Hikvision IR PTZ Tested

By Ethan Ace, Published Mar 07, 2016, 12:00am EST (Research)

Hikvision continues to break low cost barriers, now with a 1080p IP IR PTZ for under $800 online, the DS-2DE5220I-AE, half the price of past models. 

We bought one of these new models to see if this new low price comes with tradeoffs, tracking subjects at ranges over 500' day and night to compare to other IR PTZs from our tests, including the Bosch Autodome 5000 IR, FLIR DNZ, and Dahua

Summary

The Hikvision DS-2DE5220I-AE offered some of the best IR PTZ performance we have seen, with minimal focus issues, no overexposure issues, and competitive IR range, all at a price drastically lower than many competitive IR and non-IR PTZ models.

Though, those seeking absolute longest zoom range should note that the 5220I provides moderately less detail at long ranges due to its lower zoom ratio. If this is a key concern, users may be better served by other, longer zoom options.

Key Findings

Here are our key findings from this test:

  • Better focus tracking at night: The 5220I tracked focus better at night than other IR PTZs we have tested, including, Dahua, FLIR, and Bosch, with less autofocusing required to track subjects.
  • IR range >500': Illumination was solid at over 500', similar to other IR PTZs tested.
  • Limited zoom range: The 5220I was not able to zoom in as far as many competitive IR PTZ models due to its shorter zoom lens (max of 94mm/3.2°). Competitive IR PTZs frequently use 30x zoom lenses (such as the Bosch Autodome 5000 IR, 129mm/2.3°).

Pricing

The DS-2DE5220I-AE sells for ~$750 USD online, less expensive than most IP IR PTZs, such as the Dahua SD59230TN-HN [link no longer available] (~$950 online) or Bosch Autodome 5000 IR (~$1,350 online).

Physical Overview

The DS-2DE5220I-AE is similar to other IR PTZ cameras, though the IR LEDs are "hidden" behind a black faceplate and only visible when turned on. It is one of the most compact IR PTZs we have seen.

We review the camera's construction in this video:

The Hikvision is marginally smaller than the Bosch IR PTZ, below is a side by side comparison.

PTZ Mechanics

One of the key issues in PTZ cameras is the physical pan/tilt mechanism (gearing, belts, slip rings, etc.), often the first part of the camera to fail. Though our test was relatively short, about 10 days, and we cannot comment on longevity of these components, we noticed no immediate issues. Pan and tilt worked smoothly, without issues, and we noticed no preset "drift", both frequent complaints about PTZ models.

Configuration

Configuration of the 5220I is similar to other Hikvision cameras. Note that the camera does not include Hikvision's H.264+ smart CODEC, found on many/most new models.

Focus Tracking

The Hikvision IR PTZ offered some of the best focus tracking seen in IR PTZs we have tested, nearly no issues with the camera slipping out of focus or taking long periods to autofocus at night (common in other tested models).

In the video below, we review subject tracking with the 5220, from over 500' to just in front of the camera.

Compared to Others

Focus tracking in the Hikvision 5220i is substantially faster than other IR PTZs, seen in the sample clips below (Hikvision on left, Bosch Autodome 5000 IR on right). Both were taken starting at ~450' range, with the subject walking in about ~100'.


IR Illuminator Performance

The 5220 uses only four LEDs, two for near/wide angle and two for far/narrow. Both sets of LEDs turn on/off and adjust power depending on zoom level, seen here:

In our tests, subjects were clearly illuminated at over 500' range.

IR Range/Image Quality

Due to the camera's more limited zoom range, PPF of distant subjects was reduced compared to competitive models, reducing details moderately. This is noted in the image comparison below. Where other ranges (50-250') were zoomed to ~ 25.5'/75 PPF on target, at ~500' range, the camera zooms only to ~32'/60 PPF. 

Daytime 

The comparison below shows image quality at these ranges during the day. 

Limited Zoom Range vs. Others

The Hikvision 5220's zoom range (3.1˚- 58.3˚, 20x) is more limited than many PTZs we have tested, such as the Bosch Autodome 5000 IR (2.3˚ - 65˚, 30x).

This results in reduced details at long ranges, as seen below. We have overlaid (in red) the narrower Bosch FOV in the Hikvision image here for comparison. The Bosch camera produced rough facial details of the subject here, while Hikvision is more pixelated, reducing details. 

Bandwidth Consumption

We measured bandwidth of the Hikvision and Bosch IR PTZs in our live tracking tests, day and night. During the day, the 5220 was over 2 Mb/s lower than the Autodome IR, under 3 Mb/s. At night, the cameras were closer, ~3 Mb/s vs. 3.74 in Bosch.

Test Parameters

The camera was tested using default settings, with framerate and GOP both set to 10, with quantization ~30.

Firmware 5.3.9 was used.

 

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