Wrong. Your first impression of an IP camera's performance in low light is frequently wrong.
The reason is simple: slow shutter.
Many manufacturers default their cameras to go to a shutter speed that is too slow to capture moving objects without creating blur/ghosting effects.
They do this because they correctly assume that most users will 'test' by pointing their cameras at a wall and judge performance by how bright the image is. Only later when it is put in production and cars or people pass by, do they notice the issue.
Manufacturer Slow Shutter Ranges
Manufacturer's default slow shutter setting typically ranges from 1/4s to 1/30s and are often given fancy marketing terms to obscure what they are doing. This is a huge deal as the cameras on the slower end (i.e., 1/4s) are taking in 750% more light than the ones of the higher end.
Showing It In Action
We tested 6 manufacturers using a comparative approach:
- On the far left, is a stationary person with slow shutter on.
- In the center left, is a moving person with slow shutter on.
- In the center right, is a stationary person with slow shutter OFF.
- In the far right, is a moving person with slow shutter OFF
Here's an Arecont camera, showing the tradeoff: