At the moment the local surveillance markets have a large range of 1-megapixel cameras, the most popular ones are produced by only a few manufactures, those who found their niche in the right time and managed to offer an optimal price / quality ratio. However, the customer still may have a problem choosing between three models with similar specifications, appearance and price. Therefore, we decided to conduct a comparative review of several 1-megapixel cubic network cameras: Partizan IPC-1SP-IR Cloud Cubic, Dahua Technology DH-IPC-C10 and Hikvision DS-2CD1410F-IW. We will try to analyze not only the technical characteristics of the devices, we will also focus on the accessories, video image settings and the connection software, the things that are most important to the majority of consumers.
Packaging - is the first thing a customer sees when purchasing any camera, it is easy to overlook this role: it not only protects the device during transport, but also serves as an indicator of the professionalism of the manufacturer. For all the products that we compare this task is well done.
- Partizan camera box design made in a laconic style, it presents a schematic image of the device, text about the key features and technologies supported by the device, as well as background information in several languages. The design is complemented with an original solution - a plastic handle. All these factors create a positive impression: it clearly shows that the manufacturer has paid much attention in the creation of a decent looking package.
- Dahua box design is also stylish and laconic - there aren't tasteless bright inscriptions, only a photo and the essential background information. The package itself is small and resembles a mobile accessory from a well-known manufacturer. On purpose or by chance, the design seems controversial - some customers might get attracted while others might be repelled thinking that a device designed to provide security should look more seriously. However, again, it's a matter of taste.
- Hikvision camera comes on review in an ordinary cardboard box without any markings, except for a sticker with the marking and the serial code. Most likely, this model is a showpiece and is not intended for sale. On the official sale points this camera comes in a box with a photograph of the device and a list of the main technical characteristics.
Another important aspect in choosing a camera is the set of accessories coming with the device. Here the situation differs completely:
- Partizan offers the most complete package for your product: support bracket, power supply, power cord, installation kit, instructions for a quick connection.
- The Dahua camera set is more modest, it comes only with the manual and a USB-cable. The support bracket is also present in the model, but it has a fixed structure.
- The Hikvision model comes only with a support bracket, instructions and an installation kit.
It is obvious that for the customer the most appropriate solution is the one from Partizan, there's no need to be puzzled over the purchase of a suitable power supply or the crimping of the connection cable.
If we talk about design features, all models belong to the class of "cubic" cameras, they differ only in design and dimensions, Hikvision has the largest dimensions because of the peculiar location of the IR, indicators and PIR-sensor. Dahua has the smallest one, with a design that reminds a webcam. Partizan has average dimensions and neutral design. There is no consensus about which design is the best for a camera, there can’t be, it all depends on the client's taste and the use they wish to give to the equipment.
Installing a video camera will also depend on the model chosen. The support brackets are mounted on the ceiling or a wall and they come with a complete installation kit (except Dahua). Partizan and Hikvision design allows the attachment of the device in any plane, you can securely adjust the camera position on the desired location.
Dahua camera can only rotate in two directions (right-left, up-down), it also has a special adhesive that allows you to mount the camera in a flat smooth surface. For how long the camera will be firmly attached to the surface is a question that can only be answered after using it, it seems that this is needed only for a temporary fixation. Another problem that may be encountered during installation of this model is related with the location of the USB connector: It might be very difficult to connect the cable neatly without it being visible.
Dahua and Hikvision video cameras have built-in microphone and speakers providing a two-way audio communication function: the ability to remotely receive and transmit sound from, and to the video object. The Partizan camera with built-in microphone doesn't have external speakers, but there are audio inputs for connecting a speaker system. With a microphone, you can make a parallel recording of audio and video signals. All cameras come with this feature, however, what concerns the tuning of frequencies or EQ is something that is not possible, devices can be used only for voice transmission, there's noise present in each model.
Also, all the devices are equipped with a Wi-Fi module for wireless data transmission. Video cameras are connected without any problems "over the air", but again, the transmitters are not designed for long distances. Wi-Fi access point must be in the same room with the camera and there should not be any obstacles between them in the form of walls or bulky items. In all other cases it is better to use a conventional cable connection via RJ-45 connector, which is available for Partizan and Hikvision cameras. Dahua camera doesn't support the network cable connection, which greatly limits its usage.
In the image quality tests, all cameras show approximately the same results.
But the Dahua camera factory default settings show a low level of saturation and a small color noise that's likely caused by the lack of sensitivity.
Hikvision has the same problem with saturation and sharpness, and high brightness, this may cause little aberrations on the edges of objects.
The Partizan camera image settings are aligned and have optimal parameters.
Test for color rendering shows the same results.
The color reproduction by Dahua Technology shows a lack of sensitivity
Color reproduction by Hikvision shows an image slightly overexposed (unnatural light).
Partizan camera factory settings show an optimal color reproduction.
Angle of view
The angle of view is also an important factor influencing the choice of the model of your camera. For indoor surveillance cameras with fixed focal length, angles should be between 60 to 80 degrees, as this value provides an optimal view of the room. Accordingly to these characteristics all cameras coped well.
The camera Hikvision viewing angle is about 72 degrees, set with a spherical lens. There is the presence of small distortions at the edges of the image, which is common in this type of lenses that are traditionally used in surveillance cameras.
The camera Dahua angle of view is about 61 degrees, which is consistent with the manufacturer statement. Through the use of an aspherical lens no image distortion at the edges is created, but it has a smaller angle of view than its competitive models.
Partizan camera angle of view is about 70 degrees. Despite the fact that you are using the same type of lens as Hikvision camera, there is no blurring at the edge of the image.
Another important point for the customer is the camera connection easiness and the availability of software, which includes mobiles or other handheld devices. All manufacturers have this. Partizan has Partizan Cloud, Dahua - DMSS and Hikvision - iVMS. All applications are available for download from the AppStore and PlayMarket. Though, for the Dahua and Hikvision there are several applications, including paid versions. It is difficult, even for a professional, to understand what kind of software to download, for an unprepared person this can be a very confusing task.
However, after downloading and installing programs, problems with the addition of the cameras is not observed. In all applications there is a simple step by step procedure for adding devices.
Comparison of technical characteristics and cost of the different devices is clearly shown in the following table:
IPC-1SP-IR EC 1.0
|Matrix||1/4 "OmniVision||1/4 "CMOS||1/3 "Progressive Scan CMOS|
|Resolution||1 megapixel (1280x720)||1 megapixel (1280x720)||1 megapixel (1280x720)|
|Frame rate||25 FPS||25 FPS||25 FPS|
|IR||10 m||5 m||10 m|
|Microphone / Speaker||+/-||+/+||+/+|
|Audio Inputs / Outputs||+||-||+|
|Support bracket||+ (3D)||+ (2D)||+ (3D)|
|Connection cable||+||+ (USB)||-|
|Private cloud service||+||-||-|
|Guarantee||3 years||1 year||1 year|
For conclusion of this review here’s the feedback for each tested camera:
Dahua Technology DH-IPC-C10 - is rather a controversial model camera in terms of price / quality. The obtained video doesn't offer a good resolution and additional configuration is needed to get a good image. The device doesn't come with an impressive set of accessories: USB cable is present, but there is no power supply. You can do without the power supply by connecting the camera to the PC, but this computer must always be operating. It's recommended possibly to those clients for whom size plays a decisive role - indeed it has a petite size.
Hikvision DS-2CD1410F-IW is a high-quality video camera from a reputable manufacturer. However, the price of this model is the highest. In addition, it has the poorest set of equipment: you will have to buy the necessary equipment like the power supply and the power cord, which will increase the already high price. In addition, it has the poorest set of equipment: you will have to buy the necessary equipment like the power supply and the power cord, which will increase the already high price. The model is recommended for customers who are not limited in budget and are ready to pay more for brand awareness, as well as to spend time on the selection of accessories.
Partizan IPC-1SP-IR Cloud Cubic is the most balanced model of this cameras accordingly to the main characteristics: price, image quality, technical equipment and its entire set. With the lowest cost, the camera has passed all the tests with good indicators, and can be recommended to a wide range of customers for their organization's internal video surveillance system.
As practice shows, the world famous brand is not always the best solution in guaranteeing a high-quality video surveillance system. In addition, the current economic situation forces call for a more careful approach when selecting these products, this in turn brings additional growth and opportunities for the less hyped, but not inferior in quality, brands.