Testing Smoked vs Clear Domes

By: Derek Ward, Published on Jun 19, 2014

The best way to conceal where a camera is pointed is to use a smoked dome. Here's an example of a clear vs a smoked dome:

However, smoked domes pass less light and can reduce low light performance.

We tested two models of the same camera, one with a vendor provided clear dome and the other with a vendor provided smoke dome.

*** **** *** ** conceal ***** * ****** is ******* ** ** use * ****** ****. Here's ** ******* ** a ***** ** * smoked ****:

*******, ****** ***** **** less ***** *** *** reduce *** ***** ***********.

** ****** *** ****** of *** **** ******, one **** * ****** provided ***** **** *** the ***** **** * vendor ******** ***** ****.

** **** ******, ** show *** ********* ******* the *** **** ****** types

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

Image ******* ******

** **** *****, ***** is * ********** ********** ** image *******, *** ** low *****, ********************** ******* ******* **** common, ********** ***** * lux.

****

** **** ******, < ~1 ***, ****** ***** reduce ***** *******. *****, see *** **** ** **** comparison ** *** *******, one **** * ***** dome *** *** ***** a ****** ****:

****** *** ***** ******** in*********** ** *** ****** **** image, ****** ** ********* to **** **** * of *** **** ***** or *** *** ****** features ** *** **** subject. *********** ********* ** a ****** *********** **** *************** ** **** ***** reaching *** ******.

*** *****

** *** ***** ****** of ~* ***, ******** *** ************ **** ** *** **** M3004 *** ***** *** weakened with *** *** ** a ****** ****. ** is ********* ** *********** details ******* *** ***** and ***** **** * clear dome, *** **** * smoked ****, *** ******* is ****** ******** ** artifacts *** *****, *** we ****** **** *** any ********* ** **** of *** **** *****.

*** ****** **** ** the ***** ***** ********************, ******* ****** *************, but ***** *** **** the ***** ******* *** light ******, *** ****** the ****** **** *** is *******.

**** *****

** **** *****, ***** quality ** *******. ******** coloration *** ** **** due ** *** **** of *** ****** *****, but nothing ** ******** ** skewed ******* ***** *** smoked *****.

************

****** ******* *** ** an ********* ***** ************ varies ** ****** *************. Ensure **** *** ****** you ****** ** ********** with **** **** ****** as ********** ** ********** are ******. ****** ****** pricing varies ******* $* - $** *** Online ********* ** *** ****** and ************.

***************

** ********** *** *** of ***'* ****** ** key *** *** ***** has ********** ********, * smoked **** **** **** well. *********, ****** ** will **** **** * modest **** ******* **** should ** **********.

Comments (4)

John,

That duplicates the results of our testing. Since casinos are typically lit more softly (euphemism for dark), we need every scrap of light we can get. Since most areas have high ceilings anyway, we've resorted to clear domes.

Besides, most people can't tell the FOV of a camera anyway. They think if it's not pointing directly at them, it can't see them.

<edit> By the way, the Axis P3354 has an excellent picture, especially in low light, which also confirms our tests. Now if only they were able to provide two simultaneous 30fps streams via ONVIF.

BBTW, Pelco charges the same for smoked domes cameras as for clear dome cameras, last I knew. They do charge extra for silver or gold domes.

The full light picture of the M3004, IMHO, is far superior to the M3005. Yet on paper the M3005 has a much bigger sensor and is 1080p vs 720p.

Is the extreme pixelation due the fact that the lens on the M3005 is 30 degrees wider than the M3004 and therefore some digital zoom had to be applied to make the comparison shots the same size? Or is there another reason?

The best way to conceal where a camera is pointed is to use a smoked dome.

Though it might be more apt to say "conceal where a camera is NOT pointed" or even "conceal that a camera even exists." As in camera-less smoked dummy domes... They could be one piece, lightweight, no fake cable needed with two sided foam install. Do a whole store 15 minutes.

"Availability

Smoked bubbles are as an accessory whose availability varies by camera manufacturers. Ensure that the bubble you select is compatible with your dome camera as variations in dimensions are common. Smoked bubble pricing varies between $6 - $70 USD Online depending on the camera and manufacturer"

Does Axis still include both domes with thier P-series minidomes? All units I recieved in the past had a clear dome installed on the cover and a separate darker dome in plastic in the same box.

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

Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception that integrated IR makes cameras mostly the same, according to new...
Hanwha Wisenet X Plus PTRZ Tested on Feb 14, 2020
Hanwha has released their PTRZ camera, the Wisenet X Plus XNV-6081Z, claiming the "modular design allows for easy installation". We bought and...
Budget Covert Cameras Tested on Nov 26, 2019
Covert cameras under $100 are widely available online but are they any good? To see how these models really work in the real world, we bought...
Color Low Light Mega Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Speco, Sony, Vivotek on Nov 12, 2019
This is the biggest color low light shootout ever, testing 20+ super low light models from 10 manufacturers: Increasingly, each manufacturer...
Uniview Prime Series 4K Camera Tested on Sep 18, 2019
Is the new Uniview 'Prime' better than the more expensive existing Uniview 'Pro'? In August, IPVM tested Uniview 4K 'Pro' but members advocated...
Uniview Pro 4K Camera Tested (IPC3238ER3-DVZ) on Aug 29, 2019
In our 8MP / 4K Fixed Lens Camera Shootout, Uniview's low end 8MP was firmly in the middle of the pack. Does their higher end Pro Series 4K camera...
Axis 4K Camera Shootout 2019 on Aug 14, 2019
Axis' 4K Q3518-LVE claims the "best video quality possible", with Lightfinder super low light performance, Axis' high end Forensic WDR, and...
Hikvision 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 02, 2019
With their latest Smart Series 5 cameras, Hikvision is claiming cameras "fully loaded" with "state-of-the-art technology for high performance and...
Bosch Starlight 8000i Cameras Tested on Jul 23, 2019
Bosch has released their new Flexidome IP Starlight 8000i cameras, claiming "exceptional detail even in extreme low-light situations." To see...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Embedded Logix Thermal Temperature Detection System Examined on Apr 08, 2020
Embedded Logix has been producing thermal temperature measurement systems for industry and fire detection for over 10 years. Now, they are entering...
Micron 1 TB SD Cards Aim To Eliminate NVRs on Apr 08, 2020
Micron has boldly proclaimed their latest 1TB microSD "eliminates the need for network video recorders", targeting the growing market of...
US DoD Declares "Can No Longer Do Business" With Contractors Using Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei on Apr 08, 2020
The US Department of Defense has confirmed to IPVM that they fully support and intend to proceed with the NDAA 'blacklist clause' covering Dahua,...
IPVM's 12th Anniversary - Thank You! on Apr 07, 2020
IPVM is proud to celebrate it's 12 anniversary expanding our commitment to providing the industry independent and objective information on video...
Mobotix Thermal Body Temperature Detection Examined on Apr 07, 2020
Mobotix has jumped into the Coronavirus temperature detection market, but how do they compare to thermal incumbents like FLIR or ICI who have been...
Verkada Coronavirus Response: Free Temp Systems For Government and Health Care on Apr 07, 2020
Verkada has built a reputation on giving away things for free - free Yeti Tumblers, free trial cameras and now free temporary systems for...
Hikvision USA Refuses, Dahua USA Drives Forward With "Coronavirus Cameras" on Apr 07, 2020
Both have been federally banned, both sanctioned for human rights abuses but only one - Dahua - is taking aim at the booming "coronavirus cameras"...
China Surveillance Vulnerabilities Being Used To Attack China, Says China on Apr 07, 2020
While China video surveillance vulnerabilities have been much debated in the West in the past few years, China is now saying those vulnerabilities...
USA ICI Elevated Skin Temperature Detectors Examined on Apr 06, 2020
Infrared Cameras, Inc. (ICI) is aiming to help slow the spread of COVID-19 with "pinpoint accurate skin temperature measurement" using their...
Trade Groups Request NDAA Blacklist Delay Citing Coronavirus on Apr 06, 2020
Two trade groups representing government contractors have asked Congress to delay implementation of the NDAA's 'blacklist' clause from this August...