- May 18, 2019
- Reaction score
- United States
I would say "it depends." If you read my post on the one I installed, you saw that it can make a very bright-looking scene with minimal light (including its own light) but it's like a "watercolor" depiction of the scene... my face becomes a smudge with not a lot of fine detail for ID purposes. If you just want to see if someone's moving around, the camera's own light might be a nice boost to your ambient light in an urban environment, and get the job done.Do you think this would a decent substitute for a night light, since the LED brightness is adjustable? How is the dispersion?
But for me, what I really want is to identify car prowlers. I need detail, like ear shape, eye depth, nose shape, jaw shape, logos on hats and bags, that kind of thing. So I had to dial down the settings to a scene that looks pretty dark, actually darker than it does to the naked eye, but I can ID people when it counts. For that purpose, what you need is as much light as you can get, so you can crank the shutter speed up to a fast, blur-free shutter like 1/250th second without getting a ton of visual noise. The camera's on-board light is nowhere close to what you can get from even a modest LED floodlight fixture, let alone some big 100W+ outdoor floods.
Above is a quick demo video starting with my ID-tuned settings:
Shutter speed not allowed to drop below 1/200th second, to prevent blur
Limited noise reduction to prevent losing detail
Reduced Gamma to help control noise, and prevent overexposure
HLC enabled to prevent the nearby shed light from overexposing subjects when it turns on
Camera's onboard lights maxed out
I demonstrated several settings of the camera's onboard light, as well as how it looks with Auto Exposure, and then switched HLC to SSA in the Backlight section. SSA makes the scene look FAR brighter than it does to the human eye, it's an impressive effect. But it will cost me the fine detail I want for identifying prowlers.
Also note the effect of HLC compared to OFF in the backlight section. With the trailer and the shed's eaves in the camera's view, you can see how HLC is effective at counteracting overexposure. In practical terms, that helps pull out facial detail and clothing/gear detail on a subject despite the strong front lighting.