Hikvision ~$300 Mini PTZ Tested

By John Scanlan, Published Jul 08, 2016, 06:51am EDT (Research)

A PTZ camera at fixed dome prices?

That is the promise of Hikvision's new DS-2DE2103 [link no longer available], a compact PTZ with 3x optical zoom in a package smaller than typical dome cameras.

The question is, at this size and price point, what performance is given up? Inside, we test the 2103 against another cheap PTZ, the Foscam FI9828P and a full size IR speeddome, Hikvision's DS-2DE5220I to see how it stacks up.

Pricing

The Hikvision 2103 can be purchased online for ~$260 from several sources. This is much less expensive than most PTZ cameras, which typically run $750 at least, such as the Hikvision DS-2DE5220I-AE ($750 online). However, others sell compact PTZ models for similar prices, such as the Foscam Foscam FI9828P (~$260 online).

Additionally, $260 is similar to the pricing of many manufacturer's indoor fixed domes, such as the Sony SNC-XM631 or Bosch Flexidome Micro, both ~$300.

Summary

The Hikvision 2103 provides PTZ capabilities (albeit limited) at historic fixed dome prices, which may reduce costs and cameras required for monitoring of larger indoor areas.

However, low light performance is poor, nearly unusable below 1 lux, and the camera is slow to pan/tilt with limited zoom capabilities (3x optical, telephoto 37° max) compared to typical full size PTZs (with telephoto max of 2-3°).

Because of this, it is best to think of the 2103 as a fixed camera replacement with PTZ features instead of a viable commercial PTZ option.

Finally, the 2103 supports Hikvision's EZVIZ cloud service, with support for up to 128 GB SD cards on board, making remote viewing and control simpler, with no manual port forwarding setup or UPnP required and no recurring fees.

Physical Overview

The mini PTZ dome has a small footprint with the measurements of 4.7" x 3.3", smaller than typical varifocal minidomes, but notably larger than compact models, as seen below.

In the video below we provide a physical overview of the Hikvision 2103.

Configuration

Those familiar with other Hikvision models will find the 2103's web interface very familiar. We have included this configuration video below from our Hikvision 2013 IP Cameras Test for reference.

VMS and EZVIZ Compatibility

We had no issues connecting the 2103 to Exacq (direct driver) or Avigilon (ONVIF) in our tests. However, note that the camera is not specifically listed on ONVIF's conformance lists.

The 2103, like other 2 series Hikvision models, supports their EZVIZ cloud services. Via the EZVIZ app and web interface, we were able to view live and recorded video and even use PTZ controls. EZVIZ requires no port forwarding setup or UPnP.

This screenshot shows the camera in the EZVIZ web interface, including PTZ control:

Image Quality

We tested image quality in an indoor conference room (~20'x30') in full light (~150lx) and low light (~0.5lx).

Below is a picture of the FOV from the conference room, with the camera ~25' from the subject.

This picture shows the comparison of quality across the three cameras we tested in the conference room. The 2DE2103 is moderately washed out compared to the other low cost PTZ, the Foscam FI9828P, with slightly reduced details of the subject and the test chart legible only to line 3 versus 4/5 in the Foscam.

At night, the 2103 provides no usable images at ~0.5lx, while the other PTZs integrated IR produces solid details.

Typical Application

The 2103 may be a good fit as a fixed dome replacement in interior settings, where an operator may control the camera if desired, or it may be driven with events (e.g., access control or intrusion detection).

In the example below, we placed the camera at the corner of two hallways, and track our subject as he moves ~40' down one hall towards the camera, turns, and then walks ~40' in the second hallway into the open office area:

Notice the limits in how far we zoom in to track the subject, which is extremely limited compared to speeddome / 'full' PTZs.

Test Parameters

Cameras were tested using default settings except exposure, which was standardized to 1/30s max.

The following firmware versions were used:

  • Hikvision DS-2DE2103: V5.3.0 build 150403
  • Foscam FI9828P: 1.4.1.10
  • Hikvision DS-2DE5220I-AE: V5.3.9 build 150910

1 report cite this report:

PTZ Camera Guide 2016 on Sep 15, 2016
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