Dahua ePoE 6MP Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5631R-ZE)

aristobrat

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IPC-HDW5631R-ZE
IPC-HDW5631R-ZE,IPC-HDW5631R-Z,IPC-HDW5631R,IPC-HDW5631


Specs:
Eco-savvy 3.0 ePoE Series (see bottom of post for ePoE description)
6 Megapixel
1/2.9” 6Megapixel progressive scan STARVIS™ CMOS
20fps@6M(3072×2048), 25/30fps@4M(2688×1520)
2.7mm ~13.5mm motorized lens
Built-in Mic
microSD card support (internal, requires opening camera)
IP67

My Perspective:

As a very happy Starlight 5231 varifocal turret owner, I understand enough about it to know that its fewer megapixels (2MP) combined with the STARVIS image sensor results in some amazing low-light abilities. But I've always been curious how a camera with more megapixels and a STARVIS image sensor would compare...

Looking at Dahua's EcoSavvy 3.0 lineup today (2017-09-29), there don't appear to be any 3MP or 4MP models that use a STARVIS image sensor. This 6MP model appears to be the next MP step up from the 2MP Starlight models. Remember that this camera is not a Starlight model!

To show this comparison, I will do as many side-by-side pictures (5631 and 5231) as I can. The camera video and recording settings are default. I'm using regular PoE to power both cameras -- I don't have the equipment to test the 5631's ePoE features.

I'm not an IP camera guru. If you notice any mistakes that I've made in this thread, please let me know!

Couple of things interesting to me:
  • Camera and mount are both metal, like the Starlight 5231 turret. It also uses the same type of locking screw.
  • This is not a Starlight model, but it does use a Sony STARVIS image sensor (1/2.9”).
  • Unlike with Eco-savvy 2MP/4MP/8MP models, there isn’t a non-ePoE 6MP model to compare to.
  • For corridor mode (physically rotating the camera 90’F to get a tall/narrow image, useful when recording hallways/doorways/etc), you have to reduce the resolution to 4MP (2688*1520) if you want the camera to correct the image rotation.
  • When I tried to swap just the camera part with an already mounted 5231 turret camera, I couldn’t get the dome to clip until I swapped out the pedestal (the metal ring with the three screw holes ). The three screw holes for the 5631 pedestal are in the same locations as the screw holes for the 5231 pedestal, so that was an easy swap — no drilling new holes required.. The dome enclosure has the same part number as the 5231, and I had no problem interchanging them between the two camera models.
  • We using the WebUI to zoom in/out, the scale is 0-2390 (compared to the 5231's 0-700).

Firmware Version:

Version.png

I didn’t go through this firmware version with a fine-tooth comb, but a few things jumped out at me:
  • There is now an option to enable SSH.
  • There is now an option to choose authentication type (digest/basic/none). This should help folks whose scripts stopped authenticating when Dahua switched auth from basic to digest.
  • There is now an option to manage the separate ONVIF user accounts (and their passwords). This should help folks whose cameras somehow got the ONVIF admin password out of sync with the regular ‘admin’ account, causing issues with tools that use ONVIF (like Blue Iris, when it scans for camera capabilities).
Dahua ePoE description:

The ePoE technology of Dahua, designed internally, adopts advanced 2D-PAM3 coding modulaton from physical layer, and realizes full duplex transmission over 800 meters at the speed of 10Mbps, or 300 meters at the speed of 100Mbps via Cat 5 or coaxial cable media. Besides, it supports PoE and PoC power supply technology which has greatly simplifed constructon and wiring. Dahua ePoE technology ofer a new way to accomplish long distance transmission between IP camera and network switch. It allows more fexible surveillance system design, improves reliability and saves constructon and wiring cost.

Camera Source:

Andy from Empire Technology (@EMPIRETECANDY) provided this camera in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Unboxing Pictures:

Label:
unbox_1.png

Also in the box:
unbox_3.JPG

unbox_4.JPG

Camera and mount:
unbox_5.JPG

unbox_6.JPG

Ethernet and External Power:
unbox_7.jpg

5631 with IR lights enabled:
unbox_8 + IR.jpg
 
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aristobrat

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One thing I've really liked about the 5231 varifocal turrets is how well they disappear into the white soffit around my house. When viewed from the ground, the three black dots on the front aren't super-noticeable.

The front of the 5631 is entirely black, which causes the camera to not blend in to the soffits as well. Depending on what you're going after with your camera system, this may not be a bad thing. :)

5231:
soffit_2.JPG

5631:
soffit_1.JPG


Below is the test rig that I'll be using:

rig_1.jpg


... and I've been playing around with a chart like this, to help judge the image quality:
t4-Cam8.20170924_100352_2.jpg
 
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aristobrat

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Night Pictures:
all IR is coming from the 5631 (IR disabled on 5231 and other back yard camera)

I had a bunch of night pictures using the chart above, but the 5631 was apparently in 4MP mode (not 6MP) so I'll need to redo them. Grrrrr. What's left of Hurricane Maria is off-shore from us, so it'll be rainy and windy here until Thursday. I'll try to grab some proper night shots then.

5631 (wide zoom):
5631.jpg

5231 (wide zoom):
5231.jpg
 
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aristobrat

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I've had a chance to rotate the 5631 in as my driveway "overview" camera, where it's replacing a 5231 vari-focal turret.

The mount spot is up and to the left of the ladder.

You may need to click on the pictures below (to see the full-sized version) to notice some of the details.

_gar.JPG

With the daytime 'far' images, to me there's a notable difference. With the 5631 you can clearly make out the license plate as the car pulls into the driveway (enough that I clipped a bit of it). With the 5231, you cannot.

DAYTIME 5631 (far)
d1-56.png
DAYTIME 5231 (far)
d1-52.JPG

With the daytime 'closer' images, the 5631 looks a little bit sharper, but I'm not sure I'd personally qualify that as being a notable difference. Curious as to what you think...

DAYTIME 5631 (closer)
d2-56.JPG
DAYTIME 5231 (closer)
d2-52.JPG

For the nighttime shots, the cameras' shutters were set to shutter priority, 1/60, and the 3D noise reduction set to 10 (in an attempt to reduce motion blur).

Neither of the 'far' shots are impressive in terms of the car in motion. To me, the 5231 was a little less blurry, but still blurry. For things not moving, it seems like the 5631 image has more detail (closer to the camera).

NIGHTIME 5631 (far)
n1-56.JPG
NIGHTIME 5231 (far)
n1-52.png

For the 'closer' shots, the people leaving the car are moving. It looks to me like the 5231 shows this with less blur than the 5631.

NIGHTIME 5631 (closer)
n2-56.JPG
NIGHTIME 5231 (closer)
n2-52.JPG
 
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wopi82

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Hi aristobrat,

I’m glad you will test 6MP model, as I’m thinking about buying exactly this one as my second camera.

As you have both cameras (6MP and 2MP) prepared for testing, would it be possibile for you to do some test with very fixed parameters at night? I would be really thankfull if you cold set both to described below parameters, and post BMP or good quality JPG.

Both cameras zoomed out to widest angle, full resolution and same framerate. Both set to 1/30s exposure, all image parameters set to 50, black-and-white mode, noise reduction 50, WDR/BLC/HLC off, IR off, codec H264 at 10Mbit/s or highest possibile. With all set as above, GAIN set to: 0 on both, 50 on both and 100 on both. So that ultimately you end up with 6 images. Thank you in advance :)
 

aristobrat

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@wopi82, will give that a shot. Hopefully things are dry enough to try tomorrow. For your review, what tool did you use to create the single picture that contained multiple smaller pictures?
 

NGL

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Hi aristobrat,

I’m glad you will test 6MP model, as I’m thinking about buying exactly this one as my second camera.

As you have both cameras (6MP and 2MP) prepared for testing, would it be possibile for you to do some test with very fixed parameters at night? I would be really thankfull if you cold set both to described below parameters, and post BMP or good quality JPG.

Both cameras zoomed out to widest angle, full resolution and same framerate. Both set to 1/30s exposure, all image parameters set to 50, black-and-white mode, noise reduction 50, WDR/BLC/HLC off, IR off, codec H264 at 10Mbit/s or highest possibile. With all set as above, GAIN set to: 0 on both, 50 on both and 100 on both. So that ultimately you end up with 6 images. Thank you in advance :)
 

wopi82

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@wopi82, will give that a shot. Hopefully things are dry enough to try tomorrow. For your review, what tool did you use to create the single picture that contained multiple smaller pictures?
It's all Photoshop. I inserted it one by one, keeping oryginal resolution. For ISO/GAIN I used 1:1 crops.
 

EvgenioZ

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Hi!

Could you please add some screens on 3072x1728, 2304×1296 and 1920×1080 resolutions (16:9)? Does this cam just distort 4:3 images to 16:9 (as hfw8331 does) or resize and crop them (intended behaviour, as hfw81230 does)?

Thanks!
 

aristobrat

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@EvgenioZ

Here are the three 16:9's followed by the 4:3. To me, it looks like the 4:3's getting distorted to 16:9 because it doesn't appear cropped any?

3072x1728 (16:9)
3072x1728.png

2304x1296 (16:9)
2304x1296.png

1920x1080 (16:9)
1920x1080.png







2592x1944 (4:3)
2592x1944.png
 

aristobrat

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Both cameras zoomed out to widest angle, full resolution and same framerate. Both set to 1/30s exposure, all image parameters set to 50, black-and-white mode, noise reduction 50, WDR/BLC/HLC off, IR off, codec H264 at 10Mbit/s or highest possibile. With all set as above, GAIN set to: 0 on both, 50 on both and 100 on both. So that ultimately you end up with 6 images. Thank you in advance :)
The 5631's max frame rate at full resolution is 20FPS, so that's what I set the 5231's FPS to. The rest of the settings are per your quote above. Attached is a zip of the six original BMPs taken from the cameras' "Live" pages.
 

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wopi82

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Thank you very much aristobrat. It is quite interesting to see, that HDW5631 reaches the same brightness at GAIN 100 as 5231. I was expecting something else. Interestingly, when I brighten (with Photoshop levels tool) the image of GAIN 50, I get much sharper result than oryginal image at GAIN 100. I wonder if the same works for video. I'm waiting for some daytime pictures now :)
 
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@aristobrat, can we say that the 5631 is equal or better than the 5231 ?
Does the fact that the 5631 was not a starlight model does any impact ?
What about the price of 5631 ? i didn't find it on ebay & co...

Many Thanks in advance for your help.
 

aristobrat

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What about the price of 5631 ? i didn't find it on ebay & co...
I'll start w/ the easier of your questions. Most folks here get their OEM Dahua equipment from Andy (@EMPIRETECANDY), either through his AliExpress store, or by sending him an email (he can invoice via PayPal).

The link to this camera on his store is:
Aliexpress.com : Buy 2017 New Arriving cameras 6MP WDR IR Eyeball Network Camera IPC HDW5631R ZE free DHL shipping from Reliable network camera suppliers on Empire Technology Co., Ltd
(note the price includes DHL shipping to the US)

I just (last night) used my 5631 to replace a 5231 overlooking my driveway (camera will be to the left of the ladder below). I'll try to get screenshots uploaded tonight or tomorrow, but my first impression is that the night-time image quality is grainier than the 5231, so I would say that it not being STARVIS does have an impact.

IMG_0155.JPG

p.s. the lock screwon the 5231 I took down had seized... Camera had been installed up there for about a year. Any T10 bit I used to try and loosen it broke, even ones that were "hardened". Ended up having to drill the T10 bit out. Doing that on the ladder wasn't a graceful event for me, so now I need to buy a replacement mount for my 5231. Ugh. So I guess... be careful with how tight you do lock screws in these turrets...
 
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aristobrat

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Post #4 above (link) update with day/night pictures from driveway.

To me, it looks like the 5631 has more detail during the day, hands down. At night, it also seems to have more details closer to the camera, but didn't seem to do as well handling motion in the driveway as the 5231 did.
 

keithl

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Thanks for the review. I have several of the new Eco-Savy cameras and wish this one were available before I ordered my Bullet equivalent as the Bullet is massive and a beast. Still working out how to get it neatly mounted on my soffit (yes I have seen the video with the metal bar, but the bullet is heavy). I have some 2MP/4MP/6MP and 8MP turrets in fixed focal as the varifocal would not buy me much as I needed them as wide as possible. I did get the bullet as I have one area that is a long reach where the zoom will be helpful. Some general observations on these Eco-Savy 3.0 models is the IR beam on all of them is very narrow and very disappointing. Also the noise in the images is rather excessive if you do not use the noise filter setting. I love the PFB-204W and PFA139 mounts for these cameras, I believe the varifocal takes PFA137. The PFA139 is a tad shallow and it barely fits the camera's cable connection when the cat 5 is connected, not much wiggle room. Daytime image quality on the 6MP/8MP is amazing, all my friends were very impressed, I do not have my outside Starlights up yet, but do have one inside and honestly I am just meh, since it needs the IR at night and I must use WDR the images all appear a bit soft. I am more curious when I put my outdoor Starlight up to see how it does. Overall some decent cameras. NVR (5215-4KS2) and excellent service from Andy!
 

looney2ns

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Thanks for the review. I have several of the new Eco-Savy cameras and wish this one were available before I ordered my Bullet equivalent as the Bullet is massive and a beast. Still working out how to get it neatly mounted on my soffit (yes I have seen the video with the metal bar, but the bullet is heavy). I have some 2MP/4MP/6MP and 8MP turrets in fixed focal as the varifocal would not buy me much as I needed them as wide as possible. I did get the bullet as I have one area that is a long reach where the zoom will be helpful. Some general observations on these Eco-Savy 3.0 models is the IR beam on all of them is very narrow and very disappointing. Also the noise in the images is rather excessive if you do not use the noise filter setting. I love the PFB-204W and PFA139 mounts for these cameras, I believe the varifocal takes PFA137. The PFA139 is a tad shallow and it barely fits the camera's cable connection when the cat 5 is connected, not much wiggle room. Daytime image quality on the 6MP/8MP is amazing, all my friends were very impressed, I do not have my outside Starlights up yet, but do have one inside and honestly I am just meh, since it needs the IR at night and I must use WDR the images all appear a bit soft. I am more curious when I put my outdoor Starlight up to see how it does. Overall some decent cameras. NVR (5215-4KS2) and excellent service from Andy!
You shouldn't need WDR at night.
 
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