Super Low Cost Chinese Camera Shootout

By: Derek Ward, Published on Feb 25, 2015

The 'Chinese' are the industry's #1 threat (or opportunity depending on one's perspective).

IPVM has extensively covered the rise of Dahua and Hivkision (see test results).

But those two are not the only ones. Many of you get bombarded with emails from other Chinese manufacturers. Names like Coco, Fancy, Monica, Elvis, Pedro, Selena, Sindick and many more are common to surveillance professionals.

And it most be working, because when we asked the community what we should test, Cantonk and Longse, the two most prolific Chinese spammers were member's top choices. So we took the plunge and bought their cameras.

Here's what our test setup looked like:

We tested the Cantonk and Longse cameras against the lowest cost options from Dahua and Hikvision to see how they compare in:

  • Image quality, day and night
  • Configuration and usability
  • VMS integration

*** '*******' *** ***********'* #* ****** (** *********** ********* ** one's ***********).

**** *** *********** ******* the **** ** ***** and ********* (*** **** *******).

*** ***** *** *** not *** **** ****. Many ** *** *** bombarded **** ****** **** other ******* *************. ***** like ****, *****, ******, Elvis, *****, ******, ******* and **** **** *** common ** ************ *************.

*** ** **** ** working, ******* **** ** ***** *** ********* what ** ****** ****, ******* *** ******, *** *** most ******** ******* ******** were ******'* *** *******. So ** **** *** plunge *** ****** ***** *******.

****'* **** *** **** setup ****** ****:

** ****** *** ******* and ****** ******* ******* the ****** **** ******* from******************* *** *** **** compare **:

  • ***** *******, *** *** night
  • ************* *** *********
  • *** ***********

*** *** **** **** more ** ***** ** the ******* ******* *************? Can **** *******?

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

Key ********

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

  • ******* ***** ******* *** poor ******** ** ********* and ***** *** ** higher ************ (***** ** not **** ************).
  • *** ** **** *** and * ****** ** hotspot ** **** *** Cantonk *** ****** *******, night ***** ******* **** IR ** *** ************* worse **** ****** ********* or *****.
  • ***** *********** *** **** cameras *** ****, ***** nonstandard *****, *** ******* to ******* *** ****** ********. 
  • **** ********* ****** ******* issue ** *** *****.
  • ******* ********* ** *** cost **** **** ** Dahua *** ****** ****** without *****.
  • **** *** ********* ******** did *** ******** ** all, ***** ****** **** purely **********, ******* *********.
  • **** ******* *** ** identical *** **, ****** similar ** ******* *.
  • **** ******* ******* ** ~1Mb/s ***, ********* ** a ************ ** ~**-**.
  • ***** ******** ** *** with * *** ***, quantization *** ***** ***** average (**), **** *** Cantonk ** ~** ***, *** the ****** ** ~**.
  • ************ ** **-** ************, Dahua *** ********* *******' bandwidth *********** *** ******** lower **** ****** ** full **** ***** *** dark **** ** **, and **** ***** **** Cantonk ** *** ***** levels.

*****

******* *** ******* **'** tested *** ** *******:

**** ***** ****** ** not ******* ********. ********* on ******** *** **********, users ****** ****** ** pay ~$**+ *** ********.

***************/*******

** ****** ******* ** Dahua **** *** **** online *******, ** ***** little ***** ** *** super *** **** ******* such ** *****. ***** their **** ******* ***********, buggy **** *********, *** poor *** ***********, ******** which ***** *** ********* do *** ****, ***** are ****** *** ********* the ******-***** ******.

**** ***** ****, ** expect ** *** *********** at **** ******* *** end ** *** ******, just ** ***** *** Hikvision **** ******** ******** to ***** *************. **** compared ** *** ***** quality *** ********* ** the$** ****** ******** ****** * **** ago, ***** ****** *** an ***********.

Physical ********

** **** *****, ** examine *** ******** ************ of *** ****** *** Cantonk *******.

***** ****** **** *** large **** ** *** POE ******, ***** *** ** a ********* ** **** during ************. **** **** the **** ** ***** or ********** ****** *** POE *** ***** *****, with ** */*, ***** or ***** **********.

******** **** ** **** the ****** *** ******* are ******* ** **** of ***** *** ********* IP *******, **** ** length:

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

*************/***********

**** ********** ******* ******* key ******** ** *** Cantonk/Longse *** **.

*** ** ** ******* some ************* *******, ******* compression ********, ***** ***** functions (***/***, ********) ****** ** *******.

VMS/NVR ***********

***** *********** ** ***** is *****, ********* **** for ******** *********. *** cameras' ***** ************** **** port **** ******* ** 80 (******* ** *** vast ******** ** ***** cameras), ****** **** ** not **********. **** ******* Security ****** *** **** to ******* *** ****** properly ** ***, *** only ***** *** ******* camera. ***** ***** ****** did *** *******, *** not ******, ** ********* lower ********** *** **********.

*******, ****** *** ******* tested *** **** ****, such **************** (*** $** ***)*** ** ****** ***********, configuring, ** ********* ****** camera. ******* ****** ****** as ***** ******-***** ****** did.

Image ***********

** ****** *** *******, *****, Hikvision *** ****** ******* in *** ********** **** scene ***** **** ***** of ****. ******* **** staggered ** ********** *** *** differences.

** **** *****, **** a **** ** ~**' (~45 ***), *** ******* *** Longse ****** *** ******* noisier *** ******** **** Dahua *** *********, ** least ** **** **** to ***** ****** ************ (33/31 **. ** ** Dahua/Hikvision).

*** *****

** ~* ***, ****** the ******* ****** **** to ***** **** **** IR **, *** ******* and ****** (**********) ******* *** significantly ****** *** ******* than ***** *** *********. The **** ***** ** nearly ********* ** *** Longse ******, ***** ******* displays ***** *-*. **** that *** ******* *** Longse ************ ***** ******** ** ****** to ***** **** ** brighter ****** ** ***** these ******.

** ************

******* *** ****** *** (~0.1 ***) *** ** illumination **, *** ******* and ****** ******* *** again **** ****. ******* can ******* **** **** 1 ** *** **** chart, *** ******* ** the **** *******.

** ************ *******

**** ******* *** ** uneven ** ******** *******, much ******** ** *** center ** *** *** than *** *****, ** issue ********** ** *** problems (******** *****).

** *** ********* *****, our ******* ***** **** the **** ** *** ****** of *** *******'* ***. He ** ****** ************ ** the **** ** *** field ** ****, *** fully ******* ***** ***** 1/3 ** *** *** across *** *****.

Poor *** **************

*** ** *** ******* factors ** ** *** these ***** ******* ******* are **** ** *** light ** **** *** functionality. **** ** "****", the *******, ****** *** very **** **** **** IR **, ** **** above. ******** ********* **** up (** *** ** a ***** ** *-***), nighttime ******* ** **** improved, ** **** *****:

*******, **** ****** **, at ~*** ***, *** image ** ********** ****** *** and ********.

*********/***********

*** ******* *** ****** cameras *** *** ***** compression *********** *** ********* to * ************ ** about **-** ********* ** the *****, ******** ** 28 ** ***** *** Hikvision. *** ****** ******'* bitrates ******* ***** **** Dahua *** *******, ****** higher **** ********* ** most ******. *******, **** with **** ****** ***********, the ******* ******'* ******** were **** ****** **** Hikvision, **** ******* ** Dahua.

********* *** ***** *** Hikvision ******* ** *** higher *********** ****** **** by *** *** **** cameras, *** ***** *** Hikvision ******* *** ******* to ** ******** ***** to ******* *** ****** models ** **** ******.

***********

***** **** ********* ***** default ******** ****** ***** otherwise *****.

******** ******** *** ******* are ** *******:

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

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

  • ******** ******* ****** *.*.*.** 
  • *********** *.*.*.*****
  • ******* *.* ***
  • ********* ******** ********** **** 9.0b/Device **** *.*

Comments (20)

Beavis & Butthead here: You said Sindick! Uh huh huh huh!!! (Oh come on -- you KNOW you laughed when you read that!!!)

But seriously, our best customers are the ones that appreciate value in terms of consistency and stability and don't mind paying for it. On top of that, they pay for a post-installation retainer support plan and meet with us at least once per month to review their video and access control solutions on a regular basis.

I can't for the life of me imagine ever trying these disposable cameras, but thank you for satisfying my curiosity!

Uh huh huh huh!!!

Evidently, enough people are buying or someone is willing to waste money on dozens of sales reps.

For our position, we have to test things that are getting a lot of attention and claiming to be much different (in either price or features or performance). Some times they meet their marketing, other times, like here, they bomb.

We have hundreds of similar cameras out in the field... Running like a charm ... Extremely happy customers... Whatever floats your boat :) ... Our fail rate is about 3% ... With Arecont we had 3 cameras ordered to test... 2 we're dead and the third's picture turned green after 2 hours of operation... I don't like buying from overseas suppliers but if you can't beat em.....

A, can you clarify? You have hundreds of Cantonk or Longse cameras?

Neither... But similar in price and feature sets .. I can't disclose any by name but we did evaluate longse before picking other suppliers for our cameras. We've have great success with Chinese MFGs but its important to have face time and see the facilities... if not the next best thing is testing yourself and dealing with their "engineers".. Some are great and some are horrid but we're very happy with our suppliers.

A, thanks. Relative to the big two (dahua and hik), what was the driving force in selecting other smaller Chinse manufacturers? Better support, lower prices, greater customization? If you can just share at a high level, I'd appreciate it.

Absolutely.. Greater customization and price... We've been hammered over the years with High priced IP cameras having issues and we were fed up with the lack of support.. We found that if we increased our bottom line we could also reduce cost to the customer, and still increase our net.. thus improving long term viability, better customer service, etc ... The net effect of going to the RIGHT (there are bad ones) chinese mfg has been a huge positive

Thanks, A!

John, now I want to know where I can find cameras cheaper than Longse!

Note: Like the $29 Wodsee cameras we tested, we'll be leaving these up and running 24/7 as well to see if they fail. Reliability is always a question on cameras this inexpensive, so we will report back with any issues we find.

I saw some Panasonic tube cameras for sale on eBay, Jon, circa 1975 for $5. Do a search under "paperweights"

NO CHEAPER!!!?

;)

I expect them to pay me to take their cams!

Actually, Cantonk and Longse belong to the same boss. All Wodsee cameras are produced by Cantonk.

Can you share anything that shows the connection between the two? I completely believe there are ties between manufacturers in these super low cost cameras, especially seeing as the Cantonk and Longse models obviously share many components. Just curious if you have any more details on the link between them and/or Wodsee.

Everyone in China in this industry knows it. Actually that Boss has four factories, three in Guangzhou and one in Shenzhen. Cantonk and Longse are two of them.

Does anyone know the actual business reason for the three different brands for three similar cameras?

Is one of them positioned as a micro-hair more upscale than the others? Or are they just trying to make us westerners think we have multiple choices in the sub Dahuan marketplace?

If you were fishing in the river, do you want to choose a bigger net in one place or prefer three smaller nets in three different locations in the river?

B, thanks again for the insights!

I like the analogy :) but I still struggle while they would do it. I guess that's simply not US accepted marketing strategy. The ideal usually advocated is one mega brand / organization to maximize awareness and efficiency.

http://www.longse.com/Page/?id=8

http://www.cantonk.com/Page/?id=8

Coincidentally Cantonk and Longse have the same webpage structure and almost the same address in Guangzhou province, China.

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