* in ******** *** ***** *********, *** *** **** ** ** much ****** **** ** ***** *** ***** **** ***. ** you *** ****** * ***** ** ***** ********, *** ********* between *** ****** ***** ***** ** *** ***** *** ****** price ****** ** ******* ******* *** ****'* **** ******** *** light ***********.

Market ******

**** ***** ***** **** **** ** ***** ****. **** * few ***** ***, ***** *** ****** ******* *** *** * non ****** ** ** *******. ***, **** **** ******** *** tier ********* (********* **** *** ***** *** ******). **** ****** help ***** ******* ** **** ********* **********. ** *** ***** hand, ** **** *** **** ****, *** *** **** ********* this ********** *** * **** *** * **** *******. *** two *** ********* ******: **** **** **** ** **** ** low ***** *** **** **** ***** ************* ******* ******* *** light *******?

Axis: *** ********** *** *********

*** ***** ***** ** **** ******* ** *** **** *****, ***** ** ******* ************ ***** */* ******* **** ***** average *** ***** **********:

Default **. ******* ****

** ********* ** ******** ***** *** ***** ****, ***** ******* ********, *** ***-**** ** *********** ******** ** some *********** **** ** ****. ** ****** ******* **** **** the *** ** ****** *****, *** ***** **** ** **** resulted ** ***** ** *** ***** ***** ******* ** **** color *** ********** *****. *** ********** ******* *** *** ***** may ** **** ** ***** ********** ******, ******** ** .* lux, ** ***** ****:

 

** .* *** ** ***** ****, *** ********** ** **** **********: 

******* **** ******* ***** *** ***** ** ****. ** ********** mode, ** .* ***, ******* **** ******* ** * ********** brighter *****.

******* ** **** ******** ** *** ***** *********** *** **********, we ********* ***** *** ******* **** ** ***** ******. ** have ***** ***, ** ***, ********* **** ***** **** ****. Bandwidth *********** ******* ************* *** **** ** ** ******* ****. The **** ****** ** **** ****** *** ** ********** *******, due ** *** ******** ** ****, *** ** ***** **** the ******** ** ********** ********** *** ******** ** *****.

Indoor **********, ******* ****

** *** ***** ** *** *** ***** ****** (~.* ***) in ***** ****, *** ***-**** ******** ******* ****** ** *** subject, ****** ** ** ********** ******* **** *** **** *******. 

******** *** ***** ** ~.* ***, *** *** ***** ******** more ****** **** *** ***** *******, **** **** ***** *********** available, *** *** *******'* **** ***** ******** ***************.

 

** ********** **** ** ~.* ***, *** ***'* ********* **********, but *** *******'* **** *** ******* ** *** ***** *** still **** *******:

*******, ** **** *****, ** *** *** *** *** (*** 932) ** *********** ******** ** *** *****. *** ********** ** the ***** ** **** **** ** ****** *** ** *** lower **********.

Outdoor **********

******* ** ** ******* *** ***** ***** **** ****** ********** with *** ****** *****, **** * *** ***********. ** **** example, ******* ******** *** **** **, ********* ** ~*-* *** on ******. ** **** *****, *** ********** ***** ** **** at *** ****** ** ************* ** **** ** *** ****** scene, ***** **'.

** **** ****, *** ***-**** ******** *** ****** ***** ** the ******* ****** ** * ******** **** *** ****** *****. Both *** *** *** *** ***** ******* ******* ******, ****** the *** ***** *** **** ** ******** *** ***** ********* by *** *****, ***** ****** *** *** ******* ** *** Q1604's *****, *** ** ********** ****** ** *** *****.

******* *** *** ******* ******, ***** ****** **** ** ***** 1 ***. *** ***-**** *** ***** ***** ******* ****** *********, with *** ***** ********* **** *****, *** ****** ******** **** readable ** *** ***. *** *****'* *********** ******** ******* *** strong ********** *****, ****** *** ***** ********** ** * ****** in ******* *********.

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

Motion **** ******

** *** ***** ******, *** ***-**** ********* ********** ******** ** moving *******, ***** ******** ** ***** ****** *********. **** *** not ****** ** **** *******, ** *** ***'* ******* ******* is */***. *******, ***** ******* ** **** **** ** *** to *** ******** ***** *********, **** ** ***** *********** ******* noise ********* *********. **** ******* ***** ********* *********** ***** ** motion ** *** *****. ***** *** *** **** **** ** this ***** ***** ** ~.* ***:

******** ***** ** *** **** ******* **.* ******.* ***** *** **** ******.

5.80 ******** ************

(Updated, **/**/****)

***** *** ******** *****, ***** ******** ******** ******* *.** ** their ********.  ***** *** *** *** ******* ***** ***** ****** be ***** **:

  • ***** ***** *** ******** *** ***** *******. ****** ********* **********, but **** ******* *** ** ******** ** ******* ******* ***** reduction *******.
  • ***** ********* ** *** ****** ******, ********** ** *** *****.

** *** ** *** ***-**** ******* **** ********* ****** *** settings (******* **** ********, ************ ** ** *** *** */*** shutter *****) ** ***** ** *** *********** ******* ***** *** versions. ******** ** ~*.* **, ** *** *** *********** ** 5.80. *** ***** ** ********, **** * **** ****** *********** to ******* **** ** *** *******. *******, *** ***** ******* slightly **** *******. ** *** *.** ******, **** ** *** 5 *** ** **** (*****), ***** ** *.**, *** * (LPED) ** *** **** *** ********.

** ~*.** **, *******, *.** *** ***** ********** **** *.**. The ******* ** *******, *** *** *** ****** ** *** chart ** *******, ***** ** *** *.** ******, ******* *** be **** *** *****.

** **** *****, **** ******* **** ****** *********, **** ** gains ** **** ** ********** *** ****** ********:

********* ********** 

*.** *** ******** ********** **** *.** ** *** ****** ******. In *** **** ***** *****, *********** *** ** *******:

  • ******** *.**: ~*** **/* *******
  • ******** *.**: ~*.* **/* *******
  • **********: ~*.* **/* (~**%)

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

  • ******** *.**: ~*.* **/* *******
  • ******** *.**: ~*.* **/* *******
  • **********: ~* **/* (~**%)

*******, ***** * ***** ***** ** ******** ******* ******* ** motion, *** ********** ** *****, **** ***** *** **/*:

  • ******** *.**: ~*.* **/* *******
  • ******** *.**: ~*.* **/* *******
  • **********: ~*** **/* (~*.*%)

***** ** *** ** *** ***** *******, ** ******* ***** will ****** **** ********* *** ******* *.** ************ ** **** cases. ***** ***** *** ****** *** ****** ** ***** **** details **** ** ****, **** ** ******* ****** ** ***** markings ****** **** *** ******** ** ***** *****, ** ** found **** ****** ** ******* ********** **** ** *** ***** scenes **** *.**.

***** ******* ** *** ******** *.** **** *** ******* *********** cameras **** **** *** **** *** ****** **** *** * ******* ***********.

Competitive ********* ***********

********* ** *****'* ************ **** *.**, ***** ********* *********** *** significantly ***** **** **** ****** *** ***** - ** *** light, **** ******* *** **** ****** ******. *** **** ******** difference *** ** *** ***** ***** *****'* ********* *** ***+.

Comments (19)

** *****,

**** ***** ******* *** ***** ******* **** *****? **** ** a **** ****** **** *********** ************ **** ** **** **** effective.

******, ** ****** ******* *** ***** *** *** ***** ******* they've **** *** **** ********** *** ***** *******. *** ***** has *** **** ******* ************ ***** ** *** *****, ** we ****** ** ***** ****** *** ***** *********. **'* **** as ******* ** ****, ****** ** **** **** ** ** in *** $***-*** *****, ** ******* ** $***-***.

** *****, *** *** **** *******, *** *** ** **** the ***** (******** $*** **** **** *** *****). * **** this *** ** *** ***** *** **** **** ***** ******** with *** *****. *** ***** ********** ***** ******* **** *******, and *** *********** ********** ** ** ***** ** *** ** the *****. ** ** ***** ******* * ****** ** ******** which *********** ****** ** ** ***, ***** *** **** **** cameras *** *** **** ****.

***, **** **** ****, * **** **** ***** *** ******* out *** ***** *****. ***** **** ** ***** ****, ** I ** *** **** ** **** ** ** **** ** a *** ******** ** ***** ****** *** * ****'* ** any ******** *******. *** *** * *** *** ** **** I ** ********* ** **** **** *** **. **** *** better **** ** *** ***.

******, ** *****, **** *********** ** **** ******. *** ***** our ***** *** ******* ** **** ***** ********* ** ***********, which ** * ******** ***** **** ****** *** *** ******* (like *** *** ******* *** ******** ** **** ****** ** well ** *** ****** ********** **** **** ****) *** ***.

** ****, **** *** ***** **** *****, ** ******* **. I ** ********* ** *** *****'* *********.

** *** ***, *****'* ***** **** **** ** ****** **** DNR *** *** ******* ***** *** **** ***** ** **. Many ******* *'** ********* ****** **** **** *** ******* **** show **** **** ** ********** *** ******, ** **** ** that *'** **** ******* *** ** *** ** *******.

** ****** ******* ** *** *** ** ****. ** **'* 2D **** (**********) **** *** ********* **** *** ***** *** significantly **** ****** *******. *** **** ************* ** *** (**********) looks ** ****** *********** *** ***** ****** * ***** *** can ******* ***** ******* ******* *** **** ***** ** **** occurring. ** ****** *** **** ******* ******* ** *** ** to ******* ********* *** **** *** ** ****** ********* *********.

*** *****, *** ***-**** ** ***** **** ********** *** **********. They ***** ** **** ** ******** *** *******, *** **** can ** ******** *************, ** ****. *** *** **** ******* them ** *** ** *** *** ****** **** ******** ** the *.** ********.

*****, *** * ****. * ****'* ******** ************ ** ***** so **** ** * *** *** ** *******, *** ****** for *** *************.

*** ***** ***** ******* ******* ** * *** ***** **** from ****,*** ***? (**** *****)

**** *** **** *** ***** ** ***** **** ** *******? (They *** **** *********...)

******, ****** *** ******* ****. ** **** ** ****** **** Flir's *** *********. ** **** ******* **** ** ***** **** for *********.

** *** ** ****** ** ******* **************** **** *** ***** **** ***********.

********* **** **** *** *** ******** **** **** ******** ***** 2011, **** **** *** ***** ** *** *** **** ** imaging ********? ***** *** *** ***** ** *** ***** ******** incumbents ** **** ** ***** *********** ****** **** *****, ********* and ****?

** **** *** ****** *** *** **** *** * ** we ***'* **** * ********* ***** (****** **'* ** *** test **** *** *** **** *** ******). * ** **** hearing **** ***** **** **** * ***** *** ******* ** ISC **** ** **** ***** ****** ******.

**** ****, ******** ** *********'* *** ***** **** **** ****, Sony's *** * *** *** ******** ***** ***** **********, *****'* top ******* *** ***** ** ******** ** *** ***** *** WDR ** *****.

**** ****, **** *** ******* ******** ***********, *** *************** ** diminishing ***** *** ***** ******* * **************.

** *****,

** ***** **** *** **** ***-* **** ***** **** * significant **********, **** **** ******** ******* *.** *** ******* ****. Also **** *** **** ***** ** *** .* *** .* lux ****'*.

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

*'** ***** **** ********** **** *** **** ***** **** *** default ******** *** *** ******* ********* ***** *********, *** ******** adjusting **** ****** ********** *********** ****** *** ***** ***** ****** still ****** ****** ***** ***********.

** **** ** ****, ***** *** **** *** ******* ** the ****, *** **** *** ******* **** ** **** ******'* ?

****** !

** **** ****** ** ***-****. *** ****** **** ********* *** very **********, **** ** ****** **** >****** ************. ** *** very ************* - ********* ****** ******* **** *** ****.

*'* ****** ******* **** ****** ** *****, * ******** ****** off *** *** *** ****** *** ***** *******, *** * can't **** **** ****** ******* ****** *** ****** ** *** test ***** **********'* *** ***** ********* *** ***** ******, ********* I ******* ** *** ******'* ******** ****** *** ***' ****** to ****** ** *** ** ******* * ****** ** *******. The **** **** *** ** ********** *** ***** ******.

**'** *** **** * ****** ** ***** ******** *****-******* ****** during *** *** ***** **** ** *******. ***** ***** ********:

**** **** *******, *** ***'* ****** ***** ******** ** *** ONVIF ****** ******* *** ******'* *** ****. **** ******** ****, saying ***** ***** ******** **** ** ******* ******* *** ***. That *** *** *** **** **** *** ***** ******.

*** **** ***** ***** ** **** ***** *** **** *** camera ** "*********" ** *** ******* ** ************/*********** ** ** while ********* *** ***** ******. **** ******** ****** ******* **** two ********* *** - ********** *** ************. *** *** ***** is **** *** ***** ** *** **** ******* ****'* ********* that *******.

*** **** ******, *** ********** *** ******** ***** *** ******* all ****** ** ******* **** **** ***** **** *** ***** and **** *** ********* *** ***** ***** ******. * ******* that **** ******** **** ************ *** ***'* ******* ******* ***** system *** **** ******* *** ** ****'* ******** ******** **** issue ***** **** ****. *** *** ** *** *** *** those ******* ** ** ****.

** *****,

******* ******** **** **** ** *** *****. **** ***** */*** max *******, *** **** *** ****. ** *** **** *********** to *** ****** **** ******* ** *** *****.

** *** ****, ******** *** *** ***** **** **** (****** and *******). ** ******* ****, **** ***** *** ***** *, and * ******* ******* ** */***. ** ***'* ** ****** to ****** ****.

**'* ******** **** *** *** ******* ** *** **** ***** be ******** ** ****** ****-******* ***********. **** **** *** ***** suggested **** **** *** ********, *** ** ** *** ******** do ****, ** **'* ********* **** **** ***** ***'* *** into.

* **** **** ******* **** *********!

* ******** **** ***** ****, ********** ** ******** ** *****'* comment *****, "******** ********* **** ****** ********** *********** ****** *** noise ***** ****** ***** ****** ****** ***** ***********." *****, ** you *** ***** ****** ****** **** ***** ****** ****.

** ** ********** **** *** *****, * **** *** **** 'drastic' ************ ** ******** ***** ***** ******* ******** ***** ***********. I ** *** **** **** '****** ****** ***** ***********' *****. From ************* **** ********* **** ****** ** *** *****, ** very **** ********** **** **** ** *** ******* **, ******** the **** **** ****** ********* **** *** ****** ******. * suspect, ** **** ******** ***********, *** *** **** ******** **** light *** **** ****** **** ******* *****, ** ** ***** be ****** ** **** *** *********** *** ***. *******, ** terms ** ******* *** ******* ****** *******, ******** **** ** reduce ******* ***** **** **** ********* ****** ******* ******* ********/*********.

** *** ******* ** **** **** ******** **. ** ** purely ******, ** ** *** ***** ***** ********* *** ******** vision. **** ***** * ***** ********** ** *** *** ***** at *** *****, *** **** *** ******* ******** ***.

*** *** ********** ***** ***** ******** *** **** **** ****** visible *******, *** *****, *** ***** ******** ***** *** **** other ******** **** **** **** ****** ** *** ***** *****.

** **** ***** ** ** ******** ****** ******** *** ***** detection, ***** ***** ** * ******** ********* ***** **** **** people ** **** *****. *******, ********* * *** ******-******** (** following **** **** * : *** **** *** ***) ***** have ** ******** ****** ** *** *****.

* ***** **** ** **** * ****** ** * **** scene, **** **** * ****** ********. *'** **** **** ** your **** **** *-****.

*** ***** ** ******* ** ***********, ** *** ***** ** works *********.

** **** ***** ***** ********* ** * ******, ** ** important ** **** **** ****** ** ** ******* **, *** how *** *** ******** *** ********, ******* **** *** ********** affect *** *********** ** *** *********, *** **** *******.

*'* ******* **** *********** *** ** **** **** *** ****-******, probably **'* **** ******** ** *** ** ******, *** * haven't *** ** *** ** **.

*** *** **** *** ***** ** ********** ****** ** **** as *** ***** **** *** ***** *** ***'* ***** *** "Lightfinder" **********. ****** ******* ** * ** *****.

*****, ***** *** ***** ***'* ********** ****** ** ***********, *** minimum ************ ***** *** *** **** ** *** *********** *****. However, **** ** **** **** **** *** ** ****** ***, as ** ********* ** ******** ****.

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