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.

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 (26)

*** *** ***** *** 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.

** *** ** ** but * ***'* **** which ****** *** *** using ** **** ****** picture *** ****. *** you ***** **** *** please?

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