Poor night performance - Blue Iris with Dahua IPC-HDW5442TMP-AS

SnarkyBoy

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I upgraded from a trashy ReoLink system to three of the Dahuas listed above - to BlueIris Supported by an Intel i7-3770 with 8TB storage. IP power supplied by GV POE-SW-802E injector/switch. I am very Impressed with the capabilities and features of the BlueIris
package... well done. Camera night performance is the issue here. All cameras are 4MP and 3.6mm fixed lens. Two of the thre are ePOE, which apparantly means they consume less power.

The Cameras are touted as "StarLight", but I have poor night performance, even with the IR illuminators on full tilt. I have logged in to cameras to change IP address and password protect the cameras, and attempt to optimize night view by adjusting the settings,.
Day performance is fine, full color, crisp detail. But at night, full darkness, moving humans and animals viewed are blurry and smeared, unless standing still. Effect is like some ghost walking across screen. I know IR illuminators are on, because I can see a dull red glow
on camera face, and internal setting is at IR = 100%. Viewing distance is only 30-40 feet, and the fixed scenery is brightly illuminated. Unclear why the camera appears to shutter down to 1/3 second with IR illumination.

I hate to say it, but the ReoLink actually gave better night performance. I am loathe to install supplemental IR illumination. - Any ideas what is going on here?

Thanks in advance for any feedback that helps.
 

wittaj

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Starlight is simply a marketing term...meaningless...

With that said the 5442 series cameras are great cameras on the proper MP/sensor ratio.

Well you gotta get off of auto/default settings for one. Default settings on every camera will slow the shutter down to give a bright image, but then motion is crap. Reolinks are king of that approach...

And 30-40 feet for a 3.6mm fixed lens at night is pushing it. The Reolinks may have "Appeared" better for static images and can see out further, but what was motion like? Sounds like you might be expecting too much out of the cameras.

it comes down to configuring your camera and dialing it in to your field of view and using a test subject to walk around while you are adjusting.

Please post some sample images and video, along with your current settings so we know the baseline you are starting with.

Auto/default settings are usually going to be problematic. Auto shutter at night was probably a motion blur ghost and didn't look like a human.

And some field of views will be problematic as well. YMMV.

In my opinion, shutter and gain are the two most important and then base the others off of it. Shutter is more important than FPS. It is the shutter speed that prevents motion blur, not FPS. 15 FPS is more than enough for surveillance cameras as we are not producing Hollywood movies.

Many people do not realize there is manual shutter that lets you adjust shutter and gain and a shutter priority that only lets you adjust shutter speed but not gain. The higher the gain, the bigger the noise and see-through ghosting start to appear because the noise is amplified. Most people select shutter priority and run a faster shutter than they should because it is likely being done at 100 gain, so it is actually defeating their purpose of a faster shutter.

Go into shutter settings and change to manual shutter and start with custom shutter as ms and change to 0-8.3ms and gain 0-50 (night) and 0-30 (day)for starters. Auto could have a shutter speed of 100ms or more with a gain at 100 and shutter priority could result in gain up at 100 which will contribute to significant ghosting and that blinding white you will get from the infrared.

Now what you will notice immediately at night is that your image gets A LOT darker. That faster the shutter, the more light that is needed. But it is a balance. The nice bright night image results in Casper during motion LOL. What do we want, a nice static image or a clean image when there is motion introduced to the scene?

So if it is too dark, then start adding ms to the time. Go to 10ms, 12ms, etc. until you find what you feel is acceptable as an image. Then have someone walk around and see if you can get a clean shot. Try not to go above 16.67ms (but certainly not above 30ms) as that tends to be the point where blur starts to occur. Conversely, if it is still bright, then drop down in time to get a faster shutter.

You can also adjust brightness and contrast to improve the image.

You can also add some gain to brighten the image - but the higher the gain, the more ghosting you get. Some cameras can go to 70 or so before it is an issue and some can't go over 50.

But adjusting those two settings will have the biggest impact. The next one is noise reduction. Want to keep that as low as possible. Depending on the amount of light you have, you might be able to get down to 40 or so at night (again camera dependent) and 20-30 during the day, but take it as low as you can before it gets too noisy. Again this one is a balance as well. Too smooth and no noise can result in soft images and contribute to blur.

Do not use backlight features until you have exhausted every other parameter setting. And if you do have to use backlight, take it down as low as possible.
 
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I have the luxury of using 5442's with a somewhat lighted outdoor property. My goal was to stay in color at night, so I had a company come out a replace the Sodium Phosporus lights with with Dark sky complaint LED's out the rear parking lot. Now I can stay in color at night with the camera's.
any chance you can run any kind of porch light or garage light? a 9 watt 4k LED bulb would do wonders. Cam #5 and #14 are 5442's ( 2.8 and 6MM) . #17 lower right is a IPC-T2231T-ZS varifocal. also doing a good job out back. The #3 cam is a IPC-T2431T-AS 3.6mm, it has less night vision ability in color mode, but ok for now. That sidewalk on #3 is illuminated by two 9watt 5000k Led lamps either side of the door.


index.jpg
 
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Holbs

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I upgraded from a trashy ReoLink system to three of the Dahuas listed above - to BlueIris Supported by an Intel i7-3770 with 8TB storage. IP power supplied by GV POE-SW-802E injector/switch. I am very Impressed with the capabilities and features of the BlueIris
package... well done. Camera night performance is the issue here. All cameras are 4MP and 3.6mm fixed lens. Two of the thre are ePOE, which apparantly means they consume less power.

The Cameras are touted as "StarLight", but I have poor night performance, even with the IR illuminators on full tilt. I have logged in to cameras to change IP address and password protect the cameras, and attempt to optimize night view by adjusting the settings,.
Day performance is fine, full color, crisp detail. But at night, full darkness, moving humans and animals viewed are blurry and smeared, unless standing still. Effect is like some ghost walking across screen. I know IR illuminators are on, because I can see a dull red glow
on camera face, and internal setting is at IR = 100%. Viewing distance is only 30-40 feet, and the fixed scenery is brightly illuminated. Unclear why the camera appears to shutter down to 1/3 second with IR illumination.

I hate to say it, but the ReoLink actually gave better night performance. I am loathe to install supplemental IR illumination. - Any ideas what is going on here?

Thanks in advance for any feedback that helps.
post a picture of your camera image at night
 

TVille

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@wittaj s advice is dead on. His advice for night vision has helped me a LOT. Try his recommendations and see how it does. Adjusting these things takes trial and error, and what works for one person will not work for the next, every situation seems different.
 

MikeLud1

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I upgraded from a trashy ReoLink system to three of the Dahuas listed above - to BlueIris Supported by an Intel i7-3770 with 8TB storage. IP power supplied by GV POE-SW-802E injector/switch. I am very Impressed with the capabilities and features of the BlueIris
package... well done. Camera night performance is the issue here. All cameras are 4MP and 3.6mm fixed lens. Two of the thre are ePOE, which apparantly means they consume less power.

The Cameras are touted as "StarLight", but I have poor night performance, even with the IR illuminators on full tilt. I have logged in to cameras to change IP address and password protect the cameras, and attempt to optimize night view by adjusting the settings,.
Day performance is fine, full color, crisp detail. But at night, full darkness, moving humans and animals viewed are blurry and smeared, unless standing still. Effect is like some ghost walking across screen. I know IR illuminators are on, because I can see a dull red glow
on camera face, and internal setting is at IR = 100%. Viewing distance is only 30-40 feet, and the fixed scenery is brightly illuminated. Unclear why the camera appears to shutter down to 1/3 second with IR illumination.

I hate to say it, but the ReoLink actually gave better night performance. I am loathe to install supplemental IR illumination. - Any ideas what is going on here?

Thanks in advance for any feedback that helps.
You can try the setting in the below link
Test video from my IPC-T5442T-ZE ...
 

mat200

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..

I hate to say it, but the ReoLink actually gave better night performance. I am loathe to install supplemental IR illumination. - Any ideas what is going on here?

Thanks in advance for any feedback that helps.
Hi @SnarkyBoy

Definitely post images and settings.

I have very serious doubts that even in default modes the Reolink would give better low light performance with moving objects.
 

IAmATeaf

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You do really need to configure the settings for your view and environment. I used @wittaj suggested settings as a base to start off with and then adjusted until I was happy with the recorded motion.

Be warned, this for me was not a set it once process, in fact it took me quite a few weeks of adjusting then watching the recorded motion events over the next days then adjusting again. You also need to do the playing around during the night to get accurate results.

Here are some night time stills from my 5442-ze and 5442-ase 3.6mm

IMG_8741.jpg
IMG_8740.jpg
 

wittaj

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You do really need to configure the settings for your view and environment. I used @wittaj suggested settings as a base to start off with and then adjusted until I was happy with the recorded motion.

Be warned, this for me was not a set it once process, in fact it took me quite a few weeks of adjusting then watching the recorded motion events over the next days then adjusting again. You also need to do the playing around during the night to get accurate results.
+1 THIS!!!!!!

Most of us are always tinkering with the cams to get the most out of them. We watch video from something at 2am that is different lighting that 10pm, so we make tiny adjustments.

We learn something here that someone did and we go in and make adjustments - sometimes it improves the image, sometimes it makes it worse, but we are always tinkering trying to get the best image possible for our field of view.
 

SnarkyBoy

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Kudos to wittaj for very detailed advice.

I found settings in the camera that I did not know existed, and gained insigt into others. I improved the night picture quality measurably, statrting with the manual shutter at 8.33 msec, and turned off backlight control entirely,
but still had blur. Finally, I turned off 3D NR completely, and had a blur free image, but very noisy with what would bave been considered static in the days of OTA broadcast of television. Then I noticed that 3D NR had been
set at maximum (100). I re-enabled, and set to 40. This eliminated bluring with a test subject walking at a casual pace. Setting all picture quality to 50 except contrast of 60 has put a final touch on the image.

Tests were done on a clear moonlight night, about 80% of full. It will be interesting to see how these work out on a completely dark night.

Thanks again for the quick and quite useful advice. :)

Snarky
 

Mike A.

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You can try turning sharpness down a little too (kind of the opposite from a static photograph where you might tweak it up a dash) . Sometimes that helps a little.

Maybe try adjusting Gamma some. Depends on the image/environment.
 

SnarkyBoy

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Adding a footnote - witttaj is correct about the benefits of low level light.

My front porch camera is the same model, used for monitoring visotor and package delivery from above and left. I found the camera stays in full color day mode with a 60W equivalant reflector down lamp illuminating
the porch. The remaining issue I have with front camera is that WDR on these cameras is not as broad as I hoped for. Any headlight or tail light on a passing vehicle will almost completely obscure the make/model of the
vehicle. But that is a seperate issue for another thread. ;) I am encouraged by the progress with the back yard monitor thus far.

- Snarky
 

wittaj

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Implement the same tips on the front porch camera and you will knock out the headlight/taillight of a passing vehicle. And if you find you still need backlight, then try HLC instead of WDR.
 

looney2ns

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Adding a footnote - witttaj is correct about the benefits of low level light.

My front porch camera is the same model, used for monitoring visotor and package delivery from above and left. I found the camera stays in full color day mode with a 60W equivalant reflector down lamp illuminating
the porch. The remaining issue I have with front camera is that WDR on these cameras is not as broad as I hoped for. Any headlight or tail light on a passing vehicle will almost completely obscure the make/model of the
vehicle. But that is a seperate issue for another thread. ;) I am encouraged by the progress with the back yard monitor thus far.

- Snarky
Wdr should not be used at night.
 

user8963

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manual shutter at 8.33 msec, a
only manual shutter ? You need to adjust gain otherwise your camera will use 100 gain which ends in blurr...

if you are using wdr at night you can also let the camera in auto mode. i think auto mode will give you a better image. wdr at night will give you shitty image in most cases.
 
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