Here’s an outdoor rated mini bullet that fits smaller budget yet does a very good job for less money than it’s rivals. In comparison to the Dahua mini dome I reviewed that costs the same price, it has 1080P resolution (or 2MP) and this camera forgoes resolution down to 1.3MP for more features. Most importantly is that it’s a true day/night camera with an automatic IR cut filter and it has a very bright IR illuminators making is usable in dark situations.
- 1/3” 1.3Megapixel progressive scan Aptina CMOS
- H.264 & MJPEG dual-stream encoding
- Max 15fps @ 1.3M (1280×960) or 30fps @ 720P (1280×720)
- 3.6mm fixed lens (6mm, 8mm optional)
- Day/Night IR Cut Filter
- IR LED working distance 20m
- IP66 Rated Outdoor Bullet
- Powered by PoE
- Smartphone apps available
Overall, this is an impressive camera with very good image quality, good low light performance, well-organized menus and very small. The IR illuminators are very bright and wide, better actually than its big brother, the IPC-HFW3200C that I reviewed recently.
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 more.
Across the top are tabs for Live (live viewing), Set (configure the camera), Alarm (setup alarms) and Logout. When you click on the Set tab, it takes you this configuration screen.
Motion detection areas are cleverly set by clicking boxes to cover or expose the image. The exposed areas are where you don’t want motion detection and can be any shape that you can create using the box grid.
Configuring the resolution and streams is done on this screen where you can see the choices available.
This camera does not have an SD card slot like the other Dahua cameras I previously reviewed. You can have video events sent to a FTP server.
Now onto the images, how well does this camera perform. I mounted the camera at two places, one at the front of my garage, under the eave,and in my backyard because they represent different lighting situations. This camera had the 3.6mm lens which is fairly wide and covered most of front of my home. Surprisingly, when the camera was set to 1.3MP, objects were about the same size as with the 1080P mini dome using the wider 2.8mm lens, just did not cover as wide an area. If you don’t need to cover as wide an area, this resolution works pretty well.
One downside I noticed to choosing 1.3MP on this camera is the web interface displays the image in a wide-screen format instead of the 4:3 ratio of 1.3MP. I’m hoping this gets fixed in future firmware releases. When viewing images or recordings using their NVR or NVR software like BlueIris or when viewing recorded video, the image aspect ratio is correct. I do want to add that I tested this camera with BlueIris and it worked quite well and the recordings were smooth.
As with my other reviews, click on the images below to see the full size image, straight from the camera.
A slight disappointment with this camera is that white balance is not as accurate as the 1080P cameras from Dahua in all situations. There are hue adjustment to make it closer to what it should be. Not all scenes experience this problem. I expect that this may be correct in future firmware updates.
During the day, in my backyard, the color accuracy was much better.
At night the IR illuminators do a great job of lighting up the area with nice wide even lighting.
This image is taken in darkness with no other lights on. The fence on the far end with the two potted palms is about 50′ away. One disadvantage of the powerful illuminators is that people who are close to the camera are overexposed a bit.
To show you how small the camera is I put it next to the Dahua IPC-HFW3200C that I reffer to as its big brother.
I uploaded day and night videos to YouTube. To see them at the full 720P resolution, you must click on the gear icon and select 720P resolution and then click on the icon with 4 corners to see the video full screen.
The street price for this camera is about $199 and is a good deal for a camera with these features.
The pluses for this camera are;
- 720P at 30fps (or 1.3MP at 15fps)
- Very bright IR illuminators
- Day/Night IR Cut Filter
- Smartphone apps – everyone wants to access their cameras from smartphones these days
The shortcoming of the camera are;
- You must rely on your reseller for support
- White balance issues in some cases
- Displays wide screen format on the web interface even when you chose a different format
Click here to go to the company web page for the camera