Low light CCTV?

Hi all,
I was looking into a very basic domestic CCTV solution. I already have a variety of gear to play with (old cameras, external enclosures, DVR's etc) but am specifically interested in the very low light cameras.
I believe some here have mentioned the NiteDevil range but reading around seems to suggest that these sort of low light cameras (as opposed to high-end / military I suspect) achieve such with fairly long shutter times and so are prone to blurring / smearing on any moving objects?
If that *is* likely to be an issue, IR would be ok as there is nothing reflective, as could be basic PIR LED lamps to generally illuminate the scene.
I don't have a specific target / scenario in mind, just that the std IR illumination with colour during the day and b/w at night must be the norm for good reason?
Cheers, T i m
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On 18/11/2019 22:33, T i m wrote:

I have a starlight camera and yes they blur on moving objects.
It doesn't use long shutter times but integrates many frames (512 max I think).
I don't use it as a security cam.
The PIR light is probably the best if the camera can switch to daytime colour fast enough.
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Some of the night camera footage with the latest iphone and Samsung Galaxys is amazing. Looks like it is taken in the late afternoon even when it looks like in the middle of the night on a no moon night with ho street lights in real life. Not cheap[ tho.
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On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 22:52:21 +0000, "dennis@home"
Thanks.

Sure ... but that worked as a practical overview of *why* it happens. ;-)

Ok.

... depending on how long the subject is there to view or how much footage (can I say that or should I say 'megabytes of video data' <g>) you have captured to review?
I would like a Starlight camera to play with but not sure if there any VFM models worth having (I believe my recorder (Alien MEGAHero) supports 1080p FWIW).
Cheers, T i m
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On Tuesday, 19 November 2019 09:18:28 UTC, T i m wrote:

It's because there's little or no light.

and the sensor isnl;t sensitive enough to 'see' the light.

Star light camera to me, means the 'camera' has to have an image intensifier attached to it, these can be expensive, the sort of thing you'll get in military binocluars and gun sights. Modern smartphones can use clever algorithims to artificaly lighten a subject.
The othe roption is to illuminate the subject with a IR lamp, this is the sort of thing they use for security cameras.
Not sure which would be easist to set up for what yuo want to do, but here they do describe things a little better than purhaps I have.
https://www.optics4birding.com/starlight-technology.aspx
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wrote:

They don’t artificially lighten the subject, they combine multiple images, much closer to a long exposure but without the smearing.

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On Tuesday, 19 November 2019 17:37:48 UTC, Rod Speed wrote:

I

e
e
But it only works on stationary objects otherwise there will be smearing un less the moving objects such as a thief are ignored,
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wrote:

That’s wrong.

That’s wrong too.

And so is that.
Didn’t you watch that link that compared the 3 latest top of the range smartphones ?
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On Wednesday, 20 November 2019 14:17:29 UTC, Rod Speed wrote:

max

s.

g>)

any

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a
iple

Smartphones use all sorts of tricks and amplifications, mostly HDR for such things, but this is all software driven by the phones I doubt you can install the software needed for the iphone or google pixel on to a CCTV camera.
Sure tape the phone to a pole in the ground and use that as CCTV then.
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wrote:

What I said originally, not artificial light.

That mangles the real story utterly with the latest top end smartphones.

So you use the smartphone as the cctv camera, stupid.

Don’t meed tape, there are smartphone holders/mounts and some of them even have standard camera mount screw sockets etc.
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On Wednesday, 20 November 2019 15:46:04 UTC, Rod Speed wrote:

yes they amplify the light that is there in the scene.

No it doesn;lt simialr technigue of multi exposure.

Sure why not, spend a grand on a camera for CCTV. Most would need 2-4 , thenn you'd have to make them water proof and not be too worried about them getting nicked.

Yes I have one for mounting on a tripod but I wouldn't leave that out in th e garen on the front.
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wrote in message

Nope, they mostly are now.

True of any camera.

Doesn’t have to be out in the garden and trivial to make it impractical to steal.
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On 18/11/2019 22:33, T i m wrote:

The sensors in digital cameras/phones can see IR up to around 1.1um although most may have a filter to exclude the near IR band. Point your phone camera at the output of your TV remote and press any button and probably you will see the IR LED flashing. Iphones may have a IR filter on the back camera but possibly not on the front camera.
Military IR cameras operate in the 3um to 5um band or the 8 to 12/14um band. Cameras fitted to the police helicopters are probably the latter. With these cameras no additional illumination is required. These cameras do not have glass lenses because glass blocks the IR in these bands.
The domestic CCTV cameras you can buy will be optimised for the visible band but have response into the near IR band (1.1um). IR has no colour hence B&W video output. So basically you are operating the camera just outside the visible band and in low light hence longer exposure times, frame to frame integration over a period of time or additional illumination (in the IR band)
If you have an old digital camera and you want to experiment https://www.instructables.com/id/infrared-digital-camera---the-real-way/
or
https://tinyurl.com/wdu4oey
Try it on a very cheap web cam.
If you have any processed colour film negatives around the bits at the end that are completely black can be used as the filter instead of of the Congo Blue filters mentioned in the above article. You could use two bits(double thickness) of this black negative as a stronger filter.
--
mailto : news admac myzen co uk

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wrote:

Are these the things you can hear clicking in and out if you put your finger over the light sensor?

Yup. Used that as a remote control basic functionality test many times. ;-)

I don't like / use iPhones.

Ok.

Although the SX-16 'Nightsun' could be handy?

Oh, so plastic then, something more exotic or no physical lens as such?

Check.

Check.

Interesting, thanks.

Good idea.

I should have some somewhere.

Cool, thanks.
Can you still get b/w cctv cameras and if so, might they perform better at night than yer typical colour / b/w camera?
Cheers, T i m
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On 19/11/2019 12:47, T i m wrote:

More exotic - Germanium lens is common.
--
mailto : news admac myzen co uk

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On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 22:33:45 +0000, T i m wrote:

Nothing reflective that you can see with visible light. Vegetation reflects far more IR than it does red and blue light (which is why it appears green). Grass verges look snow covered under IR.

If the camera switches fast enough and you can get the light levels high enough. Also bear in mind any shadows or areas of lower illumination are going to be dark or just black.
IR illumination avoids any camera mode switching, though there will be a exposure issue if when you switch the IR on/off. Leaving the IR on at low light levels is best. The camera is running at or near maximum sensitivity so lower illuminated areas aren't completely black.

"Colour" is defined the frequency of the lightwaves, so as IR is outside the the range of frequencies of visible light it has no colour. One can of course transpose a range of IR frequencies into the visible range and create "false colour" images, as some thermal image cameras do.
How covert do you want to be? 850 nm (ish) ("near infrared") IR illuminators are visible as dull red glow. If you shift to 960 nm (ish) the source is not visible but the sensitivity of most cameras is noticably falling off by then.
--
Cheers
Dave.
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On Tue, 19 Nov 2019 10:51:49 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

Ah, that's true. Maybe I meant not synthetically retro-reflective, like a car number plate?

I have played a bit with a mates system with a mix of different cameras and you can see the system adjusting the light balance after say a car has gone past at night with it's headlights on.

Another good point. Mate has multiple IR LED equipped pointing in a range of directions so as long as the cameras aren't being swamped with light (car headlights) they seem to expose most areas pretty well.

I think mate discussed the idea of an 'IR floodlight'. Could that be better than using the IR illumination in the cameras themselves or could just turning them down be better?

OK.

Seen.

Not at all specifically, it was more of the thought of being able to determine colour (as our eyes define it) at lower levels of ambient light.

Noted (on my mates cameras and one I setup for our daughter [1]).

I wonder if you 'masked' an IR light with a visible one, would that help or hinder most CCTV cameras (at night obviously)?
By that I mean a fairly low level PIR Led floodlight alongside a higher power IR one (also on a PIR possibly)?
Cheers, T i m
[1] I had an old CCTV DVR and a couple of old colour CCTV cameras and I set one up looking out of a first floor flat window overlooking her car in the carpark. During the day everything worked as expected but as night drew on you could slowly see the IR LEDs surrounding the lens in the reflection in the window. So I cut some circular blanking rings and stuck them over the LEDS and because I believe they had Sony CCD's (that seemed to work well in low light), you could still see everything pretty clearly at night because there were a couple of bulkhead lights that were on dusk to dawn that were reasonably bright. ;-)
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On Tuesday, 19 November 2019 22:13:15 UTC, T i m wrote:

That would be a really big challenge because in order to see light as our eyes define it, that light has to be present in the light source illuminating the objects you wish to see. I remmeber it from physics regarding addictive and subtractive lighting, primary and secondary colours.
another option might be to have a low intensity search light on an automatic pattern of movement that covers the area you wish to view.

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wrote:

It is tho, even when it looks very dark.

But have mangled it comprehensively now.
There isnt a lot of different between gloomy conditions and in the dark color wise, just a much lower level of the colors when there isnt any IR illumination, just a long exposure or adding multiple frames electronically.

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On Wednesday, 20 November 2019 14:25:07 UTC, Rod Speed wrote:

SO why don;t the military use such a system rather than rely on image intensifiers. Why arenlt the wildlife programmes you see on TV at night in full colour ?

That's who they take pictures of the deep space to show distant stars and galaxes. But there is light out there to see.
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