DRS Thermal Camera Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 25, 2013

Recently, DRS entered the IP thermal market with far lower pricing than any incumbent, aiming to make this technology affordable to users who could never previously consider it. However, with such low pricing, performance and usability concerns are obvious, wondering what is lost at such a far lower cost.

In this report, we share our test results of DRS' WatchMaster IP Elite thermal camera, testing it against Axis, FLIR, Pelco, and SightLogix at short and long range. We also give our recommendations for optimization, and provide an overview of the camera's configuration and physical construction.

********, *** ******* *** ** ******* ****** ******* ***** ******* **** *** *********, ****** ** **** **** ********** ********** ** ***** *** could ***** ********** ******** **. *******, **** **** *** *******, performance *** ********* ******** *** *******, ********* **** ** **** at **** * *** ***** ****.

** **** ******, ** ***** *** **** ******* ** ***'*********** ** ***** ******* ******, ******* ** ******* ****, ****, *****, *** ********** ** short *** **** *****. ** **** **** *** *************** *** optimization, *** ******* ** ******** ** *** ******'* ************* *** physical ************.

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

Key ********

*** *********** ** ***** ******** ********** ****, ********** *********** *** price. ********* ********, ***** ****** *** ******* ******** **** ******, detection ********** *** ****** ***** ** *** *****.

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

  • *****-***** ***********, *** *****, ********* *** *********** **** *****, ********, and ******* ******* ********.
  • ******* ********** **** **** ***********, **** ***** ******* *** ***** adjustment.
  • ***** **** ******* **** **** ***********, **** **** **°, **°, and *° ******* ********.
  • ** ******* *** **-***** *********, *** ** ****** ****** *** integration **** ******** ********** **** ** *******, ******* ** ****. 
  • **** ** $*,***, **** ********* ****** ***** ** ** ************* the ****. **** ***** ** ******* ******* *** ** *** range ** $*,***-*,***.

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

*** **** ********** ******** ***********, *** *********** ** ***** ** worth ***********. ***** ****** **********, ***** **** ****, ********, ** precipitation *** *** *******, *** **** ** ***** ********** ******** will ****** **** ****** ******. 

*******, ** **** ******* **********, ** ** **** ******** *********** where *********** **** ** **********, ***** ****** ******** *** ******** to ***** *******. ** ********* ** ***** ******* *** ** place, *******, ** *** ***** ***** ****** ***** * ******* may ** ******** *** *** **** ****** ** * ****** camera **** ***** *************.

Physical ********

** **** **********, ** ******* ****** *** ******** *************** ** the *********** ** *****. ** *** ** ****, *** *********** does *** ***** *** "***** *** ********" ****** ** **** *******, such ** */* ** *****. **** ** ** ******* *** lighter ****** **** **** ******* ***********, **** **** *** **** camera **** **** ** **** ********, ***** ***** ***** (*********, back *****, ***** *******) *** *** *******. **** ***** *** consider **** ** * ********, ********** ** ***** ***** *** camera ** ******* ** *********. ***** ****** **** **** **** the *********** ** ***** ** *** *******, ********* *** ******. Some ***** *******, **** ** *** **** *** *** **** FC *** ***** *** ****** **** *** ***, *** *** the ******.

*** **** ****** * **** ******** ************ ******** *** *******, which ***** ***** ******* ***** *** ******* ************:

Configuration ******** 

** **** ***** **********, ** ****** *** *** ********* *** configuration ** *** *********** ** *****. **** ******* *** *** contrast *** ********** ********, ***' **** ***** ********** ********, ***** users ****** ****** ** *** *** *****.

DRS ************

** ** ************ ** *** ************* *****, *** ******** *** adjustments ** *** ******'* ***** ** *** *** *********. ***** are **** ** ****** ********, **********, *** ***** ******* ***** (hold ** *********), ***** **** ******* ***** ** ***** ** shown ** ***. ** ****** ***** ********, *** ***** ***** making *********** ** ******** *** **********, ************ ****** ******** ** the ***** ** **-** (******* ** **) *** ********** ** about **. *** ********** ******* *** *** *** ** **** in **** *****:

DRS Image Adjustment Comparison

** ***** ** *** **********, ***** *********** ******* * ******** improvement ** ***** *******. ******* **** ******* ******** **** ******* and ******* *****, *** ******* *** * ****** *** ****** to *********** ******* *** ****** **** ** *** **********. **** adjustment ******* **** ********* ** ******* *********** ********** **** ***********, as ******* ** *** ******'* *** **** ******* *** ********. The ****** *** ** ****** **** *** *********** ******* ******** if ******** ** ********** *** ******** *** ****.

Range **********

** ***** ***** (~***'), *** *********** ******** ****** ******* ********** to ***** *******/******* ****** **** ****, ****, *****, *** **********. Compared ** ******, ***' ******** ** ******** *****.

** ~*,***' *****, *** ***** ******** ** *** *********** ***** it ******** **** ********* ** **** *** ******* **** **** competitors. *******, ********* ** ***** ********.

Comments (2)

If I understand correctly, the automatic shutter in thermal cameras tends to be an expected failure point. (Please feel free to expound on that, or correct me if that is not so.) The DRS cameras are rated for a 50,000 hour life of the shutter - or less than 6 years. Is this a significantly lower value than for the other manufacturers? Even if it is, their aggressive pricing is certainly appreciated, if for no other reason than because it cuts in half the cost of testing out thermal imaging technology and gaining some proficiency with it prior to selling it.

Any thoughts / corrections on that shutter question?

Great review. Thanks
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 Thermal

IPVM Best New Products 2019 Opened - 70+ Entrants on Jan 07, 2019
The inaugural IPVM Best New Product Awards has been opened - the industry's first and only program where the awards are not pay-to-play and the...
FLIR Launches Body Cameras Unified With VMS (TruWitness) on Dec 11, 2018
While FLIR is best known for their thermal cameras, now they have expanded into body cameras, launching TruWITNESS, a public safety focused body...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...
Directory of Video Surveillance Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities and Exploits on May 02, 2018
This list compiles reported exploits for security products, and is updated regularly. We have summarized exploits by date and by manufacturer,...
FLIR Launches Saros on May 01, 2018
Has FLIR solved the video intrusion / remote monitoring problem or have they created an overkill, overly expensive device? FLIR has launched...
Hanwha Mega ISC West Product Releases on Apr 05, 2018
While overall new product releases have been slowing over the past few years, Hanwha is releasing a slew of 6 new offerings for ISC West,...
70+ New Products Directory Spring 2018 on Apr 02, 2018
We have compiled a list of new products for Spring 2018 in the categories: Video Surveillance Access Control Fire and Intrusion Other...
Dahua Acquires Lorex And FLIR SMB Surveillance From FLIR on Feb 06, 2018
Would you buy your own customer? Well, Dahua has just done that. FLIR has sold its Lorex / home / SMB business to Dahua, just over 5 years after...
CES 2018 Show Final Report on Jan 12, 2018
This is IPVM's final edition of our 2018 CES show report. Below are already numerous images and commentary, with more coming tomorrow.   CES is...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...

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