Color video images in the dark. Technology overview

Color video images in the dark. Technology overview

Modern realities require constant situational awareness in high-quality video. In most cases, 24/7 surveillance is needed, including in dark and/or low light conditions. How to get a color image of a camcorder? This is what our article is about.

How to choose equipment for night video monitoring?

When choosing video equipment for night video shooting, it is advisable to single out four factors since they affect the quality of the resulting material:

  • the ability to test equipment in conditions as close to real ones as possible;
  • customization and the ability to adjust them;
  • compliance with operating conditions;
  • integration opportunities.

To improve the efficiency of video cameras (in the dark, in low light, in darkened conditions), you need to pay attention to the built-in functionality. These are options such as:

  • backlight compensation;
  • noise suppression;
  • extended dynamic range.

You can find out about the availability of these functions from a sales assistant, installer, designer, or yourself from the technical instructions.

Why we need technological progress

Until recently, the main distinguishing feature of night vision video equipment was automated switching to night mode.

Today, video surveillance in the dark boasts optimal efficiency thanks to a combination of high technologies:

  • sensors;
  • productive matrices and microprocessors;
  • large-aperture lenses.

Thus, it is possible to obtain a color image in conditions of darkness/poor lighting and informative materials for analytics (recognize faces, license plates of vehicles, detail various data necessary for situation understanding).

Overview of available developments

Let’s take a look at four leading color and quality imaging technologies from various manufacturers. We will analyze the criteria: advantages/characteristics, functionality, and scope.


Full-color technology from Chinese manufacturer Dahua Technology:

Pros of using  Functional characteristics Spheres of application
24/7 color image without switching. 

High-quality color images in the dark. 

Identification and detailing options in the dark. 

The accuracy of the AI ​​algorithms in the dark is up to 98%.

Two device options:

with/without illumination.

Built-in artificial intelligence algorithms.

Integration with DVRs of this manufacturer.

In the city.

Observation of remote objects (country house, summer cottage, garage).

In cinemas.

In parking lots.

ColorVu and Dark Fighter

ColorVu and Dark Fighter technology from Chinese manufacturer Hikvision:

Pros of using Functional characteristics Spheres of application
High-quality color image in any degree of illumination and its absence.

Detail options in the dark.

Recognition of alarm sources (false / real).

Extra large-aperture lenses.

Aspherical lenses.

High sensitivity matrices.

Three types of illumination: IR, LED, and special development EXIR

Target recognition algorithm.

In the city.

Observation of remote objects (country house, summer cottage, garage).

For long distances and large objects.


Lightfinder technology from Swedish manufacturer Axis Communications:

System advantages  Functions Spheres of application
High definition color video.

Accurate color reproduction.

The minimal blurring of moving targets.

Noise suppression.

Distinguishing details in dark areas.

High sensitivity matrices.

Advanced low-light video technology.

Exact identification algorithms.

In the city.

Observation of remote objects (country house, summer cottage, garage).

In parking lots.


LightMaster technology from South Korean manufacturer IDIS:

Advantages  Functional characteristics Spheres of application
Rich, high-contrast, and color video. Switch the camera to black and white mode with IR illumination. 

Noise-canceling function.

Large matrices (1 / 1.9 and 1/2).

A unique filter for obtaining high-quality images in fog/smog, rain/snow conditions.

Three versions: cylindrical, dome, and PTZ.

In the city.

Observation of remote objects (country house, summer cottage, garage).

In parking lots.


The need to obtain color video images in conditions of poor visibility and illumination is objective. After all, most attackers plan to commit offenses precisely at night, in shaded and low-light areas. For security purposes, choose equipment that meets modern technology.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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