Wide Dynamic Range | How to Optimize Image Quality in Challenging Lighting Conditions

It’s no secret that cameras rely on ideal lighting conditions to produce a high-quality image. However, lighting for security/surveillance is often far from perfect. A common question we run into when installing security camera systems is “how do we compensate for all the bright light?” This usually refers to the sunlight (or artificial light from an outdoor light) coming through the windows or a front door area, which causes incoming foot traffic to look more like silhouettes or shadows than actual people. This is due light pouring into an area that is not as well-lit as the outdoors, causing the footage to be washed out. In most cases, this footage is unusable.

The Solution?

You can say goodbye to shadows and overexposure by using a camera equipped with Wide Dynamic Range or WDR.  The WDR function of a camera is a technology that compensates for high contrast of light and shadow situations. This makes it possible to monitor surveillance in interior or exterior settings with dim lighting and high shadows. If your home, school or business has large windows or areas that are dark compared to the exits (like a parking garage or long hallways), WDR is something you should use.

For example, a school may have a room with large windows. When someone walks in front of the window, they appear extremely dark compared to the window. While a standard camera may not record any recognizable features, a camera with WDR helps your video footage remain clear even when you have bright and dark areas. With WDR, the lighting would be balanced so that the windows and the person are both clear.

Not All Wide Dynamic Range Is Created Equally

There is digital WDR that is a basic adjustment through post processing of an image. The best results come from True WDR. This technology takes an over-exposed and under-exposed image from a single frame of video. They are then combined to give you an image that is a little muted, but you can see detail much better than any digital enhancement.

Who Produces The Best True Wide Dynamic Range?

Panasonic’s Extreme Super Dynamic utilizes the highest level True WDR in the IP camera industry. At 144dB it dominates the more common 120dB True WDR cameras on the market. Erratic lighting loses out to the neutralizing effect of Panasonic’s cutting-edge technology. No more shadowy figures ruining your video footage!

To Be Scientific…

The decibel, or dB, is the ratio of the brightest and the dimmest object that can be captured by the camera. This tells you the range where the WDR works. The higher the dB rating, the better your camera will be at seeing into shadows. High dB ratios can capture a larger spectrum of lighting conditions, including difficult scenes with both very bright lights (like windows) and very dark objects (like shadows).

Where Should Wide Dynamic Range Be Used?

Homes, businesses, retail stores and banks, where there is strong backlighting, such as at the entrance or in a room with lots of windows. WDR is particularly valuable when there is a need for highly detailed images, in some cases facial recognition.

Parking lots and airports, where detail is needed in dark indoor or shadowed areas as well as bright outside areas.

ATMs and casinos, where it’s important to be able to see all detail to identify possible crimes or criminals in an in area where lighting might be difficult or with high contrast.

Gas stations and toll booths, where the details inside the car may be required as well as license plate recognition.

Schools and government institutions, where indoor and outdoor lighting may contrast dramatically. It’s also useful when accurate monitoring of people and vehicles, as well as possible facial recognition or license plate recognition, is needed.

Final Tips

Due to their ability to produce high quality footage in challenging lighting conditions, WDR cameras are becoming increasingly more mainstream and affordable, with various forms and functions to meet the demands of indoor and outdoor applications. It’s highly likely that your site, whether professional or residential, will benefit from a WDR camera in one or multiple locations.

Save time and money with All Campus Security’s expert services. Rely on our experienced team to assemble, program, install and maintain your camera system. We offer free camera placement sessions as well as full installations.

Call today!

(512) 853 – 9411

Panasonic iPro Cameras and Video Insight in Public Safety: Case Study

It’s no secret that there is an increased need for security and surveillance in recent years. Public safety is an important facet of any business, school, or public space. In order to create and maintain a safe and flourishing environment, it’s imperative to work towards proactive prevention, earlier detection, fast identification and prompter action when it comes to security. Today, many organizations are still using outdated analog or IP surveillance systems that lack the features and networked support to adequately monitor the foot traffic of larger spaces and facilities, allowing criminals or unwanted persons to slip through the cracks.  Most outdated systems like this provide low definition, blurry video, making accurate identifactions impossible.

Now, envision a safer world where a robust surveillance platform helps to protect what matters most. A platform that provides security personell  fast forensic identification and intelligent assistance to adequeately detect and neutralize any threats.

A Dynamic Surveillance Solution

The i-PRO video surveillance system is composed of cameras, microphones, viewers, recorders, a management system and optional systems and features. The system is all on one network and the components work together in harmony to achieve an unparalleled level of security and surveillance. The system is designed to maximize performance while also being a cost-effective surveillance system. The wide range of i-PRO video surveillance products allows you to put together the very best system for your security needs.

Where Should An i-PRO Surveillance System Using Video Insight Be Used?

This sophisticated system can be effective in just about every application – from small businesses to large school campuses, medical centers, casinos, banks, factories, warehouses, theme parks, government agencies, and even entire cities! A Video Insight system can accommodate up to hundreds of i-PRO cameras on one server, ensuring every angle is covered. Even better news? Each camera is fully licensed with Video Insight, which means there is no need to deal with per-camera licensing, which can complicate the process of adding or switching out cameras.. This advanced system also supports the latest 4K high-definition video for day and night scenes as well as indoor and outdoor sites.

In areas where audio surveillance is needed, network microphones feature clear audio monitoring in any direction. Audio surveillance is particularly valuable on school grounds. Today, sound and sight are considered by many to be the new dynamics in school security. Many education leaders have begun to emphasize the importance of adopting audio in monitoring programs and security protocols to ensure public safety. Many i-Pro cameras have built-in mics or standard 3.5mm jacks for external microphones. To listen in, an authorized user simply clicks on the video monitoring screen on the area where you want to hear.

When it comes to video storage, the Video Insight system makes it easy. Gone are the days of having to recycle recording media. Captured video can be stored short or long term. It is also easier to search for and retrieve the exact video you need should a crime or incident take place. The latest i-Pro camera line utilizes H.265 codecs for minimal storage. Nearly cutting the previous generation codec storage in half!

Optional Features & Add-ons

A powerful add-on to the Video Insight system is a facial recognition software called FacePro. The primary goal of this technology is to secure people and assets against criminals or other unwanted individuals. Face recognition is often used in airports, medical facilities, theme parks and retail stores. In these environments, this technology is often used to identify blacklisted individuals. Another high demand add-on is the LPR, or license plate recognition, package. It acts much like the FacePro add-on since you can create a black list of license plates. Using Video Insight’s rules manager, you can execute activities like sending alerts with video clips via text or email.

Want to be able to view the footage from your smartphone when you’re not on site? You can easily add the functionality to your Video Insight system. There is also the ability to view from you Windows PC, and web browser, Mac and even your Apple TV!

Panasonic i-PRO and Video Insight In The Field

Numerous case studies have been conducted in a variety of applications. That highlightthe improved sense of security andeffective surveillance that comes with i-PRO. Although the success rate of crime reduction in security camera use depends on users actively monitoring the system, the majority of studies about this subject come to the conclusion that camera surveillance is indeed a great tool to prevent crime in public spaces, schools, businesses, and even on transit systems.

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) Bus Transit System transports over 16,000 passengers on a daily basis. Safeguarding such a large number of people is a feat in itself, but with an inadequate security system, it can be extremely difficult. RTD’s previous analog-based system was functional, but outdated and inconvenient. The video footage was often blurry and unusable. Whenever an incident occurred, RTD security personnel had to retrieve the hard drive from the bus and manually upload the video data to investigate. With an average of 25-30 incidents per day, this was a serious waste of time, manpower and resources. When RTD decided it was time to update their system to maintain safety and security, they installed Panasonic’s i-PRO Transit System across their entire bus fleet of over 1,000 buses. The high-quality system included high-definition cameras inside and outside of each bus, as well as advanced features for recording, file transfer and viewing. The new transit system is incredibly efficient, delivering high-quality video footage that’s easy to monitor and manage. Most importantly, it ensures the security of a major transit system and promotes the safety of its passengers.

In today’s society, campus crime is a major issue, with thousands of campus crimes being reported nationwide each year. Clarion University of Pennsylvania is dedicated to public safety. With over 5,200 students, 450 staff members and nearly 300 faculty members, campus security is a top priority. In addition to a comprehensive public safety department, Clarion University uses an advanced i-PRO system to safeguard its campus. 64 high-definition Panasonic cameras are strategically placed around the 201-acre campus and inside the buildings and classrooms. In addition to the cameras, the system is equipped with advanced management tools to help streamline and enhance campus security operations. Whether it’s deterring theft, vandalism and bullying, or ensuring higher levels of personal and public safety, Panasonic’s advanced i-PRO system is the perfect addition to any school campus.

Final Tips…

Panasonic i-PRO and Video Insight is a comprehensive surveillance system and a powerful asset to personal and public safety, offering a superior quality of coverage and advanced features. The picture quality of the cameras is excellent, whether inside or outside. The cameras also provide clear, high-resolution images in day or night scenes. The build quality of Panasonic products is outstanding and Panasonic i-PRO components have every advanced feature you’d want in a security system: face recognition, mobile viewing, audio capabilities and more. The dependability of Panasonic i-PRO products ensures long-term use and has the potential to provide a hefty return on investment if used to its fullest.

Save time and money with All Campus Security’s expert services. Rely on our experienced team to assemble, program, install and maintain your camera system. We offer free camera placement sessions as well as full installations.

Call today!

(512) 853 – 9411