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Good picture for the money, works with BlueIris but DOES NOT work with Q-See 816
on November 28, 2013
Good picture for the money, works with Foscam BlueIris software but DOES NOT work with Q-See 816 NVR.
PROs: It's not humongus / bulky like my 3MP Dahua outdoor IR camera - which admittedly is a battleship of a camera (more features) and cost 2X as much as this. This Hikvision is noticeable yet discreet at the same time. IE it's not this giant security wart lump on your house. You'll see a red LED if you are looking closely in the daytime.
* NICE, Fairly wideangle picture. (2.8 mm lens)
* It's 3MP for $199.00
* I didn't have to do any focusing. I just had to adjust the tilt on the camera, that's it.
* Performs reasonably well in low light and gives a basic black and white picture with the IR in NO light.
* You can run it one notch down (1080p) at 30 frames per second. (At it's top resolution it runs at 15 fps.)
* Overall build quality seems pretty good.
CONS: Q-SEE OWNERS BEWARE: This camera will * NOT * work with my recent build (Sept 30th, 2013) Q-SEE 816 8 channel security NVR (Network Video Recorder). Specifically, you can do all kinds of things to spoon feed the Q-SEE the network info (DHCP, no-DHCP but setting the exact subnet and port for the Q-SEE, etc. -- NO GO). Q-SEE customer support has confirmed this. Hikvision is not specifed on their approved / supported manufactures list and will not work "generically" using the Q-SEE's "ONVIF" , "general" or "Private" setting.
* Setup can be a bit involved. The manual could be a lot better. Sometimes I couldn't tell if they were talking anecdotally / by example or literally (i.e. DO THIS) . It's shipped with a static IP. Out of the box, it does not default to DHCP network IP address leasing awareness as enabled. You have to turn that on. You have to use a utility (provided on Disk by Hikvision) to discover the camera on your network and then login as admin to program it so it can be found on your own subnet.
* The screws for the housing are easy to lose and have some kind of 6 point star pattern (torx?) that is not something you can commonly find. Don't lose them - it's easy to do.
* I found that when using Internet Explorer version 11 (on Windows 7 Professional), that I had to set it to "Compatibility Mode" to get the Hikvision admin software to work correctly. I found that if I didn't do that, the active-x control that loads the video in IE would not load properly and also my range of settings was decreased or flat out not listed /missing.
Some perspective on my usage scenario: I have a pair of LED Porch lights (one on either side of my house's side door). These are augmented by (much higher up on house) a pair of LED PAR38 90Watt equivalent output lights. All of those lights have motion triggers.
After dark, when either of those light banks go on - I get good color, exposure, detail. If there's no cars or human activity triggering the light after 10 minutes and the camera drops down to it's native IR LED illumination, it's a minimal black and white picture but yet you can make out details and shapes. Enough that it would be evidence for the police. With my setup, a criminal would have to be Houdini to not trigger one of the other of my side lights.
My installation? I took a 1 X 8 piece of solid fir wood and made a "tombstone" shaped piece of wood (rounded corners on one end), sanded it and painted it to match the color of the house. I then attached the camera at the end of the wood piece that had rounded corners. I then attached the whole thing - camera and brackets 11.5 feet above ground up on the side of my house - just under the rafter. This works pretty good as the 1ft of "stick out" length puts it right above our side door way. I can see the front edge of the top step out into the middle of the street we are on.
I did my own Ethernet cable pull (in the attic) and yes drilled the hole in the side of my house. If you have never done this kind of thing or want a more professional looking install, you'll probably want to hire an electrician.
NOTE: If your switch or recorder does not support delivering "POE" (Power Over Ethernet) then you * could * use an old-skool DC power adapter (NOT included) to power this dome via another connector Hikvision provides that "Y"s off the main Ethernet connector cable. That's a lot of extra hassle in my book - would involve providing a power outlet near your camera but the option is there for you. You can buy a good POE "Injector" for $28.00 or a marginal/basic 4 Ports of POE starting at $59.00 on Amazon.
UPDATE: Jan 1st, 2014 I have decided to lower resolution to 1900 X 1080 (down from 2048 X 1536) in order to gain a full 30 frames per second framerate (instead of the previous limit of 15fps). For people walking 15fps might be OK but for cars zooming by or people running, I think 30 fps is better.