WDR Shootout 2013

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 22, 2013

One of the most important surveillance camera differentiators is Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) performance. Dealing with bright sunlight and shadows is a key problem for most surveillance deployments and, historically, most cameras were poor. Indeed, in our first two WDR test (see our original WDR shootout and sequel Megapixel WDR shootout), major performance variances were clear. 

Now, many manufacturers are rolling out new WDR models, claiming to provide better performance and lower prices. We wanted to determine how significant these improvements were, if at all, so we put the following cameras to a head to head shootout:

  • Arecont AV3116DNv1
  • Avigilon H3 Series
  • Axis Q1604
  • Bosch NBN-932V
  • Panasonic WV-SP509
  • Sony SNC-CH240

This brought back three WDR MP veterans (Axis, Panasonic and Sony) vs three WDR MP new entrants (Arecont, Avigilon and Bosch).

The Test

We focused our tests on three WDR scenes that represent common real-world scenarios.

Interior, aimed through a door on a sunny day:

door wdr
Interior, aimed through a garage door on a sunny day:

garage door scene
Exterior, with the sun lowering in the sky:

outdoor wdr

Inside, we break down the results.

*** ** *** **** ********* ************ ****** *************** ****** ******* ***** (***)***********. ******* **** ****** ******** *** ******* ** * *** problem *** **** ************ *********** ***, ************, **** ******* **** poor. ******, ** *** ***** *** *** **** (*** *********** *** ***************** ********* *** ********), ***** *********** ********* **** *****. 

***, **** ************* *** ******* *** *** *** ******, ******** to ******* ****** *********** *** ***** ******. ** ****** ** determine *** *********** ***** ************ ****, ** ** ***, ** we *** *** ********* ******* ** * **** ** **** shootout:

  • ******* **********
  • ******** ** ******
  • **** *****
  • ***** ***-****
  • ********* **-*****
  • **** ***-*****

**** ******* **** ***** *** ** ******** (****, ********* *** Sony) ** ***** *** ** *** ******** (*******, ******** *** Bosch).

The ****

** ******* *** ***** ** ***** *** ****** **** ********* common ****-***** *********.

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

door wdr
********, ***** ******* * ****** **** ** * ***** ***:

garage door scene
********, **** *** *** ******** ** *** ***:

outdoor wdr

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

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

Key ********

*** **** *********** ******** ** *** **** *** *********** *** between **** *** ***** *** ********. ** ******** *****, **** one ** *** ************* ********* ***** *** ** ***** *******. However, ** **** ********, *** *** ********** ******* ********* ********** well. **** ** ********** ********** ** *** ***** ** ******* and ********, ***** *** *** ****** **** ************* **** **** other ***** *************, **** ** ****, *****, *** ****.

*** ******** ** *** ***** ******* ** **** ****** ** WDR ******* *** ******* **** *******. **** **** ******* *********, more ******* ** ***** ** ******** ** ********* ******* * specific ****** ***** **** **** ** * ***** *****, ******* of ****** ********* **** * ***** ***** ** *******, ****-*********** cameras.

NOT *** ******* *** *** ***

***** **** ************* *** ****** ********* ** *** ******* ** improve ***, **** **** *** **** **** ***** *** ****** will ******** ** ****** ** ***. *** ** *** ******* in **** **** *** *****-******** **********, * '****' *** *********. While ** ****** **** **** ************* ** *** **** ******* over *** **** ** ******, ***** ** ******* ***** *** claims. *** **********,*** *** *** ********.

Scene *: ********, *** ****

** *** ***** *****, ******* ** **** ********* *** ******* are *********, ** ***** *** ******* ** *** ******* * typical *** ****, ** **** **** ** ********* **** **** in ** ****** ********. *** ***** ** *** ***** ** view ** *** ******* ** ************* **-**'. ** ***** ** this ******** ***** ** *** *****, *** *** ************ ***** at ***** *** ******* *** ******** **** (~*** **) *** the ******** ** ****** ******** (~* ***). ***** ******* **** taken ** * *****-****** **** ****** **** ** ***** ** maximum *** ******* ** *** ****** ***.

Scene Overview

** **** ***** ****, *** ******* ** ******** ** *** middle ** *** *******, ********* ***** *** **, ~*** ********** in ************. *** ******* ******* ********** **** ****, ****** *** Q1604 ** ********** ****** ** *** *******'* **** **** ******. In ***** ****** ** ****, **** ***** ***** *******, **** may ****** ***********.

Man door, in doorway

**** *** ******* ******** ** *** **** ** *** ****, in *** ****** (~*** **) ****, *********** ******* ********* ********** with *** *****. *** ***-**** ** **** ****** *** **** others ** **** *****, *******, **** **** **** ** ****** on *** *******.

Man door, inside

**** *** ******* ***** ** *** **** ******* *** ****, the ********* **** ** *** ***** ** ****** *,*** *** on ******, ***** *** **** ********** *********** ***********. *** *******'* face ** ********** **** ***** ** *** *******, **** *******, Bosch, *** ******** **** ********.

Man door, outside

Scene *: ********, ******** ****

** *** ****** *****, ** *** *** *** ** ******* the ******** ** * ******** ******** ****, ** **** ** a *** **** **** ** **, ** **** ******** *** lighting *********** ***** ** ********** *** ******* *** **********, *** example. ** **** *** ****** *** ** *** ********* ** create *** ******* *****/**** ************ ******** ** * ***** *** (~11 *** ******** ******** **).

Overview

**** *** ******* ******** ** *** ****** ** *** ******** door, ************ ** ****** *** ******** ** ************* ** **. Arecont *** ******** ******* **** ** **** *****, ****** *** cameras ******* ****** *******, ****** *** ***** ** ******* ** being *** ****.

Overhead door, in door

**** *** ******* ******* ** *** **** **** **** ** the **** (~** ** ** ******), **** ** ********** ******** than ***** *******. *******, ********, *****, *** **** ******* **** the **** ** *****. *** ********* ******, *******, ** ****** produces ****** ***** ** *** *** ***** *** ***** ****** in *** *******, ****** ** ** ***** **********.

Overhead door, next to door

****** *** ******* ** *** ******* ** *** *********, *** cameras ******* ****** ****. ******* ******** **** **** *********** ****** the ******* *** ******* ** *** *****, ****** ****** ******* are ***** *******.

Overhead door, outside

Scene *: ********, *** ****** *******

** *** ***** *** *****, ** ***** *** ******* ******** about ** **** ****** ******, **** *** *** **** *** in *** ***, ****** *** ** *** *** ** *** camera. ** *** ***** *** ***** ** **** *** (~** klx ******** ******** **).

Scene Overview

** **** *****, *** ********** *** ** ~**', **** ************ measured ****** *.* *** ** ******. ******* *** ******** ****** the ****** *** ******* **** *** ****-****** ********. *** *******'* face ** ** ***** ********* ******** ** *** *******. **** that ** ******* **** **** ***** *********** ******* ***** ******, it *** *** ** *****. ***** ********** ** *** *********** of *** ***** ** ***** ****** ****** *** ***** ******** ******* *** **** ******.

Outdoors, in sun

** **** ***** *** ******* *** ***** ** *** ***** area ******* **** ** *** ***. ** **** ********, *** HFOV ** **** *****, ***** **'. *** *******'* **** ** obscured ****** *** ** *** ***** ***** ***** ** *** area, ****** ** **** ********, *** ** **** *****, ** naturally ***** ******* **** ** *******.

Outside, in shade

Indoor ***********

** ***** ** *** ******** ***** ******* *** ********* ************, we *** ** *** ******* ******* ** * ********** **** with ********** ******** *** **** "*******" (*** ****** **) *** "nighttime" ***** (****** ***). ***** *********** *** ** **** ***** (click ****** *** ****** *******).

*****, ** *** ****-*** *****, ** ****** * ********** ** color ********** ******* *******, ********, *** **** (*** ********** **** to ****) *** *****, *********, *** ****, ***** *** *********** to ******* ******.

Daytime Indoor Comparison

** **** ********* *****, ***** * ***, **** ******** ********** to */*** (**** *** ********* ** ****, ***** ****** ** slowed ****** */*** **** *** **), **** *** ***** ***** out ** ********* *** **** ****** *****, **** ******** ********** worse. *** ********* **-***** ***** ******** **** ***** ** *** subject, ***** ******* *** **** **** ******* ** ****** *****.

Nighttime Comparison

**** **** *** ******** ******** * ******* ****, ***** ** not ***** ** *** *****, ** **** ** ************ **** other *******. *******, **** **** **** ******* ********* ******* *** will ** ******* ** ****** ** *** ******** ********** **** of *** ********.

Testing *******

** ***** ** ********* ****** ******** ** **** ** ********, we ********* *** ********* ***** ** ********* **** ** *** test ******:

  • *****, *** ****** *** ***** ** ******* ********.
  • *** *** *** ** ** ** *** *******.
  • ******* ***** *** ********** ** */***, ** *** ******* *** the **** *****. *** ***** **** *** ***** *** ******* to ** ****** **** */*** **** *** (****** "******* ******* in *************) ** **.
  • *** ******* **** *** ** *** **** ***** ** **** and ****-******* *** *** ******'* *** ********* ***** ********, *** manually **** *** *********.

**** **** **** ** ***** ******* *** *:* ****** *****, while ****** *** **:*. ** ***** *** ************ ****** * question ***** ****, ******* *** **:* *******' *** *** *** out ******** ** ***** ** **** ***** *** *:* ******* must ********** ***. **** *** ** **** ** **** *****, but ** ** *** *** ** ** ****** * ******* effect ** ***********, *** ***** ******* **** ******* *********** **** these ****-***** *************, ********* ** **** **** ******* *** **** to *** **** ***** ** *** **** ****** *** *** testing.

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