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Standard Camera Obstacles

Lighting can make it hard for cameras to capture clear images if the light is cast in the wrong direction. A common issue with surveillance camera situations is reflective surfaces. Wide Dynamic Range Cameras are able to mitigate issue of reflection caused by commonly found objects such as vehicles and bodies of water. Many surveillance cameras can also have issues with windows or glass doors when the camera is installed indoors. Standard cameras have a hard time generating an image during the day. Windows and doors appear as concentrated areas of light to standard cameras. Wide Dynamic Range Cameras will be able to interpret the image properly and eliminate the glare during the daytime.

Another obstacle for regular camera imagining is fluorescent lighting. Indoor lighting can also cause glares that can be difficult to fix for standard cameras. Car headlights can also cause issues for standard cameras as they can create a bright light in image that makes it hard to decipher any other details. WDR cameras will work well with any of these obstacles and will mitigate various lightning issues.

Many common scenarios exist with standard cameras generating wide dynamic range images. Situations with strong background lighting commonly found in office foyers. In these cases, the light source is an obstruction due to large windows or doors. Another scenario is a camera located at the entrance of a garage. In this case, the camera is located in a fairly well-lit area looking into a darker garage. This contrast can cause huge loss of detail and the reduction of detail between lighter and darker areas of the image. Water features found in malls can also cause light reflections that greatly interfere with the generation of clear images.

The Solution

Cameras with Wide Dynamic Range capability are able to handle specific issues that standard cameras have had for ages. WDR cameras can handle scenes with varying and harsh lighting situations. These cameras are able to generate images with incredibly perfect exposure in the darkest and lightest areas of the generated image. For this reason, WDR cameras can generate far more detail than standard cameras in the same circumstances.

Wide Dynamic Range Cameras can also produce more naturally colored images. These images have an accurate balance of color and a reduction on image noise. The reduction in noise also allows the captured image to be smaller in size reducing costs and making WDR cameras more cost effective.

WDR cameras are ideal for use in offices, retail locations and banks because of strong light sources from large glass windows or doors. They are also optimal for utilization in areas for vehicle storage such as airports or city parking garages. WDR cameras are great for ATMs because it is highly importantly for cameras in these locations to have a clear view when any transaction is taking place. WDR cameras placed on highways allow passing car’s

headlights to not interfere with surveillance. Wide Dynamic Range Cameras can also be utilized in various educational institutions to ensure accurate monitoring of people, vehicles and facial recognition. This type of surveillance is integral to the safely of students in institutions such as schools.

WDR cameras not only provide a great solution to everyday issues but also are a cost-effective way to meet demands of all indoor and outdoor applications. It is integral that surveillance cameras generate images with great detail and accuracy. Wide Dynamic Range cameras are a cost-effective option in a wide variety of scenarios.

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Overview of Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)

Wide Dynamic Range technology is utilized in balancing out captured images that have a large range. The luminance of a captured object within an image is dependent on the intensity of illumination reflection from the object. The lux unit is utilized as a unit of measurement for illumination in these cases. There can be major differences in illumination depending on the situation. Dynamic range is also known as the light sensitivity range and is defined by the ratio of luminosity of the brightest color captured to the luminosity of the darkest color captured. A wide dynamic range camera will capture details depending on how wide its range is.

There are at least two stages in the development of a Wide Dynamic Range Image. These two stages are defined as Range Imaging and Tone Mapping. WDR Range Imaging utilizes multiple exposures on one scene and gathers enough data for a single image. Per-Pixel Exposure can also be used to generate the same result by utilizing different sensitivity levels on the sensor. Tone Mapping is utilized to reproduce full range of light images on devices such as LCD monitors. These devices have limited dynamic range that cannot normally reproduce light intensities captured by cameras. Tone mapping allows these devices to retain color, contrast and the dynamic range as a whole. Utilizing both stages of development results in a Wide Dynamic Range Image.

Ultra-Wide Dynamic Range capable camera has a minimum of 120dB rating and is able to capture an extensive amount of detail otherwise not possible with other WDR cameras. This technology allows cameras to capture highly lifelike images efficiently.


Below is an example of effective camera WDR in high contrast lighting at the front door of a retail location.


While Wide Dynamic range is generally a hardware side process HDR or High Dynamic Range (which has become popular in recent years by smart phone camera manufacturers) is a done while rendering the image with software and is intended to retain the key original attributes of the image integrity pre-compression (H.264/H.265).  WDR technology is only one element of having a quality surveillance system design and should be combined with the appropriate lens (focal-length), resolution of the sensor and frames-per-second to deliver overall quality results.  Modern surveillance cameras that combine both hardware/software dynamic range technologies deliver forensic level video surveillance footage even in challenging lighting conditions.

To ensure you have the best surveillance technology for your application make sure to read the specifications of the products being installed in your facility and consult your security system integration technician.

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