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Seeing Color in Extremely Low Light Levels with STARVIS!

Starvis Compare

Starvis CCTV Security Cameras

I’ve been in this industry for a while now, and there have been a handful of innovations that have really grabbed my attention. STARVIS, certainly is one of them. For quite some time, a major drawback to to having CCTV cameras in a low-lit area like a restaurant or bar, is that since the light levels are below the IR threshold, cameras stay in IR mode (Black and White) all the time. In IR mode (night vision), you sometimes lose detail that may be important later on, especially color. In a situation where we need detailed images from our CCTV Cameras, like what color shirt someone is wearing, having a Security Camera that can see in color in low light can be very beneficial. In addition, there are unforseen times when something may cause the IR to bounce wrong and ruin a picture. I know it sounds far fetched, but we don’t have CCTV systems because we’re complacent.

Like I had mentioned earlier, Starvis is one of the few new things in CCTV (well… relatively new) that has really grabbed my attention. It allows for very low-light footage to be captured in color. The Starvis Back-Illuminated sensor, made by SONY, is incredibly sensitive, and since its introduction, they’ve improved upon the technology. You may very well be asking yourself what practical application would this have for you. Check out this comparison below and pick which image you would rather use as evidence or as a way of determining what color shirt a person was wearing.

Starvis

With Starvis technology, not only are images captured, but the footage would also have extra information for the police to possibly make an arrest. Can’t see the color of a car when your cameras are in IR mode? What about a home intruder? The ability to be able to show the police exactly what they looked like is something that could be incredibly beneficial. Business owner? Maybe a restaurant or bar? Being able to keep all footage in color would help identify troublemakers should they start making a scene, or worse. Detail is better preserved in color. Beyond capturing detailed evidence, viewing your live CCTV images and recorded footage can be much more productive when in color. Imagine trying to explain to an employee in training: “Hey, when you served that woman with the, well I’m not sure what color hair she had but on my footage it looks…grayish?”

So Starvis Low Light CCTV Security Cameras are quickly becoming popular with Bar’s, Restaurants, Poker Rooms, Internet Cafe’s and a multitude of other business’s that operate in low light conditions. One Internet Cafe owner exclaimed “Wow, it’s great to be able to finally see everything in color, all the time! It always bothered me that when we were closed during the day, everything was in color but as soon as we opened, and the lights went down, my cameras were in black and white.”

Starvis

So you’re with me up to this point, right? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself, “Which cameras are offered by Ellipse Security that have Starvis Capabilities?”. I’m glad you asked. Our STOiC Technology Line of Cameras feature many Starvis Models for your needs. Here is a quick list:

The STH-B3271 with not only StarVis, but an incredible 270 feet of IR range

https://ellipsesecurity.com/product/sth-b3271b/

The STH-D5561W Dome

https://ellipsesecurity.com/product/sth-d5561w/

The variable focus STH-D2100W Indoor Dome (2.8-12mm zoom)

https://ellipsesecurity.com/product/sth-d2100w/

The STH-B3181 with an IR range of 180′ and a 2.8-12mm Variable Foucus lens (also available in charcoal color)

https://ellipsesecurity.com/product/sth-b3181w/

And the author’s personal favorite, the STH-B2061W. Quite possibly our most well rounded camera, as well as one of our most popular. SmartIR, Starvis, a compact size, and also has built in audio. This camera could have an article all on its own.

https://ellipsesecurity.com/product/sth-b2061w/

And adding new models every day!

So, now that you’ve seen what Starvis can do for you, and have some ideas as far as practical applications for the home and business, give it a shot for your CCTV camera system. You’ll be able to see the difference for yourself. Still have questions? No problem! Give us a call!

We love talking to people about security cameras, and StarVis!

Toll-Free 877-880-7728

 

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IR (Night Vision) Application Issues and Concerns in CCTV Dome Style Security Cameras

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Dome style Security Cameras are a large segment of the CCTV, Surveillance Camera Market. Due to their flexibility and popularity,Vandal Proof Domes are a commonly used form factor. Although they are popular for good reason, there are also some issues and/or drawbacks that could affect performance, Image Quality and Night Vision Images. We will attempt to address some of the more common ones below.

 

Dome Camera too close to reflecting surface

Mounting an IR dome camera underneath an eave or overhang, without enough vertical clearance between the dome and the eave, may cause the IR LEDs to reflect off of the bottom of the eave and bounce back into the lens, ruining the shot. This same effect can be duplicated in a variety of mounting scenarios. Keep the angle of projection of the IR’s in mind when mounting your security camera. Bounce back from objects too close to the IR is extremely common.

Scratches on Dome Camera Outer Cover May be hard to detect

We performed many test’s with Vandal IR Dome Cameras to see how anything from minor scratches to more significantly visible ones impacted images during day and night. A variety of CCTV dome cameras were tested with light and heavy fingerprints, dust and dirt as well. To the eye, some of these issues were not very noticeable unless carefully inspecting the camera and could easily go overlooked in the field. Even slight smudges, dust, or scratches had significant negative impact on image quality at night with IR on, reducing details and blurring portions of the FOV (Field of View), even if these issues were not present during the day, or visible on the dome camera cover itself. Very little force was required to scratch the polycarbonate dome. Never let the dome cover dangle against the wall during installation. It may sound obvious, but is a problem that we run into too often.

Fingerprints on the inside or outside of Dome Cameras Cover

Again, these may be very difficult to actually detect but will cause significant issues. Fingerprints can get on the inside of the dome camera cover during installation just as easily as the outside. Make sure the inside of the dome cover is clean before re installing. After placement, angle of view and focus is set, a final cleaning should be done before closing the cover.

Placement of Black O-Ring around lens is not correctly seated or off center

When reinstalling the dome camera cover, make sure the O-Ring that surrounds the actual lens is placed so that it keeps any IR from bleeding through. This will cause a glaring effect on the image. The ring should be snug against the dome cover all the way around. This is the inner ring that surrounds the lens.

Dust or Dirt, etc, on Dome Camera Cover

Sounds like we are beating a dead horse but, dirt builds up on the dome cover but is barely visible to the naked eye. This may happen a little bit at a time. The image will still be great in the daytime but as soon as the IR’s kick on you will see a plethora of issues. Be careful cleaning the cover as well. Use a scratch free cloth or you will do more damage than good.

Shooting IR Camera through glass is not optimal

Rather than ‘Not Optimal’ we should probably say ‘Inoperable’. IR LED’s will bounce back when going through glass. IR Cameras that are observing an external (outside) area should be installed outside. Installing the camera indoors and shooting through a window will not work. Alternatively, we have seen people put IR Night Vision Security Cameras into housings with glass covers. Same principle applies. Do not do this.

Use a Scratch Free cloth to clean your CCTV Dome Camera

Cleaning your dome with a rough or dirty rag may do more harm than good. The poly dome cover will scratch easily and should be cleaned gently with the appropriate material. I think we may have already mentioned this but it is worth repeating.

Wrong Camera Selection

In many areas, a problem can be solved by switching to a Bullet style Security Camera. ‘Turret’ Style Dome Cameras are another option. Some areas are not optimal to the profile of a Dome style Security Camera. Check with your Dealer or Distributor for options. IR Dome Security Cameras are extremely popular due to ease of installation and rugged form but may not be the best choice for all CCTV Camera applications.

Whatever your questions or concerns, we are happy to help! Give us a call anytime! Toll Free 877-880-7728

We Love to Talk to People about Security Cameras!