Hikvision ColorVu Integrated Visible Light Cameras Examined

By: IPVM Team, Published on Jun 22, 2018

UPDATE: Hikvision ColorVu Camera Tested

When it comes to low light, infrared light has become the defacto standard in surveillance. But IR is limited to monochrome images, making colors impossible to distinguish.

Hikvision has the DarkfighterX (see IPVM test results), a dual imager camera aimed at delivering low-light color images but those units are relatively expensive.

Now, Hikvision is adding a low-cost option, integrating visible light LEDs into their cameras in the new ColorVu series, claiming 'round-the-clock vivid color images'.

Hikvision ColorVu Camera

Is this smart or foolish? Based on our Hikvision IFSEC meeting, we examine the ColorVu line, its potential outlook, pros and cons inside.

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

**** ** ***** ** low *****, ******** ***** has ****** *** ******* standard ** ************. *** IR ** ******* ** monochrome ******, ****** ****** impossible ** ***********.

********* *** *************** (*** **** **** results), * **** ****** camera ***** ** ********** low-light ***** ****** *** those ***** *** ********** expensive.

***, ********* ** ****** a ***-**** ******, *********** visible ***** **** **** their ******* ** *** new ******* ******, ******** 'round-the-clock ***** ***** ******'.

Hikvision ColorVu Camera

** **** ***** ** foolish? ***** ** *** Hikvision ***** *******, ** examine *** ******* ****, its ********* *******, **** and **** ******.

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

Visible ***** **** + ***********

******* **** ***** ***** illuminators (**** **) ** a *********** *****, ***** below ******* ***** **** *****.

********* ***** **** *** visible ***** ************ *** be ******** ********** (**/***, on ******, ********* ********* level - **%, **%, etc.)

Other ************: ***** *-****/***** ******** *****

********* *** **** ********* two ***** ********* ** these ******:

  • **.* ******:******* **** ** ******** with ****** **** ********* as *** ** **.*. Typical ***-**** ****** *** generally **.*, *.*, ** 2.0, ******** **** **** light.
  • ******** *****:********* ****** **** ****** will *** ****-********** ******** and *****-*** ********** ******* glass ** ***** ** cut **** ** ***** and ***** *****.

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

******* ******* *** **** of *********'* ***-******** ** *.* ************** *.* *** ****, **** ******** ** start ******** ** ** 2018.

*******

********* **** ******* **** be ****** ** * modest ******* ** ******** Darkfighter ******* (** *** 10% *****). ** ****, we ***** ****** ***** focal ***** ** ****** in *** $*** *****.

Big ******* - **** ******* ********

**** ******* ******** ** common ** **** ***** surveillance ************. **** ******** visible ******** **** *** the ****** *** *** people ** *** ******'* area.

Challenge: ****** ***** ********

*** ***** ********* *** ColorVu ** *** **** its ******* ***** ******** is ** ** ***. As ********** **** ** IR ************, ********** ***** cost ******, ************ *** often ****** ** *** center, ************ ********, *** dark ** *** ***** of *** ***** ** view, ****** ********* ********* to ***.

**** ** *********'* *** IFSEC **** *****, *** edges ** *** ***** of **** ****** ****** and *** ******* ****** out:

Challenge: **** **********

*** ****** ******* ** how ********** ** ******** it *** ** ** users ***/** ********* ** have ***** ************ ** all *****. ******* *********** onto * *********** ******** is ********* ******* ** on ** **** ******* for ********* ** **** municipalities.

**** *** ** ********** true ** ******* ************ are ******** *******, ********* harsher ************ ********. *******, if ************ *** **** diffuse *** *** ***** a ******* ******* ** typical ******* ******, ***** may ** **** ****** to ****** ***** *******.

Benefit: ******** ** **********

******, **** ***** *** find **** ********** ******* lighting ** * ******** benefit, ********* ** ********* low-cost *** ** *** lighting ** * ********* to ***** *** * way ** **** ****** feel **** *********** ******* in ** **** ** night.

Other ***** ***** *******

*** **** ******* *********** white ***** *********** ****** is****'* ***-******, * ***** ****** with *****-** ***** ***** and ** ************. *******, the *****'* ***** ***** LEDs *** ******** *** event ***, *** **** time, *.*., ********* ** analytics **** * ******* approaches. ************, *** ****** sells *** ~$*,*** ***, while *** ******* **** will ** *** **** expensive.

Worth ******

** ********* ***** **** is ***** ******. * - ** ***** ***, many ******* ****** ** illuminators ** ******* *** a *** **** *** now ** ** *********** standardized ****** *** *************. There ** * *********** that **** *** ****** here.

Test ***********

***** ** ****** ********* benefits *** ********, ** is **** ** ********* how *********** **** *** until ** ****. ** plan ** ** ** when **** *** ********.

Vote / ****

Comments (18)

I would say interested with a significant quantity of reservations.  I do not think our clients would react well.  The cheap near invisible IR was a bit easier for them to stomach the faint red glow.  White light seems more like a garage door emergency light in terms of annoyance... but it does add some possible deterence effect.

Sony has white lights on their bullet camera.

Michael,

From the post above, which I quote / copy directly:

Other White Light Options

The most notable competitive white light illuminator camera is Sony's SNC-VB632D, a 1080p bullet with built-in white light and IR illuminators. However, the VB632's white light LEDs are intended for event use, not full time, e.g., triggered by analytics when a subject approaches. Additionally, the VB632D sells for ~$1,000 USD, while the ColorVu line will be far less expensive.

I see that now... small screen on my phone. 

We used to sell something like that back in the 420tvl analog days.  The concept sounds cool and we sold a lot in the beginning but people got annoyed with the bright white leds after a while and no one bought the product no more.

However when it uses the picture changes (motion) with the IR LEDs on sometimes during rain the white LED would go on/off constantly without it being controlled by the PIR 

 

When would the IR cut filter be engaged/disengaged?

What does the day/night transition depend upon?

 

I saw this at ISC West, there was a booth I can't recall that was showing this as add'on to cameras....

I also saw this as an add on to Umbo Bullet cameras of which they are calling "Torchlight."

I think this could become more prevalent as many chinese manufacturers I know already are planning this.

For residential I could see this as hugely annoying.  Maybe not so much for non resi.  

However whats the difference between this and motion lights?  Good deterrence?

We'd be interested if a Korean or European manufacture added white lights.

I like the idea ... if ONE DAY we will have some cameras registered in Milestone which have ALSO white light available that would be useful for a number of scenarios.

The key would be that the camera is as good with IR only as they are now and that the WL part is 1. automatically turned on smart enough and 2. easily controlled in a good VMS for system wide scenarios ( I like the idea of Hikua cameras on Milestone system ) . I am sure Hik can deliver on 1 eventually and I guess 2 is quite easy already.

I remember FLIR has announced a super special dome that had white light also ?

 

I remember FLIR has announced a super special dome that had white light also ?

Vlad, yes, that's Saros (see our post). It has thermal too (and analytics) so it is positioned at the high end of the market while Hikvision ColorVu is positioned at the low end / mass maket.

I’m not sure I’ve the value of this tbh. I guess if you need white light, this will keep the cost down vs buying external IR. But I’ve never thought this was needed before. I voted modestly.

I'm thinking this will be iPad syndrome. Nobody thought there was a use for it until it was available...

When you get thinking about it - there's more than a handful of uses. I'd like to see if the lights are linked to the analytics and scheduled light settings that the IR has. If they can be event triggered - that really would have some good uses.

HIK confirmed at IFSEC that the lights could be remotely operated from the 4200 and 4500, so again - this is actually a really handy feature.

well :

- IF analytics would work decent enough to leave it to them to turn on the lights without being a nuisance , it would turn the camera in a good sensor light indoors and outdoors

- you could also be using them as a sort of architectural lighting of sorts , centralized and easily commanded from a VMS maybe

- again, if analytics would be decent in the camera than you could set an alarm if there is a guy on your front porch or alley to turn on the light , better see&record who it is and also use as a light deterrent 

- in public surveillance I think the deterrent part could be bigger. In a public park if there is an alarm ( loitering ? ) then 10-20 lights in the area are turning on and surround the area .... sounds nice 

What I want to say is there are some not so big but useful security uses and also a few non-security uses also . All these , if working reasonable well, would add up to being welcomed by an enduser who in most cases is not a High Security kind of enduser . 

 

 

Color footage at night is the future of surveillance. There is so much clothing that is IR reflective that you can get a suspect on camera looking like he's wearing all white, when in fact he's wearing all black and the clothing is reflecting the IR. Positive ID is much more difficult that way and someone live-monitoring a feed is unable to give police or security an accurate description of what the perp is wearing, or worse yet give them wrong information and the police pass by the suspect because the clothing description doesn't match.

I switched to Darkfighters at my house specifically for this purpose. I once caught some little punk trying to break into my vehicle and the IR made his jacket look white. By the time I got dressed and ran out of the house he had gone around the corner and I lost sight of him. I did catch up with an individual who matched the description except he was wearing all black. So is this the same guy?

Color footage at night is the future of surveillance.

That's a good point. For sure, people would prefer it. It's just a question of cost and tradeoffs of delivering color at night. At some point, it will be solved.

Definitely, and like any technology in 10-20 years we will be scoffing at the crappy 4K IR cameras of today wondering how we ever got by.

I've had partners controlling white lighting on projects as a deterrent through either Mobotix cameras with I/O and relay controls to the light or an intelligent lamp like a Raytec to great success. Being able to add visual response with logic is a huge capability if you understand what can be done with it.

 

The problem, same with IR, is hot spotting and washout with cheap LEDs. Low cost cameras are going to return low cost results, but hopefully more brands start adding white light to products.

Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,426 reports, 865 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now

Related Reports

Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception...
TVT / InVid White Light Camera Tested Vs Hikvision ColorVu on Mar 18, 2020
With mega China manufacturers Dahua and Hikvision facing both bans and human...
Hikvision and Uniview Entry Level Thermal Handheld Cameras Tested on Jun 05, 2020
While most screening systems cost $10,000 or more, manufacturers such as...
Vivotek LPR Camera Tested on Apr 15, 2020
Vivotek has historically sold license plate capture cameras but not LPR. Now,...
Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 30, 2020
The best and worst cameras tested in this IPVM shootout showed major...
HLC Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Mar 02, 2020
Highlight Compensation (HLC) claims to reduce the effects of strong light...
IR Surveillance Camera Guide on Feb 06, 2020
Integrated infrared (IR) cameras are everywhere in 2020, but not all IR is...
K3 Wall Mounted IR Temperature Gun Tested on Jun 12, 2020
Is this the solution to not spending thousands of dollars on fever...
Tiandy Super Starlight Cameras Tested on Apr 30, 2020
Tiandy is taking aim at China competitors Dahua and Hikvision, with a new...
Mobotix Thermal Detection Camera Tested on Jun 09, 2020
For years Mobotix has struggled but now sales are surging driven by Mobotix's...
IronYun AI Analytics Tested on Feb 17, 2020
Taiwan / US startup IronYun has raised tens of millions for its "mission to...
Mobotix 7 Line Camera Tested on Mar 12, 2020
Mobotix is attempting a turn-around, struggling for years, then releasing the...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30...
Hikvision Temperature Screening Tested on May 20, 2020
Hikvision has ramped up the promotion of its 'temperature screening' system,...
TVT Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Jul 23, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision get the most attention for China temp products,...

Recent Reports

False: Verkada: "If You Want To Remote View Your Cameras You Need To Punch Holes In Your Firewall" on Jul 31, 2020
Verkada falsely declared to “3,000+ customers”, “300 school districts”, and...
US GSA Explains NDAA 889 Part B Blacklisting on Jul 31, 2020
With the 'Blacklist Clause' going into effect August 13 that bans the US...
Access Control Online Show July 2020 - On-Demand Recording of 45+ Manufacturers Presentations on Jul 30, 2020
The show featured 48 Access Control presentations, all now recorded and...
Face Detection Shootout - Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jul 30, 2020
Face detection analytics are available from a number of manufactures...
Sunell is The First China Manufacturer to Market NDAA Compliance on Jul 30, 2020
Most China manufacturers are going to be impacted by the NDAA 'Blacklist...
Ink Labs Relabels China YCX Fever Camera And Steals Dahua's Marketing on Jul 30, 2020
A US company marketed a 'thermal temperature scanner' as its own, selling...
Genetec and Dahua-Backed Intelbras Split Examined on Jul 29, 2020
China is the cause of the breakup between Canada's and Brazil's largest video...
This YouTuber is Now Selling ThermoHealth Temperature Screening on Jul 29, 2020
An enterprising 20-year old is mass marketing medical devices on Facebook and...
Hikvision Returns To Growth Driven By Overseas Fever Cameras on Jul 29, 2020
While Hikvision's revenue fell in Q1 2020, it rebounded in Q2 attributed to...
Brazil's Biggest Domestic Surveillance Company Intelbras Profile on Jul 29, 2020
While Intelbras is not widely known outside of Latin America, Intelbras is a...
The Kiosk Market Pivots To Temperature Screening (Interviewed) on Jul 28, 2020
Video surveillance is not the only market that has pivoted to medical device...
Integrator Acquisitions 'A Good Market' During COVID-19, Says Greybeards on Jul 28, 2020
Industry broker Ron Davis of the "Greybeards" says that the integrator and...
Keypads For Access Control Tutorial on Jul 28, 2020
Keypad readers present huge risks to even the best access systems. If...
US Surgeon General Unwittingly Showcases Sanctioned Dahua Temperature System on Jul 28, 2020
The US' top public health spokesperson, the Surgeon General, posted a photo...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...