New ACTi Cameras with Image Enhancements ReviewedBy Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 08, 2012
Surveillance provider ACTi has released a knowledgebase article outlining new and improved features found in some of their current generation of KCM series cameras. In this update, we'll look at these features and how they differ from the current series of cameras.
Before getting to the featureset, it should be noted that these features apply to only three cameras in the ACTi line: the KCM-5211E (4MP outdoor with 18x zoom lens), the KCM-5311E (2MP outdoor with 35x zoom lens), and the KCM-3911 panoramic camera. The vast majority of the line does not contain these features, which may cause confusion among users. We expect that as other cameras begin to incorporate ACTi's new imager, they would be added to other models, as well, but no timeline for this was given.
There are four key features which ACTi claims. Users should be aware that vendor marketing material routinely oversells product performance, so real-world demos and testing are recommended before putting any sort of faith in these features:
- Extreme Dynamic Range: ACTi's first claim is improved dynamic range, which they refer to as ExDR, Extreme Dynamic Range. ACTi's main claims in this improvement are that colors are kept truer and less noise is introduced into the image.
- Defogging: Possibly most interesting of these new additions, the defogging feature is claimed to digitally remove fog, air pollution, and other weather conditions from video, resulting in clearer images. Few other manufacturers offer this technology, which may make this a possible advantage for ACTi, depending upon performance.
- 2D+3D Noise Reduction: For those unfamiliar, 2D noise reduction analyzes a single frame of video to remove the noise found in it. 3D noise reduction compares multiple frames together to attempt to analyze which pixels are noise. Combining the two typically provides stronger noise reduction, producing less "snow" in video. A number of other manufacturers feature 2D and 3D noise reduction, as well.
- Edge Enhancement: The final feature added to these cameras, Edge Enhancement is intended to keep the edges of objects sharp. According to ACTi's article, this helps to make objects more clearly distinguishable and more comfortable for surveillance operators to view. This feature may be of questionable advantage, as we've heard little complaint regarding video not being sharp, nor have we seen issues ourselves.
Pricing for these three cameras is as follows:
Compared to other models, such as the indoor KCM-5211 (~$700 online) and KCM-5311 (~$600 online), this pricing is an increase of about $100. For a change to an outdoor model, plus the additional features of these cameras, this is a fairly low price differential.