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.

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*** *****

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

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

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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.

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