D-Link's Professional IP Camera Releases Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Oct 06, 2011

In the Fall of 2011, D-Link has made a push for greater market acceptance with a number of new models and improvements to their line. Historically viewed as a consumer/SOHO offering, D-Link's aims to become a professional IP video surveillance provider with these new offerings. In this update we examine how these changes stack up against competitors such as Vivotek, Axis, Arecont, Sony, etc.

IP Camera Overview

The D-Link line has essentially been overhauled, with some products being discontinued and more being introduced. Between the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, eight new models will be introduced, with more having been released earlier in the year. The line consists of all the usual form factors, box, domes, and PTZs. All current and future releases are ONVIF-compliant, and capable of multiple streams of H.264, MPEG-4, or MJPEG.

Box Camera Comparison

As part of the new line, D-Link is offering two models of 1.3MP box camera, the DCS-3710 and the DCS-3112, with the main difference between the two being the 3710's wide dynamic capability. Pricing for the these cameras compares as follows. Note that since these D-Link products are due to be released in the fourth quarter, these prices are calculated from preliminary MSRP supplied to us, and typical discounts from MSRP of D-Link products found online.

  • D-Link DCS-3112: Approximately $415 online, including 3.5-8mm CS-mount lens.
  • D-Link DCS-3710: Approximately $600, including 3.5-8mm CS-mount lens.
  • Vivotek IP7161: ~$400, including 3.1-8mm CS-mount lens.
  • Arecont AV1115DN: ~$380 online, no lens included
  • Axis P1344: ~$650, including a 3-8mm CS-mount lens
  • Sony SNC-CH120: ~$550, including 2.8-8mm CS-mount lens
  • Sony SNC-CH140: ~$800, including a 2.8-8mm CS-mount lens

This pricing makes the DCS-3112 one of the lowest-cost megapixel box cameras from any reputable manufacturer, on par with Arecont and Vivotek. Compared to Axis, Panasonic, and Sony, it has a 25-30% advantage. The wide dynamic 3710 has an approximately 25% advantage over Sony CH140, as well. We have not tested the 3710's wide dynamic claims, so we cannot attest to its performance, however, and the CH140 has performed consistently well in wide dynamic tests.

Dome Camera Comparison

D-Link's line of dome cameras consists of four models, two indoor, and two outdoor, in both VGA and 1.3MP resolution.  2MP/1080p resolutions will be forthcoming. The DCS-6511 is a 1.3MP outdoor dome with IR illumination, which we will use for comparison.

In this case, D-Link is about $175+ less expensive than the Arecont AV1355DN, and extends that advantage against others. It is once again in line with Vivotek. The DCS-6511 includes both a motorized lens, as well as built-in IR illumination. While the Axis P33 series features motorized zoom lenses on all cameras, and the Sony DH160 is equipped with built-in IR illuminators, neither provide both of these features.

Recommendations

D-Link's pricing is in line with, in some cases slightly lower than, competitors. ONVIF compliance should help adoption somewhat. Without testing, we cannot comment on its ease of use or image quality, and its value relative to other products in its price range. Users seeking an alternative to the typical lower-cost brands may find D-Link an attractive option.

1 report cite this report:

Low Cost Professional IP Cameras Comparison on Oct 23, 2011
"Too expensive" is probably the most frequent complaint about IP cameras. While IP cameras have clearly come down in price in the last few years,...
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