The surveillance industry is obsessed with more and more pixels. But color fidelity - accurately rendering yellow as yellow or blue as blue - can be critical for identifying individuals or objects.
We decided to test 5 camera manufacturers - Axis, Avigilon, Bosch, Dahua and Sony - to see how faithful their cameras could reproduce color.
We used a ColorChecker (aka Macbeth chart) and shot out all cameras side by side simultaneously. Here's a preview of the results with the models blacked out.
This was a fairly simple low light indoor scene but still notice how much color fidelity varied across them.
Moreover, we tested in a variety of conditions including different forms of outdoor street lighting to see how LED, mercury vapor, and sodium lights impacted performance.
We concluded with real world examples of a subject wearing different colored shirts.
Here's one example of a major manufacturer who made a range colors look basically the same:
Contrast to another major manufacturer who handled the same scene, same time dramatically better:
There were clear winners and losers here. Who was it? Was it Avigilon - who claims to deliver the best image quality? Axis - who touts their conformance with HDTV standards? Dahua - the up and coming Chinese company? Or did the old guard - Bosch or Sony pull it out? Answers and detailed analysis inside.