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

Author: 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

** ****** ** ****** from *' ** **' to *** *** ******* capture **** ***** ***** details ****** ** *** applications *** ******* ********* needed *** ******* ****** surveillance, ** *** ******* below *****:

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?

*****,

*** *** ******* **** ****** *****, *** *** **** ******** were **** ** *** ****** *** ****?

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

********** **** ** ****** **-**, **** ******'* **** ****** ** exposed **** ****** ** *** ****** ** ******.

*** ** ***** *** ******** ** **** ******* ******?

*** ******** ** **** 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 ***-**********. **** *** scene ****** **** ******* on/off?

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

***** **** *** ***** ***-**** ** ***** * *** **** that **** *** **** ** ******** **** *******?

** * *********** ****** **** ******, *** ********.

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

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

** **** ** **** still **** **** ** sell ** ** *.*., but **** *** ** DH-IPC-HUM4001P.

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

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

***** * **** *** to **** *** ** series *** ** **** many * ****** *** P12 ****** ******* **** ACC ********* ** *** analytic ******. ********* ** see **** ****** *** analytic ****** ** *** 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

Locking Down Network Connections Guide on Apr 23, 2019
Accidents and inside attacks are risks when network connections are not locked down. Security and video surveillance systems should be protected...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...
H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...
Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...
ISC West 2019 Report on Apr 12, 2019
The IPVM team has finished at the Sands looking at what companies are offering and how they are changing their positioning. See below for 50+...
Pole Mount Camera Installation Guide on Apr 11, 2019
Poles are a popular but challenging choice for deploying surveillance cameras outdoors. Poles are indispensable for putting cameras at the right...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Admits USA Sales Falling on Apr 22, 2019
Hikvision, in a new Chinese financial filing, has admitted that its USA sales are now falling. Less than a year after the US government passed a...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...
H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
Register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...

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