Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) Guide

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Oct 01, 2019

Understanding wide dynamic range (WDR) is critical to capturing high quality images in demanding conditions. However, with no real standards, any manufacturer can claim WDR, and many do even if actual performance is weak, causing confusion for even experienced users.

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In this tutorial, we break down these issues, explaining:

  • 2020 State of WDR
  • What is WDR?
  • Camera WDR Challenges
  • Solution: True Multi-Exposure WDR
  • Number Of Exposures Varies
  • True WDR Camera Improve Effective Details
  • How WDR Is Measured
  • Decibels Vs. WDR Ratio Measurements
  • Interpreting Manufacturer WDR Specifications
  • Resolution Vs. WDR
  • Multiple Exposures May Reduce Low Light Performance
  • Fake WDR Techniques
  • Backlight Compensation (BLC)
  • Digital WDR (DWDR)
  • Model Resolution Limitations
  • Manufacturer Terminology Confusion

************* **** ******* ***** (WDR) ** ******** ** capturing **** ******* ****** in ********* **********. *******, with ** **** *********, any ************ *** ***** WDR, *** **** ** even ** ****** *********** is ****, ******* ********* for **** *********** *****.

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** **** ********, ** break **** ***** ******, explaining:

  • **** ***** ** ***
  • **** ** ***?
  • ****** *** **********
  • ********: **** *****-******** ***
  • ****** ** ********* ******
  • **** *** ****** ******* Effective *******
  • *** *** ** ********
  • ******** **. *** ***** Measurements
  • ************ ************ *** **************
  • ********** **. ***
  • ******** ********* *** ****** Low ***** ***********
  • **** *** **********
  • ********* ************ (***)
  • ******* *** (****)
  • ***** ********** ***********
  • ************ *********** *********

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

2020 ***** ** ***

**** *** ** ******** increasingly ******, ****** *************** amongst **** ******* **** important:

*** ** ***** *** quite * ********* ******* found ** ***** ******, but ** ** *** closer **** **** ******. We ****** **** ***** to ********.

******* ** ****, ******** fine *********** ** *** performance ** **** ******* than **** ******, ** any ************ *** ******* their ****** ** "**** WDR" **** ** ********** of **** ***** *********** (and **** ********** **).

WDR **** ******** *******

**** ******** ****** ** cameras **** ***** ************* in ****** ****** **** ******** 2019*** ****** **** ***** on *********** ** ******** scenes.

** *** *****, ******* *****-*** ** *********** **** *******, **** strong ****** ******* *********, in **** ***** ** scenes, *****, *** ** motion, **** ******* ****** artifacts.

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

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*** **** ******* ** the*** ****** ******** ******.

What ** ***?

*** ****** *******************, *** ** *********** the ******* ** ******* high ******* ****** ****** a ***** ***** ** light ******. *** *******, in *** ***** *****, the ****** ** *** scene ** **** ****** due ** *** ******** behind *** ****** ** the *******, ***** *** scene ** ****** ****** of *** ******** ** it **** *** ******* direct ********.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/11630256/65249798-c9a44a80-db1e-11e9-90e0-4307edf2b7a5.png

Camera *** **********

******* ************ ********* **** wide ****** ** ******** because ** ***** ********** on ******* ********. ******* **** ***** to ******** ** *****. However, *** **** ***** and *** ***** ** washed ***, *** *** little ***** *** *** image ** *** ****.

** *** **** * scene **** **** ********, the ****** *** ****** adjust *** **** ******* size ** *** ******* speed ** *** *** right ****** ** *****. This ** *** ************* typically **** ***** ******* in **** ******** ******.

*******, ** *** ***** has * **** ***** of ********, *** ****** has * ***** *********. If ** ********* *** amount ** ***** ** takes ** ** ******** for *** ****** *****, the ***** ***** ***** will ** *** ****. However, ** ** ******* the ******** ********, ********** for *** ***** *****, the ****** **** **** be ****** ***. *** image ***** ***** **** tough ********:

WDR Bright VS Dark Area Tradeoff Rev1

Solution **** *****-******** ***

***** *** **** ********* for *** ****** ** setting *** ******** ************* to ******* **** **** and ****** *****, *** most ****** ****** ******** is ** *** ******** exposures *** **** ******* them ** ******* * better ******* *****, ******** to ** **** *** or *****-******** ***. *** short ******** ******** *** bright *****, ***** *** long ******** ******** *** dark *****. *** *** representation *****:

** *** *******, **** WDR *********** ** *********** beyond *** ***** ******* manufacturers ******* ** ******* WDR ******* (*.*., '*******' or '**********' *** ** BLC).

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

*** ****** ** ********* used ** **** *** varies, **** * ******* of * ** * or * ** **** models. *******, * ******* number ** ********* **** not ****** **** *** camera **** ******* ****** than ***** ***** **** two *********. ***** ********** techniques, ****** *******, *** other ******* *** **** a ********** ** ****.

************, *** ***** ****** of ********* *** ******* of ***** ********** **** are ****** ********.**** ***** ********* ********* and ***** ******* ********* if *** **** *** performance ** ****** ** challenging ******.

**** *** ******* ******* Effective *******

**** *** ******* *** make * *** ********** in ****** **** ******* light ******. *** *******, in *** ***** *****, the ****** ** *** left **** *** ******* WDR *** ***** **** rough ******* ********* ** *** *******'* face ******* ****** ***. By ********, *** **** WDR ****** ** *** right ******* ***** *** subject's ****, *********, *** clothing, ** **** ** details ** *** ***** behind ***, **** ** the ***** ***** *** trees, ******* *** *** overhead *****, *** ****.

How *** ** ********

** ** ******** ** know *** **** *** range ** ***** ****** a ***** ***. *** generally ******** **** ** measure **** ** ************ is *** ******* (*.*., 58dB, *****, ***.) **** higher ****** ************* ********** stronger *** ***********. *************, these ************ *** *** standardized *** *** ** the ********** ** **** manufacturer, *** ****** ** trusted.

*************, *** ************ *** based ** * ******** test ********.* *********** **** ***** (below) ** ****, ********** numerous ****** ** **** from ***** ** *****. The **** ****** * camera *** ***, *** higher *** ** ****** and ****** *** *********** performance ****** **.

*************, **** **** *** translate **** ** ****-***** scenes (*.*., **** *** I ****** *** ** front **** ******?). ************, testing ** ****-********* ** each ************ *** **** parameters *** *** ** standardized, *** ******** ****** by *** *************.

An *********** ********: *** *****

** *** *******, ** developed ** *********** ****-***** approach ** ********* *** tough * *** ***** is. ***** * *** meter, ** ****** *** brightest *** *** ******* spots ** **** *****. The ***** ** *** two ******** * ****** indicator ** *** *********** the ***** **.

** * ******* ******* outdoors, **** * ***** opening ** ** ******** area, *** ***** ** typically ***** ****, *.*., 25x ** ***** *****:

*** *** ***** ** this ***** ** ~***, with *** **** ******* at *,*** *** *** the ******** ****** ***** at ~***. **** ** a ****** ***** *****, but ** **** **** much ******* ** *** tests, ** ******* ********* may ** ** ****** as **,***+ ***.

******* ** ****, ** recommend ********* *** ** the ****** ***** ** be ******. **** *** be **** ** * field **** **** *~$*** *** *****. ************ ****** ** performed **** *** *** or ***** ***** ** strongest ** *** ***** as *** ***** **** vary ********** *** ***.

Interpreting ************ *** **************

*** ****** ***** ******* manufacturer ** ************** ** they *** ****-******** *** not ********* *************, **** if *** ************ ** telling *** '*****', ***** is ** *** ** know ** *** ****** is. *******, ***** *** some ******** ** ********:

  • * *** ** ****** of **** ** **** almost ****** ***** **** the ****** **** *** support **** *** ** manufacturers **** **** ****** their ******* **** *** will ****** **** *** camera ** *** ** the *** '*****'. '*******', non *** ******* ********** are ********* ** *** range ** ** - 80dB.
  • * *** ** ****** of ***+ *******, *** not ******, ***** **** the ****** ******** **** multi-exposure ***. *****, ******, since ************* *** **** to ****** *** ***** they ****, ** ** not **********. **** **** to ****** *** **** own ***** ** ****** **** *******.
  • *******, **** ************* *** relatively ************ ** ***** WDR ** *******. *** example, ***** ***** **** of ***** **** *** cameras ** '****' *****. This **** *** **** they *** ***** **** a **** ******* ************ self-assigning ***** ** *****. Actual ******* ** ******** to ******.
  • ** *** **** *** years, ** **** **** manufacturers ********** *** ** race **** ************** ** 130dB ** *** **** 150dB. *******, ** *** testing, ***** ******* **** effectively ***** *******, **** some *****-***** ****** ************* 150dB ****** ******.*** *** *** ******** for ****.

Resolution **. ***

** *** *******, ** have ***** ****** *********** between ********** *** *** performance. **** ********** ****** may ** ***** ** 1080p, ***, ***, *** even **, ** *** poorly ********** ******.

*******, *** *** ************* offer ***** ***-**** *** performance ** ***** ******* resolution ******. *** *******, Avigilon's ** **/** ******* do *** ******* **** WDR, ***** *** ****** do. ** ********, **** offers ***** **** *** "Forensic ***" ** * series ****** ** *****, 5MP, *** ** **********.

******* ** ****, ***** should *** ******** ********** a ******** ***** ** WDR ***********.

Multiple ********* *** **** *** ***** ***********

***** ******** ********* ********* restricts *** **** * shutter *** ** ***, which ********* *** ****** of ***** ******* *********'* ******, ******** *** ***** performance. ******* ** ****, most (*** *** ***) models ********* ***** *** automatically ******* *** ** night, ****** **** *** not ** *** ** do ** ** *******.

*** *******, *** ****** camera ***** ******** ******* to **** *** **** light ** *** (***** on ****** *****) ***/** when ********* ** ***** mode (*/*).

**** ** ** ********* setting ** ***** ** low ***** ** * priority *** *** ******** where *** ****** ** deployed.

Fake *** ********** - **** *** ***

************* ********* ****** *** pseudo-WDR ********** ** ***** alternatives ** *****-******** ***: Backlight ************ (***) *** Digital *** (****). *******, our ***** **** ***** that ***** ********** ****** do *** ******* ** even * *** *********** true *** ******.

Backlight ************

***, ** ********* ************, simply ******* *** (******) exposure ** * ******. This ** ****** **** when *** **** ** capture **** *** ****** or **** ***** ** the ***** *** *** both. ** ***** ***, you **** **** *** portion ** *** ***** better ** *** ******* of *** ***** ***** worse.

**** ***-**** **** *** models *** *********, ***** a ****** **** ****** only *** ** *** installations ** *** ***********.

"*******" ***

******* ***, **** ***** as ****, ****, ** ********** *** is *********** * ******** adjustment ** ******** ******* of *** *****, ******* of *** ******* *****. DWDR *** ** ****** in **** ****** **** doing *******, *** ***** techniques ***** ** *** compare ** **** ***.

*** *******, ** *** comparison *****, *** ********* models *** ***** **** by ****. *** **** WDR ****** ** *** left ******** ***** ******* details ** **** ** better ******* ** *** background. ** ********, *** digital *** ****** ********* washes *** *** *******'* face *** ****** ******** details ** *** **** area ** *** *****.

Same manufacturer True WDR VS  Non-WDR Camera Performance

**** **** **** ************* offer **** ******* *** in ******** ** **** WDR, *** ***** *** easily ******* *** ***, such ******' "******* *******" **. "Dynamic ********". ****** ** ***** terms *** ***** ** our*** ***** *****(**** *****).

Some ****** ********** *******

************, ***** ********, **** manufacturers' ******* ******* **** WDR, *** *** ** maximum **********. **** ** found ** **** **/**** models ***** *** ***** true *** ** ** resolution *** *** ** the **** **** ********* resolution, ** ** ******* ********** ******** * **** to **** ** ********** (2560x1440 ******* ** *********).

True WDR Not Supported At Full Resolution On Some Models

***** *********** *** *** very ******, *** ***** should ******* ****** ************** before ******** *** ** supported ** *** ***********.

WDR ************ ***** ***** *** ****** ********

******* ************* *** ** cryptic ***** *** *******, we **** *** ******** a **** ** ************* detailing ******* **** ******* ‘true’ (*****-********) ***, ‘****’ (digital/electronic ***), ** ****. We **** ******* ***** to ********* *********, ****** conventions, ***.

*** ** ************* **** cameras **** ******* ‘****’ WDR, ***** ***** **** of **** **** **** cameras **** ******* ******* WDR.

*** ******* ******* ********* this **** *** ********** manufacturer *********, ****** **** our*** ************ ***** ***** and ****** **************.

Test **** *********

**** ***** ******** *******.

[****: **** ******** *** originally ********* ** **** but *** ************* ******* in **** ** ******* advances ** *** ************ and ***********.]

Comments (8)

**** ********** *** *** meter ****, *****’* *** meter **** ** ***** towards *** ******?

***, * ******* **** frame **** ** *** mid-movement ******* ** **** it *** ******* ** the ******. **'** *** that.

**** ***** *** **** replaced.

****! (****** * ***** the ******** ***** ** out ** *****)

* ***'* **** **** you ****...

** *** ****** *** you **** ** **** the *** ~*** *** and ~**** *** **** on **** *** ***** before *********?

**** * ****** ** it ***** ***** *** posted **, * ***** have ***** ** *** different ******... * **** have **** ********, ******.

** *** *****, *** model *** ******* ****

**

**** ***, *******?

* ***** *** **** fortunate ** **** ******* image ******, **** * different *****, *** *** same ***** *** ****. ~100 *** *** ~**** light ****** :)

***** * ***** *** that *** *** *** H5SL ******* **** ******** now **** ***

******, * ***** **** in *** *****.

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