Cold Weather Dome Test

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 25, 2018

Cameras frequently cite super low-temperature specs, with -30° or even -40° common. But to see how popular dome models actually handle real world winter conditions, we tested six common models from Axis and Hikvision during two weeks of January weather, as low as 0° F, with snow, sleet, and rain.

Weather During Testing

During a week of testing, daytime highs averaged below 20° F, with nighttime lows as low as 1°F/-18°C, and in single digits for 4 of 7 days:

During testing we also received several inches of snow, as well as sleet and ice, which collected on top of the cameras.

*******

****** *** *****, **** one ***** ****** ********** in *** ************, *** Hikvision **-**********-*. **** ****** frequently **** *******, ********, and ****** ** ****** or **** ******* ** pings. *******, ** ***** Hikvision ****** ****** ** this (** ** ****'* past ******* ** ****** conditions) *** ***** ******, so ***** ******* *** not ** ********** ** an ***** **** ***** cameras ** *******, **** this ******** *****.

*** ***** ******* ****** up *** ************ ******** during *******, *** **** M3106-LVE ** ** *** the ********* ****, * standard ** ****. **** ******** twice ** *** ********* 2125 *** **** ** the **** *****.

** ***** ******* ********* issues ****** *******, **** no **** ** ******** video ** ******* ******.

Windchill *** * ******

**** **** ********* **** not ****** ********* ******* such ** ******* *** same ** ** **** humans *** *******. ********* only ********* *** **** objects ****, *** ****** reduce *********** ***** *******. So ** *** ********* is -**, *** *** air *********** ******* **** is +*, * ****** will ***** **** ***** +5°. *******, ** *** increase *** ****** ** time ******* **** ***, which ***** **** * longterm ****** ** ********* longevity.

*** ************ ** **** report *** *******, *** including *** *********.

Camera *******

***** ***** ** ******* outside ** ************ ** ~30° *** *****, *** Hikvision **** ******, ***** dropping *** ***** ******, then ******* ** ******* to *****. ** ***** issues **** **** ***** to **** *********, **** video ****** ******** ** one *****, ***** **** in *****:

***** ******** *** **** inside *** ** ** room ***********, ** ***** worked ******* *****. 

***** **** **** *******, the **** *****-*** ** II ******** **** ****** our ******* *** *** Hikvision **** ******** ** two ******** **** **** temperatures **** ********** ***, ***** with ** ****** **** prior ** *******. 

No ***** ** ******** *********

*** ******* **** ********* after ******* ** ***** *** signs ** ******** ****** domes/housings, *** **** *** found. **** **** *** cameras **** ****/** *****, but ********/******* *** ***** seals ** ******, ********** with **** ********** ** top ** *** *******.

What *** ** ****?

** ****** **** ** expected, ***** ****** ****** ******* **** *****-** *******, which *** ** ********* by *** ******* **** number (*.*., * -* in *** ****** ** a ********* ******) *** may **** ** ****** on ****** *****/*** ***** (below). ** ** *****, users ****** ******* ******* their ******** ****** ******** a ****** **** *** manufacturer.

** ******* *** ************ (below *° */-**° *) are ********, ***** ***** housings (*** *** ******) *** ** **** which ******* **** ****** heating ******** **** *******' on-board ***********, *** ***** will *** *********** ****, ~$500+, ***** ******* *** price ** **** *******. 

******** ******* ** *****/******* may **** ********, ** well, ** **** **** may ******** **** *** building ********. *******, **** should *** ** ****** upon ** ************ *** regularly below ********.

Future ******* *******

**** **** **** **** was ********* ** ** initial **** ******* ****, based ** ****** **** in *** *** *****, as**** ** ******* **** others ***** ********* ******* *** ***** *******

** **** ** **** more ** *** ******, including ********* ****** ******, mounts, *** **** *************. Leave ** **** *********** in *** ******** *****.

Poll: ****** **** ******* ** ****?

**** *** **** ****** with ******* *******, **********, or ********* ****** ***** during **** **** *******? Vote ** *** **** and **** ** **** experience ** *** ******** below:

Comments (22)

Is there a full list of cams that were tested? Many are mentioned but I believe I see additional ones in the line-up image

The cameras that were used in this test are:

Axis M3106-LVE Mk II
Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I
Hikvision DS-2CD2385FWD-I
Axis P3225-LVE MKII
Hikvision DS-2CD2342WD-I
Hikvision DS-2CD2355FWD-I

Great info. At the school we had a PTZ go bad in cold weather and water got into the dome. One expensive bill later it was replaced. This model also had a blower and a heater inside it.

Was that a Hikvision PTZ camera?

Yes it was. 

We fought a cold weather issue for most of a winter.  The camera was on a dairy farm in North Dakota.  Log data strongly suggested that the camera was simply losing power - so, in our opinion, not a camera problem. Numerous truck rolls, no resolution, super frustrated customer...  Then one day the tech managed to be there when it was especially cold and found that the PoE switch - also mounted out in the cold - would shut down completely in cold weather.

I'm not sure I agree with you that wind chill doesn't count.  Cameras generate heat, which they lose through a combination of radiation and convection.  Our older model had an aluminum base and careful thermal coupling of board to base for this very reason. A little breeze really helps that convective loss - we put fans on heat sinks, don't we?

I'm not sure I agree with you that wind chill doesn't count. Cameras generate heat, which they lose through a combination of radiation and convection. Our older model had an aluminum base and careful thermal coupling of board to base for this very reason. A little breeze really helps that convective loss - we put fans on heat sinks, don't we?

No matter how hard you blow a candle out, it will never freeze.

 

 

Also a factor - whether installer used those pesky grommets.

we have many sites in northern Canada and we have hit -40 we have had a few failures but one great factor to cold is where the cameras are mounted we get much better performance if they are mounted to the side of a building as opposed to a pole that does not have heat on the other side. Also its seems that the lower the mega pixel the lower the temperature they can tolerate I don't know why 

I have had issues with the cold, snow, and  heat. I noticed that a lot of dome style cameras have trouble when their plastic dome is covered with water and freezes. For this reason I use bullets, where possible in cold environments, since the glass in front of the lens is less susceptible to freezing. I also use heated cameras and PTZs depending on specific environment and applications. When I was having a lot of water ingress problems I made a habit of plastering silicon over seams to help increase camera integrity. I have found that cameras mounted on poles are more vulnerable to weather issues, a wall or overhang makes a big difference as mentioned above. I have noticed quality improvements overall and have far less water issues over the last few years. I do make use of waterproof NEMA enclosures extensively due to needing to protect POE injectors or POE switches outdoors. 

Hi! We have been running PTZ cameras mounted on poles for several years in the very north of Sweden where the temperature reaches below -40 Celsius (-40F) for long period of times and they are exposed to the full force of mother nature. It is usually a lot of wind at these places also and so far we have had NO PROBLEMS.

//Snowman

I have the same problem - Not with a camera - It's me that doesn't work in freezing conditions ;)

We have more issues in cold weather with wire and switches than we do with cameras.

We bought some inexpensive Siamese wire where the 18AWG jacket would shrink in the cold. 

Also, one client has a standard desktop switch in a NEMA box outdoors that has many issues below freezing. We have given proposals to replace it with a better suited unit. 

not too cold in Australia, we can have the opposite problem though especially in the outback.

We often indicate to our integrators models of the Vivotek EH family and we have no problems with the cameras (mainly installed in slaughterhouses). -30 to -40 C.
We have installed cameras from Vivotek for over 5 years in refrigerators, without any problem.

What model cameras are you using in the refrigerators?

 

We often indicate to our integrators models of the Vivotek EH family and we have no problems with the cameras (mainly installed in slaughterhouses). -30 to -40 C.
We have installed cameras from Vivotek for over 5 years in refrigerators, without any problem

During the cold a few weeks back in Savannah we did not see an issue with any of the HIK 2142s or the 7230 PTZs we have outside the shop. I was logged into them a good portion of the time to watch people sliding on the ice of the street by the shop.

I live in one of the coldest major centers on Earth. Winters routinely -20C to -35C. Have yet to see one problem from the cold.

Did have a Hikvision IR PTZ ice up solid once from a freezing rain storm. That was fun to thaw out.

I’m curious if you ever have the domes covered with ice? Visibility can sometimes be null? So the camera may be fine but snow and ice ruin visibility.

 

I had 1 camera in a very shaded area ice over during freezing rain, but that was the only one I have personally had that happen to.  Once the Sun came out it melted away very quickly

Yes but rarely, generally bullets whose flat face is a magnet for snow and ice buildup. Domes almost never as their aerodynamics don't really permit snow and ice to stick. It's always situational depending on how and where they're mounted. One that stands out to me was a bullet mounted on a window sill pointing at a loading dock would occasionally get snow built up on the sill, obstructing the view. Open the window, brush away the snow. Happened only two or three times I think in about 4 years and camera always ran fine otherwise.

I remember we had an installation 12 or so years ago with analog Samsung PTZ cameras in an industrial freezer warehouse. The cameras had heaters and we rarely had problems with the cameras themselves, but the cold made the shielding on the wires very brittle where after a year or so it would come off in your hands when you tried to service it.

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