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. 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

False Verkada 'Unrivaled' Low Light Performance Claim Removed on Jun 12, 2019
Verkada falsely claimed that it delivered 'UNRIVALED LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE' until IPVM questioned. In fact, Verkada's low light performance is...
Camera Course Summer 2019 - Register Now on Jun 12, 2019
Register for the Summer 2019 Camera Course.  This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
Avigilon 32MP and 12MP H4 Multisensor Cameras Tested on Jun 11, 2019
Avigilon has released their H4 Multi-Sensor line of cameras claiming "broad scene coverage and high image detail" We bought and tested the...
Vivotek 20MP Multi-Imager Tested on May 30, 2019
Vivotek has released their latest repositionable multi-imager camera, the MA9321-EHTV, a 20 MP model claiming "Supreme Night Visibility", "Optimal...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
Hikvision DeepinView Camera Analytics Tested on May 08, 2019
Hikvision is expanding its 'deep learning' offerings with a new camera series called 'DeepinView' claiming false alarm reduction and improved...
Verkada Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on May 02, 2019
Verkada is arguably the most ambitious video surveillance startup in many years. The company is developing their own cameras, their own VMS, their...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Sighthound Transforms Into Enterprise AI Provider on Jun 14, 2019
Sighthound is now rapidly expanding its R&D team, building an enterprise AI service. This may come as a surprise given their origins 6 years...
ADT Eliminating Acquired Brands, Unifying Under 'Commercial' Brand on Jun 14, 2019
ADT is eliminating the brands of the many integrators it has acquired over the past few years, including Red Hawk, Aronson Security Group (ASG),...
NSA Director Keynoting Dahua and Hikvision Sponsored Cybersecurity Conference on Jun 13, 2019
The technical director for the NSA’s Cybersecurity Threat Operations Center will be keynoting a physical security cybersecurity conference that is...
Farpointe Data Conekt Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jun 13, 2019
California based Farpointe Data has been a significant OEM supplier of conventional access readers for years to companies including DMP, RS2, DSX,...
Embattled $400 Million China Funded Philippines Surveillance System Proceeds on Jun 13, 2019
An embattled 12,000 camera surveillance system project that will cost ~$400 million will proceed.  The project contract was awarded, had its...
False Verkada 'Unrivaled' Low Light Performance Claim Removed on Jun 12, 2019
Verkada falsely claimed that it delivered 'UNRIVALED LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE' until IPVM questioned. In fact, Verkada's low light performance is...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
The 259 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our manufacturer favorability rankings and individual...
Camera Course Summer 2019 - Register Now on Jun 12, 2019
Register for the Summer 2019 Camera Course.  This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
Favorite Wireless Manufacturers 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
Many wireless options exist for video surveillance but how are integrator's overall favorites? 170 integrators answered the question: What is...
Carnegie Mellon AI Startup Zensors Profile on Jun 11, 2019
Zensors is a startup formed by Carnegie Mellon graduates from a Carnegie Mellon research project, offering customized models per camera that they...

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