Dahua Starlight vs. Hikvision Darkfighter

smiticans

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I'm in the market for a good low light camera with a motorized lens (capable of at least 8mm). So far I've narrowed down my search between the Dahua Starlight IPC-HFW8281E-Z and the Hikvision DarkFighter DS-2CD4A26FWD-IZ(H)(S). I'm leaning towards the Dahua Starlight due to the price of the unit. Does anyone have any experience with either of these cameras? Also, does anyone know of a reliable seller to purchase them from?

Thanks!
 

Brad_C

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I have a couple of Darkfighters here. I also have several real low light cameras (from Bosch Starlight through to a neat special unit with a 1" imager and a couple of nice loan units I'm not allowed to talk about yet).
I've come to the conclusion that the Darkfighter light specs are rated at a shutter speed of 1S (in other words completely useless in the real world) and it's rated dynamic range of 120dB is more like 120dB PMPO (realistically somewhere in the order of 70-80dB). The specs are a total fabrication and its idea of "software WDR" isn't worth the paper its written on.
Having said that... no, on second thought the cameras don't actually have anything to recommend them. If you want a real low light camera, you'll have to go to a real manufacturer and pay real low light camera prices. These cameras were expensive and a complete waste of money.
It's disappointing. For what I paid for the Darkfighters, I could actually get some nice Bosch units for roughly the same price that perform roughly 4 times better in low light and challenging light conditions. Even the latest Bosch 8000 12MP (which is not a low light camera by any means) performed almost as well as a Darkfighter in real low-light conditions and the 5MP Starlight ate it for breakfast.
 

Kawboy12R

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I'd tend to agree on his WDR and dynamic range opinions. I like my Darkfighter at what I paid for it ($350 US after shipping) but I've seen some 5mp Bosch footage. Good stuff. I just can't find any at $350 to my door or I'd buy some...
 

Brad_C

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I'm not a Bosch dealer. I don't sell anything to anyone, but I do test a lot of cameras.

The only Bosch low light unit I have here at the moment is an original 720p Starlight. It's a very good low light camera, but at half the resolution of the Darkfighter. I have some of the 8000 series teed up for loan in the first week of August to shoot out against some other new stuff from another manufacturer.

I've got cameras from a few manufacturers (Bosch, March Networks, GBO, Axis, Hik, Avigilon) here at the moment. I just expected the Darkfighter to be as good as its price suggested it'd be. It was aimed at the Axis/Avigilon/Bosch market and marketed as such, but it's just not there. I had serious ONVIF compatibility issues, firmware glitches and other issues that are just not good enough for a camera marketed at the $1000 price point. I don't mind the Hik 2-line stuff, because when you are only paying a buck fifty for a camera you get a camera worth a buck fifty and you don't have enough skin in the game to be worth complaining about.

I don't currently have any comparison samples I could share because of the nature of the target areas. When I next do some tests I'll find a public park or something and see if I can knock up something anonymous enough for the internet.
 

klasipca

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Bosch cams are really way out of price range for regular homeowners while Darkfighter is somewhat a middle ground but personally I find $150-$200 is my limit how much I would want to spend on a single cam
 

Brad_C

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Bosch cams are really way out of price range for regular homeowners while Darkfighter is somewhat a middle ground but personally I find $150-$200 is my limit how much I would want to spend on a single cam
Then the $3.5k GBO might be a bit spendy for you then :) With a 1" imager it makes the Bosch camera look like it has dark sunglasses on.

Don't get me wrong, I've got 8 Hik cameras up at home (2 darkfighters, a generic 4-line indoor dome & 5 2-line cams) and the 2-line cameras are all ok for what they are at their price point ( list on those is still over $200 though). I would not complain about the Darkfighter if it was a 3 or $400 camera, but the list price here is $1,100 and it's just not worth that.
I can hit up the Bosch dealer for a "mates rates" price and nearly get a new 5MP for that kind of coin.

I didn't realize this was a limited budget homeowners forum. I'll retreat back to the Hik sub-section and just go back to lurking.
 

Kawboy12R

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Don't lurk if there are pics to be posted or video of moving subjects.
 

smiticans

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What about the Dahua Starlight? Looks like I can get it for around $370.00. As long as it compares to the Longse S500 I'll be happy. I'm definitely not looking to spend $1,000 on a single camera.
 

morpheus

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Hi,

I have:
- Dahua Starlight PTZ SD65F230F-HNI
- Hikvision Darkfighter DS-2CD4526FWD-IZH
- Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS
- Axis P3367-VE (3.5 years old)
- longse (IMX290) is on the way

low light:
Best
- Hikvision Darkfighter DS-2CD4526FWD-IZH
- Dahua Starlight PTZ SD65F230F-HNI
- Axis P3367-VE
- here comes long time nothing
- Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS
Worst


wdr:
Best
- Dahua Starlight PTZ SD65F230F-HNI
- Hikvision Darkfighter DS-2CD4526FWD-IZH
- Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS
- Axis P3367-VE (only software wdr)
Worst
 

klasipca

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Hi,

I have:
- Dahua Starlight PTZ SD65F230F-HNI
- Hikvision Darkfighter DS-2CD4526FWD-IZH
- Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS
- Axis P3367-VE (3.5 years old)
- longse (IMX290) is on the way

low light:
Best
- Hikvision Darkfighter DS-2CD4526FWD-IZH
- Dahua Starlight PTZ SD65F230F-HNI
- Axis P3367-VE
- here comes long time nothing
- Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS
Worst


wdr:
Best
- Dahua Starlight PTZ SD65F230F-HNI
- Hikvision Darkfighter DS-2CD4526FWD-IZH
- Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS
- Axis P3367-VE (only software wdr)
Worst
Oh, please update us on Longse IMX290. I was about to buy couple of them, but holding out.
 

Kawboy12R

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That's a good price for that camera. No experience with the mall though.
 
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