Lux Rating / Minimum Illumination Guide 2021

By IPVM Team, Published Jul 16, 2021, 09:58am EDT (Info+)

Lux ratings are often used by manufacturers to market their cameras' low light abilities, but in reality, these specs cannot be trusted.

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In this 14-page guide, we explain why lux ratings (aka minimum illumination specifications) are so problematic, how they are established and what tricks/techniques are used:

  • How lux ratings are tested/determined
  • The competitive reasons manufacturers skew lux ratings
  • How standards are used and how realistic they are
  • Color vs B/W impact
  • The incorporation of shutter speeds in lux ratings
  • Understanding how IRE levels are used
  • Practical lux level ranges based on IPVM testing
  • IR and white light illumination and lux ratings
  • Advances in super low light cameras
  • How to avoid getting burnt by lux levels

Fundamental *****: ************* ****-********* *** *******

******* ************ ************** *** ************* ****** because **** ************ ******* *** **** will ********* ***** *******' *** *******. While **** ********* ***** (********* *****), they *** *** ****** ******* *** many ************* ****** *** ***** *** methods ** ********* ********** ******* ************.

**** **********, **** ************ ******* **** an ***** ** ** ***********. ** ** **** *****, ****** at ***** **********, **** ******* *** self-assigned *** ******.

*** *******, ** *** ***** *****, each *** ***** ***** ****** ** considered "****", *** **** ** *************** of ****** ** ******* *********, ***** is "*****"?

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Competitive *** ****** ******

************, ***** **** ************ ** **** to ********* **** ** ** ** not * ****** ***** ********* ** their *******, **** **** ** ********* to ****** *** ******* *** ********, knowing **** ** ***** *********** **** do *** ****. ******, ******** ************* IPVM ***** ** ********* **** **** took ***********' *** ******* **** ******* when ********* ***** ***, ** ** not ** **** ***** ***** ****** uncompetitive.

********** ** **** ***** ******* *** be **** ** ********* ***** **************, this ********* ********** *** *********** ******* can ******* **** * ************'* *** ratings.

Few ********* **** / **** ********** *** "**** *****"

***** ***** *** **** ********* **** apply ** ******* ************ *******, **** are *** ****** ****. * *** manufacturers **** *** ****** ** **** referenced*** *****-* ("************** *** ***** ******* Performance *** ****** *******")** ***** *******, *** *** *** is *** **********.

************, **** ***** ********* *****, **** use *********** ********** ***** **** **** unrealistic *** ****-***** ***. *** *******, tests ********* *** ***** *** *********** charts ***** **** *** ******'* ***** of ****:

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***** **** ** **** *** ***************, real ****** *** *** ** **********, with **** ****** ******** *** ******** and **** ******* ******** ** ********* artifacts *** ******* ***** ***** *** unlikely ** ** ************* ****** ***** these ******.

Motion **** ******

** ** **** ** ******** *** ***** *******, **** ****-********** ******* ******* ****** subjects. *******, ********** ** ***** ******* method ** ****, ******* ************ ** generally ********* **** ** ********** *******.

**** ***** ******* ************ ************** **** more ********* ** ********* **** ****-***** scenes *******, **** **** ***** * camera *** ******, ***** ******* *** likely ** ** ****** ** ****** subjects.

*** *******, ***** *** ****** ***** shows ***** ******* ******* **** ** is *****, ** **** ** ******* lines ** *** **** ***** *** some ****** ******, ** ******, ***** details *** **** (*****).

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

** ******** ** *** ********* *** performance ********** *****, ***** ****** **** be ***** ** *** ********** ************* use ** ***** ********** ***** *** further **** ***** *****, *********:

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

Color ** */* *******

**** ***/***** ******* ***** ******* ********* IR *** ******* **** ***** **** 2 *** *******, *** ***** ** color ****, *** ****** ** **********. This ********** ** *** ** ********* performance ** ********** **** *** ** ambient ** ***** ***** ** ******* in ***** ****. ******* *********** *** often ***********, ** ** *** ******** below, ***** **** **** ********** ******* illumination ***** */**** ** ***** **** (theoretically *** ******).

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***** ***** *** ** ******* ** light ** *****, *** ********* *** overstated. ****** ***** *********** *** ******** DSP **** ******* *** *********** ** color *** ********** ******* **** ******, as **** ** **** ********** ***** from * *******-********** ****** ** *** same *****.

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F ****** *** *** *******

***** ** ***** * ************ **** specify ***** ******* ************ ***** * different* ********** *** **** *** ****** ****. For *******, * ************ ***** *** their ****** *** ****** ** *.** lux ** */*.* *** *** ****** may **** ** ********** */*.* ****.

** *** ******* *****, **** ** the ****, **** ******* ************ ****** at **.*, *** *** ****** ******** with ** **.* ****, ***** ************ **** **** *** ****** ** light ** ** **.* ****.

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**** ******** *** ************'* *** **** self-assessment, ********** **** ***** ***** ***** the ******* ************ ** ** ***** 0.225 *** ****** **** .* ***.

*******, ***** ***** *** ********* ***** at * ***** ******'* ****** ***** of **** **** ***** ********* ******. However, * ****** *** ****** *********** from **** ** *********, ********* *** light *********** ** *** ****** ** zoomed **.

IRE ******

*** ** * ******* ** *** contrast ***** ** ** ****** ***** signal, ****** ***** ********* ***** ******* of ****** *******, *** ** ****** applicable ** **. *******, ***** ** cameras ** *** ******* ****** ****** of ***** **** **********, ** ** a **** ******.

* *** ************* ***** **** ** on **** ******, ******* ********* ******* illumination ****** *** ********* **** (**** often ** *** **). *******, ***** it ** ******* *** ************* *** testing **** ***, ** ********* ***** the ****** ******* ************ **** ** these ***** (********* **) *** ******** lower ********.

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Shutter ****** *** *** *******

***** ************* **** **** *** ******* at ********* ** ******** ******* ******. Some **** */***, ****** */**, *** some ** *** **** **** ****** 1 **** ****** *******. ***** ****** ignore ************** ** *** ******* ***** other **** */***, ******* ***** ***** longer ******* ****** ***** **** ***** and ***** ******* ************ ******,****** **** ******* * *********** *******.

** *** **** ***** ******* *****, the ************ ***** ******* ************ ** 1/30s *** */** ******* ******:

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** ******, *** ******* ************ ************* 'looks' ****** ** */**, *** **** is *** * ************* ***********, ****** trading *** **** ***** *** **** blur.

Historic ******* ************ ******: ****-** *** "** *********"

******** **** *** **** ** ****, users ****** ** ***** ** *** tricks **** ** **** *******, ******* they *** ***** ** ******* ** specs ** ******* ********* ** *** field.

  • ****-** (*********** **):****-** ** *********** * ********* **** for **** *******. *** ****** *** sens ** "*****", *** ****** *******, with **** ********** (**, **, ***, etc.) ****** ********** ***** */*** ** produce *** ********* ******* *****.

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  • "** *********" *****:**** ************* (******* ******* ** *** past) **** ********* ** ******* ********** by ******* "* ***, ** *********" for ***** ******** ***/***** ******* (******* integrated **). **** ***** "** *** buy *** *** **** *** ** light ******, *** ******* **** ** light." **** ** ********* **** *** any***/*********** *** ********** ******* ** ******** adding ******** ** *********** *****, ***** are ************ **** ** ****.

Rough *** ***** *********** ******

***** ** **** *******, ************** ******* **** ***** ****** ********* on ***** *** ******:

  • ***** *.** ***: ******* **********/********
  • ******* *.** *** *.* ***: ************, but ** ********* ** ***********
  • *.* *** *** *****: **** ***********

Beware ********** ***** (

************* ********** ******* ************ ***** *.** lux*** **** ***** ************ *********** ***** camera's *** ***** ***********, ********* ** a *********** ************** ** *** **** item.

*** *******, *** ****** ***** *** an ********* *** *.*** *** ******* illumination ****. *******, **** ** ~*.** lux (*** ****** **** ************ *** meters *** *******), ******* ****** ******* are **** *** **** **** ** obscured ** ******* *****.

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***** **** ******* ** **** ******** may ******* ****** *** ***** *********** (e.g.********* ******* *** *), ** **** ******** ***** **** extremely **** ***********, **** ** *****'* Ultra *********** **** (***** ********* ******* moving ******* *** ** **** *******,*** *** **** *******) *********** ******* ******, *********** **** ** *** *****.

** *****, ** ******* ** ************* making ****** ***** *.** ***, ** performance ****** ******* ***** *****.

Conservative ***** ** *** ********* *********** (*.**–*.* ***)

******* *.** *** *** *.* ***, ******* *** **** ************** ********* and **** ****** ** ******* **** realistic ***********. *** *** ********** **** Axis' *****-** (*.****) *** ***** ********* 8000i (*.****) *** ********* ** **** range, *** *********** ** ** ** means **********.

*** *******, ***** *** ****** ***** uses * ********** ************ *.** *** rating, ** ***** **** **** *** test ***** *** ******* ******* ** this *****, **** ** ****** ******* of *** *******, **** * ***** outline.

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******* ** **** **** ******** ** performance, ** ******** ********* ******* ******* in **** ***** ** ***** ******** possible.

Higher ***** ****** **** *********** (>*.* ***)

******* ********* ** *.* *** ** higher*** ********* ****** ** *** *****. This ******** ******** **** ********-********** ******* whose *** ***** *********** *** **** superseded ** ***-********** ***** *** ***** models, ** **** ** *********** ********* *******.

*******, ***** ***** *** ***** ***** are **** ******** ** ****, **** in **** ********, ******* ************ ***** may *** ******* **** ***** **********.

*** *******, *** ****** ***** ** specified ** * ********** **** *.** lux, *** ******** **** **** ***** details **** ***** ******* ***** ** this *****:

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IR ************ *** *** ****** - *** ******

**** ******* ***** ****/******** ******** ********** **.

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******* ** ****, *** ******* ** not ********* ***** ** ****, ***** these ******* **** ***** *** *****. It ** ******** ** **** ** cameras ** ******* *** ** *********** but **** ** ********* *** ****. As ****, **** ** ******* ****** a *** ****** ** * ***, since **** ** *** **** *****.

** ********** *** ****** ** ***** provided *** ** ******* **** ** is ********, ********* ****** ***** **** (since **** ** ** **, *** camera **** ** ***** *** *****). See **** ******* *****:

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**** *** ************* ******* **** *** same ******* ** *** ***** *******. Moreover, ***** ** ******* **** ***** own ************, ****, ********** *****-**** ****, are **** ** *** *****, ******* on ***** *****-** ** ************* ** make *** ***** ****** (*.*.,*** ********** ******-***** *******).

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

** *** **** *** *****, ******* with ********** ************ ***** ******************* ** ** **** ****** **** common, **** *** ********* ** ********* color ***** ** ***** ******* ** monochrome **** ***** **.

******* ** ** *******, ***** ***** light ******* ******* ***** ************, *** ratings ** *** *********** ***** ** them *** ***** **** ****** ********* simply ******* "* *** **** *****" or *******:

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*** ******'* ******* ************ **** **** applies **** *** ***** ***** ** disabled.

Other *** ***** ********

************, ** *** ********* *** ****** accurately ******** **** *** ******* **** poor ** *** *****. **** *** 'best' ***** ******** **** **** ****** of ***** *** ******** ** ***** dark **********.

***** **** ** *** ***** ***** illumination, **** *** ******* ** *** past *** ***** *** *** *** reasons:

  • ***** *** ***** **********:** *** ****, "***** *** *****" cameras **** ********* ********* *** ******* to *** **** *** *** ** manufacturers' ******* *****. *******, ** ****,**** $** ******** ********** ** ******** **** **** ******* super *** ***** **********. **** ***** is ******** ** ********.
  • ****** *******:**** **** *** ***** ***, */*" imagers **** ******. ***, "*******" ******* use ****** */*", */*.*", ** **** 1/2" ******* ***** ******* ******** *** light *********** (******* **** ******** ***** low ***** **********). ***** *** **** some **** ***** ****** ** ******* (e.g. *' ** ****) **** ******* images ** ****-********, *** ** *** higher ****** (*.*.,****** ** / **** ******).

How ** ****** ******* *******

** *** ***** ** ********* ** you, *** ** *** **** **, and *** **** ******* ******* ************, IPVM ********** *** ********* ************* ********:

******* ************ ** *.** *** ** 1/30s *******, ** **** ******* *******.

*** ********* *** **** ** **** cameras ********* ** *.* *** ** higher *** ****** ****** ****** *** in *** *****, **, ** *****, you *** ****** ***** *******. *******, if *** ******* ********* ***** **** that, *.*., *.***, *** ************* ******** the ****** ** ********* ****-******* ***-***** cameras **** *** ************** *********.

*******, **** **** ** ******* *** "1/30s *******, ** **** ******* *******" to ******* ************* ********* ************** **** are ******* ***** *** ******* ** introduce *********** ****** ****.

[****: **** ***** *** ********** ******* in **** *** *** **** ******* with ********** ********, ************ ** *** light, *** ******* *** ******* ***********.]

Comments (5)

*'* **** *** ***** *** ****/******* speed *******. * ***** **** **** the **** * **** ** **** some **** *******, ** ** ** minimal ***. **** ** *** **** the ******* ** ** *** **** passing ** * ******. ** *** answer ** **** ** *** **** larger ****** ** *** ******* **** can ******* **** *****? **** *-*.*?

*'* **** ** **** * **** that **** "****** ***** ***** ***** here *** ******."

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 4

* ******** **** ***** ***, **** in *** ******** ****, **** *** level *********** *** ****. **** **** it *** ******, ** * **** of *****, ** * ****** ******* (eg ********) ****** ** *** ********* lux ***** *** ***** ****** ** get ****** ********. ** *** ***** cost (****** / *******) ******* ** their ********* *** ***** *** ***** expect ** *** ** *******.

** *** *** ****** ****.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

**** **** ****. * ************ **** the **** "******* ************ ** *.** lux ** */*** *******, ** **** shutter *******." *** ***** * *** Spec *** *** ***** ****** ** this ***? "******* ******* **** ******* illumination ***** *********** ** *.** *** using * ******* ***** ** **** than */***".

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

** **** ****** ********** **** ******** this ********* ******* **** ****** **** you *** ******** ** ********** *******.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

****** *******:**** **** *** ***** ***, */*" imagers **** ******. ***, "*******" ******* use ****** */*", */*.*", ** **** 1/2" ******* ***** ******* ******** *** light *********** (******* **** ******** ***** low ***** **********).

**** *********** ****** ** *** ********* may ****** **** *** *********** ** good ******* ****** *** ** **** cases **'* ********** **** ** ******* to ** ****:

* - * ********** ***** ******* | **********

********|***** ******:********|********|**** ************* ********* *****

** *********** **** **********. ~*/*" *** 2MP, >*/*" *** *** **** ********* to **** ****** ****** *******. ** other ***** ** ***** ** **** than ~*.* µ* ** **** ***** you ****** ** **** ** ****** IR-LED.

*** ******* ******** ****** *** ********* improve ****-****** *** **** "***" ******* delivering ****** "******** ***** *** ***** processing". ******* **** **** *** ****** may *** ********* ******** ******* *******.

**** */*.* *********** ******* *********.

** *** ***** ** ********* ** you, *** ** *** **** **, and *** ****...

******* ********** ******** :)

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny
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