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Best image settings for 8MP camera

kmb786

Member
Messages
43
Points
8
Hi

I have a 8MP bullet camera installed - model DS-2CD2685G0-IZS

I have it configured so that the footage is in colour at night with the following image settings which you can see in the attached screenshots.

As it’s a 8MP camera, I’m not sure if I’m getting the best picture quality day or night so can someone please confirm if the settings in the screenshots are ok.

I have also attached screenshot of day and night picture.

Thank you
 

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JB1970

Active Member
Messages
454
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43
The main issue is that if/when you have an incident the footage is unlikely to provide a decent still image without motion blur. This is because you have the shutter speed set at 1/25sec and that's not fast enough to freeze motion of anyone at walking pace. Try it for yourself - walk through the camera image tonight and then playback the footage tomorrow and pause the image. To prevent motion blur you have to speed up the minimum shutter speed. However raising it to 1/50sec will halve the amount of light reaching the sensor making the image darker, changing it to 1/100sec will halve the light again and so on.

Also I'd lower the WDR setting unless you need it that high as this can also cause issues with moving objects.
 

kmb786

Member
Messages
43
Points
8
The main issue is that if/when you have an incident the footage is unlikely to provide a decent still image without motion blur. This is because you have the shutter speed set at 1/25sec and that's not fast enough to freeze motion of anyone at walking pace. Try it for yourself - walk through the camera image tonight and then playback the footage tomorrow and pause the image. To prevent motion blur you have to speed up the minimum shutter speed. However raising it to 1/50sec will halve the amount of light reaching the sensor making the image darker, changing it to 1/100sec will halve the light again and so on.

Also I'd lower the WDR setting unless you need it that high as this can also cause issues with moving objects.
Hi

Thanks for the advice.

Previously I have tried to increase the shutter speed and like you say it changes the image darker and I’m not sure about what actually the WDR setting does and should I turn it off or not as if I turn it off then my night footage is in black and white.

If I leave WDR on then what setting should I have it set to as it’s on default 50 I think.
Thanks
 

Dan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
1,418
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83
Hi @kmb786

There really isn't a set of perfect settings which you can set the cameras to and get the best results because the same settings on 2 cameras in 2 completely different locations will give different results. it really is just a trial and error thing to see what combination works best for your scene.

WDR stands for Wide Dynamic Range and it works by combining multiple exposures, both underexposed and overexposed, to achieve an equally exposed image where you can make out detail in both the dark and light areas of the scene. With Hikvision the slider represents the balance of the exposure, so 0 will lean towards underexposed which is good for very bright scenes and 100 will lean towards overexposed for darker scenes. Most of the time being around the middle will deliver the best results.

In your case, if you are using 1/50 and image is darker then maybe pushing the WDR above 50 slightly will counteract some of that darkness. Also in regards to the WDR stopping the camera switching to IR/B&W, it may be worth walking through the scene at night with both WDR ON/colour image and WDR OFF/B&W image because sometimes the B&W image can deliver sharper clearer images than the colour image with the image enhancements enabled. (the image enhancements can increase pixelation/digital noise which can distort small details like faces)
 

kmb786

Member
Messages
43
Points
8
Hi @kmb786

There really isn't a set of perfect settings which you can set the cameras to and get the best results because the same settings on 2 cameras in 2 completely different locations will give different results. it really is just a trial and error thing to see what combination works best for your scene.

WDR stands for Wide Dynamic Range and it works by combining multiple exposures, both underexposed and overexposed, to achieve an equally exposed image where you can make out detail in both the dark and light areas of the scene. With Hikvision the slider represents the balance of the exposure, so 0 will lean towards underexposed which is good for very bright scenes and 100 will lean towards overexposed for darker scenes. Most of the time being around the middle will deliver the best results.

In your case, if you are using 1/50 and image is darker then maybe pushing the WDR above 50 slightly will counteract some of that darkness. Also in regards to the WDR stopping the camera switching to IR/B&W, it may be worth walking through the scene at night with both WDR ON/colour image and WDR OFF/B&W image because sometimes the B&W image can deliver sharper clearer images than the colour image with the image enhancements enabled. (the image enhancements can increase pixelation/digital noise which can distort small details like faces)
Hi Dan,

Thank you for your recommendations. I've been trying out the various settings for the last few hours but cant seem to get the right settig to work as like you said, the playback image of the object is pixelated. I've tried setting the exposure to 1/50 and 1/100 and turning off/on WDR but still the image is not that clear.

I'm going to see what the playback of recordings is like during the daytime and if thats ok then it's probably the night footage thats the issue.

I've also installed a 4MP ColorVu Turret today and have the same issue during the night footage playback so its definately to do with getting the right settings.

Any further advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks
 

JB1970

Active Member
Messages
454
Points
43
I don’t want to put a dampener on your expectations but I don’t think you’ll get that camera to produce the image you want on a night - certainly not in colour. The camera has infra red for a reason - to produce enough supplemental light to enable a correctly exposed image. Altering the settings to keep it in colour when there’s insufficient light will only make the image worse:
- Too slow a shutter speed will cause motion blur.
- Increasing the WDR can give a washed out image and produce ghosting/trailing images.
- The camera will have more visible noise in the image. By default the AGC or gain is set to 100 to enable an image in low light. That signal amplification is also amplifying the visible noise which will mask detail.
- Then there’s the DNR to contend with. The dynamic noise reduction will help “clean up” the noise in the image. It does that in two ways (that can be tweaked in expert mode). Time DNR - the processor compares the pixel to the prior one, and Space DNR - the processor compares the pixels to adjacent ones. It does this in an attempt to filter out the noise but in doing so can mask detail in the image.

You can certainly adjust the settings a little to improve the image but altering a setting to improve one aspect of the image can (and often will) negatively impact another.

To give yourself the best chance, my advice would be two cameras rather than one. By splitting that scene in two, and using a vari focal camera with a narrower viewing angle to bring the subject/target closer you’ll stand a chance of getting something more acceptable. Also either use the IR or use ColorVu to enable the correct shutter speed to be used.
 

kmb786

Member
Messages
43
Points
8
I don’t want to put a dampener on your expectations but I don’t think you’ll get that camera to produce the image you want on a night - certainly not in colour. The camera has infra red for a reason - to produce enough supplemental light to enable a correctly exposed image. Altering the settings to keep it in colour when there’s insufficient light will only make the image worse:
- Too slow a shutter speed will cause motion blur.
- Increasing the WDR can give a washed out image and produce ghosting/trailing images.
- The camera will have more visible noise in the image. By default the AGC or gain is set to 100 to enable an image in low light. That signal amplification is also amplifying the visible noise which will mask detail.
- Then there’s the DNR to contend with. The dynamic noise reduction will help “clean up” the noise in the image. It does that in two ways (that can be tweaked in expert mode). Time DNR - the processor compares the pixel to the prior one, and Space DNR - the processor compares the pixels to adjacent ones. It does this in an attempt to filter out the noise but in doing so can mask detail in the image.

You can certainly adjust the settings a little to improve the image but altering a setting to improve one aspect of the image can (and often will) negatively impact another.

To give yourself the best chance, my advice would be two cameras rather than one. By splitting that scene in two, and using a vari focal camera with a narrower viewing angle to bring the subject/target closer you’ll stand a chance of getting something more acceptable. Also either use the IR or use ColorVu to enable the correct shutter speed to be used.
Hi

thanks for your advice aswell. I’ve been looking at an old thread with recommended tweaks and it has put the picture in black and white mode so will see how it goes overnight and see what the daytime image is like. Basically the changes were

shutter speed set to 1/100
Contrast - 35
WDR - level set to 15
Smoothing level set to 1

Ive done this on both my cameras - the 8MP bullet and the 4MP ColorVu Turret I installed today to cover a different angle of my drive/property - maybe it’s just the quality I get during the night. The live footage is fine, it’s just when you playback the image of a persons face is bit blurry.

Also wanted to ask that if I set the frame rate to max and video quality to highest would that make a difference as currently frame rate is set to 25 and video set to medium.

Thank you.
 

JB1970

Active Member
Messages
454
Points
43
shutter speed set to 1/100
Contrast - 35
WDR - level set to 15
Smoothing level set to 1
Those settings are similar to what I would start with. The 1/100s shutter speed will help reduce motion blur. If you play with the contrast setting while the image is in monochrome, you'll see that lowering it will help to lighten areas in shadow much like WDR does. Only use the WDR at all if you need it - if you add it when it's not needed it'll negatively impact the overall image. Where the effect of the WDR may be visible is between the hedge and car - it will lighten that area evening out the exposure. The smoothing setting will push up the bit rate of the camera so it may be best not to push it all the way to 1.

The live footage is fine, it’s just when you playback the image of a persons face is bit blurry.
That's not to be unexpected. A persons face in the view that you've shown may not be resolved by a sufficient number of pixels for the detail that you want especially on night when the camera has insufficient light. Don't use the digital zoom to assess the image quality. If the face isn't large enough in the image then digitally zooming the image beyond it's native resolution will make it look worse. If a face is too small in the image when the image is viewed at it's native size, then that's not a failing of the camera, you've simply selected the wrong lens or in the case of your variable focal model set it too wide.

Also wanted to ask that if I set the frame rate to max and video quality to highest would that make a difference as currently frame rate is set to 25 and video set to medium.
Maximum frame rate and 25fps are the same. The higher the frame rate you use, the higher the bit rate that's required. The lower the compression level (higher quality) you use, the higher the bit rate that's required. Use a lower frame rate if that's all you need with a higher quality (lower compression level) and higher bit rate. There's no perfect frame rate. How many still images do you need in one second in order to capture what you need. If a target was moving across the field of view, perhaps a high rate might be necessary but if the target is moving toward the camera (as in your example by the looks of it) not so necessary.

A question that's often seen on here "Whats the best camera - I need to be able to identify faces and read number plates on a night". It's unrealistic unless you have very deep pockets!

Looking at the spec - the 2685G0 dark fighter you've used has a minimum illumination of 0.011 which isn't the best. The newer G2 models work down to 0.003. While I'd be careful reading too much into the manufacturer's spec, they may be some use when comparing models.
 
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kmb786

Member
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Those settings are similar to what I would start with. The 1/100s shutter speed will help reduce motion blur. If you play with the contrast setting while the image is in monochrome, you'll see that lowering it will help to lighten areas in shadow much like WDR does. Only use the WDR at all if you need it - if you add it when it's not needed it'll negatively impact the overall image. Where the effect of the WDR may be visible is between the hedge and car - it will lighten that area evening out the exposure. The smoothing setting will push up the bit rate of the camera so it may be best not to push it all the way to 1.


That's not to be unexpected. A persons face in the view that you've shown may not be resolved by a sufficient number of pixels for the detail that you want especially on night when the camera has insufficient light. Don't use the digital zoom to assess the image quality. If the face isn't large enough in the image then digitally zooming the image beyond it's native resolution will make it look worse. If a face is too small in the image when the image is viewed at it's native size, then that's not a failing of the camera, you've simply selected the wrong lens or in the case of your variable focal model set it too wide.


Maximum frame rate and 25fps are the same. The higher the frame rate you use, the higher the bit rate that's required. The lower the compression level (higher quality) you use, the higher the bit rate that's required. Use a lower frame rate if that's all you need with a higher quality (lower compression level) and higher bit rate. There's no perfect frame rate. How many still images do you need in one second in order to capture what you need. If a target was moving across the field of view, perhaps a high rate might be necessary but if the target is moving toward the camera (as in your example by the looks of it) not so necessary.

A question that's often seen on here "Whats the best camera - I need to be able to identify faces and read number plates on a night". It's unrealistic unless you have very deep pockets!

Looking at the spec - the 2685G0 dark fighter you've used has a minimum illumination of 0.011 which isn't the best. The newer G2 models work down to 0.003. While I'd be careful reading too much into the manufacturer's spec, they may be some use when comparing models.
Many thanks for this info.

I will give the contrast settings another tweak when it’s dark but may have to wait as we’ve had heavy snow so the footage will probably be in colour tonight on the bullet camera with all the white covering of snow etc.

I did just check the daytime playback just now and the image quality is much better so it’s just the settings that I need to get to the best as possible.

thanks
 

kmb786

Member
Messages
43
Points
8
Currently my bitrate settings are as follow for main stream/sub-stream

8MP bulltet = 5120 kbps/2048 kbps
4MP ColorVu = 6144 kbps/2048 kbps

Are the above OK or should I increase them?

Also, Smoothing level set to 1 - What should I realistically set this to?

Thanks
 

fullboogie

Active Member
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463
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There's a chart floating around on here about what type of main stream bit rate you should need based on camera specs. I found it to be very good. Keep in mind that "maximum bitrate" does nothing directly to the camera's settings. It only sets a ceiling - a limit - on the bitrate.
 

kmb786

Member
Messages
43
Points
8
There's a chart floating around on here about what type of main stream bit rate you should need based on camera specs. I found it to be very good. Keep in mind that "maximum bitrate" does nothing directly to the camera's settings. It only sets a ceiling - a limit - on the bitrate.
Thanks - I’ve just googled and found it so will have a look. I’ve attached it
 

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