Integrator Camera Optimization Preferences

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Sep 27, 2017

How do integrators make cameras 'better'? What settings or optimizations do they change?

~150 integrators told IPVM what they do.

First, they answered:

How often do you optimize camera image quality settings? In what scenarios or applications?

And secondly, they replied with which settings and why:

What, if any, camera image quality settings do you typically optimize? Why?

Inside, we explain the most common optimizations do and share color commentary of their reasons for them.

Most ****** *********

***** **** ***** ********* which **** ***** ******* optimization ********* ** ***********, including:

  • **** *******/***** ******** ******, lobbies, *****, ***.
  • ******* ***** ******* *** recognition
  • ******* ******* ******

************, ***** *** * large ******* ***** ******** that **** ***** ********* cameras.

common optimized application

Most ****** *************

*** **** ****** ************* were:

  • **** ******* *****/********* ************
  • ***********/*******
  • ********/******* *****/****
  • **********/********/*****

 common settings optimized

Wide *******/***** ******** ****** **** ******

**** ******* *** ***** lighting ********** *** **** ******** cited ** *********** ** requiring ************. ************, *******, exit/entry *****, *** ******* areas **** *********.

  • "******* **** ********* * True *** ****** *** external *******"
  • "*** ********* ** ******* situations ***** *** ***** a *** **********."
  • "**** ******** *** **** door ****"
  • "****** *** **** ********* we **** ** ** it."
  • "***** ******** ************ **** weird ***** ***** ** WDR ******* **********."

*************, **** **** *****-******** WDR ******* **** ******* ****** in *** *** ** adjustment ** *** ****, simply ** ** ***. However, **** ******* *******,********** *** **** ******, ******* *********** ** increase/decrease ****** *** "****" WDR.

License ***** *******/*********** ************ ****

**** **** ****** *********** ***** ******* *** recognition************. **** **** ******* agree **** ***** ********, as ******** ******* *** often ** **** *** license ***** *******, *** substantial ************* *** ******** is ********. *** *** tests *** **** ***********: ******* ***** ******* ******** 2014*** **** ******* ***** Capture ********, *** ******* ***** ******* ** Test.

  • "** **** ** *** image ******* ******** **** cameras *** ****** ** difficult ******** **********, ********* outdoors. **'** **** **** to **** *** ******* plates ** ***** ** to **** ******** ***** and ****/***** ** **** at *****."
  • "********* **** ** ******* and ******** ****** ** analytics, ** ***** ******** vehicle ******* *** **********/******* plates *** *******."
  • "*** * ******** ******* such ** ******* ***** capture"
  • "**** *** ****** *** recognition *****"
  • "******* ******* **** ********* vehicles ******* ******."

Outdoor ****** *****

*******, ******* ***** ********* outdoor ******* ** ***** most ***********/****** *** ********* optimization. **** **** ***** responses **** ******** **** those ********** ******* *** scenes (******* *****).

  • "** ***** *** ******* defaults *** ******** ******* as ******* **** ***** conditions *** ******"
  • "******* ** *** ********* residential, ** *** **** are ********, *** ** controlled ********."
  • "** ****** ****** *** WDR ******** ******* ** deal **** * **** variety ** ******** ********** on ******** *******."
  • "****** *** *** ********* for *******"

Others: *** ********

**** ***** ************ **** mentioned, *** **** **** than * (*** ** 140+ *********), ********* **** handling *****, **** *******, schools, *************, *****, *** more.

Never/No *************

* ****** ** *********** answered **** **** ***** or **** ****** ********* cameras. ********* ******* ***** were **** ******** **** sufficient ** ****/*** ***** or **** ********* *** not ******* **. 

  • "*****. ********* ** *** ask *** ** ** need **"
  • "*** ***** ** ***. I **** **** *** defaults *** ********* ********."
  • "** *** ********, ****** specifications *** **** ********** rather **** ******* **** camera ***** ********."
  • "******* ******** ** *** times. ******* ****** **** to ** ***** ** we ***'* **** ****** settings **** ****."

Wide ******* *****/********* ************

*** *** *** **** ** far *** **** ********* optimization *********, **** **** simply ****** **** ***** lighting ******* ******** *** features ** ** ****.

*******, **** *********** **** mentioned **** **** **** careful ** **** ***/*** off **** *** ****** as ** ********* ********* with ******* *******. **** follows *** ******** ** our ******** ****** ********* **** Results.

  • "** ****** ****** *** WDR ******** ******* ** deal **** * **** variety ** ******** ********** on ******** *******."
  • "***- *** ***** **** to *** ********* ***** back ****** ***- *** often ** **** ******* has ** **** ***, so, **** *******- ***** strong **** ***** ** see ** ****** **** more *******, **** ***** parketing ** * ****** day **** ***** ******** a *** ****** *** brings * ******* ** see * **** ** people, ** *** ** usually ** *** **** areas."
  • "*** & ********* ************. When ***** *** ***** in *** ***** ***** more ********** ********** ** the ************* *******"
  • "***/**** ******* ******* **/*** - ********* **** ****** to ** ***** *** increases ********* ***********. **** dynamic ******** (****) -- always **** **** ******* to **** ******* ** is ***."
  • "*** ** ******* ***** cameras *** ****** ** high ******** ********* ******** conditions"

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

******, *********** ********* ********* compression/quality ********. ********* ****** but **** ******* ****** split ******* ********** ***********/********** quality *** ******** ****** and ********** *********** ** save *******.

  • "**% ** *** **** we *** ***** *** default ** ******* ***** quality *******, ****** ** run **** * ********* or ******* *****."
  • "****** *******/*****/********** *** ****** settings... *** ***** *******/***/*** settings *** **** * night *** *** ********* in **** ******* ************, while ****** **** ******* change ** *** ******* quality"
  • "********* **** *** ******* quality ***/** *********** ******** are ********"
  • "** **** ** *** image ******* ** **** cameras **** ******* ** "medium *******" *** ***** 4096kbps *** *******."

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

*******, *********** ******** **********, contrast, *** *****. **** mentioned ***** *** * huge ****** ** ***** quality, ***** ****** ******* out ** *** ****** to ****** ****** ** be ** ***** ** actual ** ********.

  • "*** **** * ****** are ********* *** ********** and *** ********. ******** contrast ** ******** *** one * ****** *** most ** *** * better ***** ***** ** the ***** ** ****."
  • "***** ********* *** ********, it's **** ***'** ******* at * ********** ********* image **** ******."
  • "******** / **********. *** and ********** **** ****** get *******, *** **** wdr ***** **** **** cameras *** ***** ***'* a ****** ** ***** settings *****."
  • "******** *** ********** ** order ** *** ** close ** **** ***** as ******** ** ******* lighting **********."
  • "*****, ********** *** *** two **** ****** *********."
  • "***** ******* *** ********** mainly."

Exposure/Shutter *****/****

*******, ******* ***** *** gain **** ******** *********, for **** ********* ***, reducing ****, ** **** as ******* ***** *******.

  • "****** ******** ******** *** light *** ***** ** objects"
  • "******** - ** *** need ** ****** ***** but ***** *** ********* where **** ****** ******** is *** ** ******"
  • "**** (**) & ******** Time: *** **** *** image **** ****** *** less *****."
  • "*** ******* ***** *******, fast ******* *****, *** adjust ******* **** ******* to ******** ****** ***** at *****."
  • "******* ***** - *** the ***** ******* *** the **** ***** (*****, day, *** **** ** in *** ***** ** view)"
  • "******* **** ** *** most ******. ** *** non ******* ******** ***** image ** ********."

Comments (6)

You would be surprised that in many cases, the tech does not check resolution.  Some manufacturers out of the box resolutions are low.  Example a 5MP camera out of the box is 2MP.  Too often I would go onsite and follow up and find this to be the case.  At the same time it allowed me to "shine" with the customer.

Interesting, more often than not I have to walk people through what room size and distances benefit from a setting of 720p versus 4K.  

I have found that matching the right resolution to the goal manages the bandwith and storage to the customers actual needs versus the marketing hype required in pixels to make the sale.  Pixels sell, storage helps prosecute.

Who really needs 4K in a 10x10 lobby?  Even h.265+ won’t reduce the nitrate as much as lowering the resolution to 720p if that’s all the customer needs.  

Oh, there might be a reason for 4K in a lobby, but it should be known and not just a default setting or one to impress.

Our recorders default to the maximum resolution and frame rate available in the camera and supported by the NVR so I frequently explain why you would reduce it to get more storage.

I too would turn it up if the customer had higher capability and wanted it and understood the trade-off. 

Ethan,

Was there a question about the usage (or not) of the Smart CODECs that are gaining in popularity?    

Mike, no, we did a separate survey on that last year - Smart CODEC Usage Statistics 2016 and we will do another one later this year. Also, those are generally on by default so they are less integrator optimizations than product improvements.

John,

FWIW, I recently got a few new Axis cams in my lab that had Zipstream.  The default setting was that it was ON...but at the low setting.   This was the setting I had in mind when I asked here.   The benefit increases when this setting is pushed to the higher values (in views that have some static video as reported in the IPVM testing).

"Default settings at all times. Cameras always have to be reset so we don't want custom settings each time."

This is scary.  Note, integrator is not saying the cameras always have to be rebooted, (which would be bad enough), but rather they always need to be reset to factory defaults...

Cure the symptom, cure the cold?

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