Sony Super Sized Low Light Imager

By John Honovich, Published Feb 19, 2014, 12:00am EST

Many feel very strongly that larger imagers mean better low light performance despite our test results showing how much more important other factors are.

For those of you, good news. Sony has released a full HD, 1/2" imager, far larger than common HD cameras with 1/3" or 1/2.7" imagers. Indeed, Sony is boosting far greater low light performance.

Model Comparison

The new 1/2" model is the VB635, contrasted to the regular 1/2.9" VB630 model, which Sony rates as being better than both the existing 1080p and 720p premium models. Sony's minimum illumination specifications rates the 1/2" model to have 2.5x lower requirements than the 1/2.9" VB630 model - .03 lux for the VB635 compared to the .07 for the VB630. Furthermore, the 1/2" VB635 specification is slightly better than the 720p model VB600 (at .04 lux).

For background and test results of the VB630 and VB600, see our Sony's 6th Gen IP Cameras test.

Sony also emphasized that the 1/2" VB635 "has a wider temp range and RS485 data transparency. So the VB635 is built for applications such as the ITS market where these features are desired."

Pricing, though, is at a premium. The current VB630 has an MSRP of $1,698 whereas the new 1/2" VB635 has an MSRP of nearly $300 more, at $1,975. Even with significant online and dealer discounts, these will be some of the most expensive fixed cameras on the market.

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