I had long been searching for a good IP camera which works good during day and is equally good at night. I had unpleasant experience of importing some Chinese cameras from aliexpress.com. Those cameras were nothing but complete waste of money and time. Even though Dahua is also a China based company but apparently they are doing pretty well. So I decided to give them a try. They are real hard to find in Lahore but fortunately I was able to get them from a shop in Hafeez Center. This specific model is a entry level model priced surprisingly at PKR 8,000.
This camera really surprises you with its quality both during the day and at night. Lets first talk about installation and packing.
The camera comes with a cd containing manual and a software to find the ip address of the camera. Two of the cameras I got had static IP while the third one had DHCP enabled so it was a little hard to find the ip address of this camera. Though the software bundled with the camera was of great assistance.
Once installed you can access the camera by entering the ip address of the camera in your browser. It is compatible with all browsers. I have tried it on Internet Explorer, Chrome & Safari.
Following is a snapshot of the camera’s result during the day.
Following is a snapshot of the camera’s result at night.
Lets now look at the different settings offered by this device.
First of all we have Conditions under the Camera menu. Over here you can create separate profile for Day & Night. And the best thing about Night Vision of this camera is that it won’t change to IR mode if there is sudden change in the light. It will take its time to detect and ensure that it wasn’t a temporary change before it switches to IR mode. To top it off, you can select Black & White for your night profile. And use Schedule in Profile Management which allows you to define the profile to use during specific hours of the day.
Like other cameras it has Main stream and Sub Stream option. And you can setup the quality you want for different streams using the following page.
There is a huge list of submenus under Network allowing you to setup the IP of the camera to setting up SMTP(Email). I won’t be getting into that.
Next important thing is Motion Detection. The camera allows you to define up to four different regions. You can set sensitivity and threshold to match your requirements. There is a graph which shows when the threshold is met. You can email or record or save snapshot/video on ftp in case any Motion Detection is detected.
Last but not least, the camera allows you to setup an auto-reboot. This is one of the essential feature which is usually missing even in the more expensive cameras. The IP Cameras tend to stop working after a couple of days demanding a reset. An auto-reset is really useful saving you from all the hassle.
I personally really like this camera but there is one major drawback. The motion detection works great during the day. But at night because of insects/moths the motion detection keeps on getting triggered for almost no reason. So it is definitely not a good idea to email the snapshot on motion detection because else you will be flooded with false alarms. There should have been an option which allows you to set different sensitivity for different times. So that you can reduce the sensitivity at night to avoid the false alarms or minimize them at least. But unfortunately I have faced this issue even with the cameras ranging up to PKR 15,000. It is mainly due to IR lights attracting the insects at night because of which it is better to have a camera which doesn’t have built-in IR and you can attach them separately.
Anyway I would highly recommend this camera to anyone looking for a reasonably priced IP camera.