Dahua IPC-HDW5442T-ZE 4MP Varifocal Turret - Night Perfomance testing

Wildcat_1

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@EMPIRETECANDY kindly provided 1 of these units for testing and I specifically wanted to focus on 1 area, night captures and IR as I know a number of people have been interested in understanding how this compares to the fixed lens variants in this respect and have been wanting a 4MP vari to add to their systems if it can perform well. As daytime image is very similar (spoiler, its good) to its fixed lens brothers I didn’t see a need to focus there.

Therefore I wanted to put up a post detailing the night performance of this new IPC-HDW5442T-ZE 4MP vari turret from Dahua. In the following video (which is long) I demonstrate the cameras ability to handle night captures utilizing a variety of lighting situations (no light, 1 bulb, flood lights) and in B&W as well as forced color.

My personal opinion on this camera from my testing is as follows:
  1. Great overall cam with a nice image from the 4MP sensor and vari optics on this
  2. Slightly darker image on this unit vs the fixed lens variants which is to be expected due to differing aperture capabilities of the lenses (f1.6 on fixed vs f.18 on vari) and with that, light sensitivity differences too
  3. Nightvision is very good BUT does need the Auto IR tweaked in FW (already reported this back to Dahua) due to washing out subjects dead center of frame. However this can be mitigated as I show in this video
  4. Sensor noise is minimal and easily mitigated as it is a crawl rather than a pulse (much trickier to remove pulsing noise using config)
  5. For those new to security cams or that have a hard time picking a fixed lens for their specific install location then this IS the turret you want currently
  6. Finally, in my opinion this is a cam that can be considered as a replacement for the legendary 5231 turret just make sure as always that you take into account your install location, lighting available and above all, dial in your camera to cater for these, DON’T RELY ON AUTO !

Video is uploaded in native res so make sure you select as high as you can go (at least 1440)
Timestamps for the video to help you navigate:

  • 16 seconds - Start of B&W only, no light section
  • 2m 20 seconds - Start of B&W with 1 x 60w bulb
  • 4m 40 seconds - Start of forced color with 1 x 60w bulb
  • 6m 50 seconds - Start of B&W with 2 x 150w flood lights
  • 9m - Start of forced color with 2 x 150w flood lights
  • 11m 10 seconds - Start of my tips on mitigating IR power / washout

HTH and please let me know with any questions as always

WC

 

Wildcat_1

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Also, noticed a new update in the latest 5442 FW that I hadn't pointed out so will update here and in the bullet cam posts. Specifically if you run an SD card as backup you now have more filtering options for playback. In other words tagging of captured clips is improved which is fantastic. In most other cams you are still limited to things like General, Intrusion, Event, Tripwire but the latest 5442 FW list is much more extensive.

Personally, unless I'm working a dark site install / project then all my cams have SD cards in (I highly recommend the Samsung Pro Endurance 128GB) for backup. This new set of tags local to the cam makes it incredibly useful in being able to locate specific types of captures locally such as SMD (Human), SMD (Vehicle) etc.

Take a look

SD Card Playback Filtering Options 1 of 2.jpg SD Card Playback Filtering Options 2 of 2.jpg
 

samplenhold

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Thanks for this!

So what is the Focal Length set at?

What do you mean by "Flood Lights Ambient"?

What most folks are interested in is how much blur will there be on a moving person's face. Can one get a good face shot for ID? Wearing a mask and shades really makes it hard to evaluate that. So to try and decide that, I have paused the video numerous times and tried to read the words on your cap, but can't decipher them. But that is probably not a good way for me to figure the face shot quality out.
 

Wildcat_1

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Ok let me answer all of those :)

Remember even though I edit in ProRes for as lossless as possible that Youtube applies further compression hence hard for you to make out but trust me its possible. With regards to motion blur that is always critical to minimize or reduce that is why if you read other posts I've made you'll see I'm an advocate for dialing your camera(s) in to cater for target and location. Specifically 1/60 shutter is the slowest you want to go for slow moving people capture, 1/100 for those wanting to avoid cams and 1/120 for slow moving vehicles (1/250 for fast) and fast moving people. That is why I focused on these 3 exposure rate / shutter speeds here.

Flood Light ambient meaning you'll see the flood light spill over effect from the 2nd patio area BUT it is not directly on the main portion of the scene where you see me approach camera close.

In answer to your other question, YES you can absolutely see full facial details (hence the mask and shades :) ) with this cam BUT make sure you look at the tips I give at the end of the video on reducing the IR washout otherwise this will impair your ability to get a good capture.

HTH

Thanks for this!

So what is the Focal Length set at?

What do you mean by "Flood Lights Ambient"?

What most folks are interested in is how much blur will there be on a moving person's face. Can one get a good face shot for ID? Wearing a mask and shades really makes it hard to evaluate that. So to try and decide that, I have paused the video numerous times and tried to read the words on your cap, but can't decipher them. But that is probably not a good way for me to figure the face shot quality out.
 

samplenhold

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Personally, I want color at night. My areas around my house have varying light strength. I have had decent face caps with the old 5231 vari turret from 2018 and have just upgraded that driveway spot with a T5442 in 6mm. I do get better face caps with that new one.

But I have other places that have less light and need more zoom than 6mm and really would prefer the turret over the bullet. So that is why I was asking about what Focal Length you were testing at. I have one position where I might have to go with the Z4E. Still have to decide.
 
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David L

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@EMPIRETECANDY kindly provided 1 of these units for testing and I specifically wanted to focus on 1 area, night captures and IR as I know a number of people have been interested in understanding how this compares to the fixed lens variants in this respect and have been wanting a 4MP vari to add to their systems if it can perform well. As daytime image is very similar (spoiler, its good) to its fixed lens brothers I didn’t see a need to focus there.

Therefore I wanted to put up a post detailing the night performance of this new IPC-HDW5442T-ZE 4MP vari turret from Dahua. In the following video (which is long) I demonstrate the cameras ability to handle night captures utilizing a variety of lighting situations (no light, 1 bulb, flood lights) and in B&W as well as forced color.

My personal opinion on this camera from my testing is as follows:
  1. Great overall cam with a nice image from the 4MP sensor and vari optics on this
  2. Slightly darker image on this unit vs the fixed lens variants which is to be expected due to differing aperture capabilities of the lenses (f1.6 on fixed vs f.18 on vari) and with that, light sensitivity differences too
  3. Nightvision is very good BUT does need the Auto IR tweaked in FW (already reported this back to Dahua) due to washing out subjects dead center of frame. However this can be mitigated as I show in this video
  4. Sensor noise is minimal and easily mitigated as it is a crawl rather than a pulse (much trickier to remove pulsing noise using config)
  5. For those new to security cams or that have a hard time picking a fixed lens for their specific install location then this IS the turret you want currently
  6. Finally, in my opinion this is a cam that can be considered as a replacement for the legendary 5231 turret just make sure as always that you take into account your install location, lighting available and above all, dial in your camera to cater for these, DON’T RELY ON AUTO !

Video is uploaded in native res so make sure you select as high as you can go (at least 1440)
Timestamps for the video to help you navigate:

  • 16 seconds - Start of B&W only, no light section
  • 2m 20 seconds - Start of B&W with 1 x 60w bulb
  • 4m 40 seconds - Start of forced color with 1 x 60w bulb
  • 6m 50 seconds - Start of B&W with 2 x 150w flood lights
  • 9m - Start of forced color with 2 x 150w flood lights
  • 11m 10 seconds - Start of my tips on mitigating IR power / washout

HTH and please let me know with any questions as always

WC

Awesome Review, as always...Hey I know this is petty but you have 6 inches instead of feet in your opening NOTE:

1594341823115.png

Just got my Cam today, ordered it last Saturday, amazing, it shipped Monday and got here Thursday. Still blown away how fast Andy gets these to us. I was going to hold off but figure this would be high in demand. I actually bought it to be my varifocal test/placement Cam for other Turret Cams. What I love is the 5442 I have uses the same mount so I can start with this varifocal mounting it where my fixed will go, just to see if I did right by buying the 3.6 mm, if not it will stay there and I will find a new home for the fixed. Maybe I should of waited till the varifocal came out, but, Nah :) lol.
 

Wildcat_1

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Thanks for the kind words. I meant 6 inches as I said it should be 6” lower than I had it ;)

Agree with you on the mount and have a selection of PFA130’s and if you want ultimate flexibility then I also use the Dahua PFA121 junction boxes that work with the Dahua bullet cams but the cool part is that you can buy in the 4 screw mount version (bullet cams) and also a 3 screw version (PFA122) which works with the turrets. Keep a couple of each spare then as you want to move cams just mount your new cam to your spare faceplate and switch one cam/plate out for the other on the junction box. Works really well in switching cams without having to remount junction boxes :)

Awesome Review, as always...Hey I know this is petty but you have 6 inches instead of feet in your opening NOTE:

View attachment 66020

Just got my Cam today, ordered it last Saturday, amazing, it shipped Monday and got here Thursday. Still blown away how fast Andy gets these to us. I was going to hold off but figure this would be high in demand. I actually bought it to be my varifocal test/placement Cam for other Turret Cams. What I love is the 5442 I have uses the same mount so I can start with this varifocal mounting it where my fixed will go, just to see if I did right by buying the 3.6 mm, if not it will stay there and I will find a new home for the fixed. Maybe I should of waited till the varifocal came out, but, Nah :) lol.
 

David L

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Thanks for the kind words. I meant 6 inches as I said it should be 6” lower than I had it ;)

Agree with you on the mount and have a selection of PFA130’s and if you want ultimate flexibility then I also use the Dahua PFA121 junction boxes that work with the Dahua bullet cams but the cool part is that you can buy in the 4 screw mount version (bullet cams) and also a 3 screw version (PFA122) which works with the turrets. Keep a couple of each spare then as you want to move cams just mount your new cam to your spare faceplate and switch one cam/plate out for the other on the junction box. Works really well in switching cams without having to remount junction boxes :)
Gotcha, hey good advise on the j-box and mounts...Thanks...
 

spammenotinoz

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posts I've made you'll see I'm an advocate for dialing your camera(s) in to cater for target and location. Specifically 1/60 shutter is the slowest you want to go for slow moving people capture, 1/100 for those wanting to avoid cams and 1/120 for slow moving vehicles (1/250 for fast) and fast moving people. That is why I focused on these 3 exposure rate / shutter speeds here.
This is an area I struggle with. When dialed in with different day \ night profiles, I struggle with dawn\dusk or just dark days. Whereas Dawn\Dusk are okay for me on auto.
I know it's user error, but even following the Wiki I can't seem to translate shutter speed into the customised range, to overcome fully dialed in.

eg: If my max desired shutter speed is 1/120, what would be the value in the customised range which only goes 0-40ms?
I was thinking I put 0.008333 in the second box.
Or if I wanted to keep the shutter speed between 1/100 and 1/120, I would put 0.01 in the first and 0.008333 in the second.

If this is not correct, does anyone know of a dummies guide for Dahua and the customised shutter ranges.

* Update *
Immediately after posting I realised I was converting to SECONDS and NOT MILLISECONDS. ie: 1/120 is 8.33333!!! Doh..
Always takes posting on a public forum to immediately realise my own user error!!
Leaving this here in-case someone else struggled.
 
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EMPIRETECANDY

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Latest firmware as this link shows.
Woo, another latest new one released today. Will test it.
DH_IPC-HX5XXX-Volt_MultiLang_PN_Stream3_V2.800.0000000.17.R.200620.zip
 

Steviedee

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Thanks heaps for your post. Great video which provides a good idea as to how well this camera works at night in different conditions. Absolutely think this is the camera for me.

Cheers :)
 

Wildcat_1

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@spammenotinoz Yes thats exactly what its doing (ms) BUT there is an easier way where you don't have to calculate. Little tip in case you hadn't seen it

  • Go into Settings, Conditions Menu
  • Choose Exposure sub menu
  • In the Mode sub menu change to Manual
  • Go down 1 box to the first Shutter selection sub menu and change to Customized Range - You'll now be presented with the 2 entry fields below that, left box represents the lowest shutter/exposure, right box represents highest. These are the shutter value inputs in ms

    To figure out what value to enter (without breaking out the calculator)

  • Click on the drop down arrow in the same Shutter selection menu (where it now says Customized Range) and instead choose (click) your desired shutter speed from the list, lets say 1/2000 then in that same box click back to Customized Range and you will see its pre-populated the number in the right shutter value box below (0.5 in the case of this one). Do the same for the other value you are interested in (it will always display the returned value in the right box, just need to transpose lowest to left, highest to right) and then populate the shutter value fields with those values while leaving Mode to Manual and Shutter to Customized Range
You may have already seen that but if not, maybe that helps, save calculator batteries too ;)

For daytime (again depends on light available in area, time of year etc) but generally having a low of 1/250 (4) and a high of even 100,000 (0.01) for those super bright locations ensures enough speed (even on the low end when it get darker as the day goes on) to capture blur free vehicles / fast moving targets. You can always drop as low as 1/120 (8.33) depending on how long you leave your schedule before you kick into Night config or if its a darker day but don't go lower if vehicles are in your target list otherwise you will be disappointed with a lot of the results.

The other caveat here is of course the purpose of the camera itself. If this is a front door/porch cam that is only interested in capturing people right in front of it then of course you adjust your config accordingly. If on the other hand you are trying to do LPR (with appropriate cam) then you would lock Shutter to around 1/1000 or 1/2000 to ensure crisp plate captures (depending on FOV of camera, angle height distance to / and speed of target etc). So again adjust accordingly but LPR would be an area where you set a specific shutter and then leave it rather than have a value range. The reason for not wanting the value range in LPR is you don't want the camera to 'think' about adjusting exposure/shutter within a limited capture window (FOV) on a fast moving target therefore by locking it down you remove the option for the camera to choose :)

Manual is absolutely the way to go (STAY AWAY FROM AUTO) and I advocate for it wherever I can. I also use this in every system I am involved with as you truly dial in your shutter/exposure for a given situation with a range that can adapt to the location, lighting and target type you are needing to capture.

HTH, let me know with any other questions

This is an area I struggle with. When dialed in with different day \ night profiles, I struggle with dawn\dusk or just dark days. Whereas Dawn\Dusk are okay for me on auto.
I know it's user error, but even following the Wiki I can't seem to translate shutter speed into the customised range, to overcome fully dialed in.

eg: If my max desired shutter speed is 1/120, what would be the value in the customised range which only goes 0-40ms?
I was thinking I put 0.008333 in the second box.
Or if I wanted to keep the shutter speed between 1/100 and 1/120, I would put 0.01 in the first and 0.008333 in the second.

If this is not correct, does anyone know of a dummies guide for Dahua and the customised shutter ranges.

* Update *
Immediately after posting I realised I was converting to SECONDS and NOT MILLISECONDS. ie: 1/120 is 8.33333!!! Doh..
Always takes posting on a public forum to immediately realise my own user error!!
Leaving this here in-case someone else struggled.
 
Last edited:

juliand

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Latest firmware as this link shows.
Woo, another latest new one released today. Will test it.
DH_IPC-HX5XXX-Volt_MultiLang_PN_Stream3_V2.800.0000000.17.R.200620.zip
I d'l'd the r16 and did not flash yet, I'll wait for your testing on the r17. I have the z4e model..Thanks Andy..
 
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