Hey Luke, sorry for the slow response. I was at the show and actually endeavored to ask Dahua about it but their booth was pretty chaotic and info was difficult to come by.
First, they do have varifocal models (and even motorized zoom models) in the normal 720p listings now.
Second, the difference between their standard and "lite" lines has historically been sensor. The lite models used a 1MP OmniVision sensor while the others used Sony Exmor. I haven't personally seen a tremendous amount of difference between the two.
The also seem to have included some features in the standard line that are not in Lite, like OSD, switchable SD output, and 60 FPS capability. These changes seem to be introduced recently, as the first wave of HDCVI product (the stuff we tested) included these across the board.
IPVMU Certified | 10/09/14 10:29am
Hi Ethan, thank you very much for finding out this information for me at ASIS. That's very good of you. Thanks to your post, I now see Dahua have populated varifocal offerings across their 720p Lite, 720p and 1080p HDCVI cameras. I also note the 720p cameras are now reported as 1.4MP whereas the previous generation was 1.3MP. I know that would be an important difference in the regular video world but am not sure how beneficial that might be to surveillance cameras.
Thank you for finding out that the non-Lite cameras have some extra features. That is very useful to know.
I'm looking forward to the upcoming IPVM report on the HDTVI offerings as I'm curious to know how they compare with HDCVI. Some of the Dahua cameras are more aesthetically pleasing to me than Hikvision models so I'll be interested to find out how they compare technically.
Luke, thanks for pointing out the '1.4MP' spec.
It's a weird one. They list the pixel count as 1305(H)×1049(V) which is 1.368 MP. Compare to 720p, which is 1280 x 1024 / 1.31 MP. The difference is pretty immaterial in terms of pixels though I suspect it will help in specs (must be at least 1.4MP, etc.).
IPVMU Certified | 10/09/14 12:05pm
Hi John, if you're in marketing, it's always nice to be able to round up numbers to make the specifications sound more exciting! Thank you for doing the maths and showing the difference to be minimal. That's good to know.
While Dahua have a press release announcing two new varifocal cameras in their 720p Lite series of HDCVI cameras, I have not found any PR to announce the addition of varifocal cameras to their 720p and 1080p cameras.
Nor gave I found any PR mentioning that within the new varifocal models, there is a choice of manual lens or motorized lens. The manual varifocal lens camera has a model number ending in VF. The motorized varifocal lens camera has a model number ending in Z.
I'd love to know the price difference between a camera with fixed lens, manual varifocal lens and motorized varifocal lens.
Dahua have announced they intend to add 2K and 4K cameras to their HDCVI series. However I hope they offer true WDR models first as I regard WDR as far more useful than higher pixel counts.