13
Feb
15

Dahua IPC-HFW2300R-Z Outdoor Zoom 3MP Bullet Review

Outdoor zoom cameras tend to be pricier than standard varifocal lens cameras and those tend to be pricier than fixed lens cameras. Dahua broke the price barrier offering a 2.8-12mm zoom camera for not much more than their standard fixed lens mini bullets. The camera has a new attractive look and surprisingly smaller than Dahua’s or Hivision’s current varifocal bullets. I call it a zoom vs. a motorized varifocal because it auto-focuses as it zooms where motorized varifocal cameras have a two step process where you set the field of view, then click to focus.

Main Features

  • 1/3” 3 Megapixel Aptina CMOS sensor
  • H.264 dual-stream encoding
  • 30fps @ 1080P (1920 x 1080) or 20fps @ 3MP (2048 x 1536)
  • 2.8-12mm motorized zoom lens
  • Day/Night IR Cut Filter
  • IR LED advertised working distance 30m
  • IP66 Rated Outdoor Bullet
  • Powered by PoE (8.5W max) or 12VDC
  • 3D Digital Noise Reductions
  • Digital Wide Dynamic Range and Backlight Compensation
  • Working tempertures -30°C ~ +60°C, at less than 95% RH
  • Smartphone apps available

Overall, this is an impressive camera with very good image quality and decent low light performance.  It’s about 20%  smaller than the vari-focal Dahua IPC-HFW3330C or Hikvision DS-2CD2632F I previously reviewed, but certainly not in the mini bullet category. The new square design actually has a practical side in that you can see when the camera is parallel to the ground making it easier to aim the camera and have it level with less trips up/down the ladder, at least for me.

Installing it is a pleasure. Just screw it to where you want it, aim it and then you adjust the lens from the web interface. No more having to remove parts of the camera body to focus or adjust a varif-focal lens on a ladder.  There are 3 adjustment screws on the base to aim and rotate the camera as needed and once tightened, the mount has a very solid feel, more so than their mini bullets.

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 as with other cameras. You can also zoom or focus from this screen by clicking the plus sign icon at the bottom.

To configure the camera, click on the Setup tab across the top. Using the menu on the left, under Network you can change the IP address of the device.

What’s not as obvious where to change port numbers if you need to. Sometimes you need to change port numbers for port forwarding on older routers that do not have the port mapping feature.

Under the camera menu are two items, Conditions and Video. Conditions is where you control image like brightness, contrast and such. Also this is where you set wide dynamic range (WDR) or backlight compensation (BLC) options as well as noise reduction.

The next tab in Conditions is Profile Management. You can set a time period during the day where you apply different image settings. For example, you may decide you want WDR on during the day and off at night. Here’s where you define that period of time. You then select day or night from the conditions tab, profile setting and chose settings for that time period.

The last tab is Zoom and Focus, my favorite for this camera. You slide the Zoom slider to about where you want it, wait for the camera to zoom in to the desired location and automatically focus. This actually worked very well, one of the best I’ve use. Even got good focus at night with poor light.

Under the Video settings you set the resolution and frame rate.  There are 2 streams. The main stream is your typical high resolution stream you want to record. If your NVR, NVR PC or smartphone app allows it or even if you just want to use the web interface, the Sub Stream comes in handy by providing a lower resolution and frame rate stream to reduce network bandwidth, for example for remote viewing from your smartphone.

The Overlay tab is where you set what you want displayed on your screen, like date, time, location name. You can move the text to the location of your choice by dragging the yellow box with your mouse.

If you want to setup video motion detection, select the Event menu item, Video Detect and you can enable it here.

Click on the Setup button next to Area and you can select different motion detect areas and their sensitivity. This actually worked quite well, better than Hikvision’s motion detect that’s can be overly sensitive. That does not mean shadows, lights and rain won’t trigger it, just a little better.

The next menu item is Storage. Since this camera does not have an SD card slot, you can have it record to an FTP server. I tried the NAS option but did not work, was grayed out. I have used the FTP feature and it does work quite well, although harder to manage than an NVR solution. The FTP tab is where you setup the FTP server info, IP address, user/password and such.

The next menu item is System. Most importantly this is where you set the time and daylight savings time settings. I use the NTP server that was defaulted to on the camera and that worked well, kept accurate time.

Another point of confusion is why does the camera reboot itself every day, is there something wrong with it. Under System, Auto Maintain, you will see the camera is set to reboot itself at 2:00AM every morning unless you uncheck this. It’s up to you, but I found no reason to have it keep rebooting itself. I think this is throwback from when cameras were less reliable and kept freezing up.

The last menu item is information and it shows you the software version, who’s connected to the camera and the log.

Now onto the images. I mounted the camera with the lens set at 2.8mm wide angle under the eave of my garage. Also mounted in my backyard and set the lens at both ends of the range. As before, you can click on the image to see the full size 3 megapixel image straight from the camera.

This is a day shot in the backyard, color balance is quite good and it’s a clear and sharp image. This is with WDR off and you can see the strong contrast from the patio cover. What’s nice is while there is less barrel distortion than I’ve seen in similar cameras I’ve reviewed at this wide of an angle.

This is with WDR turned on and set to 20. The shadows start to get lighter with more detail revealed.

Crank it up to 50 and the shadows are again lighter, but the other colors are more muted, so finding a nice balance for your situation is key.

At night, the camera does pretty well and actually fairly even light, something that Dahua does well without a strong “flashlight” effect.

Setting WDR on and to 20 provides a little more detail in the shadows. The down side to using WDR at night is you get more noise, but still decent.

Now onto the front of the home, the driveway. Different lighting situation. This is with WDR off, color accuracy is good, none of the over-saturation I see some other brands. The shadows are dark but detail is still visible.

Turning WDR on to 20 lightens the shadows a bit. What I did in the day video is let you see both ways where I switch WDR on/off.

At night, I want to show what happens if you leave this camera in Day mode at night. Actually quite good. Not sure if this was my permanent camera, if I would use B&W. You do get a little more noise, but the color makes the image look better and things like plate numbers come out better because there’s no IR reflecting back.

This is the same shot, but in Night mode, IR LEDs on and B&W. Not sure if it’s better. Like to get your feedback on this.  The lights are the street light across the street and two 60W equivalent bulbs in the porch lights.

Here’s the same shot but with WDR turned on to 20. The darker areas definitely look brighter, but at  the loss of contrast and more noise.

Videos

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 – watch for were I switch the camera from WDR ON to OFF

 

Night Video  – both in Color and B&W

 

Conclusion

For a motorized lens/zoom IR bullet, this camera has good clarity, decent low light performance, good color accuracy. I found the camera as low as $199.99 with free shipping from Wrightwood Surveillance, it’s definitely worth trying one out.

The pluses for this camera are;

  • Price & Value
  • Easy install without dealing with focusing and vari-focal lenses at the camera
  • Very good low light performance in color
  • 3MP, 1080P or 720P resolution
  • Day/Night IR Cut Filter
  • Ability to record to FTP

The shortcomings for this camera are;

  • SD card slot would be nice

I don’t have a link to Dahua’s website for this camera because it’s so new it’s not on there yet.

 

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73 Comments on "Dahua IPC-HFW2300R-Z Outdoor Zoom 3MP Bullet Review"

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jasper
1 year 1 day ago

Nice review. Quality at night is also good especially for an IP camera

John
John
1 year 5 months ago

When we see the recording of the video latter . Will it be able to zoom at that time and can we see number plate clearly?

Chris
Chris
1 year 9 months ago

Sorry to bother you again about connecting this to Milestone. But I just received the camera, and I enabled the ONVIF on the camera, and I went to Milestone, clicked on add hardware, and I selected ONVIF, but it still seems not to pick up the camera. Is there something I need to do?

Thank you!

Mike
Mike
1 year 9 months ago

Great camera, thanks for the review. Purchased one and it is working flawlessly. This one is mounted on a roof peak so the remote zoom and focus is a real bonus.

Question; The network connector appears to be the same as the Hikvision cameras. The Hikvision cameras come with the companion connector that fits over the cat5e to make a reasonable weather tight seal. I’ve looked at Wrightwood and several other sites to see if anyone sells a kit that includes that connector/shell but have come up empty. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for the great blog, you’ve been a tremendous resource!

Chris
Chris
1 year 9 months ago

I see you mentioned you used Milestone with this camera, why isn’t this cameras listed on their supported hardware list? You had no issues using this with Milestone?

Thanks.

Juan
Juan
1 year 9 months ago

It appears that my camera is defective after being remotely viewed by the service department at DH Vision. There is a distinct ring around a center spot, the camera doesn’t change from day to night view, only night to day, and I’m unable to focus the camera. What appears focused at night is out of focus in daylight. I have been notified that it will be replaced, and I’m satisfied with the attention the service department has extended. I’m really unfamiliar with these cameras, so it’s been quite a learning curve….but I’m getting there. °¿°

Mitch Tuckness
Mitch Tuckness
1 year 9 months ago

Is there a way to turn the IR lamps off on this unit?

Mitch
Mitch
1 year 10 months ago

I got my camera and got it up on the network, but after configuring a few things, inclusing Blue Iris, when I open the web interface I am getting the message in the video section:

resource is limited, open video failed

any ideas what this is about? I have a few Dahua’s and I am able to have BI using them and still login via the web interface to configure.

purchase@maladomini.com
purchase@maladomini.com
1 year 10 months ago

Why can’t they ship these things with DHCP enabled? my POE network is not on the same subnet as my PC and I have a hell of a time getting these things initially configured. is there a way to reset the cameras right when you get them to enable DHCP?

Even my normal subnet is not 192.168.0.x /24

Micropower
Micropower
1 year 10 months ago

Love this form factor. I guess it is a slightly more mature device than the new HIK’s.
Will it re-transcode lower refresh/bandwidth to a web browser without plug in’s? Probable asking to much for a device in this price range. Would be great see reviews on a micro nvr appliance.

David
David
1 year 10 months ago

Do you have any recommendations on NVRs for such cameras. I’m looking to replace my old Poe Logitech system I installed s few years ago. Thanks

Mitchell Tuckness
Mitchell Tuckness
1 year 10 months ago

I think I recall you saying that the Dahua lenses are clearer than the HIKVISION ones, but the HIKVISION tends to have better night vision and wider lenses, is that correct?

Would this camera be good for coverage of an area (driveway) that is normally dark, but has a motion activated flood light? Will this unit be able to adjust quickly from the IR mode to normal and back or could that be a means of defeating the security camera by using the activation of the floodlight as a means of crossing it’s FOV before it adjusts to the light. Would it be better to remove the flood light and add an IR floodlight? Leaving the area dark all the time but being able to see anything that goes into the area?

Thanks for the advisement!

Juan
Juan
1 year 10 months ago

No, I haven’t contacted Woodwright or DH Vision….hoping to discover if I had a problem camera or it’s was just me. I wanted the time to acquire a general idea of the camera and figure my way around all the preferences.
From your response I gather I should consult with the support department.
Thanks for your time °¿°

Juan
1 year 10 months ago

The camera and software are a step-up from the Dahua IPC-HFW4300S that I’ve been using but the Infra-Red lighting is dim in comparison. I’m wondering if it’s better to add a separate infra-red light or to run it on the Day option and add driveway lighting. There is a halo effect when using the infra-red night setting that has me wondering if this is to be expected?

http://www.2iview.com/cameras/dahuahfw2300.html

Micropower
Micropower
1 year 10 months ago

Like this Cam a whole lot. Interface and http layout cleaner than HIK’s.
Is Substream 2 a future feature or can it be setup?
Rules of thumbs on setting TCP vs. UDP vs. Multicast?
Seems like UDP would be less overhead.
Bandwidth display above image is great. Setting VBR really reduces
bandwidth is Image is not busy. Wish me luck in trying to set it up with qnap NAS.
No Local SD recording would limit application. Is there RTSP ?

Juan
Juan
1 year 10 months ago

Perhaps you could guide me as to what the problem is with the night vision of this camera.
I can crank the sensitivity up to 90% walk between the two cars (choke point) at my office and the motion sensor may or may not trigger. Day time it works OK, but night vision is really a challenge. http://2iview.com/cameras/DahuaIPC-HFW2300R-Z..html

Thank you for your time.

Juan
Juan
1 year 10 months ago

I don’t know if the admin account differs from what I’ve been using. I can access it via web browser IP 192.168….. I can use it in Security Spy and PSS Pro. I can see it in my Netgear R6300 gateway.

On a tech note I replaced a QCN8004B 3mp camera for this one, and one thing I’ve noticed, the night vision is subpar in comparison. The QCN8004B has remarkable night clarity and better optics. The colors aren’t as vivid. I needed a longer reaching lens so it serves it’s intended purpose.

L8r

Juan
Juan
1 year 10 months ago

My concerns were laid to rest when I received the camera and found no difference in set-up Vs setting up a Q-See that is supposed to be Mac friendly. I plugged it in, Bonjour recognized it, Security Spy software connected it, and I was up and running. One small hitch in my gitty up was the password, my other q-see/dahua cameras were admin/admin or 666666/666666…..this one was 888888/888888 which cause me to stop and look it up.

Thanks for the detailed review, an referral to Wrightwood’s, the package arrived as predicted and in fine shape. I’ll be looking to them to serice any future needs.

All good wishes..>

Juan
Juan
1 year 10 months ago

I’ve just purchased this camera from Wrightwood based on your review. I intend to run it on a Mac server with Security Spy Software.

Any insight on this setup would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

Michael
Michael
1 year 11 months ago

Just a email post

Michael
Michael
1 year 11 months ago

Hi,
Does this unit have software controlled IR leds?
I have a 4300s and that is not sensitive enough at night to be used effectively with colour mode and with the night mode a persons face gets to much light and is not recognisable.
I want night mode without the ir …

Putting a 100Watt halogen light next to it is also not an option really.

Jiri
Jiri
1 year 11 months ago

Thank You

Jiri
Jiri
1 year 11 months ago

Thank you for reply, my IPC-HDBW4300E does not have AS there, so no audio. NC is one-party consent state and audio would be good at least by front door. When im checking Dahua site for audio cams, they really dont have any( They do but too big or no IR or no IP66 or no IK10). hmmm, im stuck, which cameras or brand are compatible with Dahua NVR 4216-8P, may I use Hikvision? Than You.

VS
VS
1 year 11 months ago

Does anyone know if this camera works with Synology Surveillance Station? I’m looking for a wide angle exterior camera. I have a Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I (which works fine) and want to add a second thas bit wider.

patrick
patrick
1 year 11 months ago

Hi,

Have you reviewed any, or have knowledge of, Ethernet Powerline adapters as it pertains to Hikvision PoE cameras (for example, the DS-2CD2032-I)? I have searched your archives but could not find anything on the subject. I have 2 outdoor locations where I need a camera but running an Ethernet cable to these locations is not an option but I do have 120 VAC at these locations. I understand I will that I will need an adapter at both ends of the 120 VAC plus a PoE injector on the camera side. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Patrick

Jiri
Jiri
1 year 11 months ago

Those catalogs or sites might be have some info, not sure. Im new in this my NVR4216-8P still records all video – no motion yet, none, not even 2nd HDD and internet access will be hell to connect, those sites dont say much about mic build in or if cam supports audio in. http://www.dahuasecurity.com/products/ipc-hdbw4300e-603.html says IPC-HDBW4300E supports AudioCompression G.711a/G.711u/PCM(-AS)Interface 1/1 channel In/Out(-AS). Can I record audio with that cam? Or can I plug mic in, in that female jack on camera? and record audio like that? Is it even possible? Thank You very much for help

Jiri
Jiri
1 year 11 months ago

That catalog 2014 VERSION 4 i sent link above says all 1MP and 3MP are 1/3” 3Mp Aptina CMOS and 2MP are 1/2.8” 2Mp Exmor CMOS. I just checked that on EU sites like Czech, PL or even RU and looks like that. Thats surprise to me. This latino site http://www.rilelettronica.com/1/upload/1_listino_ela_rev._1411.1_ita_dicembre_2014.pdf says same. I love Dahua so much. IPC-HFW4300SN is much better then IPC-HDBW4300E in any way. I bought 3 pcs of IPC-HDBW4300E on fleebay and 2 of those returned back due to very poor quality in low light. I noticed those which i got in paper brown non glossy black letters were super quality, but those which I got in glossy red and white paper box did not get close in quality to those in non glossy brown box. Not sure what to think about it. Im glad you told about wrightwood so I get some real stuff now. Thank you.

Eric
Eric
1 year 11 months ago

I got 2 dahua 4300 bullets from wrightwood and they both came in red and white glossy box and the night vision is super grainy. Day time is great though. With my luck I probably got the crappy ones! The night vision is so fuzzy you can barey recognize a vehicle when it drives by let alone a person.

Jiri
Jiri
1 year 11 months ago

I think IPC-HFW2200R-Z/VF is 1/2.8” 2Mp Exmor CMOS and IPC-HFW2300R-Z/VF and IPC-HFW2100R-Z/VF is 1/3” 1.3Mp Aptina CMOS. Im not sure….

Jiri
Jiri
1 year 11 months ago

I know, i was looking at some south american sites and it said 1/2.8″, however i cant find it anymore, but i found this site http://www.dahuasecurity.com/ru/download/2014%20Version%204.pdf and it says 1/3. Even my IPC-HDBW4300E says aptina which i thought it was Exmor.

Jiri
Jiri
1 year 11 months ago

Model: IPC-HFW2300R-Z
This review says 1/2.8” 3 Megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and wrightwoodsurveillance.com says 1/3” 3 Megapixel progressive Aptina CMOS . Nelly does not say none about it. You think wrightwood just made mistake there?

Sjur Bjerke
Sjur Bjerke
1 year 11 months ago

Hi,

I have a few Dahua cameras, but with rather old firmware. One thing I miss is the ability to program the camera to take pictures / video at particular times (time events) and then send them by e-mail. For my PTZ cam I would of course also want to decide on the preset position to use. Is this feature available in this camera ? If not, what is the best way to provide the desired functionality ?

Regards,

Sjur Bjerke
Norway

Peter
Peter
1 year 11 months ago

Sorry for asking this, but I assume it won’t work with my hikvision nvr. Correct?

C.Stout
C.Stout
1 year 11 months ago

Would you be willing to post a video to show the quality and speed of the zoom? How precise are you able to control the zooming in and out? Thank you!

B.A.
B.A.
1 year 11 months ago

Does Dahua have any NVR software that would work with this camera?

If so, any idea how good it is, or it’s licensing cost?

Thanks!

Thomas
Thomas
1 year 11 months ago

Hey. The pictures look great. Thanks for the review.

Would you prefer this camera or the 2732f-is from hikvision.

Or is there an even better camera?

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