Hikvision DS-2CD2632F-I 3MP IR Varifocal Bullet Review

This is Hikvision’s larger bullet and includes additional features over their mini bullet. First and most important is the 2.8mm-12mm lens allowing for a wider view than available with the mini bullet with a 4mm lens. It also had a microSD card slot for in-camera recording. Another feature is the bright IR LEDs with about twice as many as the mini bullet. The “S” version also had audio and alarm inputs and outputs.


Main Features

  • 1/3” 3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • H.264 dual-stream encoding
  • 30fps @ 1080P (1920 x 1080) or 20fps @ 3MP (2048 x 1536)
  • 2.8-12mm vari-focal lens
  • Built-in Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot, up to 64 GB
  • Day/Night IR Cut Filter
  • IR LED advertised working distance 30m
  • IP66 Rated Outdoor Bullet
  • Powered by PoE
  • 3D DNR & DWDR & BLC
  • Smartphone apps available

Overall, this is an impressive camera with very good image quality and good low light performance, well-organized menus, typical of what we have come to expect from Hikvision.

Installing it is only slightly more complex than their mini-bullet. There’s 3 set screws on the base for each rotation axis. You have to loosen all 3 with the included wrench and as you aim it, tighten each of the screws to hold the camera in place. It’s very sturdy when put in place and can’t be easily shifted as you can the min-bullet.

The first impression of this camera, especially compared to the smaller fixed lens cameras from Hikvision is that it’s big. It really just seems that way next the mini bullet, but next to other brands or types of cameras, it’s average. Here it is next to a Hikvision ds-2cd3332-i eyeball camera.

To get at some of these features, you have to remove the sun shield by loosening the small screw on top and sliding the cover off. Then unscrew the front section off by the lens to reveal the insides. There’s a reset button and an SD card slot. To set the focal length you want, unscrew the focal length wand about half a turn and move it to about where you want, for example, if you want it to be 12mm, move the wand toward the “T” and if you want 2.8mm, move it toward the “W”. Tighten that wand and turn the focus wand about a half turn to loosen. Move that around until you get as sharp an image as possible. Careful tightening the screw so that you don’t shift the focus. When all is adjusted the way you like, screw the front cover piece on tight until the red lines align.

What’s different in the user interface over previous Hikvision camera reviews has to do with Hikvision’s latest firmware, 5.23. I’ll point out any differences during the review but the first thing that hits you, and I love it is a requirement to change the default password of 12345. Clicking Cancel allows you to keep it a little longer if you are in a rush, but it will keep prompting you each time you log in.

This is what the web interface looks like when you first log in. There’s options to take a snapshot, manually record, chose a stream and you can chose the aspect ratio which should be automatic, but it’s not, not even with 5.23 firmware but it’s closer. For example, if you chose 1080P, then you have to click on 16:9, if you chose 3MP mode, then click on 4:3. The default is sort of in between.


As with the other Hikvision cameras I’ve reviewed, the IP address comes from the factory set to They include a program on a CD called SADP that you run, finds the cameras and you can change the IP address to one that’s appropriate for your home network.

I’ll go over some of the setup screens of interest. After setting the IP address in SADP, you can change it again under Network. There’s many network options here including changing port numbers if you need to under ports, setting up DDNS updating, email configuration if you want to camera to email you alerts and so on.

Under Advanced Configuration, System, you can upgrade firmware, set time and DST, daylight savings time for those in the U.S. that do not live in Hawaii or Arizona.

Select the Time Settings tab to set timezone, NTP automatic time synchronization or a fixed time.

Clicking on Storage under Advanced Configuration allows you to format the SD card if you are using one or connect to a NAS device. The latest versions of the firmware started including TEST buttons to make sure it can connect. A big time saver.  You can record video to an internal SD card or a NAS.

To do in-camera recording, you need to setup Events. This is where 5.2.3 has changed in that it broke up Events into Basic and Smart events. This is also under Advanced Configuration. You setup up motion detect events now under “Basic Events”.  Click on Draw and use your mouse to draw the area you want to use for motion detection.  I set sensitivity at 20 or 40 to get motion detection. The lower the number, the less sensitive it is. You can check Enable Dynamic Analysis to test out the motion detection. Green squares will show up in Live View showing where motion has been detected. The green squares do not show up in recordings.  If you are going to record in-camera, check the box that says “trigger channel”. If you are setting this up to use with NVR software like Milestone XProtect, check the box that says “notify surveillance center”. The others like FTP and Email are self explanatory.

Under Smart Events are the analytical events like Line Crossing and Intrusion Detection. This is a sample of what it looks like when you setup line cross detection. You click on Draw Area like with motion detection, but instead of drawing boxes, draw a line that when crossed triggers an event. You can chose the direction of travel used for triggering the event.

To set resolution and video quality, go to the Video/Audio section of either Basic or Advanced configuration. You can set the  resolution you want for each stream, in my case, I made it 3MP in the example below.

One misunderstood tab selection is for Video/Audio under Advanced Configuration is ROI. This is what’s called a Region of Interest where you want a portion of your image to have higher quality, lower compression. If you are bandwidth challenged, like a internet connected camera, you can chose a lower bitrate that gives higher compression, but set aside part of the image to be higher quality, lower compression. You draw a box after clicking Draw and then click Stop Drawing when done.

This is the typical Image settings screen on Hikvision cameras. This is where you set options related to the image like brightness, contrast, exposure, white balance. Also Day/Night switching is done here.

Backlight Settings is where you can set WDR, a popular choice. I set mine to 20 to get about the right level of contrast in shadows. The downside to setting this higher is at night, you’ll get more noise. I try to set this off where I can, and only use it in high-contrast situations.

Another setting that’s useful is Noise Reduction Level under Image Enhancement. Noise reduction takes noise and smooths it out. Too much and it compromises detail, too little and the image looks grainy. One issue I’ve seen out of setting this high is that you get traces on moving objects. For this review, I set it to 50.

Now onto the images. I mounted the camera with the lens set at 2.8mm wide angle and 12mm full telephoto under the eave of my garage. Also mounted in my backyard and set the lens about half way up the range at about 6mm. 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 in the backyard, color balance is quite good and it’s a clear and sharp image.

At night, with WDR turned off, the larger illuminators help light up the area pretty well. Coverage is good at the ~6mm lens setting.

With WDR set to 20, it brightens up the image at the expense of slightly more noise. I normally set noise reduction to 100 but found it causes tracing of moving objects, so I kept it at the factory defaults where this is not an issue. You can reduce noise further by increasing this setting.

In the driveway, with the lens set to 2.mm and WDR turned off, the image quality is good.

Turning WDR on helped a little, but not in significant way. Slightly more detail in the shadows.

Just wanted to show you the camera in the rain and also see what a 1080P image looks like as the above images are in 3MP mode.

Also took one image in 12mm mode which provides a nice close-up of the left side of my home. The mailbox is about 50′ away.  This way you can compare an object 50′ in both 2.8mm above and 12mm below.  What I like about varifocal lenses is the ability to experiment and see the trade-offs between having a nice wide view but poor pixel density to a narrow shot with a better change of being to ID a person or vehicle.

At night, the image is pretty good with my only complaint is that at 2.8mm, while the IR illuminator overall has wide coverage, there’s a definite spotlight effect in the center of the image not noticeable at 6mm. I believe what they did is create 2 different lighting areas with the 2 LED rings. One set for wide, one for narrow which is brighter. Sort of how Dahua manages near and far LEDs on it’s IR PTZ cameras that I previously reviewed but with both sets of LEDs on full time.

At night with the camera set in Day mode, so you see color, the brightness and noise is decent. If you have an area with some lighting, in my case the street light across the street and a pair of LED porch lights, you may want to leave in color mode.

I uploaded day and night videos to YouTube.   You must click on the gear icon and select 1080P quality and then click on the icon with 4 corners to see the video full screen. The videos were extracted from Milestone XProtect NVR software.

Day Video


Nighttime Video


For a full featured varifocal bullet, this camera has good clarity, decent low light performance, good color accuracy. I found the camera, the upgraded “S” version for as low as $259.99 with free shipping from Wrightwood Surveillance, it’s definitely worth trying one out.

The pluses for this camera are;

  • Price & Value
  • Local SD card storage for recording
  • Very good low light performance in color
  • 3MP, 1080P or 720P resolution
  • S version has audio and alarm input & output
  • Day/Night IR Cut Filter
  • Ability to record to NAS and playback from the camera

The shortcomings for this camera are;

  • IR LED coverage could be better for wide angle lens settings

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


Leave a Reply

79 Comments on "Hikvision DS-2CD2632F-I 3MP IR Varifocal Bullet Review"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Hello, and thank you for such a wonderful service!
I have the DS-2CD2632F-IS model and a can only get it to work by connecting a 12 VDC power source. The POE source will not sync up, and I have troubleshot about as many different things as possible. Thanks in advance for any insight or previous experiance.


we have this camera and nobody in our department can recall the admin password. I see that there is a reset button within the camera’s body. how do I loosen the front lens cover? clockwise or counter clockwise? It is really tight… Do I need to loosen other screws aside from the top shield? I see an air vent of some sort… Is that to be loosened as well? Thanks in advance for your help…




Great informative reviews! I purchased several DS-2cd2632F-i cameras and I don’t see the “Line Intrusion” option. The camera Firmware is 5.2.0. The manual states that this feature does not work without setting up a decoding device and must be supported by the camera. The only options available in the HIKVISION Web software are Motion detection, Video Loss, Privacy Mask, Video Tampering, VCA, Snapshot. No line Crossing, or Intrusion Detection is available. Would appreciate your assistance!

Hello Networkcameracritic administrator and everybody. I have read your review of Hikvision ds-2cd2632f-i camera, which is very helpful for me to configure my Hikvision ds-2cd2632f-is camera (firmware version: 5.3.0). However, I still have a problem to configure the storage (NAS) for my camera. 1) I have an HP Media Vault, which is connected to my router. It is considered a NAS, right? I can access the backup files on it by installing the HP software on my computer. So how can I use it to configure the storage for my camera? 2) In the NAS tab of Storage section under Advanced Configuration of Hikvision camera, I am confusing what information needs to enter for “File Path” field. In my network, the HP Media Vault has a name “hpmediavault”, and it has some folders such as “backup”, “cinemanow”, etc. So should I enter “/hpmediavault/backup” in the File Path field? 3) I saw the storage configuration of your review for this camera, you selected SMB/CIFS, entered the username, and password information. But on my HP Media Vault, I never set it any password. So how can I do this? 4) There is the “NFS” as the mounting type for Hikvision camera, how… Read more »

Thanks for the in-depth reviews and advice. New to this thing so learning as I go. So far on the first rung having installed a basic bullet Hikvision, and using the freebie Cammy solution until I decide on which NVR appliance or software to go for.

Your site is now in my favourites. I appreciate the sharing.


Anyone have any idea how to register a device for the P2PCloud service? I can’t find any verification code that it asks for


Greetings to all from Italy !! If I correctly understand, this IP cam can take a snaphoot at regular intervals, not only by movement alarm, right? These snapshots can be sent to an FTP server, so that they can be seen on a website? Do you know any other model of IP cam that can do this? Thank you.



Thanks for all your very good reviews. I have a 2CD2032-I (after reading your test) and I will buy this “new” 2CD2632F-IS.

Post 35, you write : “You can get much more accurate motion detection using an external PIR motion detector that uses heat signatures to detect motion, but they cost about $100 and require a 12V power supply to run but can connect to the camera and you can use that to determine what the camera should record.”

What do you think is the best external PIR motion detector for this camera for outdoor configuration with no power supply (I’d rather battery) ?

Thankf for your answer.



For an external motion detector, I recommend something from a security system manufacturer, such as DSC, GE, Honeywell, etc. I don’t think you’ll find a wireless one that will work because they communicate with the alarm panel wirelessly; they do not have wired contacts that will trigger recording on the camera.

I recommend the DSC Outdoor Motion Sensor (Double PIR & Microwave) with Pet Immunity – model number LC-171. It is less prone to false alarms due to having both PIR and Microwave sensors. It requires 12V power.


x10 modules

Nice blog here! Also your web site so much up fast!

What host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink for your host?
I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

car floor mats

Hi there to every single one, it’s genuinely a good for me to go to see this site, it
includes priceless Information.

I agree with the frustration, and that was the blessing with Network Camera Critic, he could answer these questions quickly and it made sense. Encoding is set to G.711 ulaw. Input is set to MicIn. Volume is 86 and noise filter is off. As far as the connection, there are two terminals in the connection block for the mic which is what I connected with. Be careful to notice that the white wire and red wire are common to each other, so use the shield wire and either white or red to connect to the terminal block. The tricky part for me is the webviewer won’t play the audio for me in webcompenets, only in the QuickTime setting, so for a while I thought it wasn’t working until I loaded the QT plugin. Not sure why that is. I’m running firefox, but don’t think that has a bearing. I use Blue Iris which will pick up the live sound in the server console and in the mobile app, but not on a blue iris webviewer window. Blue Iris triggers on audio recording just fine and the clips play with audio on the blue iris event webviewer, but just not live… Read more »

“Be careful to notice that the white wire and red wire are common to each other, so use the shield wire and either white or red to connect to the terminal block.”

Ahhhh, thank you kind sir. I did NOT know that. The schematic for the microphone was of laughably poor quality, both on the package and online.

That is probably the problem.

Thank you so so much. I really like these Hikvision cameras, they are of excellent quality and have a lot of features, but getting support and questions answered about them is rather challenging.

I will give that a go.

Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me.

Take care.


David Lundin

How do you set this camera to “day mode” Ive entered the camera settings and all I see is the ability to change the resolution and the contrast brightness etc but no setting to turn off night mode. I’m using the ds 7616nvr

David Lundin
Your site has been super helpful. I just purchased this camera and two of the domes as well as the 7608 NVR for my home. It appears to be pretty plug and play. I got my NVR set up and tested my cameras which all work well. I haven’t used the web interface just the controls from the NVR attached to my display but from your review it appears there is a little more customization available. I do have a question able installation. I bought a couple of wall brackets for the domes which have not arrived. For the bullet I see there are four cables. I only need the POE one and not sure what the other ones are. I think one is for DC power for non POE users. What do you recommend doing with these other cables. They can’t be packed into the camera housing. I see someone mentioned some type of junction box? Is it possible to remove them or what would happen if you simply cut them and placed electrical tape or connection caps on them (similar to a light switch install? Seams like that would be fine? Also, you mention in your review changing… Read more »
David Lundin

What is the best NVR to use with these cameras? I need 4 cameras total. I already have an external POE set up from an old system. Unfortunately, It is located in a closet off our master bedroom and I have heard issues with the Hikvision NVRs being quite loud?



For these types of cameras, can you turn off the IR LEDs ?

Is that what the Day/Night Switch: (Day, Night and Auto) is about ??

I was thinking of using this for remote viewing of a construction project, but we need to solar power it, and don’t need night viewing.

So being able to turn off the IR/LEDs at night would save on power use.

Any advice on that ?

Thanks !


Hello NCC,

Great reviews, appreciate your willingness and interest in the more affordable PoE solutions out there. Do you primarily purchase from wrightwood surveillance? Based on end-user reviews, I am a little cautious of buying unsupported cameras that may be imports from Asia (i.e.Amazon resellers). The ideal reseller would be 3 year hardware warranty at internet retail prices, but I haven’t found that yet.

Also, have you had an opportunity to try Onssi’s Occularis? Apparently they use Xprotect’s database solution, but provide their own front end and management. I use it at work and have been very pleased with it. Might be a good NVR review.

Thanks for all your time and effort with these cameras. You could really take this website and your reviews to the next level. I think there is a huge group of people out there looking for something like this.



Thanks for all the incredibly helpful reviews – I’ve learned tons – recently your suggestion for the EnGenius ENH200 bridge, saving me from cobbling together some home router in bridge mode.

Do you know . . .
For this camera ( DS-2CD2632F-I ) and DS-2CD2032, they both have a “Snapshot” feature, which I’ve seen people use for time lapse photography.

Do you think you can both record AND use the Snapshot feature – or is it one or the other.

Thanks again,


Thanks for the response. Your suggestion would be a good alternative except I need on board storage and audio capability. I’m willing to live with the manual focal adjustment if I have to but is there an option with everything on my wish list even if I have to step up in price?. I’m spoiled now with 3 of the now defunct Logitech Alert cameras that feature PTZ, 64GB on board storage, night vision, audo with OK resolution for $229. I’m willing to sacrifice the PTZ for varifocal but would prefer remote control. Any suggestions? Thanks.



Excuse my ignorance but can the focal length be changed from the software (blue Iris in this case) or does it require a trip up the ladder every time a change is needed? Thanks.



Doesn’t this camera do 20fps @ 3MP (2048 x 1536)? You have it listed as doing 15fps (and your configuration picture above even shows 20fps). Are you saying that even when set to 20fps it still only does 15ps? I’m confused.

Randy Hall

First I want to thank you for the valuable information that you post from your testing. I look forward to each and every review that you post. I currently oversee about 9 ExacqVision Servers with several hundred IP cameras. I’ve got a question about the Hikvision cameras. Several models display a great picture, but it slowly degrades (become more and more noisey)and then zaps back to being clear. Is this bandwidth issues, buffering issues, or a camera setting. I’ve played with several settings with very little success. The models I’m referring to are, the 2032, 2132, 2232, 2332, 2432, 2532, 2632, and 2732.



Is it possible to just save motion events to the micro sd card – rather than having it constantly recording 24/7?

What is the motion event capture like is it accurate?



What do people do about wire management? That’s a large bundle of wires.I’m not interested in drilling an inch-and-a-half hole in the side of my building and you can’t do that to brick, (easily.) Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.


First, I really appreciate the quality write-ups you do. Your website has been fantastic in guiding me through my setup. One thing I can’t quite figure out yet with my Hik cameras is how you get such crisp and clear night shots, why mine are typicaly very grainy, distorted and have a lot of blur/ghosting of motion. I have a combination of 2332’s, 2032’s and even a 2532 that seems to all have the same problem. Do I need more IR light or is it possible I have a setting wrong. I can post an example of the settings I currently have and an example screenshot if that would help.


I am considering this camera or the DS-2CD2732F-I Dome. I like the fact the dome is vandal resistant but in your opinion which produces the better images particularly in very dark conditions.


Would this or the EXIR Bullets be better to use?


You note the Line Crossing feature but not the number of lines.
IIRC wasn’t that limited under firmware 5.20?
I’m curious how many are allowed to be defined with firmware 5.23
As always, thank you for the most informative IP Cam review site on the net.

Ian Dennison


We have 2 of the Hikvision DS-2CD263F-IS and a Hikvision NVR DS-7108N-SN/P the cameras work fine as live view on the computer screens and record manually onto the computer, we have installed a Seagate 2TB HDD into the NVR, the HDD shows on the configuration, but we cant get it too initialize or record. Desperate for some help please?


Great review, I have this camera and love it. The mic I used was $4 at Radio Shack.Model: 270-092 Catalog #: 2700092 Electret Microphone Element with Leads. I have 9 Hikvision cameras of various models, hopefully the new firmware makes it to their website soon.

Thanks again for the great reviews!


No problem Dave. I didn’t put my oscilloscope on the terminals as it was more of just trying and testing for the best sound of all the mics I purchased. I’m assuming the camera is supplying enough power to do the job. The mic is technically a Electret Condenser mic. You can check out the review on radio shack’s website. I do know that it picks up the spoken word well as well as peripheral sounds such as passing vehicles etc. Best part is that it’s 4 bucks!


Hello Mike!

I am dreadfully sorry to hijack this thread but I purchased this Radio Shack mic myself and am having a hard time getting it to work. Would you be willing to provide detail as to how you hooked it up physically to the pigtail of the camera? It can’t be THAT difficult but I have hooked it up as many different ways as I could think of and it has never worked. I have the firmware in the camera set to enable the mic, and have the type set to “mic”(this forces the camera to power the mic) and have the stream set to audio and video. No sound from it. I have the input turned all the way up, and I can hear a hiss as if it is listening but it does NOT pick up any sound through the mic. Again, I am sorry to pester you, but I am at a loss as to what I am doing wrong and since you purchased the same camera and mic, I was hoping you would take pity on me and reply.

Thank you so much!!!



Hello Mike!

I am dreadfully sorry to hijack this thread but I purchased this Radio Shack mic myself and am having a hard time getting it to work. Would you be willing to provide detail as to how you hooked it up physically to the pigtail of the camera? It can’t be THAT difficult but I have hooked it up as many different ways as I could think of and it has never worked. I have the firmware in the camera set to enable the mic, and have the type set to “mic”(this forces the camera to power the mic) and have the stream set to audio and video. No sound from it. I have the input turned all the way up, and I can hear a hiss as if it is listening but it does NOT pick up any sound through the mic. Again, I am sorry to pester you, but I am at a loss as to what I am doing wrong and since you purchased the same camera and mic, I was hoping you would take pity on me and reply.

Thank you so much!



I am curious how you use sound with these, is there an onboard mic or just a place to attach a mic and what kind of mic would you use?

Rick L

Your picture in the rain returns a 404-not found.