Hikvision People Counting Tested
People counting has historically been a difficult task, requiring specialized cameras, expensive software, and careful camera placement. But in the past few years, low cost camera manufacturers have begun offering this analytic in their cameras at no charge.
We tested people counting on 4 Hikvision cameras, including the 4025, Darkfighter 6026, 4585 4K dome, and the 4526 IR dome, to see how it performed in multiple scenarios, checking:
- Count accuracy
- Missed counts
- Doubled counts
- Recommendations for setup
- Reporting functions
See our full results inside.
In our tests, Hikvision's people counting analytics were very accurate (98-99%) when installed looking straight down as per their recommendations. Accuracy was similar across all cameras tested, regardless of resolution (1080p and 4K tested) or form factor.
However, users should carefully consider placement, as the analytics are likely to be impacted by changing conditions and objects in the scene:
- Moving doors: Swinging doors should be removed from the field of view whenever possible, ideally by mounting the camera on the opposite side of the door. However, when this cannot be done, angle of view/crossline placement may be adjusted if subjects pass a "chokepoint" beyond the swing of the door.
- Shadows: Users should consider lighting angle when placing cameras, as shadows caused by interior or exterior lighting or sunlight may make subjects appear as more than one person to the camera. We were able to account for this using more limited crossline placement, but it may still be an issue in some scenes where this is not possible.
NOTE: Our test was done in a low to medium traffic office environment and is only applicable to similar scenarios. By contrast, heavy traffic retail stores are likely to have worst results, though how much worse we can not say because we have not tested it.
Finally, reporting options were limited when using the camera's web interface only, showing only basic charts, and entry or exit, not both at once. Those looking for more detailed reports, including multiple cameras, comparing time ranges, etc., must use iVMS-4200/5200.
People counting is available on most Hikvision 4 series fixed cameras as well as 6 series fisheye, included at no extra charge. It is not available on Value/Value Plus series cameras.
These analytics integrate only with Hikvision's own CMS and VMS, iVMS-4200 (see our test) and iVMS-5200.
Since this is our first people counting test, we are limited in what we can assert. However, given its accuracy and its low cost (free software on lower cost cameras), it is attractive. The main limitation would be for those wanting integration into other / rival VMS systems.
People counting configuration is simple, with few options. Users enable counting, place the cross line in its desired location and adjust direction. Optionally, an OSD display of entry/exit may be shown (in the top right corner below).
Note that previous firmwares included sensitivity, object size, and other adjustments, but these are no longer present in current firmware (5.4.0).
Local Recording Required For Reports
In order to use reporting functions and longer term reports (weekly, monthly, annual), an SD card or NAS storage must be used. However, daily entry/exit counts are stored in the camera's internal flash storage.
Directly Overhead (Recommended)
We first set up the camera for testing in Hikvision's recommended configuration, directly above the door being counted, shown here.
In this configuration, we saw no missed or doubled counts of people across hundreds of entries/exits in full light and low light for more than a week of testing. However, the swinging door often was counted as a person when opened or closed, shown here (the entry/exit count can be seen to increment in the bottom left corner):
Moving the camera away from the door (though still looking straight down) with the cross line angled across the FOV past the swing of the door completely removed this issue, with counting totally accurate in this setup.
We also tested the camera mounted to the side of the entry, within Hikvision's recommendations, but not considered "optimum."
Accuracy dropped in this configuration, to about 95%. The main cause of count overages in this scene was shadows, seen below leading and trailing the test subject. These shadows were seen as additional objects by the camera, causing inaccurate increase in counts (top right corner).
However, we were able to remedy this issue by moving the line to the wall only, instead of the ground where the shadow was strongest. In this configuration, accuracy was once again 99%+, as in the directly overhead shot.
Hikvision cameras supporting people counting include basic reporting functions found on the Applications tab of the web interface.
Three report formats are supplied, including simple table, bar, and line charts. Data may also be exported to an XLS spreadsheet. Note that the camera allows only entry or exit to be displayed at one time, not both. Daily, weekly, monthly, and annual reports are selectable.
However, in iVMS-4200, more complex reports may be viewed, including entry and exit simultaneously, as well as comparison of multiple time ranges. The report below shows a comparison of entries between two weeks on a single camera.
Examples in this report were taken using a Hikvision DS-2CD4025FWD-A. Other models were used to verify availability, options, etc. The full list of cameras used and their firmwares:
- DS-2CD4025FWD-A: 5.4.0
- DS-2CD6026FHWD-A: 5.4.0
- DS-2CD4585F-IZH: 5.4.0
- DS-2CD4526FWD-IZH: 5.4.0