Uniview Starlight Camera Showdown!

Background

As the world moves towards increased video surveillance, we are seeing constant innovation from the CCTV manufacturers. One of the latest and most exciting trends has been the improved low-light or ‘starlight’ sensors. Because the majority of crimes occur at night, it is important to improve the cameras’ image quality in dark conditions.

Two major manufacturers: Hikvision and Uniview, have released their low-light camera series. Hikvision released their darkfighter cameras in 2015, and published a white paper on the topic as well. Uniview also released their starlight cameras in 2015, and recently released their second generation starlight called ‘Super Starlight’. We decided to do a comparison of Uniview’s first and second generation starlight cameras, to see what the differences were.

Test Equipment

We also manually disabled the IR, as we are only interested in seeing how the cameras perform without the IR enabled. WDR was also enabled for each camera. We set the cameras up against the window angled towards the parking lot and left them on overnight.

Testing Equipment Setup – The cameras were left on overnight to see how they would perform

Starlight camera testing setup
From left to right:
IPC2222ER5-DUPF40, IPC2325EBR5-DUPZ28, IPC2124SR3-DPF36

Image Comparisons

First, let’s take a look at the image from the non-starlight camera. All images were captured from the playback at 11:18 PM EST from outside our office. There was a streetlight illuminating the parking lot, which should hopefully offer adequate lighting for our cameras.

First Image – IPC2124SR3-DPF36 (Non-Starlight) with IR OFF

Non-Starlight – IPC2124SR3-DPF36

As we can see, the image is very noisy. Normally the IR would have turned on by this point, but we have it manually disabled. This is the control image, as the camera does not have a starlight sensor. Let’s move onto the next image.

Second Image – IPC2325EBR5-DUPZ28 (Starlight) with IR OFF

Starlight – IPC2124SR3-DPF36

The starlight camera is showing a positive result! We can see a lot more detail in the background, and the noise is cleaned up along the road. Certainly the upgraded sensor is doing some work, now let’s take a look at the Super Starlight camera.

Third Image – IPC2222ER5-DUPF40 (Super Starlight) with IR OFF

Super Starlight – IPC2222ER5-DUPF40

Wow, the difference is night and day! All the details in the scene are revealed and the light post looks like a miniature sun. The grass, the pavement, the clouds in the background; everything is revealed as though the image was taken during the day. A very impressive result for the Uniview Super Starlight camera.

Conclusion

If you are looking for the one of the best low-light cameras, you are in the right place. Uniview’s latest Super Starlight cameras are something to get excited about, and feature outstanding performance. Uniview currently offers two cameras with the Super Starlight sensor: IPC2222ER5-DUPF40 (4.0mm and 6.0mm lens available) and IPC3232ER3-DUVZ. (2.7mm – 13.5mm motorized lens) As Uniview continues to expand their camera lineup, expect to see this upgraded sensor in more of their products.

To conclude, I am very excited to see the future products from Uniview. If they can keep innovating as they have in the past few years, they will surely be the #1 camera choice for any installation project. If you would like to purchase these products, please visit our online store at www.gsglobalsecurity.com.