Dahua Starlight IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE review

Crazykiller

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IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE.jpg
Due to very bad weather and a lot of work and some data loss, my review took a way longer than expected.

After testing this cam for a few days now, I hopefully got most weather and light conditions to compare with the IPC-HDW5231R-ZE.

Because of the upload limitation I will cut it in multiple posts.

At first the specs and unboxing of the IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE which have been kindly provided by @EMPIRETECANDY for reviewing it in comparison with the IPC-HDW5231R-ZE.

Features:
  • 1/2.8” 2Megapixel progressive scan STARVIS™ CMOS
  • H.265&H.264 triple-stream encoding
  • 50/60fps@1080P(1920×1080)
  • Smart detection supported
  • WDR(120dB), Day/Night(ICR), 3DNR,AWB,AGC,BLC
  • Multiple network monitoring: Web viewer, CMS(DSS/PSS) & DMSS
  • 2.8mm fixed lens (3.6mm,6mm optional)
  • Built-in Mic
  • Max. IR LEDs Length 50m
  • Micro SD memory, IP67
  • ePoE (Extended PoE with up to 800m)
Product Page: http://dahuasecurity.com/products/ipc-hdw4231em-ase-14511.html

Datasheet: http://dahuasecurity.com/download/DH-IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE_Datasheet_201707122.pdf

Quick Start Guide: http://dahuasecurity.com/download/DH-IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE_QuickStartGuide__201706262.pdf

Operating Manual: http://dahuasecurity.com/download/DH-IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE_Operation_Manual__201706262.pdf

Wall mount: PFA204W

Junction box: PFA139

Pole mount: PFA152-E



Unboxing:

The IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE came in an unobstrusive, brown box, like all the generic / OEM Cams from Dahua usually do.
sticker.jpg


The included accessories are as usual too.
  • Wrench to dismount / adjust the cam within it’s mount
  • Stick for drilling the mounting holes
  • Quick start guide
  • Compact Disc
  • Screws and anchors
  • Waterproof connection kit for the network cable
  • And of course the camera

unboxing.jpg


Size:

Sometimes size matters. And if it does for you, you might take a look at this model. Compared to the varifocal HDW5231R-ZE it is a tiny cam which might fit better in some situations or places.
EMASE-RZE_side.jpg
EMASE-RZE_top.jpg


Firmware:

The cam came with the firmware version 2.460.0000.14.R, Build Date: 2017-07-20
version.png
 
Last edited:

Crazykiller

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For testing I mounted the HDW4231EM-ASE next to a HDW5231R-ZE at the outside of a shed in a height of 1,70m (5,6ft). The hedge at the end of the property is approximately 19m (62,34ft) away.

All settings have been left in default. In the pictures “IR On” means SmartIR. Don’t get confused by the channel name HDW4231R-ZE. This was a typo in the text overlay and of course it is the HDW5231R-ZE.

Sunny day at high noon:
Sunny_noon.jpg

Rainy day at high noon:
Rainy_noon.jpg

Sunrise:
Sunrise.jpg
This day the sunrise was at 07:35:00. About 25 minutes prior to sunrise it was bright enough that the cams switched to color mode. The HDW4231EM-ASE switched 2-3 minutes earlier to color mode than the HDW5231R-ZE.

Sunset:
Sunset.jpg
Sunset was at 18:52:00 this day. The cams switched to b/w mode about 35 minutes after sunset.The HDW4231EM-ASE switched 2-3 minutes later do b/w mode than the HDW5231R-ZE.

IR off in b/w mode at full moon
IR_off-FullMoon.jpg

IR off in b/w mode at full moon behind Clouds
IR_off-FullMoon_Cloudy.jpg

IR off in forced color mode at full moon
Color_FullMoon.jpg

IR off in forced color mode at full moon behind Clouds
Color_FullMoon_Cloudy.jpg

IR off in b/w mode, supported by a 10W LED Spotlight
10W_LED_bw.jpg

IR off in forced color, supported by a 10W LED Spotlight
10W_LED_color.jpg

HDW4231EM-ASE IR on, HDW5231R-ZE IR off
IR_On-EM-ASE.jpg

HDW4231EM-ASE IR off, HDW5231R-ZE IR on
IR-On-R-ZE.jpg

As you can see, the new design of the varifocal HDW5231R-ZE is more prone to dirt by design. It has only one glass to cover the lens and the IR LEDs. So you might get more reflections from the cameras IR than with the HDW4231EM-ASE or the older HDW5231R-Z.

Conclusion:

By comparing the images of both cams, you could see, that the HDW4231EM-ASE has a more washed out night view. Maybe I got a cam which wasn’t properly focused at factory, but it’s more noticeable in night view. So it seems the refocusing of the varifocal HDW5231R-ZE works when switching to night mode, and the HDW4231EM-ASE has a fixed focus and can’t autofocus when switching to night view. Maybe I would give that model another try to see if it’s only this one, having this issue, or if it is by design.
For situations where you need a smaller, unobtrusive camera body and if you are on budget, this cam might be the right decision for you. Personally I’ll stick with the varifocal ones. But for now I’m not sure if I’ll go with the new design of the R-ZE. I think I’ll use the new model mainly when I need the black face (painting the camera body), or in partially covered places to protect the glass from rain.
 
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Thanks for pointing out that the "the new design of the varifocal HDW5231R-ZE is more prone to dirt by design"
It'd be great if varifocal cameras could come in smaller, more compact form size with a greater zoom lens, however, that's not going to happen anytime soon
Some might say that it may be cost-prohibitive, but spending a few more on a vari-focal enables more flexibility in the long run.

The pros of the fixed lens is the size. Can be placed almost anywhere and is discreet and at the same time depending where its placed can serve its purpose overtime.

The one noticeable thing between both camera models you compare is the different mounts they use. Can't interchange cameras on the same mount. Dahua should come up with a more integrated solution, or just make your own, haha
 

bug99

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@Crazykiller Thanks for the review. They seem more similar than different (except for the last image). One of the biggest negatives with varifocal cameras is that they seem to balance the focus point, and close objects are larger and therefore get an unwanted heavier weight (like a bush). I wish i could define the focus zone (ex box) and have perfect focus day or height in that zone, even when zoom changes (although that last point is not that big of a deal as they tend to zoom and leave).

@Arjun +1 on the smaller compact larger zoom. Also wish they would start making them with duplex audio with a simple class D amp ($0.50 worth of parts), while i am wishing.
 

Crazykiller

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@Crazykiller - Off topic. Can you hear those wind turbines in the distance during day/night? And, a guess on how far away they are, and how high they are. Much appreciated for any info.
Nope, I don’t hear those. Only another one, which is a big one. But I don’t know it’s height. Will check if I get the info. And will measure the distance with google.
This one we hear if the wind comes from it’s direction. Especially when it’s raining.
 

EMPIRETECANDY

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For testing I mounted the HDW4231EM-ASE next to a HDW5231R-ZE at the outside of a shed in a height of 1,70m (5,6ft). The hedge at the end of the property is approximately 19m (62,34ft) away.

All settings have been left in default. In the pictures “IR On” means SmartIR. Don’t get confused by the channel name HDW4231R-ZE. This was a typo in the text overlay and of course it is the HDW5231R-ZE.

Sunny day at high noon:
View attachment 22541

Rainy day at high noon:
View attachment 22540

Sunrise:
View attachment 22542
This day the sunrise was at 07:35:00. About 25 minutes prior to sunrise it was bright enough that the cams switched to color mode. The HDW4231EM-ASE switched 2-3 minutes earlier to color mode than the HDW5231R-ZE.

Sunset:
View attachment 22543
Sunset was at 18:52:00 this day. The cams switched to b/w mode about 35 minutes after sunset.The HDW4231EM-ASE switched 2-3 minutes later do b/w mode than the HDW5231R-ZE.

IR off in b/w mode at full moon
View attachment 22536

IR off in b/w mode at full moon behind Clouds
View attachment 22537

IR off in forced color mode at full moon
View attachment 22534

IR off in forced color mode at full moon behind Clouds
View attachment 22535

IR off in b/w mode, supported by a 10W LED Spotlight
View attachment 22532

IR off in forced color, supported by a 10W LED Spotlight
View attachment 22533

HDW4231EM-ASE IR on, HDW5231R-ZE IR off
View attachment 22538

HDW4231EM-ASE IR off, HDW5231R-ZE IR on
View attachment 22539

As you can see, the new design of the varifocal HDW5231R-ZE is more prone to dirt by design. It has only one glass to cover the lens and the IR LEDs. So you might get more reflections from the cameras IR than with the HDW4231EM-ASE or the older HDW5231R-Z.

Conclusion:

By comparing the images of both cams, you could see, that the HDW4231EM-ASE has a more washed out night view. Maybe I got a cam which wasn’t properly focused at factory, but it’s more noticeable in night view. So it seems the refocusing of the varifocal HDW5231R-ZE works when switching to night mode, and the HDW4231EM-ASE has a fixed focus and can’t autofocus when switching to night view. Maybe I would give that model another try to see if it’s only this one, having this issue, or if it is by design.
For situations where you need a smaller, unobtrusive camera body and if you are on budget, this cam might be the right decision for you. Personally I’ll stick with the varifocal ones. But for now I’m not sure if I’ll go with the new design of the R-ZE. I think I’ll use the new model mainly when I need the black face (painting the camera body), or in partially covered places to protect the glass from rain.
Thanks Dennis, Dennis bought different dahua cams and make testing, that is very nice of him. I may send you a IPC-HDW4431EM-ASE 3.6mm for testing with this 2mp ones if you are interested. With your missing brackets, lol
 

thesleepy_slee

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Definitely the one at the bottom has more light.

Envoyé de mon A0001 en utilisant Tapatalk
 

Crazykiller

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@Crazykiller - Off topic. Can you hear those wind turbines in the distance during day/night? And, a guess on how far away they are, and how high they are. Much appreciated for any info.
@weigle2: Got the info now. The height, of the one we could hear with wind from it's direction and espicially while raining, is about 142,5m (467ft), the hub is 98m (321.5ft) and is 836m (2,743ft) away.
We don't hear those on the pictures. They are at least 1430m (4,680ft) away and they are smaller ones. Hub is 80m (262.5ft) and height is 118m (387ft).
 
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@weigle2: Got the info now. The height, of the one we could hear with wind from it's direction and espicially while raining, is about 142,5m (467ft), the hub is 98m (321.5ft) and is 836m (2,743ft) away.
We don't hear those on the pictures. They are at least 1430m (4,680ft) away and they are smaller ones. Hub is 80m (262.5ft) and height is 118m (387ft).
@Crazykiller - Big thanks for getting that info. I have a neighbor who wants to put a small one up, and I'm worried about the noise. We live within city limits, so I'm hoping the city won't allow it. Quite surprising how high they really can be. Thanks, again. Also, really liked your comparison above. :)
 

TVT73

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By comparing the images of both cams, you could see, that the HDW4231EM-ASE has a more washed out night view. Maybe I got a cam which wasn’t properly focused at factory, but it’s more noticeable in night view. So it seems the refocusing of the varifocal HDW5231R-ZE works when switching to night mode, and the HDW4231EM-ASE has a fixed focus and can’t autofocus when switching to night view. Maybe I would give that model another try to see if it’s only this one, having this issue, or if it is by design.
For situations where you need a smaller, unobtrusive camera body and if you are on budget, this cam might be the right decision for you. Personally I’ll stick with the varifocal ones. But for now I’m not sure if I’ll go with the new design of the R-ZE. I think I’ll use the new model mainly when I need the black face (painting the camera body), or in partially covered places to protect the glass from rain.
Nope, I don´t agree. If you look at the picture of hdw5231 the focus is to near. But for the poor picture light coverage, it´s difficult to see. The cams are mounted too much near the ground. Therefore the grass is overlighted, the background sucks in darkness. Normally is the ir transmitter of 5231 much more present in the middle of the picture, whereas the single Ir of 4231 is better wide angle coverage and not overlighted in the center. But it has not the distance like the dual ir with one lens for near and one for far (you can see the fresnel difference of the lens cover).
Took a higher mount around 2,20m-2,50 and try it again. And when you have a better overall light situation, and at maximum angle of the hdw5231r-z you will get for sure after refocusing at night a better picture.

Nope, I don’t hear those. Only another one, which is a big one. But I don’t know it’s height. Will check if I get the info. And will measure the distance with google.
This one we hear if the wind comes from it’s direction. Especially when it’s raining.
You need to disable noise reduction for audio. Then I am sure you can hear more than with you own ears :)

And if you compare moving objects, you can see the disadvantage of the fixed focus system with a aperture of 2.0 , you will get more motion blur than with a varifocal system. Unfortunately I didn´t had one of these before, but I also think, that under known view angles suiting 2,8 or 3,5mm they would be a good deal.

If you change your pictures to thumbnail, it would be a big pleasure for opening you topic... The full size pictures makes it really slow. Especially for low bandwidth users.
 

Crazykiller

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Nope, I don´t agree. If you look at the picture of hdw5231 the focus is to near. But for the poor picture light coverage, it´s difficult to see. The cams are mounted too much near the ground. Therefore the grass is overlighted, the background sucks in darkness. Normally is the ir transmitter of 5231 much more present in the middle of the picture, whereas the single Ir of 4231 is better wide angle coverage and not overlighted in the center. But it has not the distance like the dual ir with one lens for near and one for far (you can see the fresnel difference of the lens cover).
Took a higher mount around 2,20m-2,50 and try it again. And when you have a better overall light situation, and at maximum angle of the hdw5231r-z you will get for sure after refocusing at night a better picture.


You need to disable noise reduction for audio. Then I am sure you can hear more than with you own ears :)

And if you compare moving objects, you can see the disadvantage of the fixed focus system with a aperture of 2.0 , you will get more motion blur than with a varifocal system. Unfortunately I didn´t had one of these before, but I also think, that under known view angles suiting 2,8 or 3,5mm they would be a good deal.

If you change your pictures to thumbnail, it would be a big pleasure for opening you topic... The full size pictures makes it really slow. Especially for low bandwidth users.
By my experience so far, i think it won't be a big deal if it's mounted 0,5m higher or not. It's caused by the angle to the ground. With a wide fov, you won't try to id a 6m height person in a distance of 20m. And this is the angle it's actually mounted. Otherwise the picture would be more overlighted.
The HDW4231EM-ASE has a aperature of f=1.2 and not 2.0.
At the HDW5231R-ZE you can't see any fresnel lense in front of the IR led, because it's covered by a semi transparent black plastic cover. But i suppose it's like the HDW5231R-Z. But for now i didn't disasseble the cover, which seems to be adhesive.
 
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By my experience so far, i think it won't be a big deal if it's mounted 0,5m higher or not. It's caused by the angle to the ground. With a wide fov, you won't try to id a 6m height person in a distance of 20m. And this is the angle it's actually mounted. Otherwise the picture would be more overlighted.
The HDW4231EM-ASE has a aperature of f=1.2 and not 2.0.
At the HDW5231R-ZE you can't see any fresnel lense in front of the IR led, because it's covered by a semi transparent black plastic cover. But i suppose it's like the HDW5231R-Z. But for now i didn't disasseble the cover, which seems to be adhesive.
I believe the IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE is an F=1.6 unless the Dahua website specs are incorrect.
 

jeremylatz

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View attachment 22528
Due to very bad weather and a lot of work and some data loss, my review took a way longer than expected.

After testing this cam for a few days now, I hopefully got most weather and light conditions to compare with the IPC-HDW5231R-ZE.

Because of the upload limitation I will cut it in multiple posts.

At first the specs and unboxing of the IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE which have been kindly provided by @EMPIRETECANDY for reviewing it in comparison with the IPC-HDW5231R-ZE.

Features:
  • 1/2.8” 2Megapixel progressive scan STARVIS™ CMOS
  • H.265&H.264 triple-stream encoding
  • 50/60fps@1080P(1920×1080)
  • Smart detection supported
  • WDR(120dB), Day/Night(ICR), 3DNR,AWB,AGC,BLC
  • Multiple network monitoring: Web viewer, CMS(DSS/PSS) & DMSS
  • 2.8mm fixed lens (3.6mm,6mm optional)
  • Built-in Mic
  • Max. IR LEDs Length 50m
  • Micro SD memory, IP67
  • ePoE (Extended PoE with up to 800m)
Product Page: http://dahuasecurity.com/products/ipc-hdw4231em-ase-14511.html

Datasheet: http://dahuasecurity.com/download/DH-IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE_Datasheet_201707122.pdf

Quick Start Guide: http://dahuasecurity.com/download/DH-IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE_QuickStartGuide__201706262.pdf

Operating Manual: http://dahuasecurity.com/download/DH-IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE_Operation_Manual__201706262.pdf

Wall mount: PFA204W

Junction box: PFA139

Pole mount: PFA152-E



Unboxing:

The IPC-HDW4231EM-ASE came in an unobstrusive, brown box, like all the generic / OEM Cams from Dahua usually do.
View attachment 22529


The included accessories are as usual too.
  • Wrench to dismount / adjust the cam within it’s mount
  • Stick for drilling the mounting holes
  • Quick start guide
  • Compact Disc
  • Screws and anchors
  • Waterproof connection kit for the network cable
  • And of course the camera

View attachment 22530


Size:

Sometimes size matters. And if it does for you, you might take a look at this model. Compared to the varifocal HDW5231R-ZE it is a tiny cam which might fit better in some situations or places.
View attachment 22526
View attachment 22527


Firmware:

The cam came with the firmware version 2.460.0000.14.R, Build Date: 2017-07-20
View attachment 22531
Thanks @Crazykiller so looks like the 5231R-Z still wins, too bad that they went back on the design.

What do you recommend for an area 35 feet by 35 feet, and a driveway that is about 25 feet down to 35 feet where the cars are?
 

Crazykiller

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I think for your situation a varifocal lens would be the best choice. Normally I would say you should cover this area by more than one cam, if you also want to identify people at your car.
 

Barboots

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I'm currently trying to improve night performance of this cam, particularly with regard to motion blurring. Everything I do which improves imagery at night seriously degrades day performance. I appreciate that I could set a time of day based "schedule" to switch between day and night, however I see that requiring a bit of maintenance from time to time. I thought I might have read about firmware which actually changes between the "day" and "night" profiles automatically. I currently have 2.622.0000000.23.R, Build Date: 2018-03-30 on the cam, which I thought would be at least close to latest.

Currently using the "Normal" profile does not appear to swap between day and night. Is there a gotcha I might be missing in the set-up?

Cheers,
Steve

Day Night.jpg
 
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