Saturday, April 4, 2020

ColorVu supplemental light off/on axis tests

As I mentioned in my review HikVision ColorVu cameras the supplemental light is really too bright to use in most cases but it is also lights up pretty much 180 by 180 degrees, which is also an issue if anything is close, so enabling it on a sky cam might be helpful to other near by cams.

Off axis test. 

It is raining with heavy clouds taking the moon out of the picture. The supplemental light settings at times (bottom time stamp) are:

  • 8:47 change from 10 to 50
  • 8:48 change from 50 to 100
  • 8:49 change from 100 to 10


The ColurVu is mounted on the edge of the roof above the bird feeder.
The trees seen to light up on the edge of the view are about 50 feet from the cam on the left to about 33 feet center. The rain helps show some of the limitations of illumination from a camera instead of off axis. Camera is 2.8mm OEM of the Hikvision DS-2CD2347G1-LU I bought off Amazon. (video)

The Amcrest is mounted on the barn 43 feet from the ColorVu. Camera is a IP4M-1026 pushed to the max 1/3 second exposure and max gain. (video)

Dahua mounted about 4 feet behind the ColorVu on the soffit.  Camera is a IPC-HDW4631C-A also pushed to the max 1/3 second exposure and max gain. (video)

No light test.

Cameras are all in the same places as off axis test but ColorVu is angled down to roughly match the view form the Dahua. Also since there is more light I also tested motion with my black dog and me moving about. Moon would have been down to about last quarter but as the lack of any shadows shows it was pretty much obscured by clouds.

The test starts with the back door light on and a ladder in view of the Dahaua cam. The following happens at these times (the lower timestamp):


  • at 8:43 the back door light is turned off and after a few seconds the ColorVu light comes on auto. Note black dog near far corner of house and the kind of purple tint the IR floods give the ColorVu video before the supplemental light kicks in.
  • at 8:44 I turn the ColorVu light off. A few seconds after that I come out to get the ladder with a hat light on so I can see what I'm doing. Note the blur and low frame rate.
  • at 8:46 I go back inside then come back out to walk carefully past with the hat light off
  • at 8:47 I come back, ( I forgot my keys) with the hat light on cause it really is too dark to be walking safely with it off, then go off to feed.
  • at 8:48 my white dog appears at the far corner of the house and wanders about for around 5 minutes. 
  • at 8:53 I come back from feeding, turn my hat light off and wander carefully into the yard a bit to test for motion blur. Note I have to turn my hat light back on to see where I'm stepping part of the time.
  • at 8:55 go back in triggering the back door light to come on.
  • at 8:56 I come back out to do another motion test with the back door light on. Then plug a hole something dug next to the bird feeder.
  • at 8:57 I go back in. Not the cats lurking on the walk way.


ColorVu video
Amcrest video
Dahua video

On axis test

Cameras are all in the same places as off axis test but ColorVu is angled down to roughly match the view form the Dahua. ColorVu camera has the supplemental light set to a fixed value of 10. For this view 10 seemed to be the max I could run the supplemental light at without causing glare that would diminish the view of the stars and distance trees.

22:21 to 22:25 White dogs starts by the back door and then wanders the yard.

ColorVu video
Amcrest video
Dahua video





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