Testing Varifocal Minidome (IQeye)

By: Derek Ward, Published on Jul 02, 2014

Minidomes are increasing in popularity, as IPVM statistics show. However, the most common objection to using minidomes is the lack of varifocal lenses.

In this report, we tested the IQinVision Alliance-Mini, specifically the IQD52WV-B7 that integrates a varifocal lens.


Here are our key findings:

  • The IQD52WV-B7's varifocal lens is uncommon for compact minidomes. However, zooming and focusing the lens can be difficult, given the small size.
  • In full light, artifacts are noticeable, leading to reduced image quality compared to other competitive cameras.
  • In low light with WDR off, image quality is above average compared to other tested models due to the IR cut filter, while other cameras typically use electronic day and night.
  • WDR does not switch off in night mode, greatly reducing details in low light. This feature is currently in beta firmware testing for public release soon, according to IQinVision.
  • Better performance in WDR scenes than other tested cameras with better details of both subject and test chart.
  • Due to the larger varifcoal lens, size is moderately larger than competitive compact minidomes, though substantially smaller than full size domes.
  • Range Limitations: The IQinVision's 3-6mm range is narrower than typical full sized domes that generally have a 3x range from~3mm to ~9mm. Those that what a narrower FoV may not find the lens long enough.


The IQinVision IQD52WV-B7 is more expensive than most compact minidomes, selling online for ~$500 USD online. For example, compare to the Axis M3005 (~$350 Online) and Bosch Flexidome Micro 5000 (~$360 Onlne). However, few competitive minidomes include features such as the varifocal lens, movable IR cut filter, and true WDR, included in the IQD52WV. 

Compared to full size domes such as the Axis P3354 (~$540 Online), Samsung SND-6084 [link no longer available] (~$480 Online) and Hikvision DS-2CD755F-EZ [link no longer available] (~$520 Online), the IQD52WV's ~$500 price is average.


Few minidomes offer the combination of features (varifocal lens, true WDR, true day/night) found in the IQD52WV, and users seeking these options in a compact form factor may find it a good fit. Also, with WDR off, its low light performance was some of the best of 1080p minidomes tested.

However, it is expensive compared to most compact minidomes, making it less cost effective for everyday use where these features are not required. Additionally, increased artifacting in full light scenes compared to other cameras may be an issue.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Physical Overview

The video below reviews the physical construction of the IQD52W-B7, including:

  • 3-6 mm varifocal lens, and the possible difficulty zooming and focusing lens.
  • SD card slot becomes obstructed when an ethernet cable is plugged into the camera.

Mentioned in our physical overview video, the IQD52WV is comparatively larger in size than standard minidomes, but noticeably smaller than full sized domes, as seen in this comparison to two common Axis options:


In this video we review the web interface and configuration of the IQD52W

Image Comparisons

We compared the IQEye IQD52W-B7 to the Axis M3005, Bosch Flexidome Micro 5000, and Canon VB-S800D. Cameras were staggered to compensate for differences in FOV. 

Full Light

In full light, the IQD52W has a grainy image, with artifacts present in our subject's face and test chart.

Low Light

In low light (~2 lux), we can see more details on our subject's face than on either the Axis M3005 or Bosch Flexidome, such as his eyes and hair style. However, the IQD52W is unable to distinguish past line 3 of our test chart, whereas line 4 in the M3005 and Canon VB-S800D is legible.


At less than 1 lux, the IQD52W is unable to produce a usable image. Only the Canon VB-S800D is able to detect our subject and chart.


For our WDR scene, cameras were shot against an exit door. The IQD52W outperforms the 3 other tested cameras, and allows us to see our subject, chart, and the background clearly, due to its true WDR capability.

Anti-Banding vs. Standard WDR Modes

We found that the IDQ52WV's standard WDR mode (simply "enabled") resulted in increased artifacting and discoloration in our test scenes compared to their other WDR setting, named "anti-banding." We saw no disadvantage to using anti-banding vs. standard WDR in any scene and recommend it be used.

WDR Low Light Impact

WDR is turned on by default in the IQD52W with no way to switch it off in night mode. With WDR on, increased noise and artifacting is present throughout the image, obscuring details of our subject. With WDR off, we can clearly see our subject and lines 1-3 on our test chart.


Normalizing all cameras to 1080p resolution, 10 FPS, 1/30s shutter speed, using H.264, the IQEye IQD52W-B7 with WDR Off has the lowest full light and low light bandwidth of all cameras tested. Q levels were ~27 to ~29 for all cameras.


Cameras were tested using these firmware versions:

  • Axis M3005:
  • Bosch Flexidome Micro 5000: 5.90.0126
  • Canon VB-S800D: 1.1.0
  • IQEye IQD52W-B7: V4.0/092

2 reports cite this report:

Ranking The Lowest Cost True Minidomes on Jun 10, 2015
Minidomes are popular. But lots of manufacturers fake being truly mini. To...
Fall 2014 New Products Directory on Sep 23, 2014
New releases are weak this year, and unfortunately, the trend does not appear...
Comments (1) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Quantum Dots Potential for Surveillance Cameras Explained on Sep 08, 2020
Quantum dots are starting to be used in TVs for better images, but how will...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception...
Injes Tiny Temperature Terminal Tested on Jul 17, 2020
While temperature terminals have trended bigger, the Injes DFace801 is...
Multi-Imagers Added to IPVM Camera Calculator on Jun 15, 2020
IPVM has added multi-imager cameras to the Camera Calculator, supporting this...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
IronYun AI Analytics Tested on Feb 17, 2020
Taiwan / US startup IronYun has raised tens of millions for its "mission to...
Infinova, March Networks and Swann H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 02, 2020
While Dahua and Hikvision, helped by fever camera sales, are recovering from...
Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 30, 2020
The best and worst cameras tested in this IPVM shootout showed major...
IR Surveillance Camera Guide on Feb 06, 2020
Integrated infrared (IR) cameras are everywhere in 2020, but not all IR is...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in...
Uniview Color Low Light Camera Tested Vs Hikvision ColorVu on Jan 07, 2020
Hikvision has been marketing ColorVu aggressively. Now, Hikvision domestic...
Favorite Video Analytic Manufacturers 2020 on Feb 25, 2020
Video analytics is now as hot as ever, driven by the excitement of advancing...
Camera Field of View (FoV) Guide on Nov 13, 2019
Field of View (FoV) and Angle of View (AoV), are deceptively complex. At...

Recent Reports

Temperature Tablet Shootout - Dahua, Hikvision, ZKTeco, TVT + 5 More on Sep 30, 2020
Temperature tablets, aka terminal or stations, have emerged as a 'low-cost...
New Products Show Fall 2020 Tomorrow Bosch, FLIR, Hanwha, Tyco, Avigilon More! on Sep 30, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show concludes tomorrow with our special temperature...
ButterflyMX Raises $35 Million on Sep 30, 2020
Startup ButterflyMX has raised $35 million for its smartphone based intercom...
Worst Access Control Manufacturers 2020 on Sep 30, 2020
200+ Integrators told IPVM "In the past year, what access control...
Access Control Levels and Schedules Tutorial on Sep 29, 2020
Configuring access levels and setting up schedules is central to maintaining...
Avigilon / Motorola VS Virtual ISC West on Sep 29, 2020
ISC West has historically been so dominant that no player would think of...
Dartmouth College Deploys K3 Temperature Screening on Sep 29, 2020
While Dartmouth College has a $6+ billion endowment, the College has bought...
Hanwha AI Object Detection Tested on Sep 28, 2020
Hanwha has added detection and classification of people, cars, clothing...
Favorite Access Control Manufacturers 2020 on Sep 28, 2020
200+ Integrators told IPVM "What is your favorite access control management...
OnTech Smart Services Partners With Google and Amazon To Compete With Integrators on Sep 25, 2020
A pain point for many homeowners to use consumer security and surveillance is...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
Hikvision Sues Over Brazilian Airport Loss on Sep 24, 2020
Hikvision was excluded from a Brazilian airport project because it is owned...
China General Chamber of Commerce Calls Out US Politics on Sep 24, 2020
While US-China relations are at an all-time low, optimism about relations...
Verkada Disruptive Embedded Live Help on Sep 24, 2020
Call up your integrator? Have someone come by the next day? Verkada is...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...