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Let there be a battle: interVision vs Hikvision vs Dahua. Comparative tests in real conditions

The market for video devices is full of offers, so it’s so hard today to make the right choice. Sellers and consultants broadcast about the megapixels and hypersensitive sensors of the latest video camera models, which are almost unknown to the average consumer, and the result is the wrong choice, overpayment and disappointment.

Using these materials, we will try to bring light to the dark heads of inexperienced users, so that the security video surveillance systems at your sites will 100% fulfill the tasks. There will be no advertising offers or bias in relation to one or another model - only a visual comparison and an independent assessment.

Comparative tests involved 3 samples with approximately the same technical characteristics, so that supporters of a particular brand did not have the ground for zealous discussions.

  • interVision MPX-AI53PRO — Ukrainian manufacturer that offers an affordable price tag for its innovative developments, equipping cameras with high-quality sensors from Sony, Aptina, SmartSens.
  • Hikvision DS-2CD2055FWD-I — Chinese brand (Hikvision Digital Technology) headquartered in Hangzhou, which is considered the largest supplier of video surveillance devices.
  • Dahua DH-IPC-HFW2531SP-S-S2 — another Chinese manufacturer that produces some of the best intelligent security solutions.

We believe that this "battle" on equal terms. Somewhere, the characteristics are different, but if the devices are leveled in all respects, then the cameras have equal opportunities.

Content:

  1. What is more important in an IP camera? Misconception and facts.
  2. The lens decides.
  3. Technical characteristics of the tested cameras.
  4. Tests.
  5. The results.
  6. Full video test.
  7. What to buy?

Introductory. Do not be fools!

Each new model of the camcorder acquires an increasing number of megapixels, or the resolution of the sensor. It is important to understand that this parameter is more important for mobile devices and similar gadgets than for security surveillance systems, since for the latter the main criterion is image detail. If we take the real facts, then the quality of shooting in video surveillance systems is affected by:

  • sensor resolution;
  • type of optics;
  • computing power;
  • lighting as an external factor.

Today, manufacturers produce cameras with a high resolution sensor, but partially use the old components for optical and computing elements, because production technologies are not yet ideal. Thus, the consumer buys a camera with 5 megapixels, which exceeds the resolution of FullHD, but in reality receives 2-4 megapixels. You also need to understand that to process a high-resolution video signal, powerful processors are needed, and this affects the final cost of the device.

Lens around the head

And now to the truthful facts. You can find dozens of tests on the net when a camera with 2 megapixels outperforms a 5 megapixel model in picture quality, and here's why. The camcorder may have a high resolution sensor, which is the center of conviction for dishonest traders, but the built-in lens is designed for only 1 megapixel. As a result, the captured video materials will not exceed the resolution of the 1st megapixel. Funny, right?

This does not mean that there are no cameras with 5 megapixels that shoot video with the appropriate resolution, but lenses for such shooting modes are set only in expensive branded models, but not in any budget Chinese devices.

In some situations, a 4-megapixel camera shoots with a better real resolution than a model with a nominally larger sensor parameter. This is due to the fact that the technology for the production of old modifications has a more developed and high-quality component part, including optics and computer processors. If you analyze this moment at a fundamental level, then everything looks even more convincing.

The image is fixed in front of the lens due to the photosensitive elements of the video sensor, which in essence are pixels. The number of these pixels per fixed area determines the resolution of the matrix. If we take two cameras with high and low resolution, but with other parameters being equal, the first one will have lower photosensitivity, since the effective photosensitive area decreases with increasing pixels (the area of “dead zones” increases).

You need to remember about such an important parameter as lighting. Under normal lighting conditions, cameras will show a resolution close to the maximum value, but if you test at dusk, then a model with fewer pixels will capture a picture with more detail, especially if the first and second options have the same size of the video sensor.

Not everything is so bad with high resolution cameras. They will be better at shooting dynamic scenes, since in 5 Mpx models the bitrate will be higher than in 4 Mpc cameras, but here too the resolution does not give significant advantages, since CCTV systems shoot mostly static scenes, where the difference is between 4 and 5 megapixels almost invisible.

Summarizing this section, we note that megapixels are not the main criterion for assessing the quality of the resulting image. It is necessary to fully evaluate the device, including paying attention to the type of optics and the power of computing elements.

Test participants: interVision & Hikvision & Dahua

Declared manufacturer specifications:

  • interVision MPX-AI53PRO (3.6 mm). The camcorder with the highest light sensitivity of 0.0005 lux, which already gives small advantages over other models. Resolution 5 megapixels with a refresh rate of 15 fps and a focal power of the lens F: 1.4. The manufacturer stated that this model uses one of the best modern high-sensitivity sensors from Sony Starvis, which can seriously affect the test results relative to other applicants.

The viewing angle of the MPX-AI53PRO is 88°. This IP camera has five functions of intelligent video analysis and is manufactured according to the IP66 standard, which allows it to operate in temperature conditions from -40 to +60 ° C. The device is protected from moisture and dust, and is also equipped with protection against thunderstorms and power surges.

The interVision MPX-AI53PRO camera is powered by a 12 V network, as well as through a PoE channel. The model supports ONVIF protocol, including support for double WDR up to 120 dB and digital image stabilization. As for infrared illumination, its range is 30 meters, which is quite enough for an effective view of the perimeter at night.

  • Hikvision DS-2CD2055FWD-I (2.8 mm). Camera with a resolution of 5 megapixels and a frame rate of 20 fps. The Chinese model has the lowest light sensitivity of 0.01 lux is equipped with a lens with a focal power of F: 2.0 and a viewing angle of 97 °. Of the notable features in this IP camera, there is support for the H.265 + codec, a housing with a protection class according to the IP67 standard (the camera can be operated at temperatures from -40 to +60 ° C), as well as 4 functions of intelligent video analysis.

Like the previous model, the Hikvision DS-2CD2055FWD-I has infrared illumination with a range of up to 30 meters and supports the ONVIF protocol. The built-in PoE adapter is used as power for connecting the cable via Ethernet. The manufacturer claims that the camera is equipped with an extended dynamic range of 120 dB, which allows you to simultaneously display bright and dark areas on a single frame.

  • Dahua DH-IPC-HFW2531SP-S-S2 (2.8mm). The camera has a photosensitivity of 0.008 lux and a resolution of 5 megapixels at a frame rate of 20 fps. This model is equipped with a high-quality lens with focal power F: 1.6 and supports three functions of intelligent video analysis.

The DH-IPC-HFW2531SP-S-S2 IP camera with a viewing angle of 103 ° is manufactured according to the IP67 standard, therefore it is well protected from dirt, dust and can operate in temperature ranges from -40 to +60 ° С. For power and data transmission, PoE technology is used (one cable for all tasks). The device also has a wide dynamic range of WDR of 120 dB with support for the ONVIF standard. Like other models, the range of infrared illumination is up to 30 meters, which puts all three cameras in the same conditions when shooting at night.

video monitoring

Real-time ip camera test

For tests it is extremely difficult to select identical models from different manufacturers in order to get unbiased results, so we took samples with maximum resolution and a fixed lens, and then placed them in outdoor conditions at the same viewing point. So the viewer will be able to visually evaluate what is happening and draw objective conclusions.

So ... We conducted 5 tests in which, as it turned out, each model had distinctive indicators. Somewhere, the difference was not very noticeable, and some tests became an overthrow for individual samples. That's what we got.

1. Daytime picture quality

The first test was conducted in the daytime and, it would seem, all video cameras should have shown the same result, but if you look closely at the picture quality and color reproduction, there are differences, albeit insignificant. This is clearly visible in a large area of the same color, for example, grass, road surface, wall of the building. The interVision MPX-AI53PRO camera showed bright and saturated colors of the grass (they are a bit unnatural), which is associated with the high photosensitivity of the video sensor. It also affected other objects: wall decoration, colored gates, etc.

comparison ip cameras

Not a critical and subjective indicator, but our task was to determine all the differences between the three samples.

2. Capture and detail small objects

One of the important parameters of CCTV security systems is the detailing of small objects. For this test, we started the car and evaluated the license plate grip. Measurement was carried out at short and medium distances. In the first case, the InterVision IP camera became the clear leader, which recorded a license plate with legibility of 95% (only small signs are not visible, the number can be recognized 100%).

At an average distance, all cameras failed because it is extremely difficult to recognize the alphanumeric values of a car’s license plate. Estimating objectively the second measurement, interVision MPX-AI53PRO is also a leader here, since in comparison with other samples it showed a more or less legible picture, when the rest showed just a blurry picture without any recognition marks.

comparison ip cameras hikvision, dahua, intervision

3. The movement of objects in the frame (day)

The dynamic scene on all three cameras is almost identical. Due to the different focal strength of the cameras, there are slight differences in the geometry of the moving object, but this does not affect the perception of the video. As in the first test, there is a difference in color rendering, but the movement process itself is fixed smoothly, without jerking and glitches.

testing ip camera

4. Shooting a video in the dark

And here it is, the most interesting and visual test. From the first shots, the interVision MPX-AI53PRO video camera became the undisputed leader, which showed a clear, legible and, what seems surprising to many, a color picture. The fact is that the infrared illumination in the model from interVision did not even turn on, since the high light sensitivity of the sensor from Sony uses even the slightest glimpses of light from lamps, reflecting surfaces and celestial bodies. It is hard to believe that these measurements were taken at night.

As for the Hikvision and Dahua cameras, both samples used infrared illumination and showed a black and white picture. We give the second place to the Dahua DH-IPC-HFW2531SP-S-S2, since this model produced a picture with a large visible distance, which was clearly influenced by the best light sensitivity, which is not much, but still higher than that of Hikvision.

test ip cameras hikvision, dahua, intervision

Everything that can be seen on the Hikvision camera is within 10-15 meters, and even not at the entire viewing angle, which is actually inefficient, even for simple home surveillance systems.

5. Moving object at night

The last test with a moving object in the dark was formal, as previous measurements clearly showed what each of the three tested cameras was capable of. interVision MPX-AI53PRO again left its competitors behind, showing a clear color picture around the perimeter.

ip camera hikvision, dahua, intervision

Summary

  • Details. In tests for capturing small objects (car license plate), the camera from interVision became the leader, we gave the second place to Hikvision, but the sample from Dahua sadly disappointed even at close range.
  • Color rendering. In this indicator, we put all three cameras at the same level, since we did not notice any significant differences that affect the quality of perception of the video material.
  • Sensitivity. Video camera from interVision with indices of 0.0005 lux gets the leadership in photosensitivity. Here, the video sensor from Sony decided everything..
  • IR Range. Since the infrared illumination in interVision did not even turn on (it had enough light from the lanterns for a high-quality color picture), the winner was Dahua DH-IPC-HFW2531SP-S-S2, but this is only a formal leader after interVision.
  • Price. The cost of IP cameras from Dahua and Hikvision is almost the same (the difference in favor of the first is $ 20-25), but interVision is 50% cheaper.

Full video test

What to buy?

On the part of the adherents of the Dahua and Hikvision brands, there will definitely be indignation that the cameras were in different conditions and the main parameters were very different, but this is only immature thinking. Considering the price difference of almost 50% and the fact that the interVision MPX-AI53PRO camera confidently left behind competitors in the tests, we recommend buying it.

The Ukrainian manufacturer offers a reasonable price and, as tests have clearly confirmed, the camera is equipped with high-quality components that show excellent results in different conditions.