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

Advidia A-427-V | How Multi-Sensor Cameras Are Changing The Game

When you think about a security system, what first comes to mind? Unless you’ve just recently watched the James Bond film Goldfinger (giant laser beams, anyone?) you’re probably thinking about surveillance cameras. They are perhaps one of the most visible aspects of a security system to the general public. You often see them mounted to the exterior of buildings, around schools, along hallways in hospitals, and throughout the interiors of banks and retail stores. However, in recent years, the number of surveillance cameras being installed has slowly started to decrease, and for good reason. It’s not as though people are shying away from surveillance, it’s actually the opposite! Video surveillance technology has come a long way from the days when analog CCTV cameras dominated the market. The technology has improved and become much more efficient.

Every Angle Covered

The introduction of multi-sensor cameras has been a game changer to the industry. One camera containing this technology can see a larger field of view compared to their single sensor counterparts. What once took four cameras to provide 360 degrees of coverage can now be accomplished with one multi-sensor camera!

A single camera containing multi-sensor technology, such as Advidia’s A-427-V, has the ability to capture 360 degrees of view. Each camera housing is equipped with four-image sensors with varifocal lenses, so essentially one camera can do the work of four individual cameras using a single PoE ethernet connection. The A-427-V cameras are also virtually weatherproof, vandal-proof, works well for day and night scenes due to 120dB WDR, and are designed to cover a wide range of ground, such as a parking lot. Places such as a school gymnasium or a concert hall can benefit from this technology as well. The key takeaway here is that a single Advidia Omni series camera can replace multiple conventional cameras.

Additional Benefits

The cost of surveillance cameras can be reduced significantly while simultaneously giving clients full and complete surveillance coverage. For example, two standard fixed dome cameras can sometimes cost close to the same as a single multi-sensor equipped camera. This means that if the area under surveillance requires three or more traditional cameras to get a full picture, a single multi-sensor camera could likely accomplish the same as those three. End users can also expect the cost of installation to decrease. Instead of mounting four separate cameras in four separate locations, increasing camera set-up and installation time, in many cases one camera can be mounted on the corner of a building, or in the middle of a large space.

Final Tips…

There are many benefits to using multi-sensor cameras. They’re cost efficient because one multi-sensor camera can replace multiple single-sensor cameras. Fewer cameras means lower system cost. Multi-sensor megapixel cameras, like Advidia’s A-427-V 8MP Multi-Sensor Camera, also lower total cost of system ownership by reducing the number of network switches, video management system licenses, installation costs, and long-term maintenance. Want to find out if a multi-sensor camera is right for you? Give us a call today!

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