Hikvision vs Dahua High-End 4MP Cameras Test

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Jun 27, 2016

4MP models hit with a splash last year, offering increased resolution and true WDR at past 1080p prices. However, these models have been limited to the low end, with fixed lenses and limited options. 

Now, Dahua and Hikvision have released new dome models with high end features like remote focus and zoom, two way audio, and more, at prices well under historic lows. 

We bought and tested these new models from Dahua and Hikvision (Dahua IPC-HDBW5421E-Z and Hikvision DS-2CD2742FWD-ISZ) to see how they stack up against low cost 4MP bullets as well as high performing 1080p cameras.

See our full results inside.

*** ****** *** **** a ****** **** ****, ******** ********* ********** and **** *** ** past ***** ******. *******, ***** models **** **** ******* to *** *** ***, with ***** ****** *** limited *******. 

***, ***** *** ********* have ******** *** **** models **** **** *** features **** ****** ***** and ****, *** *** audio, *** ****, ** prices **** ***** ******** lows. 

** ****** *** ****** these *** ****** ********************* (***** ***-*********-* *** ********* DS-2CD2742FWD-ISZ) ** *** *** they ***** ** ******* low **** *** ******* ** well ** **** ********** 1080p *******.

*** *** **** ******* inside.

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

*******

*** ***** *** ********* ****** tested **** *** ***** value ******* *** ***** looking *** >***** *********** *** requiring ****** ***** *** zoom ******* ** ***** cost ******. ***** **** come ** * ~$*** premium **** ***** **** IR ******, **** *** significantly **** ********* **** many/most domes **** ******* *********** (IP66, **** ***, **, motorized ****), ~$*** ****** vs. ********* ** ****** ~$***

*******, **** **** *********** in **** **** *** WDR ****** *** ******** improved **** *** **** models, ****** **** ***** and ********* ***** ****** slightly ** *** ***** compared ** **** ********* bullet *******. 

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

*** ***** ******** ************ the ********* **** ** our *****, **** **** even ** ******** ********* in ****** *** ***** performance, ******** ****** *** imaging, *** ****** ***** due ** ** ***** buttons/remote ********* (**** ******** the ********* ***** *****).

*******, *** ********* ****'* bandwidth *********** *** * fraction ** *** ***** 4MP ***** ** *** tests *** ** *** inclusion ** ***** *.***+ smart *****. ******* ***** may ** ************* ***** because ** **** **** using *** ********* ******.

Key ********

**** *** *** *** findings **** **** ****:

  • ** **** ****** ** view (~**'), *** ***** 5421 *** **** ****** performed ******** ****** **** Hikvision's *** ********* **** equivalent (****), **** **** even ******** *** ****** chart **********.
  • **** ***** *** ********* zoom ******* ******** ******** **** subject/test ***** ******* **** ***** respective ***** **** ****** counterparts ** **** ****.
  • ** ******** ****** ** view ***** *** ** higher (~** ** *** 4MP ******), ******* ** all *** *** ****** were ******* ** **** light.
  • ** *** ***** (~*.***), the ***** *** **** camera ********* ****** **** the ********* **********, ***** had * **** ****** center ** *******, **** darker ** *** ***** of *** ***.
  • *******, **** **** ******* were ************ ** ***** by *** *** **** bullet ******, ***** ******** slightly ****** ****** ** the ******* *** **** clearer **** **********.
  • *** ***** **** ******** zoom ******* ******** ** the ******, ** **** as * ********* ***** output, ***** **** ****** and ******** ******. ********* includes *** ********* ******, but ** ******** ******** on *** ******.
  • *** ********* **** ******** remote ***** *** ****, but **** *** ******* autofocus. *****'* *** ********* model ****.

*******

**** *** ***** ***-******** and ********* **-******* **** for ~$*** *** ******, roughly ***** *** ***** of *** **** ****** models, ***** **** *** ~$130-150 (****** **** ********* zoom).

*******, **** ***** ** ~60% ***** **** *** average ***** ** ******* zoom ******, ~$***.

Physical ********

**** ******* *** ***** average ***** *** ******* domes, **** *** ********* 2742 ********** ******* **** *** Dahua ****. ******** ** **** are ******* **** *** key ******:

  • ***** ******** **** *******:*** ***** ****** ******** physical ******* ** *** camera *** ****/**** **** control. ********* **** ***. In *** ***** (**** and ******) ** ***** that ***** ******** ***** aim *** ***** ****.
  • ********* "******" ******:*** ********* ****'* ****** "clicks" ** *** ****** is ******. **** *** make ************ ****** *** some, ** ** **** not ******* ************/************ ** screws ** *** *** camera. *******, ****** *** find *** ****** *** far *****, ******** ******* aiming ** *** ******.

** **** * **** at ***** *** ***** issues ** **** *****:

Focus/Zoom ********

***** **** *** ****** tested ******* **** ******, there *** **** *** differences ******* *** ***:

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

***** ** *** ********* 2742 ** ****** **** via *** *** *********. The "********* *****" ****** found ** *** **** view **** *** ******* autofocus ** ** **** in ***** ******.

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

** ********* *****, *** Dahua **** ******** ******** zoom ******** ** *** camera ******, *** ******* focus ** *** ****** was ****** **/***. **** simplified ****** *** ******** compared ** *********, ** ********** could ** ********* ** the ******, ******* ** requiring *** *** ********* to *** ****/*****.

Daytime ***** ******* **********

** ******* ******* ** a **** **** ****** field ** ****, ~**'.

 

******* ********* ** *** cameras ** **** *** level *** *******, **** slight ********* ** ***** due ** ************ ** both ********* ******. *** **** end 1080p ***** ** ***** here *** ********* / comparison ******** ******* ******* lower ********** ******.

 

** **** ****** ** a ******** ***** ** view, ~**' ****:

** **** *** *****, details ** *** *** cameras *** ****** *** similar.

 

Integrated ** ***********

*** ** ******* ** the ***** **** *** even ****** *** **** field ** **** ** our *****. *******, *** Hikvision **** *** * strong ****** *** ****, moderately ************ ********, *** was **** **** ****** the ***** ** *** FOV. *** ********** ******* the *** ** **** in *** ********* *****: 

** **** ***** *****, with ** **, **** zoom ****** ******* ****** details **** ***** *** cost ****** *********** *** to ****** *******. **** that **** ******* **** remotely ******* ****** *** after ********* ** ***** mode.

 

WDR **********

** ****** *** ** a ********* *****, ******* strong ********* ** **** as darker *****:

*** ***** ******** **** model ******** *** ********* details ** **** *****, in **** *** ****** and **** ***** ** the *****, **** * slight **** **** *** Hikvision ****. **** **** models' *** *********** *** similar ** ** ******** better **** ***** *** cost ****** ************.

Bandwidth ********** 

**** ********* ****** ** this **** ******* ******.***+ ***** *****, ********* ** **** lower ******* ******** **** competitive ***** ******. *** Hikvision *** ****** *** the ****** ******* ******** of ******* ** **** test, ****** *** **** zoom **** *** ***** much ***** **** *** Dahua ****.

Test **********

*** ******* **** ****** using ******* ******** ****** otherwise *********, **** *** following ******* ** *** cameras:

  • *.***, ** ***, ~** quantization *** ****
  • */*** ******* ******* *****

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

  • ***** ***-*********-*: *.***.****.**.*
  • ********* **-**********-***: **.*.*
  • ***** ***-********: *.*.**.****.**.*
  • ********* **-*********-*: **.*.* ***** 151105

Comments (17)

What are the exact part numbers for both the Dahua cameras?

Thinking that

IPC-HBDW4421E should be IPC-HFW4421E.

IPC-HBDW5421 should be IPC-HDBW5421.

Dahua IPC-HDBW5421E-Z & Dahua IPC-HFW4421E are the Dahua models. I just updated that and added the main two test models to the top of the report as well.

As a Uniview Direct Wholesaler, I would have liked to have seen the top 3 manufacturers in China: Hikvision, Dahua and Uniview do a shoot out for 4MP Motorized Zoom using the Uniview IPC3234SR-DVZ28 which is a 2.8-12mm motorized zoom, IR array LEDs up to 98 feet with Smart IR and is comparably priced.

Uniview is a distant #3, both in revenue and market share in the West, so that's the reason.

We test various products, so we may well test Uniview later this year.

We have been installing quite a few of the Value line Hikvision DS-2CD2542 4mp cameras inside in office environments and have noticed a remarkable improvement over the 3mp. We did not expect a vast improvement but it is definitely noticeable to the eye as the customer has both cameras on differing properties.

Marty, good feedback. When do you offer 3MP for new installs now? Has that been moved over to 4MP?

From what I heard, Hikvision's H.264+ smart CODEC requires a Hikvision recorder to take advantage of the bandwidth savings. Can anyone confirm if this is correct?

Only if the cameras are TVI.

This is somewhat misleading. Analog HD cameras always send an uncompressed video signal to the respective DVR. The DVR itself is doing the encoding work. So, no, TVI cameras don't directly support h.264+. It is up to the DVR to support it or not.

This is somewhat misleading.

How so?

The question was essentially, "do you need a Hik recorder to compress video with h.264+ ?"

Answer is "no, unless the cameras are TVI."

I recently attended Hikvision's Smart Series Training. Their trainer told us that the only way to take advantage of h.264+ is with a Hikvision recorder. He went on to say that third party VMS software like Milestone cannot take advantage of this technology.

Then he was mistaken.

2, for Hikvision IP cameras, H.264+ is all done on the camera and can be connected / integrated / streamed to 3rd party VMS / NVRs like 'regular' H.264.

With TVI, as 2 alludes to below, the encoding / compressing is done on the recorder side which would require a recorder that supports H.264+

I can safely confirm that Hikvision's h.264+ works well with DW Spectrum and the bandwidth savings are reflective of the tests here by IPVM. In fact, I don't think the VMS/NVR used is relevant. The camera is doing the reduction in bandwidth alone, then sending a standard h.264 stream on to the recording device. The VMS/NVR wouldn't notice anything different, other than the lower bit rate.

Ahm... Well there is auto-focus in 27x2 as well as 26x2. Depends on what FW you have used.

As far as I know there should be EXIR version for 27x2 this should also solve some problems with IR during the night. http://prntscr.com/bmfx49

As for Uniview it works great BUT. According to market Uniview maybe a bit more expensive that Hik and Dahua. The gap between two giants and UNV is to big. So I would say to compare UNV means then to compare TIANDY, QIHAN, Brickom and so on. However it would be interesting :)

I have a US version of the DS-2CD2742FWD-IZS on hand with firmware v 5.3.8 and can confirm that there is no autofocus. I downgraded to V 5.3.6 and still no autofocus. If you can tell me which version of firmware enables autofocus, I would be very happy to have it.

In fact, due to a lack of autofocus, this particular model took a long time to get focused well. I tried just about every method I know of; web interface via IE11 & Firefox, iVMS-4200 (both 2.5.0.5 & 2.4.1.3), and iVMS-4500 (iPhone 6 iOS 9.3.2), but it still was buggy. It would not adjust with a single click. Double tap would barely budge it. Holding down the button for more than a tap and it would adjust to the extreme end of the range.

I finally found that iVMS-4500HD on my iPad mini 4 (iOS 9.3.2) allowed me to single click the button and that was effective. The camera was much more responsive. No more extreme adjustments or lagging.

All of my adjustments were made from the same network (home) via WiFi on the head end. I never moved the camera or used a different wired connection. My only change was the different software on varied hardware devices.

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