Camera Test: PPF Needed For IDs, Text, Money

By: 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?
  • **** ** *** *** fine ***** ** * dollar ****, ****, ******'* license ** **** ** a ********?

    ** ****** * ********* types ** *****.

    ********, **** *** ** dollar *** *** ****:

    ************** ****, * ** state ******'* *******

    *** ****, **** ***** size ******* **** * to **, **** **:

    *** ***** **** **** with ** ******** **** (like *** **** ********):

    *** ** ****** **** (like ** * **** teller):

    **** **** ******* *** questions **:

    • **** ********** ** * need?
    • *** **** ** * FoV *** * *****?
    • **** ****** ** ****** have ** ********* ****?
    • *** **** *** ** I *** *** ****, money *** ***?

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

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

    ***** ******* **** ****** of ******, ********, ***, or ***** ******* *** best ****** ** ******* the ******, ******* ** looking ******** **** **** above. ***** **** ** not ******** (*** ** obstructions ** ******** ***** pathways, ***.) ****** ****** be ** ******* ** possible ** ****** *********** issues. *******, *** ******* may ****** **** ***** handling ******, ********** ************ problems.

    *** ***** ***** ******** our *** *************** *** capturing ********, ***, *** other ******* ** **** test:

    Notable ********

    **** *** *** *** findings **** **** ****:

    • ******* ******* ******** ***** the ****** (**** ** cash *********) *** ****** in **** ***** ********** directly **** *** ******, overexposing *** *****.
    • ***** ** ****** **** of ~**° ******* *********** issues ***** ***** ********* similar ******* ** **** cases. **** *** ******'* license ** *** **** was **** ********* ** read **** *** ******* were ******, *** ** its ************. 
    • ****** **** ******* *** especially ********* ** ******* at *** ********** *** FOV, ***** **** ****** credit ***** *** ***** colors *** **** ******* and ********** ** ******* card ****** ***********. **** at ****+ ***, ******* are **** ********* *******.
    • *** ****** ** ****** for ******* ***** ** a ***** ** ******* are **** ****** **** expected ******** ** ******** elsewhere ** *** ****, since **** ******** ***** is ********* **** ***** objects. *** *******, ******** in *** **** *********** are ********* *********** ** ~160 *** ** ******, while ******* ****** ** read ***+.

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

    *** ***** *********** ******************** ***** **** *** cameras ******* ******** ***** the ******, ******* *** horizontal ***** ** **** at *', *', *** 9'. ** **** * look ** ******* **** sizes, * ************ ******* license, €* ****, *** $20 *** ****** ****.

    **** ***** ***** ** overview ** *** ***** at ***** ****:

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

    ** ***** **** * 3' **** ***** ** view. ** **** ****, 720p *** **** **** to ******** ******* ** pt. **** *** *****, while ** **. *** legible ** *** ***** camera. * *** ** MP ******* **** **** to ******* ** *** 9 **. *****, ************.

    ******** *** *** ** 5', *** **** ****** is **** **** ** make *** *** ******* font, ** **, *** 1080p ** ****** **** to ******* ** **. At **** *** *** light *****, ***** ******** begins ** ****** ** issue *** *** * and ** ** *******, with **** ******* **** 20 **. ********** ** read *** ** ************ of *** ***** ****.

    *******, ** * *' HFOV, **** **** *** 1080p *** **** ** discern **** ** **. font, ***** *** * and ** ** ******* are ** ****** *** no **** ** ************.

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

    ** * *' ****, 720p *** ***** *********** are ****** ** **** out *** ** *** text ******* ** *** driver's *******, *** **** detail ** *** *******'* photo. **** *** * and ** ********* ******* are **** ** **** address, ******* ******, *** some ******** ******* (****** out *****), *** ******* better ****** ** *** subject *****.

    ****** ** *' ***, none ** *** ************** ** **** **** on *** *******, **** overexposure ******** ** ***** due ** *** ***************** *** ******* *******.

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

    ****

    ******* ** * €* note, ** *** *********** the ************ ** *** resolutions, *** ****** ****** (seen *** ******) ** not ******** ** ****.

     

    ** *' ***, *** €5 ************ ** ***** easy ** **** *** on *** *******.

    *******, ******** ** *', denomination ** ***** *******, though **** ********** ** the **** ******. *** 5 *** **** ******* become *********** ****, *** €5 ** ***** *******.

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

    ******* * ** $** bill, *** ******* *** able ** ******* **** value *** ****** ****** at * *' ****.

    ****** ** *' ****, the **** *** ***** cameras ** ****** *** make *** *** ****** number *** ** ******* resolution. *** * *** 10MP ******* ******* ****** PPF *** **********, *** exposure ******** ***** ** arise.

    *******, ** * *' HFOV, *** ****** ****** is ******** ** *** cameras. *** **** ****** is ** *********** ** this ***** **** **** the $** **** ** difficult ** ****.

    45° ******* ***** ***** ***********

    ** ***** *** ******* back **** *** ***** and ****** **** ** about °45 ** *** **** effects **** *** ** text ********** *** ******** issues **** ** *** overhead *****. *****, ** **** a **** ** ******* font *****, * ************ driver's *******, €* ****, and $** *** ****** bill, **** ** **** FOV:

    **** *****

    ** *', ******* *** essentially *** **** ** the ******** ****, **** 720p *** ***** ********** 12 *** ** **. font, ************. *** *** camera ** **** ** read **** ** * pt., *** **** **** to ** **. 

    ******** *** *** ** 5', **** ** **. font ** ******* ** 720p, **** ** **. visible ** *** ***** camera. ************ ** *** 10MP ***** ** ******** reduced ****, **** ** pt. **** ********** ******* (previously ** **. *** the ******** *******).

    *******, ** * *' HFOV, ************ ** **** again * ******* *** the * *** ** MP *******, **** ***** smaller **** ** **. illegible.

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

    *** ******'* ******* ******* more ********* ** **** when ************* ******. ** * 3' ****, **** * and ** ** **** difficulty ********** *** ******* letters ** **** **.

    ******** *** *** ** 5', ******* *** **** completely ****.

    *******, ******** *** *** to *', ** ******* are ***********, **** *** state ****** ******* ** even *** **** ******.

    ****

    ** * *' ****, the €* **** ** still ****** ******* ** all *******.

    ******** ****** *** ********** reduced ** *** ****, seen ** **** **********. All ******* *** ***** able ** **** *** the ************ ******* *****.

    *******, ***** *** **** was ********** ** *********** the ** ** ****** had ********** ********** *** €5 ****, ******* *** cameras ******* ****, ****** details ** *** **** fully *******.

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

    ***** * *' ****, bill ************ *** ****** number ** ******* ** all ******* **** ** issues.

    ** * *' **** HFOV, *** ****** ****** is ********* ******* ** only *** ** ** camera, **** ****** ****** to **** ** ***. Bill ***** ** ******* visible ** *** *******.

    *******, ** *' ****, serial ****** ** ********** to *******. *******, ******** issues *** ******* *** to ****** *****, ****** the **** ************ ******* in *** *******.

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).

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