How A Samsung Salesguy Tests Cameras

By John Honovich, Published Oct 10, 2013, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

It sounds awesome but, in reality, it is awful. Here's how the brash Samsung sales guy does it:

"When I am in a show or a counter day I always ask the host to turn out the lights and let the audience determine who is the best low light provider. You know what I get back? the other manufacturers might not like it."

** **! ****'* **** **** ***** except **** ** ** ** ****** test ** ********.


(*) ******* **** **** ************** ********, ******* **** ******* **** **** by ** ** *** *** ****** of ***** **** *******, ****** ********* on *** *** *** **** ********** with **** ******* / **** **.

(*) **** ******* **** **** ********** IR. *****, *** ********** ** **** not **** ****** *** ******* **** it, *** ** ******* **** ** 'lit' ** **** ******* **, ******* distorting *** *******.

(*) ** ******** ******** *** **** on (***** *** ****** ****** ** ******* *** ******), *** light **** ***** ******* **** ***** keep *** **** ********** ****** *** unevenly **, ******* ******* *******.

** ******, **** **** '*******', ** is **** **** *** ** ******* these ******* *** ******* *** **********.

*************, **** ** *** *** ******* amongst ***** ***** **** *** *** high ************ **** ******* ********* ********* into ********* ******.

** ******, **** ** *** ** exception. ****** *** ******* **** *** who****** ************ * ***** **** *** *** camera **** *** '****' ** ** other *******.

Comments (35)

I'm pretty much done acknowledging IPVM's existence. Join me.

Have a nice life, manufacturer sales guy....

I think you hit a nerve.

Wow, is John hitting a little too close to home?


Not at all, actually. The guy is doing his job. Personally, as someone who is an engineer first with three patents in this industry, as well as a certified CE instructor in four states, I have always taken pride in my ability to dispel malarkey and talk facts, EXPRESSLY without defaming others. This venue, on the other hand, has a frequent tendency of turning on manufacturers (as well as distributors) and in discussing it with many other members, specifically dealers/integrators, I opted months back to "blacklist" IPVM.

You know, here's the thing: IPVM puts a lot of time and expense (since they actually purchase the equipment they test, to avoid appearance of bias toward "gifted" gear) into testing cameras and systems, both individually and head-to-head, in order to come up with data and comparisons that will be USEFUL to us, their paying subscribers, who are counting on that data for design and purchasing decisions. They provide detailed descriptions of their test setup, their test conditions, and compile it all with charts and comparison photos... it's a fantastic resource.

So when a manufacturer rep comes in and makes a claim like, "My product is great for low light and I proved this to a room full of people by putting it beside ONE other camera and turning off the lights"... I think it's more than fair to call him on it.

Insisting that a marketting guy back up his claims with details is hardly "defaming" anyone.

I'd be more than happy to accept a manufacturer submitting their own (properly done) test results, either as a comment, discussion or email to us. It could actually prove useful in pointing out potential products to cover.

The problem is manufacturers rarely want to put in that type of work. They prefer to dash off a few sentence superficial comment. That I am never going to accept.

And salespeople who are upset that about that, take a hike.

This has brought up the contentious issue of manufacturer sales people commenting on IPVM.

To be clear, we do not want you to recommend your own products on IPVM.

If you are going to do so, be very specific about technical details. If the topic is low light, don't say, "My cameras are good in low light." Be specific, "My camera displayed more details at X lux than camera model B at the same shutter speed" where camera model B is some model we have tested and that has done well in our tests. If you cannot be that specific, than do not comment at all.

Manufacturer self promotion is a drain on the overall community and is not something I will tolerate. If you have questions about what is within bounds, email me (

And ya know, it's one thing on an open forum full of n00bs who are just looking for some basic advice on what to buy, to say, "Yeah, buy my product, it's exactly what you need!" and hope for a quick sale.

In a forum filled with professionals who probably know more about your own product than you do, though... it just comes off as tacky, and even if the forum allows it, your desired customers are just as likely to add you, your product, and often your brand in general, to their own mental blacklists.

Brash? It sounds like he's doing what he was hire to do. Stopping way short of fraud, salespeople try to create an interactive dialog with customers and persuade them to use a particular product. As for his manhood and techincal ability, modern cameras are more alike than different. In many cases, the core components come off the same assembly line. You're not wrong in pointing out that it isn't technically accurate but I doubt he would keep the job for very long losing this type of shoot out. I also don't know many sites that lament buying a good but not perfect camera from one of the well known names. Just my thought

I agree with you that the salesmen is doing his job. But we are doing our job in pointing out the flaws in this.

That said, I strongly disagree with the claim that "modern cameras are more alike than different."

The reality is that the variation in camera performance is more broad now than at any time in the 'history' of video surveillance. With cameras ranging from SD to 40MP, fisheye, PTZs, multi-exposure WDR, integrated IR, etc., the difference in camera image quality is vast.

I understand the comments and agree with the technical points. However this is very typical scenario. Many 'evaluations" are done this way. Lights on, lights off. Not so scientific I agree but quite common on a first pass demonstration.

I don't believe our salespeople are "brash", passionate yes, but none of them look like the guy in the photo!Have a nice day all.

Ok guys, i need to jump in here. A few weeks ago, i attended a sales class hosted by Samsung in which i saw a demo play out the same. One technically sound person in the room called the salesman on the tactic and challenged him. At the end of the day, deception in our industry will not serve any of us well. We should not make excuses for sales tactics that negatively impact the ability to build trusting relationships.

I don't think you should have singled out Samsung here. I'm sure plenty of other sales reps for other camera manufacturers do something similar and it's not fair to single only one out here.

I 'singled' out Samsung because their rep voluntarily posted that on IPVM. Anytime a manufacturer wants to use IPVM for promotion, that's the risk they take.


Is the original post still up or was it quickly deleted?


Thanks for the clarification John! I didn't see that post and I agree with you.

I feel as though I can spot a bad demo a mile away! I have been in this industry as an integrator for the majority of my life and I have always believed it was the integrators job to dispell or confirm the claims of manufacturers and sales reps. It is almost a daily battle to provide good solid information to clients on real world perfomance of cameras from all manufacturers. They don't all want to hear it and they don't always heed the advise, but I think we need to inform.

While I am new here to IPVM and I am still feeling the site out, I think IPVM is another way that I can provide solid info to my clients when they are trying to decide what IP solution is best for them and their application.

Duane, welcome! and keep up the good fight!

Awful and brash tactics? Don't know about that, but I'd like to see the newest Samsung cameras (WiseNet3) be the subject of an IPVM elevation so we subscribers can learn more about their true low-light performance.

We currently use many WiseNet2 Samsung cameras here at The Museum Of Flight and they meet our expectations and the Samsung company has been responsive to our needs.

Thanks, Brandon. Samsung is on the list of upcoming tests.

While everything you say is true, I think the photo illustrating this post is a little over the top.

Trying to raise the average level of education in this industry is a constant struggle, and for the best source of industry knowledge to mock an ignorant post like this doesn't help anyone. Educate, don't humilate.

Ari, I think the post helps, in general, because it shines a spotlight and it forces people to consider the issue.

Obviously, some people will be and are offended but many others will learn from this and be more cautious about these types of tricks.

That said, I agree, the photo is a little over the top, but so too is the comment that the sales person voluntarily posted.

What is the best way for the customer to figure which camera is the best? What is the best way to get to this answer in the field. I am the subject of the original post in this thread.

When I proclaim to do these tests (turn out the lights) my camera is basically a default setting. Pretty much the only setting I change on the Wisenet III camera is to change settings>> night mode to color so our low light SSLE technology works best. Depending on where I am I may also turn on the WDR.

As an IT person background my goal is to leep the bandwidth at what we advertise at 2.5/Mbps. I do not game the camera and then ask to be tested against others that is cheating. However yes I make challenges in unscientific conditions but what other tests can we rely on in the field?

Lately it is the customer turning on and off the light to see how it works, plus other "live view" tests with the camera onsite.

When in planned shootouts with other manufacturers at a customer site we are all given a set amount of time to set up our cameras. Typically this can be 45 minutes and all are told to provide our best picture.

The customers consultant or others would run tests on all the manufaturers cameras side by side and all under the same conditions. I would prefer not to give details on the types of tests conducted at this times. I have to respect the privacy we have been asked to maintain from these various shootouts. If needed I would share these tests with John in email so he can comment. Theres nothing secret in the tests however they would be recognizable by others to establish the when where and why possibly.

This seems to be the most fair as everyone started on equal ground. At the end of the testing we did receive best image quality, however on one test or shootout I did not like the fact we bumped the camera up to 5Mbps. As more of an IT guy than video guy I would have preferred the possible tradeoff of lowering my bandwidth and still provide a very good image quality. These are all low light scenarios shootout indoors and outdoors so the whole process can last 2-3 hours minimum.

Having worked for 2 National Integrators in the past in which 1 is very respected, The best camera is not always being picked for the customer. Most of the time it was good quality cameras like American Dynamics and Honeywell, then of course you have the specification projects and typically that would be an Axis. But to me camera choices did not appear to be about best these are excellent quality products, however it was mostly copying and pasting from project to project.

So what is the best way? in the field shootouts such as above are obviously time consuming and expensive.

This next scenario the customer has one manufacturer at a time present to them. In this scenarios it is the customer turning out the lights during our demonstration, they did this to weed out cameras, for their real onsite quality testing. Meaning if they looked at 10 manufacturers, after the "light test" 5 of the manufacturers would send their cameras to the customer testing team where they do all of their own side by side comparisons with test very similiar to what you see here on IPVM. They are doing it themselves without the manufacturer. This also seems like a fair way to do it.

One of the reasons I like the light test and I do not game my camera as mentioned above is though unscientific it appears to be accepted practice. However this emboldened me this "light test" why? the reaction from the customer and when they wrote the specs for the cameras they wanted to test and it appeared they came from our data sheet this seemed to be the best way to test in the field. I received their unscientific reaction at 2.5Mbps this is my goal in the IP world, I do take for granted the camera image is going to take care of it self and it does.

What other recommendations can one use to showcase their camera in the field? I think we can all learn from that discussion.

I am only sharing examples of what I have experienced not trying to be sales orientated in this would really like to see suggestions on how we can all make the best choices in the field.

I have a lot of respect for a guy who can take an article like this and own it, then present a fair perspective of how, with only a few minutes to make a point, this is not an unreasonable first-order comparison.

I also appreciate IPVM's efforts to educate both professionals and the unwashed masses (that's me) with their precise, knowledgeable testing and their unbiased approach. I also really enjoy the entertainment value of the odd "over the top" comment.

Cudos to all, keep up the good work!

So, let's say I'm looking for a camera that has the capability to adjust to lights being turned off on a tradeshow floor, and I live in a nation that outlaws the modifiaction of shutter speeds. Wouldn't this be a perfectly viable testing method?

Oh wait, that's just silly.

Carry on.

LOL, the show is part of it. untill we live in a honesty first culture the sales guy will always put on a show

like the heal all elixers of the Old West they have to make the money and I can not blame them for that. I blame the people who buy it without actually looking at the specs and comparing other similarly priced offerings. that is who is hurt in the long run and utimately when there is a breakin or issue needing law enforcment attention they will be dumbfounded when they have little or nothing to go on. do the research and yes IPVM rocks in this respect and are unwilling to be swayed by the Billions and Billions of dollars these folks bring to the show. brass tax is this........ if you believe all that is told to you by a salesman...... then you will be broke and have crappy cameras (not that samsung has crappy cameras but 149 for a wireless IP camera is saying somthing, but in fairness trying to get low end residentual customers to buy is always about pricing not quality!)

Thanks for your time and IPVM keep black balling those whose try to sway you........ Viva la liberte!

While not agreeing with his mythology and for sure it is not as scientific as the IPVM tests, I have to admire him for his explanation in the post above. His job is to show his cameras in the best light possible, to probably not overly technical potential customers at a trade counter.

If we all could understand how good a camera was from reading the specification then John and his team would not have to perform these elaborate tests / shootouts. IPVM could just run a course on how to know which camera is best from the spec. How many of the experts here would have figured from the specifications that Sony would have performed so poorly in IPVM’s recent shootout?

We also have the performance Vs price trade off to factor in and this is usually a personal decision for the customer. They all want the best of everything until they are asked to pay for it, then the trade off’s begin.

John I do understand your reasoning for slating the guy, the “sin” of promoting his product on IPVM. He is in sales and has to work with the resources, time and customer attention span he has available to him in the field.

Hurry up test his camera and let us know if it’s any good. I want to try it out for his bravery in posting the reply above in such a hostile environment!

Thanks for the feedback, Jim,

One important clarification on your point about Sony performing 'so poorly' in the Brickcom/Immervision shootout. That's definitely not a Sony issue. That's a top of the line Gen 6 Sony camera (see test) attached to an Immervision CS lens. The issue is the older 1.3MP Immervision lens which simply cannot compete with recent panoramic lenses.

John thanks for pointing that out. Yes, I too suffer from the lack of time and sometimes short attention span to read all the detail and make incorrect assumptions based on glancing at the shootout. Sorry about that Sony.

Ok, we just ordered 2 Samsung Wisenet III cameras - the 720p 5004 and the 1080p 6004 plus the recommended Samsung lenses for each.

Jeez, they are cheap. 2 cameras + 2 lenses for $950. That's like one Axis P or a down payment on a Sony Gen 6 camera.

And, as a gesture of conciliation, I will let a Samsung rep set up their cameras for the IPVM test as well as configure Avigilon's. ;)

Just kidding, salesguys...

Expect the test results to be published before the end of the year.

Be kind to the lesser gods.

no just be honest in your findings.... that is kind.

I am sure that subscribers appreciate that IPVM is a really relevant and insightful resource. Could it be possible that Samsung was taking a page from "Dont get fooled by these trick demos"?

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts reporting, tutorials and software funded by subscriber's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.
Loading Related Reports