Why the Latest Cameras Need More Powerful Illumination
Over the last few years we’ve seen a steady rise in users demanding more detail from their surveillance images at night. High megapixel and multi-sensor cameras are being used to provide evidential detail, not just an overview of a scene. This represents a big leap forward in image quality for the security industry.
But more pixels require more light. High megapixel and 4k cameras need professional lighting to enable the higher resolutions that they are capable of – especially at night. Without dedicated lighting their performance will degrade back to noisy, lower resolution images. We can see this in the smart phone industry.
The latest generation of smart phones, from the iPhone 7 to the Samsung Galaxy S7, settle on a camera sweet spot of around 12MP. Of particular interest is the Samsung Galaxy S6, which boasted 16MP. But the newer S7 model reduced that to 12MP to promote improved low light performance. So always remember, all things being equal, the higher the resolution the more light is needed.
One of the most powerful features of high MP cameras is their ability to digitally zoom into an image to extract more detail from a scene. But when you zoom, both the high quality pixels and noise in the image is magnified. High MP and 4k+ cameras demand more powerful illumination both to improve their overall performance, and to empower digital zoom at night.
To respond to the needs of high megapixel cameras, modern illuminators will have to guarantee higher levels of light on scene. Raytec measure the light output of all of our LED illuminators to calculate maximum distances based on exact light levels on scene – a standard practice followed by most reputable manufacturers. Every Raytec illuminator adheres to the ‘POWERS standard’ and delivers a minimum lighting power of 0.35μW/m2 (Infra-Red) and 3 lux (White-Light) at its maximum quoted distance; high illumination levels to service high performance cameras.
Illuminating any scene to this level will allow the camera to capture highly detailed images and achieve subject identification by empowering digital zoom.
Explore our full range of high performance illuminators here