WDR Camera Shootout 2011

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Feb 05, 2011

One of surveillance's biggest challenges is bright sunlight, especially when that sunlight shines into a building's entrance. Sunlight tends to wash out images, often making it impossible to determine the person entering. Unfortunately, capturing people as they enter your building is one of the best and most effective ways of conducting video surveillance.

Camera manufacturers offer a variety of technologies to rectify this problem. The general name given to them is Wide Dynamic Range or WDR. By design, WDR should provide accurate image capture of both dark areas (e.g., shadows covering a person's face) and adjacent bright areas.

However, there are no standards nor easy way to figure out if one WDR function is better than another. While there is a metric for measuring dynamic range (dBs, e.g., 65 dB or 110 dB WDR), each manufacturer can choose their own measuring methodology so comparisons are basically pointless. (This is similar to the problem with determining low light performance. Manufacturers provide minimum illumination measured in lux but using a variety of conflicting metrics.)

In this report, we conducted a series of tests to better understand WDR performance using 3 well known manufacturers - Pixim, a chip manufacturer specializing in WDR, Axis and Sony. For Pixim, we tested 2 cameras - a March dome using the new Seawolf Pixim chip and an ioimage camera using the traditional Orca Pixim chip. For Axis, we used the P1347. For Sony, we used the SNC-CH140.

[UPDATED: We have done additional WDR shootouts focusing on megapixel cameras.]

We wanted to understand how different WDR featuresets and varying resolutions impacted overall image usability.

Inside the PRO section, we break down comparative performance and provide recommendations on tradeoffs and options.

*** ** ************'* ******* ********** ** ****** ********, ********** **** that ******** ****** **** * ********'* ********. ******** ***** ** wash *** ******, ***** ****** ** ********** ** ********* *** person ********. *************, ********* ****** ** **** ***** **** ******** is *** ** *** **** *** **** ********* **** ** conducting ***** ************.

****** ************* ***** * ******* ** ************ ** ******* **** problem. *** ******* **** ***** ** **** ** **** ******* Range ** ***. ** ******, *** ****** ******* ******** ***** capture ** **** **** ***** (*.*., ******* ******** * ******'* face) *** ******** ****** *****.

*******, ***** *** ** ********* *** **** *** ** ****** out ** *** *** ******** ** ****** **** *******. ***** there ** * ****** *** ********* ******* ***** (***, *.*., 65 ** ** *** ** ***), **** ************ *** ****** their *** ********* *********** ** *********** *** ********* *********. (**** is ******* ** *** ******* **** *********** *** ***** ***********. Manufacturers ******* ******* ************ ******** ** *** *** ***** * variety ** *********** *******.)

** **** ******, ** ********* * ****** ** ***** ** better ********** *** *********** ***** * **** ***** ************* - Pixim, * **** ************ ************ ** ***, **** *** ****. For *****, ** ****** * ******* - ****** ********* *** *** ******* ***** **** *** ** ******* ****** using *** *********** **** ***** ****. *** ****, ** **** the*****. *** ****, ** **** ******-*****.

[*******: ** **** **** ************* ********* ******** ** ********* *******.]

** ****** ** ********** *** ********* *** *********** *** ******* resolutions ******** ******* ***** *********.

****** *** *** *******, ** ***** **** *********** *********** *** provide *************** ** ********* *** *******.

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

Key ********

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

  • *** *** ******* ******** ******* ********* ** *** *********** **** a **** ******* ******* ******
  • *** **** *** ********* *** ****** *** '*******', *** *********** of *** *** ********* ******** * ******** *****
  • ********** ********** **** ** ** ********* ******** *********** ***** ******* gains **** ** ***** *** **********; *******, * *.*** ****** (Sony) ************ * *** ****** (****) ******* ********** ******** **** limits
  • **** ********* *** **** *********** ***** ******* ******** *** ******* highest ******* ****** ** **** ********
  • **** *** *** ***** ******* ******* ******** ********* ******** *** benefits; ****'* ********* ********** ********* * ****** ******* *******
  • ** ******* ********** ******** ****** ***-***** *********** **** *********
  • ***** ***** **** *** **** ** ****** ** **** *** WDR, ***** ******'* ***-***** *********** *** ***** ****** **** **** 1.3MP **** **** *** ***

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

** ********* ******* **** *** ******** ** ******* ***** ******* in ****** **** ****** ********. ************, ** ********* *** *** of ********* *** ******* ** ******** *** ******* ***** ******* benefits. ************, *** ****'* *********** ***** *** ** ********* *** strongest *** ********. *******, **** **** **** *** **** **** support *** ** ***** ******* ****** ** ******* ** ** not ****** ** ******* **** ******** **** *** **** *** Sony *******. *** ****, *** ** ***** ** *** * series (*** *** *) *** *** ****, *** * ****** (but *** *** * *** *).

*** ***** ******* ******* ****** *** ******** *** *** **** low ***** *********** *******. *******, *****'* ********** ** ******** ********** resolution ******* ******* *** ******* ***** *******. ***** *** *** benefits ****** ** ** ** ** ******* ** ****'*, *** higher ********** ** *** ********* ****** ******** * **** ****** surveillance *****. *******, ***** ***** *** * ********** ** ***** the *** ********, *** ****'* ****** *********** ****** ********.

Cost **************

******* **** *** ******* **** **** ********* **** * *********** premium **** ***-*** *******. *** **** ***** *****, ****** ** pay $*** - $*** **** (****** *****) *** ** ******* with *** (*** ******** ******* ** *** ********).

*** ***** ****** ** ****, *** ****** ** ***** ******* over ** ******** ************* ** *********. *** ***** ********** ******* Pixim ** *** ****'*/****' **** *** ******* ** ****** $*** to $***. ************** ** ******* ********* *****'* *** ******* ******* $675 ******, ***** **** **** ***** *** **** ***** ******* average $***. ** ****, *** **** ** ** **** ** to **/** (**** */ ***) ** ****** *****.

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

**'* *********** ** ***** *** **** *** **** ***** ** $759 ******, ***** *** **** ***** ** $*** ******. *** trade-off *** ****' ***** ***** *****, ** **** *** **** does *** ******* ** ****** * *** *** ** ********* method ** **** ** *** ****** ***-***** **********. ****, ** hour ************ ************, ******* ***-***** ********** (*.*. ****** **** ********** lighting, *** ******* ******** ***), ***** ** * **** *** for *** **** *****.

***** ******** *** ************ **** **** ** *****/*********** *****-**** ********* SD **. **, ***** *** ************ **** ********* **** ** the ****** ********* ** ** ** ****** **. **** *** Axis ******* (*/***) *** ******'*, *** ***** *** ***** *** both ****** ****** ****** $****. *** *** **** ***** **** in *** ******* ** $**** ******. **** **** *** ********* have * *** ****** - */ *** ** *********.

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

** ******** **** (*) ******* *** *** ***********. **** ****** is ******** **** * ********* ************* ** ***. *** *******, the **** *****, ******** ****' *** ****** ***** ** *** called '******* ********'. **** *** ***** ***** *** ******* ***-***** feature * ***** **** *** *** *************. *******, ** ** important ** **** **** *** ***** ** ***** ** *** latest ******* ***** *** ******** **** ** ***** **** ****** Pixim ****. *** **** ***** ******** ****'* *** '****-**' (******* in ******** ***** **** ******).

** **** *** ********* **** (*) *** ******* ** *** tests (*/ *** ***********):

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

*** *** *******, *** ********** *** *****-***** **** ****. ***** settings **** **** ** ***** ********. ************, **** ******'* **** is ******** ** *** **** *********** ***. ******* **** ******** a ***-*** ***** * ****** ******, ** * *******.

*** *******/*** *** ******** ********** ***** **** *****:

  1. ****** *** (*******)
  2. ******* *** (****)
  3. ***-***** ***

*** ***** ******** ** ** ** ****** *******. *** ******* is ***** ***, ********* * '****' **** (~*** ***), *** the ******* **** **** ******** * '******' **** (~**** ***) to *** *****. ***** ******** ******* * **** *********** *** scene ***** ***** ** **** ***********. ** *** *** ***** 4 ****** ****** ** ******* * ***-*** ***** ** *********.

*** ****** ******** ** ** * ****. *** ***** ** in *******, **** ****** (~**,*** ***). *******, ***** *** ******* of ***** (~*,*** ***) ******** ** ***** *** * ***** building ****** *** ***** **** ******** *********. ** *** **** to **** *** *** ** **** *** **** *** **** cameras ** ******* * ***-*** ***** ** *********. **** **** the ***** *** ******** ** *** ******* ********* ** ***.

*** ***** ******** ** * ****** ****** ***-***** *****. *** Sony *** **** ******* *** ****** ** *** *.* *** and *.* *** ***** **** ***-** *** ***-***. *** ***** and ******* ******* *** ****** ** *** **** *** ****** but **** **** ***-** (***-*** *** *********).

WDR *********** *******/***********

** *** **** * ********, ** **** *** ******* *** specific *********** ** *****. *** *** *** *** ******** ***** for ********:**** *** ********** ***** *******(~*** **).

Indoor *** (*******)

*** **** *** ******* ************ *** *********** ** *********** ******** to *** ***-*** *******. *** *******, ** *** ******* *** subject's ****** ******* **** **** ********* ** *******, ***** ********** in *** ****** ****** **** (*,*** ***).

** *** **** *** ******* ****'* *********** ********* **** ***. In ********, ****, *****, *** ******* ******* ******** ** **** to ******** *** **********. *******, ******* ****** ******* ****** ** WDR ******* ****, *****, *** *******, *** **** ******** ******* better ***** ******* (*** *** ** **** ** ****'*). ****, it ** ******** **** ****** ********** ** ****** * ***** effect ** *** *****.

*** **** (*.***) *** **** (***) ********** *********** *** ********** of **** *** *** ********** ** *********** ******* ***** ******* - ********** ***** ********* ********. ** **** *********** **********, ****'* image ******* *** ****** **** ****' ******* ****'* **** ***** resolution. *** ******** *** ** *** **** ******* ** '**********' for *** **** ** ********** **** ******* ** *** **** camera.

Outdoor *** (****)

***** *** ****** ******** ** **** ****, *** **** *** Axis ******* *********** ****** ******* ******* **** *** ****** ** versus ***. *******, **** ***-** *** **** *** **** ****** to ********** '****' ***** ** * ******* ****** **** *** March *** ******* *******.

** **** **** *****, * ***** ***** ** **** **** benefit **** ****** ***********. ***** **** *** **** (*.***) *** Axis (***) *** ******* **** ** *** ****, **** ***** slightly ****** ***** ******.

Low-light ***

**** *** **** *** **** ********* ****** ** ******** *********** in ******* ******* **** ***-** **. ***-***. ** ***-***** ****** of *.* *** *** *****, *** ***** ** ******* **** the ******* ***** ******* ** *** **** *** ****. *************, the **** *** ***** ** '****-***' *** ***** ***** *** Sony *** ***** ** '******' **.

*** **** ******* ***-***** *********** (*/ ***-**) ** ************ ** the ***** ***** (***** *******) ******** ** *******'* ******** (***** Orca). *** **** ***** *** **** ***** ****** ** ******* lesser ******* ****** **** *** ***** ***** ******* **** ***** WDR-ON.

** *** ***-***** ******, ********* ******* (**** *** ****), **** their *** ***, ******** ****** ******* *** ******** ********** (***** and *******) *******. (****, **** *** ******* *********** ** ***** of ***-***** *********** ******** *** ****, **** ***** ****, ******* second, *** ****/**** ******** ******* ** * ****** ******). **** findings *** ** ********* **** *** ****** **** ** *** advantages **** ** ** ***-***** *******, *** *** ********* ** difference *** **** **** ********. ******, **** *** ** ****** off ** **** *** ****, *** ********** ******* ***-***** *********** among *** **** ******* ******* ***********.

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 on WDR

Hikvision H.265+ Bullet Tested (2035) on Jul 24, 2017
Continuing our tests of Hikvision's new low cost Value Plus line, we bought and tested the 3MP DS-2CD2035FWD-I, now including H.265+. We shot the...
Axis Door Station Tested (A8105-E) on Jul 19, 2017
Axis continues their push into niche markets, especially audio, with network speakers, an IP horn, and video door stations. We bought and tested...
Avigilon Announces New Lowest Cost Camera (Mini Domes) on Jun 06, 2017
Avigilon's first Micro Dome (see IPVM's test) is now 4 years old. Since that time, low-cost fixed focal Chinese manufacturer dome usage has...
Samsung SmartCam A1 Totally Wireless System on Jun 06, 2017
Hanwha is keeping the Samsung brand alive in consumer cameras with the SmartCam A1, a new offering combining an autotracking 1080p camera with base...
IP Camera - 15 Year Shootout on May 22, 2017
How far have IP cameras come? We bought and tested 4 cameras across the past 15 years to understand how much and where performance has...
Hanwha 9MP Fisheye Camera Tested (PNF-9010R) on May 09, 2017
12MP sensor fisheye panoramic cameras are becoming increasingly common. We have tested Hikvision's DS-2CD63C2F as well as Panasonic's SFV481 4K...
Axis Lowest Cost Outdoor IR Camera M2025-LE Tested on Apr 24, 2017
Axis has lagged offering low cost IR cameras while their Asian competitors have made IR standard even in their most entry level cameras. Recently,...
Hanwha Lowest Cost WiseNet X Camera (XND-6010) Tested on Apr 13, 2017
IPVM bought and tested the lowest-cost WiseNet X model, the indoor 2MP fixed focal XND-6010 dome, continuing our testing of Hanwha's new WiseNet X...
Pelco Surevision 3 Tested on Apr 12, 2017
Pelco has released generation 3 of its Surevision cameras, claiming improved performance in both super low light and WDR performance. We bought...
Hanwha Wisenet X Tested on Mar 27, 2017
Hanwha has released their latest generation, the Wisenet X series, powered by their new Wisenet 5 processor. This new series claims improvements...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Anixter - Falling Video Prices on Jul 26, 2017
Falling video prices are such a concern that it has become a notable topic for Anixter's financial results and Anixter's executives. In this...
Bosch G-Series Intrusion Tested on Jul 26, 2017
Bosch is one of the biggest names in intrusion, and the company's G-Series panels are their most advanced commercial and high-security panels. But...
Healthy Skepticism for Deep Learning Is Prudent on Jul 26, 2017
The hype for deep learning in video surveillance is accelerating. Between the race to the bottom and dearth of a 'next big thing', certainly pent...
$28M Drone Detection Startup Examined (Dedrone) on Jul 25, 2017
Dedrone has received ~$28M in funding to build what they call an "automatic anti-drone solution", a system to detect drones, and then automatically...
Dahua Suffers Second Major Vulnerability, Silent [Finally Acknowledges] on Jul 25, 2017
Less than 3 months ago, Dahua received DHS ICS-CERT's worst score of 10.0 for their backdoor. Now, Dahua has received another 10.0 score for a new...
Hikvision H.265+ Bullet Tested (2035) on Jul 24, 2017
Continuing our tests of Hikvision's new low cost Value Plus line, we bought and tested the 3MP DS-2CD2035FWD-I, now including H.265+. We shot the...
Sports Stadium Security Design Recommendations on Jul 24, 2017
Sports stadiums pose many challenges for designing security systems. The facilities vary from being mostly vacant, to packed with tens of thousands...
Competing Against Convergint on Jul 24, 2017
No integrator is more aggressively expanding than Convergint Technologies. Owned and funded by private equity firm KRG, Convergint has acquired...
Security Robots Are Just Entertainment on Jul 21, 2017
Great entertainment, no real security value.  That is the happy (or sad) state of security robots in 2017. Knightscope robot's drowning, the...
Wireless Burglar Alarm Sensors Guide on Jul 21, 2017
Wireless sensors for burglar alarm sensors are an increasingly common option for the historical labor intensive wired alarm systems. However,...

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