Samsung Wisenet III Camera Shootout

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Nov 18, 2013

Samsung has never been a serious player in IP cameras, despite their success in other markets. Now, Samsung is pushing their Wisenet III release as their breakthrough offering.

Is it really?

We bought the Samsung 720p SNB-5004 and 1080p SNB-6004 and ran a simultaneous shootout against top performers from Axis, Bosch and Sony to see how they could compare.

We did low light, WDR and bright light comparisons, like the one below:

Inside, we answer:

  • Low Light: How do Samsung WiseNet III models match up in low light against 'super low light' cameras?
  • WDR: How do Samsung WiseNet III models match up in WDR against true WDR cameras?
  • Price / Performance: Weighing price to performance, how does Samsung WiseNet III models match up?
  • ******* *** ***** **** a ******* ****** ** IP *******, ******* ***** success ** ***** *******. Now, ******* ** ******* their***************** ** ***** ************ offering.

    ** ** ******?

    ** ****** *** ******* 720p***-******* ********-******* *** * ************ shootout ******* *** ********** from ****, ***** *** Sony ** *** *** they ***** *******.

    ** *** *** *****, WDR *** ****** ***** comparisons, **** *** *** below:

    ******, ** ******:

    • *** *****: *** ** ******* ******* *** ****** match ** ** *** light ******* '***** *** light' *******?
    • ***: *** ** ******* ******* *** ****** match ** ** *** against **** *** *******?
    • ***** / ***********: ******** ***** ** performance, *** **** ******* WiseNet *** ****** ***** up?

    [***************]

    Key ********

    **** *** *** *** findings **** **** ****:

    • *** ***-****'* *** ***** performance *** *********, ********** significantly **** ******* ** our **** ***** *** subject **** *** ***** cameras ** *** ***** including ******* **** *** light ******* **** ****, Bosch, *** ****.
    • *** ***-****'* *********** *** average, **** ******* ******* more ********* ** ******* than ***** ******.
    • *** *********** ** **** cameras *** *****, ** par **** ***** *** performers ******* ****** *********. However, *********** ** ****** areas ** *** ****** lagged.
    • ******* ***** ********* (******** to ** ****) ******* motion **** **** ****** on, ******** ***** ******* on ****** *******. *******, turning **** *** ********* bandwidth *********** *************.
    • ******* ***** ************* *** functional, ************* ******** ******** in *** ***** **** the ****** *** ****** or ******, *** ** a **** ** **** resolution.
    • ******* ******* ******* ***** which *** ** **** for **** *********, **** archives ********** *** *******'* SmartViewer ********.

    *******

    *** ********* ** *** cameras ****** *** ***** online *******:

    ***************

    ***** *** ***-****'* ********* low ***** ***********, ******** with * **** ***** price **** *********** ******, it ** * *********** choice *** ***** ************, though ******* ****** ***** models ** ***. *** those ******* * ***** WDR ******, *** ***-**** is * **** ******, as ****, ****** *** low ***** *********** ****. Users ** **** ****** beware ** **** ******* by **** *** ********* weigh *** ********* ******* image ******* *** ********* when ******** ** ******* off **** *******.

    Physical ********

    **** ***** ******* *** physical ************ ** *** SNB ****** *** *******:

    *************

    ** **** ********** ** review *** ******* *** interface *** *** ************* settings. *** ****** *******:

    • ******* ******* ** *** encoding **** * * Mb/s ***, ***** *** be *** ** **** scenes, ********** ** *** light.
    • ******* ******* ***** ** set ** */** ** default. ***** ****** ****** this ** */*** ** avoid ****** ****.
    • **** ******** ****** ** carefully ******** ** ******* both ****** **** *** bandwidth.
    • **** ****** ******* *********, which *** ** ********* via *** *** ********* or * ****** ** the ******'* ****.
    • **** ****** ******* **-*** capability *** *********** ** external ***/**** *********** *** zoom ******, * ***** feature *** ***** ** many *******, ********** ***** cost ******.

    SSNR ***** ********* ******

    *******'* ******* ***** *********, called ****, ******* ****** blur ** ****** *******, as **** ** *** image ********** *****. **** setting ** ****** ** by *******. ***** *** ******** ***** of **** ***** ******** ***** ***** **** **** ****** for **********.

    ********* ******

    ******* **** *** ******** in ***** * *** Kbps ******** ** ********* (from ~*.* **/* ** ~1.7 **/*) ** **** scene *** *** ***-****, about * **% ********. This ******** ******* ***** quality (******* ****) *** bandwidth **** ** ********* considered **** ***** *** SNB-5004/6004 ** *** ***** scenes.

    Indoor ***********

    ** **** *****, ~*** lux, **** ******* ******* perform ******* *****. ****** are ****** ****, **** a ***** ****** **** visible ** *** *****, but *** ********* ***********.

    ****,

    **** *** ****** ***, below * ***, *** SNB-5004 *********** *** ***** cameras ** *** ****. Our **** ***** *** be **** ** **** 3/4, ***** ***** ******* barely ******* **** *. The ***-**** **** *** fair ** ****, **** a ****** ***** *** more *****, ***** ****** obscures **** *** ***** line ** *** *****. Only *** ***** ***-**** provides ****** ****** ** our *******'* **** ***** the ***** *******. ** these ******, ******* ***** was ********** ** */*** across *** *******, *** the ******* *******' **** noise ********* *** ****** off.

    WDR ***********

    ** *** ** *** cameras ** * ****** with *** ******** **** rolled ** ** **** WDR. ******** ** ** FOV ***** ********** *** scene.

    **** *** ******* ******* a ******** *** **** overhead ****, **** ******* cameras ******* ****. *** SNB-5004 ** ** *** with *** ***** *** and **** *****, *** outperforms *** **** *****. The ***-**** **** ******** behind *** ***** *** and **** *****, **** details ** *** *******'* face ******** **** ********* to *******.

    ** *** **** **** beside *** ******** ****, both ******* ******* *** the ****** ********** ** their ********** ***********. ******* of *** *******'* **** are **** **** ********* to **** ***, ****** the ***** ******* *******.

    Digital ***** *************

    **** *** ***-**** *** SNB-6004 ******* ******* ***** stabilization ** * ******** feature, ***** ** *** commonly ***** ** ** cameras. **** **** ** turned **, *** ****** crops **** ** *** edges ** *** ***** in ***** ** ********** for ********, ******** ********* resolution ** ~**%.

    ** ****** **** ******* by ******* *** ******** the ******'* ******, **** in *** **** *****. While ** *** *** completely ********* ********, *** feature *** * ****** improvement **** ******* ***** did *** ******* ***** stabilization. 

    *********

    *** ***-**** *** **** of *** ****** ********* consumption ** **** **** light *** **** ******, as **** ** *** chart *****. ***** ************ were ***** ***** **** resolution, ** ***, **** SSNR ****** **. ***** Samsung's ******* *********** ******* ("10") ******** ** ************ of ** ** **** light, ********** ** ** in *** *****. **** is ** **** **** other ******* ** *** test ***** ******** ***** 30 ** *** ************ scale.

    Test **********

    *** ******* **** **** at ******* ******** *** this ****, **** *** exception ** ******* *****, which *** ********** ** 1/30s.

    *** ********* ******** ******** were ****:

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

Comments (24)

Thanks for this - I've been waiting to see your report on the new Samsungs.

Nice report, I've been waiting, too. I wonder why such difference in low light between the SNB-5004 and SNB-6004. Do you think the higher megapixel count of the SNB-6004 makes that much difference, or maybe something else like firmware...?

This is great, been waiting for this one!

Very nice first look and comparison.

Did you use the web interface exclusively for the Samsung cameras, or was there any point at which you integrated these IP cameras to another VMS?

The indicated Samsung link advertises a series of features that seem very attractive, such as face detection, de-fogging, motion detection, and audio detection.

I tried to download the SNB-6004 installation and user manuals from the indicated web site, but it kept jumping back to the main "Overview" page without accessing the alleged manuals.

My plan was to clarify whether all these features are available camera-side or require server-side software, and also to understand more about the audio detection capability (eg how's the microphone integrated).

Horace, the cameras were added to Exacq for testing, one via a direct driver, and the other via ONVIF, because the 5004 was not yet supported in the direct driver. The main difference between the ONVIF and direct integration was that the direct integration allowed motion zones to be set up via Exacq. ONVIF motion detection worked, but needed to be set on the camera.

All of those features are camera side. We did not test de-fogging at all. We didn't have suitable conditions to test in, and the fake smoke we considered cleared too quickly to be of use. Face detection, de-fogging, motion detection, and audio detection were also untested.

Face detection will draw a bounding box around faces in the scene, and can be used to trigger events on the camera. I do not think it's integrated to VMSs, however.

As far as integrating microphones, both cameras had an audio in jack on the back, but no built-in mic.

Great -- thanks for the quick response!

I'm glad to see the WiseNet chip tests well. We are primarily an AXIS house but have our first Samsungs on the way. I'm not fully understanding what the numbers in the Bandwidth table mean. Are they Mbps?

I'd love to see a shoot out of the fixed domes such as the PNV-6084R vs Axis 3364-VE (with the IR turned off on the 6084 for apples to apples and then on just to see how it does)

Yes they are Mbps and we'll update that with a note.

I'm not sure what our future plans are for other Samsung cameras, but we may include them in other shootouts.

What is real world use of image stabilization. If the camera is properly mounted it should not be shaking. Any explanation for the fact some cameras were using 10 times the band width of others.

Real world image stabilization would be a rooftop installation that would vibrate when the air conditioners on the roof perform a startup or running. DIS works more on vibration, however when swaying in the wind with a camera on a pole DIS is not as effective.

"If the camera is properly mounted it should not be shaking."

This is hardly true. External sources of vibration are very challenging to control, from wind buffeting, to ship roll, to machinery vibrations. In many cases, DIS/EIS is most effective when used with other vibration dampening methods. (See our Camera Vibration Solutions note for a closer look.)

We've had some real world situations where we were evaluationg putting cameras on poles next to buildings with very heavy duty industrial machinery where the vibration reached all the way to the pole next to the building. Image stabilization might have helped, but we have not ectually implemented a camera in such a situation yet.

Great test. Thanks for this.

I tested SNB-6004 and SNB-7000 Samsung cameras in the past. I found that SSNR performs really well but when it is set at low-to-mid level. At such settings images are still sharp and without motion-blur. High level of SSRN causes arti-facts like in IPVM test results.

Regarding WDR I did not find it working good. Has SNB-6004 got SSDR function ON (digital WDR) in your testing? It is on by default. When you turn it off and try to use real WDR then you will find images are only slighty better than without WDR. So IMHO result of WDR comes from SSDR mainly, not from sutter-based WDR.

I tested the first official v1.00 FW of SNB-6004.

It's good to see Samsung venturing further into the IP camera game. Many moons ago, in the agonizing days of analog-only CCTV, I experienced much of my best camera satisfaction with Samsung. And I can still hear the whirring of that motor in the original day/night camera as it switched modes.

Great review, guys. Wow! Looks like Samsung is serving notice to the major (translation: grossly overpriced) manufacturers that they better stay on their toes. That is a really nice combination of features and performance at an impressive price - and from a manufacturer with a solid reputation for quality. Maybe my eyes just see differently, but even in the lower-light images on the WDR test, I put the Samsungs at average among the cameras tested, at worst. And did they really include image stabilization, autofocus AND RS-485 in a couple of quality $400 cameras? I am impressed.

I will be enjoying thoughts tomorrow of seeing more new offerings from Samsung as I am mounting another reliable and much appreciated, but painfully priced Axis P33 series dome.

Well, for WDR, Samsung's results are the most uneven. They were near the best in the bright area but near the worst in the dark area.

Just out of curiosity, how are these test being performed? With the default settings?

An observation:

The Sony cameras you are using have a really old firmware. You should upgrade to 1.9.2

The test parameters section at the bottom of the report confirms that the cameras were tested at default settings, with shutter speed normalized at 1/30s (and WDR 'on' only in our WDR scene).

Sony notified us that 1.92 was out after this test was done. They noted that no major imaging improvements had been made. Looking at release notes, it looks like firmwares since 1.5 were more bugfixes and new model additions than anything.

I missed the "default settings" detail you mentioned above. Thanks Derek

@Ethan

You are absolutely right, the firmware upgrade won't make any difference in terms of image quality. It was just a suggestion. BTW, not sure how long ago was this test performed, but firmware 1.9.2 was released very early in October. Prior to that there was firmware 1.7, then 1.81. So, the firmware is still old.

Question:

In regards to bandwith usage, where these cameras set to CBR or VBR?

Hi Ethan, thank you for your very helpful report. when using WDR, do you suggest enabling or disabling SSDR? At night time when WDR is turned off, should SSDR be enabled or disabled? Thank you for your help.

Luke, from what I've seen SSDR improves WDR in the darker areas of the scene, while the "WDR" setting itself does more in bright areas. Think open door vs. the darker area next to the door. I have not seen it negatively impact WDR performance, so I see no reason to turn it off. It also has very little impact on low light performance, so I see no reason to turn it off if that's your main concern, either.

Thank you Ethan, your information is very helpful.

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