IP Camera Review

IP Camera Test Objectives

In this IP camera review we tested four megapixel dome cameras, one from Axis, Canon, Hikvision, and Sony. We compared the cameras to their specifications and we also compared the cameras against each other.

We provided pros and cons that distinguished each camera from the rest. This buyer’s guide will help you select the right camera for your application.

The summary provides our overall conclusions but it is best to look at each camera review. The review table provides a side by side comparison of the models tested.

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IP Camera Comparison

See: Axis | Canon | Hikvision | Sony | Comparison Table

For additional camera reviews take a look at our other IP camera Review and Ratings.

What We Tested

Before we selected the significant specifications to review in our camera buyer’s guide, we had to consider how the cameras would be used. Of course this all depends on the objectives of your project. For example, do you want to see the burglar who comes in at night? Do you want to be able to identify a person’s face in a wide viewing area? Do you want to see vehicles that are one mile away moving across the desert in total darkness and be able to determine if they are cars or trucks (Yes, we can do that)?

We decided to review price, resolution, low light performance, installation and setup. Some of the cameras included analytic functions such as object removed, object left, line crossing, face detection and other intelligent functions that could be important in special applications. We reviewed how the setup controls worked and how easy they were to use. Setup time affects the labor involved during installation.

Testing Method

Testing Pattern

To measure the resolution we used a camera test pattern that has been used in the broadcast TV market for many years.

We also focused on a group of objects in front of a window to test the picture quality in all lighting situations. We reviewed color, low light performance, dynamic range as well as setup tools. The objects in front of the bright background also provided a good test of dynamic range provided by each of the cameras.

For our low light testing we adjusted the lighting in the room to about 0.1 lux. Our testing was designed to compare cameras rather than provide an absolute measurement.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.

Summary and Conclusion

The cameras we tested all had some special characteristics that made them the best for specific situations. Sony came out on top for the resolution test, while Axis performed very well at low light.

If you have challenging lighting conditions where you require wide dynamic range (WDR), Sony is the best choice. The cameras provide both low light sensitivity as well as WDR at the same time while you need to select one or the other with the Axis cameras.

If you need a camera that can provide special analytic functions such as object left behind or object removed, then the Sony and Canon dome cameras are good choices.

To minimize your installation the Canon IP dome camera with remote pan, tilt, zoom and focus is a great solution. The one problem with the Canon camera is the difficulty in using some of the set up tools, but once you get familiar with its interface it will prove to be an easy camera to install.

If you are on a tight budget and don’t require some of the bells and whistles provided by the more expensive brands, the Hikvision dome is a great choice.

For the details take a look at each camera review and the IP camera comparison table.
Selecting the right camera for your IP camera system is challenging. You not only need to select the right camera for specific locations, you also need to make sure it is compatible with the recording system. Kintronics is a resource for engineering and integration of all your security projects. We can design your complete system so don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

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More information: Another Buyers Guide | Other IP Camera Brands | Video Recording Systems | Resources | Support


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What is the best IP camera? The best camera for you depends on your objectives. Also remember that a surveillance system is not just the IP camera, it also includes the IP video recording system, the network
For assistance in selecting all the components of your surveillance system, just contact us. We provide consulting and engineering assistance that assures that you get exactly what you expect.