Previously, we’ve looked at both the D-Link 5020L and the Sony CX600 Network Camera which were both solid IP cameras. Now we’re going to take a look at the Hikvision IR Mini Bullet Network Camera. We’ll take a look at the Setup, Design and Hardware, and its Performance.
Hikvision’s IR Mini Bullet Network Camera didn’t give me a good first impression.
Right after opening the box to get it setup, I find out that there is no power supply or ethernet cable.
At first I thought a mistake was made during packaging, but the box is too small for anything other than the camera to fit. Looking into the Hikvision’s product description at Amazon, the camera’s power supply is listed as “not included”. So yes, this was intentionally left out.
The reason why it was left out is because the camera supports PoE (power over ethernet), which if used, would make the power supply irrelevant. Unfortunately, a PoE cable doesn’t come with the product. Thankfully, I was able to find a backup power supply we used for another IP camera in the office.
Once I got it plugged in, I didn’t find the documentation helpful and had to look online to get it setup. It took me about 20 minutes to find the required setup wizard. I eventually found an IP camera Setup forum that pointed me to the right direction. After downloading 2 different setup wizards, I eventually was able to get it going. This SADPTool is what you need to download.
It’s understandable that the setup isn’t super smooth since this camera isn’t targeted to the everyday Joe, but they still should’ve provided the necessary cables.
Bottom line: the setup is far from being user-friendly.
Design & Hardware:
The camera’s shell is rock solid and feels very sturdy. Although I haven’t tested it out, the camera should be able to take multiple falls and still be fully functional, potentially without a scratch.
There is a metallic piece that connects the camera to its stand, allowing the user to position it in multiple ways. Add to that its compact design, and you can imagine the amount of options you have to place the device in.
With infrared LED, dual stream capabilities, night vision, digital noise reduction, and 1080p video, this camera is packed with features.
Video quality is great, with vibrant colors showing great detail, running at a maximum of 30 frames per second and 1080p resolution. What really impressed me about the video is its wide angle lens. For only $130 USD (at the time of this writing), I really didn’t expect the quality to be this good. Whether you’re looking into installing this camera for your business or home, it’ll do its job well.
Night vision was also very impressive. I could clearly see what was going on in the office, and although it was a bit difficult to clearly identify faces from long distances, the feed was just as clear as the day time.
After setting it up on Camcloud, I was a bit disappointed to see that the camera could only upload images. It doesn’t matter anyway for cloud storage, since Camcloud’s timeline is great at providing fluid and contentious playback for both videos and images. The Live View feed was very clear, allowing me to see exactly what was going on in the office remotely from my home.
Lastly, the camera’s configuration gives you quite a bit to play with, including adjusting the brightness, saturation, hue, and whether you’d want your night vision to switch on automatically, or according to your own custom schedule.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the camera’s capabilities. It’s a shame that the setup instructions do not clearly direct you to a specific page, and if it wasn’t for the lack of a power supply I would highly recommend this camera. If you can get passed the fact that it lacks a PoE and has unclear setup instructions, for the price, this camera is one of the best IP cameras available.