Next Gen 5MP / 6MP Camera Shootout - Axis vs Dahua vs Hanwha vs Hikvision

By Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 28, 2018

Many manufacturers have released new generation 5MP / 6MP cameras that tout super low light, WDR and other features historically typical in 1080p but not 5MP / 6MP. In our recent series of tests we tested four of these models from major manufacturers against their own comparable 1080p version:

Now, in this shootout, we put them head to head and report on how they compare. Inside we report on:

  • IR performance
  • Color low light performance
  • WDR performance
  • Full light image quality
  • Price comparison
  • Physical comparison
  • Advanced features

*******

***** ** *** *****, there *** ***** *** takeaways **** **** ********:

  • *** **** ***** ********* best ** *** ****** tested, ******** **** ******** features **** ******, *** consumed **** *********, *** was **** ********* ** several ******* *******
  • *** ****** ***-***** *** solid, *** ***** ********** than **** ** *** light *** ***, *** at * **** **** reasonable *****.
  • *** ***** ******* ********* poorly ** *** *****, with *** ******** ********* and ****** ** *****, but ********* **** ** WDR ****** ******, *** was *********** **** ********* than ***** ****** ******.
  • *******, *** ********* **** performed **** ******** ****** than *** ***** ****** in *** ***** (** and ***** ****) *** performed ***** ** **** WDR ****** *** ** its **** ** **** WDR (***** ** ***** cameras ******).

Camera ********* *****

** ********* ****** *** this ****, ** ***** the **** ** ** date ***/*** ****** *********. Note **** ********* **** includes ******* *** ****, as ********* **** *** have * ***+ **** WDR ***** ** ***** higher *** ***** ******/* Series ******* ** ***** America ** ***** *******. Hikvision *** * *** varifocal **** *** ***** in ***** ***** **** H.265 ******, *** **-**********-*** [link ** ****** *********], but **** ** *** yet ******** ** ***** America *** *** ********** as * ********** ** Axis' * ****** ***** or ******'* ******* * domes ** **** **** as **** **** */*, audio, ***** ** *******, and ***** **** *** features.

**** **** ********** ****** in ******* ******, **** manufacturers ******** ********* *-*** resolutions ** ***** ************* models:

  • **** *****-***: *** **:*, 3072x1728
  • ***** *******: *** *:*, 2592x1944
  • ****** ***-*****: *** *:*, 2592x1944
  • ********* **-********-***: *** (*:*), 3072x2048

********** ***** ** **** width *** ******* *** testing, ** **** *********** in *********** ****** *** same ***** ** ****, including ********* *** *** to ***** ****** ***********.

Vs. ********, *****

**** ************'* ** ****** ***********'* *** ************* *** ******** ** this ****, ** **** are *-* ***** *** as ** **** ****. We **** **** *** new ********** *** ****** claiming ******** *** *****, WDR, ** ** *********** if **** ****** ** released.

Price **********

******* ** ******* ** this **** ****** ******, from * **** ** ~$1,200 *** (**** *****-***) to * *** ** ~$300 (***** *******). *******, Dahua *** ********* ****** advanced ******** ***** ** the **** *** ****** cameras, **** ** ******* image *************, ******** ******, shock *********, ** ***** analytics, *** *** ********* 4565 ******** **** ******* WDR.

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

** *** ***** **** IR ** (~*.**** *** below), *** **** *****-*** provides **** ****** ****** than *** ***** ****** in **** ****, **** clearer ******* ******* *** text *** ** ******* brighter *****. *** ****** XNV-8080R ******** **** ****** facial ******* ** *** subject *** ********** **** that ** *** **** camera, ***** **** ***** details *** ******* **** are ******* ** *** Dahua *** ********* *******.

** ****** ********, *** Axis ****** ***** ******** clearer ******, **** *** subject ********* ** *** on ***** *******, ********** the ***** *******.

Axis **** **** ** ********, ****** *** ** *****

*** **** *****-*** ******** the **** **** ** coverage ** **** ******, with * ****** ******** in ******* ** *** edge ** *** ***** of **** ******** ** the ******.

*******, *** ******* *** very ***** *********** ** the ***** ** *** Dahua, ******, *** ********* models, *** ********* ** see, ***** *****.

Color *** ***** ***********

******* ***** *** ***** performance (~*-***) ********, *** Q3517-LVE *** ***-***** ******* similarly, **** ************ ******* in **** *** ******* subject *******. *******, ** in *** ** *** light *****, *** ***** and ********* ****** ******* worst, **** ******* ******* details *** ****** ***** overexposure ** *** **** chart.

******* **** ******* ** other ******, ** ****, shown ***** ** **' distance, **** *** **** and ****** ******* ***** best.

Exterior **** *** ***********

** ****** *** *********** starting ** ** **** door ***** **** ******* variance (~**** ****** ******** to ~*,***** *******), **** the ******* ****** ** adjust ** ***** ****** in *****.

** **** *****, *** Axis *****-*** **** ******* displays *** ******* ** all ******, **** ***** images ** *** ******* and ********** ** ** first ***** *** **** (below). *** ***** ******* provides ******* ** **** point, ** ****, *** both ****** *** ********* overexpose *** **** *** the **********. **** **** the ********* **** ****** **** *** ******, using ******* *** ****, while *** ****** *** multiple *********.

**** ****** *** ****, the ***** *** ***** models ******* ****** ****** details **** ******.

*** ***** *** **** to *** *** ***** cameras ******* ** ******, we **** ******** ******** .*** **** ** clips **** **** ** this *****.

Warehouse **** *** ***********

** **** ****** *** performance ** * **** challenging *****, * ********* with **** ******** ****, varying **** ~**** ****** to **,***** *******.

** **** *****, *** Axis *** ***** ******* provide *** **** ******* of *** *******, **** Hanwha *****, *** ******** less ********. *** ******* WDR ********* ****** ***** performs *****.

Full *****

** * **** *** outdoor *****, *** ******* provide ******* ******* ******* details ** ***** ***** (~50-60PPF), **** *** ********* 4565 ********** ******** ******* detail ** *** **** chart.

******** *********** *** ******* at ****** ******, **** all ******* ********** ******* details.

Axis ****** **** *******/***** ******* **** *******

** ******* ******, *** Axis ***** *** *** largest, *-*" ****** **** the ****** *** ********* models, ******* **** *** outdoor *****. ** ********, the ***** ******* *** much ******* **** *******, closer ** ****** ******** size. *** **** ******* are ***** **** ** side *****:

Physical / ************ ***********

***** **** ****, ******** features ** *** ****** domes **** *******, **** these *** ***********:

  • ****/****** *** ********:**** **** *** ****** include ********** ***** ** the **** ***** *** mounting ** ******** ********** boxes, *.*., ******, ******, octagon, ***., ***** ***** in *** **** ***. Box ******** ******** ********** parts **** ***** ***** and *********.

  • ****** ********* ******:*** ****** ** *** Hanwha ***-***** *** ********* to ****** *** *****, requiring ***** ** ****** it ***** * ***** ring ** *** **** of *** ******, ******* of *** ***** ** was ******* ** ***** models.

  • ***** ** */* ** audio:*******, *** ***** ******* did *** ******* */* or *****, ***** ***** models *** ******** ****.

Axis/Hanwha ******** ******** / *****/********* *****

************, *** ***** *** Hikvision ******* ****** ******** features ***** ** *** Axis *** ****** ******, such ** ********** ***** stabilization, ******** ******, ***** detection, ** ***** *********. See *** ***** ** the***********-******** ******* ** ********* of ***** ********.

**** **** *** ****** include **** **** ** analytics, ********* ********* *** crossline ** * *******. We **** *** ****** these ********* ** ******* models/firmwares *** **** ** do ** ** ******** tests.

H.265 *******

** ******* ******, **** the ***** *** ****** models ********.***, **** ******* *** Milestone ********** ***** ******* for ****. ***** *** Network ***** (*** ****/********) also ********* *** ****** camera's *.*** ******, *** not *****.

Axis ****** *********

*** **** *****-*** *** the ****** ******** ** cameras ****** ** *** scenes ** * ******* margin, ***** ****, **** than **** *** ******* of ********* *.*** (**** closest) ** **** ***** and ***-*** **/* ***** than ***** *** ******'* H.265 ******* ** *** light. **** **** *** cameras ********* ** *** light ****** *** ***** N52BM3Z, ***** ********* *** to *** ****, ******** images **** ** **.

********

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

  • **** *****-***: *.**.*.*
  • ***** *******: *.***.****.**.* ***** date ****-**-**
  • ****** ***-*****:*.*********
  • ********* **-*******-***: *.*.**

Test **********

*** ********* *********** **** made ** ******* ** this ****:

  • ******* **** *** *** to */*** ******* ** faster. **** **** ******* to *** **** *******.
  • ******* **** *** *** to *** **********, ** FPS.
  • *********** *************** ** ************ ** 28-30(***** ** ********** ***** codec ******* ***********).

Comments (44)

Hi Ethan, I commented in the test repost too, this is not the Hikvision model to test.

Hope you can update it with the mentioned model, I like these test a lot!

I'll just copy my response from the other thread for completeness here:

Jonathan, we selected the 4565 because it is the latest 5MP/6MP model available on Hik's higher end line. If we had put 2755 up against Axis Q series and Hanwha's Wisenet X, we would be getting the opposite objection regarding how we could possibly test a Value Series camera against others' high end. 

For the record, the 4565 still shows a shiny "New" badge on Hikvision's HQ site:

As well as the USA site:

Whether the 4 line series is being phased out is moot. It exists and is listed as new. When Hikvision releases something new in the high end, we will fairly compare it to competitors.

That being said, we may look at the 2755 or 2H55 cameras in the meantime, if there's interest.

While I understand what you are saying, in my Q1 Distributor price list the model is flagged EOL. Hence the advice to ask HIK partners for intell before ordering. Sadly their website is not the best way to find out. Also, the EU/US/Overseas websites differ in product content.

You would think the largest CCTV manufacture in the would be able to keep the website updated with current cameras and not make a mess out of distributing different camera to different markets and control the gray market products. 

Agree completely. Either separate completely per continent/market, or go with one global line. It’s a source of headache 

Reason #1208 why Hikvision should actually talk to IPVM instead of sticking their head in the sand and pretending like IPVM does not exist.

Yes, even without that, though, the bigger issue, if Jonathan's claim is correct, then Hikvision is simultaneously publicly marketing that this is a 'new' product while internally marking it as EOL. Leading buyers to believe something is 'new' if it is really 'end of life' is an issue of trust.

John, I completely agree to this factual statement you made. With that being said...

Just noticed an Unhelpful Vote. How is this remotely "Unhelpful?" Can I mark the Unhelpful vote Funny? As someone who is trying to give Hik a chance, this only confuses the **** out of me, and pushes me back to the brands I have trusted over the last 10+ years. I need reliable info quickly, and manufacturer websites are invaluable tools, especially after you've waited half an afternoon or more on a call back from an RSM. If the manufacturers websites arent correct, or in the case completely dated/incorrect, what can you trust?

Just noticed an Unhelpful Vote. How is this remotely "Unhelpful?"

Unhelpful for Hikvision branding? :)

As someone who is trying to give Hik a chance, this only confuses the **** out of me, and pushes me back to the brands I have trusted over the last 10+ years.

I agree. It's like the DeepInMind NVR problems. There's a desire to get things out quick and get as many things out as possible. But for more sophisticated and larger buyers the downside of this 'move fast and break things' approach is high.

Kudos for keeping count! 

So what you're saying is...you get what you pay for? :)

In all seriousness, thank you for the detailed comparison, this is very helpful.

It keeps surprising me how bad the quality of the video is already at 50' and more... as a guy that works only on the outdoor world 50' is nothing.

Am i missing something here?

No, you're not really missing anything. Even if we were to zoom all these cameras in to their narrowest AOV (40-50° off the top of my head), you'd get ~55-65 PPF, but you'd also be looking at nearly half the FOV. 

And that's talking about 5MP models. If you drop to 1080p, you're going to drop that to ~40 PPF at 50' over the same FOV. 

This is where cameras like the large imager 4K or 20MP, etc., become more practical, but there are tradeoffs in price, with those starting at $4000+, not including a lens or a housing.

The problem in my field is that often the claim that cameras can replace sensors because of analytics and be able to recognize the intruder.
Those tests prove me that in the range of 200'+ there's not way those methods are even effective.

Those tests prove me that in the range of 200'+ there's not way those methods are even effective.

To the extent that video analytics vendors are claiming 200'+, they are likely assuming very narrower FoVs. For example, with a 10° AoV at 200', the HFoV is 35', making it theoretically possible to get details at such distance.

I like to use different kinds of sensors combined with ptz cameras. If the location allows for it, you can cower large areas with a few cameras and still get good details in the picture.

I recommend you look into Optex detectors. Some of their Redwall series products can cover huge areas, and the covered field is devided into several smaller areas so you can be quite accurate with corresponding presets. Some of the products is also available with ethernet connection and is supported by leading VMS products.

For projects with tighter budgets, I also have good experience with their HX series. For wireless connections I have used Inovonics. Their transmitters fits inside the battery powered Optex detectors.

I'm sure there are good solutions from other vendors as well. Just wanted to share some of my experience. 

Stian,
You should give our fence sensors a chance too, they provide better coverage with better cost per foot.
That way you can cover the whole perimeter and not just straight lines without issues of line of sight, vegetation or animals cause false alarms.

I think the IPC-HDBW5631E-ZE/N65CL5Z with the 2.622.0000000.18.R firmware version (build date: 2017/11/10) would have been a better apples to apples comparison.

Basically, this one time, I'd like to say, "Can I have a rematch?"

The issue is that that camera has a 0.3lx minimum illumination rating. The 5MP starlight, as mediocre as it was, has a 0.08 rating. Now, minimum illumination ratings aren't everything, but that's a huge delta. 

Moreover, Dahua has released multiple email blasts about these 5MP starlight models.

We selected whatever the highest end 5MP model was, favoring starlight and WDR where available. The N52BM3Z is listed as pro series, not the low end, so it made most sense all things considered.

The very firmware that you directed me to in a previous conversation (privately of course) through the Dahua Wiki was clearly meant for the Lite series we have in our own inventory. Pro/Eco Savvy devices would also include facial recognition & abandoned item detection which is clearly not present in that firmware.

I'm am convinced that this specific product was overreported in terms of actual low light performance and is NOT true Starlight or a Pro series camera based on the selected firmware and the fact there is no possible way that the chipset can perform anywhere close to advertised, especially at 5MP.

To note: HX2X3X-Rhea is NOT a true Pro series chipset. The rest of the pro series of this current generation uses HX5X3X-Rhea chipset and those contain the full pro series feature set.

In a strange way, I am exposing a big Dahua lie and rolling them under the bus for marketing the product in this way, but I want an actual Pro series product comparison as opposed to bringing a Lite series camera to a Pro series shootout.

In fact, from your tests here, I can almost guarantee that the model I proposed will perform better in low light than the model they made this marketing blast about.

I'm am convinced that this specific product was overreported in terms of actual low light performance and is NOT true Starlight or a Pro series camera

This concerns me more than the actual poor performance.  My customers believe everything they read on these marketing blasts, much to my dismay and attempts at education.  Over selling the camera's capabilities is inexcusable in my book.

Yep, but not unheard of for these companies. Hence, I'm seeing if the 6MP I suggested is able to post a more consistent image quality across multiple lighting scenarios.

Robert, we're happy to test various cameras. Ethan is already looking at new Dahua cameras for new tests.

One thing to be clear, the Dahua series we tested (the N52) was just recommended by Dahua in a press release this month - Dahua Now Offering a Cost-effective 5MP IP Camera with StarLight Technology:

It was ironically published the day after we published our test. If this is not a good camera, than Dahua corporate should re-evaluate what they are promoting publicly.

Oh yeah, I know for a fact that your test was done with integrity. The fault for this lies entirely on Dahua's side. However, I'd still rather see a true apples to apples comparison with the exact model that I believe would be up to par within the same MP range and feature range as opposed to what Dahua's marketing team just vomited up that your tests clearly disproved.

Dahua can design and mass produce a solid product when it focuses on fundamentals. It's when it gets caught up in playing keeping up with the Chens that it loses focus and hastily pushes out an underperforming product like this one.

In its branded division only, no less.

So both as a rematch with an actual contender in the mix and to expose their BS, I'd like the 6MP model I proposed to be tested in place of the pretender they slapped together that they deserve to get slapped for.

It makes little sense for them to pair a larger "Starlight" image sensor with an inferior SoC when that key component would bottleneck the entire purpose of proposed benefit in the first place.

As John says, we are happy to test additional cameras. I especially think the increase to 5MP+ is interesting.

That being said when you say:

So both as a rematch with an actual contender in the mix and to expose their BS, I'd like the 6MP model I proposed to be tested in place of the pretender they slapped together that they deserve to get slapped for.

I'm wondering what about it makes you think it's an "actual contender" where the 5MP starlight was not. It's a smaller sensor, but higher resolution, has a much worse minimum illumination spec, and the same WDR spec (120dB). The only spec which seems better on paper is IR range (50m instead of 30m), which may or may not help. 

Dahua marketing/product management issues aside, this still doesn't seem like a better choice to me.

The very point of my quips stem from my opinion that the stated specs on the 5MP model are not to be trusted because I believe this is a Lite series camera in "Pro" series accouterments. 

Great test, I appreciate you going one step further and attempting to normalise compression settings by monitoring QP.

Note that Avigilon's H4 series 5MP and Bosch's 5MP starlight were not included in this test, as both are 2-3 years old as of this test. We will test any new generation 5MP models claiming improved low light, WDR, or IR performance if they should be released.

First: I would offer that the "older" technology, as I laugh, of the Bosch 5MP Starlight is most likely still better than these new units all night long.

Second: I would be interested in seeing a True low light test where the IR is not turned on at all! I know you have a couple above at 25' and 60' feet, but that is not really that far and they are standing still shot. Lets do it at a greater distance and see the results with addition of the Bosch 5MP Starlight. Better yet lets add motion to the test, then we would see who the real low light cameras are. 

Third: Would be really interested to take a Sony 640 series camera against all of them. Even at 1080p I suspect it will have a far better image than these 4 units. 

If you need one to test, let me know I will be there! I will bring a Bosch 5MP with me as well.

[IPVM note: Poster is a Bosch employee]

Thanks for the comment. We did not feel the Bosch 5MP starlight was good choice for this test, as all the others included integrated IR and true WDR. It may be competitive in non-IR low light, but that was only one portion of the test. 

Also, "true low light" in 2018 means integrated IR. The vast majority of camera manufacturers are shipping integrated IR models from high end to low end. And the majority of integrators are using them. We have included dark scenes with no IR on in these shootouts in the past, but feedback was that they were the least useful as far as real world applications. 

We have a test of the Sony EM642 here. It performed fairly well, but isn't really relevant to this specific test. We covered the individual manufacturers' 1080p cameras vs. 5MP in individual test reports, but this was meant to purely show performance differences between 5MP/6MP cameras.

The opinion that "true low light" means that you have to have IR is ridiculous and misleading. Might as well just be using B/W cameras then at night. There are cameras that prove IR is not needed to give imagining at night that is far better than any IR can ever give. This is just my counter opinion.  

Again, just let me know and I will bring cameras to show difference.

 

Kevin, we have cameras. We tested the 5MP starlight when it came out. It's on the shelf behind me. 

It's fine if you believe it is ridiculous, but it is not misleading to state facts that most users are looking at integrated IR, not color low light. 

You can argue that the NBN-80052 is the best non-IR non-true WDR 5MP camera available if you'd like, but it still won't make it a solid competitor in a test of cameras that do include those features, which is what this is.

I have found the term "Low Light" took on a new meaning when I first started using Lightfinder P3354/64 cams from Axis. When they arrived many years ago, it was my first experience with excellent low light images in Color, which at the time was truly impressive. Cameras that were less capable switched to Black/White much earlier where the Lightfinders produced a solid color image in dark scenes. To me, excellent "Low Light" performance means vivid color images in very low light, and excellent B/W images with no ghosting or longer shutter speeds. True Day/Night implies an IR cut filter and the cams ability to see IR, as opposed to Electronic Day/Night. But I wouldn't tie IR LEDs to the term "True Low Light." 

I would love to see a shootout specifically geared to the best image in very low light in color, as this would seem to really gauge the performance of a camera. Any cam can flood the scene with IR and produce an image in B/W, but maintaining critical detail in color is tough. The Low Light color images above are a great resource for this shootout, but the scene still seems pretty well lit. 

To be clear, I'm not saying that only IR cameras can be "true low light" cameras. I'm saying that when most people look for low light cameras these days, IR is the first go-to. Color is niche in comparison.

We are going to set up a color low light shootout. I just put up a discussion for suggestions here, feel free to comment, all. Thanks!

Thank you sir, and I completely agree. Electronic Day/Night, especially for outdoor cams, needs to get taken behind the shed. Very few of our projects include parking lot, and stadium lighting at night, so IR is essential. Shout out to RayTec for pushing innovation, and providing professional solutions when 15m and 30m isn't enough. *not a Raytec employee* 

Any plans to test the new Axis P3227 & P3228?

We considered the P3228, but are told that more 4K models are upcoming from Axis, so we held off. We may test the P3227, but not sure when, as we just tested the 5MP Q series counterpart, the Q3517-LVE.

I am also trying to figure out which cam is better between the P3228 and Q3517, other than the obvious 5MP vs. 8MP delta.  Specifically, I wonder how much degradation we'll see in low light capabilities at 8MP?  Application is person/license plate ID at a gate, day and night.  I'm also wondering if the on-board HW and SW is the same between the two?  Finally, any intel on what is likely to be improved on the newer Axis 8MP cams and when they will be released?

Thanks, -mark

What’s the distance? 

Theres also the P3227 to consider. 

If it’s any distance I’d go with the P1367 and the lens that gets you the right pixels on target. There are IR illuminators if you have a low light situation. 

Thanks for the response.  I'm trying to avoid separate IR illuminators - seems like too much of a PITA.  I do want IR however and good low light however.

Distance is about 10' (person ID at pedestrian gate) to 20-40' (car/license plate ID).  

Thanks. -mark

 

I would try out the P3227-LVE

The 3517 has many advantages:

1. 1/1.8" lens

2. .12lux @ 50IRE color, .02 B&W

3. 40m IR

4. De-fogging & electronic IS

5. Higher and lower temp. operating conditions

All of them should provide adequate pixels on target.

I'm not sure what the deal is with the P32 series vs. the Q35, but the Q35 looks better to me.

-mark

[IPVM Note: Dahua Employee]

So you are comparing low budget 5.0Mpx 1/2.7" Omnivision sensor camera (Dahua) with over 3x more expensive, 1/1.8" BSI SONY sensor camera, that has almost 2x bigger pixel size? 

WOW. 

What else? Cheap 1/2.5" 4K cameras vs SONY Full Frame? 

The N52BM3Z was selected for multiple reasons outlined above, in the report and comments. 

We selected the highest tier 5MP or 6MP cameras available, selecting super low light/starlight where available. Dahua had released multiple email newsletters just prior to our test beginning claiming:

This new 5MP network camera offers higher resolution, Starlight technology that provides detailed information in low light conditions

It was featured in another Dahua post at the time of testing, as well.

If it's not a competitive camera, Dahua should reconsider their marketing. 

Again, it was Dahua USA's marketing material and website that claimed it was a PRO series with Starlight! IPVM is NOT to blame here. It's your hype teams that cause this problem when you misrepresent something and a reviewer holds your feet to the fire.

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Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...