HLC Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek

By: Derek Ward, Published on Mar 02, 2020

Highlight Compensation (HLC) claims to reduce the effects of strong light sources, such as headlights, that can wash out an image. But how does this feature work in real scenes?

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In our testing, we examined the following:

  • How well does HLC work in capturing a license plate?
  • How is the entire scene affected by having HLC on vs. off?
  • Does HLC make a difference in day/color mode?
  • Which camera(s) benefited most with HLC?
  • Is motion negatively affected with HLC on?

Cameras tested include:

We compared to some non-HLC models as well to see how they compare:

Related, readers should also see our Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 and Color Low Light Mega Camera Shootout.

Key ********

***** *** ******* *** findings **** *** ******* of ***:

  • ******** ************ ** **** with **:***** ** *** *****, HLC ******** ********** ************ in **** ******* ****** when ***** ********** ** in **** ******, **** bright ****** (**********, **********) dimmed ** ****** ******* exposure ******** ** ****** the ***** *************.
  • *****, *********, ******* *** practical *****:*******, *** *** ******* tested ******** ********* ***** using ***, **** ***** and ******* ******* ******** exposure ** ****** *** entire ***** **** *** was *******, ******** ********** of ****** *** **** obscuring *** **********. ********* cameras ******** *********** ******* with *** ** *** off.
  • **** **********:******'* ******* *** ******** the **** *******, **** the **** *******, ******** bright ****** *********** *** displaying *** **** ** selectable ****** ** **** operators **** ** ***** masked. ********* *** ******* HLC **** ******** ******** gains ** ***** *******, as ****, *** ******* masked *** ****** ***** as ****** ***.
  • ***-*** ****** ********* ***** and ******* ********:*******, ******* **** ***-*** models ********* ******** ***, Axis ***, *** **** Q17, *** ******** **** increased ***** ** ******* contrast, *** *** **** Q1798-LE ******** ******* ****** license ***** ******* **** others.

HLC *************** ******

*** ******** ** ****** glare ****** ** **** bright ******* ** ****** in *** *****, **** often ********** *** **********. This *** ** ***** one ** *** *******:

  • ******** **********:** **** ******, *** works ********* ** ***, adjusting ******** ** ******* the ******* ** ****** highlights. *******, *** ******* dynamically ** ****** ********* areas, ***** *** ** typically *** ** ********** areas.
  • ********* *********:** **** *******, *** luminance ** ****** ******* is ******** *** ****** too *** ***** *** average ** *** ***** are ********** "*** ******", then ****** ** ******, depending ** *** ******.

************* ** ***** ** did *** ******** *** specifics ** ***** *** implementations, ** ** ****** say **** ********* ***** method(s) **** ****** ****, but ****** ********** ****** are **** ****** ** examine ********* ******* ** simply ******** ********.

License ***** ******* ************ **** *** **

*****, ** ****** ** a **** **** *****, near * ***, **** a *** ~**' **** with ********** ****** **.

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** **** *****, ******* plate ******* ******** ** most *******, **** ******** legibility *** ********. *** Vivotek ******-**** ********** ********, properly ********* *** ***** with *** ** ***** it *** ******* ****** out **** *** ***.

*******, *** ******* ********* effectively ********* **** *** on ** ***, *** Panasonic ***** *** ******* 3238, ***** ****** ****** difference. ************, ** *** Hikvision ***** ****** ****, contrast ** *** ***** was *******, ********* **********.

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** ******** ** *********** in ******* ***** **********, HLC *** ********* ******* on *** **** ** the *****. ** **** cameras, *** ******** ** better ******** ********** *** scene, *********** *** ********** so ******* *** ** seen, *** ******* ** the ********* ***** ******:

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*******, ** ******, *** rest ** *** ***** remained ******* ****, **** the ********** ** *** room ****** ** ** seen:

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No ********* ************ ** ***** ****

**** **** *** ***** were **** **** ********** in ********** **** ********** IR **. ** *****, no ******* ****** ***** be ****, ********** ** settings:

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************, ****** **** ******* darker. *** *******, *** Hikvision **** ***** ***** showed ******* ********** ******* with *** ** *** off, ****** ********** **** noticeably ******.

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Weaker *********** ** ******* ******* ***

****, ** ****** *** performance ******** ** * scene **** ******** ******** lights, ~*-* ***, **** cars ******, ~**' **** the *******, *** ******** exiting *** ******** ********** the *****.

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** **** *****, **** the ***** *** *** Hikvision **** **** **** to ******* ******* ******, with ****** ************ ** in ******'* ****, ******* the *****. *** ******** of ******* ***** *********** impacted ***'* ******* ** compensate.

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Moderate ************ ** ******* ** *******

** **** ****** *** in ******* ****** ********** IR ******, ******* ** our********** ** ****** ********. ** ***** ******, HLC ******* ****** ************ to ******* *******, ***** here ** *** ***** N44DL7Z.

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*** ******* ******-**** ****** improved ******* *** ******* overexposure **** *** **, as ****:

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***** ****** **** **** HLC *** *** ***** blurring ** ****** ********* in *** *****. *** example, ** *** ****** XNO-6085R *****, *** ******* walks ******* *** ***** in ***** ** *** care **** *** *******, with ******* ***** ** he **********.

Non-HLC ******* **. ***

*******, ** ****** **** non-HLC ******* ** *** how **** ******** ** the *** ****** ** this ****. ***-***** ****** such **********'* ********** *****-******* **** ** ******* license ****** **** ********** turned **, ***** *****, but **** ****** ******** in *** **** *** more *****.

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*** *******, *** ******** H5A *** **** **** aside **** *** ***, with *** ********** ********* to *******.

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** **** **** *** H5A ** *** ** see ****, ** ***, noticeable *********** ***** ** seen. ******** ** ***********, overall ***** ********** *** marginally ******** ** ***.

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*******, ***** ******* ******** similar.

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*** **** *****-*** *** brighter *******, *** ******** from ******** **** ** contrast *** **** ***** from **********:

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Axis *****-** ** **** ******

************, ** **********' **** *** *****-******* ******* ******** ** IR **** ****** ** night ***** ******** ** reduce ******* ***** *****.

** *** *****, *** Q1798-LE ******** ***** ****** of ****** ** **** as **** ******** ** the ****. *******, ***** appeared ** ** ******** glare *** **** ***** which ********** ******* *******.

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

*** ****** ***-***** ****** users ** **** *** highlight ***** ******* ** simply ******* ****, ***** produced ******** ****** ******* in *** *****. ***** color *** ** **********, including ***** (*******), ****, Red, **** *** *******. Hanwha ****** **** ***** colors **** ********* ******** masked *****, ** *** black **** *** ********* blend **** *** *****.

** *** *****, ***** masks ******** ******* ******** and ******* *****, *** caution ****** ** **** when ***** **** ******, as ******* ** *** high *** ***** ****** objects **** ** ******* plates ** ** ******, shown *****.

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HLC *************

******'* ************** ******* **** atypical. ***** ****** ******** fewer *******, **** ** simply ** **/*** ******* (Vivotek):

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** * ****** ****** to ** ****** *** level ** *** (*****, Hikvision, *********, *******).

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Panasonic *** **** ********* **** ***

** *** *****, *********'* HLC *** ****** ** no ****** ** ***** quality, **** ******* *********** similar. *******, ******** ***** Super ******* *** ********** improved ******, **** **** even ******** *** ****** plate **********.

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Uniview *******

******* ******** *** ********* HLC *****: "**** ********* Compensation (***)" *** "**** Highlight ************ (***)". ********* to *******, **** ********* HLC ** ***** **** for ***** **** ****** ambient ********, *** **** Highlight *** ** ***** for ****** ********** ** headlights, *** ** *** tests, ** ***** **** to ******* ******* *******/*******.

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

**** ***** ******** **** standardized ***** *** ******:

  • *********** *** ************ ** ~28-30 ************ ** *** cameras ***** ** *******.
  • ******* ***** *** *** to * ******* ** 1/30s / ****.
  • *** *** ****** *** unless ************ ****** *** as ***** "**".

****** ******** ******* *** used ** *** **** of *******.

Comments (12)

** *****,

**** ********!

*** ********: *** *** test *** *** ********* to *** ** ********* via ***** ** ******* VMS. **** ** * key ******.

******!

** *****,

** *** *** **** with ******* ********** ** Exacq. ****'* "***" ***** using *** *** ** ACC ** *** *** scenes? ** ***** * significant ********** ** ******* and ***** ******* *****?

******** *****’* ******** *** image ** *** ***** manufacturers **. *** ****** all *** ******** ******* range ** *** ******. When *** ******* *** video ** ***, *** client ****** *** ***** dynamically ******* *** *** low ****** ** *** highlights. *** **** *** to *** *** **** of *** *******.

***** *****,

**'** ****** *** ******** H5A ** *** **. Exacq, *** ***** * marginal ********** ** ***** of ********** *** ****** between *** ***. ** this *****, *** *** able ** ******* * slightly ******** ********** ** the ******* ****, *** marginal ****** *********** ****** in ** *** *****. Images **** **** ***** to *** **** ******.

*******, *'** ******** *** images **** ** **** reply ** **** *** convenience ****.

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

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

** *****,

*** *** **** **** into *** *****? *** to **** *** ***** and **** ** ** you **** *** **********? You *** *** **** details.

** *****,

*** ******* ***** ** have ** ***** *** a *****, ** ***** are **** **********, ************ the "*" *** "*" that *** ** ****. Image *****:

** ***** ****** **** a *********** ****** ** get ****** ******* ******* really * *** ******?

*********** ************... 😏

******** ******* ****** (***) is *** * *********** system - ** ******** ONVIF *, * *** G.

**** **** *** ******* these?

** *** *** **** a ****** ************ **** doesn’t ********** **** **** VMS *** *** *** standard ******** ***** **** additional ******** ********* ** which ****** ***** ** connected?

*** - * ** work *** ********.

** *** *** **** a ****** ************ **** doesn’t ********** **** **** VMS *** *** *** standard ******** ***** **** additional ******** ********* ** which ****** ***** ** connected?

**** *******'* ********** ******* of ****** * ****** work ** ***?

***** *******. *** ******* that *** ****** ************* is ******** ** * good ***, *** **** the ***** ************* ** other ******, *** *** the ******.

**** ** * ********** for ****** **********.

*** ******* *** **** are:

* ** ********* * Hanwha ********....

***** **** ** *** more ******** ******** ** settings **** ****, ***** with **********. **** *** mfr ****, ** ***** be **** ** *** HONEST *********** ** *** much ******** ****** *** actually **, ******* **** documentation **** ********** ********* how ** *** *** settings.

** * ******* ****, as ** ***** ***, I *** ******* **** in *** **** ******* here ** **** ** the ******* * ****** cameras. *** ***-*****, *** example, ** ****** ************* even **** *** ****** Hikua ******, *** ** the ******* ** ****** here * ****** ***** ago ** *** ****** that ** ***** ********* mode ****** *** ***** alerts *** ** **********. After * ****** **** staff ******* ***** ** appears **** ******* *** changed, * *** *** get ************ ** ******* that ******* ****** *** essentially ******* ** **** point ** ****. *** initial ****** **** ** in ****** ******** **** an ******* *********** ****** in *** ****** ********* shootout.

* **** ***'* **** how *** ***** *** light ** ** *********** of **** ***** ***** against *** ***** ******. Maybe * ****** **, but *** ****** ****** that **** **** ****** have ********* ***********, ****** sizes, ***/** ******* ******** sizes **** *** ***-***** and ******* ****** ***** to ** ** *** lineup. ** ***** ** the **** ****** ***** alternative *'** **** ******* for, *** ************* * cannot **** *** **** data ** ******* *** purchase.

*******, ** *** **** for ******, *** ** strongly ******* **** **** camera ****** *** *** "partitioned" ** ********* ****. The *** ** ******* coming ***, *** *******, should **** ******* ****** with ******* *** ***** color *** ** ***********. This ***** **.* ** smaller ********* ****'* ***** to *** **. *** F1.2 ** **** **.* on *****, **** *.* inch ****** **** ** so *** * ** and * **** ** more *** ** ****** sizing, ******* **** **** good ** ********* *********, and ******* *** **** of **** **** **** on *** *** ***** side *** ******** *** Bosch ** *** ********* side. ***'* ** "********" on ****** **** ****** or ** ********* **********, and ***'* ** ******* to ***** ******* *** light *********** ** *** AI ****** ******. (* For *******, ***** ***'* model ** ***** ****** and ***** ******** ******** models, ****** ***** ******* analytics ** ****** ****** and ****** ******** ******* models. * *********** *********, but ******* *** ***.)

***** **** **** *** maybe ******* ****, * wouldn't ** ******* **** releasing ***** ****** ** this ***** ******, ******* "ExtraLUX" ** "*******" ** whatever. ***** *** *** too **** **** ** options *** ***** **** simply **** **** ***** in ***** ** ************** at ******* ********* **** the ***** ********** ************ ** *** ***** do *** ******* *** equation. **** **'* **** going ** ***** **** to *** ****** ********** side ** *** **** couple *****. * ** should ** *** ******* for ******* ******* **** angle *** *** *** model ********.

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