Hikvision ColorVu Camera Tested

By Rob Kilpatrick, Published Jun 24, 2019, 09:53am EDT

Hikvision says their new ColorVu line captures "vivid chromatic images in darkness", with unconventional white light illuminations whereas most cameras use infrared.

IPVM Image

To see how these new models perform, we bought and tested the DS-2CD2347G1-L, examining:

  • How good are details using the white light LED in the dark?
  • How do details compare without the LED?
  • Does it overexpose people in the scene?
  • Can it replace an outdoor light?
  • How does bandwidth compare to typical Hikvision turrets?

*******

*********'* ******* ******** ***** details *** **** ***** fidelity ** ***** **** the ********** ***** ***** on ** ***** ***** (~15-30') **** ******* ******* lighting.

************, ** ****** ** supplemental ********, *********** * low **** *** *****, much **** ********* **** adding **** ******* ******** and ******* **** ****** a ********** *** *****. Those **** ****** ** no ******* ******** ** seeking ** ***** **** spots *** **** **** especially ******.

*******, *******'* ***** ***** suffers **** *** ***********:

  • ************ ******:** ***** **-**' *** nearer ** *** ******, subjects **** *********** ** our *****, ********* ** a ******** **** ** facial *******.
  • ****** ************:*******'* ************ *** **** weaker ** *** ***** of *** *** **** the ******, ******** ****** and ***** ******** ** these *****.
  • **** ** ************ ** longer *****:*******'* ************ ***** **** a ******** ~* *** at ~**' ******** (***** default ********) ** *.* at ~**' *** ~*.* at **', *** **** to ******** ********** ********.

*** ***** ******* ** accept ** **** ****** these ******, ******* ** an *********** *********** ** typical ********** ** ****** which ******* **** ********** images ** ***** ****.

*******

*** ********* ******* ****** (DS-2CD2345FWD-I), ******~$*** *** ****** is ~$** **** ********* than *** ********** ** version (**-**********-*) ***** ***** for ~$***.

Size **********

*** ******** ******* ****** is ********** ****** **** Hikvision's ******* ** ****** camera, *** **-**********-*, *** much ****** *** **** noticeable **** * ******* Dahua ***** **** ******.

IPVM Image

Physical ********

*** ******* ****** ** similar ** ***** ******* in **** ******, *** uses * ******* ***** light *** ******* ** the ****** ** *** below *** ****.

IPVM Image

***** **** **** *** its ****** ****, ************ of *** **** ** similar ** *********'* ***** turrets, **** *** **** mounting ******* *** ***** whip.

White ***** ************ ****

** *** ***** ***** we **** *** ******* of *** ******'* ***** light *********** ** * near-0 *** *****. *** white ***** ******* *********** details ** ***** ***** while *** ****** ** almost ******* ***** ******* illumination. ** **** *****, illumination ***** ********* *************, but *** ******* ** still ****** ******** ** up ** ~***' **** it *******.

Bright ***** ****** ** **** ***** / ** ****** ** ***

** *** *****, *** ColorVu ****** ******** ****** color ****** ** ***** at **** ***** (~**' distance/~60 *** *****), **** recognizable ******* ******* **** the ***** ***** *** on, **** ******* **** images ******* *** ***.

IPVM Image

****** ******** ****** **** in **** ****** **** using *** ***** ***** LEDs, ****** **** **** differences *** ****, **** as *** **** ** the *** ***, *********** between ****** ****** *** green, *** **** **** shades. *******, ****** *** much ******* **** ******* using *** ****, ***** they *** ********* *****************.

IPVM Image

Colors **** ** *** ***** *** ******

*******, ** ****** *****, the ***** ***** ***'* power ** ******, **** subject ******* *** ****** lost ** ~**'/~** ***, shown *****, **** ***** noticeably *********. *******, ******* the ***** ***** ***********, even ********* ******* **** difficult, **** ** ******* details ** **** *********.

.IPVM Image

Weak **** ************

***** *** ******* *** illuminates **** ** ******* range ** *** ****** of *** ***** ** view, ************ ** ******, with *** ***** ************* darker.

IPVM Image

**** ******* ** ******* reduced ******* ** ******** near *** **** *** to ****** ***** *** light *** ******* *****. Additionally, ****** *** *********** lost.

IPVM Image

Near ***** ************

************, ******** ****** **-**' of *** ****** **** often ** ***********, ****** all ****** *******. ***** issues ******** ********** ** whether *** ***** *** set ** **** ** manual *** ******* "***** Supplemental ********" *** ******* or ***.

IPVM Image

Slow ******* ******* (*/***)

**** **** ****** **** Hikvision ******, ******* ********* to */*** ******** ********* in ********** ********, *** present ** */***.

slow-shutter-default-causes-ghosting

** ******, ** ****** with */*** ******* *****, except *** *** ***** above ** **** *** tradeoffs ** *** ******* 1/12s *******.

White ***** ******

*******'* ************ *** *** very ******, ********* **** ~2 *** ** ~**' distance, ** *** ****** of *** ***, ***** default ********* ***** ********, though ******** **** (*.*.,******* ****** ***), **** ** ~*.* lux ** **' *** only ~*.* ** **'. The ***** ***** *** also ** ******** **********, which ******* ** ~** the ***** ****** ** maximum, ***** ** *** chart *****, *** **** increased *** ******** ** overexposure (*****).

IPVM Image

***** ************ **** **** in * ***** **** background ************ ** *.** lux ******* *** ******'* white ***** ************.

Low **** *** ********

******* *******'* ***** ****** are ****** ** ** night (** *** ** a *****), ** *** be **** ** * substitute *** ** ******* light. **** *** ** especially ********** ** ***** with ****** ** ** exterior ********. ************, *** is ********* **** ********* to ******** *** ******* than **** ******* ********** wiring, ****** ************ **** versus ****** * *****.

*******, *******'* **** *** small *** ********** *****, appearing **** **** *** light ** * ********** than ******, **** ********* lighting ******* ***** *** accustomed **.

*** *******, *** ***** below ***** *** ******* camera (*****) ******* ~**-**' away **** ** ******** building ***** (****). *** standard ***** ** ****** and ****** **** *****, but ** ******** ********** the **** ****** **** ColorVu, **** *** ****** of *** **** ***** it ****** *******, ***** details ** *** **** around *** ******* ****** are ********* ** ***.

IPVM Image

******* ******* ******** ** also ********* ******** *** more *******. *** *******, the ***** ***** ******** ColorVu ** * ******* outdoor ***** **********. *** ColorVu ****** ** ****** directly ** ***** ** it, *** ***** ** the **** ** *** FOV *** ****. ** contrast, *** ***** ********** bulb *********** ******** ** front ** **, **** harshly **** *******, *** also *********** **** ** the **** ** *** room, **** ***** ** the **** ** *** camera ********** ***, ******* the ******* **** ** ColorVu.

IPVM Image

******* ** ***** ******, those **** ****** ** no ******* ******** *** find ******* ******. *******, those **** ********* ***** by ** ********* ******** may ** ****** *** with ******** ******** *** cameras ******* ** *******

Higher ********* **** ******* ********* ******

*******'* ********* ******** **** higher **** ******* *** 4MP ****** ** **** tests, ****** * **/* at ***** **** ***** light **, ******** ** 1-2 **/* ** **** tests ** ** ******. Daytime ******** **** ******* to ***** ******.

**** **** ******* ********* with ***** ***** ****** off, *** *** ** much ****** ******, **** few ****** ******* ********* at **** ***** *****.

IPVM Image

Country ** ******

*** **-*********-* *** ************ in *****.

IPVM Image

Test **********

******* **** ****** ***** default ******** **** **** changes:

  • *.***+/*.***+ **** *******
  • ******* ******** *** *** to */*** ******* ** the ******* */***
  • *** ***** ***** ******** were ***** ***** ******* settings (*********) *** ***** Supplemental ***** *******

*** ********* ******** ******** were ****, *** ****** available ** *** **** of *******:

  • **-*********-*:*.*.**

Comments (27)

Does the big white light serve as a deterent as well?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

Ha, I forgot about those. There is actually a Gen 2, now, as well.

If someone made that ONVIF conformant, I'd be interested in it.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

There is actually a Gen 2, now, as well.

Perhaps they increase WiFi range, but the new bunny ears are a dead giveaway.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

What about the advantage of white light not attracting flies and therefore spider webs? Does the white light help in this regard?

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

We haven't tested this specifically but I would think the white light would still attract bugs at night, which would then attract spiders.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

We've used the LTS version for about a month or so and found the results to be incredible thus far; especially when matched against comparable mini-dome versions w/ "Matrix IR " in poor weather conditions. 

Attached you'll find a screenshot of (3) mini-domes compared to (1) 24/7 color cam on the same lot taken at the same time (~3 AM) just after a rainstorm with zero ambient lighting.

Interesting to see that the Hikvision version has a few more options available as it relates to controlling the behavior of the LED lights within the GUI...pretty neat. Don't recall the LTS versions having those features.

Agree: 4
Disagree: 1
Informative: 6
Unhelpful
Funny

...just after a rainstorm with zero ambient lighting.

but not with zero ambient light, right?

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

???

Not sure what you are inferring; this particular dealership cannot leave lot lighting on past 9 PM, so aside from light provided by the cam itself, it's pretty much pitch black out there.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

#1 is alluding to the light in the background of the scene.

I am sure it's dark there but, for camera purposes, it makes a difference if the lux level is 0.1 or 0.5 or 1 or 2, etc. Visibly, all of them can subjectively be described as dark but, to a camera, it can make a dramatic difference in performance.

this particular dealership cannot leave lot lighting on past 9 PM

Can you clarify here? If that dealership cannot leave lot lightning on, how is it allowed to leave the white light illuminators of the camera on? Am I missing something here?

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

#1 is alluding to the light in the background of the scene.

I am sure it's dark there but, for camera purposes, it makes a difference if the lux level is 0.1 or 0.5 or 1 or 2, etc. Visibly, all of them can subjectively be described as dark but, to a camera, it can make a dramatic difference in performance.

Ahh, of course...didn't assume someone would have taken that initial description so literally ;) But yes, obviously "light in the background" will help any camera out; low light cams especially. In most every situation our customer lots typically provide at least decent area lighting to help even further...that's primarily what I was referring to as our typical source of "ambient" light. In this instance though, that unfortunately isn't possible. 

Can you clarify here? If that dealership cannot leave lot lightning on, how is it allowed to leave the white light illuminators of the camera on? Am I missing something here?

Lighting from a handful of cameras is much less than the 40k+ lumen area lights that previously illuminated the entire lot. Given a new amendment to city code, this particular dealership is no longer allowed to produce a "nuisance" level of lighting...luckily the camera powered LEDs fell well under that threshold.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

...so aside from light provided by the cam itself, it's pretty much pitch black out there.

 you could, (if you have remote access and you’re motivated), turnoff the led for a moment and take a snapshot.  if there is no lighting illuminating the lot except for that from the cam, then we should still see the halo of distant lights but a black parking lot.

 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

As mentioned, the LTS GUI does not provide access to manually control the LED.

I managed to capture a few different screenshots at various shutter speeds though (doubt that's as helpful) with 1/12 being the cams default setting...pics taken at ~11:30 PM.

1/12

1/250

1/500

1/1000

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

As mentioned, the LTS GUI does not provide access to manually control the LED.

Perhaps you can just set (temporarily) the daytime image settings to be the same as the night, and then force daytime.

Normally, you would also have to consider the effect of the IR CUT filter, but I would expect it’s not switchable anyway, and always on, though I’m not positive.

@Ethan, what do you think about the IR CUT filter, always on or?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

we just got these in and I have been testing them and they are insane. Very impressed with the low light ability. Here is my driveway AT MIDNIGHT with absolutely no lighting other than the moon light. Granted, its almost a full moon but this is crazy! (this is with the supplemental light turned OFF)

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

"You just got them"

Getting slow Sean:)

Selling them in Canada for the last 3 month

and agree 100%

They are insane

 

 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Why didnt they make these to where you can have the light turn on from an event trigger? Or did they and I am missing something?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

The AcuSense line has models with a strobe and audio alert which you can activate on event. We have one of these on order, but it's taking awhile to ship. I expect to test it in September.

There are also some models overseas with blue and red lights, but not sure if they're coming to the US or not. Video here:

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Thanks Ethan. Got the Accusense here as well. pretty cool. Although its only a strobe light.


What would be cool on the colorvu's is if you could enable it like a motion activated light.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

What would be cool on the colorvu's is if you could enable it like a motion activated light.

how would it detect the motion in the dark?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

We've added a demo video to the report more clearly showing the effects of the white light illuminator being turned on and off in a nearly pitch dark scene (~0.01-0.02 lux):

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

I appreciate these tests but I think your point of "aim" is not valid -- the LED is not the salient feature. The advantage of the ColorVU cameras is that they work very well in very dim (or better) night lighting. The LED light is more of an "emergency" feature. In outdoor urban installations, there are very few locations with no ambient light (streetlights, signs, porch lights, etc).

I've installed about 50 of these and everyone loves them. I don't think there is a single installation in which the camera actually uses the on-board LED light. Yes, it is good to see the performance in a totally dark warehouse -- but a more meaningful test would be to evaluate ColorVU cameras in real-life, outdoor urban areas where they are truly a useful and effective technology.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

John,

Yes, I understand. But I would install these ColorVU's even without a working LED for most locations. Most users don't even realize that the white LED is there. They never see it operate. The LED is just an add-on, not a main feature when these are used in outdoor locations. (I also just installed some in a bar -- when they turn the lights out, the cameras still work well with the light coming from the cooler, the beer signs, and POS system. )

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Sure, that's fine. Hikvision markets this using the white light LEDs on, we test them with them on, it has benefits.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Second gen ColorVu is now out and has even better low light performance AND 2nd gen Acusense analytics as well. They even have a 4MP dome without illuminator and it's excellent at night, also has a built-in mic (DS-2CD2147).

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Just for the record as I realize that others may read this in the future: The actual cameras I've been using (and described) were LTS versions. LTS calls these low-light cameras "Color24/7" (HK calls them "ColorVU"). I think they are identical but I'm not sure.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 7,267 reports and 968 tests and is only available to subscribers. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a subscriber? Login here | Join now
Loading Related Reports