WDR Shootout 2017: Low vs High Cost Cameras

By Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 24, 2017

Multi-exposure WDR was once only available in expensive cameras but in the past few years, this capability has become available even in sub $200 cameras.

But is the multi-exposure WDR in low cost cameras just as good as more expensive ones or is there any deficiencies?

To see low-cost models stack up against expensive models 2 - 4x the price, we tested high and low end WDR cameras of 3 manufacturers: Axis, Hikvision, and Samsung/Hanwha:

We shot out these cameras in two common WDR scenarios to see how performance differs and whether low cost models can truly compare with their more expensive counterparts. First, a door with the subject exiting from a much brighter exterior with the door closing behind him, to see how cameras adjust to large changes in dynamic range. And second, a warehouse scene with open overhead door to show how cameras perform in more constant, though still wide dynamic scenes (typical of warehouses, garages, and lobbies)

See our results and recommendations inside.

Readers should also see our WDR Tutorial for more information on the basics of WDR, as well as WDR Camera Shootout 2015, which tests 10 of the latest WDR cameras head to head to see whose WDR model is best.

Recommendation: ******** ***** **********, **** ********* ******

** *** *******, **** difficult *****/**** **** ****, both **** *** *******'* expensive models ************* ************ ***** end ************, ** **** took **** **** ** react ** *** *******/******* of *** **** *** simply ****** **** **********, **** better ******** ****** ***** and **** ***** ******.

****, *********'* **** *** low *** ****** ********* much **** ********* ** this *****, **** **** the (****) ********* **** ********* **** time ** ****** ** light ******* **** **** and *******. ******* ** this, *** ***** **** ********* ***** will ******* ****** ** this *****.

Recommendation: ******** *** ******, *********** *** *******

** *** "******" ********* WDR *****, *** **** cameras ********* **** ********* to ***** **** ********* ************, especially ******* ****** *********. In ****** ***** ***** levels **** *************, *** are ****** **** ** the *** (******* ***** opening/closing), ***** **** ******* are ****** ** ******* better *** ********* ****** **** difficult ** ***** *******.

** ****** **** ** lobbies, ***** ***** ******, warehouses, *******, ***., **** more ******** *** ****** (as ******* ** *******/******* doors), ** ********* ******* low *** ******, ** they *** **** *********** cost ******** ** ********* *** cameras.

Individual ************ *** **. *********

** *** *****, *********** between *************' *** **** and ********* *** ****** ****** significantly:

  • *** **** ***** *********** outperformed *** *** **** M3045 ** **** ****** scenes, **** **** ****** of *** ******* *** background *** **** **** to ****** ** *** strong ********* ********** ** opening *** **** ****, while *** ***** ********* poorly **** ****** ****** of *** *******. 
  • ******'* *********** *** **** similar. *** ***-**** ******** better ******* **** *** QND-6010R ** *** *****/**** door *****, *** **** slight advantages ** ******* ** *** overhead **** ********* *****.
  • *******, *** *** **** Hikvision **** ********* ********* to ***** *** *** WDR *****, *** ****, in *** *****/**** **** scene. *******, *** **** produced ****** ******* ******* both ****** ********* *** darker ***** ** *** scene ** *** ********* test.

Price ***********

********* *** **** *** expensive ****** **** **** manufacturer, *** ********* ****** ******* 2-4x *** ***** ** the *** ***. 

******* ***** ******* ** the **** ********** ****:

Test ******

** ****** ******* ** two ****** *** *** cases ** **** *** differences:

*****, * *****-****** **** door, **** *** ******* entering, ** **** *** cameras ******** ** ******** sunlight ** * ********** much ****** ******** *** whether ****/*********** *** ******* on *** ****** *******.

******, * ******** *********/****** with **** ******** **** with * ********** *******, seen ****:

Entry/Exit **** **********

*****, ** ****** ** an *****/**** **** *****, with *** ******* ******* the ****, ********, *** the **** ******* ****** him, ********* *** ******* to ****** ** *** sudden ******** ** *********, and ******** **** ******.

*** **********, *** ***** below **** *** **** end ****** ** *** upper ***, *** ***** cost ** *** ******:

***** *** **** **** image

*** *** ******* *** two ****** / ******* Techwin ****** *** **** significant, **** **** ********* providing ***** ******* ** the ******* ** ** opens *** ****. *******, the ******* * ***** longer ** ****** ** the ********* **** ******* and ********** **** ** the *******, ********* **** detail.

*** *********** *** ******* the **** ***** *** M3045-V *** ********, *** the *****-* ************* ******** the ******* *********** ***** entering *** ****, ********* details.

 

*******, *** *** ********* models ********* **** *********, with **** ******** ** about *** **** **** and ******* ******* ******* of *** *******.

Warehouse ******** **** **********

****, ******* ** *** warehouse *****, *********** ******* Axis *** **** ********** again, **** *** *****-* showing **** ****** ** the ******* ** *** darker **** ** *** scene. *** ********* ****** performs ***** **** *** 4025 ** *** **** area ** *** *****, as ****, ****** **** subject ******* *** ***** clear. *** ****** ******* perform **** ********* ****, with ******* ******* ******** by ****.

Test **********

******* **** ********* ***** to *******, **** *** following ******** *******:

  • **** ***** *** *****-*: WDR "**"
  • ********* **-**********-*: *** "**"
  • ********* **-**********-**: *** "**", Level **
  • ******* ***-**** *** ***-*****: Backlight *** ** "***", level "****"; **** *** to ***** **

*** ********* ******** ******** were ****: 

  • **** *****: *.**.*.*
  • **** *****-*: *.**.*.*
  • ********* **-**********-*: *.*.*
  • ********* **-**********-**: *.*.*
  • ******* ***-****: *.*********
  • ******* ***-*****: *.*********

Comments (9)

Personally, I think this would have been better with more manufacturers involved.

Rich, who were you hoping to see? We were specifically aiming to show the differences (or lack thereof) between top performers and low cost cameras here, and kept it limited to three common examples.

We have a WDR shootout between 10 manufacturers' top performers, as well, if that's more your speed. That will be updated later this year, most likely, or early 2018, as many models haven't changed since it was done.

You just answered my response Ethan.  I look forward to the WDR shootout between manufacturers...updated.  For this shootout, I was hoping to see Dahua and Bosch to show another lower cost and another higher cost for more contrast. 

Its nice you to see that the more you pay the better are the results :)

I think that that's true, but it's a question of how much better for the increase in price. For many, I expect that a $200 true WDR camera will suit their scene just fine. For the harshest scenes, though, the higher end models do perform better.

It could be also noticed in this test: total absence of overexposure in Q1615 compare to others for both scenes.

First of all, thanks for the test. However, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, the SNB-6004 is old. Would have been nice to see the XNB-6000 and its supposed 150dB WDR.

Wisenet X wasn't released when we did this test. This was published on 1/24 which means it was probably done in the beginning of January.

Wisenet X wasn't announced til the 20th, and didn't start shipping until February. At the time the SNB-6004 was still the top performing WDR camera. 

We have tests of the Wisenet X series, though:

Sorry, I missed the date. Thanks for the reply.

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