Testing Smoked vs Clear Domes

Author: 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.

In this report, we show the tradeoffs between the two dome bubble types

*** **** *** ** ******* ***** * ****** ** ******* is ** *** * ****** ****. ****'* ** ******* ** a ***** ** * ****** ****:

*******, ****** ***** **** **** ***** *** *** ****** *** light ***********.

** ****** *** ****** ** *** **** ******, *** **** a ****** ******** ***** **** *** *** ***** **** * vendor ******** ***** ****.

** **** ******, ** **** *** ********* ******* *** *** dome ****** *****

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

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

** **** *****, ***** ** * ********** ********** ** ***** *******, but ** *** *****, ********************** ******* ******* **** ******, ********** ***** * ***.

****

** **** ******, < ~* ***, ****** ***** ****** ***** quality. *****, *** *** **** ** **** ********** ** *** *******, one **** * ***** **** *** *** ***** * ****** dome:

****** *** ***** ******** ************* ** *** ****** **** *****, ****** ** ********* ** **** line * ** *** **** ***** ** *** *** ****** features ** *** **** *******. *********** ********* ** * ****** of********* **** *************** ** **** ***** ******** *** ******.

*** *****

** *** ***** ****** ** ~* ***, ******** *** ************ **** ** *** **** ***** *** ***** *** ******** **** *** use ** * ****** ****. ** ** ********* ** *********** details ******* *** ***** *** ***** **** * ***** ****, *** with * ****** ****, *** ******* ** ****** ******** ** artifacts *** *****, *** ** ****** **** *** *** ********* or **** ** *** **** *****.

*** ****** **** ** *** ***** ***** ********************, ******* ****** *************, *** ***** *** **** *** ***** handles *** ***** ******, *** ****** *** ****** **** *** is *******.

**** *****

** **** *****, ***** ******* ** *******. ******** ********** *** be **** *** ** *** **** ** *** ****** *****, but nothing ** ******** ** ****** ******* ***** *** ****** *****.

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

****** ******* *** ** ** ********* ***** ************ ****** ** camera *************. ****** **** *** ****** *** ****** ** ********** with **** **** ****** ** ********** ** ********** *** ******. Smoked ****** ******* ****** ******* $* - $** *** ****** ********* ** *** ****** *** ************.

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

** ********** *** *** ** ***'* ****** ** *** *** the ***** *** ********** ********, * ****** **** **** **** well. *********, ****** ** **** **** **** * ****** **** premium **** ****** ** **********.

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 on Low Light

Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...
Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Axxon Face Search Tested on Oct 26, 2018
AxxonSoft has brought facial recognition to their Axxon Next VMS for free with the simply named Face Search, claiming to allow users to find...
Hanwha Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (PNM-7000VD) on Oct 18, 2018
Hanwha has introduced their first dual-imager model, the PNM-7000VD, a twin 1080p model featuring independently positionable sensors and a snap-in...
Dahua Face Recognition Camera Tested on Oct 15, 2018
Dahua has been one of the industry's most vocal proponents of the value that AI creates: As part of this, Dahua has released a facial...
Last Chance - October 2018 Camera Course on Oct 04, 2018
Today is the last day to register for the October 2018 Camera Course, register now. This is the only independent surveillance camera course,...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Axis First IR PTZ Tested (Q6125-LE) on Aug 21, 2018
Axis is very late in releasing IR PTZs. While competitors such as Hikvision and Dahua have offered them for years, Axis has just released their...
Hikvision PanoVu Mini Tested (Multi-imager + PTZ For ~$500) on Aug 07, 2018
Hikvision has released their first PanoVu Mini multi imager, the PanoVu DS-2PT3326IZ-DE3, with four 1080p imagers, including a PTZ and integrated...
Panasonic 9MP Panoramic Fisheye Tested (WV-X4571L) on Aug 02, 2018
Panasonic has released their latest fisheye camera, the WV-X4571L, with 12MP sensor and 9MP resolution, claiming "extreme image quality" under...

Most Recent Industry Reports

'Sticker' Surveillance Camera Developed (CSEM Witness) on Nov 16, 2018
The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has announced what it calls the: world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...

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