This is article is a Hikvision Mini PTZ review.
I have a DS-2DE2A404IW-DE3 Hikvision camera that I've been testing for some time and now you can have all the information about this product in this review.
When I saw this product on the Amazon store, I couldn't believe the tag price, and that's I didn't resist the temptation of buying a model to test and write about it.
By the time I got this Mini PTZ, the price was $159.99 (USD).
I don't know how much it could cost now that you are reading this article, but if the tag price is less than $200 (USD), just go for it because it's still a good deal.
OK, there's a lot to talk about this camera. Let's get started.
Hikvision 4MP Mini PTZ Camera Overview
Let's take a general look at some essential details about this camera.
Later you can dig into the features.
It's a professional product
This Mini PTZ camera could be considered a professional product.
I worked for 17 years as a Samsung security camera engineer, and I used to test professional cameras with the same features as this Hikvision camera.
It's important to understand that this type of camera a system integrator company can offer to customers and a CCTV technician usually installs it.
But don't worry, even if you don't have technical skills, I guarantee you can enjoy this article because I explain everything you need to know about this camera in a way that is easy to understand. Please just keep reading to the end.
It's designed to work with a professional recorder
Professional security cameras require an NVR (Network Video Recorder) to store the footage. I recommend you to purchase one if you are planning to use this Hikvision camera. You can find this type of security camera recorder on Amazon.
What is in the box
The box brings the camera, a 12-volt power supply, connector protection, anchors and screws for installation, a quick guide, and a CD with software and manuals.
You can either use the power supply or PoE (Power Over Ethernet) to power on the camera. I prefer to use PoE because you just need a single cable to the camera.
Hikvision Mini PTZ camera features
Here's a list with the main camera features (see details later).
- High resolution (4 MP);
- Excellent low-light performance;
- Backlight compensation (WDR);
- PTZ (Pan, Tilt and Zoom);
- 4x optical zoom;
- Up to 20m IR range;
- H.265 video compression;
4 MP resolution
The Hikvision Mini PTZ has 4 MP resolution. It captures videos with 2560 × 1440 pixels, representing the double number of the traditional Full HD (1080p) cameras.
Higher resolution means better image details, especially when you need to use the digital zoom to recognize a person or read a license plate.
Low light performance
Most of the traditional security cameras have a hard time working in low light conditions. At nighttime, they usually need to turn on the Infrared LEDs or use a spotlight camera to illuminate the scene and identify a possible tread.
Sure, Infrared and spotlights are useful, but sometimes it's better to work with a camera that captures images in low light conditions.
Let's say you install the camera outdoors, and the infrared LEDs are not powerful enough to illuminate the extensive area. Or perhaps you can't use a spotlight because you don't want to draw attention to the camera.
Security cameras with low light performance automatically change its parameter (lens aperture, shutter speed, gain, etc.) to adapt to harsh conditions. That's the case with this Mini PTZ camera, which uses the Hikvision Darkfighter technology.
Here's a basic comparison, take a look at the pictures below (click to enlarge).
The first picture represents the real scenario, as you may seem without any lights.
In the second picture, the infrared LEDs are on, and it's possible to see in the dark.
Using infrared lights in a scenario with reflective objects, like glass, can be a problem. Luckily, the glass does not bounce the IR light back to the camera's lens,
The third picture shows the infrared LEDs OFF, and the camera was adjusted to work with low light. It's possible to see the image in the dark in color mode.
Finally, the image number 4 shows the Infrared OFF with the camera parameters adjusted to work with low light condition in black and white mote.
Most cameras have a hard time working in a situation with a high light contrast.
That's the case when you install the camera indoors, pointing to a window.
The security camera must have some feature to compensate for the difference between the bright and dark areas .That's called "Backlight compensation".
The Hikvision Mini PTZ camera has the WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) feature, which is the best way to deal with this scenario.
In the camera's datasheet, you can find the information about the 120dB WDR feature. Professional camera WDR ranges from 80 to 120 dB (higher is better).
Pan, Tilt and Zoom
Yeah, you can use the PTZ feature to remotely control the camera using a smartphone, computer, or even a joystick. That's really cool, isn't it? 🙂
PTZ cameras are pretty popular for professional applications, and you can find them in public and large areas such as parks, malls, and parking lot.
The Hikvision Mini PTZ camera has 4X optical zoom, which is enough to see details in small areas (It's not designed to work in large areas).
The camera infrared light is powerful enough to illuminate up to 20m away.
That's good for most applications with the camera installed indoors or in areas with short distances such as a gate, door entrance or a backyard.
It's necessary to compress the video captured by the camera before streaming it through the network to a monitoring station, smartphone, or a remote recorder.
Security cameras use a CODEC (Compressor/Decompressor) such as MJPEG, MPEG-4, H.264, or H.265 to compress the video.
H.265 is the most efficient one used today by security cameras.
The Hikvision Mini PTZ camera has this codec available (see picture below).
Keep in mind that it's necessary to have a recorder or video player that is compatible with such a codec which requires powerful CPUs.
Before using the H.265, make sure your recording or playing device supports it.
Pros and cons
In my opinion, the Hikvision Mini PTZ camera is an excellent product.
It's designed for professional applications and has all the best features that are not available in traditional consumer cameras.
The camera price tag is really low and worth to buy it.
I hope you like this article; please share it with your friends.
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 18+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.