Covert IP Camera Shootout - Axis, Hanwha, Hikvision, March, Vivotek

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 20, 2019

Covert cameras were one of the last holdout areas for analog cameras. However, in the past few years, IP / HD covert cameras have become commonplace across many major manufacturers. 

However, which ones are better or worse? We bought 5 covert camera systems with a total of 10 imager / lenses to understand this.

image

We tested image quality in four separate scenarios, as the graphic below demonstrates:

convert-pinhole-camera-shootout-scenes

We tested at ranges from 2' to 40' to see how cameras capture both close range details common in ATM applications and further distances needed for general covert surveillance, as the graphic below shows:

convert-pinhole-camera-shootout-distance

Models tested:

Inside, we provide recommendations on which models are best and worst for the most common use cases and for installability plus bandwidth consumption testing and VMS integration.

****** ******* **** *** of *** **** ******* areas *** ****** *******. However, ** *** **** few *****, ** / HD ****** ******* **** become *********** ****** **** major *************. 

*******, ***** **** *** better ** *****? ** bought * ****** ****** systems **** * ***** of ** ****** / lenses ** ********** ****.

image

** ****** ***** ******* in **** ******** *********, as *** ******* ***** demonstrates:

convert-pinhole-camera-shootout-scenes

** ****** ** ****** **** 2' ** **' ** see *** ******* ******* both ***** ***** ******* common ** *** ************ and ******* ********* ****** for ******* ****** ************, as *** ******* ***** shows:

convert-pinhole-camera-shootout-distance

****** ******:

******, ** ******* *************** on ***** ****** *** best *** ***** *** the **** ****** *** cases *** *** ************** plus ********* *********** ******* and *** ***********.

[***************]

Shootout *******

****** **** ** *** shootouts, ** *** *** see * ***** "****" overall ******. *******, ** have ******* ******* **** these **********:

Recommendations: **** *** ****/***** ********

***** ** *** *****, the ***** ****** *** series ****** **** *** advantages *** *** ************ not ***** ** ***** models.

  • ****** ***:*** ****** *** ******* produced ***** ******* ** the *******'* **** ******* strong *********, ****** **** to *** **** ****, but ****** **** *** other ****** ******. **** performance ** * *** factor ** **** **** are ******* ******** ***** they *** ** ******* to ****** ******** ** in ******* **** ***** doors/windows.
  • ***-******** ******** *******:*****'* ******* ****** ***** includes ****** ******** ** the *** ****, * very ****** *** *****, and ***** ****** ******** options *** ***** ****** upon *******. ***** ************* do *** ***** ***** options.

** *** ******** ****, both ***** ****** *** models' ******* ***** ***** of *****, **** ******** out ** ***** ****** ~5', ****** **** ********** for ******* ****** ************ where ***** ****** ******* better.

****** ***** ** *** Axis ****, ***** ****** strong *** ** **** as ******* ********* ******** options. *******, **** ** not ***** *** **** "out ** *** ***" mounting ************* ** ****** mounting *** ******** ******.

Recommendations: **** *** ****** ******** (~**'+)/******* ************

*** ****** *** ********* models ******** *** ********* details ** ******* ****** at ****** ********* (>**') in **** *****. **** produced ****** ******* ** ~20' ********, *** ******** soft *** ****** ****** at ******* ********* ** the ****** *** ******* more ****** ******** ** the **** ***** ** view, ** *** *****.

Recommendations: **** *** *** ***** (~* *** *** *****)

** *** *****, *** Hikvision **-**********-** *** ** cameras ******** *** ******** details ** *** *****, ~1 ***, **** ***** facial *** **** ******* to ***** ~**' ********. The ****** ***-**** **** 3.6mm ****** ******** ****** details ** **** ***** (~10') *** *** ******* and **** ********.

***** ****** ******** *********** level ******* ** **** close ***** (~*') *** not ** ****** *********.

Recommendations: **************

*** ******* ******* ** install ****** **** *** Axis **** *** ****** XNB-6001 *** ** ***** detachable ******. **** ****** users ** ***** *** camera *** *** *** cable **********, ***** ***** cable ********** ******* *** reduces *** *********** ** damaging *** ****** ****** install.

**** **** *** ******** ATMs, ***** *** ***** stronger ************, ** **** offer ****** ******** ******* for ******** ******, ********* above, *** ** ******* installation, **** *** ****** were *******.

Pricing **********

******* ****** **** ***** ~$300 (*******) ** **** $500 (****) *** * camera **** (~$***) **** plus ****** (~$***), **** average ***** $***.

***** **** ** **** expensive *** * ****** camera, *** **** ******** up ** **** ****** modules, ***** ****** ******* only * ****** ******. For ************ **** ******** covert ******* ** *** same ********, **** ***** be **** ********* *** at * ** * covert ******* ** * location, **** ***** ** the ***** *********.

**** ******* ***** ** applications ********* ******** *******, though ***** *** ****** less ****** **** ****** imager *************.

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

*******, *** *********** *** poor ******** ** "*******" (non-covert) *******, **** **** moderate ********* ******* *** the ******* ** **** cameras, **** *** **********: Axis *** ***** ********

** *** *****, *** Axis *** ***** ******** cameras **** *** **** models **** ** ******* discern ******* ****** ******* backlight. *** ******* ****** shows **** *******, ****** less ******* **** **** or *****, ***** ****** and ********* **** ** details, ******* *** ****** being ********* ** "**** ***."

WDR Performance Comparison

Moderate *** ***** ***********

****, ** ****** ** moderately *** *****, ******* to * *** **** street ** *****, ***** 5-10 *** ********* ** distance. *********** ** **** light ***** ****** ************* with ********.

2

** ***** *****, *** cameras ******* ***** ****** of *** *******, **** facial ******** ****** ************ despite *** ***** *****, with **** ****** ******** in *** ***** ******** cameras.

Moderate Low Light Performance

*******, ** ~**', *********** differs *************, ** **** and ********* ***** ******* clear ******* ** *** subject, ***** *** ***** Networks ****** ** ********** darker *** ****, ******* clear ****** ** *** subject.

Bigger Differences At Longer Range_2

Low ***** (~* ***) ***********

** *** *****, ***** 1 ***, *********** ****** significantly, **** ***** ***** significantly ********* ***********.

3

** **** *****, *** to **** **** ***, all ******* ******* ****** images ** *** *******'* face **** ***** *******.

Very Low Light Performance

*******, ** ~**', ********* and ****** ***** ***, with ***** ****** ******* and ******* ****, ***** Axis *** ******* ******* rougher *******. *** ***** camera ******** ******* ****, but ******* ****** ******* are *******.

Bigger Differences At Longer Range1

Longer ******** *******

** *** *****, ** found ******** *********** ** how **** ******* ********* at ****** *********, ****** ~10', **** ***** **** and ***** **********.

5

*** ********, ** ~**' distance, ******* *** ********** softer ** *** **** and ***** ****** **** in *********, ******, *** Vivotek, ***** ******* **** legible **** *** ******* facial *******.

Mid Range Detail Comparison

*** ** **', ******* details *** ***** ** only *** ********* *** Vivotek *******, ***** ****** do *** ******* ****** images, **** **** ******* text.

Long Range Detail Comparison

Bandwidth **********

*** ******* ****** ******** smart ****** ****** *** the ***** ******** ****** ATM ******, ***** **** standard *.***. **** *** Hanwha ***-**** ******** *.*** streaming.

8

*** **** ** ****** averaged *** ****** ******** of ******* ******, ***** 1,600 **/* ****** *** day *** *,*** ** night, ~* **/* **** than *********, *** **** lowest. *********, ******, *** Vivotek ********* ****** *********, but ******** ******, *,*** Kb/s ** ~*,*** **/* day *** ~*,***-*,*** **/* at *****.

*** ***-***** ***** ***** camera ******** *** ******* bitrates ** **** ****, over * **/* ***/* Mb/s *****.

Bitrate Comparison

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

** *** *******, *** Axis, ******, *********, *** Vivotek ******* ******* ****** similar ***** ***** *** integration, **** ***** ******** more *******.

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

*.*** ********* *** ************* worked ** ****** ***** combination, **** *** ********* of ***** ******** ** Avigilon ******* ******, ***** simply ***** *** *******. Note **** **** *** Hanwha ***-**** ******* *.*** streaming, ***** ********** ** all ***** ****** ********.

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

****** **** *** ******* was ******* ****** *******, with *****, *******, *********, and ******* ***** ********** events **** ****, ******, Hikvision, *** *******, ****** March *** ********* **** in ***** *** *******. Note **** ******** ******* Center *** *** ******* camera **** ****** ** any ************.

March *** ** *** ******

***** ** ** **** limited **** ****** ****** in *** ***********, **** that ***** ********' ******* are **** ****** ** be ********* ** *** to *** ***** ******* using***** ************* ******* ******, ***** ************* integrate **** ***** ***** VMS **** *****. ******* of ****, ***** *********** limitations *** **** ****** to ** * ********* negative **** ** **** cases.

**************

**** ** ************ ******, with *** **** ********* factors ***** ******* ******* used ********** ***** ** fixed *** **** ** the ********** *****, *** the **** ** ***** included ******.

9

**** *** ****** ******* the ****** ****** ** be ******** **** *** cables *** ** *** base *****. **** ********** installation ** *** ****** could ** ********** *******/****** without ************** ******** *** attached *****.

Removable Vs  Non-Removable Camera Heads

** **** ** **** and ****** *** ***** installation ********** ** **** video:

***** **** *** ********* heads ** ****/******, **** cameras ****** ********* ** a ******* *******, **** a ***** ***** ***** circled *** ****** **** attached ** *** ******** surface **** *** **** and ********* ** **** it ** *****. **** models' ****** ******** ****** stick **** ** ******** mounting, ****** **** *** not ** ******** *** long **** *** ** it *** *** *** and **** ******** ******** over ****.

ATM ******** ***********

*** ***** ********** ******* in ****, ***** *** hold * ******** *********, as **** ***** ************* with ******** *** *** models, *** ***** ****** mounts *** ***** ****** as ******.

**** ****** **** ********* mounts ***** *** ** shaped ** *** ******* applications, *** **** *** offer ****** ****** *** specific *** ******. *******, they ***** **** **** have ****** **** ******** manufacturers ** ******* ****** for ***** *******, *** models ****** *** ******* to ****** ****** ******.

*******, ****** **** ****** an *** *** **** a **** ********** *** adaptable ***** **** ** included ** *** **** XNB-6001 *******. **** ****, they ** *** **** which **** ** *** been ****** ****.

Hanwha ********* ******

** *** *****, *** Hanwha ***-**** ********* ****** stability ******, **** *** camera's ****** ******** ********** and ******* ********* ********* randomly. ***** ******** *********** with ****** **** ******* and ******* **********, ** determined *** ******** ******:

  • ****** *************:**** ****** ***-**** **** units **** ******** **** connected ** *** ******** EdgeSwitch ** **** ** testing, ****** ** ***** cameras ********* ******* ******. After ****** *** ******* to * ***** ******, they ****** ******* *****.
  • ****** ****** ******:*** ****** ***** *** a *********-***** ******* ****** ******, ***** ************ ********* to ****/******, **** ****** sent ************, *** *** camera **** ***** **** completely.

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

*** **** ****, ** included *** ****** ********* models **** *** *************, with ***** **** **** regarding ***** ****** ******* were **** ******* *** suitable *** **** ****.

***** *** **** ******* were ********* *** ******* began, ********* *** ******** a ***** *****, *****-*********** **** ***** ** the *****, *** *** yet ***** *******. **** model ****** ******** *** light *********** *** *.***, but ******* *** *****.

Country ** ******

******* *** ******* ** the ********* ********* ** origin:

  • **** ****: ********
  • ****** ***-****: *******
  • ********* **-*******: *****
  • ***** ******: ******
  • ***** ******: *****
  • ******* ******: ******

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

*** ********* ******** ******** were **** ** **** test. **** **** **** models **** **** ************ (pinhole *** ***-*******) **** the **** ********.

  • ****: *.**.*
  • ******: *.**.**
  • *********: **.*.** ***** ******
  • *****: *.*.*
  • *******: *****

Comments (25)

*** *** ***** *** Dahua ****** ******* ** Hanwha. **** ******* ** make ***** **** ***** so **** *****

******, ***** ****. ** initially ******* ** ******* Dahua, *** ***** ***** was *** ******** ** us ** *** **** of *******. **'** ***** in *** *** **** it's ******* ** ** released.

******* *********

 

****** *** ** *** kit **** ****** *** camera ** ****** ***** and ****** *** **** ATMs, *** *** **** tested **** ******* ****** ones. 

*****://***.**************.***/***-******.****

*** ****** *** *********** with *** *** *** lenses *** **** *******. I **** ***** *********** this  * **** *********** as ***** ****** *** not ******.

******* *** ******** **** out. **'* **** ***** to *** ******. ** there *** ************* ** which ****** **'* **** tested ****?

****** ******** ******, *** come **** ****** *-****** cam ** ***** ** 120 ** *** *** not *** ***** *** db?

*****,

*** *** ******* **** sensor *****, *** *** SSDR ******** **** **** in *** ****** *** test? 

*/*** ******** *******; *** on, ****; **** **, Wide, **.

********** **** ** ****** 20-25, **** ******'* **** should ** ******* **** better ** *** ****** of ******. 

*** ** ***** *** downside ** **** ******* ******?

*** ******** ** **** it ***, ** **** bright *********, **** *** the **********. ** *** scene ***** **'* *** bright ****** ** **** out (~*,*** ***, ****), but ** ** **** sunny *** *****-******, ***'* see **** ** *** effects ** **** ****.

**** ** ******* ** "fake ***", ********** *** brightness ** ******* ** a ****-*******.
*** ******** ** **** there **** ** **** noise ********* ** *** shadows.

** **** ******** **** with **** *** ** 25 ** *******. ** did *** ******* **** much. **'* ******* ****** to *** ******* ** our ***********, *** **** not ******** *** ***** or **** ******.

** *** *** ******* very ****.

*** ****, **’* ****.  but ****** ** **** it’s ***, *****?

 

**'** ***** ******** **** Axis ** ***** *** compatibility. **** ****** **** they **** ****** **** specific ************* ** ******* mounts *** ***** *******, but ****** ****** *** quickly ** ****** ****** mounts.

 

**** ********** ******'* (*** the *********'*) *** *********** is ************ ****. ****** appears non-functional. **** *** ***** ****** **** toggled **/***?

*'* ****** *** *********** on *** *** ****** I **** ** **** on *** *** *******.  The ****** *** * have ****** *** ** WDR, *** ** **** worse **** **** ****** that **** *** ***** 120 ** *** *****.  It **** **** *** matching ** ** ** setting ****** ********** ***** that ***** * **** change **** ** ***** one ***** *****.

***** **** *** ***** hum-4231 ** ***** * pin **** **** **** not **** ** ******** base *******? 

** * *********** ****** form ******, *** ********.

***** ** * ***** CVI ******* **** ** square *** **** *** have * ******** **** as *** *** ******. I'm ******* ** ** IP ***.

***** ** * ***** CVI ******* **** ** square *** **** *** have * ******** **** as *** *** ******. I'm ******* ** ** IP ***.

** **** ** **** still **** **** ** sell ** ** *.*., but **** *** ** **-***-********.

**** ** *** *** that *** **** ******** by *** **-*** ***-**** that * **** ****.

***** ***** *********. * was **** ******* ** any ***** ************* **** one. * **** ***** out *** **** *** too *** *** ***** is *.* **** *** I ***** **** * 3.6 ** ***.

***** * **** *** to **** *** ** series but ** **** **** F ****** *** *** series ******* **** *** including ** *** ******** ******.   Surprised to *** **** ****** and ******** ****** ** *** work **** *** **.  What ******* ** *** did *** **** ****?

***** *** **** *********** in *** ******* ******* tested, ******** *** ***** was * **** *** to **** ***********.

**** ****** *****, **** presented *** ***** ****-***** methodology.

***** *** *** *** country ** ****** ** the ******* ** **** seems ** **** ******* off ** ****** **** reports ** * **** when ***** ** * real ***** ** "********" manufacturers ********** ******* ****** markets ***** *** ******* First *****?

**'** ***** **** ** the ******:

Country ** ******

******* *** ******* ** the ********* ********* ** origin:

  • **** ****: ********
  • ****** ***-****: *******
  • ********* **-*******: *****
  • ***** ******: ******
  • ***** ******: *****
  • ******* ******: ******

**** *** ******* *** points ** ********:

*****, ** ******** ** the **** ******* ****, they ***** *** ******-********* ******, ***** ** * more **** ********* ****** for ***-*** ******* (~$*** online **. $***). ******* P12 ****** *** *** same ******* ** *** FA ******, **** ******* performance. *******, **** ********, such ** *** ****** depend **** *** **** unit, *** **** ******* somewhat ****** ** *** FA ****** ***** **** a ***** *******.

**** **** ******* *** that *** ****** ** the ** ****** ******* are ****** ***********, *** may ** ********* ** the *****. *** ***** needing ** ******* ***** cameras *** ****** *********, contact **** *** * lens ********** **** ***** fits **** ***** ** either **** ** *** FA ****** **** *** adjustment. **** ** ******* to ***** ******** ** past ******, **** ** the ******** **** **** optional ****** ***** ****** lenses.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Dahua 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 20, 2019
Dahua's new Pro Series 4K N85CL5Z claims to "deliver superior images in all lighting and environmental conditions", but how does this compare to...
Installation Course - Register Now on Aug 15, 2019
Register Now for the September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Axis 4K Camera Shootout 2019 on Aug 14, 2019
Axis' 4K Q3518-LVE claims the "best video quality possible", with Lightfinder super low light performance, Axis' high end Forensic WDR, and...
Proactive CCTV "Only Affordable Video Archiving Solution" Profile on Aug 12, 2019
Proactive CCTV is claiming to offer "the only affordable video archiving solution on the market", reducing the storage typically required for H.265...
Milestone "GDPR-ready" Certification Claim Critiqued on Aug 12, 2019
Milestone is touting that its latest XProtect VMS is "GDPR-ready" with a 'European Privacy Seal'. However, our investigation raises significant...
Axis Door Station A8207-VE Tested on Aug 07, 2019
Axis newest door station, the A8207-VE, claims to deliver "video surveillance, two-way communication, and access control" in a single device. But...
Avigilon Blue VSaaS Tested on Aug 05, 2019
Avigilon says Blue is a "powerful integrator cloud service platform", easy to set up and configure, quickly scale business, by leveraging cloud...
Hikvision 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 02, 2019
With their latest Smart Series 5 cameras, Hikvision is claiming cameras "fully loaded" with "state-of-the-art technology for high performance and...
Cisco Settles False Claims Act Suit For Video Surveillance Vulnerabilities on Aug 01, 2019
Cisco entered the video surveillance market in 2007 and suffered for many years through a variety of its own errors and arrogance. The conclusion...
Ionodes Company Profile on Jul 31, 2019
What happened to Ionodes? With seasoned leadership from Jean-Paul Saindon founder of SmartSight and Dr. Michael Gilge, founder of VCS, back in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Uniview Beats Intel In Trademark Lawsuit on Aug 19, 2019
Uniview has won a long-running trademark lawsuit brought by Intel, with Beijing's highest court reversing an earlier Intel win, centered on...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...
Verkada People And Face Analytics Tested on Aug 16, 2019
This week, Verkada released "People Analytics", including face analytics that they describe is a "game-changing feature" that "pushes the...
Dahua OEM Directory 2019 on Aug 16, 2019
US Government banned Dahua OEMs for dozens of companies. The following directory includes 40+ of those companies with a graphic and links to...
Installation Course - Register Now on Aug 15, 2019
Register Now for the September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Axis Suffers Outage, Provides Postmortem on Aug 15, 2019
This week, Axis suffered an outage impacting their website and cloud services. Inside this note, we examined what happened, what was impacted...
Hikvision Scrutinized In The Netherlands on Aug 15, 2019
Hikvision is facing unprecedented scrutiny in the Netherlands, at the same time the US government ban has taken effect. This week, a Dutch...
Axis 4K Camera Shootout 2019 on Aug 14, 2019
Axis' 4K Q3518-LVE claims the "best video quality possible", with Lightfinder super low light performance, Axis' high end Forensic WDR, and...
CheckMySystems Company Profile on Aug 14, 2019
CheckMySystems says that too many users respond, "I get an email when something is wrong" when talking about their video system maintenance plan,...
Hikvision OEM Directory on Aug 13, 2019
The Chinese government-owned and US-government banned Hikvision has become the world's largest video surveillance manufacturer and generally hidden...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact