I'm wondering if anyone else has bought and played with/installed any of the new 4-inch Value series PTZs from Hikvision they just introduced. I'm referring specifically to the indoor/outdoor IR units.
- DS-2DE4A204IW-DE - 2.1MP Darkfighter with a 2.8-12mm lens
- DS-2DE4A220IW-DE - 2.1MP non-Darkfighter 4.7-94mm lens
- DS-2DE4A320IW-DE - 3MP non-Darkfighter with 4.7-94mm lens
All have built-in IR, true 360 degree endless panning, WDR, H.265+, and a "basic" smart suite. I bought the 2.1MP Darkfighter and replaced a 4MP dome under my house's soffit with it, and would like to give my opinions thus far.
First of all, I'm not quite sure what the "4-inch" refers to in Hik's marketing because this unit is larger than that. Definitely smaller than their usual outdoor PTZ line but certainly larger than a dome. If I had to guess (as I don't have one here to compare) I would put its size roughly equal to an Axis Q61 series but smaller.
The unit doesn't require any additional hardware for mounting. It comes with a ring that you can mount directly to a surface and then "twist on" the camera via three studs that fit into the ring. It is secured onto the ring via an external screw that sits flush with the housing. Nice and slick if you're installing to a flat, solid surface. Under a mushy aluminum soffit, at night, in the cold, not so much. The cable whip is substantial BTW with alarm and audio in/out, ethernet, power, etc. I used PoE+ from a Trendnet 16-port unmanaged switch over roughly 100' of UTP CAT5 and it works fine.
Hikvision claims this unit will do color at down to 0.002 lux. I haven't measured the light in my front yard but I would opine that it's far brighter than that especially since there's a streetlight and the fresh snow reflects a lot of ambient light. The day/night sensitivity settings only give you three steps to adjust with whereas one of their domes I bought recently (coincidentally also "Darkfighter" but with a rated 0.008 lux color) has seven. Pointing away from the streetlight into a neighbor's yard the unit will go to B/W, but if I turn it towards my front door where the porch is lit by a 60W-equivalent LED in a sconce AND with the snow, it will go to color.
Detail at night is awesome, the Darkfighter really does bring out extra light in both color and B/W modes. If I force the dome to color at night it still provides a really nice picture although DNR is mandatory and it softens the image, reducing detail. What I don't like however, and I hope that maybe someone can chime in here with whether this sounds normal or not, is that when you pan/tilt in low light (in either color or B/W) it's like the DNR switches off during movement and makes the picture really noisy. Once the dome stops moving the picture becomes clear again. I haven't noticed this with other Hik PTZ models but perhaps I didn't notice and this is normal?
The autofocus is rapid and accurate in my testing. The optical zoom on my model is only 4x but it seems to handle refocusing very well. I have the digital zoom enabled up to "8x" and IMO the picture quality is still acceptable.
The built-in IR works well but I have noticed bloom coming from the dome. This could however be reflection from a nearby EXIR turret pointed in the unit's direction. It hasn't bothered me or is noticeable enough to switch the IR off on the turret to test but is worth mentioning. I have the IR turned down a fair ways as there's sufficient ambient light for the Darkfighter to pick up.
The unit comes with a selection of smart features and Hik's literature says that's limited basically to line crossing and intrusion detection, however it does also come with a few others and, big surprise to me, smart tracking! Now there is a caveat here in that the smart tracking isn't as full featured as their pro series PTZs; you can basically turn the smart tracking on and set the duration for it to track movement, and that's pretty much it. You cannot set a zone for it to watch, you either get smart tracking full frame regardless of position, or nothing. Furthermore I've noticed after it times out tracking movement and returns to its previous position there is a delay before it will start tracking again, even if there is constant motion in the frame. Additionally I have been finding my NVR (Hikvision 7616NI-I2) is cutting off the end of the recording and I'm not sure why, although I think it might be because my post-record is too short and there sometimes isn't enough motion in the frame for the NVR to know the dome is slowly tracking. If that's the case, easy fix. Regardless the inclusion of the smart tracking is a really nice bonus in what's billed as a value unit, and from what I've seen tracks very well.
Literature also says you can get 60 fps out of this thing at 1920x1080 but I haven't seen the setting for that. I might have simply missed it. Sure would love to see some 60 fps footage from this thing.
Overall I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the unit especially in low light. My only real complaints are I'd prefer to have a bit more focal length in this one to say 50mm (or the other two models built with Darkfighter technology), the noise issue during low light panning, and full featured smart tracking.
I realize this is no IPVM-grade test and teardown but I thought someone might be interested to hear a user's opinion. If anyone else has experience with these and can chime in on what I've said I'd like to hear your thoughts.