This is the first 5MP cameras I’ve tested. This builds on the new ACTi theme of having 1, 3 & 5MP sensors across their various cameras styles. This looks and feels just like the E32 (3 MP) camera I recently reviewed but has the extra pixels. It’s about $30 more than the E32 and for those needing the extra resolution, $30 is a small price to pay
- Day and night function with mechanical IR cut filter
- Built-in f4.2 mm / F1.8 Megapixel fixed lens
- 15 fps at 5MP (2592 x 1944) or 30fs at 1080P resolution
- Selectable H.264, MPEG-4, MJPEG compressions with dual streaming
- Weatherproof IP66 rated casing
- WDR ( Wide Dynamic Range)
- Digital Noise Reduction
- Video Motion Detection
- Powered by PoE Class 2
The camera is a traditional style IR bullet camera identical in appearance to their E31 and E32 siblings. What’s different is they now include an odd pigtail out the back with an RJ45 jack. My guess is most people will use the included conduit adapter and run an Ethernet cable into the back of the camera for a weatherproof connection. Also included in the box is the mount which was previously charged extra for, the sun shield and a focusing tool to turn the lens without getting your fingers in the way.
The image quality is good both day and night. There’s more noise than what I’ve experienced with the E32. This is common as you increase pixel density, in general it becomes less sensitive to light.
The WDR is considered their basic version, it did well at reducing glare from headlights and seeing in shadows where other cameras just show dark blobs. ACTi also sells the D33, basically the same camera but without WDR at a lower price but if you are using this to capture images outdoors where you have a lot of bright lights, the small premium for the E33 is worth it.
As with all ACTi cameras, you are entitled to you use their NVR software for free for up to 16 cameras and is amazingly good. They also include an IOS app but for those with Android phones, you can choose from many apps that work well with ACTi cameras.
This is what the web interface looks like when you first log in. The 5 MP image will be overwhelming but you can control the display by using the magnifying glass with minus sign to reduce the image size so you can see the entire picture on your screen. You can also select to view the live video in full screen mode and an icon to take a snapshot. If you are viewing the camera on a slow internet connection, you can also select stream 2.
Clicking on the wrench/screwdriver icon takes you to the cameras setup screens. The Video selection allows you to configure most of what’s needed including motion detection, WDR, noise reduction, day/night options, and in the screen below, resolution and compression for each stream.
This tab is where you set the exposure options.
This tab is where you set the camera to email or ftp snapshots or video.
Now onto the images, how well does this camera perform. As with other tests, I set this camera up with a maximum exposure of 1/30th of a second. This is fast enough to capture motion yet still provide decent low light images.
I mounted the camera at the front of my garage, under the eave. With the 4.2mm lens, it was able to provide coverage wide enough for the front of the home but remain effective at being able to ID people about 35′ away. As with my other reviews, click on the images below to see the full size image, straight from the camera.
I happened to catch an unexpected rainy day. You don’t get the contrasty shadows but even under the trailer, were many non-WDR cameras would struggle, you can still make out detail.
I moved the cameras to my backyard where it’s harsher conditions, more shadows and it did pretty well
At night the contrast is good, the low light capability is decent. There’s more noise here than the E32 but the image is still good overall, with good dynamic range.
Here’s a shot in the backyard at night. There’s some light from a few landscape lots, but overall a darker place than my driveway. Definitely more noise but a usable image.
I took a day and a night video using the ACTi NVR software and posted on YouTube. View it at the highest resolution you can which is 5 MP by clicking the gear icon underneath the video and selecting “original”. Unfortunately, the video does have some points where motion is not perfectly smooth. This is a just released camera and I’m sure ACTi will work to get these minor kinks out.
The street price on this camera is under $400 and it represents a good value. If you need a decent outdoor 5MP camera and you don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with a more expensive camera, this is may be for you.
The pluses for this camera are;
- 5MP resolution – no substitute for resolution
- Day and night function with mechanical IR cut filter and IR LEDs
- Free NVR software that’s quite good
- Selectable H.264, MPEG-SP, MJPEG compressions with dual streaming
Drawbacks for the camera include;
- a minor glitch with the video freezing for a split second when recording which may be a bug with their NVR software rather than the camera.
- more noise is present here than in their 3MP camera
Recommended for those needing to protect their homes or business that need a high resolution quality commercial grade camera.
Spec sheets, manuals, overview are available here