Thermal vs Day/Night Shootout

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Nov 27, 2012

What should you do for dark outdoor scenes? Thermal cameras are getting a lot less expensive. Conventional cameras are getting better in low light. We decided to test these two categories - thermal and day/night - head to head to better understand what's better to use.

The Test

We tested in a large outdoor level field, overviewed below:

test site

Three cameras were used:

  • A DRS WatchMaster IP Elite, 320x240 imager, with a 40-degree field of view. Other cameras were matched to this field of view.
  • Axis Q1602 with Computar F1.0 lens.
  • Bosch NBN-932V with Fujinon F1.2 lens.

The DRS was selected because it is the least expensive thermal IP camera on the market while the Axis and Bosch were chosen do to their strong performances in previous low light shootouts (see the Q1602 test and the MP low light shootout).

The following scenarios were tested:

  • Daytime, between ~4500-5000 lx (a partly cloudy day).
  • ~0.1 lux with both visible cameras defaulted, 1/30s shutter speed, day/night set to auto.
  • ~0.1 lux with the Q1602 set to 1/30s shutter speed, in black and white.
  • ~0.1 lux with the Q1602 set to 1/2s shutter speed, in color.
  • All tests were performed at ranges between 150-550', the specified limit of human detection range of the DRS camera.

With this approach, we could determine not only what was 'best' in low light but what tradeoffs existed during the rest of the day.

This is the first in a series of low light shootouts. Stay tuned for Thermal vs IR Illuminators and a Thermal camera shootout (featuring Axis, Bosch, DRS, FLIR, Pelco and Sightlogix).

**** ****** *** ** *** **** ******* ******? ******* ******* are ******* * *** **** *********. ************ ******* *** ******* better ** *** *****. ** ******* ** **** ***** *** categories - ******* *** ***/***** - **** ** **** ** better ********** ****'* ****** ** ***.

The ****

** ****** ** * ***** ******* ***** *****, ********** *****:

test site

***** ******* **** ****:

  • * *** *********** ** *****, ******* ******, **** * **-****** field ** ****. ***** ******* **** ******* ** **** ***** of ****.
  • **** ***** **** ******** **.* ****.
  • ***** ***-**** **** ******* **.* ****.

*** *** *** ******** ******* ** ** *** ***** ********* thermal ** ****** ** *** ****** ***** *** **** *** Bosch **** ****** ** ** ***** ****** ************ ** ******** low ***** ********* (*** ******** ******* ***** *** ***** ********).

*** ********* ********* **** ******:

  • *******, ******* ~****-**** ** (* ****** ****** ***).
  • ~*.* *** **** **** ******* ******* *********, */*** ******* *****, day/night *** ** ****.
  • ~*.* *** **** *** ***** *** ** */*** ******* *****, in ***** *** *****.
  • ~*.* *** **** *** ***** *** ** */** ******* *****, in *****.
  • *** ***** **** ********* ** ****** ******* ***-***', *** ********* limit ** ***** ********* ***** ** *** *** ******.

**** **** ********, ** ***** ********* *** **** **** *** 'best' ** *** ***** *** **** ********* ******* ****** *** rest ** *** ***.

**** ** *** ***** ** * ****** ** *** ***** shootouts. **** ***** *** ******* ** ** ************ *** * Thermal ****** ******** (********* ****, *****, ***, ****, ***** *** Sightlogix).

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

Key ********

  • ** ***** *******, *** ***** ********* ******* *** ***** ************* better ** ********* ******** **** *** ******* ** ****** **** using *** '********' */*** *******.
  • *******, ***** * */** **** ******* *** *** **, *** two ******* *********** ****, ***** *** ********** ***** *** ********* dark *** ***** **** ********** ****. ********* ***** ***** **** using **** ******* *** *** ******** ** *** ********** ** the ******.
  • ***** *** ***** ** ****** *** ************* ****** ** *** day **** **** ******* *** **, ** *** ***** ****, at */*** *******, ** ********* *** ******** **** ** *** closest **** *****.

**********: *** **** *****, **** **** **********, * *** *** light ** */* ****** *** ** ****** *** **** ** used ** **** ******* ****, *********** *** *********** ** **** shutter. *******, ***** * ******* ****** **** ******** '*****' ******, the ********** **** ** * */* **** **** ******* ** minimal.

****** ****: ** ********, ** **** ** * ******** ***** *** on ** ************ ** ******* ***********.

*******

** *** *******, *** ************, **** ** ***', **** ** and ** ********* ************* **** *******:

daytime 150'

*******'* ******** *********** ******** ** ***' ** *** ***** ****** get **** ********:

daytime 300'

********** *** ******** ** ***',

daytime 450'

*******, ** ***', ***** *** ******* ** **** ** *** with **** *** ******* *** *** **, *** ***** ****** shows *** ******* ****** ******* - * ******* ********* *** HD.

daytime 550'

Low ***** **** */*** *******

***** *** *** **** ****, ** ****** *** ******* ***** the **** ******* ********: */*** ******* *****, **** ********* ****** to ********** ****. **** ***** ** ************* ~*.* ***.

** *** ** ***** ******, *** ***** ****** *** *** deliver ****** ***** **** ****** *** *** **** (*****) *** the **** ********** ***** *** ***** ****** ** **** ****** so ***.

** ***', *** ******* ****** ***** *** ******* ******** *** clear ***** *** ** ********* ** **** *** ** *******.

low light 1/30s

** ***' *** ******* *********:

night 1/30s 300'

** ***', ** **** ****** ** **** *** *** ******* on ******* *** ***** ****** *******. ** **********, **** *** SD, **'* ****** **********.

night 1/30s 450'

******* ****'* ***' **** *** ***** *********:

night 1/30s 550'

Low ***** **** ***** ****

** **** ***** ** **** ***** **** ** *** *** SD *** ***** *** *** ******* *** ******* **** ******* the ****.

****'* * ****** ** ***':

night 1/30s 150'

*** ** ***':

night 1/30s color 450'

 

Slow ******* ** **********

*******, ** ***** ***** * **** ******* ** *** *** tradeoffs. *************, * */** **** ******* ** *** **** ***** hardly ********* *** ************ **** * */*** *******.

****'* ** ***':

night slow shutter mono 150'

*** ** ***'

night slow shutter mono 300'

Slow ******* ** *****

****** **** ******* ** ********** **** ******** ****** ***********, ******* the ****** **** ***** **** **** * */** ******** ******* brightened *** *****, ****** ** ***** ** **** **** ** were ******* ** * ******* *****. *******, *** ******* ****** extremely ****** **** ** ******, ****** *** ******* *****************, **** at ***** *****. *** *********** ** ********** *** **** ******** can ** **** ** **** *****:

Ghosting in Axis 1/2s exposure

*** ****** *********, *******, **** ******* **** **** ** ***** the ***** ** *** **** *** *** *******. ******* *** much ****** ** ***********, ** ****'** *** ***** ** ****** against *** ******* **********, ******* ** ****** *********. **** ** evident ** *** ******:

***** ** ***':

night slow shutter color 150'

**** ** ***'

night slow shutter color 300'

*** ** ***'

night slow shutter color 450'

******* ** ***'

night slow shutter color 550'

** */** *******, *** ***** ********* ** * ******** (** slow ****** ******) ** *********** * ***. *******, ***** ********* / ***** ***** **** ******* ** ** ****** ** **** a **** *******:

  • ********* **** ****** ******** ********, ****** ******* *** ** **** manually / ******** ******.
  • ****** ****** ******* **** ****** ****** ** * ****. ** the **** ****, ** ****** ** **** ** ******** ****** something ** ****** *** ** **** ** **** ** *** what ** **.

Video ***** ** ******

***** *** ***** *** ********:

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

May 2018 Camera Course on Apr 20, 2018
Save $50 on early registration until this Thursday, the 26th. Register now (save $50) for the Spring 2018 Camera Course This is the only...
Axis Launches First Stereographic Panoramic Camera on Apr 05, 2018
Fisheye panoramics have not had much innovation in the past few years, with their multi-imager cousins getting most of the advances, e.g.,...
Hanwha Mega ISC West Product Releases on Apr 05, 2018
While overall new product releases have been slowing over the past few years, Hanwha is releasing a slew of 6 new offerings for ISC West,...
Dahua 4K Micro 4/3 Camera Tested (IPC-HF8835F) on Apr 03, 2018
Dahua is going big. Their new 4K HF8835F Micro Four Thirds sensor is one of the largest now on the market. Dahua is claming: Starlight...
70+ New Products Directory Spring 2018 on Apr 02, 2018
We have compiled a list of new products for Spring 2018 in the categories: Video Surveillance Access Control Fire and Intrusion Other...
Axis Z-Wave IP Camera Tested Poorly on Mar 20, 2018
Z-Wave is drawing notable interest for video surveillance use. In IPVM's initial coverage, 84% expressed interest in it, with nearly half being...
Camera Form Factor Guide on Mar 16, 2018
When selecting surveillance cameras, users may choose from a number of different form factors, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses,...
Next Gen 5MP / 6MP Camera Shootout (Axis vs Dahua vs Hanwha vs Hikvision) on Feb 28, 2018
Many manufacturers have released new generation 5MP / 6MP cameras that tout super low light, WDR and other features historically typical in 1080p...
Hikvision 6MP Camera Tested (DS-2CD4565-IZH) on Feb 27, 2018
In the next installment of our ongoing testing of 5MP/6MP cameras, we test the Hikvision DS-2CD4565F-IZH, a 'Smart Series' vandal dome combining...
Hanwha Wisenet X 5MP Camera Tested (XNV-8080R) on Feb 13, 2018
Wisenet X is Hanwha's high-end camera line. We tested their Wisenet X 1080p camera last year. Now Hanwha is offering 5MP cameras listing super low...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The Yolo Bro And The Death of Journalism on Apr 24, 2018
There's an old quote: The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable Unfortunately, the opposite is more...
DMP Adds Ring Video Doorbell Integration on Apr 24, 2018
Video doorbells have become one of the hottest items for security systems. After several years with no doorbell, DMP has announced integration with...
Milestone 2017 Financials Examined on Apr 24, 2018
For ISC West 2018, Milestone released ... their financials, touting "strong revenue growth in 2017". However, there were discrepancies with the...
Chinese Manufacturer Kickstarter Campaign Huge Success (EverCam) on Apr 23, 2018
In a week, a Chinese manufacturer's expertly done Kickstarter campaign has received $1.4 million in pledges, an incredible amount for a video...
Favorite Biometrics 2018 on Apr 23, 2018
Biometrics are on the rise, or at least integrator opposition to them is declining, according to new IPVM integrator statistics.   Almost half of...
Dahua and Hikvision Win Over $1 Billion In Government-Backed Projects In Xinjiang on Apr 23, 2018
Dahua and Hikvision have won well over $1 billion worth of government-backed surveillance projects in China’s restive Xinjiang province since 2016,...
May 2018 Camera Course on Apr 20, 2018
Save $50 on early registration until this Thursday, the 26th. Register now (save $50) for the Spring 2018 Camera Course This is the only...
Global Real-Time Video Surveillance - EarthNow on Apr 20, 2018
A new company, EarthNow, with backing from Bill Gates, Airbus and more, is claiming that: Users will be able to see places on Earth with a delay...
Dedicated Vs Converged Access Control Networks (Statistics) on Apr 20, 2018
Running one's access control system on a converged network, with one's computers and phones, can save money. On the other hand, hand, doing so can...
April 2018 IP Networking Course on Apr 19, 2018
This is the last chance to register for our IP Networking course. Register now. NEW - 2 sessions per class, 'day' and 'night' to give you double...

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