8MP / 4K Fixed Lens Camera Shootout - Dahua, Hikvision, TVT, Uniview

By IPVM Team, Published Dec 17, 2018, 10:41am EST

8MP / 4K fixed lens models are now common in lower cost lines, with nearly every Chinese brand and their OEMs now offering multiple options.

To see which fixed lens 8MP/4K models performed best and how they compare to new generation 4MP models, we bought and tested five models:

4mp camera shootout

The models are:

In this shootout 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
  • Performance compared to 4MP
  • Street pricing

Performance ********

***** ** *** *****, camera *********** ***** **** three ******:

  • *** *********:*** ********* **-*********-* ********* best ** ******** **********, with * *********** ** strong **** *****, *** light, **, *** *** imaging.
  • ******* ***********:*****, *******, *** *** Hikvision **-**********-* **** *** weaknesses ** **** ***** and ********* ** ******, less ********** **** *** Hikvision ****.
  • *****:*******, *** *** *** camera ********* ***** ** multiple **********, ****** ** hands **** *** ***** camera ******.

fixed lens 4k shootout rankings

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

fixed lens 4k shootout summary

Advantages ******** ** ***

** **** *****, **** *** ******* offered ****** ********* **** 4MP *** ********* **** 1080p ******. *******, ** our *****, *** ****** offered ***** ***** ******* advantages ** **** ****** over **** *** ****** generation *** ****** ******, shown ***** ******** ** the **** *** ***** performing ******* ** **** scene.

** **** *****, ** near ***** (~**' ********), facial ******* *** ****** in *** ******* *** to *** **** *** levels (~** ** ** models, ~** ** ***). Some **** *********** *** present, ***

** * ****** ******** (~60', ~**/** ***), *** details ****** ******** **** 4MP, **** *** **** providing **** ****** ******, not ******* ** *** 4MP *** *** ** cameras, *** **** ****** legibility ** *** **** chart. **** *** ***** performing *** *****, *** TVT *** ******, ******** better ******* ** *** subject *** ******** ***** of ******* ****, *** present ** *** *** camera.

** **** ****** **** IR ** (4K *********** *** ***** notably ****** **** ***, with ******** ****** ****** and **** ******* **** at **** ***** (~**'), at ~** ***/** *** respectively.

** ****** ***** (~**') 4K ********** ******** ******** to ******* ******, **** no ****** ******* ********* in *** ******. *******, in **** *****, ** coverage *** **** ****** than **********, **** **** cameras ******* ** ***** specified ** ***** (***/~**').

4K / *** ** ***** ******* (

***** ******* ** **** scenes **** ********** ** varied *************, **** **** illumination ********* **** ******* at ******** **** ***** range.

1

** **** ***** (~**'), the ***** ******* ******** the ******** ******* ** the ******* *** **** chart ** ~*.** ***, though ** ** ********** darker **** ***** *******, as ****. *** ********* 2385 *** ******* **** perform *********, **** ******** less ******, ***** *** Hikvision **** ********** *********** the **** ***** *** subject, *** **** ** other ******. *** *** camera ******** **** ******* text *** ******* *******, with **** ******* ***** than ******.

fixed 4k dark ir detail differences

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

*** ******* ** **** test ***** ***/~**' ** range, *** **** **** noticeably **** ** **** ~60'/20m *****.

3

** **** *****, **** the ********* **** ******** any ******* ** *** subject ** ***, ****** none ******** *** **************. Others ********* * ****** object, ******* ***** *****, but ** ****** *******.

fixed 4k dark ir detail differences 60

IR ********

********** ** ******** *** uneven ** *** *******, noticeably ****** ** *** edges ** *** ***** of **** **** ** the ******, **** ******* the **** ****** ********** full **** ** **** coverage (**** **** *********).

2

*** ******* **** ****** the ****** ***** ** the ***** ** ****, with ****** ********* ** the *****, *** *** less **** ***** *******.

uniview most eveb illumination

** ********, ** ** extremely ********* ** ****** in *** *** ******, which ** *********** ******** in *** ****** ** the ***** ** ****.

tvt strong center hotspot

*** ********** ***** ******** details **** *** ****** and **** ** *** field ** **** ** each ******, **** ******* notably ******** **** ******, while *** ********* **** and ***** ***** ******** only ********* ** *** edge ** *** ***** of ****. *** ******** no ******* ** ***.

Full ***** ***********

******* *********** ****** **** less ******** **** ********* at ***** *****, *** significant *********** ** ****** ranges, **** ***** *** the ********* **** ********** best.

4

** ***** *****, ******* are ******* ******* *** cameras *** ** *** high *** ***** (~** PPF). ******** ** ********** less **** ** *** Uniview ****, *** ******* are ******* *******.

near range well lit performance similar in all cameras

** ****** ***** (~**'/~** PPF), *** ********* **** displays ********** ****** ******* of *** *******'* ********, as **** ** **** legible ****. ******* **** rougher ** ***** *******, especially *** ********* **** and *** *****.

long range well lit performance similar in all cameras

Wide ******* *****

*** ****** ****** ************ ************** ****** *** ***. Performance ***** **** *** cameras ****** **********, **** Hikvision's ****** ********** **** in *** *****.

5

*** ********* **** *** 2385 ********* *********, **** providing ****** ******* ******* backlight *** ** ****** areas ** *** *****. Both *** ***** *** Uniview ****** **** *** the ******* ********** ******* strong *********, *** ***** provide ****** *********** *******. The *** ****** ******** worst ** ***, ******* out *** ******* ****** totally ******* ********* *** with ******* ******* ******* in *** **** ***** of *** *****.

wdr performance comparison

FPS **********: **** ****** *****/**, *** **** **

**** ******* ** **** test ****** ** ********** true ** *******, ***** the ******** ******** ** FPS ********* *** **** vary ******* ** *** 20 ***, ***** *****. Of *** ******* ** this ********, **** *** is *********** * **** 4K ******, ******** ** FPS (********* ** *** tests).

** *** *****, *** cameras ******** ***** ******* framerate ***** ******* ******** frames, ********* *** ***, which **** * **** 30 *** ******, ****** others (***** ***** ** Exacq).

Bandwidth **********

*** ******* ****** ******* both *.*** *** ***** codecs, ****** ********* ****** drastically, **** ~***-*** **/* to **** * **/* at *****.

*** ******* ******** ** cameras ****** **** *** both *** (~*.* **/*) and ***** (~*.* **/*), with ******* ******* ***** of *** ****** *** day (~*.* **/*). ** contrast, **** ********* ****** averages ~*** **/* ** night, **** *** ****'* daytime ******** ******* ***** than *** **** (*** Kb/s **. ***).

bandwidth comparison

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

*** *********** ******** ****** among *******, **** *.*** streaming ******* ** *** cameras, *** *.*** *** camera **** *** ******* much **** ********. ** review ***** ****** ** detail *****.

6

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

** *** *****, *** cameras ****** **** **** to ******* ** *** VMSes ***** *.***. **** that ********* ****** **** supported ** ******* ***** the ***** ******, *** not *** ****** ********* driver *** ** ************ ************. *** ******* *****, streamed, *** ******* ***** codec ************* **** *** VMS.

h264 streaming support

***** **. *********** ****** use ******** ********* ** the ****** *** ***, with **** ***** ***** a ****** ****** *** Dahua *** *********, ***** TVT *** ******* **** ONVIF.

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

*****, *********, *** ******* H.265 ******* **** ****** supported, *********** *** ********* properly ** *****, *******, Milestone, *** ******* *****. However, ***'* *.*** ****** was ********* **** ** Exacq *** *********.

**** **** *.*** *** not ****** **** ******** as **** ********* ******* H.265 **** ** ******** models.

Camera **** ***

***** *** ********* ****** side ****** **** ********* in *** ****** *****. However, ******* *** *** supported ** ********, *****, or *******, ***** *** was *** ********* ** Exacq *** *******, ******* that ****** ****** **** VMD ** ********** ********* must ** ****.

camera side vmd support

Pricing **********

******* ** ***** ******* ranged **** ~$***-*** ******/********* street ***** ** ***** America. **** **** ***** all ** ***** ************* OEM *** ****** *** may ** ******* ***** online *** ************ ***** such ***************, ***** *** ****** be **** ** **** these ****** *** ****. However, **** *** ****** or ********* ******** ** tech *******, *******,*********, ************* **** ************ ************ policies.

4mp fixed lens camera price comparison

Test ***** *****

******* *** ****** ****** use ***** ******, ******* were ********* ** ******** from *** ****** ** achieve *** **** *** in **** *****. **** results ** ****** *********** in ***** ** ********* at ***** ***** *** background ***** ** **** seen ** *******.

************, ***** *** ******* were ****** **************, *** better ********** ** **** details ** **** ******** fewer ******* **** ** side ** **** *********** to ********* *** **** notable/interesting ********.

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

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

  • ***** *******: *.***.*******.**.*, ***** Date: ****-**-**
  • ********* **-*********-*: **.*.** ***** 180718
  • ********* **-**********-*: **.*.** ***** 180718
  • ********* **-**********-*: **.*.** ***** 180718
  • *** **-******: *.*.*.*(*****)
  • ******* **********-******: *********-*************

Country ** ****** - *** *****

*** *** ******* ** this **** **** **** in *****.

Comments (31)

Note to members: This test includes two Hikvision models, but not others, because the DS-2CD2383G0-I was recommended by multiple members as their best performing 8MP model. However, it is not available in North America. The latest generation 8MP model currently shipping in North America is the DS-2CD2385FWD-I. We've included both in the test for completeness.

That is strange that they don’t offer the 2383 in the US market, because they do offer up to the 2363 (6MP) version, but stop there. 

Stupid question - what is the thing that you have all of the cameras mounted to? I'm looking for something similar.

It's a DJ lighting tripod. I can't tell you exactly what model because they've recently discontinued the model I preferred. I don't have a new favorite yet. The last ones I ordered were this model, but I'm not sold on them yet.

The only modification we make is to drill additional holes in the cross bar. It only has four mounting points from the factory. We usually add 6-8 more. There is a discussion somewhere where I detail some of the other stuff we use, but I can't find it at the moment. I'll post back with it if I find it.

More details: How To Rack-Mount Test Cameras

Hi,

 

We use that one, pretty strong can easily support plenty of camera, even PTZ : Varytec wind up tripod

From my humble experience, TVT NVR's are as reliable as a ripped condom.

There has to be a story. Please share.

Hi,

I'm quite surprised of bandwidth on HIKVision compare to others, they were using VBR with no limit same as others ? Such low bitrate is common with HIKVision cameras ?

 

Also, concerning the low lux effect, the setting was the same concerning DNR and slow shutter ? We noticed these settings can improve the quality on fixed image, but the image get so bad once there is motion (tested on IPC3618 from Uniview).

 

 

Yes the low bitrates are common for us when using Hikvision products. Axis and Hikvision are the brands we are most familiar with and both are very bandwidth conservative. 

Thank you for this test on China made products.

Hi IPVM Team, 
Thanks for your dedicated work to this shootout testing. 
As stated in page 9-10, Uniview 3618's IR Evenness performance is best, 'notably stronger than others', while on the 'Centre VS. edge illumination comparison' at page 11, Uniview’s camera was ranked 4th out of 5 cameras. 
Compare these two images in the article, we found that this is a wrong Uniview image in the comparison table, we believe that we are higher than 4th ranking if correct Uniview IR performance image is used in this comparison table. 
Again, thanks for your valuable testing and we'll put efforts on improving our products as always. 

Thanks for pointing this out, and you are totally right. That was a mistake during our graphic design process and it's been corrected in the report now:

 

i would suggest to start doing moving video night time tests for the IR shots for real world use purposes. I do like the tests with the rez charts but i think you should add an additional moving test because rarely will subjects stand still in the real world. Some of these that rank so high on the stand still rez chart probably wouldn't perform as well as some of the others than ranked lower if we did a moving test.

They put the shutter speed so low that for a still image, the image looks great, but when someone moves, the image is blurred and nearly useless.

wut do you mean ?  i thought i can intensify some stuff with slow DSS, high gain and crank up the DNR.

In our testing, none of the cameras used slow shutter. None of them defaulted to it. 1/30s was the slowest shutter allowed. In cases where slow shutter is allowed, we would standardize it to 1/30s and make a note of it.

We do check video as we're testing for motion blur and call it out where we see it. We pointed it out recently in some of our 4MP tests, for example. It typically stems from high levels of digital noise reduction these days, as most manufacturers have realized that consumers have gotten smart enough to know slow shutter is a bad thing at this point, and integrated IR has reduced the need for it, anyway.

Just to double check, I re-reviewed footage to make sure we weren't missing any blur issues and cameras all performed similarly well. We can post some sample clips tomorrow.

I was just trying to be sarcastic and funny to get those votes, I guess I failed at that.  Darnnit speco.

Maybe you were being too...intense.

As ex-camera manufacture, my understanding is that motion blur can be caused not only by the shutter. Motion blur could be a result of noise cancellation(temp filters), so I do believe you should keep eye on:

1) static image quality 

2) motion blur 

3) bandwidth 

 

and all at the same time(!) 

Yes, that is absolutely true and we've seen it in our tests, as well. High DNR levels have become more common and caused blur problems in some tests. To be specific, though, in this test, we didn't see those effects.

Ethan, the issue with your statement "we didn't see those effects" is like saying "we did not see issues with image quality". 

You might be right, but IMHO worth posing motion images together with static. 

JMO, but I think you should only do tests under the standard default settings under the latest authorized firmware with no changes at all unless it is specifically stated in the firmware notes or some official statement by the manufacturer to do so.

Standardizing the shutter speed on some cameras who did not have 1/30s is somewhat unrealistic as most users will simply install the camera and not mess with any settings at all. If the manufacturer has a particular default setting that is not optimal for basic night time viewing, then that is their own fault and should be dinged accordingly. 
 

I agree that cameras with detrimental defaults should be dinged, and we normally do. We have called out slow shutter defaults and high DNR settings causing blur in multiple tests. However, in this test we did not see either issue in our test scenes.

I see your point that most users will not mess with any settings at all, but leaving things defaulted presents a number of challenges for us in testing. It's much easier for manufacturers, integrators, distributors, etc., of certain products to come back to us and say "if you just change X, then Y will improve, simple setting." We feel that it's better and fairer to standardize and call out where defaults are questionable or detrimental.

I would also add that I would like to see color, non-IR shots added to all tests. We have seen so many issues related to IR that we avoid it if possible. Too many bugs, reflections, etc that we now try to spec ultra low light (Darkfighter, Lightfinder) cameras for scenes where low light will be a factor. This is especially true for outdoor cameras. We will generally turn the cameras to Day, non-IR mode and test for image quality. I can’t think of one camera that didn’t perform better in color in recent installs. 

Uniview was 2.8mm, TVT 3.6mm, Dahua 4.0  Hikvision not mentioned.

 

Would a test using the same Lens yield different results?

I don't see how it couldn't impact the results, but these tests are at the mercy of what is available and offered. Provided they all had the same mount, they could re-test with a single lens. 

aperture or f-stop

Actually those focal lengths are not correct. All cameras tested were 3.6mm or 4.0mm, and varied only by about 8° (79-87° angles of view). Cameras were staggered on two tripods during testing, accordingly, as we noted in the report.

The biggest variance we see in lensing is in lens distortion, which is much more of an issue when looking at 2.8mm vs. 4mm or 6mm, as the wider lens distorts more. The difference between 3.6mm and 4mm is small. I do not think results would've been practically different if using all 3.6mm or 4mm.

Also, in response to the comment below:

these tests are at the mercy of what is available

That is absolutely true. It was actually fairly annoying and longer lead time to get the cameras we did get in because some lenses were not stock items.

 

"IPC3618SR3-DPF28M" - is the 2.8mm uniview

Thanks, I've fixed that in the report. The model tested is the DPF40M.

Stupid Question:What's the PPF meaning? 

PixelsPerFoot (horizontally).

The PPF / PPM Video Surveillance Guide

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