Illustra Pro Gen3 4K Camera Tested

By Rob Kilpatrick and Derek Ward, Published Oct 23, 2019, 10:54am EDT (Research)

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Illustra Pro Gen 3 Varifocal Turret Compared to Competitive Domes

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VMS Integration Comparison2

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Comments (24)

Looks like the white balance handling has some issues as well:

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looks like IR cut filter not working.

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Looks like the camera doesn't have an IR filter at all

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To Luca, U1 and Sean,

It does seem to be a white balancing issue, as the IR cut filter does work and cuts back and forth between color and B/W. I notice the red tinge more in outdoor scenes than indoor.

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It does seem to be a white balancing issue, as the IR cut filter does work and cuts back and forth between color and B/W.

but how do you really know the cut filter is mechanically moving and not stuck?

the cut filter change doesn’t make the picture b+w or color on its own.

the fact that it is more prevalent outdoor than indoor is also consistent with IR filter not being in place, as indoor lighting these days has little IR in it, as opposed to sunlight.

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Typically you can hear a "click" if you hold the camera close to your ear and block the lens with your hand. This sound is the cut filter moving.

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I'm currently waiting for a reply from the MFG as to why the image looks the way it does. I listened for the click of the IR filter, and I can hear it. I checked the spec sheet of the camera and it is labeled as "True Day/Night". Maybe U1 is on to something and it's getting "stuck", but I plan on letting this camera run for a while and seeing if the issue gets worse/better/returns.

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This sound is the cut filter moving.

the “click” is from the solenoid energizing. whether the filter moves is ‘nother thing.

that said, i believe it has white balance adjustments available:

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Reply received from the manufacturer today:

"You are correct that the camera has an integrated removable IRCF. We have had no experience with the IRCF getting stuck at any point in our development process and extensive QA testing. I would expect that if it were stuck out you would get an image that is much more severely skewed to the red end.

What I believe you are actually seeing is a compromise we have made; the Pro3 cameras have their White Balance tuned to allow us to give very accurate colour reproduction for vegetation (like grass), a side effect is that in scenes which are predominately green it can skew other colours very slightly.

What you might see with other manufacturers cameras is that in ‘grassy’ scenes the grass looses colour and turns a little grey. We have had consistent feedback from customers that they do not like the ‘washed out’ grass and prefer the truer colour image."

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What you might see with other manufacturers cameras is that in ‘grassy’ scenes the grass looses colour and turns a little grey.

new ad campaign coming:

At American Dynamics, the Grass is Always Greener!

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This looks more like HDR was left on, notice the pink fringing on the tree trunks in the upper right. Tall tell signs of HDR and overexposure.

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Non-OEM = ODM? Also, digital WDR isn’t very ‘smart’.

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Vivotek OEM? I'm surprised you didn't open it up to look at the SoC.

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We haven’t opened it up. We were using it for testing up until the time of publishing and it didn’t look like it was quickly accessible without risk of breaking it. I’ll take a second look at it.

As far as Vivotek OEM, I’m not aware of that being the case. The physical construction and web interface of the Illustra are different. They could be manufactured by Vivotek with different firmware, possibly. I’ll see if we can find anything about that.

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Based on import records, it is likely manufactured by TopView (see JCI/ TSP/ Sensormatic import records):

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btw, the TopView site is a real gas, rivaling the erstwhile Dahua website from years ago:

so close! these smooth criminals had thought of everything; everything except that eye level Topview megadome with the 4/1” sensor...

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TopView site is a real gas

In their defense, they have an ODM business model (even their website leads with that) so decisions are mostly made on negotiated business with a handful of B2B partners, making the website not that important for them.

Interesting they are a publicly traded company in Taiwan and did ~$36 million revenue in 2018, roughly flat from the prior year:

Through H1 2019, TopView revenue is up moderately 10-15%.

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Update, I was able to disassemble the camera partly to see the SoC. The camera is using an Ambarella S5L. Without disconnecting some really delicate ribbon cables, this is the best shot we can get:

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Good for JCI not to toy with HiSilicon. I wonder if that is intended or just what Topview uses in their product.

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wonder if that is intended or just what Topview uses in their product

I don’t know JCI’s internal process but it is normal for ODMs like them to direct their partner to use the SoC they prefer.

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The camera is using an Ambarella S5L.

how long before HiSilicon starts stamping their chips “Amberella”?

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Update:

Updated the "Limited H.265 streaming and Analytic Integration" section to include support for H.265 streaming in Genetec.

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Could you please double check the bitrate information? My testing showed me half of the value. The camera default is set for demo mode so it could be the reason for your values.

Thanks

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Hello UM #4,

After looking into this the past few days, I am seeing roughly the same bitrate as we noted in the report. We were not shooting in "demo" mode (which is an exposure profile that has some crossover bitrate/stream settings) during testing, as we used "Auto" and selected settings that standardized to our testing. Below is an image of the defaults "Demo" mode uses:

However, I would like to know more about the scene and settings you are shooting with the camera UM#4. How much or how little motion is occurring in your scene? What VMS/viewing software are you measuring the bandwidth at? What codec are you using? It's vague to say "I'm seeing half the bitrate" when you could have the camera set to 5-10 FPS (We test at 15 FPS), in a plain room looking at a wall with no motion.

In our warehouse scene, we have cracks and chips in the pavement of our warehouse test lab, and the Illustra image is sharp, and if you recall, sharp images will increase bandwidth (due to increased detail in the scene). I lowered the sharpness as low as it could go, and the bit rate dropped by ~10%. The image was not negatively impacted quality/detail wise. The inverse is also true, as raising sharpness to max increased bandwidth by ~10%.

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