Axis Lightfinder technology

A day and night camera is designed to be used in outdoor installations or in indoor environments with poor lighting. A day and night, color network camera delivers color images during the day. As light diminishes, the camera can automatically switch to night mode to make use of near infrared (IR) light to deliver black and white images. Maintaining image sharpness and low noise, particularly in varying outdoor lighting conditions, has proved challenging. Axis Communications’ research and development have led to the introduction of the new and revolutionary Lightfinder technology. The Lightfinder technology is the result of a meticulous choice of the right sensor and the right lens, together with the elaboration of the image data coming from the combination of sensor and lens. The fusion of these factors – sensor, lens, in-house chip development and knowledge in image processing – provides network cameras incorporating this technology with outstanding performance.

The Lightfinder technology incorporates a CMOS sensor with exceptional light sensitivity. However, the Lightfinder technology is much more than just the sensor. As per Axis’ proven image processing, already used in all its network video products, the elaborate software sets the degree of filtering and sharpening to give the best image quality possible. The outstanding performance in low light is the result of wellfounded decisions regarding the sensor and lens combined with carefully tuned image processing. Compared to any analog camera, the Lightfinder technology will give a better resolution and more lifelike colors, especially in low-light conditions. The noise reduction of the Lightfinder technology is vastly improved compared to any analog camera on the market, which in combination with the light sensitivity of the sensor gives a superior image quality. Also, since cameras incorporating the Lightfinder technology are digital, it opens a broad range of possibilities, such as the usage of a progressive scan sensor, video intelligence analysis and video surveillance systems. The advantages of the Lightfinder technology are high light sensitivity, excellent image quality with low noise but a wealth of details, and better color reproduction in low light. Cameras with the Lightfinder technology also have all the advantages of other network cameras, such as progressive scan, and can easily be integrated with the industry’s largest base of application software through Axis’ Application Development Partner Program.

Network cameras incorporating the Lightfinder technology are the perfect solution for indoor and outdoor surveillance in low-light conditions, especially where users require color information in the video to enhance recognition and identification of objects. In contrast to conventional day and night cameras that switch to black and white in darkness, cameras incorporating the Lightfinder technology can maintain colors even in very dark conditions. There are many situations where surveillance video with color is an important factor for successful identification, and this capability greatly enhances the user’s possibility to effectively identify people, vehicles and incidents. These cameras will be especially beneficial in demanding video surveillance applications and they can be used in a variety of low-light applications, such as parking lots, city surveillance, schools and campuses, and construction sites. The Lightfinder technology can be used for outdoor perimeters such as power plants, water treatment plants and prisons, as well as railway surveillance. In extremely low light conditions, such as constructions sites, that might only be lit by a single light at night, they can be supplemented with IR illuminators, but the high light sensitivity of the Lightfinder technology makes IR illumination unnecessary in many cases.

A comparison between three different surveillance cameras, an AXIS 221, an AXIS Q1602/-E built on the Lightfinder technology and a competitor quality low-light analog camera, took place during night time, and in different scenarios. The comparison shows that the network camera incorporating the Lightfinder technology gives a better image quality with less noise at full frame rate, and that in some light conditions the analog camera does not deliver images with colors.

Development will continue to move towards network cameras with the same high degree of light sensitivity that the Lightfinder technology has, but with even better resolution. Improved light sensitivity and less image noise will be key features in any new imaging technology in the future. Since Axis always uses the latest sensor technology and continually develops smarter software, Axis will continue to lead the fast product development on the low-light application market.

Learn more about Axis Lightfinder here

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