11 months ago


TEST The camera is very

TEST The camera is very solidly built with a metal case and good thermal management supporting a stated operational and storage range of -30° to +60° C NOTE: This PSI Product Test was carried out by an independent third party, not editorial staff. The manufacturer had no input in the review or the final result (continued from p14) stated maximum resolution. It is possible that this is a feature of the sensor that is not supported by Dahua’s current recorders. The generic nature of the operational manual does not explain such anomalies. There is no removable infrared cut filter at switch-over to low light level, the camera depends on its sensor’s performance and simply removes all colour components from the image. The analogue output maintains its colour subcarrier burst signal to prevent colour noise. The A&E specification document for the camera does though state that “The Box camera shall offer a mechanical day/night IR cut filter…” so this could be a problem for tender response if quoted. Playback from the local SD card shows a Timeline that can be adjusted between 24, 2, 1 hour or 30 mins duration. General, Event, Alarm and Manual recordings are colour differentiated. Transport controls are simply Play/Pause, Stop, Next Frame, Slow and Fast speed. Video clips from the SD card can be downloaded as native .dav or as .mp4 files. The .dav files can be played using the supplied Smart Player software though it was noted that its functionality was quite limited. Four Privacy zones can be set based on easily re-sizable rectangles that can be shaped and dragged to their required locations. Two audio input channels and a Line-Out are available on the rear panel of the camera and a front mounted internal microphone can be used if the camera is not fitted into a housing. In practice the camera vision and sound were reasonably well synchronised on live images but a delay of around half a second was noted on SD card recordings. This may be improved by different resource and resolution settings. The video dynamic range is stated as an impressive 140dB but this does need to be turned on and does reduce the overall sensitivity. While not stated as a digital WDR it does depend on sensor output processing to achieve the extra 20dB of range. Alternatively, there are Backlight compensation and Highlight Suppression modes that can be utilised to suit the environment. These settings can be assigned to separate Day and Night profiles to take advantage of the likely scene and these can be time scheduled or input triggered. A large amount of image processing is used to reduce image noise at low light levels. Supplied with the camera is the SmartPSS software. This does identify as a Dahua product and can be used both to display multiple camera images with up to a 64-way screen split, map displays, event handling and recording capability. System latency at 1920 x 1080 was an impressive 355ms average when used with IE11 and 414ms with SmartPSS display. At 3840 x 2160 (8MP) this increased to an average of 580ms for IE11 and 557ms for SmartPSS. Alarm handling is flexible with a variety of analytic modes available. Two relays can be directly controlled from the browser or a suitable control system and these can be associated with internal detection methods. Image loss and network associated alarms can be raised to generate alerts or send notifications as appropriate. IVS features such as Face detection are relatively simple to set up and provide good results if care is taken to follow the manual instructions. Detected faces are highlighted and can generate recordings, snapshots or alarm events. Audio detection is level based and can be set to trigger if a threshold is overcome. A simple on-screen level meter indicates the sound and trigger level for test and configuration purposes. There was a tendency for the alarm schedule to default to a single day’s activity so it is important to check all settings when establishing alarm actions. The non-specific manual does not always help in this regard but is essential reading for some of the trip-wire and missing object alarms. The camera is very solidly built with a metal case and good thermal management supporting a stated operational and storage range of -30° to +60° C. Conclusion It is to be hoped that some of the initial problems encountered here are due to an early release of the support CD and information. A model specific manual would be advantageous for such a potentially complex device. It is likely that lens choice will be limited for some time unless this mount finds more common usage in the security industry. Various compact mirrorless digital cameras use the M43 format so this may be the best way to provide a variety of options, but controlled zoom versions may be limited and expensive. It is of concern that manufacturers will state that a camera will perform in colour down to 0.0005Lux without providing any proper context for their measurement process. This may lead to major difficulties with handing over systems if tenders are based on this information alone without site testing. Apart from the concerns regarding the initially available information this is a very sensitive camera with flexibility of configuration. 8.0 out of 10 14

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