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.

free image2

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

  • 2019 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 **** *********** *****.

free image2

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

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

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

2019 ***** ** ***

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

Chart2

*** **** ******* ** 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 *** ** **** is *** ***********.

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

******* ***, **** ***** 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 *** *****.

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

Pelco Sarix Pro3 Camera Tested on Oct 16, 2019
Pelco has released their Sarix Professional Series 3 cameras, claiming "more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Oct 16, 2019
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator. The guide below includes instructions, images, gifs, and videos demonstrating and explaining the...
Camera Focusing Tutorial on Oct 14, 2019
Camera focus is fundamental to quality imaging. Mistakes can significantly reduce details, making cameras less effective. In this guide, we...
Last Chance - Register Now - October 2019 IP Networking Course on Oct 10, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - Fall 2019 IP Networking Course. The course starts next week. This is the only networking course designed...
Avigilon H5A Analytic Cameras Tested on Oct 07, 2019
Avigilon has released its H5A analytic cameras, claiming to "detect more objects with greater accuracy even in crowded scenes." We tested the...
Camera Cable Whip Guide on Oct 02, 2019
Cable whips are one of integrator's least favorite camera features but seem to be unavoidable, now commonplace on dome, turret, and bullet cameras...
Access Control Mustering Guide on Sep 30, 2019
In emergencies, determining where employees are located can be critical for knowing whether they are in danger. Access systems can be used for...
Vivotek 4K S-Series Camera Tested on Sep 30, 2019
Vivotek's highest-end S-series camera claims "Supreme Night Visibility", "Smart IR II", "Smart Stream II", "WDR Pro for unparalleled visibility in...
Access Control Mantraps Guide on Sep 26, 2019
One of access's primary goals is keeping people out of places they should not be, but slipping through open doors (ie: Tailgating) is often...

Most Recent Industry Reports

US DoD Comments on Huawei, Hikvision, Dahua Cyber Security Concerns on Oct 16, 2019
A senior DoD official said the US is "concerned" with the cybersecurity of Hikvision, Dahua, and Huawei due to "CCP" (China Communist Party)...
Pelco Sarix Pro3 Camera Tested on Oct 16, 2019
Pelco has released their Sarix Professional Series 3 cameras, claiming "more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Oct 16, 2019
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator. The guide below includes instructions, images, gifs, and videos demonstrating and explaining the...
Altronix Claims Tango 'Eliminates Electricians' on Oct 15, 2019
Power supply provider Altronix claims its new Tango power supply 'eliminates the need for an electrician, dedicated conduit and wire runs'. In...
Pelco CEO Out, Seeking New Industry CEO, New CEO Found on Oct 15, 2019
Just 2 months after Pelco was sold, Pelco's CEO is out, with Pelco bringing in an outside President and searching for a new CEO from the industry,...
Hikvision Dissolves North American Business Unit, Splits Canada and USA on Oct 15, 2019
Hikvision has dissolved its North American Business Unit, splitting up US and Canada operations as the PRC-government owned manufacturer faces...
Camera Focusing Tutorial on Oct 14, 2019
Camera focus is fundamental to quality imaging. Mistakes can significantly reduce details, making cameras less effective. In this guide, we...
"UL Has Blood On Their Hands" Alleges The Interceptor / Keith Jentoft on Oct 14, 2019
"UL has blood on their hands" alleges Keith Jentoft of "The Interceptor Project". We examined The Interceptor in-depth last year, see: The...
Access Control Course Fall 2019 - Last Chance on Oct 14, 2019
Register Now - Fall 2019 Access Control Course. Thursday, October 17th is the last day to register. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access...
Axis HD Analog Encoder Tested on Oct 11, 2019
Two years after declaring "Everything is IP", Axis has released their first HD analog encoder, the P7304, with support for AHD, CVI, TVI, and SD...