Retaining forensic detail in challenging light conditions

Petra Bennermark

Light is all-important when it comes to the effectiveness of video surveillance. Being able to see the full detail of a scene whatever the lighting conditions is essential. But this can be challenging in those environments which feature both very bright and very dark areas, such as entrance doors with bright sunshine outside and dim lights inside.

The merits of Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) capabilities in security cameras have long been recognised when trying to view a scene with complex light conditions without compromising the forensic value associated with some video footage.

However, high resolution cameras, with their detailed images, have so far been unable to benefit from WDR technology. This is because high resolution surveillance cameras struggle in scenes with a significant amount of movement. Unfortunately, this means that WDR hasn’t been used in all situations where it would have a positive impact.

In announcing Forensic WDR – the latest version of its existing WDR technology – Axis has solved this issue, bringing the benefits of WDR to both high resolution and environments with high degrees of movement by focusing on the forensic value of images at the expense of visible noise and artefacts.

Increasing surveillance effectiveness

One way to measure a camera’s ability is on its dB (decibel) value. However, this may compromise other aspects of forensic detail, as other values, especially the image quality, play an important role in producing better quality images for video surveillance.

Applying Forensic WDR technology to 4K cameras has the potential to greatly improve the effectiveness of the footage captured. With high resolution images that are not diminished by sub-optimal lighting or busy scenes, operators are able to focus in on the necessary details. For example, potential criminals’ faces, licence plates or crucial details that could lead to a conviction are clear enough to be used to aid a criminal prosecution.

As the uses for video surveillance continue to increase and the presence of equipment becomes a more regular aspect of modern business and everyday life, investing in a solution that is optimized for multiple different scenarios and environments is vital to get longevity without compromising on quality. You can find out more about the Forensic WDR technology here.