Dahua vs Bosch and Axis 4K Cameras

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 02, 2015

4K is here, but not without issues.

High prices and poor low light performance constrain adoption.

Now Dahua, one of the two Chinese mega-manufacturers, known for its incredibly low-cost HDCVI line, has entered the 4K market, with an IR bullet, that is a fraction of the cost of 4K offerings.

At such low prices, can Dahua's 4K deliver? Can it match the image quality of bigger brands like Axis and Bosch?

To find out, we tested Dahua's HFW4800E against 4K cameras from Axis (P1428-E) and Bosch (Dinion 8000) in full light, low light, and WDR scenes to see how they compare.

** ** ****, *** not ******* ******.

**** ****** *** **** low ***** *********** ********* adoption.

*** *****, *** ** the *** ******* ****-*************, known *** *** ********** low-cost*********, *** ******* *** 4K ******, **** ** IR ******, **** ** a ******** ** *** cost ** ** *********.

** **** *** ******, can *****'* ** *******? Can ** ***** *** image ******* ** ****** brands **** **** *** Bosch?

** **** ***, ** tested *****'* ******** ******* 4K ******* **** **** (*****-*) *** ***** (****** ****) ** **** *****, low *****, *** *** scenes ** *** *** they *******.

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

Key ******** 

**** ***** ********** *** key ******** **** **** test:

*******

  • ******* ** **** ***** (~160 ***) ** ****** FOVs **** ******* ** 4K ******* **** **** Axis *** ***** *** better **** ***** ******* bullet.
  • ******* ******* ********** ** Axis ** *** ***** 1080p ****** ** ***** (~67') **** ** **** light, with **** ***** ********** than ***** ** ******.
  • **** ******* ** *** camera ****** ** *** light **** ** **, moderately ****** **** ***** IR *****, *** ************* better **** ****** ** non-IR *****.
  • ** ***** *** *** meet ********* *** ********, providing **** ************ **** at **-***.
  • **** *** ***********, ******** to **** *****-* *** Dahua ******** ** **** light *** **** *****. WDR *********** *** **** that ** *** ***** ***-***** against ****** *********, *** much ***** ** **** areas ** *** *****.
  • ******** ****** ** ******* than ** *** ***** models, ****** ******* *** HFW4800E *** *** **** 4K ****** ** ******* usable ******* ** ***** *** to *** ********** **.

Pricing *** ************

*** ******** ** ********* available ** ****** ** North ******* **** **** import ******* **** *********, *** ~$*** ***. This ** * ******** ** the ***** ** ******* *******, **** ** ******* *****-*(~$*,***) ******* ***-*****(~$*,*** ******), *** **** ****** to ***** ***** **** compact ** *******, **** as *****/*** ******, ***** average~$*** ***.

*******, ******** ********* ******* these ******** *** *** receive **** ******* ** warranty. ***** ***** **********.*** as ************ [**** ** longer *********], ****** *******.*** is *** ********** *********, and ******** ** ******* this ***** **** **** unsuccessful. ** * ******* rule, ****** ****** ****** limited, ** *** **** support *** ******** ******* from ***** *******.

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

*** ***** ***-******** ******** upon *** ***** ******** seen ** ***** ** cameras ****** *** ** its ***** ** (****** limited) ** ***********. *******, WDR *********** *** *****, better **** *** **** P1428-E *** **** **** of *** ***** ** Dinion. *** ***** ******** come ** ****** ***** to *********** ***** *******, making *** **** ** 4K **** **** ****** friendly.

** *** ******** ****, this ***** ** ****** lacks **-***** *******, *****, I/O, *** ********* *******.

Physical ********

** **** *****, ** review *** ******** ************ of *** ***-********, ****** typical ** **** *** feature *** *** ******* bullet *******.

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

**** ***** ******* ******* key ************* ****** *** the ********, *******:

  • ******** *** **** ******* to ****, *** ***** slow *******, *** ******** gain ***** *******. ** recommend **** ** ********* to ******* *** ***** performance (*** *****).
  • ** ******** ** **:* UHD **** (*********), * wider **:** ** ****** ratio ** *********, *** found ** ***** ** cameras ** **** ******.
  • *********** ******** ********* ** ****** quantization ****** **** ***** Dahua *******, **-** **. 22-30.
  • ******* (*******) *** ** provides ****** ******* ** subject *** **** ***** (off ** *******), *** increasing ****** ******* *** little ******.

****: **** ***** ******* issues ******** ** *** HFW4800E ****. *** * general ****** ** *** Dahua *** *********, *** our ******* ***** ******* ******.

Gain ******* ********

*** ***** ***-******** ******** to "****" *** ******** and **** *******, ***** results ** **** ******, despite *****-** **.

********** **** ** * customized ***** **** * max ** *** (***** in *** "**********" ****, see ********** *****) ****** the ****** ** ***** more **** ** ******, moderately *********** *** *****, displaying **** ******.

Image ******* ***********

** ***** ******* ***** a ~**' ****, **** here:

** **** *****, ~*** lux, ***** ******* ** similar ** *** ***** 4K ******* *** ** their ********* **** ***, ~175. *** ***** ****** provides ***** ******* ** the *****, *** ***** easily ******** *** ******* plate *** *******'* ****** details.

** *** **** ***** of **** ** ~.* lux, **** ** ******* deliver ************* ****** ******* than ****** **** ** Bosch ** ******. *** Dahua ** ******** ** noticeably ****** **** *** 1080p ********, *** ***** provides ****** ***** ********** and ******* ******* ****** details.

**** ***

****, ** ***** ** a ~**' ***, ****** our ******* ******* **** the *******, ***** ***** office ********, ***** ****:

** **** *****, *** Dahua ** ****** ******** few ****** *******, ** do *** ***** *******. The **** ***** ** most ******* ** *** Bosch ** ******, **** to **** */*, ***** Dahua *** **** *** read **** ** */*, and *** ***** ****** to */*.

**** ****** ***, ** ******* or ***** ******* *** visible ** *** ******. Neither ********** ** ******'* illuminators ******** *** *** subject ** **** *****.

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

** ****** *** *********** against ****** ******** ******* an **** ******** **** and *** **** **** next ** **, **** here ** **** *** from *** ********.

*** ******** ** *** a **** *****-******** *** camera. *******, ** ****** various ******** ************ *** software, ***** ***** ***** simply "****." ** ***** the ********** ******* *** off *** ** ** its ****** ******* (** on * *-*** *****) was ***********, **** **** better ******* ** *** subject *** ***** ** both ***** *** **** areas. ********** *** ** max (***) ******** ****** improvement. ***** *** ******* of ***, *** ******* is **** ************, *** the ********** ** **** completely ****** ***.

******* *** ***** * true *** ******, *** HFW4800E (***** *** ***** 50) ******** **** ** the ****** **** ** the *****, ******* ** the ***** ** *****, and ****** **** *** Axis ** *** ***** 1080p *******. *********** ********* in *** **** **** beside *** ****, **** the ******* **** ********** visible. *******, *** ******** still *********** *** **** 4K *** ***** ***** cameras ** **** *****.

***********/*********

**** **** ****** **** Dahua *******, ***** *********** levels (*-*, * ***** least ***********) ***** **** ~22-30 ** *** ************ scale, *** ******** ****** from **-**. ******* ** this, ** ********* ** standardize ******* ** **** increased *********** ***** *** our ************ *****.

*******, *** ********'* ******** remained ****** ***, ***** 4 **/* ** *** scenes. ** *** *** highest ** *** ** cameras ****** ** *** light *** **** ******, though *** **** *** of *** ***** ********* usable ****** ** ***** light ******. ******** **** moderately ****** **** *** 1080p ***** ******, ** well.

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

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

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

Comments (27)

Thanks for the great test, as always. This is probably the bottom of the barrel model for Dahua as well. I am interested in getting my hands on the mid tier motorized dome unit. We currently use their 3MP version and would love to see just a little more resolution for parking lots and other outdoor areas where 3MP just isn't enough at times.

I am going to state the obvious. I find it amazing that Axis consistently performs poorly in the recent comparison tests despite their premium pricing. They may have excellent support, accessories to support varied installs, high level of customizability and good design but somehow they overlook the most important thing (imho) and that's image quality. Just amazes me.

In fairness, Axis is varifocal and the other two are not. I am not sure if that is causing the difference but it's definitely a big plus to have varifocal.

What I don't understand is why Axis did not include IR in the P1428 when they did in all the other models of that series. I get that they recommend to add external IR but for very little cost they could have offered at least short to mid range IR built-in.

Is it possible that you received a lemon from Axis? Looking thru the tests it appears to not fully focus ever... And there have been problems with their first batch.

Is Axis really OK with this continued trouncing of their high-end product?

Axis reads these reports and has not complained. We'd certainly listen if they provide feedback.

We auto-focus and then manually check focus on the P1428-E before we shoot every scene. The comparisons you see are after that process is complete. It simply never gets as sharp as the other cameras.

I could throw out theories as to why but they'd just be theories.

It's weird because there are couple of videos out there of the p-1428e that look decently sharp. Of course it's hard to compare to the tests, but still...

As for the theories, I don't think there is anyone more qualified than you to venture what might be going wrong with that camera. So let's hear 'em!

I had a crazy thought: i know it's a different Axis model, but it looks a little like that hidden focus ring problem from back a couple weeks ago, maybe not as soft. Does that one have a hidden decoder ring by any chance? :)

Regarding sharpness and image quality, we have used two P1428-E for a while now and they work great as still image webcams. See http://www.cid.no/dnv-gl/ for samples and here is a 4K sample with no post camera correction.

This is a fantastic article. I am utterly blown away by these results in comparison to the premium manufacturers. This is like seeing a Kia blow the doors off a Porsche. If I was one of the premium manufacturers I would begin to question how premium the product really is. Normally I would never purchase a camera at less than 1/3 of the price of a well established brand after assuming it is disposable junk. That is getting harder to reasonably do in light of these recent shootouts and the rise of Hikvision and Dahua.

I have to wonder about the lifetime reliability of this camera. Is the warranty 30 days when purchased through appropriate channels? Does the web interface look like it was derived from Geocities? Does the camera have to be self-assembled like Ikea furniture? I feel like there has to be some sort of "gotcha" that is going unseen.

Truly eye opening.

Our US based OEM distributors handle all warranty issues. This model would probably have a 2-year warranty. The firmware / web UI may not be AS polished as western brands, but it isn't buggy. Maybe just not as well thought out as some others. Hik has a little better UI than Dahua IMO. It just looks more professional. However, it usually doesn't matter because clients won't ever see it.

As for reliability of Dahua in general, it has been very good for us. I don't know how many warranty claims I've ever made, but it's likely less than 5 in the past 4+ years I have been using them. Less than five claims over hundreds of items.

On the image quality side, I believe a key reason is that most manufacturers, Western or Chinese, have access to similar imagers, lenses and chips, so to the extent that they each use them, it's hard for anyone to 'blow out the competition.'

Indeed, recently, Axis seems to be refocusing on competing in various niches, like the suicide resistant camera, the thermography camera, the just announced rugged exterior mount vehicle camera, etc. In many of these cameras, there is no Chinese equivalent which puts Axis in a very good position. The limitation is that these are niche segments.

Dome and Box are both available as well.

Our issue with the mini dome pictured is that it isn't 3-axis, which limits its application. We are waiting for the larger mid-sized dome with 3-axis and motorized zoom. That will be our new standard cam if all else remains the same performance-wise.

Is it going to be 3-12mm?

Usually their motorized zoom is 3-9mm. Manual varifocal is usually 2.8-12mm.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the Dahua product is Max 7fps@4K(3840×2160)?

Good catch! The others claim 30 FPS.

The Dahua Box though is also 30 FPS, and although no IR, it takes C/CS mount lenses...

Aliexpress is listing them at ~450, so more expensive, but if the performance holds, still disruptive.

Yes, the mini dome and bullet are 8MP@7FPS, but the box is 12MP@15FPS/8MP@30FPS.

I'm looking into this, but unfortunately not in the office today due to the weather, and that camera isn't connected, so I can't check remotedly.

We are going to see what actual max framerate is, because we tested at 10 FPS (standard across all cameras), and got a real 10 FPS at 3840x2160. You can count all ten individual frames per second, and AVInaptic analysis reports 10.00 frames, not one dropped in a 40 second clip.

Also, multiple VMSes allow you to configure the camera for 30 FPS (select it in recording settings), but whether it actually provides that is another question.

When I get back in the office we'll investigate further.

I wonder what the max setting in the web interface is? If you can exceed that value via ONVIF, that would be interesting. I haven't tried to exceed the cameras limits via ONVIF before. We usually record at 10FPS, which is usually well below max specs.

For what it's worth, we have seen other cheaper Chinese made cameras that allow you to exceed the safe framerate allowed by the camera's CPU. The dome we tested allowed you to set the framerate at 30FPS, but the camera hardware would become unstable after exceeding 18FPS.

I'm sure the limitation in the Dahua is a self imposed limit, not an actual sensor hardware limit of 7FPS. To keep the price as low as they do, they have to sacrifice somewhere. CPU power would be my best guess. That is why they probably advertise it as 7FPS and, l would believe, limit it in firmware as well.

Ethan,

Did you ever get back to testing the framerate on the Dahua 4K bullet?

Oh, yes, but having forgotten to update here, and that being months and months ago, I don't want to misspeak. I'll look at results on Monday and let you know.

At the very least, it was getting a solid 15 FPS, from what I remember. Not sure about higher.

The web interface allows you to set up to 15 FPS at both 4096x2160 and 3840x2160 resolutions. I ran them through a stream analyzer and FPS is solid day and night. I also counted frames, to be less scientific.

So short answer: 15 FPS.

When you use the 4096x2160 resolution, does it actually give a 4:3 image? Or does it use black bars to fill in? The spec sheet shows it as a native 3840x2160 (16:9), so that is why I'm confused.

It's not 4:3, it's still wide. 4096x2160 is 4K UHD cinema format.

It has no black bars, all pixels. I actually thought we'd covered that in this report but the next time we have the camera out for a test I'll add snapshots showing where it adds pixels.

So, when are you guys going to play with the new Dahua cam's that have a 1/1.7" sensor and allow running at native 4:3 for a 12mp image? I have one and it's niiiiiice :)

Not available in the US yet, from what we were told it will probably be a few months.

Login to read this IPVM report.

Related Reports

TVT / InVid White Light Camera Tested Vs Hikvision ColorVu on Mar 18, 2020
With mega China manufacturers Dahua and Hikvision facing both bans and human...
Tiandy Super Starlight Cameras Tested on Apr 30, 2020
Tiandy is taking aim at China competitors Dahua and Hikvision, with a new...
Sunell Panda Cam Body Temperature Measurement Camera Tested on May 14, 2020
Sunell is far less well known than its gargantuan domestic competitors Dahua...
Colombia's President Promotes Bad Hikvision Fever Camera Setup on Jun 17, 2020
Colombia's President Iván Duque has promoted a haphazard Hikvision fever...
Mobotix 7 Line Camera Tested on Mar 12, 2020
Mobotix is attempting a turn-around, struggling for years, then releasing the...
Hikvision Fever Screening Thermal Solutions Examined on Apr 13, 2020
Hikvision is marketing "safer, faster, smarter" with their Fever Screening...
Detecting Coronavirus Fevers With Thermal Cameras on Mar 15, 2020
MAY 2020 Update: This post was our early examination of these systems being...
Mobotix Thermal Detection Camera Tested on Jun 09, 2020
For years Mobotix has struggled but now sales are surging driven by Mobotix's...
TVT Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Jul 23, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision get the most attention for China temp products,...
Hikvision Global Revenue Falls, Hit By Coronavirus on Apr 27, 2020
Hikvision's global revenue fell in the first quarter of 2020 due to the...
The Booming Multi-Billion Coronavirus Fever Camera Market on Apr 21, 2020
The market for elevated body temperature detection cameras, aka 'coronavirus...
Sunell "Panda Cam" Thermal Body Temperature System Examined on Apr 09, 2020
Sunell's Panda Cam is the most visually recognizable coronavirus camera, sold...
Camera Resolution Usage Statistics 2020 on Mar 12, 2020
The average resolution used, for new cameras, is now 4MP, according to new...
HLC Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Mar 02, 2020
Highlight Compensation (HLC) claims to reduce the effects of strong light...
Vivotek LPR Camera Tested on Apr 15, 2020
Vivotek has historically sold license plate capture cameras but not LPR. Now,...

Recent Reports

Taiwan Lilin NDAA Compliant Cameras Tested on Aug 13, 2020
Taiwan-based manufacturer Lilin is taking direct aim at Dahua and Hikvision...
White House Expands Dahua Hikvision Blacklist To Federal Funding on Aug 13, 2020
The White House is expanding the NDAA to blacklist anyone who "uses" banned...
Actual Coronavirus Testing Options Examined on Aug 13, 2020
Fever cameras have emerged as an indirect and flawed way to test for...
Video Analytics Online Show September 2020 Opened - Axis, Avigilon, Bosch, BriefCam, Genetec, Milestone + 30 More on Aug 12, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show will feature 35+ Video Analytics companies...
The German Company Powering Many China Temperature Tablets (Heimann) on Aug 12, 2020
Many fever tablet suppliers market German-made Heimann thermal sensors while...
Salesforce Drops Dahua and Hikvision on Aug 12, 2020
Salesforce has dropped Dahua and Hikvision as customers, forcing the two mega...
Access Control Course Fall 2020 - Register Now on Aug 12, 2020
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry....
Genetec CEO Declares "We Don't Negotiate Payment With Patent Trolls" on Aug 11, 2020
Are patent trolls like terrorists? Genetec's CEO is coming out strongly...
Hanwha AI Analytics Camera Tested on Aug 11, 2020
Hanwha has released their Wisenet P AI camera, adding person and vehicle...
Alabama Schools Million Dollar Hikvision Fever Camera Deal on Aug 11, 2020
The Baldwin County, Alabama public schools purchased a $1 million, 144-camera...
Dahua Taunts Australian Government, Continues To Sell Illegal Fever Cameras on Aug 10, 2020
Dahua is effectively taunting the Australian government by continuing to sell...
HID Releases VertX Replacement Aero on Aug 10, 2020
HID is replacing two established and broadly supported types of access...
NDAA Compliant Video Surveillance Whitelist on Aug 10, 2020
This report aggregates video surveillance products that manufacturers have...
Telpo China Temperature Tablets Tested on Aug 10, 2020
The provider for overseas companies ranging from Canon Singapore to US'...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...