Network camera buyers often want to use them in dim light or no light situations. However, a lot of network cameras, sometimes referred to as IP cameras, have difficulty producing clear video images when light is limited or in complete darkness. There are lots of techie and photographic specifications that describe why this is — Lux, F-stop and apperture. But we won’t be going that deep here.
This post simply describes the difference in video quality when lighting conditions change. We’ll look at a the way a couple of different mydlink™ network cameras perform — namely the D-Link Network Camera (DCS-930L) and its day/night counterpart; the D-Link Day/Night Network Camera (DCS-932L).
In my experience, the DCS-930L needs to have some light source, like a patio light or landscape lighting in the area you’re recording. If you’re expecting to capture images with a single 100W bulb that’s illuminating a large area (15′ X 20′, for example), you’re not going to be able to see a whole lot. The DCS-930L is the perfect option for daytime monitoring and would be great for keeping an eye on your pet while you’re at work or for checking in on your business when you’re not able to be there yourself.
For situations that require nighttime monitoring, D-Link offers the Wireless N Camera Day/Night Home Network Camera (DCS-932L). This camera delivers all of the features of the DCS-930L, including 802.11n Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), Motion JPEG and 20fps streaming, but adds powerful infrared (IR) illumination for night vision up to 5 meters (16.4 feet).
Ok – that was a barrage of specs. But what does it mean for the lighting situation?
The LEDs are the key. D-Link built four infrared LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) into the face of the camera housing. These lights come on automatically to bathe a 5 meter area (16.4 feet) with infrared (IR) light. That means the lens can see well enough to record fairly detailed video without any light sources external to the camera (patio lights, etc). It records black and white images in zero light conditions. During daylight conditions (or well-lit night time conditions), it records in full color.
You can also record video via the D-ViewCam interface (set motion detection or schedules to activate recording), or watch live via the simple, secure mydlink.com browser page, or view from virtually anywhere with the free mydlink app on your mobile device (Android or iPhone).
And remember, unlike traditional USB-connected webcams, all mydlink-enabled cameras are complete monitoring systems with built-in CPUs and web servers that transmit high quality video images directly to the network without the need for a PC. They’re easy to install and the intuitive web-based interface allows you to easily integrate them with your existing home network, storage solutions and PCs.
The D-Link DCS-930L and DCS-932L are currently available through vast network of retail and etail outlets as well as on www.dlinkshop.com with street prices of under $100 and $150, respectively. Visit mydlink.dlink.com to learn more.