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Review: Dahua HFW5442T-ASE 4MP Starlight+


Known around here
Many thanks once again to Andy @EMPIRETECANDY we have the Loryta IPC-B5442T-ASE 4MP Starlight+ bullet.
This camera has been provided by Andy in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is a fixed 3.6mm bullet from the newer Eco-savvy 4.0 AI series(Pro AI) series with the 1/1.8” sensor.

Amazon Link (Loryta branded)

> 1/1.8” 4Megapixel progressive scan CMOS
> H.265 & H.264 triple-stream encoding
> 25/30 fps@2688 × 1520, 50/60 fps@1080 (1920 × 1080)
> WDR (140 dB), Day/Night (ICR), 3D DNR, AWB, AGC, BLC
> Multiple network monitoring: Web viewer, CMS (DSS/PSS) & DMSS
> 2.8 mm fixed lens (3.6 mm, 6.0 mm optional)
> 1/1 Alarm in/out, 1/1 audio in/out
> Max. IR LEDs Length 50 m
> Micro SD memory, IP67

Image Sensor - 1/1.8” 4Megapixel progressive scan CMOS
Effective Pixels -2688 (H) × 1520 (V)
RAM/ROM - 512MB/128MB
Scanning System - Progressive
Electronic Shutter Speed - Auto/Manual, 1/3 s–1/100000 s
Minimum Illumination -0.001 Lux@F1.6
IR Distance - Distance up to 50 m (164 ft)
IR On/Off Control - Auto/Manual
IR LEDs - 4

Artificial Intelligence
Face Capture - Support face image capture
Perimeter Protection - Tripwire, Intrusion (Human & Vehicle classification) People Counting - Support Line crossing/Region/Queueing people counting; Support 4 accesses independent detection, 4 areas independent detection

The camera is a full inch shorter and 3/4" smaller H&W than the 5231 bullet.
This camera appears to have the same sensor and Illumination specs as the turret version reviewed by @bp2008 found here: Review: Dahua IPC-HDW5442TM-AS (Loryta IPC-T5442TM-AS) (4MP Starlight+)

I'll be comparing this to the 2MP HFW5231E-ZE bullet as well as my own 2MP HFW3231E-Z HDCVI Starlight bullet which I believe is roughly equal in image quality to the 5231 IP camera.

*I was most interested with how it would perform in nighttime full color under my conditions, with street lights at the entrance to our street, and my driveway coach lights. I believe this is similar to many suburban homes and neighborhoods.

Daytime testing showed this to be superior to the 5231 and my CVI3231 in my opinion if simply due to the increased resolution and perhaps more "true" colors.

First some daytime shots from the 5442 (default auto) and my HDCVI-3231
DVR_CAM 3_main_20190730121334_@7.jpg DVR_5442T-ASE_main_20190723121829_@7.jpg
__main_20190729181650_@0.jpg DVR_5442T-ASE_main_20190727100502_@7.jpg

And some clips showing daytime comparison
*All daytime clips are Auto Exposure, 8192 kbps and 30fps

2MP 3231 HDCVI bullet

5442T-ASE 4MP bullet (cat at 60ft, car at 135ft)

2MP 3231 HDCVI bullet

5442T-ASE 4MP bullet

Different location - at the Entrance to our neighborhood replacing a 5231E-ZE bullet

Auto Ex Gain 0-50, WDR 10. This is the setting I decided worked best. Throughout this clip you can watch the camera adjust to various lighting changes.

This starts with a settings of WDR10, >then SSA, >then No backlight, >and finally back to WDR-10

Reference 5231E-ZE (Auto Exp)
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Known around here
So as I mentioned, nighttime color was my main focus with this camera... and it did not disappoint.

A couple of notes:
1- I do have very good white light. We have street lights every 250ft or so, and I have 100 watt bulbs in my two coach lights. Oh yeah, and I have a 3400lm floodlight above the garage ;)
2- While this camera can magnify existing light, it can't make light. Dont expect thee results with a single 60 watt porch light bulb, though I suspect it will still be better than your 5231 in the same conditions.
3- This is a fixed focus 3.6 lens. In both locations I tested, I would prefer to have a varifocus lens, but the VF version in this series, does not have as good min illumination specs.
4- Every scene/location is different. What works for me may not work the same for you. Different ambient light, reflective surfaces, and focus point will yield different results.

Still shot comparison
HDCVI 3231 vs 5442T-ASE
vlcsnap-2019-08-03-23h38m06s647.jpg vlcsnap-2019-07-31-21h46m30s127.jpg

A series of clips as I tried different backlight and Exp settings. With more time, I'm sure I could tweek settings to be even better, but overall very happy with the increased resolution and light.

Auto exposure, DNR50, Defog AUTO

Exposure 1/30, Gain 0-70, WDR50, DNR45

Exposure 1/30, Gain 0-50, DNR50, SSA ON

Exposure 1/30, Gain 0-55, DNR50, Defog AUTO

Same as above but with the Floodlights activated


While the 5442T-ASE performed well for my driveway, the best was yet to come.........
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Known around here
The biggest gain for me was the entrance to our street. These cameras sit atop a 14 ft pole.
There are entrance and exit LPR cams, as well as this Overview, which has been being served by a HFW5231E-ZE

The 5442 outperformed the 5231 by a TON in this location as you can see below.

Obviously the 3.6mm lens is a little too wide for this location, but the camera performed so well I'm tempted to leave it there, palm tree and all!

Here are some comparisons with the 5231 and the 5442

HFW5231E-ZE 1/30Exp, DNR50

HFW5442T-ASE - 1/30Exp, DNR45
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Known around here
The IR problem

As mentioned in the sister turret review by @bp2008 here, the camera as-is does not provide Smart IR. The Auto IR setting simply doesnt adjust as Smart IR would. I believe there may be a firmware fix available and will add to this post once resolved.

Without Smart IR testing in B&W was limited, but here's some samples from the front and back of the house. The 5442T-ASE is such a light hog that I had to turn off my coach lights while using IR in order to get an image that was not blown out.

Exp Auto - IR Auto - Coach Lights Off

IR 30- Coach Lights Off

IR 10 - Coach Lights Off

Best- IR OFF/Coach Lights ON

To test in very dark conditions, I mounted the camera facing the back yard.


These snaps are at 1/30Exp, Gain 0-50, DNR45, IR at 10%.
Auto IR washed out face badly within 15ft at any setting.


IR 10%
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Pulling my weight
Great job and for your conditions it does well. We close on our construction loan Friday and the build starts. Our area is extremely dark and I will have exterior LED house lights on and in time landscape lights to brighten things up. However no street lights etc, the best option for us is going to be the Starlight 2 MP series.


Known around here
@bigredfish Have you tried out any of the analytics+? We have been working with a Dahua engineer in California that was telling me about the + analytics on these and how much better they perform over the current IVS features. I was just getting ready to order a couple of these to try out and I decided to search the forum here to see if they hit the streets yet.


Known around here
I did play with the Human/Vehicle filter on Tripwire and it worked as designed and very briefly with the people counting. Havent given it a real thorough workout though an did not play with face capture...


Known around here
We sat in on a demo of the analytics+ or second generation AI that comes with these cameras. Dahua will also be releasing an AI NVR and DVR line that will support AI on both IP channels and analog channels. The new smart motion detection looked cool and the facial and license plate capture looks pretty cool to. Just ordered a few to put on the house to try out along with a DH-TPC-BF5600N-B thermal camera.


Known around here
I can say that the basic IVS features, Tripwire and Intrusion, work better than the 5xxx series I own. False alerts on Tripwire on the driveway from shadows and headlights seems to be a thing of the past. :)


Known around here
That’s at 1/30, I can up the brightness by going to AUTO exposure or add Gain but both produce a bit noisier image. Still tweaking but between its low light ability and excellent IVS, it’s a winner.

Just wish the VF had the same illumination specs


Known around here
Spec says 8192, but am able to set using "Customized" to 20480. Havent run it at that so cant be certain of performance. My NVR only allows 8192.