Starvis Starlight or Conventional IR Night Vision Cameras 2

There was always a need for security cameras that offer clean color picture at night. Conventional infrared night vision security cameras have been in existence for over 20 years now. While they have served their purpose for the time being, new requirements have pushed engineers at Sony to develop image sensors that can pickup color at extremely low light.

Infrared led lights with low light image sensors can only offer black and white night vision images. While night vision cameras give a sense of whats going during video playback, even with high resolution cameras, facial recognition and specific details are not that clear. Black and white images have a lot of noise pixelation that removes the important details of video footage. Furthermore, a lot of infrared cameras have reflection issues that cause a round white circle around the image, destroying the whole image quality at night.

Halo effect of infrared light using conventional security cameras

Sony created STARVIS, a back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS image sensors for surveillance camera applications. It featured a sensitivity of 2000 mV or more per 1 µm2 (color product, when imaging with a 706 cd/m2 light source, F5.6 in 1 s accumulation equivalent), and combined high picture quality in the visible-light and near infrared light regions within a frame.

Starlight Provides Optimum Design for Surveillance Cameras

Starvis provided extended visible light range that offers a wider range of colors during the night in extremely low light. Extremely low light meaning one starlight 0.0001 lux in total darkness is enough light to provide color at night.

Back-illuminated CMOS Image Sensor

Not only front light image sensitivity was optimized, back light illumination compensation was also optimized to bring in back light colors to the picture. Lowering noise reduction and providing much better clarity.

What is the difference between starlight and starvis?

Starvis technology is proprietary to Sony. Starvis name came from two words visibility under one starlight. Other manufacturers started adopting this technology and manufacturing their own starlight CMOS image sensors. Since Starvis is trademarked to Sony, other manufacturers simply used the name starlight for their security cameras. There is slight difference between Starvis and starlight. Starvis has better lux rating and night performance, with higher color quality. Its hard for the novice to detect such a difference. Starvis Sony CMOS chipsets are higher in price than starlight security cameras, however it all depends on the brand.

The difference in price of conventional infrared night vision cameras compared to starlight security cameras is very small, about 10% more. Security camera prices nowadays are fairly inexpensive. Thus it is worth spending a little more money on getting starlight security cameras for getting better color clarity at night.

2M Technology is a leading provider of starlight night vision camera systems. Click here to purchase a 2M Starlight IR camera.


  1. The writing clearly shows the difference between Starvis Starlight and a conventional one. The difference is quite literally night and day. One gets the quality they pay for.

  2. Awesome post, thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Call Now Button