What is WDR - Wide Dynamic Range technology in CCTV Camera

As we all know Video Surveillance cameras are the essence of any Security Installations. When we have to guard a large space, we need to provide ourselves with the best CCTV Cameras. They are the eyes that monitor and control every corner of premises and those that allow us to detect instructions and other threats. With this camera, we know what is happening on our premises but the cameras must have the latest technology advances. In this blog, we understand what is WDR. it is one of the most useful and interesting technologies that vary useful in every aspect of CCTV Camera.

What is WDR - Wide Dynamic Range?

WDR is the acronym for Wide Dynamic Range. It is a technology that some video cameras have and that serves to compensate for problems with exposure to light. Sometimes Cameras have problems with underexposed and overexposed images because they can only accurately record the middle area of light between very dark and very bright. 

With WDR technology, the camera compensates for images where there are dark and bright areas, in which there is a great decompensation and we cannot see sharp images if we use a normal camera. With this technology, a balance between brightness and darkness is achieved, notably improving image quality and obtaining a more uniform result, thanks to this wide dynamic range treatment of light.

Where can use WDR - Wide Dynamic Range?

An example of the most use of the WDR feature is found in the following situations. 

When a camera is directed towards a door or window, where we can find areas in which more or less light enters. With a normal camera, without WDR, we will see a part of the image very dark and another very bright, with which many details will be lost. In This case, we can partial image or blur image due to losing part of that darker area and lost most of the details in this region. With WDR – Wide Dynamic Range technology a balance is achieved and we see the entire area of that door or window with a uniform light level, without loss of detail. Refer to the image of the parking entrance How DWR – Wide Dynamic Range performing.

WDR-Wide Dynamic Range

How does the WDR - Wide Dynamic Range work?

With WDR technology, the camera lens uses different shutter speeds to allow more light in some areas of the image and less light in others, those that are brighter. The sensor’s exposure to light it receives from outside is controlled to achieve a compensated image.

  • In the lighter areas:  a higher shutter speed is used so the sensor is exposed to light for less time.
  • In the darker areas, the shutter speed is slower, causing the sensor to capture more light for a longer time.
  • After that, Both images are combined to obtain a final image with intermediate lighting.

If we have a camera that is monitoring from inside a building through a window, the areas further away from the glass will appear lighter, while those that are closer will appear darker. With double exposure, thanks to WDR technology, we will achieve a sharp and balanced image in which all the space will appear with the same level of illumination.

 

Cameras with WDR are ideal in different situations that require very high-quality monitoring. 

Some examples can be:

  • When the camera points from inside a building to the outside. I.e. Main Entrance, Driveways, Courtyard, Road or Street, open Ground, Terrace, Porch etc. Here, we will find areas of dark light as well as bright light due to the movement of the sun, street lamps or other Light sources etc.
  • When the camera has to see through glass doors or windows where there are usually many reflections that prevent uniform illumination of the scene. I.e. shopping malls, dual cabins, galleries, Glass doors, Jewellery shops etc. here, we will find dynamic lights due to reflection or artificial light’s glare.  

WDR cameras can be an ideal solution to avoid detailing images that occur in those areas with difficult lighting. Having dark areas mixed with very light areas makes conventional cameras ineffective. Here, it is necessary to make a replacement of cameras if they have not been planned from the beginning. This reinforces the principle of the importance of security system maintenance: if we do not have a maintained and updated security system, we will not have 100% security.

True WDR cameras and WDR Digital (DWDR) cameras.

When choosing surveillance cameras with WDR technology, we have to be careful. 

Apart from the typical differences between brands and models, we will find two cameras that, although they may seem the same, are not: cameras with TRUE WDR technology and WDR DIGITAL.

True WDRs use the technique of combining different shutter speeds, while Digital WDRs work using a software compensation technique.

Cameras with true WDR capture two images with different light exposures and merge them into a third image, compensating for light intensities to achieve an optimal overall illumination result. This natural process is replaced by computer compensation in digital WDRs. Here, a single image is made that is digitally and automatically retouched.

Cameras with true WDR capture 60 frames per second to achieve that end result. To do this, they require a greater capacity for image processing. For this reason, True WDR cameras, although more expensive, achieve better results.

This is one of the questions to ask your security installer when designing the video surveillance installation: what type of WDR – Wide Dynamic Range camera are we going to buy?

In Our Observation, sometimes in many places, we couldn’t find installed CCTV Camera equipped with this WDR – Wide Dynamic Range, might be simple reasons are either when the CCTV Camera system design and installed that time this technology not available or might be system integrator or vendor was not aware of this WDR technology. 

In both of case, A customer who invested for their security is wasted and don’t get the final purpose, hence the customer has to choose carefully their vendor or system integrators who have specialization in such technology and know-how about the latest technology of CCTV Industries. 

Conclusion :

In this blog, we have tried to explain what WDR is, one more innovation in a changing sector that does not stop evolving to face the increasingly sophisticated strategies of organized crime. And it is that a security installation that is not properly maintained, or that is not updated with the latest technology, will not be prepared to fulfil its mission.

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