differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

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jax13
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differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by jax13 » 13 Dec 2015, 20:18

after the pantomime that unfolded in the budget nv thread i thought i would post footage of the side by side comparisons using the following cameras to illustrate the differences between each camera on a fresh thread.

footage is being recorded on a samsung galaxy s6 with an easycap device which in reality doesn't deliver a picture as crisp and detailed as the 5" hd monitor most of us are using so clarity at range is being compromised quite a bit compared to what we would see on our normal monitors. video footage is courtesy of the az screen recorder app (which i havent fully got to grips with yet so apologies for the lack of image size in a couple of the vids)

Cameras used :-

1, genuine e700
2, sony chipped bullet cam with 'ir' filter in place (this has been the focus of the debate really but the filter does cut ir light to a degree)
3, identical bullet cam with 'ir' filter removed
4, randomly purchased bullet camera ir filter in place, no osd
all cameras will be running 16mm lenses.


keeping consistency :- for each test i do, all footage will be obtained from the same rest, same scope, same ir source, same battery pack. only the camera & its relevant mounting method will be altered as a result not every camera will be performing to its absolute best but they won't be a million miles away. footage is also being uploaded straight from my phone and i haven't worked out how to get it to a full screen picture yet so apologies for that.

TEST 1

as pill fitted to an l67, looking out through a gate to the post & rail fencing and up to the top hedge at 450 yards from where we are.

cheap bullet cam

https://youtu.be/Sd34c1W9RRI

cheap bullet cam w/ filter removed

https://youtu.be/P9pOOWUiyhQ

alternative cheap bullet camera (cheaper than the other camera, different sony chipset to other camera)

https://youtu.be/8E0eSLTiiXw

e700

https://youtu.be/6cZBPjQBlDE



test 2

didn't see the point in running all 4 cameras here after the longer range results so just used the unmolested budget bullet cam & the e700.

in this test, light is coming from a 'standard' black sun t20, looking the same way from the same point. gate in the foreground is approx 220 yards

cheap bullet camera

https://youtu.be/oSOj4Ya9Fxc


e700

https://youtu.be/MKKm8W9N6-0


summary so far:-

from the tests so far we have confirmed a couple of the claims made in the other thread. the over riding point to make is that the hedge line beyond the post and rail fence was clearly visible with the as pill l67 ir in all the test cameras in test #1 when viewed through a 5" sure24 screen.

comparing the picture we saw on screen to a clear night (this is our busiest chalie bashing spot so we know all the angles and ranges pretty well!) i would say we probably get a good 60 yards more of perfect clarity with the monitor & about an extra 80/90 yards minimum compared to the easycap device. the footage you are seeing is being hindered both by conditions and the method of recording i'm using.

other things we can summarise so far -

1, the ir iflter on these budget bullet cameras doesn't need to be removed to get decent performance. they are indeed an ir filter of some sort but clearly let enough light through for the cam not to need it removing for nv use.

2, while the e700 does drag more light in, if the ir source isn't throwing light far enough downrange you won't get a shootable picture at the longer ranges so if you are building a rig on a tight budget and need / want distance rather than the lowest possible ir signature, compromising your ir budget in place of the camera budget is not the intelligent solution. (obviously the ideal solution isn't to compromise on any part of the build but this isn't always possible for a lot of people and this is the whole point of this exercise is about demonstrating the capabilities of a rig when it is built down to a budget!)

3, the easycap unit & an android phone give a really good cheap screen & dvr option for people with a compatible device (probably works out to £11 with the hardware and app - approximately 1/3 the cost of the current 'best' sure24 5" screen! to scope mount it you are looking at no more than a fiver) however beyond 100 yards its resolution starts to hinder your cameras performance (it also annihilates the battery life of your phone so i'd advise using it sparingly and carrying spare batteries or a spare monitor at all times!) for sensible rimfire ranges and airgun ranges it seems to me to be a viable option.

4, its not been shown here (if i get chance i may do a couple of comparison vids next week) but scope choice can be the biggest hindrance on performance. this isn't new information but it is very important when considering if a budget build is worthwhile. if you have a poor performing scope I would estimate it can easily knock at least 50% of the performance out of your kit (based on what i have seen from my own rigs & scopes)




with more time over the next couple of nights i will test the worst performing budget camera (the boavision unit from test#1, camera 3) against the e700 on lower levels of ir from about 20 yards working out to about 100 to try and show what you can achieve on an entire rig that is cheaper than the cost of the e700!

what i want to emphasise is that the whole point of these tests isn't to say 'don't buy an e700' but more if you are on a tight budget you can get the distance you need with very little cash input. the rig i am putting together for the boavision camera should (theoretically) cost less for everything minus the ir source than an e700 will cost from sure24 before you have picked up anything else.

if my mental arithmetic is accurate, I have put together a 200 yard capable rig using this boavision bullet camera for a couple of quid over £100 including the ir (black sun t20) but excluding 3 x 18650's to power it as most of us probably have plenty lying around already! build thread to follow once the last couple of bits arrive. once again, this project is all about getting as many yards per £ as possible on a tight budget it is not about building the best rig available.



this whole concept isn't about nv purism and using the best kit available, there are people far more clued up on these things to offer the advice about the sharp edge of this intriguing and addictive hobby. this is solely about achieving effective results for as little cash injection as possible as many shooters don't want to or can't afford to chuck £200+ on a setup or as we see here with people new to nv, it is a new area of shooting they may not get on with so don't want to commit too much cash to their whim!

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some bloke
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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by some bloke » 13 Dec 2015, 23:41

Firstly thanks for taking the trouble to compare. It's probably best to keep the small file sizes to about 5" on a PC monitor rather than make any attempt to enable a full screen image that will be even further degraded when processed.

I have to disagree on your findings with regard to the image qualities though: The cheaper cameras are not done spreading the amount of light to the same area as the E700 ones. It looks like the E700 is viewing over twice as much area in far superior quality at the longer ranges seeing much more beyond the gate on the higher parts of the screen.

If the cheap cameras were to be lit with the IR at the same width and height I think they would show a much greater difference. That's only my feelings though, lets see what other less dyslexic members feel about them.

I'd say that by reducing the IR beam to a tighter beam for the cheap cameras is clouding your judgement and that minimising the beam to achieve that range reduces the FOV to not very practical - but doo-able if you can stand for that restricted view.
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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by sedstar » 13 Dec 2015, 23:52

i dont know...

at 4x ? yeah a LOT of stuff looks kind of "wow, this works great".

its when you go to 5x,6x...9x particularly, stuff shows up.

you really seem to concentrate on the "4x" ability... for me, its kind of hard to notice 9x performance, as you simply say "oh, here we wind it up... okay wind it back down, done" in each video. It SEEMED like when you wound up scope power to the 6 to 9x region? Thats where the e700 might have had its advantage. I know myself, i'm not shooting at a coyote at 200 to 300 yards on 3x or 4x power... i want to crank scope power up for that shot...

==========================================================================================

still, you made your point about the "IR filter" controversy, you get points for that.

i'll grant you though, for a low magnification 100 to 200 yard setup? it works okay on low magnifications...

==========================================================================================

i cant wait to slip one of my oslon's into one of my 67 lights... i dont have the AS, i have the older "half the output" S versions... I use my own scratch build illuminator that has 3 or 4 lenses in it... I am starting to get a sneaking suspicion i might give a good accounting for my illuminator side by side, since i get good results being handicapped with the older S oslon...
Well, I understand that, boys... but see, my CAT gets the silly idea you're making fun of HIM... then he gets, *really* mean...

sedstar
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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by sedstar » 13 Dec 2015, 23:55

hey, if i get a vote?

crank the scope power up to 7 or 9x... and tighten the IR up to "bars" showing the emitter for maximum range... cranking a scope up to 9x ? REALLY cuts light out... it'd be interesting to see (pun intended, lol) how your CAM stacks up to the e700 in that situation.

I'm not on "anyones side" in this? I used to "like" working with board cameras making stuff... i got all EXCITED when the E700 came out, i was about to get a high spec board camera!

it works well? but FABRICATING with the E700 out of its case? is a PAIN... they have components right out to the edges of the board, on both sides... theres only 2 holes, not 4 holes... GRRRRRR!

I end up fabricating with it in its case. It makes me REALLY miss my Ej230 lipstick camera case? lovely round cylinder, so easy to fabricate for, lol...

========================================

its not lilke i wouldnt lilke to play with a board cam with "4 holes" at the corners, and not have components all the way out to every edge, and RIGHT up against both of the holes the e700 gives.
Well, I understand that, boys... but see, my CAT gets the silly idea you're making fun of HIM... then he gets, *really* mean...

jax13
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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by jax13 » 14 Dec 2015, 02:14

when the scope zoom was wound up it is going to 16x! on 8 or 9x mag the picture doesn't really lose much brightness - 25 - 30% maybe if i were to guess. once you get past there it starts shutting down light gathering exponentially though but remember that the footage isn't as clear as the phone screen and the phone screen (well, the easycap) isn't as clear as the sure24 5" screens so you don't really get the full benefit of what the cams are doing.

to be honest about the footage, you can see far, far more on screen with the 'proper' monitors and even on the phone screen itself things look brighter and clearer than on the recordings so what i've captured is only really useful as a worst case comparison (especially as it was done in fairly poor conditions for nv use - it would only have been worse if it was foggy too!).

comparing directly the e700 image to the budget cam image - the e700 is marginally clearer due to it dragging in more light but even with a slightly dimmer picture, we can't really see anything with the e700 that we can't with the budget cams - this is why we are shocked they haven't got a wee bit more respect considering they are cheaper than a round of drinks in the pub or a chinese takeaway for two!

as for the ir spread, yes - the e700 is illuminating more of the sight picture as its dragging in more light but the exercise is more to do with what can be achieved when we are talking about low budget builds - the e700 is there to act as a control experiment as they are the benchmark everyone goes by. you don't really see this on the footage due to the quality not being there but the peripheral areas of view on the bullet cams is still bright enough to easily id (and shoot if needed) a target by its outline as you get plenty of contrast between the grass / hedges and the bunnies or foxes themselves) simply put, we do not get that sort of brightness loss / picture loss from the ir when using the proper screen, the whole picture is illuminated to the same degree.

i'm in two minds about whether losing the outer edges of the image is actually a problem or not -yes its better to have a wider FOV, i'd never argue differently (and its the one gripe i have with using the 3.5x lens on the t20 i've got as i lose about 1/3 around the edge of my sight picture as the light is so heavily focused) the extended fov is also especially handy if your spotting / scanning but in practice you could easily have the ir flooding slightly to pick up eye shine and then focus it for identifying / taking the shot as plenty of the area around the centre of the ret is still in really good illumination.

please remember this whole exercise is essentially about compromise a budget build by its mature is already compromised before it begins. of course, if you can afford to build an e700 rig and go for a top end ir source it is doubtless the way to go for the best performing add on possible but a lot of people seem to be coming on here and looking for advice on a budget build and with that comes a compromise. in this case, the compromise is that past 200 yards your fov may start to get narrower BUT excluding the ir, the full kit your using will cost less than the cost of an e700 on its own! if this is pointed out to people looking for budget builds along with the advice of going for the better cameras then the newcomers will be a little better informed and have the info to make that choice for themselves (and for someone looking for rimfire / air rifle only ranges it doesn't actually become a problem at all)


as i said at the top, i'm pretty sure that for a ballpark figure of £100 / £110 (need to do the final sums) we have put together a complete kit that is easily capable of 200 yards and very likely a fair bit more on a good clear night - you would probably struggle to buy an ej230 and get it mounted onto a scope for that! the other thing is this is a gradually upgradeable kit as more budget becomes available so if it is a repeatable, consistent build then why should we not show it off as a 'look what you can do for just £XXX' project rather than talking it down?

on a slightly more relaxed note, does it not seem a tad harsh we are even comparing a £15 camera to a £60 camera? all i know is that from shooting next to a cheap camera based rig a couple of times a week, its not missed a beat & its put a hell of a lot of foxes into ditches and even more meat in my freezer (my ferrets are getting a bit overweight too!) i think coxy has probably had about 30 of these bullets in the last 2 years (he makes his kits up for friends if asked) and they have all performed to the same standard.

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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by sedstar » 14 Dec 2015, 02:47

no no... i dig where your coming from.

in the couple years i have been here? things have gotten progressively more expensive. Its gotten to the point where the "bits and bobs" sold just to PUT the camera behind the scope? would cost me more than the E700 camera shipped to my door brand new, just about.

i LIKE the performance of the E700... i just had it behind 2 different "cheap" scopes last night? Its just a pain in the butt to fabricate with it. The EJ230 body was a LOT easier to work with.

========================================================================================

i think ONE thing going on? is that everyone has gotten so used to paying so much for every little part everyone makes or supplies? theres a general idea of "oh heck, whats another couple quid you know..." and the builds cost so much now, a couple bucks more for the E700 is really a small bit. No one seems to want to do things on the cheap now as much as before.

but... any slight snobbery aside? theres ONE main thing about recommending cheap CAMS to newbies constantly hitting the site... to reliably K-N-O-W what sensor and model cam they are buying when we give them a link!

Even when i asked you? you were like "well, i'm PRETTY sure thats the right one...", LMAO...

also? the suppliers will suddenly CHANGE cams they ship without changing their ads, lol.

I think, if we knew EXACTLY which sony board cam worked well, and, we knew EXACTLY that was what was going to be shipped every time someone ordered one? the idea would catch on a bit more. The "crap shoot" what your gonna get in the mail gets ridiculous.
Well, I understand that, boys... but see, my CAT gets the silly idea you're making fun of HIM... then he gets, *really* mean...

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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by some bloke » 14 Dec 2015, 07:12

Edited . :silent:
Last edited by some bloke on 14 Dec 2015, 08:52, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by some bloke » 14 Dec 2015, 07:19

sedstar wrote:no no... i dig where your coming from.

in the couple years i have been here? things have gotten progressively more expensive. Its gotten to the point where the "bits and bobs" sold just to PUT the camera behind the scope? would cost me more than the E700 camera shipped to my door brand new, just about.

i LIKE the performance of the E700... i just had it behind 2 different "cheap" scopes last night? Its just a pain in the butt to fabricate with it. The EJ230 body was a LOT easier to work with.

========================================================================================

i think ONE thing going on? is that everyone has gotten so used to paying so much for every little part everyone makes or supplies? theres a general idea of "oh heck, whats another couple quid you know..." and the builds cost so much now, a couple bucks more for the E700 is really a small bit. No one seems to want to do things on the cheap now as much as before.

but... any slight snobbery aside? theres ONE main thing about recommending cheap CAMS to newbies constantly hitting the site... to reliably K-N-O-W what sensor and model cam they are buying when we give them a link!

Even when i asked you? you were like "well, i'm PRETTY sure thats the right one...", LMAO...

also? the suppliers will suddenly CHANGE cams they ship without changing their ads, lol.

I think, if we knew EXACTLY which sony board cam worked well, and, we knew EXACTLY that was what was going to be shipped every time someone ordered one? the idea would catch on a bit more. The "crap shoot" what your gonna get in the mail gets ridiculous.
I think most will be comparing with the E700 rather than the more expensive EJ230. For add on's in UK we have the advantage of the E700 easily fitting into a £1 waste pipe fitting. (As used in my Spotter Add On rig below with the ribs machined off)
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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by Torchwood » 14 Dec 2015, 08:22

I started here with a cheapish camera from China around £30. While I was facinated by the result on my mamba lite add on, seeing well over my shooting ranges with a crelant head (t67 equivilant) on the max magnification, I always wondered if I could improve on that. That was almost three years ago.
Since than things has changed in term of camera choice and illumination. New as led has made cameras (with filter and without) look a lot better. The extra throw has compensated for camera's limited ability.
Nowadays clarity shouts out the first words for me. One will find on cheaper cameras, sharpness, clarity and brightness will significantly reduced by cheaper cameras on higher magnification.
Some shooters would like a top glass on their gun for all sort of reasons, but clarity and sharpness is on the top of the list. It goes the same way for night vision gear too.
If you are happy with a cheap riflescope, than a cheap add on is the right complement to the setup. But if you have invested a bit on a nice scope for day shooting, I'm sure you'll be looking for the same standards on your night setup.
All cameras will work for sure. But how good you want to see is the key here.
For me e700 at £60 delivered is a bargain. To save £30-£40 on a camera ( never mind board size is not the same so none of off the shelf housing can be used ) and loose the ability to see further and clearer, doesn't add up for me.

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Re: differences between cheap bullet cams & e700 (footage included)

Post by ACSlater » 14 Dec 2015, 10:16

Only check these in the video settings of

Easycap Viewer:
Device rotation
Car mode
Deinterlacing (greyed out but checked)

For AZ Screen Recorder use these settings:
1920x1080
Bitrate auto 30 fps
Orientation landscape

This works best for me and you'll get full screen recordings albeit 4:3. You're free to experiment of course.

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