Dahua Integrated IR PTZ Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jun 04, 2014

Integrated IR cameras are growing rapidly in popularity, as they help solve a key surveillance problem - poor low light imaging.

However, integrated IR is rarely offered inside PTZs. Indeed, no major Western manufacturer offers an integrated IR PTZ. Recently, though, a number of Asian manufacturers have started to offer these models.

As part of our Dahua HD CVI test, we paid ~$450 for a 720p HD, 20x optical zoom, integrated IR PTZ, rated for 100m IR range. That is quite a price point, considering many Western manufacturers fixed IR IP cameras are more expensive than that.

In this report, we share our test findings of this integrated IR PTZ vs an Axis Q series PTZ.

The image below shows, left to right, the IR PTZ itself, the IR LED pattern and an excerpt of a person being tracked by the IR PTZ:

We tested the PTZs day and night at distance up to 450' / 137 meters to see how performance varied and the tradeoffs amongst the cameras.

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Key ********

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Physical ********

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IR ***********

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Parking *** ***********

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

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Test **********

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

Comments (20)

Given how far the Dahua camera can see with IR, and given their low price, are there any reasons why one might still consider the Avigilon adaptive IR cameras, other than for a neater form factor?

Reasons for Avigilon or other adaptive IR cameras vs a Dahua integrated IR PTZ:

  • Adaptive IR can provide greater details / less overexposure, e.g., with license plate capture.
  • Dahua is Dahua, which means buying from various OEMs, trying to get support direct from Dahua, etc.
  • This model was CVI, not IP. The IP version, from the same site we bought this CVI camera, was 2x more for IP. [Correction, there is a different IP integrated IR PTZ model that is roughly the same price as the CVI version]

Thank you John, that's very useful information. I'm surprised the IP version of the Dahua camera is twice the price. That makes the Avigilon well worth considering.

Luke, update and correction. Someone at Dahua contacted us and pointed out that there are two series - 'Ultra-Smart', their higher end and 'Eco-Savvy', their lower end.

Within 'Eco-Savvy', there is another IP integrated IR PTZ model that is roughly the same price as the CVI version.

Hi John, thank you for this information. It's great that someone from Dahua contacted you with this information but it would be better if it was easier to find the differences in these products on their website.

The IP version, from the same site we bought this CVI camera, was 2x more for IP.

Ok, for a cheap mini dome I can see 2X the price, because they are little more than a cheap lens, sensor and encoder. But a speedome PTZ with tons of IR? You would think the encoder would be a much smaller part of the cost, no?

Do you think that Dahua is artificially supporting these price points or do you think they are based in engineering realities?

Hard to guess the cause.

Of the 3 IP models listed on that site, even the least expensive is higher resolution and spec'd for greater IR range. So it's probably more expensive to make (those factors + the built in IP encoder). How much of the price delta that accounts for, I don't know.

We have been using IR PTZ's for about 5 or 6 years and have had the 30x Dahua 2Mp IP model installed on a 10m telescopic pole on our demo truck for over a year with great results.

They are a very cost effective product and we love them for our rural clients with 100m in pitch black at night to view around the farms etc.

Dahua CVI is a low cost alternative that appears to compare with high end Analogue and in our opinion is really only a cheaper alternative to IP for Analogue sites where they want to upgrade 6 - 10 year old Analogue equipment and use the same cable infrastructure to save on cost.

We have been using Dahua gear now for nearly 2 years with good results and have a fair understanding of it's pros and cons (and idiosincrasies).

In most cases we actually do our own R&D with the products in house.

We are now investigating using Dahua Cameras and encoders with HD Witness as an alternative for larger site upgrades.

I find no anti/beautiful results mentioned about this above. I am I only one who states this thing is most unpretty, with kindness. It can matter when then one of your clienteles looks away to disgusting reason, and they are lost from it forever just because of its outer casing look and face like mr roboto-ish. Anyone else wish to say this, but they did't?

Tedor, well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say...

However, one manufacturer did point out two thing that are relevant to this point:

  • Since there is no bubble, the camera's positioning can clearly be seen, even from fairly far away, which reduces its discreteness. As it is more overt, people may consider it less aesthetic (e.g., why people like domes).
  • The lack of a bubble also increases low light performance, as the bubble absorbs some portion of light.

Note, the lack of a bubble is because putting a bubble over the IR LEDs would block / disperse the illumination output.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

but ugly goes right thru their bones... But I do know somebody who would fall in love. Spiders would love it spiders who would give their eight thumbs way up, to die and go to dahua heaven, they would think they had. Unless the moving/wirling thing could shake them across the gears and gently grind their pulps down. noone can know this right away.

But can clogged spiders be some problem with this because of bright leds calling them and open face catching them in it?

The Dahua units, like the Hikvision units and likely the Samsung units have a sealed "ball" and the face is sealed. Spider intrusion inside the ball is highly unlikely.

Spider intrusion inside the ball is highly unlikely.

What about spider occlusion?, also mentioned (I think)?

Like the Itsy, Bitsy spider, it will get washed away by the rain.

In all seriousness, I have not had any spider issues reported.

It is a matter of putting function ahead of form which is required to acheive this function. This is a much more economical solution than installing a 360 degree IR array.

Anyone have any experience with the Samsung SNP-6200RH? It also has built-in IR with 100 M capability.

Good question about the Samsung model. I've started a new discussion with feedback here: Any Experience With Samsung Integrated IR PTZ?

is it just me or is anyone else surprised with the extremly poor results from the AXIS camera? I would expect it to preform better... sure it took the license plates but the lowlight preformance overall is noteworthy.

Well, it's got a f stop of F1.6–2.9 and it is seeing through a bubble so those two factors both undermine low light performance notably.

And even if it was a 'super' low light cameras, it is hard to match having your own illumination (i.e., integrated IR) when it's really dark. For example, review the results of Super Low Light vs Integrated IR Shootout.

Hi Ethan, bearing in mind your article above, I'd like to put in a request for the Dahua DH-SD6AL230F-HNI to be tested. It's been announced but I don't know if it is shipping yet.

The interesting thing about this PTZ camera is that it claims up to 500 meters of IR range using "Laser IR". This is a big step up from the 100 meter claimed range of the Dahua camera in the above report. It also seems to be several times beyond the claimed IR range of any other manufacturer but is it useful? Does it compete in any way with thermal cameras at this range, especially given its higher resolution than thermal cameras?

I wonder if the laser helps overcome autofocus problems at longer ranges. I also wonder about the safety of the laser and whether it could cause eye damage? I wonder who'd like to test that at IPVM?!

Given the claimed IR range, could this camera be useful for checking up on livestock on rural properties during the day and night? Thank you for considering my request.

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