What is Hikvision ColorVu and how does it work?

Hikvision ColorVu CCTV cameras are a breakthrough piece of technology for security surveillance applications. Although the tech behind it all has been around for a while, Hikvision is one of the very first to offer full colour imagery in dark conditions with such accuracy, at an affordable price. 

What Does it Do?

ColourVu cameras are able to capture an exceptional level of detail and full-colour video surveillance, regardless of the lighting conditions. Conventional CCTV cameras greatly struggle to capture footage in night-time conditions. They try to counter this by using things like aggressive noise algorithms, Infra-Red lights (IR), artificially adjusting the dynamic range, etc. These solutions can only do so much, often resulting in very poor image quality.

In turn, critical details are lost to digital noise, blooming, and muddy images. This often means the difference between identifying a vehicle’s license plate, the face of an intruder, or key features that would otherwise be visible.

Comparison of conventional CCTV camera against ColorVu camera for thoroughfare and vehicle

In stark contrast, Hikvision ColorVu cameras are able to retain fine details with the advantage of full-colour in any scenario. Depending on the application, it can be many times more capable than even manned patrols. 

How Does it Work?

ColorVu cameras have two main components that separate them from any other generic surveillance camera, starting with the lens.

In simple terms, Hikvision ColorVu cameras are able to capture more light and with a much greater accuracy. As the aperture of a lens is adjusted, the amount of light lets in changes exponentially. In this example, the difference between apertures of F2.0 (typical camera) and F1.0 (ColorVu camera) is shown. The change in aperture results in the ColorVu sensor receiving four times as much light.

Aperture of a typical camera compared to that of a ColorVu camera

As a comparison, cats can dilate their pupils to receive 10-20 times more light than we can. This puts predators like cats leagues ahead of us for night-vision performance. The same applies to Hikvision’s own ColorVu technology, allowing it to produce images with significantly better low-light image quality.

Side by side comparison for pupil size of humans and cats

Moreover, Hikvision ColorVu cameras lenses are constructed from an “Extra-low Dispersion” optical glass, minimising any potential optical disruptions. The lenses also have a special anti-reflective coating to maximise the amount of light received by the sensor.


Secondly, all ColorVu cameras use a high quality and advanced CMOS sensor. Camera sensors are very a very precise technology, and there’s more to a sensor than its size. The ones found in these full-colour Hikvision cameras are able to convert light to a digital signal extremely efficiently, and much more accurately that those of comparable IP cameras.

Without a higher-quality sensor, the camera would still produce a full-colour image, but it would have a noticeably worse quality. Hikvision also takes advantage of a smart 3D dynamic range algorithm to make the most of what the sensors have to offer. If there’s no natural light (or too little for the sensor), some ColorVu cameras have built-in light sources. They can project a warm and soft (visible) light onto an area for illumination.

IR camera compared to a ColorVu camera, showing the differences in detail

Conventional CCTV surveillance systems sacrifice optical clarity and finer details by relying on infrared light. Even in moderate to low-light conditions, blooming from intense light sources and high levels of digital noise can obscure details across significant portions of a scene.

ColorVu cameras are designed specifically for applications where high-quality colour images are required, regardless of lighting conditions. This makes them ideal for small businesses, parking lots, residential areas, recreational areas, and other such applications.


If you have any questions about our products, please call us on 1300 004 226. Or, contact us through our contact us page.
We are happy to answer any questions you have. 

1 comment

Micheal Martin

Micheal Martin

I have a standard 2 mega pixel Turbo DVR I am wondering if a 2 mega pixel colour vu camera will work on the turbo DVR?

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