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2 megapixel IP cameras Hikvision, Uniview, Intervision, Tiandy: real texts and naked result

Before making a purchase, we go through 3 stages:

  1. We are looking for solutions to the problem (sorting through the market of offers).
  2. We study the product that will serve as a solution to the task.
  3. We compare by choosing a specific model or brand.

Every second consumer makes mistakes at the last stage, not paying due attention to the study of small details and visual results. This article and video was created for those who went through all three stages before choosing, but did not decide which one to buy. IP-camera for outdoor video surveillance.

We decided to conduct an independent and fair «test drive» four models of street-type IP video cameras from different manufacturers with different price tags, but at the same time, all devices solve the same problem — outdoor video surveillance at the site during the day, at night and recorded. For the test we took:

  • INTERVISION MPX-AI25PRO;
  • TIANDY TC-C32GN;
  • HIKVISION DS-2CD1021-i;
  • UNIVIEW IPC2122LR3-PF40-A.

There are no hidden or customized advertising in our materials. We will just show the bare facts and demonstrate the capabilities of these IP cameras in real life. We promise that the test results will surprise you, and the point of view on the old details will change a lot. Let's go…

Content:

  • Introductory: what are IP video cameras?
  • Technical characteristics of cameras.
  • Preparation for testing.
  • Stage 1. Calibration of settings (color, contrast).
  • Stage 2. Video surveillance recording (moving object, auto).
  • Stage 3. Reading — playback mode.
  • Stage 4. Video filming in the evening (twilight).
  • Stage 5. Night shooting.
  • Summing up.
  • Which IP video camera to buy in 2020?

IP-cam for «dummies»

IP video cameras do not differ from analog models in appearance. This is all the same device that is used for filming and transferring the received data to a PC or other server, but their peculiarity is in digital technologies. IP video cameras broadcast a video stream in digital format using network protocols under a unique ip-address. This makes it possible to use a wireless communication channel to connect, as well as to synchronize multiple devices via the Internet.

The principle of operation is no different from other video cameras: the lens (optics) focuses the image on a matrix that converts the color into an electrical signal; then the processor processes the data and, after compression, everything recorded is transmitted over the network to the control unit or other interfaces.

In order not to overload yourself with unnecessary information, remember the 3 main selection criteria for outdoor IP video cameras:

  • Lens. Coverage, angle of view and focal length — all of these are the main indicators that determine whether your video surveillance system detects an intruder. The longer the focal length, the greater the distance from the camera to the subject.
  • Matrix. How well the color captured by the lens will be processed depends on the matrix, or rather on its sensitivity (measured lux per m2 — luminous flux meter). For example, 0.1 ~ 0.9 lx. shows the minimum amount of light required to form an image.

In simple words, if the sensor has a low sensitivity, then it is likely that at twilight you will not see anything on the shooting.

  • Protection class. Outdoor cameras have a higher protection class (IP54 and higher), but it is also important to take into account the specific operating conditions. Sometimes dust and moisture protection is not enough to protect the device from corrosion or high dynamic loads (wind gusts, vandalism).

If the camera is easily disabled, then its presence does not guarantee that the security function will be performed 100%. We do not claim that the internal processor, network channels and other interfaces are less important, but the lens, sensor and protection class are 90% determining the end result of any video surveillance system.

Our competitors: specifications

INTERVISION MPX-AI25PRO

2-megapixel outdoor IP-video camera from the Ukrainian brand Intervision with Full HD resolution and a sensor from SONY. Focal length optics 3.8 mm with a viewing angle of 88о. This model has a good IR illumination that works at a distance of up to 30 meters, a high data transfer rate of up to 25 fps and a reliably protected case.

It is worth noting the rich functionality of this video camera: an optional microphone with noise suppression, motion detection, face recognition, movement fixation and people counting, perimeter control, and other intellectual capabilities. All this is under the control of the Clarkdale i30AI processor.

Features

  • Available in different body colors.
  • There is an improved anti-vandal case.
  • PoE connectivity.
  • High light sensitivity (0.001 lux) with f/1.4 aperture.

TIANDY TC-C32GN

Chinese cylindrical video camera with a resolution of 1920X1080 and a focal length of 4 mm. This is the largest indicator of the focus area among all the participants in the test, despite the fact that the infrared illumination works within 50 m, and this is already a serious advantage when shooting at dusk and at night. This model supports PoE connection through which you can connect power and synchronize.

TIANDY TC-C32GN is equipped with intelligent recognition and fixing functions, can quickly transfer recorded data (30 frames per second), and a high-quality sensor with f / 2.0 photo force and 0.02 lux sensitivity easily captures all colors and small objects. This is what the manufacturer claims.

Features

  • Long range IR illumination.
  • Compact housing with IP67 protection.
  • Adjustable viewing angle.
  • Optional microphone + digital noise reduction.

Hikvision DS-2CD1021-I (2.8 mm)

Bullet camera for outdoor surveillance with a focal length of 3.6 mm. Hikvision is considered the leader in the production of security systems and this model has the best technologies within a budget of up to 100 cu: Progressive Scan CMOS matrix with a photosensitivity of 0.01 lux, high-quality optics with an F / 2.0 lens and a viewing angle of 90.8о, as well as IR illumination for night shooting within 30 m.

Shooting is carried out with a resolution of 1920x1080 at a maximum data rate of 25 frames per second. It also has one of the best processors (Hik-Connect or iVMS-4500), an active digital noise cancellation system and many pleasant intelligent «buns» (motion detectors, anti-flicker, automatic parameter calibration).

Features

  • Network interfaces 1-RJ45 10M/100M.
  • Dynamic range DWDR.
  • Viewing angle greater than 90о.
  • Enclosure protection level according to IP67 standard.

UNIVIEW IPC2122LR3-PF40-A

IP video camera with a matrix resolution of 2 Mp and a fixed focal length of 4 mm. UNIVIEW creates devices for professional solutions, therefore, advanced digital technologies are used in production. Here you will find convenient manual management, backed up by a wide range of options for installing additional software, web interfaces with various utilities, and a nimble processor with a photosensitive matrix, as well as a universal set of interfaces for connections and synchronization.

With no frills, there is everything you need for an outdoor camera: Full HD, IR illumination, fast image compression with balancing of data transfer, a rugged case with a reliable hinge according to the IP67 standard.

Features

  • Intelligent video processing algorithms.
  • Working temperatures from -30 to + 60 оС.
  • Flexible integration and synchronization with other systems.
  • High level of data security and fault tolerance.

Stage 1. Camera settings before testing

Before starting filming, we made basic settings for IP cameras by connecting them via the same type of communication channel (PoE interface).

Interesting. In the three cameras, the basic color settings (sharpness, brightness, contrast, saturation) were in the 50% range, but the TIANDY camera had default brightness at 90-95%. Having tried to reduce the brightness value by half, we got an almost dark box, so we had to leave it as it is.

Considering these circumstances, the TIANDY TC-C32GN IP-video camera already at the stage of settings loses its positions in brightness, because there is no possibility to increase this parameter in the future.

Stage 2. First impression

We decided to place the cameras in such conditions so that we could compare the video recording by various parameters, for example, contrast and clarity of small objects, shadows, perimeter sweep, as you can see distant scenes, and the like.

  • The first part of the video is static. It is difficult to notice any significant differences, although Hikvision and INTERVISION cameras show a richer and more pleasant picture. We can see that elements such as grass, shadows from tall objects and small details of buildings are better detailed and look more natural.
  • The second part with the car. Now we launch a moving object in the field of view of the lenses. In our case, this is a car that moves at an average speed in two different directions.

Important! If the video camera is installed in a garage cooperative, then it should recognize license plates well (for data monitoring).

We will evaluate these possibilities while viewing the recording.

Stage 3. Studying the recording from video cameras

At this stage, our task was to check the correctness of the display of all elements and the quality of IP video cameras. With regards to focusing on small objects (license plate detail), almost all cameras coped with their task 100%. With a detailed study of the record, you will be able to see the license plates of a passing car, but this is only in daylight.

If we rank the record, then Hikvision and INTERVISION are again the leaders. This is clearly seen in the way the cameras captured the license plate numbers and displayed them with high definition at medium and short distances. At a great distance (more than 10-15 meters), none of the cameras showed a clear picture of the license plate and the data cannot be recognized without decryption.

Stage 4. Low Light Testing

Summer time 10 pm. There is practically no natural light, but camcorders are enough to collect a clear and detailed picture around the entire perimeter. The TIANDY model immediately turned on in black and white mode, since the illumination for its matrix is not enough for color photography. After a couple of minutes, the UNIVIEW camera changed its color mode to black and white.

For INTERVISION and Hikvision cameras, the evening time was not a test and both models showed good results, albeit with a clear advantage of Intervision MPX-AI25PRO. The fact is that Ukrainian video cameras use a matrix from SONY with high light sensitivity, and this, as it turns out, gives its results..

Interesting. IP-cam Intervision MPX-AI25PRO in the conditions of evening shooting did not even switch to black and white mode. After sunset, the device continued to shoot as usual, demonstrating high definition and detail of all objects in the frame.

Stage 5. Night shooting

Time to midnight. Night shooting has dotted all the unfinished sentences. It is important to understand that the quality of video surveillance at night plays an important role, since it is at this time that intruders and pests carry out their actions. Almost all street-type video cameras can use the light of objects in the frame as additional lighting (lantern lamp, moon, headlights, etc.), but even this is sometimes not enough to collect a more or less clear picture.

  • INTERVISION MPX-AI25PRO — no doubt the winner of night photography. The camera displayed all the details around the perimeter, even in the complete absence of light sources.
  • UNIVIEW IPC2122LR3-PF40-A — we gave this model the second place, since with the naked eye on the video it is noticeable how the camera has collected all objects (near and far distances), especially within the range of the IR illumination.
  • TIANDY TC-C32GN and HIKVISION DS-2CD1021-i — we were disappointed with these cameras, although HIKVISION showed good expectations for high results. Visibility on these cameras during night shooting is only at a distance of IR illumination, and everything that is further — intuition and deduction.

Full video test

Naked facts: summarizing the results

  • Complete failure. TIANDY TC-C32GN has no decent performance for a device in this price segment in any test. Already at the calibration stage, the camera, having received bonuses in the form of higher brightness in the settings, showed mediocre results, and when it came to night modes, it completely disappointed with the lack of visibility, although the IR illumination range and focal length are the largest of all contenders.
  • Can be recommended. The UNIVIEW IPC2122LR3-PF40-A and HIKVISION DS-2CD1021-i cameras performed well throughout the testing and demonstrated good results. Virtually the same characteristics and only a small difference in price (10-15 USD) in favor of UNIVIEW.
  • Unexpectedly the best. The INTERVISION MPX-AI25PRO camera is 30% cheaper than all other models, but at every stage it is the best model in all respects. Of course, this can be justified by the supersensitive matrix, but even under such circumstances, the difference in the final result is very large.

Which IP video camera to buy in 2020?

You can see for yourself that even well-known brands do not always justify their status, and advanced digital technologies and intelligent algorithms (Chinese camera TIANDY) do not solve in complete darkness. If you need an inexpensive ($ 40-50), but at the same time, an advanced IP-video camera with the possibility of expanding functionality (optics, sound, interfaces and housing), then buy INTERVISION MPX-AI25PRO and you will be happy.

In fact, the Ukrainian manufacturer has proven that if you take a high-quality matrix as a basis, supplement it with good optics, you can create a decent device for video surveillance security systems at a reasonable price. In the INTERVISION MPX-AI25PRO camera you will find everything you need and even more than you may need in your summer cottage or in the garage.