This review is for the new version of the DS-2cD2132-I Hikvision 3MP mini dome I reviewed over a year ago and times have changed. They really made some major improvements that makes this new version worth considering.
- 1/3” 3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
- H.264 dual-stream encoding
- 3-Axis (pan/tilt/rotate) adjustments
- On-board storage – microSD card slot for up to a 64GB card (card not included)
- Audio I/O interface, Alarm I/O interface
- 30fps @ 1080P (1920 x 1080) or 20fps @ 3MP (2048 x 1536)
- 2.8mm, 4mm and 6mm fixed lens
- Day/Night IR Cut Filter
- IR LED advertised working distance 30m
- IP66 Rated Outdoor Dome
- Powered by PoE
- Smartphone apps available
Overall, this camera has grown up. Gone are partial obscured LEDs, the 2-axis design that limited mounting capabilities and any IR light bleed issues. This is actually a very nice little camera. To prove out it’s 3-axis capabilities, I mounted it on a slanted eave and was able to smoothly rotate the lens to make the image level. Also stuck in a microSD card to handle all the recording. On top of these improvements, the model I’m testing that ends with “S” has audio input and output to attach a microphone and speaker, but also has alarm input and output to handle things like an external PIR motion detector.
Here’s a picture with the dome cover removed so you can see how nicely the LEDs are arranged compared to the old model. The SD card is on the left side of the circuit board and there’s even a reset button should things happen. The pigtail includes the new style external connectors, one for alarm I/O and one for the Audio I/O and each is marked on the connector. The green connector block pops off for easy wiring and plugs into the camera so it can be easily swapped out without re-connecting the wires.
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. 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. What’ different here from the outgoing version are the audio controls at the bottom. The speaker volume control in the lower left, the microphone on/off icon in the lower right.
As with the other Hikvision cameras I’ve reviewed, the IP address comes from the factory set to 188.8.131.52. 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. The first menu choice in the Configuration tab is Local Configuration. The most important to note are the directories the cameras uses on your PC to write snapshots and videos when you manually take snapshots or videos from the web interface. Not to be confused with where it records motion detect video.
I typically go to Advanced Configuration as Basic Configuration is a small subset of what’s in the advanced menus. The first one is System. This is where it shows you the firmware you are running, in this case V5.2.5 and the serial number. The other tables like Time Settings is where you set the date & time, Maintenance where you can reset the camera or apply firmware updates, DST where you set daylight savings time offsets and finally Service where you can disable the IR LEDs if you want.
The Network menu option is where you can set various network parameters including IP address, Port numbers, Email setup for notifications, FTP setup and such.
The next menu option, Video/Audio is where you set video resolution, frame rate and such. After using these cameras long term, I determined the best setup for me is Constant bit rate set to 6144 and an I-Frame interval equal to the frame rate.
The Audio menu is if you want to enable a microphone. MicIn is for un-amplified microphones, LineIn is for amplified microphones.
The next item is Image. This is where you set parameters relating to the actual image. It’s broken up in to categories. The first being Image Adjustment shown below.
Another interesting feature is Switch Day Night to Scheduled Switch. This allows you to set things different for daytime and nighttime based on a schedule. This is different than Day/Night settings. For example, say I want WDR to be 20 during the day but be 10 at night, I can do this by clicking on day, choosing 20 and click on night and choosing 10. Comes in handy in some situations that have harsher lighting conditions during the day than at night.
The final thing I wanted to show you is Image Enhancement. This is where you set noise reduction. Set it too high and you ghosting on moving objects, set it too low and you get noise, so balance the use of this to your tastes.
The Basic Event menu item has different options. For the simplest motion detection, select the Motion Dection tab, select Enable Motion Detection. My default the entire image is used for motion detection but you can draw an area of your choosing like I have below. If you are recording to the SD card slot, check Trigger Channel box. When done, click Save.
Under Smart Event, there’s more complex event detection including Line Crossing Detection and Intrusion Detection. The screen below shows how to setup line crossing detection. First enable it by checking Enable Line Crossing Detection. Next check the Trigger Channel box if recording to SD and click Save.
The last menu option is Storage. The Storage Management tab is where you can see what space is left on the SD card and format it. If you are using NAS to write recordings to, you would see that here as well.
The Playback tab is where you find recordings made to SD card or NAS. You can chose the date & time using the calendar on the right and then slide the timeline to find the event you are looking for. Red stripes/bars on the timeline denote when a recording took place.
From the screen above you can export video, the icon is just above the timeline on the right hand side. Clicking that sends you to this screen where you can search for a time frame and it will list each recorded file. You can then select the files you want and download them. It puts the files in the “downloaded” directory specified under the Local Configuration screen previously mentioned. You can upload these to YouTube to share or play them with VLC player.
Now onto the images. I mounted the camera under the eave of my garage. Also mounted in my backyard. As before, you can click on the image to see the full size 3 megapixel or 1080P 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, WDR turned off, color balance is quite good and it’s a clear and sharp image.
The scene is a bit contrasty with the shadows from the patio cover. Setting WDR to 20 softens that up considerably.
If you want to further cut down on the shadows, you can set WDR higher, in this case I set it to 50. The image starts getting washed out a little but still pretty good.
At night, the IR tends to be narrower than the 2.8mm lens covers. This is typical for most 2.8mm IR cameras I’ve used.
You can mitigate that by using WDR, in this case set to 20 to brighten up the dark spots
Now onto the driveway. This is with WDR turned off, very clear, sharp bright image.
Setting WDR to 30 brightens up the shadows quite a bit. I found that somewhere between 20 and 30 would be where I would set WDR for this camera in this location.
At night, no WDR, the image is pretty good.
Setting WDR to 20 helps a little in the shadows, but at the expense of more noise.
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 the on-camera SD card.
This is a big upgrade from the old DS-2CD2032-I mini come, it adds an SD card slot, 3-axis lens rotation, two-way audio and alarm I/O. I found the camera, the upgraded “S” version tested for as low as $159.99 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 two-way 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 the 2.8mm version. I believe the 4mm or 6mm would provide more even coverage.
Click here to go to the company web page for the camera.