Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek

By Ethan Ace and Derek Ward, Published Jan 30, 2020, 10:03am EST (Research)

*** **** *** ***** ******* ****** in **** **** ******** ****** ***** differences ** ******* *** ***********.

Free image5

***** **** **** ** ** ***** a *********, *** *****-**** ******* ** 25 ******* ****** * ************* ****** differently.

Key *********** ***********

***** ** ****** * ***** ** testing, ** ***** ******* *** *********** differences:

  • ******* ****** *******: ***** *** **** cameras ****** ***** ******* ****** ******* of ******** ******, **** ******* ****** smeared ** ******** *****.
  • ****** ************: *** **** ******* ********* even ************ ********* ******** ***** ******* over **** ******* **** *** *** dead *****.
  • ******** ********* ** ****** *******: *** cameras ****** **** **** ** ******* adjust *** ******* ****** *** **** cameras ***** ***.
  • **** ******* ** ******** *******: ***** top ********** ***** ******** ******* ******** objects ** *** *****, **** ****** only ******* *** **********, ******* ******* subjects.
  • ********/***** ** ******* ******: *** **** performers ******** ****** ********** ******* ****** with ** ***** ** *******/******* ******, while ****** ******** **** ***** *** ghosting, ******** *******.

Models ******

** ******** ****** **** *********** ******* from ***** ** **, *** ** high ****, ** *** *** **** compared ** ******* ****** ** ********** IR *********** ** ****:

  • ******** *.**-***-***-**
  • ******** *.**-***-***-**
  • ******** *.**-****-***-**
  • ******** *.**-****-***-**
  • **** *****-*** ** **
  • **** *****-***
  • **** *****-***
  • **** *****-**
  • ***** ********* ***** / ***-****-**
  • ***** ********* ***** / ***-****-**
  • ***** *******
  • ***** *******
  • ***** *******
  • ****** ***-*****
  • ****** ***-*****
  • ********* **-*********-***
  • ********* **-*********-***
  • ********* **-***********-***
  • ********* ***-*****
  • ********* **-*******
  • ********* **-******
  • ******* **********-***
  • ******* **********-*****
  • ******* ******-**
  • ******* ******-****
  • **** **** *** *.*

*** ***** ***** ******* ******* *** models ******:

Overall ********** ** ****** ********

*** **** *****-*** *** *****-**, **** new ********** **** ******, ********* **** in *** ***** ** **** ****. Several ****** ********* ***** *******, **** as ********'* ***** *** ** *** cameras, *****'* *** **** ********* *****, and ****** ******** ***-****, *** *** suffered **** *** ** **** ****** and ******* ****** ******* **** *** Axis *******.

*** ******** ** ************* ****** *** at ***** *** ****** ***** ** below *******, ********* ****, *****, *** Hanwha. **** ******** *** ******* ********* at ******* ** ***** ******* *** all ****** ******.

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Axis *** */* **** *******

*** **** *****-*** *** *****-** ********* well ****** *** **********, **** ****** facial *******, ********* ********** *** ****** objects, ***** ****** ** ********** ******* and ******** *******, *** ** ******** issues.

**** **** **** ***** *** ****** are **** ** *** ****** ******* in **** ****, **** ******** ** Q4 ****. ************, *** *****-** ** a **** ****** ***** */*" ** model, ***** ***** *** ****** $*,*** USD, *** **** ********* ***** ** this **** ** * ***** ******.

Low **** *******: ***** *** *******

*****'* ********* ***** (~$***) *** *** best *****-**** ****** ******, **** ****** coverage, **** ************, *** ******* ****** details. *******'* ~$*** **********-***** ******** **** coverage, *** *********** *** ******* *** was *******. ******, **** ** *****, Hanwha * ******, *** *********, ********* one **** ******, **** ************, ****** illumination, *****, ** *** ** ***** issues.

Low-Cost *********** ***** ** *******

****** *** ******* ** *** "***** average" ******* ** **** ******** **** from *** ************'* ****** **** **** (Axis *, ***** ****, ****** *, Hikvision ***** *******). *** *** ******** higher **** **** ********** **** *****'* 5000i (~$***+) *** *********'* ****** (~$***).

Key *********** *******

*** ***** ******** *** ********* *** factors ***** ****** *********** ********, ** other *****, ******* * ****** ** considered "****" ** ***:

  • ******* ** ****** *******:*** ********* ******** *********** ********** *** simply *** ******* ** ****** ******* by **** ****** ** ****** ********. While ** ************ ******** *** ***** were *********, ******* ***** ******* ******, even **, *** ****** **** ********* and ***** ****** ******* ********.

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  • ******* ******** ** ********:****, *** ********* ** ** ******** was *********, ** ****. ******* ** our "****" ******** ***** ******* *** full ***** ** *** ***** ** view ******* ******** ** *** ***** or * ****** ****** *******.

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  • ********** ** ****** *******: *****, ** considered *** **** ******* ******** ** objects ******** ** *** *****, ** avoid ************ ** ****** *******. **** did *** ******* ****** **** ** all, ***** ****** *********** ******** *** background.

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  • ********** *** ******** ******* ** *****: Also ********* *** ******* ******* ***** adjust ** ******** ****** * ******* walking ******* *** ***** ***** * larger, **** ********** ****** *** ** the **********, **** *********** ******* ***********.

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  • ********** ****** ********: ****, ** ****** how **** ******* ******* ****** ********** objects, **** ** ******* ******. **** cameras ******** **** ******** *** **********, while ******, *** **** **** **** to ******* **** *** ******* ***** and **** ******* ***** ******* ********.

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Manufacturer *********** ************* ******

**** ************ *** ***** ** *********** to ******* ************* ** ******* ** eliminate ****** **** ** *******. *** most ****** ********** *** ** ****** WDR, ********* ** ********* *** *********.

** *** *****, **** *** *** effect ** ******* *** *** ******'* illumination, *** ******** ******* ********** *******. For *******, ** *** ********* ********, enabling *** ******** ******* **** ***** of *** ***** ** ****, *** practical ******* ******* **** *******.

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*********, ***** *********** *********** (********* ************), ***** *** ***** ******* ** our *****. ** *** *******, *** had ******** ******, ******* *** ****** and **** ***** ** *** ******'* field ** **** *** ********* ******* details **********.

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*******, ** *** *******, ******* **** practically *******, **** ******* ***********:

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***** ***** *********** *** ******* ***** quality ** **** *****, **** *** not ****** ******-***-***** ***************, ** **** simply *** *** **** ** **** scenes *** ***** *** ******** ** know **** **** ****** ****** ***** settings *** ** **** ******.

Performance **** *: ****** ******* *******

*** ********* ******** *********** ********** *** simply *** ******* ** ****** ******* by **** ****** ** ****** ********, with **** ********* ***** ******* ** long ******* ***** *****, ****** ************ subjects ** ***** ***** *** ********* solid ******* ******, *** ****** * number ** ****** ****** *** ********* any ****** ******* ** *** *******.

*** **** *****-*** *** *****-** (*****) performed **** ******* ** **** **** due ** ***** **** ** ************, strong ************ *** ****** *******, *** lack ** ***** ** ************.

*** ****' *** *** *****-*** ** II ********* ******, ************ *** ******* throughout (*****), **** ** ************ ******* displayed.

*********, ******* **** ** *** ****** L ****** *** ********* ***** ******* overexposed *** *******, **** ********* ****** of *****, ***** ****:

*** ********** ***** ***** **** ** the *** ********** ** **** **** compared ** *** ***** ** **** the **** ***** ** ***********:

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Performance **** *: ******** ** ** ********

*** **** **** ****** ******* *** full ***** ** **** ****** *********** in *** *******, **** **** ******* to ********** ** *** ***** ** the *** *** ****** ********** * bright ****** ******* ***** ****** ************.

*** **** *****-*** ***** ***** *********** the ***** ** **** **** **** to ****, **** ** ****** ******* or **** *****:

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*******'* *** **** *** **** ******* the ***** ** **** ****, ****** was ******** ****** ** *** ******.

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*******, ******, ********* **** *******/***** ******* models, *** *** ****** **** *** field ** ****. *** *******, *** Bosch ***** ******** **** ********** **** edges, ****** ** *** *** ********** the ******* ** *** ****** ** the *****.

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*** ********* ******** **** ******** ** Dahua's **** ****** ******, ****** ******* even **** ** ******* ** *** scene:

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**** **** **** ******** ** *** field ** **** *** ******** **** heavily **** ***** ******* ** ********, because ** **** ***** *** "********" of ******** *** *** ****** ** clear ***** *******.

Varifocal ****** ** **********

*** *** ****** ***** ******** *** well ******* ** *** ** *** scene *** ******* ******* ******** ** illumination **** ********* **** *** *******. For *******, **** ******** **** ** Axis' * *** * ******, *** camera ******** ******* ********* **** *** increased ** ********* ***** ** *** the *****, ************ ****:

** ********, **** ****** *** *** adjust ************ ** *** **** ******** zoom, **** ** *** ********* * series ******. ********** ** **** *****, illumination ******* ******** *** ****:

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Performance **** *: ******** ****** **********

** **** ****, ** ****** * reflective **** ***** *** ******* ***** in *** **********, **** * ******* in *** ********** ** *** *** cameras ******** ** **** **** *******.

****, **** ** *** **** */* models *** ******** ***** ****** ********* the ****** *****, ********** *** **********, while *** ***** ***** ****** ********, but ***** ******* ********* *** **** distant *******. ** ********, ******* **** as *** ********* ***** ******* *** Avigilon ** ************* ****** *** ******* in *** **********, ******** ******.

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Performance **** *: ********** ****** ********

*******, **** ******* ********* ***** ** ghosting ** ****** ********** ******* **** as ******* ******. **** ******** ******** similar ** **** ***** ** *** side ** *** ******'* ***** ** view, *** **** ******** ** * "ghosted" ****** ***** ** *** ****** in **** *****.

***** ****** **** *** ****** ** most *******, *** **** ********** *** significantly ******** ** *** ******* ** our ****, *** ******** **** *** Uniview ********** *****, ***** *****:

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***** ******* ************ ********* ****** ********, but *** ** ********* ** ******* as ***** ******.

Outdoor ***********: ******* ***** ***** ************

** **** ****** ******* ** ***** in ** ******* ******* ***, ******* from ~*-* ***. *******, *********** *** relatively *******, *** **** ****** ******** moderately ** ******* ***** ******* *** harshness ** ***** ** ************ ********.

*** *******, *** ***** ****** ***** produced *** ********* ******* ******* ******* appeared **** ****** *********** ******** ** building *** ****** ****** ****** ***** levels.

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** *** ******* *******, ** ******* were **** ** ******* * ******* plate ******* ******** *** ******* *************, from *** ******* ** */*** *** to * **** ****** */***** ** 1/5000s ***** *********** ******** *** **** of *** *****.

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Compared ** $** **** ***

*** ******* ** **** ******** ******** better ****** **** ****'* $** **** Cam, ***** ******** **** ****** ****** overall, **** **** ******* *******. **** is ****** ****** ** ********** * space ****** **** * ******* ***** room.

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**** ****, *** **** *** ******** very **** ******* ** ******** **** at ***** *****.

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Test **********

**** ****** ******** **** ******* ** standardize ************* ** **** ** ********, including:

  • ******** *** *** ** * ******* of */*** ** *** ******* ** reduce/eliminate **** ** ****** *******
  • *********** *** *** ** ~**-** ************ in *** *******
  • ***** ****** **** ********

********** ** ******** **** **** *********. Manufacturer ******** *** ****** ********** **** defaults, ** ********* *****.

****** ******** ** *** **** ** testing *** **** ** *** *******.

Comments (17)

Had a demo Axis P3245 unit in our office for a few weeks, always thought the night vision was the best I've seen, turns out I was right (pats own back)

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Thank you for the test. Pitty tough there are only limited detailed conclusions or insight.

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Pitty tough there are only limited detailed conclusions or insight.

There is extensive analysis in the report, copied below:

Key Performance Factors

Our tests revealed the following key factors which impact performance rankings, in other words, whether a camera is considered "good" or not:

  • Details on moving objects: The strongest weighted performance difference was simply the quality of facial details by each camera on moving subjects. While IR illumination evenness and power were important, cameras could include strong, even IR, but suffer from artifacts and noise making details unusable.

  • Overall evenness of coverage: Next, the evennness of IR coverage was important, as well. Cameras in our "Best" category below covered the full width of the field of view without darkness at the edges or a bright center hotspot.

  • Adjustment on moving objects: Third, we considered how well cameras adjusted to objects entering in the scene, to avoid overexposure or missed objects. Some did not visibly adjust much at all, while others drastically darkened the background.

  • Adjustment for multiple objects in scene: Also important was whether cameras could adjust to properly expose a subject walking through the scene while a larger, more reflective object was in the foreground, with performance varying drastically.

  • Reflective object handling: Next, we tested how well cameras handled highly reflective objects, such as license plates. Some cameras suffered from ghosting and reflection, while others, but some were able to capture both the license plate and test subject using default settings.

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I have tested the Bosch 5000i dome to, and I was pretty sure that i was me who couldn't get the settings right to get the camera preforme as i hoped. Good to know that it isnt me. Two months ago it went dead, a bad sealing made the camera a fishbowl 🐠 (not impressed) But im going to test the 3000i it seems fair price/performance.

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I can not really understand why you guys do tests comparing all the cheapest HIK, Uniview and dahua stuff to the most expensive Axis, Avigilon bosch etc. Its not really a fair test.

Agree: 5
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Gary, thanks for your first comment!

Three things you should know:

1. We were in extensive communication with Dahua, Hikvision and Uniview management about what we tested and how we tested. We gave them ample opportunity to give us feedback and they did.

2. What specific models do you want us to test from those companies?

3. After the test was released, Hikvision requested we test the "5 Smart Pro Dark Fighter series" and that is being tested on Monday along with a variety of other cameras that have recently arrived.

Thanks again and let us know what models you want tested.

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Important insights yet again. As the saying goes 'you gets what you pays for!' Of course virtually any IR camera provides a superior image to a non-IR camera in total darkness. You and your client have to weigh the benefits of knowing whether 'some person' or 'exactly this person' are a required performance metric.

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Update: We added the Hikvision Smart Series 4MP Darkfighter, Hanwha's new Q series QND-6012R, and Vivotek FD9389-HV to the rankings.

The Hikvision and Hanwha models were above average in our tests, Vivotek is in the average rankings.

Hikvision's Smart Series produced rough subject details with limited overexposure and was fairly even across the field of view, but it suffers from blur/artifacts on moving objects which reduced facial details.

The Hanwha QND-6012R was clear on the face (below), but a bit center hot, which led to near range overexposure (at ~10-12' and closer).

The Vivotek 9389 overexposed at longer range than others, starting at ~20', shown here.

We will continue to update rankings as new cameras are tested and update here periodically.

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Just to verify you mentioned a Hanwha XNO series which I was hoping to see something from the X series tested because the results are of a Q & L series both the lower end models of their product line. Have you since tested any of these for comparison sake? I have a feeling it would be superior to the Axis model based on some results I’ve recently experienced in the field.

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Hello Pierce, and thank you for the question!

I've created a few example images to show you how the Hanwha XNO-6085R compares to the Axis P3245-LVE. But first, I wanted to let you know that overall IR coverage of the 6085R was strong, as seen below:

But, the defining reason as to why the Hanwha 6085R trails behind the Axis P3245 is that it takes too long for it to adjust with a subject walking in towards the scene. At ~20' away, a moving subject becomes overexposed, with the camera unable to adjust IR and exposure to give close-range details:

With the Axis and Hanwha cameras combined:

The close-range motion of the 6085R trails that of the Axis Lightfinder 2.0 cameras we tested. If you have questions or objections, please let us know and I'd be happy to provide more info!

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Thanks Derek! That’s an excellent analysis. I know that was a primary concern Axis put focus on in the past couple years with the number of IR’s and placement to ensure to not see this type overexposed image. Very well done and appreciate the follow up.

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Great analysis! One of Axis cameras used for LPC is P1445-LE. Do you expect it is close to P3245-LVE / Q1798-LE?

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I hope to add Illustra Pro cameras in the next comparison

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#2, we tested the Illustra Pro about 5 months ago and they did relatively poorly. See: Illustra Pro Gen3 4K Camera Tested

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Hey IVPM team,

It looks like some of the writing may have gotten cut-off, or am I have a Edge chromium issue?

Performance Test 4: Reflective Object Handling

Finally, some cameras displayed flare or ghosting of highly reflective objects such as license plates. This commonly appeared similar to lens flare to the side of the camera's field of view, but

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Thanks, Camden, that section somehow got cut short. I had to go back to January to find it, but the full section reads:

Performance Test 4: Reflective Object Handling

Finally, some cameras displayed flare or ghosting of highly reflective objects such as license plates. This commonly appeared similar to lens flare to the side of the camera's field of view, but also appeared as a "ghosted" second image of the object in some cases.

These issues were not common in most cameras, but most frequently and significantly occurred in two cameras in our test, the Avigilon H4SL and Uniview IPC262EBR9 domes, shown below:

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Other cameras occasionally displayed slight ghosting, but not as regularly or clearly as these models.

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Great article. It would be nice to see something like this comparing the latest turret style IR cameras across various manufacturers. Although Axis is at the top of my list, for turrets, I really like the Dahua N53AJ52 & N53AJ5Z. The IR clarity seems above average on those models. I wish Axis sold a nice line of turrets comparable to these.

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