Home Technology CCTV Test: 4K UHD Cameras

CCTV Test: 4K UHD Cameras

by Benchmark

While HDTV-compliant video has long been the de facto standard for advanced video surveillance systems, the growth of 4K UHD technology looks certain to change user expectations. 4K UHD is based upon standards, and as such security devices claiming compliance must meet strict criteria. Benchmark put some of the leading options through their paces.

The new wave of 4K UHD video products follow in the footsteps of HDTV, in that the specifications for complaint video are based upon ratified and published standards from outside of the security industry. Just as security equipment manufacturers could not ‘interpret’ HDTV or choose which parts of the specification to implement, the same is true of 4K UHD video. If every part of the specification is not met, then the devices cannot be sold as 4K UHD.

It is important to understand that outside of the security sector and the consumer market, 4K exists in a different form as a DCI standard for projection in the cinematic world. As a result, the consumer television standard is UHD-1 (ultra high definition).

However, for obvious marketing reasons, most manufacturers added the 4K designation as well, with the result that the term ‘4K UHD’ became widely used. In terms of video surveillance devices, it’s safe to assume that 4K refers to UHD-1.

4K UHD video has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is the equivalent of four times HD1080 resolution. Streams must be delivered in real-time, although most UHD sources are expected to offer increased frame rates: whilst the increase won’t be part of the standard, it will raise user expectations. The base frame rate must be achieved as a minimum by 4K UHD cameras, and the standard only allows for progressive scan.

One benefit of 4K UHD as an upgrade from HD is that images retain the 16:9 aspect ratio. In many systems 4K UHD devices can be added to an HD set-up, with additional resolution permitting digital zoom, ePTZ and regions of interest to be streamed at a higher quality.

4K UHD compliant devices have other stipulations concerning bit-depth, luminance, colour and dynamic range. In short, standards-compliant 4K UHD devices deliver more than higher resolution; image quality is enhanced in many ways.

The video surveillance market still sees products claiming to be ‘HD’ which don’t deliver HDTV standards-compliant video. There is concern that some installers, system integrators, specifiers, consultants and end users may be confused by marketing claims as 4K devices become more prevalent. They could mistakenly believe that equipment described as ‘ultra high definition’ is SMPTE compliant. Statements such as ‘4K quality’, ‘ultra high definition resolution’ or ‘4K output’ might imply a 4K UHD device, but resolution is only one single part of a larger standard.

Installers and integrators should ensure that where a customer is sold a 4K UHD device or system that the full performance can be achieved.

Bosch: Dinion IP ultra 8000 MP

The Dinion IP ultra 8000 MP is a box-type 4K UHD camera from Bosch. The camera delivers 4K compliant streams at up to 25fps. It is also capable of streaming HDTV compliant streams as well as 12 megapixel (4000 x 3000 pixels) video at fps. The camera utilises a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor and features H.264 or M-JPEG compression.

The camera can be supplied with a permanently fixed lens or as a standard box camera requiring additional optics; our test unit was the latter. Sensitivity is quoted as 0.11 lux (30 IRE).
Multiple streams are supported, as are regions of interest. The camera’s functionality includes adjustable day/night switching, AES, intelligent auto exposure, intelligent DNR, defogging, privacy masking, two-way audio, alarm I/Os (2 in, 1 out), video motion detection and IVA.

IVA functionality is fully enabled and does not require a licence. Rules include line-crossing, object within detection field, loitering, condition change, person following route, camera tampering, object left, object removed, entering a defined area, exiting a defined area, crowd detection and people counting. It also includes standard VMD and metadata generation.

As an aside, in recent tests by Benchmark of video analytics options, the Bosch IVA package has consistently scored highly for an on-camera option.

The Dinion IP ultra 8000 MP supports edge recording via a microSD (HC and XC) slot. Power is PoE or 12V DC.

Our test camera was provided with a lens adaptor and a connector block, and that was it. Typically a quick installation guide is also included. Bosch no longer includes a CD with utilities or full manuals. If you require any utilities or full documentation you will need to download these yourself.

With regard to utilities, there is an IP Helper which finds the camera and allows quick configuration of the network settings. This is straightforward and works well. While downloading it you will also need to obtain the Active X element to allow initial set-up via a browser. Most devices allow this to downloaded from the camera, but Bosch has also done away with this and a Zip file containing the viewer needs to be downloaded.

On initial log-in you do not need any authentication credentials. You will see a warning that passwords are not set: you can cancel this but it will appear every time you log in. If you add the camera to a VMS without setting the password there isn’t a warning, so make sure it’s set up in advance!

The browser-based menus are straightforward, clean and simple to navigate. There are a number of predefined encoder profiles and scene modes, allowing a base setting to be quickly established before any further tweaking is carried out.

In external use with decent ambient light levels, using the UHD image optimised profile (target bit-rate is 28Mbps and maximum is 32Mbps), detail is very high, motion is smooth and colour balance is neutral with no noticeable bias towards either warm or cool tones. Indeed, there isn’t much that you can fault the camera on in terms of performance.

Dropping to the ‘balanced’ profile with a target bit-rate of 12Mbps and a maximum bit rate of 24Mbps doesn’t really impact on overall quality, and unless the scene is very busy you won’t spot the difference.

The UHD bit-rate optimised profile drops the target figure to 6Mbps and the maximum to 12Mbps. In predominantly static scenes image quality is still good, but if there is a lot of motion you will see the initial signs of compression.

The camera does support regions of interest in Stream 2, but these are only available as an option if Stream 1 is set to be 3584 x 2016 or HD1080p. When Stream 1 is 4K UHD, the second stream can only be configured as a copy of Stream 1.

While the Dinion IP ultra 8000 MP has a quoted sensitivity of 0.36 lux (30 IRE), it really is a case of whether you want image quality to be retained, and having invested in a 4K UHD device we believe that quality will be an important consideration!

The image maintains high quality and is clean and noise-free down to around 7 lux. Whilst still usable, if you look closely it is obvious that the noise reduction is working. Dropping a few more lux will show slight signs of motion blur. This can be tweaked out but the simplest solution is to switch to night mode.

The image does remain usable down to 1.2 lux, albeit with a continual degree of degradation. Switching can be configured with the earliest point being at around 10 lux, so there’s plenty of choice for most applications.

FLIR: CF-6308

The CF-6308 from FLIR is a box-type 4K UHD camera that utilises a 1/2.5 inch CMOS sensor to deliver UHD streams at up to 25fps. It is worth noting that this is only possible if a single stream is transmitted. If additional streams are used the frame rate falls to 15fps. Obviously, this means that the camera would fall short of the standard, so does limit it to a single stream if compliant video is required.

It is also capable of streaming other resolutions (HD1080p at up to 50fps, HD720p at up to 50fps and 720 x 480, again at up to 50fps).

Image compression is H.265, H.264 or M-JPEG. The latter can only be used for Stream 2 (maximum resolutions is HD1080p) and Stream 3 (maximum resolution is HD720p). Sensitivity is quoted as 0.07 lux.

Image based functionality includes adjustable day/night switching, shutter and exposure control, DNR, WDR, BLC, privacy masking and video motion detection. Two-way audio is also supported, as is tamper detection. Edge recording can be achieved via a microSDXC card. Power supply is PoE, 12V DC or 24V AC.

The camera is supplied with a paper quick-start guide and a miniature CD which includes installation utilities and full documentation.

The FLIR discovery utility, DNA, is simple to use and quickly finds attached devices. It does require WinPCap to be installed; if it isn’t present the utility will automatically add it. The utility works well, and with the configurations set the camera connection can be made.

On initial log-in, you’re not prompted to change the default log-in authentication, and if you choose to do so there is no password security policy: anything goes!

When configuring via a browser, you will need to add the ArielPlayer plug-in. This requires Microsoft Visual C++ to be installed. When installed, the ArielPlayer loaded and promptly crashed the viewing window in the browser. After a few reinstalls without great success we switched to using IE10. The plug-in worked with this but not IE11.

The menu structure is very clean and intuitive. There are three main tabs: System, Streaming and Camera. Sub-tabs of System are Lens Control, Basic Configuration, User Accounts, Network, Events Source and Events Handler. Streaming has sub-tabs for Video Settings, Privacy Zone and ROI. Finally, Camera has sub-tabs for Exposure, Picture Adjustment and White Balance.

There is nothing that will faze a competent installer or integrator. Configurations are grouped logically and most settings are configured using either drop-down menus or sliders. This simplifies the process and means that you can’t enter incorrect settings.

The approach makes configuring regions of interest and privacy zones very simple, and setting up motion detection is also straightforward.

Image quality is generally very good. Detail is sharp and colour accuracy shows high fidelity with no bias to either warmer or cooler tones. When the stream is 4K UHD compliant, motion is smooth and even fast moving objects retain sharp edges.

Bit-rate is adjustable up to 20Mbps, and using the full capacity does allow the image to shine. It must be accepted that in many applications maximum bit-rate will not be supported, and bringing this down to a more reasonable 8Mbps doesn’t have much of an impact unless the viewed scene is very busy.

The WDR functionality is digital, but works well in most conditions. Backlight compensation is also good, and does allow the camera to be deployed in a wide range of applications.

Whilst image quality is very good with decent ambient light levels, as illumination decreases the video remains clean and relatively noise-free. This is the case down to around 1 lux. The only signs that the video processing is working overtime are the presence of motion blur and an increase in latency.

Our feeling was that the ideal switching point for camera is around 3 lux in order to minimise blur. Whilst the sensitivity of the day/night function is adjustable (both for day to night and night to day), even on the highest setting the earliest the camera would switch was around 2 lux. Whilst the low light performance is not a deal breaker, it would be nice if there was more flexibility when setting the switching level.

Hanwha Techwin: PNV-9080RP

The PNV-9080RP is a static dome-type 4K UHD camera. It has a maximum resolution of 12 megapixels (4000 x× 3000 pixels). It can operate in both 8 megapixel and 12 megapixel modes; the maximum frame rate for the former is 30fps and 20fps for the latter. The eight megapixel mode will deliver 4K UHD compliant streams. Multiple streaming is supported, with a maximum of three streams.

The camera includes integral infrared illumination, and has a quote sensitivity of 0.3 lux (F1 .6). The camera makes use of a 1/1.7 inch CMOS sensor. Video compression is H.265, H.264 or MJPEG. The camera is fitted with a 4.5–10 mm motorised varifocal lens which supports P Iris functionality.

Other features include video analytics, motion detection, privacy masking, WDR, defogging, edge storage (SDXC) and WiseStream dynamic encoding.

With regard to video analytics, supported rules include virtual line crossing, enter/exit, object appear/disappear, scene change and defocus detection. The camera also supports audio detection.

Power is PoE; 12V DC and 24V AC supplies are also supported.
The camera is supplied with a quick-start guide and a mini CD which includes the full manual and the installation software utilities.

Once the unit is powered up and connected to the network, then the supplied IP Installer utility can be used. This automatically discovered the device on the network, and allowed configurations to be set. The utility does not need to be installed and can be run from the CD itself.

Once discovered, there are options to manually or automatically change the network configurations. Changing the IP settings is a straightforward task. The actual change happens almost instantaneously, and allows swapping between sub-nets if required.

With the network configurations finalised, initial login to the camera can be carried out. The web viewer used for camera setup is not compatible with versions of Internet Explorer prior to IE 11.
On initial login you are presented with a screen to change the default administrator password.

Hanwha Techwin has a secure password policy, and the permissible combinations of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters is dependent upon the length of the password. The secure password policy also prohibits repeated and consecutive characters or numbers.

The menu structure is clean and intuitive, and everything is where you’d expect it to be. There have been a few tweaks from previous WiseNet GUIs which deliver a flowing layout. Most engineers will have little trouble in optimising the camera for varied conditions.

If you wish to view the video in H.265 format, an additional plug-in needs to be installed.
With a few basic tweaks to optimise the video profile and a bit-rate of 20Mbps using H.265, the image is clean with sharp detail, smooth motion and high colour fidelity with no bias towards warmer or cooler tones.

Fast motion in the scene is free of blur or smearing. Dropping the maximum bit rate to 1oMbps with dynamic encoding activated doesn’t introduce any degradation in image quality, although you will see some slight artefacting in tonally bland areas of the image. Given how WiseStream works, this is to be expected and does not impact on operational efficiency.

WiseStream dynamic encoding has previously been assessed by Benchmark and we saw reductions of up to 65 per cent without any noticeable degradation in the image stream.

Day/night switching can be automatic, scheduled or triggered by the I/O. It is also possible to only allow external switching during scheduled periods. The camera does include integral infrared illuminators with range quoted as 40 metres.

The camera delivers good quality colour images, which are free of noise, down to light levels of around 2 lux. We suspect that the majority of installers and integrators will opt for external triggering to ensure day/night operation is optimised for each site’s individual requirements.

Hikvision: DS-2CD2385FWD-I

The DS-2CD2385FWD-I is a turret-type camera, which to all intents and purposes is very much like a static dome unit, which delivers eight megapixel resolution (3840 × 2160 pixels). At this high resolution, the frame rate is limited to 20fps. The UHD-1 standard uses the frame rates from HD standards, and also adds a higher figure of 100/120fps. As such, installers and integrators must be aware that the camera will not deliver 4K UHD compliant streams.

Other resolutions include 2560 x 1920, 2560 x 1440, HD 1080p and HD 720p at 25fps.
The camera makes use of a 1/2.5 inch CMOS sensor, and can be fitted with a 2.8, 4, 6, 8 and 12 mm fixed lens. Our test unit was fitted with a 4mm lens. Video formats include H.265+, H.265, H.264+, H.264 and M-JPEG. It is worth noting that H.265+ and H.264+ are Hikvision proprietary formats and include dynamic encoding to help manage bandwidth. Bit-rate can be adjusted up to 16Mbps.

Triple streaming is supported. Stream 2 is limited to a maximum of VGA resolution, and Stream 3 has a maximum resolution of HD 720p. Sensitivity is quoted as 0.01 lux; the camera also includes integral infrared illuminators with a quoted range of 30 metres.

The camera supports day/night functionality, WDR, 3D digital noise reduction, regions of interest and facial tracking. It also includes intelligent video analytics including line crossing, intrusion, object left/removed and face detection.

Power is PoE; 12V DC inputs can also be used.

The DS-2CD2385FWD-I is supplied with a quick start guide and a quick user guide. Initial log-in is via a static IP address; this may require altering the server IP address or connecting via another device to configure the camera’s network settings. On the first connection you are prompted to set a password. After this the ActiveX element is loaded and set-up can commence.

The menu layout is very straightforward with sections for Local, System, Network, Video/Audio, Image, Event and Storage. The Video/Audio section predominantly deals with streaming. There are three sub-sections within this: Video, ROI and Display Info. When setting compression, you will need to activate the proprietary formats if you wish to use H.265+ or H.264+. If you do opt to use these, you will lose certain functions such as ROI and mainstream smoothing. Changing to the enhanced compression algorithms does require that the camera is rebooted.

All other camera configurations such as image, exposure, day/night switching, backlight and white balance are carried out via the Image section. Menus are very straightforward and are presented in a logical order. Everything works as expected and any competent installer or integrator will have no issues setting up the device.

The Event menu is split between basic events such as motion detection and video tampering and smart events. Again these menus are intuitive and setting up these functions is a simple and quick task.

With regards to image quality, the DS-2CD2385FWD-I does deliver image with a high degree of detail, and colour fidelity is also good. Motion is as smooth as you can expect from 20fps, and whilst the reduced frame rate does not impact on the usability of the video, it does mean that the camera should not be sold as one that is 4K UHD compliant.

With bit-rate set to 16Mbps, quality is high and there is very little evidence of artefacting within the image. We did notice that latency was around one second. Interestingly, reducing the bit-rate to 8Mbps didn’t really impact on overall image quality, and even in tonally bland areas there was no real sign of image degradation.

The camera’s functionality all works well and is easy to access. The wide dynamic range was better than you’d typically expect from a low-cost camera. For some, the price of the DS-2CD2385FWD-I will be sufficient justification for the slightly reduced frame rate. Putting that one issue aside for a moment, the camera does deliver a good degree of functionality.

As light levels fall to around 3 lux, you will start to see the very first signs of image noise. However, the noise reduction does work well and ensures the bandwidth requirements remain sensible. Purely from a point of view of preserving image quality, is around this level that we feel the DS-2CD2385FWD-I should be set to switch. Luckily the camera can be adjusted to switch earlier than this (or later if you prefer), allowing performance to be optimised for a wide range of applications.

IDIS: DC-T1833WHR

The DC-T1833WHR is a 4K UHD bullet-type camera capable of delivering 3840 x 2160 pixel images at 25fps. The camera can be operated in one of two modes: DirectIP mode for use with the company’s plant-and-play system, or compatibility mode which allows it to be used with other systems. The camera makes use of a 1/2.5 inch CMOS sensor, and is fitted with a motorised varifocal lens with a focal length of 3.6–9.8mm. The lens makes use of P-Iris control.

The day/night device includes integral infrared illuminators with a quoted range of 30 metres. Sensitivity is 0.1 lux. The camera supports quadruple streaming, and video formats are H.264 and M-JPEG. As well as 4K UHD streams, the camera can deliver HD 1080p video at up to 50fps.

Other features include video motion detection, tamper detection, privacy masking, digital noise reduction, two-way audio and a BNC video output for basic alignment.

Power is PoE; 12V DC inputs can also be supported.

The camera is supplied with a fly lead which includes a connection for ethernet and PoE, audio inputs and outputs, alarm inputs and outputs, a modular low-power connection and the aforementioned BNC. It also includes a printed quick guide and a card containing a URL if additional support materials are required. The quick guide covers the physical installation; there is nothing about configuration and operation of the device.

Our camera was supplied for use in compatibility mode. As such, DHCP was active and an IDIS Discovery utility was included. This found the camera very quickly. The DC-T1833WHR is predominantly aimed at installers and integrators using the DirectIP platform, and as a result configuration in compatibility mode is slightly odd.

With the camera discovered, you need to then use the Discovery tool to instigate remote setup. This will bring up menus for the device but does not display the camera image. Where it is necessary to view the image, such as when setting detection zones, the menus do provide a small video feed.

Interestingly, once you are viewing the video, there is an option to open the remote setup if tweaks need to be made. Doing this will bring up the quick setup in a separate browser window.

When setting the stream configurations, you are able to specify the compression algorithm, resolution, image quality and frame rate. With regards to image quality, there are four levels for this: very high, high, standard and basic. There is also an option to manually set the quality. When selected this will allow the target bit-rate to be altered. The maximum setting is 18 Mbps. There is also a drop-down menu for bit-rate control the only option is VBR.

The menus are clean and easy to navigate, and whilst the process is unusual compared to other network devices, it did seem to make the process slightly quicker.

Image quality from the DC-T1833WHR is very good. Detail is sharp and clean, colours are accurate and vibrant without looking artificial or in any way boosted, and motion is smooth. We started out streaming at 18Mbps and unsurprisingly there were no artefacts or signs of background processing.

Dropping the bit rate to 10Mbps didn’t show any obvious impact on image quality, and the amount of detail remained high, even in busy scenes. The compression is well implemented, and it really needed the bit-rate to be dropped very low for any impact to be obvious. Latency was also very low.

As light levels fell, the initial signs of image noise appeared at around 5 lux, but were not significant enough to cause image degradation or to impact on bandwidth requirements. However, at around 3 lux noise becomes slightly more obvious. Given that most people will invest in a 4K UHD camera for enhanced image quality, we felt this was the point at which the camera should switch. As the camera has a wide range of adjustment with regard to switching, this is easily achieved.

The DC-T1833WHR has a decent depth of functionality, and the features work well and are easy to control. You can even make an argument for the separation of viewing and configuration, in that users with permission to view cameras and make basic adjustments are prevented from altering any device configurations. However, in reality, most cameras will be connected via a VMS or similar once in the field.

Panasonic: WV-SFV781L

The WV-SFV781L is a 4K UHD static dome camera which can deliver compliant streams at 25fps. This is achievable only if the second stream is 640 x 360 pixels using M-JPEG. There are other eight megapixel modes with more variety in terms of additional streams but when using these the highest resolution is limited to 15fps. The camera makes use of a 1/1.7 inch MOS sensor. The actual chip is capable of delivering up to 12 megapixels.

Whilst the camera is capable of supporting a wide range of resolutions, but as the test is focused on 4K UHD performance, these were not tested. However, HD 1080p and HD 720p streams are supported.

Image compression is H.264 or M-JPEG. Sensitivity is quoted as 0.3 lux, and the day/night camera, which also includes integral infrared illuminators. The camera’s lens has a 6X zoom ratio, with a focal length of 4.2–25.2mm. The camera’s dome cover is treated with the rain wash coating; it is recommended not to touch the dome cover or this could cause damage.

Other camera features include video motion detection, privacy zones, digital noise reduction, wide dynamic range, adaptive black stretch, backlight compensation, VIQS and fog compensation. Variable image quality on specified area (VIQS) enables bandwidth management by streaming specified parts of the viewed scene at different image quality levels. This allows the installer or integrator to identify what are effectively ‘dead’ areas within the image and stream them at low quality. Equally, important areas such as entrances and exits can be selected and streamed at higher quality. VIQS is not a dynamic technology and therefore the areas need to be configured.

The camera is supplied with an installation document and a network camera information booklet which is predominantly product specifications and warnings. There is also a CD containing installation utilities and the product manual. Unfortunately the manual is not in PDF format which would make it easier to work with. Instead it is a collection of HTML files and so needs to be viewed on a PC or other suitable device.

The CD contains a utility for device discovery: EasyIPSetup. This quickly detected the camera and allows the network configurations to be altered. It also has a button that allows quick access to the device. On initial login the camera will automatically load several plug-ins and you’re ready to start configuration. You will need to enter username and password to gain access to the settings screens; if you do not change the default settings you will get a notification that this needs to be done each time you login.

Anyone with experience of Panasonic products will immediately recognise the menu structure. It’s relatively straightforward, but if it’s your first time working with the GUI, it is advisable to slowly work your way through each and every menu to become familiar with the layout. It’s not difficult to navigate, but with such a range of functionality you may find some things hidden away. For example, the menus the camera functions only relate to return positions if using cropping. Other functions that you might expect to find in this menu will be in one of the sub- sections of the Image/Position menu!

Panasonic cameras have always had a very good level of wide dynamic range performance, and the WV-SFV781L does not disappoint in this department. Indeed, the features and functions work well and ensure that a good quality image can be produced in a very wide range of applications.

The image quality using H.264 compression and a bit-rate of 20Mbps is very good. Detail is sharp and clean, colour fidelity is high and motion is smooth. The only negative was that video latency was around two seconds. Bringing the bit-rate down to 12Mbps doesn’t greatly impact on image quality, and we saw no signs of compression or image degradation, even when fast moving objects were within the viewed scene. Dropping down to 8Mbps does introduce a small degree of artefacting, but this will only be in tonally bland areas and you have to be looking for it.

With judicious use of the VIQS function, it is possible inappropriate scenes to drop the bit-rate a little lower and still preserve high levels of detail in selected areas.

Lowlight performance is fairly good, but colours tend to lose their edge at around 4 lux. Shortly after this the first signs of noise creeping into our minds this is the ideal level for the camera to switch. There are only two settings for switching level: High, which switches around 2 lux, and Low which switches at 1 lux.

This limitation isn’t a deal-breaker, but given the depth of flexibility on offer from the Panasonic camera, it does seem as if a fundamental function has been somewhat overlooked.

BENCHMARK VERDICT

Bosch: Dinion IP ultra 8000 MP

The Dinion IP ultra 8000 MP delivers what you expect from a 4K UHD camera. Image quality is good, with sharp detail, smooth motion and high colour fidelity. The camera’s functionality is also good and the addition of licence-free IVA is a bonus.

For installers and integrators seeking 4K UHD image capture coupled with advanced functionality, the Dinion IP ultra 8000 MP has to be recommended.

FLIR: CF-6308

The CF-6308 delivers good quality 4K UHD images with sharp detail and smooth motion. It does have one downside, and that is a lack of multiple streaming if you’re seeking standards-compliant 4K UHD video. If additional streams are implemented, this limits the frame rate of 4K video to 15fps. Low light performance is good, but more flexibility when tweaking the switching point would be nice.

The set-up and browser-based GUI did have a few idiosyncrasies, but as a relatively new product we’d expect FLIR to resolve this in the very near future. The CF-6308 is recommended, but with the proviso that multiple streaming is not required!

Hanwha Techwin: PNV-9080RP

The PNV-9080RP is a good quality 4K UHD camera that also ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to functionality. Image quality is very good, low light performance is also high and the inclusion of dynamic encoding and licence-free IVA makes it very difficult to ignore. It’s also a plus that the camera is supplied with documentation and utilities!

It’s hard to fault the performance, because Hanwha has delivered a high performance unit at a competitive price. If there was one thing we’d like to see it would be more powerful illuminators, as 4K UHD video does lend itself to digital zoom quite nicely. The PNV-9080RP is recommended.

Hikvision: DS-2CD2385FWD-I

The DS-2CD2385FWD-I has been built to a price, and for many installers and integrators the low cost camera will be a popular one. It delivers high image quality, a good level of functionality and its performance is only let down by the fact that it’s frame rate is limited to 20fps at the highest resolution.

One of the criteria for the test was that cameras could deliver 4K UHD compliant video, and that includes frame rate. Whilst everything else ticks the right boxes, even the Benchmark team became embroiled in a debate of the positives of the camera versus one negative. If the test was of 8 megapixel cameras, it would certainly be recommended. However, it cannot be recommended as a 4K UHD device.

IDIS: DC-T1833WHR

The DC-T1833WHR makes more sense as a part of the DirectIP plug-and-play system, but as a network camera it can still stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the others. The working interface is a little odd, but that is probably a legacy of the camera’s roots!

Performance is good, image quality is high and whilst the camera does not boast the depth of features and functions that some others do, it remains a useful devices. The only downside is the camera has no password as default and this can be left as is. However, it does deliver the right performance and so is recommended.

Panasonic: WV-SFV781L

The WV-SFV781L is slightly frustrating. It has good image quality, a depth of functionality, and has high build quality. 4K performance can only be realised with restrictions on additional streams, and latency is probably more significant than with any of the other cameras.

However, the lack of adjustability on day/night switching is irritating as the other issues might not be critical in some applications. It narrowly misses out on being recommended because of that.

 

Related Articles