4MP Camera Shootout - Axis, Dahua, DW, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek

By Ethan Ace, Published Sep 24, 2018, 07:02am EDT

4MP usage continues to climb, especially for low cost fixed lens models. To see who was best, we bought and tested seven 4MP models from Axis, Dahua, Digital Watchdog, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, and Vivotek.

4mp camera shootout

Inside this report, we rank performance overall and across major dimensions including:

  • Night/IR image quality
  • IR coverage/evenness
  • Max IR range
  • WDR image quality
  • Daytime image quality
  • Bandwidth efficiency
  • VMS integration
  • Street pricing

Those interested in individual cameras can review:

Performance ********

***** ** *** *****, performance ***** **** * groups:

  • *** *********:********* **-**********-*. *** ********* Performance ****** *** ******* top-level ** ******* *** coverage, ******* *** *** details, *** *** ********, as **** ** ***** VMS ***********.
  • ******* ***********:*****, ******, *** ******* each *** *********** ********** in ** ***** *** area, ***** *** ******* FD8379-HV **** ** *** middle ** *** **** in **** **********.
  • ******:*** **** *****-*** ** II *** ******* ****** in ********* ***** *******, evenness ** ************, *** range **** ***** ******, while **** *** ******* price *****. *** ** MTT4Wi ****** ** ** range, **** **** ******** and *** ******* *** integration ** ******* ******.

4mp camera shootout rankings

**** **** ***** ******** do *** **** ***** into *******, ******* **** at *******, *********, *** integration ******, *** ** is ******** ** *** chart ***** *** **********.

4mp camera shootout summary lite

Hikvision ******/**** ******

*******, *** *** ********** Hikvision **** *** **** the ****** ***** ** this ****, ****** ******** in ***** ******* ** time *** *******, *** using ***** ********** ******* and ****.

** ********, *** **** M3106-LVE *** ********** ** mid-2016. ***** * ****** generation ** ** ***** was ******** ** ****, it *** *** ***** improved ******* ************, ****** size, ** *** **** its ***** ********** *********** (but ***** *.*** *** reduced ***** *********** *** to **** ******* ** components).

** **** ** ****** release *** ********** *** models ******* **** *** cameras ****** ****, ** will **** **** *** amend *** *******.

IR ***** ******* (

***** ******* ** **** scenes **** ********** ** varied ******, **** ************ and **** ************ **** issues ** ******** *******.

1

** * **** (~*.** Lux) *****, *** ***** and ******* ******* ******* the ********* ******* ** close ***** (~**'/** ***), with *** *******'* **** clearly ************ ** **** cameras. ** ********, *** Hanwha *** **** ****** details *** ******, **** the ******* ****** *******/******, with ******* ************ ** the ****** ***-*****.

4mp nighttime performance differences 15

** ****** ***** (~**'/** PPF), ***** ***** ******** better *******, **** ***** especially *******, ********* *-* legible ***** ** *** test *****. *** ******* IPC3614 ** **** ******* than ***** ******, *** produces ******** ******. ** contrast, **** ********* *** available ** *** **** M3106, ***** ** ********** darker **** ****** ** this *****, *** ****** QNV-7010R, ***** ******** ***** detection *** ** ******* due ** **** ****** (an ********* **** ** *** indoor *******).

4mp nighttime performance differences 30

**** **** **** *** Hanwha **** ***** *** shortest ** ****** ** cameras ****** (***/*** ************ compared ** *** ** others), ********* *****.

IR ************ ********

******** *** ******** ** IR ************ *** ******* to *****, **** ********* and ******* **** ***** the **** ****, *** Axis *** ****** ********** worst. **** **** **** cameras ****** *********** ** least * ****** **** in ************ ** *** edges ** *** ***** of ****, **** **** the ********* ******* *** same ************ *****.

2

***** *****, *** ********* 2345 ******** ***** ************ of *** ******* ** the **** ** *** field ** ****. *******, details *** ***** ******* due ** ** ******** in ******* *****, ** well ** ****** **********.

hikvision ds-2cd2345fwd-i

** ********, ** *** Axis *****-***, ** ****** details *** ** **** in *** ******* ** the **** ** *** field ** ****, **** the ******* **** **** dimly ***********.

axis m3106-lve mk ii

IR ************ *****

*** ******** ** ******* in **** **** ***** 30m/~98' ** *****, ********* Dahua, *********, *******, *** Vivotek.

3

*******, *********** ****** ****** among ***** ******, **** detection **** ** *** Dahua, ***** *********** *** subject ******* *** **********, borderline ********* ** *** Hikvision ****, *** ********* impossible ** *** ******* and ******* *******.

dahua solid detection at 30m

****, ******* ********, *** Hanwha **** ***** ***** at **** *****, ******** shorter ** ******, *** in **** *** *** in ** *** ******.

Daytime ***** *******

******* *********** *** **** closer **** *********, **** all ******* ********* ****** details ** *** ******* at ***** ***** (~**'/** PPF).

4

*** **** ***** ******* from ****** ************ ** this ***** ***** ****** do ***.

4mp daytime performance differences 15

** ~**'/~** ***, *** Hikvision ****** ******** *** most **** ******** ** cameras ******, **** ******** better ******* ** *** subject's **** **** *** Hanwha ***-*****. ******** ** closer *****, *** ******* FD8379-HV *** **** ***** both ********** **** ** the **** ***** *** subject.

4mp daytime performance differences 30

WDR ***********

*** ****** ****** ******** true *** ***********, **** multiple ******* ********** ***** well ** *** *****. Contrast **** ** **** ~2 ***** ***, **** true *** *** ***** regarded ** * ****-*** feature *** ***** ***** of *******.

5

*** ******* *** ********* cameras ******** *** ******** details ** ******** **** against ****** ********* *** in ****** ***** ** the *****, ***** *****. Vivotek ***** *** ********* in *** *** ** stronger ******* ** *** subject ** *** ****** area ** *** *****. By ********, *** **** M3106-LVE ******** *** ******* facial ****** ** ******* in *** **** ******* backlight, **** *** ***** N44CL52 ******* *** *** subject **********, **** ****** halos *** ********* ****** objects ******** *******.

4mp wdr performance differences

Note: ******* *** ******** ********** ********* (~*%)

****** ***** ****** ** this ****, *******'* ******-** requires ***** ** ****** to **** ** (~*.***) mode ** ****** **** WDR, **** **** ******* WDR **** ** **** 4MP **********. **** ******* in * ~*% ********* in *** (**** **. 2688) *** ******* *** from ** ** **.

true wdr mode quad hd vs 4mp digital wdr

Bandwidth **********

**** ******* ****** ******** smart ****** ** **** as *.***, **** *** exceptions:

  • ******* ******** *** *** include ***** ******, **** H.265, *** **** ****** lacking **** ** **** test.
  • ******* *** *** **** model ***** *** *** include *.***, *** ** did ******* ***** ***** Stream ** ***** *****.

6

*** ******* ******** ** cameras ****** **** ******* (at ***** **** ** on) ** **** * MB/s *** ******* ******** (day) ** **** *** Kb/s. ** ********, *** Axis *****-*** ******** ***** 1 **/* **** *** and *****, **** *** Hikvision **** **** ******** higher.

*** ****** *** ***** cameras ****** *********** ** night, ****** ***** ******* bitrates **** *********** ** lower **** *******.

bitrate comparison

VMS ***********

*** *********** ******** ****** among *******, **** *.*** streaming ********* ** ****** all *****, *** *.*** and ****** **** *** support **** **** ********. We ****** ***** ****** in ****** *****.

7

Basic ***********: *.*** *********

***** *****, *** ***** 4MP ****** ****** ********* and ******** *.*** ***** via ***** ** ****** drivers ******* *****, **** two **********:

  • *** ******* ******** *** camera ****** ** ******** connect ** *******. *** camera ***** ** *** VMS, *** ************ * few ******* *****, ********** of **** ******** **** used, *** **** ****** in *** **** ** do **.
  • ********* *** *** ****** with ******* *** ** the ***'* *********** ** acquire ** ********** "********** camera *******", *********** ******** the ******* ****. ********** ****** ************ **** ******* ** this ***********.

h264 camera shootout summary

***** **. *********** ****** use ******** ********* ** the ****** *** ***, with **** ***** ***** a ****** ****** *** Axis, ******, *********, *** Vivotek, ***** *****, ** (a *** *** ******), and ******* **** ***** used *****.

H.265 ******* ******

*****, ******, *** ********* H.265 ******* **** **** widely *********, *********** *** streaming ******** ** *****, Genetec, *********, *** ******* Optix. ****' *.*** ****** was **** *********** ** Nx *******, ***** *** not *** ***** ******* to ***** **** ******.

** *** ******* **** supported ** ***** *****, with ** ********* **** in ******* ***** (***** OEMs ******* ********'* ******** VMS) *** ******* ******* only ** ******* *** Network *****.

**** **** *.*** *** not ****** **** ******** as *** *** **** not *** ******* *** codec, *** *******'* ******-** streams **** ** *.***.

h265 camera shootout summary

Camera **** ***

****, ******, *** ********* camera **** *** ********** with *** ****** *****. Dahua, *******, *** ******* support **** ****** *** or *** *****, **** Network ***** ********** *******. However, *** ** ****** was ********* ** *** fewest *****, **** ******** and ******* *****, ******* that ****** ****** **** VMD ** ********** ********* must ** **** **** Exacq, *******, *** *********.

camera side vmd integration

*******

******* ** *** ********** falls **** ***** ***** categories, **** *** **** expensive ****** (****) **** than ***** ***** *** price ** *** ***** expensive (*******/*****). ******* ******* was ~$*** ***, ******* to *** ***-***** ** these ****** (*********/******/*******).

4mp camera price comparison

Test ***** *****

******* *** ****** ****** use ***** ******, ******* were ********* ** ******** from *** ****** ** achieve *** **** *** in **** *****. **** results ** ****** *********** in ***** ** ********* at ***** ***** *** background ***** ** **** seen ** ******* ******* below. ********* ****** ** each ***** ********* *** distance *** ******** ** cameras **** ******.

************, ***** *** ***** cameras **** ****** **************, for ****** ********** ** fine ******* ** **** only ******** **** ******* side ** **** ** comparisons ***** ************ *** most *******/*********** ********.

Firmware ******** ****

*** ********* ******** ******** were **** ** **** test:

  • **** *****-*** ** **: 8.30.1.1
  • ***** *******: *.***.*******.*.*
  • ******* ******** ***-********: *.*.*.*(*****
  • ****** ***-*****: *.*********
  • ********* **-**********-*: **.*.** ***** 180622
  • ******* **********-*****: *********-*************
  • ******* ******-**: *****

Country ** ******

**** ****** ** ****** with *** ********* ******* of ******:

  • **** *****-*** ** **: Made ** ******
  • ***** *******: **** ** China
  • ******* ******** ***-********: **** in *****
  • ****** ***-*****: **** ** Korea
  • ********* **-**********-*: **** ** China
  • ******* **********-*****: **** ** China
  • ******* ******-**: **** ** Taiwan

Comments (51)

The Hikvision shots are pretty nice, but I'm even surprised bull the UNV images up close.

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Good comparison!
Axis used to be better than almost all concurrents, both in image quality and bandwidth. I'm impressed by the low-price manufacturers performance...

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Waiting on Sean's post about how great Hikvision is and this test now somehow proves they are not a cyber security threat :)

Seriously though, great report and great shootout comparison as always.  

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If you read to the bottom you need to block more cameras:

  • Axis M3106-LVE Mk II: Made in Poland
  • Dahua N44CL52: Made in China
  • Digital Watchdog DWC-MTT4Wi28: Made in China
  • Hanwha QNV-7010R: Made in Korea
  • Hikvision DS-2CD2345FWD-I: Made in China
  • Uniview IPC3614SR3-DPF28: Made in China
  • Vivotek FD8379-HV: Made in Taiwan

If you think the ban is about cyber security please read the thread about it here on IPVM. Its been explained over and over again.

Most clear by Bashis, read a copy here.

For all brands made in China, there is a new tariff in place.

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Thanks for the Unhelpful vote dear anonymous, great explanation too.

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HikHater Competitors new Slogan: 

"Our cameras suck compared to Hikvision, but atleast you wont get hacked!"

Does that reply meet your satisfaction?

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Funny: 13

You still get hacked just less chance.

get crappy cameras, pay twice as much, just because we know nothing about network security 

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We have been using more DW cameras these days. My biggest issue has been bandwidth. We don't use the model you tested, we find their MV84WIA works much better for us. We get a DW license everytime we purchase one of these cameras. If it weren't for the bandwidth I would have zero complaints. 

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Looks like a CPRO camera to me. It would be made in Vietnam or Korea by CPRO originally.

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I am pretty sure they make most if not all of DW's cameras. 

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The example in this shootout is actually by TVT.

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You purchase a license separately or one is given with the IPC?

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DW gives a spectrum license with every motorized lens camera. 

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On the Bitrate Comparison testing what is the actual bitrate of the camera set at?
10FPS at 4MP with h.265 and Smart Codecs is listed but what was the bitrate setting at?

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They were set to VBR with the highest allowable bitrate as cap, which varied from manufacturer to manufacturer. We'll gather that and post back.

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Wouldn't it make sense to put each camera tested at the same bit rate?

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Setting each camera to the same bitrate is practically impossible, and undesirable.

For one, many manufacturers do not simply allow you to fix the bitrate. Axis, for example, allows only variable bitrate or maximum bitrate (VBR/MBR). They are not the only ones.

Second, even if we could, it would remove much of the value of the test, since it limits the cameras' ability to vary bitrate according to the scene, and certain cameras are more or less efficient at doing so. In real world installs, most use VBR, as well, so fixing bitrate would be less valuable to users.

Instead, we standardize on settings that result in quantization of ~28-30 before smart codecs are turned on. Once smart codecs are applied, quantization will vary widely depending on the camera or even the region of the image, which is again one of the things we are testing.

The only thing testing CBR would allow is to see which camera ends up with the lowest effective quantization. But quantization is not a clear indication of better image quality, because of factors like exposure, blur/lack thereof, sensitivity, etc., so it's fine as academic information but not very useful as a real world test.

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Outstanding report guys!

Great detail and sound test process. 

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In my oppinion you should compare more features, like on board analyctics... I gess its a Axis's great strong point

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IPVM has other analytics shootouts. 

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Yes! I know! But, maybe the analytics tests should be part of this comparison... To ensure that a camera is better than other, its necessary to consider all features of both cameras, dont you think?

I gess the Axis ACAP is a feature that can be a big differential against other manufacturers, and it helps to justify the price difference

An other poit is durability.. I know some companies that have 10+ years old Axis Cameras, such as Axis 206, Axis 212PTZ, Axis 211 and Axis 215PTZ... I can be wrong, but I dont think that a Chinese camera can last so long

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Axis has a longer trackrecord, so you will find more user experience.
In our 7 years of Hik distribution the fault/defect rate has been very low and lifetime quite long.

Cameras get replaced because technology has caught up, not because they are defective.

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I'm afraid you are wrong in regard to Chinese reliability. Hikvision has demonstrated excellent reliability in the 10 years we've been using them. The failure rate (installed) has been better than other cameras we have used (Flir, Avigilon, Axis). In total honesty, the only difference is out of box issues where Hik have had a marginally higher incidence. We put this down to the final quality checking this is most likely batch tested rather than individually tested. But anecdotally, if it works out of the box - it will last longer than other manufacturers that fail more often in the field. We pick up the issues quickly when we set up the cameras in the workshop - so its not an issue for us. It's a bigger issue when they fail in the field, so quid pro quo - Hik works for us.

No point even reading any Hik haters comments - but would be interested in other Hik installers experiences to see if they are similar. Given the thousands we've installed, the out of box issues are less than 20 - so has been a very manageable run-rate.

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And yet you hide behind undisclosed.  I hope you're right, and it turns out that the Hik cams I have bought are a total bizarro world departure from the vast majority of other Chinese products, and thus actually have a long service life.  Better yet, more options arise that are manufactured in the West over the next several years.

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Hey Chris,

I'm not hiding my name. I have the same statistics: hundreds or even more than a thousand installed Hik cameras and less than 1% failure rate. The software (I mean both, the FW's and tools) is not the best, UI/UX is a disaster. But it's Chinese made, so I'm not surprised.

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We agree on the software.  I sent one model back because enabling "smart events" caused horrible video freezes and even ghosting, and Hik's tech support had no clue.

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Hanwha and Vivotek last as long as an Axis.

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This is a very helpful review, but this is a general suggestion I have as well.  Perhaps more of a "Tom's Hardware Guide" style, where pretty much every performance aspect of a device is covered.

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It's been a few times I read similar articles here.. Shame on me, but what's is camera side VMD? I guess, but not sure... 

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Camera side video motion detection. If vms supports receiving camera motion and then start recording or event trigger. 

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I think Sergey might be kidding...

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Yes since NX uses their efficient way of server side on the secondary stream so no need for camera side, unless it's an arecont camera

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Is it their default method or the only one?

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It's not the "only one" but it is the best one. NX indexes the video in such a way that it's better to use server-side motion vs camera side. 

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And now you can build a failover server using a Raspberry Pi. New designs are possible.

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The trade off doing server side motion is usually server side resources going up. Unless you can show a server side motion method that has absolutely no impact on server resources, there's always a benefit to doing camera side VMD vs. server side provided it still gets the job done.

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The method is NX Witness. I have systems with 16 cameras running off a server with a dual core processor using server side motion with almost no impact on server resources. We have much larger systems as well but the really weak processor is a great example. 

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The miracles of well written software.  Can you share your FPS and typical bitrates?

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The NetOpx/DW motion detection is so much better then physically configuring edge motion triggers. However, I believe that camera VMD is coming in the future according to their sales team.

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Camera VMD is supported, just on a limited number of manufacturers. It's listed under "Video Analytics" in rules for supported cameras. Right now, I believe it's Axis, Hanwha, Hikvision, and a few others.

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So evidently this test has upset a few Axis proponents, from FB comments:

Sigh...

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Facebook is awesome. 

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And now Sean Nelson is sort of defending IPVM:

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I got your back!

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Sean having John's back :)

 

funny

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That's not fair on Sean...

 

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I am an avid user of Axis, and a fan of their products.  But this blind kind of loyalty is ridiculous.  I would use this test to challenge Axis, saying "hey, you missed on this one".  Asking them to do better, as that is what we expect from Axis.  And I will avoid using this product until they can do better.

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I would use this test to challenge Axis, saying "hey, you missed on this one".

Axis is quite good about things like this, they focus on making things better rather than attacking the character of the company doing the test. The whole Hikvision 'fell into the hands' type excuse is the opposite of Axis culture.

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Yikes on Dahua's WDR performance! What's happened there?

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I really love when people reject test results for no other reason than the results themselves.

Reminds me of DC today..............

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