Tuesday, October 15, 2019

IPVM Tests Laser Impact on Security Cameras

IPVM publishes the results of its testing of lasers impact on surveillance cameras:

"Our testing showed it is difficult to permanently damage surveillance cameras because:
  • Close range required: Permanent damage did not occur from distance of ~50 feet or further from the camera, regardless of the strength of the laser we tested.
  • Aiming by hand difficult: Targeting a laser towards a camera is difficult from more than ~10' away. Attaching the laser to a stationary object for aiming makes sensor damage much more likely.
Striking or shooting a camera is far more likely to damage a camera than using a laser.

Finally, at close range (5-10'), even small, less than 5 mW laser pointers using AAA batteries (e.g., the ones used to play with pets) were able to damage sensors, albeit only a few pixels at a time. High powered 30,000 mW lasers more quickly damaged sensors and in larger "chunks" of pixels, but were also able to effectively "cook" the camera, creating smoke within a few seconds of steady aiming."


  1. These tests are incredibly unscientific and inaccurate.
    30 watts in a handheld pointer?
    While this video shows that lasers can damage cameras, this is both nothing new and incredibly inaccurate.
    Laser power levels were read from labels, actual power(which is far lower) was not measured, power density was not measured, beam size was not measured, effects of wavelength were not measured.
    If they call this a test report, it's discrediting the validity of the results at best. A 30 watt laser, regardless of wavelength, would considerably heat up, melt, or even cause the cameras to spontaneously combust at these distances, if collimated. Not to mention instant and total sensor failure(if wavelength passes through the lens).
    That, and a 30 watt laser would be at least the size of a few beverage cans(for lack of a better reference), not a toy designed to look like a fictional prop.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. While we did not measure these output power in-house, we did show at the end of the video (you evidently did not watch that far) that prolonged exposure using high-powered lasers can damage cameras. Lenses can get cracked, internal adhesives can melt and soften focus, and sensors can be destroyed. However, can you prove your claim that this can 'cause the cameras to spontaneously combust'? We did tests and showed proof of the results. Now you show yours.


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