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.

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

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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.

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