Camera Test: PPF Needed For IDs, Text, Money

Author: Derek Ward, Published on Feb 19, 2014

Need to see the fine print of a dollar bill, euro, driver's license or text on a document?

We tested 3 different types of print.

Currency, both the US dollar and the Euro:

Identification card, a US state driver's license

And text, with point size ranging from 8 to 40, like so:

The tests were done with an overhead shot (like for cash counting):

And an angled shot (like at a bank teller):

This test answers the questions of:

  • What resolution do I need?
  • How wide of a FoV can I cover?
  • What impact do angles have on capturing this?
  • How many PPF do I ned for text, money and IDs?

**** ** *** *** **** ***** ** * ****** ****, euro, ******'* ******* ** **** ** * ********?

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

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

************** ****, * ** ***** ******'* *******

*** ****, **** ***** **** ******* **** * ** **, like **:

*** ***** **** **** **** ** ******** **** (**** *** cash ********):

*** ** ****** **** (**** ** * **** ******):

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

  • **** ********** ** * ****?
  • *** **** ** * *** *** * *****?
  • **** ****** ** ****** **** ** ********* ****?
  • *** **** *** ** * *** *** ****, ***** *** IDs?

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

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

***** ******* **** ****** ** ******, ********, ***, ** ***** objects *** **** ****** ** ******* *** ******, ******* ** looking ******** **** **** *****. ***** **** ** *** ******** (due ** ************ ** ******** ***** ********, ***.) ****** ****** be ** ******* ** ******** ** ****** *********** ******. *******, WDR ******* *** ****** **** ***** ******** ******, ********** ************ problems.

*** ***** ***** ******** *** *** *************** *** ********* ********, IDs, *** ***** ******* ** **** ****:

Notable ********

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

  • ******* ******* ******** ***** *** ****** (**** ** **** *********) may ****** ** **** ***** ********** ******** **** *** ******, overexposing *** *****.
  • ***** ** ****** **** ** ~**° ******* *********** ****** ***** still ********* ******* ******* ** **** *****. **** *** ******'* license ** *** **** *** **** ********* ** **** **** the ******* **** ******, *** ** *** ************. 
  • ****** **** ******* *** ********** ********* ** ******* ** *** resolution *** ***, ***** **** ****** ****** ***** *** ***** colors *** **** ******* *** ********** ** ******* **** ****** information. **** ** ****+ ***, ******* *** **** ********* *******.
  • *** ****** ** ****** *** ******* ***** ** * ***** or ******* *** **** ****** **** ******** ******** ** ******** elsewhere ** *** ****, ***** **** ******** ***** ** ********* onto ***** *******. *** *******, ******** ** *** **** *********** are ********* *********** ** ~*** *** ** ******, ***** ******* facing ** **** ***+.

Overhead ***** ***********

*** ***** *********** ******************** ***** **** *** ******* ******* ******** ***** *** ******, varying *** ********** ***** ** **** ** *', *', *** 9'. ** **** * **** ** ******* **** *****, * Pennsylvania ******* *******, €* ****, *** $** *** ****** ****.

**** ***** ***** ** ******** ** *** ***** ** ***** FOVs:

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

** ***** **** * *' **** ***** ** ****. ** this ****, **** *** **** **** ** ******** ******* ** pt. **** *** *****, ***** ** **. *** ******* ** our ***** ******. * *** ** ** ******* **** **** to ******* ** *** * **. *****, ************.

******** *** *** ** *', *** **** ****** ** **** able ** **** *** *** ******* ****, ** **, *** 1080p ** ****** **** ** ******* ** **. ** **** FOV *** ***** *****, ***** ******** ****** ** ****** ** issue *** *** * *** ** ** *******, **** **** smaller **** ** **. ********** ** **** *** ** ************ of *** ***** ****.

*******, ** * *' ****, **** **** *** ***** *** able ** ******* **** ** **. ****, ***** *** * and ** ** ******* *** ** ****** *** ** **** is ************.

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

** * *' ****, **** *** ***** *********** *** ****** to **** *** *** ** *** **** ******* ** *** driver's *******, *** **** ****** ** *** *******'* *****. **** the * *** ** ********* ******* *** **** ** **** address, ******* ******, *** **** ******** ******* (****** *** *****), and ******* ****** ****** ** *** ******* *****.

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

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

****

******* ** * €* ****, ** *** *********** *** ************ at *** ***********, *** ****** ****** (**** *** ******) ** not ******** ** ****.

 

** *' ***, *** €* ************ ** ***** **** ** make *** ** *** *******.

*******, ******** ** *', ************ ** ***** *******, ****** **** difficulty ** *** **** ******. *** * *** **** ******* become *********** ****, *** €* ** ***** *******.

$** ****** ****

******* * ** $** ****, *** ******* *** **** ** discern **** ***** *** ****** ****** ** * *' ****.

****** ** *' ****, *** **** *** ***** ******* ** longer *** **** *** *** ****** ****** *** ** ******* resolution. *** * *** **** ******* ******* ****** *** *** legibility, *** ******** ******** ***** ** *****.

*******, ** * *' ****, *** ****** ****** ** ******** in *** *******. *** **** ****** ** ** *********** ** this ***** **** **** *** $** **** ** ********* ** read.

45° ******* ***** ***** ***********

** ***** *** ******* **** **** *** ***** *** ****** them ** ***** °** ** *** **** ******* **** *** ** text ********** *** ******** ****** **** ** *** ******** *****. *****, we **** * **** ** ******* **** *****, * ************ driver's *******, €* ****, *** $** *** ****** ****, **** in **** ***:

**** *****

** *', ******* *** *********** *** **** ** *** ******** shot, **** **** *** ***** ********** ** *** ** **. font, ************. *** *** ****** ** **** ** **** **** to * **., *** **** **** ** ** **. 

******** *** *** ** *', **** ** **. **** ** legible ** ****, **** ** **. ******* ** *** ***** camera. ************ ** *** **** ***** ** ******** ******* ****, with ** **. **** ********** ******* (********** ** **. *** the ******** *******).

*******, ** * *' ****, ************ ** **** ***** * problem *** *** * *** ** ** *******, **** ***** smaller **** ** **. *********.

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

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

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

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

****

** * *' ****, *** €* **** ** ***** ****** visible ** *** *******.

******** ****** *** ********** ******* ** *** ****, **** ** this **********. *** ******* *** ***** **** ** **** *** the ************ ******* *****.

*******, ***** *** **** *** ********** ** *********** *** ** MP ****** *** ********** ********** *** €* ****, ******* *** cameras ******* ****, ****** ******* ** *** **** ***** *******.

$** ****** ****

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

** * *' **** ****, *** ****** ****** ** ********* visible ** **** *** ** ** ******, **** ****** ****** to **** ** ***. **** ***** ** ******* ******* ** all *******.

*******, ** *' ****, ****** ****** ** ********** ** *******. However, ******** ****** *** ******* *** ** ****** *****, ****** the **** ************ ******* ** *** *******.

Comments (13)

Fantastic test, this great information!

Thanks for this test guys. This is very helpful!

Jason, Chris, thanks for the feedback!

Everyone else, especially those who complain about IPVM being controversial, this has 80% less reads than our 'controversial' / business trends pieces. If you want more hard core tests, read them and show that you appreciate them.

I read'em all no matter how juicy or how dry...

Reason is: I ain't missin' no questions on the next pop quiz like I did on the last one...

Which imma guessin is any day now...

Sorry, I had edited this before I saw your reply. I had asked if my prior comment was available for display. There was a posting error that presented an incomplete report, which I had commented on. Beyond completeness issues, I had basically expressed appreciation of the effort and asked about the possibility of OCRing the text images.

After I loaded the 3ft_Font_Sizes.jpg text image into Acrobat to OCR, I read...

"Acrobat could not perform recognition (OCR) on this page because:

The resolution of this page is below the minimum 144 dpi.

OK"

I was surprised that the image carried sufficient metadata for Acrobat to have any sense of its true dimensions, and would not even attempt to OCR it.

For example, when I tried to OCR images of ships with 12' high letters across the stern, Acrobat at least attempted to OCR the images (without success).

It was deleted because your comment was on a non published, non complete report.

Thank you. Definitely a well rounded series of tests.

Clearly the 1080p is the overall winner here when it comes to VFM. The 10mp is not 5 times better than the 1080p or is the 5MP 2.5 times better than the 1080p.

What is interesting is the color reproduction between the two HD and the MP images.

Could you please confirm if the screen shots were all the same compression format i.e. MJPEG or H.264 and if it was done through the cameras native web interface or through a VMS.

Ryan, we always test with H.264, unless otherwise noticed, given that is the overwhelming codec of choice in the industry. I'll let Ethan answer the other questions.

Ethan, Could you please advise the method of capturing each image. Was it through a specific VMS or through the cameras native web browser. Were they the same 4 cameras for all of the tests. What was the image quality settings and H.264 profile used.

I appreciate this report as much as any of the others IPVM provides; without comparison tests like these, we'd be performing these tests on our Customers....not the best scenario.

Thanks for the information.

I thought this was a good test showing how the different "documents" were influenced by the overhead light at the two different angles utilized. Good food for thought if one is faced with trying to get a "best" of both worlds for overhead/casino type images of a variety of "documents" which may come across a counter or desk.

Two Questions Please, John:

If I missed it, I'm sorry, but do you have a recommendation on the range of PPF for reading license plates?

Do you know if the PPF numbers would vary with H.265? I saw some chatter at IPVM on this topic last year, but it is more of a valid question now than it was in 2016.

Thank you!

Don,

Good questions.

License plate PPF requirements are similar to human face ones - 50ppf+ in general. You can see that / experiment with that in our Calculator example.

The big issues with license plate are (1) dealing with lighting (headlights + nighttime, etc.) and (2) dealing with speed (i.e., how fast is the car moving). This is why LPC generally requires integrated IR + fast shutter speeds, something we review in this license plate capture test. Regardless of your PPF, if lightning issues and speed are not properly handled, the license plate won't be properly captured.

Do you know if the PPF numbers would vary with H.265?

Nothing fundamentally makes H.265 better or worse than H.264 for capturing license plates. How much one compresses the image does, irregardless of the codec (e.g., see our Video Quality / Compression Tutorial).

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 on PPF

Hanwha ExtraLux Camera Tested on Jan 11, 2018
Hanwha has released the latest in their Wisenet X line, the "extraLUX" series, claiming to "capture crystal clear, true-color images in low-light...
Dahua Multi-Imager Tested (PDBW8800-A180) on Nov 28, 2017
Dahua has released their latest generation of multi imager models, including the PDBW800-A180, a 4x1080p dome model claiming 30m/~100' IR and Smart...
Hikvision 4K IR PTZ Tested (DS-2DF8836IV-AELW) on Nov 10, 2017
The IR PTZ trend continues, now with 4K resolution, with Hikvision releasing its DS-2DF8836IVAEL-W camera, a 4K 1/1.9" PTZ model specifying 200m IR...
Geovision 4MP Super Low Cost Turret Tested (EBD-4700) on Sep 29, 2017
~$100 cameras, even for 4MP, are now expected by many dealers, as price cuts and ongoing sales have set this expectation. At the same time, many...
Axis: Use QR Codes Instead of Access Cards on Sep 12, 2017
Innovation in access may be hard to find, but Axis recently suggested an idea for credentials few have considered. Rather than using plastic cards,...
Camera Application Selection Guide on Aug 23, 2017
Entrances, hallways, rooms and parking lots are perhaps the 4 most common areas where surveillance is deployed. But what is the best type of camera...
Dahua 4K IR PTZ Tested on Aug 21, 2017
4K has made its way to IR PTZs. In this report, we examine the Dahua 6AE830VNI, a 4K PTZ with 30x optical zoom, 200m (~650') integrated IR, and...
Sony Next Gen HD Dome Camera Tested (SNC-EM642R) on Aug 18, 2017
Sony has released their latest generation, claiming improved WDR and low light, increased IR range, and more. We tested the SNC-EM642R outdoor IR...
Axis Laser Focus PTZ Tested on Aug 14, 2017
Axis has been touting its new Q6155-E laser focus PTZ as 'always in focus' and 'always in color'. Does it really deliver? We bought and tested...
IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017 on Aug 14, 2017
RFPs are hard. Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time. Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Change Orders - Sometimes Necessary, Sometimes Unethical on Feb 19, 2018
Change orders are a common element in project sales. Sometimes they are a necessity and appropriate ways to deal with arising issues, but sometimes...
Bosch Merges Video, Intrusion and Access Businesses on Feb 19, 2018
Bosch is merging their "video systems, intrusion detection, as well as its access control and management software business units to form a single...
Why 3VR Failed on Feb 16, 2018
3VR destroyed transformed ~$65 million in VC funding into a $6.9 million exit. The reason they failed is simple. They bet on analytics. They...
"Fear Mongering": Hikvision USA Cybersecurity Director Dismisses Chinese Government Ownership Concerns on Feb 16, 2018
The facts are: The Chinese government created Hikvision and is Hikvision's controlling shareholder. Hikvision's Chairman, a Communist Party...
16:9 vs 4:3 Video Aspect Ratio Statistics on Feb 16, 2018
What aspect ratio do security integrators prefer? The 'standard' 4:3 or the 'wide' 16:9 one? 100+ integrators told us what they preferred, with...
Mercury Releases New Series 3 Redboard Access Panels on Feb 15, 2018
Mercury Security has their first major product release post-HID buyout, and things literally look different. The Series 3 SIO boards now are red...
Last Chance February 2018 Camera Course on Feb 15, 2018
This is the last chance to get into the Winter camera course, starts next Tuesday. Register now. IPVM provides the best education, live online...
Hikvision DeepInMind Tested Terribly on Feb 15, 2018
While Hikvision is heavily marketing deep learning and 'AI' as their next big thing, new IPVM test results of their DeepInMind NVR shows their deep...
Genetec CEO: You Cannot Buy Trust on Feb 14, 2018
Genetec's CEO, Pierre Racz, delivered a direct message at their channel partner conference: Racz has become a focal point in the industry debate...
Assa's Lowest Power Draw Maglock: Securitron M680E Examined on Feb 14, 2018
Securitron produces some of the most extreme maglocks on the market, including massively strong maglocks and even ones with integrated CCTV cams...

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