Seeing colour in the dark

SMART Surveillance 2023 Surveillance

Hikvision has enhanced its ColorVu high quality full-colour technology, with Super Confocal and Smart Hybrid Light technologies. These enhanced ColorVu offerings provide even sharper imaging, made possible with precise focusing in ultra-low light and flexible hybrid lighting modes to fit the scenario.

“By upgrading ColorVu technology, we aim to elevate our customers’ night vision experience in any setting with always-sharply-focused imaging and versatile lighting options,” says Rubio Hong, the Product Director at Hikvision, “We are very proud of our ultra-low-light technology, which eliminates the headache of darkness and unclear footage.”

Improved low-light imaging performance

Hikvision’s ColorVu technology provides full-colour footage 24 hours a day, so users see the same sharply rendered images at night as they would see in broad daylight. Now boosted by Super Confocal Technology, ColorVu’s performance in low lighting gets even more stable and precise.

As infrared light focuses differently than visible light, it’s very difficult for dual-light cameras to create sharp images in low light. Given that cameras with ColorVu are equipped with large-aperture, high-resolution lenses, the focus depth is too small for the frame, which makes infrared imaging even more difficult.

To solve this problem, Hikvision has infused Super Confocal Technology. This is a high-calibre-lens design which reduces optical light dispersion to ensure that the point of focus on the sensor for the infrared light is virtually the same as that of the visible light (thus, ‘con’-focal). Focusing both types of light at the same spot helps prevent blur and improves the user’s viewing experience by rendering clear, vivid images both in colour and black-and-white. Achieving confocal imaging with F1.0 super aperture is also an industry-first.

Smart Hybrid Light technology

Hikvision’s Smart Hybrid Light technology can automatically switch from IR light to visible white (supplemental) lighting at night. Equipped with this technology, cameras offer three supplemental lighting options to suit a user’s unique night-time scenario, depending on the need. The white or visible light mode establishes colour imaging; the IR mode (invisible to humans) enables continual black-and-white imaging at night with no light pollution; and the ‘smart’ mode enables the light to automatically change between the two modes based on perimeter events.

With the smart mode turned on, the camera maintains infrared illumination at night until an event triggers colour imaging to capture critical details. This means that once human or vehicle motion is detected by the camera, it switches to regular lights and turns to full colour. This helps in two critical ways: first, the camera’s colour imaging captures better footage that can be used to identify the intruder. Secondly, the triggered light acts as a deterrent to would-be trespassers who might potentially get startled and flee the scene.

Indoor and outdoor applications

Recording ‘no action’ footage at night or in poorly lit areas with infrared mode, the cameras’ location won’t be given away, and the chance of a camera being seen and vandalised by intruders is vastly reduced. On the other hand, a bright light triggered by a security event and flooding the area helps deter intruders while recording with the same vibrant, colourful images as in daylight.

Therefore, cameras with ColorVu are ideal for both indoor and outdoor scenarios, such as warehouses, retail stores, public parks, and residential settings, where little or no movement is expected at night, but discretion is desired for security cameras. Smart, automated lighting options combined with extremely accurate and sharply focused details creates a camera that goes above and beyond current security industry expectations and performances.


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