IR Surveillance Camera Guide

By: IPVM Team, Published on Feb 06, 2020

Integrated infrared (IR) cameras are everywhere in 2020, but not all IR is created equal, with many differences in coverage, overexposure, underexposure, handling moving objects, and more.

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In this guide, we examine these elements in detail to help users better understand IR in surveillance, including:

  • Infrared Basics
  • 850nm Most Common
  • 940nm Rare, But Increasing
  • True Day / Night Cameras Required
  • Integrated IR Usage Statistics
  • IR LED Comparisons
  • Warning: No Illumination Standards
  • Compare IR Illumination On Moving Subjects
  • Differences Adjusting To Moving Objects
  • Long Image Adjustment Times
  • IR Coverage Patterns Often Poor
  • Smart Vs. Adaptive IR
  • Manufacturer Terminology
  • Why Range Specs Alone Cannot Be Used
  • Beware Low PPF At Max IR Range
  • IR Impact On Bandwidth Spikes
  • IR vs. White Light Illuminator Cameras
  • Integrated IR Cameras vs. External Illuminators Pros & Cons

Infrared ******

** ** ***** **** cameras *** '***' *** humans ******. ****** *** in *** *** ** 750nm ***** ********, ******** to ** '*******' *****. However, ************ ******* *** generally '***' ******* ***** as **** ** ***** that ***** **** ** illuminators ********* ** ***** or *****, *********** ** the ***** *****.

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850nm **** ******

**** ******** ************ **** in ************ *** *** visible ***** **********. *** LEDs **** *** ***** illuminators *** ****** ******* to *** ***** ***, emitting * *******/******* ****, such ** ** ***** ********. **** **** ****** perceive **** ** **** red, ***** ******* **** as ******* ******* (*** cell ***** *******) *** it ****** ** ****/****** shown ****.

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940nm ************ ****

***** ************ *** **** less ******* ** ******, with **** * **** faint **** ******* **** close ** *** ******, making **** **** ****** when ****** ************ ** required. *******, **** *** more ********* ** *********** than ***** ************, *** provide **** ********* ****** distance, ** ****** ***** sensors *** **** ********* to *** ****** ********** of "*********" ************.

******* ** ***** *******, 940nm ** **** *** less **** *****. *******, some ************* ***** ***** illumination ** ******** ******. For ********, ***:********* ** ****** ****** (Vivotek),**** ****** ***** ****** Examined,** * *********** ****** Test, ******* *** ** ******.

**** **** **** ****** wavelength ************ (****** *** above) *** *********, ***** are ********** ********* ** the ***** ***. *******, these *********** *** ***** the ******** **** ******* can '***', *** ***** are **** ****** **** 940nm, ****** **** **** rarely **** ** **********.

True *** ***** ********

**** ***/***** ************* **** **** ******** illumination, ** ***** **** models (****** **** ** 2020) ******* * ***** IR *** ******, ******** all ******** *****. *** majority ** ************ ******* use ** *** ******* which ***** * ****** in ***** ** *** camera's ****** ****** *** day, *** ******* ** at ***** (*** ****** / ***** ****** Tutorial).

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*** *** ****** ** activated ****** *** *** to ****** ** *****, as ** *** ********** *****/***** ******* ******, **** ** *** pinkish **** ***** *** desaturation **** ** *** image *****:

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** *****, *** ****** is ******* ** ***** IR ************ ** ******* IR ***** ** ***** the ******, ********* ******** images.

Integrated ** **** ****** **** ********

**** ***** **, *** fundamental ******* *** ********* - ******* **** ** LEDs ********** **** ***** housings *** ********** ** illuminators **** *** ******* near ** **** ** cameras. ** *** ****, very *** ** ******* offered ********** ** **** so **** **** ****** to *** ** ************ if **** ****** **. Now, **** ******* ***** integrated ***.

** ***** ** *****,**** ********** **** **** 3/4 ** ******* ***** include ********** **:

** ********,**** ********** **** **** few ******* *** ******** IR, **** **** **%. Because ** ****, **** guide ****** ******* ** integrated ** *******. ** review **** *** **** of ***** ******* ***** in **** *****.

IR *** ***********

**** ****** ************* **** the ****** ** ** LEDs ** ** ********* of ***** ***********, **** is '** ****** *** 24 **** *** ** competitor **** *** *, etc.', *** ** *******, looking ** **** *** quantity ** **** *** little ****** ** **** world ***********, ** ***** are **** ********* *****/****** of ** ***.

***** *** *** ***** categories ** ** **** in ************, ****** ***** and *****:

  • *******, ***** *****:**** ********** ** ******* and **** *** **** standalone ** ************ *** a ****** ******** ** smaller **** ** *** up ** ******* *****. These **** *** ******* (but *** ******) **** expensive, ***** ** *** they *** ********* ******** in *** **** ******.
  • ******, ****** *****:**** ***** ** ******* and **** ** ************ use * ******* ******** of ******, **** ******** LEDs.

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**** **** ****** **** in *** **** **** typically ********** ****** *******, and ******** **** **** coverage *** ****** *****. However, *** ***** **** shown **** **** ** not ****** *** ****, with **** *** ********** IR ******* ***** ***** LEDs, *** **** ***** larger ****. ****** ***** testing ** *** **** reliable *** ** ********* IR ************ *******.

Illumination ******

*****, ** ****** *** issues ********* ********** ** camera ********* *** ***********, including:

  • ** ************ *********
  • ***** ** ***** ** moving ********
  • ** ******** ******** ***** poor
  • ********* ********/** ** ****** objects
  • **** ***** ********** *****
  • ***** *** ******** **
  • ************ ***********
  • *** ***** ***** ****** not ** *******

*** **** ******* *** examples ** *** ** these ****** ** **** world *****, *** ************* ** ****** ******** 2020.

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

***** ***** *** ** concrete ************** *** *** IR ** ******, ************* may ****** ***** *** range ** ********** ************ ******* *** camera, ******* **********. **** ***** **** the ****** ** ***** at *** ********* ******* range *** ** **** enough ** *** **** a ***** ******* ** a ******, ** ****. While *** *** **************** *** ****** ** IR ************, **** ************* ********* is *** ******* ******** amount ****** ******.

Judge ** ***** ** ****** ********

*** ******* *********** ** IR *********** *** **** be **** **** ******* at ******* ** ******. Many ******* *** ******* strong ******* ** ***** images, *** **** **** or ********** ******** ** the ****.

*** *******, *** ****** on *** **** ***** shows ****** ******* ** the ******* ** ** quickly ***** ****** *** camera, **** ****** ************ facial ********, ***** *** center *** ********* ******* blur *** ********** *** subject.

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***** *** ******* ******* this *** *****, **** as ****** ************ ** slow ********** (********* *****) or **** ****** ********* ***** *********** *********** ******.

IR ******** ******** ***** ****

**** ******* ****** **** uneven ************, **** * center ******* ***/** **** edges, ********* ************ ** subjects ** *** ****** or ************* ** *** edges ** *** ***** of ****.

*** *******, ******* ** the *** ******* *****, the ****** ** *** left ***** ****** ******* to *** ***** ** the ***, *** ******* details *** ***** ******* visible, *** ** ** properly ******* ** *** center. *** ********, *** camera ** *** ***** does *** ******** ********** the ******* ** *** edge ** *** *** and *********** *** ** the ******, ****** ** difficult ** ******* ****** features.

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Ambient ***** ***** ************

****** ************ ** ***** in ***** **** ** ambient ********, ** *** illuminator's **** *** *** only ***** ******. ** scenes **** **** *** level ********, ~* *** and *****, **** ***** may ** **** ****** illuminated *** ****** ******** shifted ****** ** ** not ** ********** ********.

*** *******, *** ****** below *** *** ** the ***** ********** ** our** ****** ************ ****** ******* ** ~0 *** ******, *** outdoors ** * ******* lot **** ******* *****, edges *** ****** *********** and *** ****** ** the **** ** *** overexposed.

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**** **** ** **** when *********** *******, ** illumination *** ****** **** in *** ***** *** perform ********** **** ******* light.

Moving ****** **********

**** ******** ** ** camera *********** ** *** the ****** ******* ** objects ******** *** ******* the *****. **** ****** increase ******** ** ******** expose *** ******* ** they **** ******* *** scene, ***** ****** ** not ****** ****** ** quickly ******, ************ *** subject. *******, **** ** our ***** ******** ****** the *******, *** ********** obscure *** **********, *********** going ****.

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**** ********** ** ******** not **** *** ****** details ** *** ****/********** subject, *** ** **** scenes, ********** ******** *** be ****** ** ******* do *** ****** ****** exposure.

Beware ******** ******

*******, **** ******* **** longer **** ****** *** the ***** ** ****** to **** ********** ***** adjusting ** ***** ***/** gain/exposure. ** ******* ********, this *** ****** ** subjects ***** ****** ** they ****** **** ****** a ****** ****** ****** through *** **********.

*** *******, *** ****** below ***** **-** ******* for *** ***** ** return ** **** **********. During **** ******, *** image ** **** ****, with **** *** **** foreground ******* *** *** background ****** ******* ********.

***** *** ** ****** connection ******* **** ***** and ** ***** ********** or **** *******. ** has ******** ** ******** models ** *** *****, both **** ***** ** and *******.

Smart **. ******** **

**** ********** ** ****** models **** ********** "********" or "*****" ******** ******** to ****** *** *** scene ***/** ****** ************. For *** ******** ** clarity ** **** ***** and *** *********, ** define ***** ******** ** follows:

  • ***** **:************* ******* ** ***** depending ** ******* ** the *****, ******* ** prevent ************ ** **** objects *** ********* ** full ***** *** ***** further ****. *** ***** below ***** *** ******* of **** ** *****, with *** ***** ******* to ********** *** *** subject ** *** **** field.

  • ******** **:*** ****** ******* ** LED ***** ***/** **** multiple **** ** **** in ***** ** ****** illumination ***** ** *** its ***** ** **** and **** ****** ***** the **** *****. **** is ****** ** **** fixed ******* *** ****, shown *****:

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

**** ***** ** *****, there ** ** ******** as ** **** ***** terms **** *** ***** may ** ******** ** varying ************ ***********. *** example, ******** **** ** their "******** **":

**** ****** ******** ** technology, **** ****** ******** both **** *** ****** illumination, ******** ********** ************ in ******** ******** ** enhance ***** ******* ********** of ***** **********.

***** **** ***** *** IR ************ ******** ** their **** *** ****** "***********":

**** *** ***** ** view ** ******** ** the ************ ** ** Axis ****** **** ****** zoom *** **********, *** angle ** ************ ************* adapts ** *** **** level. *** ************ ***** follows *** ******’* **** movements ** ****** ******* the ******* ****** ** light ** *** *****.

******* ********** ********* ** Axis’ *********** ********** ** visible **** *** ******* is *** **** **** the ****** *** *** whole **** ** ***********. When *** ******* ** approaching *** ******, *** exposure ** ********. **** the ******* ** ** the ******, ** ** illuminated *** *** ***********.

*******, **** *************, **** as *****, *********, *** Panasonic ****** **** ***** integrated ** ******** "*****." Unfortunately, ***** ** ** way ** **** **** each ************ ***** ** these ***** ******* ** least ******** **** ****** and/or *******.

"Smart **" *** *** ****** ** ***** ** ***

********** *********, **** *************' "smart" ** ******** ** not ******** ****** ** power. *******, *** ****** adjusts **** ***/** ******** to ********** *** *******(*) in *** *****. **** is ***** ** ********'* H4 ***** *****. *** camera's **** ** *** dim, *** *** *** interface ***** **** ****** as *** ******* ****** the *****.

** *** *****, ** have *** **** ***** advantages ** ***** ******* which ****** ** ***** over ***** ***** ** not, **** ****/******** ********** often ** ********* ** IR ***** **********. ** an *******, *** ***** below **** *** ******, with ***** ** ****** on ** *** **** and *** ** *** right. ******* ******** ** very ******* ** ****, with **** ******* ********** when ********* ** *****.

(**** **** **** ***** IR **, *** ******'* image ***** ****** ** readjust ** **** **********, which ** ******* **** below)

*********** ******* ***** ******(*) a ***** ****** **** is *********, *** ********* requires ********* ** *****, as **** ************* ** not ******** *** ***** smart ** *****.

**** **** **** ***** features ********* **** ** be ***** **** *** camera *** *** *** compatible **** ******** ** illuminators, ** *** ********** required ** ****** ** object *** ****** ** necessary ** ********* **********.

Do *** **** ** ***** *****

* *** ***** ***, when ********** ** ****** were *** **** ******, manufacturers ********** ********** ***** camera's ** ***** ************, often ** ** **** as **-**%. **** ***** has ********, **** **** cameras "********" ***** ********* range, **** ** *** camera *****:

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**** ***** ****, ********** ranges *** ***** *** uncommon ** ****. *** example, *** ****** ***** has * ********* ** range ** ***/~***', *** an ****** ***** ****** to ~***', **** *** subject ***** **** ***** illuminated.

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PPF ***** **** *** ** *** *****

**** ** * ****** reaches *** ******* ********* range, ***** ****** ****** of *** ****** ** this ********. ** *** tests, ***** ****** ***** deliver **-** *** ** less ** *** *****. With *** **** ***, detection ** ********* *** to *** ******** **** of ********, ********* ******* noise, ********* ********, ***.

** ** *******, *** 1080p ****** ***** *** a ******* ********* ** range ** ***, ** about ***', *** ** angle ** **** ** 102°. ** **** ********, PPF ** **** ~*, making *** ******* ********* to ****.

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**** ***** ** ********** as ** ****** **** continued ** ********, ** have ***** ** **** specs, ********** ** ***** cost ***** **** ****** which *** ********** **** with should ****** ** **** issue *** ******** ***** (narrower) **** ******* ***** possible.

IR ******* ********* ******

***** ** *** ***** (see********* ** *** ***** Shootout), ** *******' ********* spikes **** **** **** non-IR ****** *** ** relatively ***** **** *** noise ****** (********* *** (******* ***** Reduction) *****). ** *******, ********** IR ****** ** *** testing ******** ***** * 1.5x ******** ** *****, while ***-** ****** ****** drastically, **** ~** ** 20x.

*******, **** ****** ** considered * *********, *** a ****, ** *** introduction ******* ********* **** ** **** difficult ** ******* *** specific ******* **** ******* in ******** *****. **** super *** ***** ***-** models *** ****** ******** low ***** ****** **** non-smart ** ******.

**** **** **** *** key ******* ****** **'* impact ** *********:

  • *** ** ************ ***** to ***** *** ***** scene. ** ******* ***** are ***** ****, *** camera ** ****** ** increase **** ** ******** those *****, ********** *********.
  • ** ****** ****** ********* consumption ** *** *****, use* ***/*** *** ** VBR ****. *** ***** *** rates **** **** ******* impact ** ****** ******* as *** ***** ** bandwidth ** ****** ***** adds ** ********** *******.

White *****/******* ***** ************

** *** **** *** years, **** ************* **** introduced ****** **** ********** white ***** ************ ******* of ** (************ ***************** ***** *****), **** *** ********* of ********* ***** ****** at ***** ******* ** monochrome ******** ** **.

***** ****** ******* ***** to *** ***** **** improve *** ***** ******, generally ** *** **** favored, *** ******** *******:

  • **** **********:***** ***** ***** ******* a ********** ****** ****** the **** ** ******, IR ** ****** *********** (850nm) ** *** *********** at *** (*****) ** the ***** ***. **** means **** ****** ********* are **** **** ******* at *****, ****** **** more ********* *** ********* to ****** *** ******.
  • **** ***** *********:************, ******** **** *** contribute ** ***** ********* caused ** ***** *****. Many ************** ******** [**** no ****** *********] *** powerful ******** ****** *** be, *** **** **** be *****/********, ***.
  • ****** **********:*******, ********** *** ******** designers *** ****** **** IR ** ****, ** they *** ****** **** to ******* *** ******** design ** * ********.

Pros *** **** **. ******** ** ************

***** *** ******* ********** to ********** ** ****** compared ** ******** **, which **** ****** ***** adoption:

  • ***** ****:** ****, *** ******** of *** ******* ******* integrated **, ****** **** a **** **** ********* option **** * ***-** camera **** ***** ***********.
  • ******* ************:******* *** ** ** built **, ***** ** no ********** ********* ** install.
  • ******* ********:********** ** ******* *** typically ******* ** ******** 802.3af ***** **** ********, or ** **** ********* 802.3at. ******** ************ ********* require ******** *** *******, PoE, ** **** ***** power.
  • ******** ********:****** *** ******* ***** smart / ******** ** and ********* ********* **********, typically *** ******** **** add-on ** ************.

*******, ***** *** *** key *********:

  • ******* ***** (****** ********): ****** ********** ** cameras **** ****** ****** have ****** **** ******, most ***** ****** **** ranges ** **-*** ** most (~***-***'). **** **** reach ***' ** ****, but *** ***** **** range ************ (*,***'+), ********** illuminators *** ***** ***** required.
  • ***/****** ******:********** ** ******* *** attract ******* ** *******, which ****/***** ***** ** or **** *** **** of *** ******, ********* the ***** ** ****. Some ***** **** ******** remedying **** ***** ** using ******** **.

******* ** *** ********** IR *******'* ***** ****** and ******** ********, ** has ****** ********* ** justify ***-** ** ************ in **** ************. *** clearest ****** *** ********** illuminators *** ***** **** distance *** ********* **, required ** **** ********** applications, ******** ***** *** uncommon ** ********** ** cameras, ****** ** ****** they **** ******** ** improve.

IR ** *** **** ****** **********

******* ****** *************** ******'* ** ***** on *** ** * map **** * *** line, ** *** *** see *** *** *** IR ** ********* ** cover, ************ *****:

**********, ** *** ****** is **** ****** **** the ******'* ******* ** range, ** ****** ****** of ************ ***** ** carefully ***** ********/***** ** features.*** **** ******** ** the ********** ****.

[****: **** ******** *** originally ******* ** **** but ************* ******* ** 2017, ****, *** **** to ******* ******* **** testing *** ************ ** integrated **.]

Comments (10)

***/****** ******: ********** ** cameras *** ******* ******* or *******, ***** ****/***** close ** ** **** the **** ** *** camera, ********* *** ***** of ****. **** ***** have ******** ********* **** issue ** ***** ******** IR.

** *** ** ********** IR ** ******** ******* for **** ******. ** use ********** ** ** interior ******* ****.

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

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

*******, ***** ** **** weaker, ********* **** ***** half *** ******** ** 850nm ***** ***** *** same *****, *** **** expensive ** ***********.

**** ********* *** ** misleading ***** ***** *****'* actually '******' **** *** than ***** ** *** same *****.

******, *** ******* *********** of ***** ** *** to *** **** *** in ****** *********** ** that **********, ** ********* in **** *****.

****, ********* ******* **** significant *********** ** ******** at ***** ****** ***** makes *** ************** ******.

****'* * **** *****. It's **** ******** **:

...******* **** ********* ****** distance, ** ****** ***** sensors *** **** ********* to *** ****** ********** of "*********" ************.

**'* **** **** ******** is ********* ******* *******, as ****, *** ** can ****** ****** ** said **** ******* **************** ********* ** ***** and **.

* ***** **** ** add **** ********* *********** concerning ******** *** ********.

***** ******** *****, ******** and ******** (*.*. *********, bags, ***.) *** ** either ********** ** **********. This *** *** *********** effect ** ****** ******** that ***** ****** ** one ***** ** *** human ***, ****** ************* different ***** ** *****.

********* ** *** ****** it *** ****** ****** IR ***** ** ******* it. ********** ******* **** appear **** ***** ** light, *** ********** ******* appear ***** ***** ** light, ********** ** ***** actual *****. *** *******, a ******* ** ***** light *** ****** ** be ******* * ***** shirt, **** *****, *** dark ********, ******* ** IR ***** **** *** appear ** ** ******* all-white *** ** *** fabrics ****** ********** *********.

**** *** ********** ****** a ******** ** * threat ** * ******* may ** ********** ********* as ******* ******-******* ******** when ** **** **** are ***. ** ** therefore ********* ** ******* viewers ** **-******** **** cameras **** ********** ***** clothing ***** ****** *** be **** **** ******* subjects ***** ** *****.

* **** ******* *** be ********:

****** *** *** ***** is ***** **** ***** lettering ***** ******* *****, but ***** ** ***** the ****** ******* ********. If * ****** **** to ****** ******** ** police ********** **** *** subject *** ******* * white *****, **** ******* the ******* ** ****** they *** *** ********* by ********** ** *** matching *** *********** *****.

********** *** *********** ****** be ***** ** **** when ********** ** ******* for ********* **** *** require **** ******** ************** of ******** ** **** areas. ** *** ***** of ******** ******* *** important **** ** *****-*** light ***** ****** ***** be * ****** ******** than *** **** ********** IR.

**** *** ********** ****** a ******** ** * threat ** * ******* may ** ********** ********* as ******* ******-******* ******** when ** **** **** are ***.

***********. ** * *******, if *** **** ** inclined, *** ***** ************* design * ***** ****** that ******* ********** ********* under ** *****.

**** ***** * ******** jersey **** *** *******/**** only ******* ***** **.

** **** **********, * police ******* **** ***** like ******* ******* ** visible *****. ****** **** an ******* ** ***.

* ******* ** ****** yes, ******** ** *****'* make ********** *********** ***** together ******* ************ ** absorption. *** ***** ********* be **** ** **** out ****** **** *** edges ** * ******** patch ** ****** ********, unless *** ******* *** far ****** **** **** fine ******* *****'* ***********. Unless ********** ** *** outfit *** ********* *** same **********/********** ****** ** everything **** ***'* ****** something *** ***.

*** ******** *** **** fairly ********* ******** **** this ***** *** ******* reasons. *** **** **** that *** ****** ******** uniforms, *** ****, *** other **** *********** *** completely ** ********** ** as ** ******** ********* under ** *****. ** you ****** ****** ** be ********* ** ******'* take **** ** *** a ***** ** ****** and **** *** ******* until *** ********* ** outfit **** *** ********** absorptive *** ******* *** to ***** **** *** shadows **** ******.

*** ***** ********* ** able ** **** *** things **** *** ***** of * ******** ***** or ****** ********...

*'* *****, "*********". *** i *** ******** ************ about ********* ******* *********/******** which **** ***** ******* light, *** ******* *** same ***** **.

*** ********, ***'* *** think **** *** **** could ** ******** ** blend ** **** *** shirt?

*** ***?

* ***'* **** ****** about **** *** ******** to ******* ***************, *** I ******* **** **** would *** **** ********* the **** ************ ******. If ***'** ******* ** enough ****** ** ** something **** ****, ***'** probably ************* ****** ** find **** ****** *** cameras ********.

********** ** **** ****** domes ***** ** ******* the ****/***** ** *** dome **** *** ******.

***'** *** *****, ** have * **** ** that *****:***** **** ****** ****.

*** *** ***** ***** that **** ***** *** differences ******* ***** ** various ****** ** ********* or **********.

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