REVIEW- Dahua SD1A404XB-GNR 4MP AI mini PTZ

bigredfish

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Thanks to Andy @EMPIRETECANDY for providing this camera for testing in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is the 4MP AI big brother to the 2MP SD1A203T-GN

Aliexpress link $174.99- US $174.99 5% OFF|2019 Latest New Model SD1A404XB GNR 4M 4x Starlight IR PTZ AI Network Camera PoE, free DHL shipping on AliExpress
SD1A404XB-GNR1_thumb.png
SD1A404XB-GNR
4M 4x Starlight IR PTZ AI Network Camera
> 1/2.8” 4Megapixel STARVIS™ CMOS
> Starlight technology
> Max. 25/30fps@4MP
> 4x optical zoom
> Face Detection, People Counting, Perimeter Protection
> IR distance up to 15m
> SMD Plus
> PoE
> IP66, IK08
20190830173627_13463.png


Image Sensor1/2.8" STARVIS™ CMOS
Effective Pixels4MP
Max. Resolution2560 (H) × 1440 (V)
ROM4GB
RAM1GB
Electronic Shutter Speed1/1 s–1/30,000 s
Scanning SystemProgressive
Min. IlluminationColor: 0.005Lux@F1.8
B/W: 0.0005Lux@F1.8
0Lux (IR light on)
IR Distance15 m (49.21 ft)
IR On/Off ControlZoom Prio/Manual/SmartIR
IR LEDs Number3
First some of the features that stand out on this mini PTZ:


  • This camera is designated 'AI" by Dahua
  • SMD Plus - part of the AI set of features, this helps Smart Motion Detection work with filters for Human, Vehicle, substantially reducing traditional MD false alarms
  • 4X zoom (2.8-12mm much like many other VF cameras)
  • Full 30FPS at 2560 x 1440 - bitrate to 8192
  • Features the Exposure Compensation slider/control



Initial testing was done on my pool deck and unfortunately we've had our first "cold" front and have experienced dreary overcast for 3 days now. It touched 49 degrees one night and here in Floriduh we were certain the end of the world was near.

The sun just came back out today, so I'm going to change location tomorrow and provide some additional image/video samples..

Here's some initial captures. I'll add my thoughts and Pros and Cons in the next post

DVR_SD1A404XB-GNR_main_20191118104443_@1.jpg
DVR_SD1A404XB-GNR_main_20191118015216_@1.jpg




My beautiful assistant Samantha helped in testing again..
(Remember to change the Youtube player to 1440)

 
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bigredfish

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Other features of note:

So I moved the camera to the front of the house today, was asked can it be mounted on a vertical surface? Yes it can, but it does limit your aiming. You would need to move the base various directions to get the view you want as there is no control to tell it its now vertical mounted..
IMG_0922.JPG DVR_SD1A404XB-GNR_main_20191119144132_@1.jpg


AI- Tripwire and Intrusion along with Abandoned and Missing Object. Work as expected. Though for some reason using the Deep IVS Object filter of both Human and Vehicle, the camera often sends me two alert/snapshots one for each filter on the same event?

SMD Plus
takes plain old false-positive prone Motion Detection to another level. By enabling AI for Human/Vehicle detection, it helps cure the age old problem with standard MD.

Bit rate- I wrongly implied max bitrate of 8192. Indeed "Customized" allows you to set as high as 20480 Kb/S.

Audio
- Good! With a NR slider the sound and noise levels of the built-n mic were very good.

IR- I'm just not a fan of the IR placement on these, but understand why they chose to do it. You will have to play with your placement to get one of the 3 IR lights to illuminate your primary preset area. I would recommend picking up a cheap additional IR illuminator to help out. I like my IR to follow and be n the same plane as the lens.

PTZ- All the normal PTZ controls and nicely responsive.

So hows the image?
Daytime was awesome as expected. The 1/2.8" 4MP clearly brings out crisper, cleaner images in full light than our old standby 5231 series. Nothing unexpected here.

Nighttime- Honestly this cam needs a lot of light (IR or white light) at night. As expected with the same sensor and minimum illumination specs as the 2MP, with a lot more, smaller pixels, each letting in less light, it's starved for light after dark. An F-stop of F1.8 is pushing it for good low light performance.
I struggled with many different settings to get the best low light image with little blur without a lot of Gain noise. Exposure Compensation can be helpful and a shutter priority of 1/30-1/60 seemed to work pretty well. When adding white light such as the video below with my flood light kicking in, the camera shines.


No IR 1/30 Gain 0-55

Floodlights on B&W (camera would not switch to color)

Floodlights - Forced Color
 
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I don't know if its just me, but the 4mp image quality looks softer than the 2mp variant. 2mp model is sharper.
As far as performance goes, the 4mp is just a tad snappier in terms of responding to commands / functions. You may call it buttery-smooth, but the RAM makes all the difference, :lol:

Now for the pros, I can finally see my @$$ close up from where I'm standing (pun intended); the varifocal range on this camera is exactly why I upgraded
But the issue right now remains, I don't see a difference in terms of zoom between the 2mp and 4mp models. Seems to be this is just relabeled (which I know is not true given the upgraded hardware internals), so what gives? :confused:

Also, as a PTZ the camera, the camera doesn't autofocus. The NVR I'm temporarily using this camera with says "function not supported"
As per the 2mp camera PTZ, it always auto-focuses without additional intervention from my end
 
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bigredfish

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Mine auto focuses ....?

The difference you’re seeing in “sharpness” is less light sensitivity. Noticeable in low light. Same sensor, more pixels, less light per pixel. Age old issue we’ve discussed here with higher MP cameras.

I’ll address that more tomorrow but the 4MP version needs more light at night.
 

mmmburritos

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Also, as a PTZ the camera, the camera doesn't autofocus. The NVR I'm temporarily using this camera with says "function not supported"
As per the 2mp camera PTZ, it always auto-focuses without additional intervention from my end
Check in the settings, it defaults to "semi auto" focus, I changed mine to auto and it works much better.
 
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I didn’t realize this was using the same old sensor; I thought maybe was utilizing a newer sensor. That explains a lot; ironically this still qualifies to be a starlight model; isn’t the lux rating lower in this model?
Also, any comment on the maximum focal length and zoom?
 
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This is cool, has exposure compensation and yes you can change the focus to auto. This along with AI and a snappier user interface makes a this a win in my books. Can't have all the features at this price-point, the IR seems the same as the last model as well (which is okay given the foam factor). I wish Dahua can allow higher bit rate though, highest is 8192kb/S :) @EMPIRETECANDY
 

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On the other hand, I'm going to miss the Dahua logo on the 2mp version, haha, some will think I'm crazy after reading this, but who's not a Dahua fanboy these days? lol :facepalm:
 

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bigredfish

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One of the things that Ive noticed with multiple Dahua cameras is the sensitivity of WDR. It seems you get very little change from 10%-44% and then at 45% it all of a sudden intensifies.
Not unique to the SD1A404XB-GNR. See attached at 10%, 25%, 40%, 44% and finally 45%

WDR10_SD1A404XB-GNR_main_20191117101245_@1.jpgWDR25_SD1A404XB-GNR_main_20191117101309_@1.jpgWDR40_SD1A404XB-GNR_main_20191117101327_@1.jpgWDR44_SD1A404XB-GNR_main_20191117101343_@1.jpgWDR45_SD1A404XB-GNR_main_20191117101409_@1.jpg
 
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