ACTi D32 3MP IR Bullet Review

The D32 is a basic 3 megapixel IR bullet camera with a great low price from ACTi. When you factor in the great service and support that ACTi provides and their free (for up to 16 cameras) NVR software, it may not be the least expensive camera, but represents a good value in a 3MP bullet.

Main Features

  • Progressive Scan CMOS
  • Day and night function with mechanical IR cut filter
  • Minimum illumination 0 lux with IR LED on
  • Built-in f4.2 mm / F1.8 Megapixel fixed lens
  • 15 fps at 2048 x 1536 resolution or 30 fps at 1080P resolution
  • Selectable H.264 HP, MJPEG compressions with dual streaming
  • Video motion detection
  • Weatherproof IP66 rated casing
  • Powered by PoE

Overall, this is an impressive camera with a nice clear sharp image, good low light performance, well-organized menus. The IR illuminator is unique and I’ve been seeing more and more of this design that uses one large bright LED and it’s separated from the lens instead of a ring of smaller LEDs surrounding the lens behind a glass cover.

As is the trend among cameras lately is the Ethernet pigtail. Compared to the E32 I previously reviewed, this pigtail cannot be removed but it is longer and more usable than before. I typically shove the Ethernet jack in the wall or eave, but if you can’t, the Ethernet jack is exposed to elements and not waterproof. I’ve tried watertight connectors but they are typically on the large side and I would recommend Coax Seal that creates a watertight seal when wrapped around the connector and is inexpensive.

The camera comes with a mount, but you can use generic CCTV type mounts that use the camera tripod style screw. Using the mount, it’s easy to aim the camera, no tools required, just tighten the wing nut to hold it in place.

This is what the web interface looks like when you first log in. There’s options to take a snapshot, resize the image, chose a stream and more.

Clicking on the wrench icon takes you into the configuration options. One of the items that has caused me confusion with ACTi cameras is setting up the time server (SNTP/NTP). I tried public NTP servers but have not had much luck. So I found out that Windows, in my case the NVR PC can act as an NTP server. There’s instructions on the internet on how to enable this, but quite simple and this allows me to sync time with the PC running the NVR software.

Also, ACTi has a lot of ports you can configure. I usually change these to allow direct external web access across multiple cameras. To access the camera remotely, you only need to port forward the HTTP and Streaming Server port for web access.

Motion detect is setup under Video, then select the Motion Detect tab. Typical ACTi, you get 3 motion detect zones.  Drag them to where you need them on the image, resize as necessary. I usually set the Sensitivity down a little, like 65-68 and lower the Trigger Threshold down to about 6-7%. There’s two profiles, the Runtime MD Profile I use for daytime settings and the Event MD Profile for night time settings. This allows you to fine tune the motion detect settings separately for day and night.

The Video Compression tab is where you set what compression to use, H.264 or MJPEG as well as resolution, frame rate and such. The second stream is useful when accessing the camera remotely, like from a smartphone app to minimize network usage.

Now onto the images. I mounted the camera in the two usual spots, under the eave of my garage and in my backyard with all lights out. As before, you can click on the image to see the full size, 3 megapixel image straight from the camera. Also as before, I set the max exposure time to 1/30th which is a good compromise between low light performance and movement.

This is a day shot from my driveway, color balance is quite good and it’s a very clear and sharp image. The 4.2mm lens covers my driveway well without it being too wide.

Here it is at night with my wife just pulling into the driveway. While there is some noise in the image, the detail is very good, for example, you can read the word “canyon” on the drivers door. Some cameras with excessive noise reduction may blur the details in return for less visible noise.

In my backyard, that has different dynamics, for example, the sun does not shine directly in the camera and there isn’t a large expanse of concrete to reflect, you get a nicer looking image.

At night, the image is a little dark and that can be tweaked to your tastes but it seemed to provide even lighting across the width of the image. Noise was higher than in the driveway, but still decent detail in the image.

As with all ACTi cameras, you are entitled to you use their NVR software for free for up to 16 cameras and it’s pretty good with features people expect from commercial grade NVR software. They also have a free IOS app available.

I uploaded day and night videos to YouTube. To see them at the full 3 megapixel resolution, you must click on the gear icon and select original quality and then click on the icon with 4 corners to see the video full screen. The video was extracted using BlueIris.

This camera performed well, and is priced well. A the time of this writing, Wrightwood Surveillance , an authorized reseller, has it on sale for $249 shipped free and definitely worth trying one out.

The pluses for this camera are;

  • Price for a name brand 3 megapixel bullet.
  • 3MP, 1080P or 720P resolution
  • Even  IR illumination
  • Day/Night IR Cut Filter
  • Free NVR software

Click here to go to the company web page for the camera.

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12 Comments on "ACTi D32 3MP IR Bullet Review"

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1 year 11 months ago

Thank you . Faces are what I’m interested in, so it sounds like various focal is the way to go.

The 25 foot stat (face)is key for most of us, wish it was included in the stats from manufacturers.

So would the acti d42 be the best cost effective choice then?


1 year 11 months ago

I’m trying to get a view of cars parked in front of my house in the city. Camera would be mounted 15 feet or so high, and 30-50 feet from cars.

I have an acti d72 dome (that I bought from wrightwood, who were excellent), and I use the acti NVR software. So I’d like to stick with acti.

Should I use another dome, or a bullet? Aside from looks, does it matter? I’ll be running conduit in either case. The cameras seem to have the same specs?

And what camera would you recommend from acti? Specifically, I guess, do I need a varietal lens?

Thanks in advance for your expertise

1 year 11 months ago

buenos dias amigo es una excelente cámara queria saber si me pueden ayudar ya que estoy tratando de configurar 2 camaras d32 a mi red y no son detectadas las e conectado tal cual como dice el manual pero no se que estoy haciendo mal si me podrian ayudar seria de gran ayuda

3 years 4 months ago

I have three D32 but now realize I would be better off with a wider angle lens for two of the cameras. Do you know it the lens can be replaced with, say, a 2.8mm lens?

I also have an E72 Dome and E13 Box that are both better suited for my projects…

3 years 5 months ago

Can you use this camera with an external PIR or other alarm sensors?

I have only a little experience with IP cams, – your site has been invaluable thank you. I was going to go with Dahua or Hikvision, but now thinking Acti because of the ability to run several HD cams on a low-power PC using the Acti NVR software.

If I get a lot of false alarms I know I will stop looking at the e-mails and then miss something. I have read that an external PIR can be the solution, but can I use one with this camera? If not, any suggestions?

3 years 5 months ago

Comparing this to the Hikvision 3mp in your last review; doesn’t the Hikvision walk all over this camera? From the Pictures and video the Hikvision appears to be better and is $80 cheaper.
What is your opinion on this?

3 years 5 months ago

Seems to me that the real value of the ACTi is the free NVR software.