The Super Low Light Shootout

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 28, 2016

How good are surveillance cameras in low light? With the advances in integrated IR, image processing and larger imagers over the past few years, we wanted to find out.

We tested 12 cameras in two key scenes, a dark field, below 0.1 lux, and a parking lot with outside lighting, 1-2 lux, seen below:

Cameras Tested

We used a total of twelve cameras in this test, representing a range of cost, quality, and featuresets. 

We included low, medium, and high end IR models, including new 4MP and 4K models from Hikvision and Panasonic, as well as large imager super low light models from Axis and Hikvision. Finally, 1/3" super low light models were included, along with a standard, non-low light optimized model.

*** **** *** ************ ******* ** *** *****? **** *** advances ** ********** **, ***** ********** *** ****** ******* **** the **** *** *****, ** ****** ** **** ***.

** ****** ** ******* ** *** *** ******, * **** *****, below *.* ***, *** * ******* *** **** ******* ********, 1-2 ***, **** *****:

******* ******

** **** * ***** ** ****** ******* ** **** ****, representing * ***** ** ****, *******, *** ***********. 

** ******** ***, ******, *** **** *** ** ******, ********* new *** *** ** ****** **** ********* *** *********, ** well ** ***** ****** ***** *** ***** ****** **** **** and *********. *******, */*" ***** *** ***** ****** **** ********, along **** * ********, ***-*** ***** ********* *****.

[***************]

Key ********

**** *** *** *** ******** **** **** ****:

Integrated ** ***** ****** ** ***** *** *****

** **** **** ****** (ranges, ********** ** ********* ******** ****** *******, **** **** ******* at ***** ***** *** ********* ** ****** ******. *******, ***** generation ***** *** ***** ******, ********** */*" ***** ****** ******, have ******** **** *** ************* ** *** **** *** *****. 

*** *******, *** ***** ***** ***** * ***** ********** ** models ****** ***** ****** */*" *** ******* */*" ***** *** light ******. *** */*" ***** ******** ********* ** *** ********** IR *****, ***** *** */*" ** **** ******** *****.

** **** *****, ********** ** *** **** ****** **** ***-** low ***** ******, ** **** ******* **** *** **** **** shows. *** ***-** ***** ******** ****** ** *****, ***** *** IR ****** ******** ****** ******* ** *** *******.

** ****** ***** ******** ** *** ***** *****:

Super *** ***** ********** ** ******** ******

** ******** ******, **** ** *** *** ******* *** (******* from *-* ***), ***** *** ***** ****** ******* ***** ******* similar ** ********** **, ****** **** *** ***** ********* ** color ******. *** *******, ** *** */*" *** */*" *** light ****** *****, *** *******'* ***** ****** *** **** ***** can ******* ** ****, ***** **** ****** ****** ****/***** ** the ** *****. *** ***** ****** ** *** *** ****** can **** ****** ** ****.

** ****** ******* **** ***** ******* ** *** ***** *****:

Super *** ***** ***** ** ** **** *****

** **** ******, ***** ****** ***** *** ***** ****** ******* moderate ********** **** ** *******, **** ****** ********* ** *** tests *** ** ********* ******** ******* ****** ******* *** *** background, ********** **** ****** **** ***** ****, **** *****. **** example ***** *********** ** *-********** ****** ****/*" ********* *********** ****, **** *** ******* ****** ******* ** *** ***** *****, but ******** **** *** ********** ** *** ** *****:

** **** *****, ** ****** ***** ******** ** **** ******:

Limited ******* ** *** **** *********** ** *** *****

* *******/** ************ ** ******* ******** *** ********* ******** **** ***** ** models, ****** *** **** ***** ******** **** *******, *** ********* no ********** ******* ** *** *******:

Low **** **: **** ***** *****/**** **** *****

*** **** ** *******, **** ** *** ********* **** ** this ****, ******** ***** ******* ******* ** ****** **** **** more ********* ********** ** *** ***** ***** ***** ****** ** close *****.

*******, ** ****** ******, ****** ***** *******' ******* ** *****, other ****** ******* ****** ********* ** *** *******, *** *** barely ** **** ** *** **** *****:

 

Average *** ***** ******

** * ******** **********, *** ***** ***** ***** "*******", ***-***** low ***** ***** ******** ** ******. ****** *** ******* ******, with **** ******** **** *** */*" *** */*" *** ***** models *** **** ********** ** *******.

Test **********

******* **** ****** ***** ******* ******** **** *** ********* *************:

  • *.***, ** ***, ~**-** ************ *** ****
  • */*** ******* ******* *****

** ******* **** ****** *** ** * **** ** ******* interference ******* ******.

*** ********* ********/******** ******** **** ****:

  • ******** *.**-**-***: *.*.*.*** 
  • ******** *.**-**-***: *.*.*.*** 
  • ******** *.**-**-**: *.*.*.***
  • **** *****: *.**.*.*
  • **** *****-***: *.**.*.*
  • **** *****: *.**.*.*
  • **** *****: *.**.*.*
  • ********* **-*********-*: *.*.* ***** ******
  • ********* **-**********-**: *.*.*
  • ********* **-***********-*: *.*.* ***** ******
  • ********* **-*******: *.**
  • ******* ***-****: *.*********

Comments (18)

**** * ***** ***, ****** ********* ****** ***** ***** ********* in *** *****. *** ***** *** ********* * *** ** truth ** **** ** **** ******* ********* ********* ******.

*** ***, ***** *** ********* *******, ******* **, ** **** dark ******, ********* ****** **** ***** **. **'* ******* ********.

** **** *********, **** **** **** **** *** ********** ** and *** *******? **** ********** ** ****** **** ** * cheap *** ***** ****** ***** ***** *** ***** ******* *** the **** ***, **** *** **** **** **********? **** ******* get ********* *** **** ***** ************, **** ******* **** *****?

** **** *** ****** **** ******* **** *** ***** ********* series ** ****. **** **** ** ***, **** *** *** configurations. ** ******* ** **** ** **** **** *** *** turtle ******* ******. *** ******** ***** *** ***** **** ** minimized ** *** ***** *** ***** ************ *** *********** ** non ******** ****** *** ******* ******. ** ******** *** ***** cams **** ***** **** ****** ********* *** *** ********** ** night *** *** ** *** ********. ** **** ** ***** with *** ********* **** ** ********* **** ** ****** **** sites **** ******* **** *******. *** **** ******'* *** ******* the ********* **** ****.

*****, ** **** ****** ******** ***** ********* *******:

**** *** ********* **** *** *** ****** ***** ** ********* and ***** *** **** **** ****** *** ********* **** ****** in *** **** ****.

* ****** ***** *****. ****** ****.

** ***** *** ********** ****** **** ***** ** **** ************ H3 *******? ****://********.***/****/********/***************-**-***-********-**-*********-**-*******/

******* *** ******** ** ** ******* **** ***** ****** ** our ***** *** **** **** ** *** ** *** ******** of **** ********** *******. *** ******** ** ***-** ******* **** used ** ** ******* ** ** '******* *** ***** ******'.

***** *** ** *** **** **** ******** *********, ** **** to **** **** ** *** **** ******. **** **** *** actually ******* ** *** ***** ****** *** ** *************** *** we're ***** ******* *** *** *** ** ******.

***, *** * ** *.**-*** ***** **** **** ****** ******* also.

**** ***, ****. ** **** ******** **** *** ************* *** be ***** *** ***** ******* **** ********** ******** **, ***** can ********** ******* ******* ** ********* *****, ********** *** *****?

...***** *** ***** ******* **** ********** ******** **, ***** *** outperform ******* ******* ** ********* *****, ********** *** *****?

**** *** ******* ********** **** ** ********** *** *****. ** for *********, ******** ***** ***-***** *** ******** ********** ** ******* will **** ******** ********* *****, **'* ************* ********* **** *** way ******* *******, *** *'* *** **** **** *** ******** comparable.

***** ******* ** ******* *** * **** ************, ** *** detect ****** ****** ** *** *****, ** ****** ** * car ***. ** ****** ** *** **********.

****** *******/******* ******* ** *** ***** **** *** ******* ** having *** ******* ** ********** ** *** ******* **** ***** is ******** ** *** ********, **** ******** **********.

** ***** *** ***** ******* *********** ******* ******* ** ********** and *****, *** ** **** ******** *** ******* **** (*** has **** **** ***** ******* ******* **** **********).

** *** ********* *****, ** **** ** **'** ******* ********* protection, * ** ******* **** ******* ******* **** ******** ** reign ** **** **** (**** *** ********* ** * ****** few *********) *** *** *********** ******. ******** ******* ******* *** not ****** ** **** ********** (***/****/****/*********) **** *** **** **** resilient ** **** ********** *** **** ******* **** **** ********** results *** ********* **********.

*** ***** ***** **** ** **** ***** ******* *** ******* cameras, ********* **** *** ** ** **********.

*** *** ******* ******* ******* *** ******* ******* **** ******* certainly ** *******, *** **** *********, ****** ** **** **** efficient ** *** ******* ******* *** ******/***-**** *********.

***,

**** ******. ** ** ******** ******* ** ***** *** ***** shootout, ** **** ** **** **** ***** ******* / ******* to ******* ******* ** **** ** ***** ********* ***********. ** will ** *********** ** *** *** ***** (** ***) ***** low ***** ******* ** ***** ***** ***** *** *** **** of ***** ******** ****** ***** ***********.

***** *** **** ********* *** ***** (***********) **** ********** **? i.e.**-**********-**

** ** ******* *** **** ****** ** ******* **** ******** H4 ****** ******* ** **** **** ***** ******* *** ******** IR **********. *** ** ** ***** *** ***** ****** ***

******** ** **** ****** ** ***** ******** ** ******.

****** ****

*** ******** ** **** ** *********. ** ****** *** *******, *** ** (** *** *** state ** ** ********** ** ******) *** *** (***** ******** specs ** ***** **** ***** ********* *****). ******* ****** ***** the ****** *** **, ** *** **** ****** ** *** results ** **** ****, *** ******* ******** ****** *** ****.

*******, *** *** ******** ** (****) ** ******* **** ***** sensitive **** *** ** *** (*****). **** ** **** ********** in ***-** ****** ** ***** **** ****.

*** ** ******** ** ** ********/********** ****** ** **** ****** than ***** ** ******, *** **********, ** ** *** *****, 4K's ******** ** *** ***** *** ***, ** ***, ****** 1080p/3MP.

*** *** **** **** ****.

***, ****** ****** ** *** ** ******* **** *** ****

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Exacq M Series Low Cost NVR Tested on Oct 12, 2017
With recent cyber security issues hitting NVRs and cameras from low cost leaders Dahua and Hikvision, users are increasingly seeking alternatives...
Hanwha 20MP Multi-Imager Tested (PNM-9081VQ) on Oct 09, 2017
Hanwhwa has introduced the latest in their multi-imager camera line, the PNM-9081VQ, a Wisenet 5 20MP model with four repositionable 5MP camera...
Last Chance October Camera Course Registration on Oct 05, 2017
This is the last chance to register for the October Camera Course. Register now. Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live...
Geovision 4MP Super Low Cost Turret Tested (EBD-4700) on Sep 29, 2017
~$100 cameras, even for 4MP, are now expected by many dealers, as price cuts and ongoing sales have set this expectation. At the same time, many...
SkyBell Trim & Slim Models Tested on Sep 25, 2017
Given continued growth of video doorbells and the central role Skybell plays in smarthome packages like Alarm.com and Honeywell Total Connect, we...
Reseting IP Cameras - 30 Manufacturer Directory on Sep 22, 2017
Every camera has a reset button (well, almost) but it is not always clear what these buttons do, how long they need to be held, what settings they...
New IPVM Calculator V3 Released on Sep 20, 2017
The New IPVM Calculator V3 is released. An entirely new architecture delivers the following benefits: Turbo The calculator is now ~50% faster in...
Geovision Doorstation Tested (CS1320) on Sep 12, 2017
Geovision has released the GV-CS1320 door station, priced at a fraction of others, with additional bells and whistles like a built in card reader,...
Axis vs Sony Super Size Shootout (Q1659 vs SNC-VB770) on Sep 11, 2017
Super low light, super sized sensor cameras are a growing trend. In the past year, 2 of the most notable entrants for these IP cameras have been...
Low Cost, Low-End Competitors Challenge SMB Surveillance Market on Sep 01, 2017
SMB video surveillance systems are a tough market. From IPVM's new survey results of 135 integrator responses, we have identified the key...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Top Problems Searching Surveillance Video (Statistics) on Oct 13, 2017
When crimes, accidents or incidents happen, the video surveillance system is a key component in finding out and proving what actually...
Exacq M Series Low Cost NVR Tested on Oct 12, 2017
With recent cyber security issues hitting NVRs and cameras from low cost leaders Dahua and Hikvision, users are increasingly seeking alternatives...
Long Time Industry Exec Leads New Security Franchise Offering on Oct 12, 2017
John Nemerofsky previously built and sold a $150 million dollar integration business, and then was VP of Niscayah from its spinout of Securitas,...
PoE Powered Access Control Tutorial on Oct 12, 2017
Powering access control with Power over Ethernet, like for IP cameras, has become increasingly common.  However, the demands for access power are...
Knightscope Rockets To $20 Million Funding on Oct 11, 2017
Knightscope is celebrating. 15 months after running over a child and 3 months after a Knightscope robot drowned, Knightscope is having the last...
Avigilon / Canon New Lawsuits, No Settlement on Oct 11, 2017
In July, Canon sued Avigilon, a notably rare move amongst major players in the industry, including Canon's subsidiaries Axis and Milestone. At...
Surveillance Systems Remote Access Usage Statistics on Oct 11, 2017
Remote access is a major benefit and risk for video surveillance. It is a benefit because it allows users to manage security or review...
Genetec Launches Streamvault Hardware Revamp on Oct 10, 2017
Genetec is launching a new series of hardware appliances, dubbed "Streamvault", with updated capabilities and design. These units will replace...
Dahua Access Control Tested on Oct 10, 2017
Can Dahua become a major force in access control? We bought Dahua's ASC1202B to find out. We tested Dahua access and its management application...
ADI To Be Spun Out of Honeywell on Oct 10, 2017
Honeywell has announced it will spin off ADI and its Home products division into a new public company. This is a big move for the mega-security...

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