Speco's IP Intensifier Examined

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 09, 2012

Color images in no light... impossible claim? Not according to Speco, who recently announced an IP version of their Intensifier series [link no longer available]. In this update, we analyze how closely the new network version of this product matches the analog mainstay and compare it to other low light options.

Overview

Speco Intensifier series cameras are best known for their aggressive low-light color performance claims. The marketing video below demonstrates 'Intensifier' technology:

Specifications

Key technical details of the IP Intensifier 3 series include:

  • Repackaged: The IP version of Intensifier is an analog model with an integrated encoder module
  • External 12VDC power only: no PoE support
  • Color-only, no B/W nor WDR: Intensifier features color images in low light situation, and has no B/W mode, has no IR cut filter.
  • No Megapixel, SD Only
  • 3rd Party VMS support via ONVIF v1.02
  • Analog Out: Includes 1 composite video output
  • Price: Two models are currently available, online pricing is ~$500 USD for the Turret and ~$550 for the Bullet version

The IP version is currently available through standard distribution channels like ADI, Anixter, TriEd/Northern, and Scansource.

Analysis

Speco Is Widely Known: Speco is a widely distributed brand with no barrier to purchase or install, and Intensifier technology is recognized by many installers (typically lower end ones). Due to existing market awareness, the IP version will draw the immediate interest of a portion of the market.

Image Problem: While Speco claims their Intensifier remove noise and stops blur common with cameras that use slow shutter / sens up, we are skeptical of the nightime performance claims. Intensifier's most common complaint is blurry motion images and that incidental sources of light (ie: vehicle headlights, reflections) result in overexposed, useless images. Intensifier also generates significant amount of image noise, which can trigger false recording and consume high amounts of bandwidth. The image below, is taken from a recent CCTVforum.com thread, details this common noise issue and installer feedback on it.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Analytics Incompatibility: Excessive motion blur and image noise in low light impacts applying video analytics to Intensifier cameras. For example, while VideoIQ generally supports day/night cameras, VideoIQ's Brian Karas discourages use of Speco Intensifiers with the company's analytic encoders, due to Intensifier image quality issues in low light.

Comparison

Compare to these cameras offering low light optimization:

Axis Q1602/Q1604: Axis's Q1602 provides excellent low light images with minimal noise, also at SD. The main downside is that it is twice the price of the Speco IP Intensifier. Additionally, the Axis Q1604, a MP camera, offers fairly strong low light performance (with WDR disabled at night). It too it is twice the price of the Speco but it provides WDR and megapixel, two notable benefits.

Bosch Dinon SD: Unlike the Intensifier, the SD features makes similar low-light claims, but includes WDR and Auto-Back Focus. Pricing for the Bosch is about 30% higher, with a street price of ~$700. For more details, see our full review of Bosch Dinion series.

Pixim Nightwolf: Earlier in 2012, Pixim announced Nightwolf, a low cost SD offering that combines enhanced IR imaging and WDR. As these camera start to ship, we expect them to be equal to or less expensive than Speco Intensifier.

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

IDIS Presents 12MP IR Panoramic Fisheye on May 26, 2020
IDIS presented its 12MP IR panoramic fisheye camera at the April 2020 IPVM...
Last Chance - Spring 2020 IP Networking Course - Register Now on May 06, 2020
This is the last chance to register for the only networking course designed...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
Vivotek LPR Camera Tested on Apr 15, 2020
Vivotek has historically sold license plate capture cameras but not LPR. Now,...
Sony Launches AI Camera Sensors on May 18, 2020
Weeks after exiting the branded video surveillance business, Sony is making a...
Sunell Panda Cam Body Temperature Measurement Camera Tested on May 14, 2020
Sunell is far less well known than its gargantuan domestic competitors Dahua...
Uniview Deep Learning Camera Tested on Jul 14, 2020
Uniview's intrusion analytics have performed poorly in our shootouts. Now,...
Tiandy Super Starlight Cameras Tested on Apr 30, 2020
Tiandy is taking aim at China competitors Dahua and Hikvision, with a new...
TVT Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Jul 23, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision get the most attention for China temp products,...
Camera Course Summer 2020 - Last Chance on Jul 18, 2020
This is your last chance to register for the Summer 2020 Camera Course. This...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Clinton Public View Monitor (PVM) Mask Detection Tested on Jul 09, 2020
Face mask detection, or more specifically not wearing one, is expanding...
Uniview Heat-Tracker Temperature Screening Series Examined on Apr 22, 2020
Uniview is marketing #UNVagainstCOVID19 with their Heat-Tracker series,...
AI/Smart Camera Tutorial on Feb 20, 2020
Cameras with video analytics, sometimes called 'Smart' camera or 'AI'...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...

Recent Reports

Genetec CEO Declares "We Don't Negotiate Payment With Patent Trolls" on Aug 11, 2020
Are patent trolls like terrorists? Genetec's CEO is coming out strongly...
Hanwha AI Analytics Camera Tested on Aug 11, 2020
Hanwha has released their Wisenet P AI camera, adding person and vehicle...
Alabama Schools Million Dollar Hikvision Fever Camera Deal on Aug 11, 2020
The Baldwin County, Alabama public schools purchased a $1 million, 144-camera...
Dahua Taunts Australian Government, Continues To Sell Illegal Fever Cameras on Aug 10, 2020
Dahua is effectively taunting the Australian government by continuing to sell...
HID Releases VertX Replacement Aero on Aug 10, 2020
HID is replacing two established and broadly supported types of access...
NDAA Compliant Video Surveillance Whitelist on Aug 10, 2020
This report aggregates video surveillance products that manufacturers have...
Telpo China Temperature Tablets Tested on Aug 10, 2020
The provider for overseas companies ranging from Canon Singapore to US'...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...
Dogs For Coronavirus Screening Examined on Aug 06, 2020
While thermal temperature screening is the surveillance industry's most...
ADT Slides Back, Disappointing Results, Poor Commercial Performance on Aug 06, 2020
While ADT had an incredible start to the week, driven by the Google...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all...
SIA Coaches Sellers on NDAA 889B Blacklist Workarounds on Aug 05, 2020
Last month SIA demanded that NDAA 899B "must be delayed". Now that they have...