Speco's IP Intensifier Examined

Author: 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. 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 Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

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 : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...
Axis ARTPEC-7 Chip Release Examined on Apr 08, 2019
For years, Axis essentially de-promoted their own chips. Now, they are reversing course. Axis has announced ARTPEC-7, their latest chip, which...
Startup Spectral Edge RGB+IR Claims "Unique Low Light Performance Tech" on Apr 03, 2019
This UK startup, born out of university research, is boldly proclaiming that they deliver "Unique low light performance tech for video surveillance...
Axis 5MP P Vs Q Camera Shootout (P3227-LVE vs Q3517-LVE) on Apr 02, 2019
While Axis' Q3517-LVE tested well, it is one of Axis' most expensive dome cameras, over $1,000 USD. Because of this, members asked us how it...
Covert IP Camera Shootout - Axis, Hanwha, Hikvision, March, Vivotek on Mar 20, 2019
Covert cameras were one of the last holdout areas for analog cameras. However, in the past few years, IP / HD covert cameras have become...
Pelco GFC 4K Dome Camera Tested (IMP831-1ERS) on Mar 12, 2019
Pelco has finally released their first 4K IP camera, after years of competitors' releases. Is this move too late? Or is their new GFC Professional...
Axis IR Multi Imager Camera Tested (P3717-PLE) on Feb 18, 2019
Axis has released their first IR multi imager, the P3717-PLE, a repositionable model listing 360° IR illumination and flexible positioning,...
Hanwha Smaller Multi Imager Tested (PNM-9000VQ) on Feb 14, 2019
Hanwha's first repositionable multi imager PNM-9081VQ tested well, but was huge, over 12" wide and weighing in at over 10 pounds. Now, they have...
Bandwidth vs Low Light Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Geovision, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Feb 08, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance, but do all manufacturers' cameras perform the same? Are some more consistent...
Sony Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 06, 2019
Sony Favorability amongst integrators improved moderately compared to their 2017 favorability results, with a modest net positive...

Most Recent Industry Reports

H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
Register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...
The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Apr 17, 2019
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact