Samsung 'Q' Low-Cost 1080p Dome Tested

By John Scanlan, Published Oct 10, 2016, 09:21am EDT (Research)

The most competitive part of the market is for low-cost cameras.

Hanwha Techwin / Samsung has released its new low-cost Q series to go after this segment.

We bought two of these new Wisenet Q models and tested them against competitive domes from Axis (M3045) and Hikvision (2522), as well as previous Samsung models (Lite and Wisenet III), to see how they perform and full light, low light, and WDR scenes, as well as configuration, installation, and bandwidth consumption.

In this test, we share our results of the 1080p QND-6010R, the lowest cost model in the line. Coming soon, we will release reports on the top of the line QNV-7080R (4MP IP66 motorized zoom), as well as H.265 and smart codec performance.

Summary

The 1080p Q QND-6010R is competitive in price and features with other low cost models such as Dahua and Hikvision, with moderately better image quality in all light levels tested and WDR scenes. Additionally, this series is priced only slightly higher than Samsung's previous low end line, Wisenet Lite (see our test), but performs better in full light, low light, and WDR scenes, with lower bitrates in all scenes due to their new WiseStream smart codec, making the Q more attractive.

This is a quality / competitive alternative to Hikvision / Dahua for low-cost domes.

Pricing

The QND-6010R sells for about $160 USD online. This is similar to other low cost 1080p models, such as the Hikvision DS-2CD2522FWD-IS (~$160 online) and significantly less than Axis' new M3045-V (~$250 online, no integrated IR).

Physical Overview

Most notably, the QND-6010R is much larger than many compact fixed lens domes, such as the Axis M30 series or Hikvision value series, especially in height. Also note that Q domes bear a Samsung logo, not Hanwha.

We review other features of the 6010R, typical of indoor domes, in this video:

New Wisenet Web Interface

The Q series ships with Hanwha's updated web interface, which most notably includes cross browser support The new Wisenet web interface works in all web browsers, while the past Samsung Wisenet interface required ActiveX for both live viewing and configuration. Oddly, the web interface varies depending on which browser is used, with the new interface shown in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, while IE displays the older style interface.

Aside from these changes, much of the web UI is laid out in the same order/menu structure as the old version. Note that only the Wisenet logo is shown, not Hanwha nor Samsung.

Note that this web interface is also responsive, and usable on mobile phone browsers as well as PCs (MJPEG streaming only).

Daytime Comparison

We tested the QND-6010R against past Samsung models (Wisenet III and Lite) as well as Axis and Hikvision competitive models to see how it performed, in this interior field of view:

The Q performed well in daytime scenes, with even exposure and contrast, delivering clearer details than the Wisenet Lite and III models, as well as the Axis M3045. The Hikvision 2522 performs similarly in this FOV.

Increasing FOV width, with PPF at ~50, the Q 6010R again performs better than past Samsung cameras and similar to Hikvision.

In low light, ~1 lux, the Q provides the best details of the subject and test chart in this scene, with better exposure than the Wisenet Lite 6083R and brighter images than the Hikvision 2522.

In a wider FOV, the Q again performs best, with the Hikvision 2522 notably much darker/noisier, obscuring details.

WDR Performance

We tested WDR performance against an open overhead door and dark interior area, shown below:

The Q was one of the top performers in this scene, with better exposure of the subject both against strong backlight and in the dark area of the scene, better than both previous Samsung models. Only the Hikvision 2522 produced better images of the subject and chart in the dark area of the scene.

VBR Is Not VBR

The Q series does not include a true VBR implementation which fixes compression at a specific quantization. No compression control is included in the web interface, shown below. Past Samsung models provided a 1-20 scale of compression levels. Without this option, comparing bitrate/quality against other H.264 requires trial and error adjust the bitrate cap to reach a specific quantization in a specific scene, discussed below.

Bandwidth Comparison

Since the Q does not include any means to fix compression, we adjusted quantization by changing the camera's bitrate cap in a given scene until it averaged ~28 Q according to our measurements (see How to Measure Video Quality / Compression Levels). In well lit scenes, this was ~2.5 Mb/s, slightly higher in dark scenes.

The Q camera had the lowest nighttime bitrate of any camera in our test by far, with only the Axis M3045-V lower in well lit scenes. Note that the Wisenet Lite and Wisenet III cameras do not include smart codecs, while other cameras do.

The chart below shows WiseStream's effects compared to others in the same scene (~300lx), showing baseline bandwidth with no smart codec, dynamic compression only, and max dynamic compression plus dynamic GOP.

Future Smart Codec/H.265 Test

Coming soon, we will release a full report on Hanwha's WiseStream smart codec, as well as the Wisenet Q and P cameras' H.265 performance. These topics are shortened or omitted here, but will be explained in more detail in that report.

Test Parameters

The following firmware versions were used:

  • Samsung SNB-6004: 3.03_150918
  • Samsung 6010:
  • Samsung SND-L6083R: 1.01_150918
  • Axis M3045-V: 6.15.4.1
  • Hikvision DS-2CD2522FWD-IS: V5.4.1 build 160525

ExacqVision 8.0.3.103130 was used for recording.

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