Testing Samsung 1/2" Wisenet III Camera

Published Dec 01, 2015 05:00 AM

Continuing our series of 1/2" super low light tests, in this report we look at Samsung's 1/2" Wisenet III model, the SNB-6005. 

We tested it against other large imager super low light models from Axis, Dahua, and Hikvision, and past 1/3" low light performers from Axis and Samsung (Wisenet III) to see how it compares on low light scenes ranging from 0.02 to 0.3 lux.

Below is an excerpt from our dark test of all 5 cameras:

Along with these scenes, we checked bandwidth, configuration, and other factors to see how it compares to these low cost leaders and others.


The good is that the 1/2" SNB-6005 provides similar details to other 1/2" super low light cameras at a comparatively low price.

The bad is much higher bitrates in low light that will impact storage/bandwidth needs if a cap / max bit rate is not set.

If considering the 1/2" SNB-6005, the 1/3" SNB-6004 is fairly close in low light performance, being one of the top 1/3" 1080p HD cameras in low light. However, the 6005 is less than $100 more than the 6004 so the premium is relatively modest.

Key Findings

These are the key findings from our test of the Samsung SNB-6005:

  • Low light image quality was similar to other 1/2" super low light models tested, with moderately brighter, but noisier, images than the Axis Q1635.
  • Color low light images tended toward a reddish tint, not found in other cameras.
  • Higher than average bitrates at all light levels, with extreme spikes (to over 32 Mb/s) in very dark scenes, compared to about 6-7 Mb/s in Dahua and Hikvision.


The Samsung SNB-6005 sells for ~$630 USD online ($480 camera + $150 lens).

This pricing is second lowest, next to the Dahua IPC-HF8281E, and similar to the Hikvision 6026 (without optional lens). It is significantly lower than models from Axis and Sony.

Physical Overview

The SNB-6005 is physically nearly identical to the 1/3" SNB-6004, aside from the larger 1/2" F1.5 lens used. We review its construction in this video.

Open Field Testing

We first tested in this scene, viewing an empty parking lot/open field at lux levels ranging from ~0.01 to ~0.02 lux. No outdoor lighting was turned on in this scene.

In this scene, the SNB-6005 was noisier than some large imager models, such as Axis and Hikvision, reducing details of the subject and chart. Performance is significantly better than the 1/3" SNB-6004 which shows almost no details of the subject.

Increasing the horizontal FOV to ~75', details are reduced in all cameras. The SNB-6005 performs similarly to other large imager models here, again relatively bright, but noisier than most others.

Color Low Light

Forcing cameras into color mode at night, the SNB-6005 takes on a red tint not seen in other models. Performance decreases in all cameras but the Hikvision DarkFighter model, with its increased color definition making the subject's outline clearer against the green grass background.

Parking Lot Testing

We tested in a lit parking lot, as well, with light levels ranging from ~0.35-0.3 lux from building lighting.

In this scene, the outdoor lights wash out our subject slightly, reducing details in the SNB-6005 compared to others, especially Axis and Hikvision.

In a wider FOV, the test chart is completely washed out in the SNB-6005 due to the strong foreground lighting, with no letters visible.

Bandwidth Comparison

The SNB-6005 had the highest bitrates of all cameras tested in very low light (~32 Mb/s at ~0.01 lux), and was second highest (after Dahua) at other light levels.

Note that the 1/3" SNB-6004 spiked dramatically, as well in dark scenes, reaching over 16 Mb/s.

These measurements were taken using H.264, 10 FPS, average quantization ~28.

Test Parameters

Cameras were tested using default settings, with the following settings applied to all cameras:

  • Shutter speed was set to a maximum of 1/30s
  • H.264 High Profile, 10 FPS, ~28 quantization was used

The following firmware/software versions were used:

  • Axis Q1615:
  • Axis Q1635:
  • Dahua IPC-HF8281E: 2.420.General 02.0.R, build: 2015-06-11
  • Hikvision DS-2CD6026DHWD-A: V5.3.4
  • Samsung SNB-6004: 3.01_140804
  • Samsung SNB-6005: 1.00_150723
  • Exacqvision: 
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