Review - Dahua IPC-HFW7442H-Z 4MP Ultra AI Varifocal Bullet Camera

Wildcat_1

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I was thinking it it should have counted as Non Motor Vehicle :)

Also caught a fox the other day with it :)

I will be posting further AI testing soon including People vs Photo, ANPR / LPR and the multi attributes the cam can detect in People Detection :)

Nice video! The deer is coming, dahua better add animal counting too,lol.
View attachment 49479
 

David L

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I was thinking it it should have counted as Non Motor Vehicle :)

Also caught a fox the other day with it :)

I will be posting further AI testing soon including People vs Photo, ANPR / LPR and the multi attributes the cam can detect in People Detection :)
Just added a Watch to this thread. @Wildcat_1, Great job on this review, looking forward to further LPR testing. I am a noob, so I will try to limit my noob questions. Funny, but I was once told that snow would be reflected by IR, but your night videos are great, what do we know down South here about snow :)
Specs looks great on this camera.
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4MP @ 60fps makes for a great LPR, just what I am looking for.
 

Wildcat_1

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Thought you might like the snow :) the 60fps was disables in the latest Test FW (trying that as well) so will ask @EMPIRETECANDY to confirm with Dahua engineers that 60fps will return in final / next FW. Andy can you check on this please ? This was in the original and currently shipping FW for reference. Thanks


Just added a Watch to this thread. @Wildcat_1, Great job on this review, looking forward to further LPR testing. I am a noob, so I will try to limit my noob questions. Funny, but I was once told that snow would be reflected by IR, but your night videos are great, what do we know down South here about snow :)
Specs looks great on this camera.
View attachment 49524
4MP @ 60fps makes for a great LPR, just what I am looking for.
 

David L

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Nice video! The deer is coming, dahua better add animal counting too,lol.
Will you be selling this on Amazon? IPC-HFW7442H-Z
Does AliExpress except PayPal again? I have not bought there in many years.

Thanks,
David
 

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Just added a Watch to this thread. @Wildcat_1, Great job on this review, looking forward to further LPR testing. I am a noob, so I will try to limit my noob questions. Funny, but I was once told that snow would be reflected by IR, but your night videos are great, what do we know down South here about snow :)
Specs looks great on this camera.
View attachment 49524
4MP @ 60fps makes for a great LPR, just what I am looking for.
There has a more powerful lens IPC-HFW7442H-Z4, this can watch bit longer distance than this model.
 

David L

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Initial In-Cam AI up in post 3. Take a look.
Outstanding review. Pics look great. Got an ipcamtalk e-mail notification while watching the WS game and saw your name, had to come look before retiring to bed. :)
I am excited about this camera. It may just be the LPR Cam I am looking for.
I assume night LPR pics are coming soon along with your mentioned AI.

Thank You for all your work,
David
 

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Ok, I did say I would limit my newbie questions but I have to ask. What about paper plates? Here in Houston we have a huge problem with older cars running around with paper plates, assuming most are not legal since there are so many, I have personally seen a huge increase over the several decades of living/driving here.
Any thoughts?
 

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David

Paper plates have worked but take a little finessing. However as the AI separates vehicles so well, even if it can’t make out a particular plate, you can quickly find vehicle caps and pull out manually, worst case. Remember that paper plates are even harder to capture at night due to no reflection from the metal plates. However these are still possible but you need great position or zoom for night paper captures, think Z12 variants for that unless you have an amazingly well lit (floodlight) area ;)

and Yes, more to come :)


Ok, I did say I would limit my newbie questions but I have to ask. What about paper plates? Here in Houston we have a huge problem with older cars running around with paper plates, assuming most are not legal since there are so many, I have personally seen a huge increase over the several decades of living/driving here.
Any thoughts?
 

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Post # 3 - Reserved For AI Feature Testing & Results

3.1 AI FEATURES - INITIAL ANPR

Now I couldn’t let all of you go into the weekend without giving you a taste of what everyone’s been waiting for……ANPR / LPR. Now as I mentioned, the first test (this one) was to really push the camera to the test, I would never setup an LPR camera on purpose at this angle or height but wanted to see what it could do in a regular overview position.

The way in which this camera works and what the end result is depends on where you are sending the feed.

On Cam (SD Card recording)

If you are only using on cam (SD card) then you will get :
  • Separated video and pictures that are tagged CarDetect, assuming you are using Vehicle Detection under ANPR rule or my favorite Video Structuralization.
  • As separate files do not link to each other when recorded in cam and would have to be viewed separately.
  • Video does not have any overlay of the details of the capture, yet it does show on the web gui if watching live (the clips that pop up) and of course is burned into the picture.
You can configure the Vehicle Detection capture (in Video Structuralization) a number of ways but I configure so if it detects a plate then I end up with 3 pictures (full res wide shot with car details, plate close up and close view (vehicle and plate).

AI NVR

When using an AI NVR you get:
  • Pictures and video’s together under Vehicle Detection in its AI menu
  • Tags all plate info so you can search by it later, very cool !
  • Due to last bullet item you can then search using the AI function for attributes such as Plate No., Color, Type, Logo, Plate Color, Ornament, Calling, Seatbelt.
  • If you don't want to search by attributes then leave this completely open (ALL) and when you hit search it will pull back pic and video matches together !
  • In conjunction with an AI NVR it also allows you to build Black & White Lists for plates
--
As video in cam does not overlay, lets take a first look at ANPR/LPR pics and cover AI later.

So, in this first example (with bad angle and height) at full zoom, how does the camera do…….in my opinion its VERY impressive but let me know your thoughts. I’ve obscured partial plates and faces to protect privacy. When you look at what its trying to capture from a PPI perspective, its amazing.

If you have the camera web gui up and Video Structuralization set as on-screen you get to see the results in real-time which also (in the case of the Ford) showed on screen that they were wearing seatbelts (unfortunately didn’t capture the screen grab in time).

DON’T WORRY MORE TO COME FOR ANPR/LPR AS WELL AS THE OTHER AI FEATURES

Couple of pics of vehicle capture
Each captured the plate accurately and when you look at the distance to target (70-80ft) its doing a great job based on a 2.7 to 12mm lens especially since the DORI rates this as just under 42ft (at full zoom like this) to identify and that would be a person not a plate :)


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Video Structuralization Meta Clip From Web GUI

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3.3 Night ANPR / LPR - Coming SOON



3.4 People Detection - Attribute Testing


As I wait for the snow storm to stop so I can test more of the Night ANPR / LPR, I thought I would show you one of the other areas I committed to, testing this cam against all its stated People Attributes. Now as this was a warmer, sunnier day you can imagine what this must have looked like for others as they walked by BUT hey, wanted to test the cam. I also have another interesting twist on this test coming up which I will post as soon as I can.

So here’s how it did. It takes 2 pics under Human Detection AND if it can detect it (and you have enabled) can also grab Face Detection on top. This is why I love using Video Structuralization as it allows you to stack many AI features (definitely consider this tip !). In most case the AI did a great job except it could not detect the backpack, everything else worked.


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Impressive on the LPR aspects, especially at that angle. I am purchasing one of these (the 8mm-32mm) version to replace a vivotek LPR setup on a busy road that has been atrocious from the start. Day time is fine with the vivotek, but its IR setup and image controls are horrible for night time view. Even better when you call for support, one person I talked to had heard of the camera but had never used it, and the other person didn't know it existed.

I'm optimistic this camera will handle it much better. I'd love to see the night captures when you get to that point!
 

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Updated post 3 (3.4) with People Attribute & Face Detection testing. Putting this camera to the limits of its stated detection :)
So the AI did pretty well, BUT :) It did get a color of a car wrong, stated it was red, wonder if the stop sign confused it, also several of the Car Logo (makes) were wrong, Great Wall? :). But I am sure we can adjust angle of camera, settings to improve all that. AI to me is a nice additional feature but for personal use we all will be manually going over the video footage ourselves and obtaining more detail, like # of people in vehicle, dents, stickers, guns hanging out of windows :), etc.. So AI is not top on my list why I would buy this camera. The Res seems great on this camera, and LPR so far is spot on, once I see the night LPR pics then I will be totally sold. Again, GREAT Job WIldcat_1 on this review, hope you are getting a commission.
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rsoxhater

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So the AI did pretty well, BUT :) It did get a color of a car wrong, stated it was red, wonder if the stop sign confused it, also several of the Car Logo (makes) were wrong, Great Wall? :). But I am sure we can adjust angle of camera, settings to improve all that. AI to me is a nice additional feature but for personal use we all will be manually going over the video footage ourselves and obtaining more detail, like # of people in vehicle, dents, stickers, guns hanging out of windows :), etc.. So AI is not top on my list why I would buy this camera. The Res seems great on this camera, and LPR so far is spot on, once I see the night LPR pics then I will be totally sold. Again, GREAT Job WIldcat_1 on this review, hope you are getting a commission.
View attachment 49738
I just ordered the 8-35mm version from Andy this morning. We'll hopefully get it into service next week once it comes in. We use Milestone LPR, but I'll probably sneak an SD card into the camera to test out the AI part of it. We have LPR's overlooking some of our busier streets for our police dept.
 

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Hi David, thanks for your message. No commission just as mentioned above, offering an honest, unbiased review in testing the camera.

With LPR, height, angle and distance to target along with camera settings (dedicating a cam for LPR basically) are key. Take a look in the LPR section and you will see posts from myself @bigredfish and others that are using 5231's and 5241's for LPR and go over our setups and captures from those. I have no doubts whatsoever that this cam (7442 Ultra AI) can perform extremely well and benefit from the resolution boost as well as the 1/1.8" sensor in the same environment. For LPR most may want the 8m to 32mm version for the extra focal length and flexibility it gives in install location etc. if I get chance will also try and update the review with that model at a later time. Ideally a 7842 or 7442 Ultra AI in Z12 model would be amazing :)

The AI does do well but the makes, similar to the backpack (on the people detection) are harder for it. The color has actually been pretty good BUT (one of the tips), things like exposure rate, backlight etc can fool this and bring about wrong color matches. As I will cover in my recommendations / summary what is great about these AI cams (on top of the AI itself) is the power of the SOC used to process this (which makes for a very responsive camera) BUT also its ability to accurately detect Vehicle, People, Non-Vehicle so if you use Video Structuralization you will easily (via SD or AI NVR) be able to hone in on the captures that matter rather than scrolling through standard IVS or MD triggers. This certainly shortens time to find and review this accurately tagged footage. On an AI NVR, being able to enter Plate No., Color, Vehicle Color etc and drive down the search even quicker is phenomenally useful. Similarly with the Pro AI (like the B5442), while that doesn't have Video Structuralization or ANPR it DOES have Vehicle vs People detection and in an attached AI NVR you can search IVS triggers for 'Effective Targets' based on that. All in all a huge help in narrowing down the search for relevant captures etc.

So the AI did pretty well, BUT :) It did get a color of a car wrong, stated it was red, wonder if the stop sign confused it, also several of the Car Logo (makes) were wrong, Great Wall? :). But I am sure we can adjust angle of camera, settings to improve all that. AI to me is a nice additional feature but for personal use we all will be manually going over the video footage ourselves and obtaining more detail, like # of people in vehicle, dents, stickers, guns hanging out of windows :), etc.. So AI is not top on my list why I would buy this camera. The Res seems great on this camera, and LPR so far is spot on, once I see the night LPR pics then I will be totally sold. Again, GREAT Job WIldcat_1 on this review, hope you are getting a commission.
 
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Wildcat_1

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I think you'll be pleased with the cam. Milestone's XProtect LPR is not a bad add on to their base system by any means but the AI on this should be able to perform very well for you. Even passing a stream into OpenALPR (for comparison) has given some fantastic results from this cam

I just ordered the 8-35mm version from Andy this morning. We'll hopefully get it into service next week once it comes in. We use Milestone LPR, but I'll probably sneak an SD card into the camera to test out the AI part of it. We have LPR's overlooking some of our busier streets for our police dept.
 

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Hi David, thanks for your message. No commission just as mentioned above, offering an honest, unbiased review in testing the camera.

With LPR, height, angle and distance to target along with camera settings (dedicating a cam for LPR basically) are key. Take a look in the LPR section and you will see posts from myself @bigredfish and others that are using 5231's and 5241's for LPR and go over our setups and captures from those. I have no doubts whatsoever that this cam (7442 Ultra AI) can perform extremely well and benefit from the resolution boost as well as the 1/1.8" sensor in the same environment. For LPR most may want the 8m to 32mm version for the extra focal length and flexibility it gives in install location etc. if I get chance will also try and update the review with that model at a later time. Ideally a 7842 or 7442 Ultra AI in Z12 model would be amazing :)

The AI does do well but the makes, similar to the backpack (on the people detection) are harder for it. The color has actually been pretty good BUT (one of the tips), things like exposure rate, backlight etc can fool this and bring about wrong color matches. As I will cover in my recommendations / summary what is great about these AI cams (on top of the AI itself) is the power of the SOC used to process this (which makes for a very responsive camera) BUT also its ability to accurately detect Vehicle, People, Non-Vehicle so if you use Video Structuralization you will easily (via SD or AI NVR) be able to hone in on the captures that matter rather than scrolling through standard IVS or MD triggers. This certainly shortens time to find and review this accurately tagged footage. On an AI NVR, being able to enter Plate No., Color, Vehicle Color etc and drive down the search even quicker is phenomenally useful. Similarly with the Pro AI (like the B5442), while that doesn't have Video Structuralization or ANPR it DOES have Vehicle vs People detection and in an attached AI NVR you can search IVS triggers for 'Effective Targets' based on that. All in all a huge help in narrowing down the search for relevant captures etc.
Sorry for the newbie response from me, being new to LPRs. I will definitely go to the LPR section and educate myself more. Thank you for being easy on me and taking the time to explain.
 

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David, no problem, really. We all have to start somewhere and this forum is a great place to start. Just send a message in that forum or feel free to reach out directly and will help where I can.

Sorry for the newbie response from me, being new to LPRs. I will definitely go to the LPR section and educate myself more. Thank you for being easy on me and taking the time to explain.
 
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