June 29, 2013
Hi, I want to buy several of your outdoor/indoor dome cameras. I read about and like the "Smart IR" feature. Your website states that the OD-LX700IR ($99.95) camera has this feature. However, since more expensive cameras are not listed with this feature, I called the other day to verify that it really has it. I was told that was a typo, and that I needed to upgrade to the VD-LX700IR ($129.95) or VD-EF700IR ($169.95) to get that feature. So I decided on the $129.95 VD-LX700IR model. So today, I once again called to verify this feature and spoke to somebody else. That person told me something different than the previous person (and different than your website states). He said only the VD-EF700IR ($169.95) has the Smart IR feature.
At this point, I'm very confused and don't know who to believe. Also it appears the information on your website is inaccurate in terms of features on those cameras.
1) Please tell me once and for all exactly which indoor/outdoor dome cameras have this feature, and also please let me know if any other parts of those cameras’ webites descriptions are incorrect also.
2) How useful is this Smart IR feature? Do cameras without it contain any similar substitute technology to prevent “IR washout” for night subjects at close range?
March 9, 2013
I am sorry for the confusion. That certainly was not our intention. Sometimes the features and differences in the capabilities of the different cameras can be confusion. The features of each camera is determined by the combination of the DSP (the digitial signal processor) and the CCD (The actually sensor used). Our LX Series cameras all use the Sony Super HAD II CCD with the Sony Effio-E DSP. The Effio Series DSP is made by Sony and has several different levels within the series. The Effio-E DSP is the least expensive processor in the series and has many of the same features as the other DSP in the Series, but it also lacks a few of the features found in other DSP within the Series. Our LX Series cameras do not have the Smart IR feature which is controlled through the DSP. They also do not have true WDR, but rather it is ATR which is Sony's version of WDR which is accomplished digitally and is therefore not as effective as true Dual Scan WDR. However our LX series Vandal Dome and Indoor Dome (VD-LX700IR100L2812 and ID-LX700IR50L2812) do have a manual Smart IR Dial (designed exclusively by us) which allows you to manually turn on/off or reduce/increase the intensity of the IR LEDs on the camera by manually turning the dial. I know, this is confusing because we call it a Smart IR Dial which was a poor choice for a name.
Our EF Series cameras are some of the highest end analog security cameras that you will find on the market today. They feature Sony's Dual Scan CCD with the most advance Effio-P DSP. This DSP is the highest end DSP in the Effio Series which is manufactured by Sony. This DSP has true WDR, which is accomplished using a Dual Scan CCD. Other than Pixim, all other WDR are digital WDR usually referred to as EWDR. The Effio-P DSP also has the smart IR feature which can be enabled through the OSD. The smart IR feature will increase/decrease the intensity of the IR LED according to the subject in it's path. It is very advanced. The EF Series are also all Dual Voltage so they can be powered with either 12V DC or 24V AC.
Keep in mind that in most cases, the Effio-E DSP cameras will work perfectly for you. We have not received any complaints of washout from the LEDs at night since it does do some compensation. It just isn't adjustable or as advanced as the Effio-P DSP cameras. I recommend you purchase one camera and test it to make sure it meets your needs. We have a 30 day return policy. Just don't mount or scratch the camera. If you are not satisfied with it, you can return it for a full refund. This way you will know first hand what it can do.
June 29, 2013
Thank you for the very informative post! That was very helpful! I have two last questions:
1) Other than True Smart IR, True WDR and dual-voltage, will the basic picture itself be similar between the Effio-E and Effio-P, or will the Effio-P give an overall better picture?
2) I was told there will be a UTC Controller (#TPOSDLX) available sometime soon on your website for $9.95. Which camera features will this allow me to access vs. not access (for example, varifocal features, Smart IR features, etc.)? The reason I ask is because my cameras will be installed under the roof sofitt (by someone else) and so it will be a major pain to access any OSD adjustments after installation. As I understand, the UTC controller will allow me to access them at the point where they plug into the DVR.
June 29, 2013
Oops, I just remembered two other questions. As you can tell, I am suffering from over analysis
1) One of the cameras I will be getting will be used inside my house (all others will be for outside). I only want the indoor camera to record whenever we are out-of-town overnight, whereas I want the outdoor cameras to always record on motion. Can these cameras be scheduled independently using your Ultimate DVR (mini series), or can only one schedule be set for all cameras together?
2) I saw a video of where a guy had to clean off the plastic dome because the picture was hazy. Are cameras with such domes susceptible to developing a haze over time? If so, this may be an advantage for the $99.95 camera since it doesn't seem to have a dome.
March 9, 2013
Overall, the quality of video between the Effio-E and Effio-P cameras are very similar. There will not be a noticeable difference between the two other than some of the features I pointed out. If those features are not of real importance to you, I would recommend you stick with the LX series which is a better value.
There is a brand new feature which is only available for the LX Series cameras. We actually just received our first 2000 cameras with the ability to control the OSD via UTC 2 days ago. They are not even on the shelves yet (still palatalized) since we still have plenty of stock of our existing LX cameras. The newest cameras, which are identical in every other way including the model number will have the ability to have the OSD controlled via UTC. This is done with a remote control that is attached to the cable via the same BNC connection that is used for connection to the DVR. There is a BNC input and output on the remote control so you can actually plug the BNC from the cable into the controller and then plug the controller into the DVR. This will give you the ability to control the OSD of the camera right at the DVR and to see the menu navigation on your DVR monitor. You can only control the OSD features. The Varifocal lens must be adjusted manually. Please note that we will not be making this feature available on our website until we have sold the non-compatible cameras first. We do not want to confuse our customers. The UTC remote control will only work with the newest cameras that just arrived. If you want these cameras specifically, you will need to call us to place your order so that we know to pull your cameras from the newest shipment. Also, we would have to charge you by telephone for the remote control since it is not yet for sale on our website.
Each channel of the DVR can be configured individually for the recording schedule. So you can configure some cameras to record 24/7 and some on motion. Also, you have the ability to schedule both recording methods at once. So you can record 24/7 AND motion only at the same time for each camera. This means you can be assured of constant recording (at a lower frame rate and resolution if you wish) and also have motion recording for the same channel at a higher frame rate and resolution if you wish. There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to the configuration.
Cameras are always susceptible to their environment. So if your camera is mounted in a dusty area it will get dusty, if it is mounted outdoors it will get dirty and should be cleaned periodically. Yes, true domes are more susceptible to this because they have more exposed real estate but otherwise, all cameras can get dirty or hazy. True domes do have more of a problem with IR reflection from dirt or scratches. Water spots can be especially troublesome.
June 29, 2013
Thank you, sir! You have been very helpful, as have all your guys that I spoke with on the telephone (Matt, Dro, etc.)! This has definitely been a learning experience for me!
Although I'm not sure how often folks normally tweak OSD camera settings, I will order six of the new version LX cameras ($99.95 each) so I can use the UTC controller in the future, if desired. That camera also looks to be the best value and hopefully will extend the time between when I'll need to climb a ladder to clean off the dome/lens. Hopefully the lack of "Smart IR" won't be an issue. By the way, is the "Smart IR dial" something I can change using the UTC controller (just in case I experience image washout at night)?
I will call on Monday to order these, along with the 8-channel Ultimate mini DVR. Hopefully they'll still let me use the 5% online coupon (from Retailmenot.com) since I won't be able to order online, as you mention, if I want the new series LX cameras that are currently palletized.
Thanks again, and have a great weekend!
March 9, 2013
Currently we received a shipment that has the following cameras with UTC capability.
We have not yet received the following cameras with UTC capability:
We expect a shipment with these to arrive in the next 10 days or so (Except the OD-LX700IR50-B which is not in the next shipment).
We do not plan on announcing UTC formally until we have phased in all the LX model cameras so that we do not complicate matters. The remote control will only be available to purchase upon request until then. This way we can make sure each customer understands which cameras they will work with.
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