Remote detection by camera offers a versatile means for recording people activities. Relying principally on changes in video images, the method tends to fail in presence of shadows and illumination changes. This paper explores a possible remedy to these problems by using range cameras instead of conventional video cameras. As range is an intrinsic measure of object geometry, it is basically not affected by illumination. The study described in this paper considers range detection by two state-of-the art cameras, namely a stereo and a time-of-flight camera. Performed investigations consider typical situations of pedestrian detection. The presented results are analyzed and compared in performance with conventional results. The study shows the effective potential of range camera to get rid of light change problems like shadow effects but also presents some current limitations of range cameras.