What is the best low light camera

What is low light and ultra-low light?

First class picture quality in all possible lighting situations is one of the basic requirements for serious video surveillance. Shooting in the dark is particularly challenging. Because like the human eye, a surveillance camera sees best when it is bright as day. More up-to-date with technology Ultra low light cameras excellent color images are now also possible in extremely low light. The combination of specially matched lenses, sensors and sophisticated post-processing makes the difference.

Low Light and Ultra Low Light

As long as there is video surveillance, manufacturers are concerned with optimizing the image quality bad light tried hard. Where previously only blurry pictures in black and white can be found today Razor-sharp, low-noise and high-resolution color images create. The terms have established themselves as a general term for cameras that can manage even with the last remaining light without auxiliary lighting

  • Low Light (= low light)
  • Ultra Low Light (= extremely low light)

The performance of an ultra low light camera can basically be determined from the information on Minimum lighting read off: The lower the specified lux value, the darker it can be.

Top models like the cameras from the Hikvision Darkfighter series impress with values ​​of up to 0.001 lux for clear color images and even 0.0001 lux in black and white mode. No additional lighting from infrared LEDs is required. A comparison shows how little light 0.001 lux means: A candle generates an illuminance of approx. 1.0 lux at a distance of one meter. That is a thousand times the minimum lighting that a Hikvision Darkfighter needs.

Short exposure times, large apertures

However, the minimum lighting alone does not say anything about the image quality. Depending on the application, it is also important that very short exposure times are maintained for each individual video frame. Because if the exposure time is too long, moving objects and people appear blurred on the videos - an identification would then be impossible. Whether it's monitoring an industrial plant, a parking lot or private property - wherever intruders might be on the move, the camera has to be fast.

For one fluid video stream With at least 25 fps without motion blur, optimal coordination of all components is important. Above all, this includes high-quality lenses that hardly swallow any light and allow very large apertures. The largest aperture is indicated in the data sheets with the letter F for "F-Stop". With a good Darkfighter camera, for example, this value is F = 1.2, but even stronger lenses are available. As with the lux values, the same applies to the aperture: the lower the value, the less light is sufficient. An aperture of 1 allows more light to pass than an aperture of 2.

The larger the aperture, the more light can reach the image sensor. The more light that reaches the sensor, the shorter exposure times are possible and the more sharply moving objects are depicted. Highly sensitive sensors complete the hardware. Integrated amplification of the residual light and noise reduction (AGC, Auto Gain Control) give the images the finishing touch so that they meet the highest demands. All of this is possible with resolutions from 2 MP (full HD).

Intelligent analysis

On the comfort, the one Security Camera during the day, you don't have to do without in dimly lit situations. Based on the excellent image quality, it is one Low light smart camera possible to carry out all intelligent analyzes of the video content, as they are also used during the day. For example, a low light PTZ camera can independently track intruders, identify faces or record license plates. With a connection to the Internet, the network cameras keep their owners up to date and upload high-resolution color images directly to the Internet if necessary. This makes low light cameras the right choice for private individuals, but also for public bodies and companies, when maximum security must be guaranteed around the clock.