Hikvision 8MP Low-Cost Camera Tested
Hikvision has introduced their latest generation of low-cost Value Plus cameras, now including smart H.265 and up to 4K resolution, with prices much lower than existing 4K models.
We bought and tested the 8MP DS-2CD2385FWD-I [link no longer available] turret to see how it stacks up against existing higher cost 4K models from Hikvision and Hanwha and what benefits it has over Hikvision's existing 4MP Value Plus line.
In the report, we detail 3 key strengths and 4 notable weaknesses with the camera.
The key strengths shown in testing were:
- Competitive 'basic' image quality: The 2385 performed similarly to or better than competitive 8MP models in well lit scenes at all distances tested.
- Solid static WDR: Performance in relatively still/unchanging WDR scenes (such as garages/warehouses with open doors) was solid, better than Hikvision's higher end 4585 and comparable to Hanwha's PNO-9080R.
- Low bandwidth: Finally, smart codec H.265 and H.264 bandwidth was lower than other 8MP models tested.
However, the camera had multiple issues where it lags behind high-end 8MP / 4K models:
- Lens quality/distortion: The 2385's had noticeable distortion toward the edges of the FOV, lessened or not present in higher end/more expensive 4K models tested. [Note: Only 2.8mm lens tested]
- Uneven IR coverage: The illumination pattern of the 2385 was bright in the center and dark at the edges, resulting in overexposure of near subjects (<10'). Other 8MP models tested produced more even coverage.
- Weak WDR in changing conditions: In changing WDR scenes such as the man door tested here, the 2385 was outperformed by the higher end Hikvision and Hanwha models, adapting more slowly to the opening/closing of the door, washing out the subject.
- VMS Support: VMS support for these cameras' H.265 streams is very limited, with no support listed by any VMS at the time of testing, and none working via ONVIF in our tests. RTSP streaming worked in Exacq, but VMD, stream configuration, and other features are lost using this method.
These factors make the 2385 a possible budget choice if the above concerns can be overcome.
There are few other 4K models priced as low as the 2385. Dahua offers the N84BG44 4K turret, also ~$350 (note that this camera was not available at the time of testing though we plan to test this in the near future).
VMS Support Issues / Planned Improvements
Hikvision's H.265 cameras currently have very limited VMS support. Out of VMSes which support H.265 (Axxon, Exacq, Genetec, Milestone, Video Insight), none list support for the cameras' H.265 streams, with only Milestone XProtect listing the cameras as supported at all. RTSP H.265 streaming worked without issues in Exacq, but VMD, stream configuration, and other features are lost when doing so.
Hikvision says they are working on integrating this series with third party VMSes, both via direct drivers and ONVIF. They also plan to add support for ONVIF's media2, which enables H.265 streaming via ONVIF, in their next firmware release.
The Hikvision 2385 is physically similar to past Hikvision turret models, but Hikvision has added an removable panel which allows access to an SD slot and reset button, not present in past models. However, to access this panel, the camera's mount must be disassembled or rotated upside down, making SD card removal difficult.
One minor, yet helpful addition to the new Value Plus H.265 turrets is a clear marking of which side of the camera is up, not common on turrets. Since the camera body is spherical, there is no clear "up" side, making this mark useful during installation.
We review the physical features of the camera in this video:
Image quality was tested in an open parking lot/field scene, shown below.
Poor Quality At Lens Edges
Image quality at the extreme edges of the camera's lens was notably worse than at its center, with noticeable distortion and loss of clarity. For example, the text of the chart loses legibility at line 4, compared to line 5/6 in the center of the FOV.
This issue was present in the other 4K cameras tested, though not as pronounced, especially in the Hanwha PNO-9080, which. Details were reduced in the Hikvision 4585, but not to the same level as the 2385.
Daytime Image Quality
Starting at close range/high PPF, details are similar in 4K models. The 2385 appears moderately oversaturated, seen in the grass behind the subject. Notably, subject details of the 4MP 2342 are similar to the 4K cameras tested, but chart text is slightly less legible (true of other distances as well, below).
At 40'/ ~40 PPF, the test chart is moderately washed out in the 2385, more visible in other 4K models. However, subject details are slightly more discernible in the 2385 than the 4585. As in the shorter range example, the 4MP 2342 produces subject details near that of 4K models, but the chart is noticeably less clear.
Finally, at ~60', PPF drops below 30 in the 4K models. The 2385 displays more pronounced details of the subject than the Hanwha and Hikvision 4K models, as he appears slightly washed out in both. Chart text is 1-2 lines less legible in the 2342, but subject details are again similar.
IR Illuminator Pattern
The illuminator of the 2385 had two noticeable drop-offs in brightness, with the center hot, then a step down to lower power, and then much darker near the edges of the FOV, shown below.
By contrast, the 4585's IR illumination was much more even across the full field of view, shown below:
In our tests, the DS-2CD2385 reached its specified 30m (~100') IR range. However, at this distance, PPF is reduced to ~15.5 due to the camera's 102° AOV, making subjects difficult to spot, with no details available.
This clip shows the subject walking from ~120' to the camera to show IR illumination performance across this range:
At ~20'/~80 PPF , the 2385 produces the clearest images of the subject of cameras tested, as well as better legibility of the test chart. The PNO-9080 produced solid subject details, though was noticeably dimmer than the 2385, while the 4585 suffered from more noise, obscuring subject detail, and some overexposure of the test chart. The 4MP 2342 produced the worst images of both subject and chart in this test.
Note that this distance is beyond where IR overexposure occurred in the 2385 (see above).
At 40'/~40 PPF, the 2385 again provides better images than the 4585 and 2342, and better text legibility than the Hanwha 4K.
Finally, at ~60' distance, the 2385 produces detection only, as do the other Hikvision cameras. The Hanwha PNO produces clearer detection and some roughs subject detail. Beyond this distance, no camera provided usable image of the subject, only detection (see IR range, above).
Changing Light Performance
We tested WDR in two scenes, first viewing an exit/entrance door with strong backlighting (~7,600lx outside vs. ~45 lx inside).
In this scene, the 2385 outperformed Hikvision's 4585 4K model, but adjusted more slowly to changing light than the Hanwha PNO-9080R which performed best.
Static WDR Scene
Second, we tested a more constant WDR scene, looking at an open overhead door in a warehouse. In this scene, outdoor lux levels were ~1,700 vs. ~115 inside.
The 2385 again performs better than the older Hikvision models, especially in the darker part of the scene. Performance against strong backlight was similar to the Hanwha 9080 and 4MP Hikvision 2342, with recognizable details of the subject, though moderately overexposed.
The 2385 includes H.265+, combining H.265 with Hikvision's smart codec. Readers should see our full test of Hikvision's H.265+ for full details of the smart codec.
Compared to the PNO-9080R, which also includes smart H.265 the 2385's bitrates were notably lower, especially in less complex scenes such as the open field.
Compared to H.264+, H.265 bitrates were lower in all scenes, most notably in the more complex fenceline scene, as well as open field night.
The following firmware versions were used in this test:
- Hikvision DS-2CD2385FWD-I: V5.4.5 Build 170124
- Hanwha PNO-9080R: 1.00_160620
- Hikvision DS-2CD4585F-IZH: V5.4.5 Build 170302
- Hikvision DS-2CD2342WD-I: V5.4.5 Build 170124