Sony's 6th Gen Low Light Demo

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 21, 2013

Sony's ISC West demo of their 6th generation network camera's low light performance drew a lot of attention. Normally, we ignore show demos as they cannot be compared nor validated to properly assess actual performance. However, the number of people trumpeting this demo as proof of Sony's superior low light capabilities has compelled us to comment. 

[UPDATE 2013: Sony 6th Generation Test Report is released.]

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Comments (9)

Sony- another sub par manufacturer that is diffcult to deal with their RMA process. Thanks but no thanks

Let's keep the comments on topic to either (1) low light performance or (2) Sony's demo claims.

Have they released MSRP pricing/launch date on these new cameras?

MSRP and tech specs on the new Sony (high end) V series is all live on their website and are shipping. I believe the mid-level E series were just announced at the show.

@ undisclosed integrator: As John says the V series has been available since November last year (9 different models). Please consult your local Sony sales representative for more details. The first cameras of the E series should be available in July.

First, full disclosure, I am a Sony Rep. This article's "unbiased" position appears to discredit the Gen 6 cameras by talking about how poorly the Gen 5 model performed in low light. Because of this, the article leaves the distinct impression that the Bosch Starlite outperforms the New Gen 6 model. In fact, I had two integrators tell me that was their impression after reading the article. I am looking forward to seeing the actual results because to my knowledge no side by side tests have as yet been conducted.

The purpose of the demo was to show just how much improved the Gen 6 was over the Gen 5 in low light performance. The difference is dramatic. Most people seeing the demo walked away understanding that. Sony has in fact broken new ground in low light performance (for Sony). It remains to be seen if it has an industry wide impact.

It might also be helpful to point out that while some of Sony's competitors have faired well in low light tests, you are forced, at least by some, to choose between Wide Dynamic performance and Low Light performance. You can have one or the other but not both. You are not forced to make that distinction with Sony in either the Gen 5 or Gen 6 cameras, though clearly the Gen 5 cameras were outperformed in strictly low light situations. You also have the added benefit of image stabilization capabilities in the Gen 6 models.

I agree with this point: "Sony has in fact broken new ground in low light performance (for Sony). It remains to be seen if it has an industry wide impact."

And if anyone interpreted that our position was that Bosch Starlight would beat Gen 6, than they are reading pretty carelessly because we said, "The Sony 5th generation got blown away by those cameras as well. And it would get beat just as bad or worse by Bosch's new Starlight series." We were clearly comparing to the 5th Gen.

Finally, we concluded unambiguously, "We do plan to test the new Sony 6th generation head to head against Axis, Bosch, etc. and can then comment about how Sony matches up overall."

I can't wait to see the results!

John, looking forward to the results of your tests.

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