Hikvision IP Camera Review

Hikvision Dome IP CameraHikvision DS-2CD2112 IP Camera Review

The Hikvision DS-2CD2112 is an economical dome IP camera with built in IR illumination. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive cameras, but provides a very nice image that can be used in many different applications.  With a 3 inch (79 mm) dome, it is one of the smallest domes we tested.  The camera has a very simple and akward mechanical adjustment for pan and tilt after installation.  It doesn't have remote focus or zoom since it has a fixed lens with no iris adjustments.  Yes even though you get what you pay for, this camera did very well in our testing.   

Resolution

The camera uses a 1.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor that provides a resolution of 1280 x 960 pixels. Since the other cameras we tested had higher resolution sensors it wasn't fair to compare this 1.3 megapixel camera against the over 2 megapixel cameras.  We had difficulty measuring the resolution using our test chart because the fixed lens has a minimum operating range of about 12 inches which prevented us from moving the test pattern close enough so we could frame the test pattern correctly.  We were able to get some idea of the resolution quality by comparing the video to our other cameras using the same scene.  For example, we compared the detail on the scale’s numbers and were very pleased with the results.
hikvision ip dome dynamic range example
This shot was taken with WDR on and set at about 40%.  Not too bad at all.

Lens

The camera comes with a fixed lens and you can select 2.8 mm, 4.0 mm, 6 mm and 12 mm lenses when you purchase the camera.  Our camera has the 4 mm lens which provides a wide view with some barrel distortion (fisheye effect).  Since this is a low cost camera there were compromises made to keep the cost low.

Day/Night and Minimum Illumination

This camera doesn’t use an IR filter for switching between day and night modes.  Instead it electronically color corrects the image.   It works well and didn’t show any noticeable color shifting.
Since this camera includes the IR illumination, the specifications do not indicate the low light sensitivity in BW mode.  It just says 0 lux.  It does say that it will operate in color down to 0.01 lux at F1.2 with AGC on.  AGC is the Automatic gain control which of course all cameras use at low light. When higher amplification is required it can also cause noise in the picture.  We tested the low light capability of the camera by turning off the IR illuminator.  The following picture shows a dark scene that is set to about 0.1 lux.  The test demonstrated the noise level seen at the lowest light, but remembers you usually set the camera so the IR illuminator turns on at low light levels.
dark image from hikvision
When the IR is turned on you can see that the picture is dramatically improved and switches to BW.
image with ir on


Camera Settings

The camera settings are simple and easy to understand.   It provides enough functions and controls to adjust the camera to most situations.

hikvision ip camera setup screen

 

Motion Detection
The setup controls for motion detection are simple and easy to use.  The camera provides an area setting tool that allows you to set rectangular areas where motion will be detected, and includes an overall sensitivity adjustment.

hikvsion motion detection setup screen

Once the motion detection areas are set you can schedule when the detection will occur using a simple Arming Schedule, and then select what you would like the camera to do when an alert is detected.
hikvision arming schedule image


Wide Dynamic Range and Backlight Compensation 

The camera does have WDR control with a slider that makes it easy to set up. The image with a bright background was reasonably good. The test image showed the foreground and background with enough brightness to be able to distinguish the objects inside and outside with bright sunlight.

Summary
The Hikvision dome IP camera is small and inexpensive yet provides good performance.  It has fewer adjustments, but can be used in many applications where the advanced functions are not required.  At a selling price of around $295, it is a very economical solution that provides excellent cost performance for many applications.