Monday, October 26, 2015

Color Night Vision: Sony STARVIS vs SPI X27

Sony publishes a promotional video of its STARVIS BSI image sensor for security applications, said to excel in color night vision in starlight:




It's interesting to compare it with SPI Infrared Corp.'s X27 sensor videos, such as this one:

44 comments:

  1. Such good text in the Starvis video...

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  2. How would you compare? After watching the Sony starvis promo, it's the clear choice. starvis starvis starvis starvis, what a joke especially from Sony, and that fake photoshopped animal picture, wow. I would expect more from Sony. At least the Spi sensor has real night time data.

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    1. The Sony camera is catered to consumer applications and Walmart parking lot security, the SPI X27 IMHO is the next level in low light imaging, the image quality and the sensitivity is incredible, especially in color, I haven't seen this type of stellar sensitivity in mono sensors. The video quality is orders of magnitude greater than I envisioned from a color sensor,

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BP_EEGv0QzA

      Interested to see what products evolve from this technology. I would lean towards serious documentary, nocturnal wildlife, medical and astronomy uses as well as the obvious security and surveillance night vision applications.

      Cheers

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    2. Agreed, I watched the video that has a side by side comparison of the x27 and a gen 3 i2 device in a starlit night,

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RyZiZsQRmOM

      Truly amazing, In my 30 years of LLL imaging, I have never seen technology meet the performance of gen3 image intensifier except for monochrome EBAPS but in colour, this is quite impressive and the applications are a many, if they can miniaturize this for head mounted vision, that would be sweet.

      Looks like colour EBAPS technology.


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    3. The spie camera is very impressive, looks like a color version of the offerings x26 camera.

      The Sony Starvis video is a joke, I wonder who produces such stuff, for a huge company like sonny to release this blows my mind.

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    4. I would Love to see some aerial imaging footage from this x27 camera, The sensor fused with longwave infrared would be a game changing technology for ground and airborne imaging but in my case Airborne. It's great to see a new low light technology come out to the marketplace I have been using colour and monochrome sensors for over a decade for Ariel imaging and they basically have always been the same you've got visible, SWIR, Mwir, LWIR and intensified CCDs, The addition of the single color day and night sensor that peaks into an IR is a clear advantage especially with sensitivity and image quality such as the ones Ive observed in the x27 videos, The 10 mpx sensor with large micron pitched pixels really performs, of course I assume the video being typed out is around two megapixels 1080 P. Great achievement would like to see additional products evolve from this sensor. Cheeky videos though I would like to see footage on the tripod or on the stabilized platform

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    5. impressive and as you advise, ideal as a single sensor solution, I would blend this with LWIR for UAV persistent surveillance

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    6. The read noise looks quite healthy on this system, Read noise is expressed in electrons, and represents a noise floor for low signal detection. For example, if read noise was 10 electrons, and you had only one photon converted in a pixel during an exposure, the signal would mostly be lost in the read noise. Kudos

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    7. The x27 looks phenomenal, I would like to see it as a perhaps, binocular or monocular, great achievement

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    8. Michael Deveraux, the x27 would be insanely advantageous for persistent surveillance, the videos I have seen are quite impressive indeed, I am Would encourage SPI devote a great deal more effort, videos and data for airborne unmanned applications, the UAV market is super hot and is growing literally daily, Uav's will be in our lives intimately weather we like it or not and sensors are the key components to a good Uav package. This x27 camera would eliminate 2 cameras and run as a day night sensor, I would add thermal to get the full package, perhaps a zoom Mwir sensor and fuse the both. Nicely done and the exterior housing looks heavy duty. I would add image stabilization to x27. Perhaps powerful electronic or mini gyro stabilizers.


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    9. The X27 would be great for aerial imaging, one thing i would add after stitching the x27 to FLIR, Tracking & LRF. That package would be a stout uav pod.

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  3. Haven't seen any real data from Sony about starvis except for that video which was laughable. Sonys promo department must consist of endless budgets and lots of LSD, although the SPI color demo is quite remarkable, the video link below with the infrared laser is @ 1 millilux as the title states, that is truly amazing quality especially in color. I2 nvg's with the latest tube image intensifiers can't image that good in green. I would love to see a real time demo, if SPI video is accurate and the product somewhat small, affordable and not too power hungry, this is literally game changing tech in the world of low light, and would be quite appealing to military and defense agencies.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l1CHW1HV4SQ

    Or

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=l1CHW1HV4SQ




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    1. Are you from SPI? How can you know that the scene is 1mLux please?

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    2. Very impressive camera, the performance of the x27 in colour is outstanding, great for many applications beyond the security and surveillance space, I would like to see this cam in commercial and industrial settings. It would indeed be interesting to see what products evolve from this sensor. Probably won't be for some time, looks like it was just introduced.

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    3. The star is is for mass production types, the x27 looks as a highly specialized very sensitive camera, I'm not much on the security market but the x27 looks like it would work wonders in bio-imaging, the emccd's don't get anywhere near the sensitivity I'm seeing from the x27, frankly I am glad to see emerging technology that replaces emccd's, they require cooling, expensive and work marginally

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    4. x27 looks like it would make a nice tool for bio imaging with proper optics, the QE looks incredible. The x27 appears as though it maintains high frame rates in light starved environments, not very many EMCCD vendors around, when we were using them back in the day, Texas Instruments was making the chips, not sure who is cornering the market these days but I can't see EMCCD improving more than the best ti systems we use, if I recall the EMCCDs peak out at 1100 nanometers, the x27 cut sheet states it goes to 1200, this could be a niche market targeting the medical and scientific fields especially if it was made to image at high speeds, good to see new technology emerging. Wouldn't mind sticking one of these cameras on my dji phantom drone.

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  4. Read the title of the video indicating 1Mlux on YouTube

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    1. I would classify the Sony starvis as a good commercial CIS for general applications, after watching over a dozen videos and reviewing the Spi camera data, I would conclude that it is the best low light technology available to date. In order to produce those types of real time images in COLOR, is astounding. There are many color low light technologies out there, but this one by far outperforms them, Unless the videos are faked.
      I welcome new technologies like this and applaud the benefits this technology will bring to life sciences, security and industrial users. CIS are amazing, advanced algorithms and skilled engineering will continue to amaze us.

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  5. I would like to believe it's true, but not quite believe SPI videos
    Sony's video is a joke.

    And now what is the best sensor for now in this matter night vision?

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  6. Its interesting as Starvis is whole family of sensors.... i checked and they used probably IMX291 or IMX123/124... They managed to put sensitivity of IMX238 (1,3MP) to IMX291 (2MP). Well IMX238 is very close to CCD ... but... sony released sensor which is almost 2x better than IMX238 - its IMX225! His Sensivity is 2350 mV vs 1300 mV and its not starvis! :) But in really - IMX238 or IMX225 are still not so sensitive to see stars!! in CCTV there are moments where those sensors are blind... This movie is probably done when there is very very very very clear sky, and very very good visibility in night.
    But i will never believe that stravis can see stars in normal shutter speed (maybe with shutte 1/5 or 1/2)

    But on market there are even better sensors some chinese sensor 1/1,9".... with pixel 6umx6um.
    Sensivity is even better than IMX225! and its better by 3-4 x

    Let me show you some comparison:
    IMX225 (night inside building, shutter 1/15): http://serwer.merx.pl/handlowy/JPL/starlight/IMX225.jpg
    IMX222 (night inside building shutter 1/15): http://serwer.merx.pl/handlowy/JPL/starlight/IMX222.jpg
    Chineese 1/1,9" (night inside building shutter 1/15): http://serwer.merx.pl/handlowy/JPL/starlight/super_starlight.jpg

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. could you please mention the name of the chinese manufacturer? thanks for the intersting post.

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    3. i think low light Chinese sensor is SmartSens sc1020 http://www.smartsenstech.com/product/

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    4. Yes this is this sensor :)
      very anonymous one

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    5. Yes this is this sensor.
      Not so much iformatios from producer. But they made something good.

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  7. Having looked at Spi dozen or so videos, I would conclude that their tech is quite appealing especially the videos illustrating 1mlux conditions. I2 devices don't work that good in those scenes. I anticipate a commercial or military product will be available in the future utilizing this sensor.

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    1. I'm assuming gigantic pixel cells on the x27 camera to get that sort of image quality at 1 millilux, that's a milestone, on a moonless night the picture is unlike any other chip that I have ever used, the firmware I sure is playing a vital role in getting the output in real time, on a 10 mpx sensor I assume the video is wuxga when being pumped out. My application would be the opposite I would take this device and use super close-up micro optics for medical research in our laboratory and eliminate the our cooled EMCCD cameras we currently have, i'm having to go down to two frames per second to get any sort of halfway usable image on my current camera it seems as though I can get a near real-time or real-time image with very good sensitivity with the X27. i'm having to go down to two frames per second to get any sort of halfway usable image on my current camera it seems as though I can get a near real-time or real-time image with very good sensitivity with the X27, I wonder how much they cost and if they are available for rent I will require . Ciao

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    2. Looks intriguing, I have used the new canon me20f and it's very good, I would like to see this in action, the videos look quite impressive. I would make a couple of suggestions to Spi, please use a tripod when filming, it makes for a much better video, and second, put a side by side image from a standard camera next to the night vision camera to get a better visual representation.

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  8. i think Chinese low light sensor is Smartsens SC1020
    http://www.smartsenstech.com/product/

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  9. What is the image sensor of SPI X27?

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  10. They use thier own BSTFA LLL chips

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  11. What is the best low light camera and image sensor now ? I think Canon ME20F-SH is good camera but price is gone, nobody can use it with its price.

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  12. I have been looking for a good color low light camera, and found the SPI x27 to have exceptional performance, by far the best color low light camera in the market and way less priced than the canon and it's very rugged, when I evaluated the canon me20f, I found it to be very plasticy, and not user friendly, the image quality is fair but no where near the SPI x27.

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    1. The Sony star is is for personal home or business security, the x27 is a different type of camera application parameter, The encasement of the x27 seems very rugged and strong, I think the canon encasement looks pretty strong too, there is a big result ion difference between the canon me20 (2 mp) and the x27 (10 mp), I suppose if the X27 was a switchable typing to monochrome you would gather twice as much sensitivity better yet I would like to see a video of that at darkness in desert or forest landscape, I agree it is incredibly impressive

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  13. What is the price of X27? Where can we buy?

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  14. You will notice every positive comment about SPI X27 is from Anonymous.

    Its common knowledge SPI lies about specification they also claim 16x digital zoom on their 640x480.

    They also claim FLIR sensor that don't actually exist.

    SPI makes false claims and than makes these comments to give them advertising.

    Most their products are from China the best low light camera is canon new low light sensor.

    SPIE does not make sensors they can combine sensor and lens that is it.

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  15. Looks like a good product, i wish the photographer would stop moving around so much or utilize a tripod, a comparative matrix side by side with a standard cam would be also nice as well.

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  16. Not sure why my post is not showing, Since monochrome sensors have an average of 25-50% better performance than colour, it would be interesting to see how this camera performs in Mono.

    Currently the highest performing B&W sensor is EBAPS

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  17. Going to Mono Should pick up some sensitivity, I would estimate more in the tune of 20% which is a substantial improvement. Another benefit would be noise in very dark areas, monochromatic noise is less prevalent that colour noise and doesn't look as bad. I guess the whole nostalgia of this camera is to have it in colour at low light though, not mono.

    Can EBAPS be presented in Colour?

    Ciao

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  18. I don't think that EBAPS can be adapted into colour mode, this is an Image intensifier coupled with an image sensor, the base image intensifier is B&W or Green in colour, so to have true real color would not be an option from EBAPS. The US Gov really seems to liken the EBPAS, This unit i think has received Over 100 MM in funding, and they recently put the system in the nose of the apache helicopter besides the other sensors.

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  19. Its common knowledge SPI lies about specification they also claim 16x digital zoom on their 640x480.

    They also claim FLIR sensor that don't actually exist.

    SPI makes false claims and than makes these comments to give them advertising.

    Most their products are from China the best low light camera is canon new low light sensor.

    SPI does not make sensors they can combine sensor and lens that is it.

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  20. Lol, spi's competitors and common haters such as this "anonymous" bloke spamming will go to extreme length to degrade the spi company and its products.

    This activity does the opposite of its intended damage.

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  21. Dare I ask what the price of the X27 is?

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  22. x27 looks like it would make a nice tool for bio imaging with proper optics, the QE looks incredible. The x27 appears as though it maintains high frame rates in light starved environments, not very many EMCCD vendors around, when we were using them back in the day, Texas Instruments was making the chips, not sure who is cornering the market these days but I can't see EMCCD improving more than the best ti systems we use, if I recall the EMCCDs peak out at 1100 nanometers, the x27 cut sheet states it goes to 1200, this could be a niche market targeting the medical and scientific fields especially if it was made to image at high speeds, good to see new technology emerging. Wouldn't mind sticking one of these cameras on my dji phantom drone. I wonder how well this type of technology works underwater, it could be a great asset for underwater documentaries.

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