Review: Dahua SD5A425XA-HNR 4MP 25x Starlight IR PTZ

Wildcat_1

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@ljw2k if @railcam purchased the 5A425s that my review here focused on it should have the Auto Tracking. Only the 49225s had that functionally stripped later by Dahua and needed the custom branch FW.
 

ljw2k

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Hi wildcat I deleted my reply as got mixed up in the camera model number before you posted.
 

ljw2k

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Thank You very much for your concern it is appreciated and yes I am lots better now and takes more than Covid-19 to take me out :)
 

railcam

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Welcome to the thread @railcam. Glad it’s been useful. Just reach out if you have any questions.
I will probably come back to you with some questions as we switched to Dahua from HIkvision last year (8 years of Hikvision use) as our preferred camera's. I need to learn more about tweaking our existing Dahua cameras to get the best out of them. There are some terms used in this thread that I do not understand , such "Dial in"
 

Wildcat_1

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I will probably come back to you with some questions as we switched to Dahua from HIkvision last year (8 years of Hikvision use) as our preferred camera's. I need to learn more about tweaking our existing Dahua cameras to get the best out of them. There are some terms used in this thread that I do not understand , such "Dial in"
When I mention dialing in I mean configuring the camera (settings, rules and overall image) for the FOV, conditions and desired capture targets. Just reach out and if you want me to jump on your system and assist in dialing in at some point, happy to do so.
 

joshwah

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Hey everyone... getting ready to do some testing for the ideal location for my new PTZ! The issue I have is, when I install a regular POE IP camera, I can just hold it in place etc.... however, with the PTZ, it's going to prove near impossible to hold it there for extended periods... any suggestions for rigs/jigs, etc... ?
 

quest100

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Purchased this camera last month from Andy and have been testing it ever since. Bottom line: it's a great camera! By far my best. And most expensive.

Original firmware was:

  1. Device Type SD5A425XA-HNR
  2. System Version V2.810.0000001.3.R.P9.2519.UN.NR, Build Date: 2020-06-08
  3. WEB Version V3.2.1.905073
  4. ONVIF Version 19.06(V2.6.1.845389)
  5. PTZ Version V2.401.0000000.64.RHNAN_200219_34642
  6. Security Baseline Version V2.1
With this firmware it did an OK job of tracking people and was worse than useless for tracking cars. Too low of a <Tracking Target Size> and almost nothing happened. Too high a value and it usually panned to the sky, I asked Andy if he had a newer firmware and he send me a link. After installing I now have:
  1. System Version V2.810.0000017.0.R.P9.2519.UN.NR, Build Date: 2020-11-23
  2. WEB Version V3.2.1.984015
  3. ONVIF Version 19.12(V2.8.0.923968)
  4. PTZ Version V2.401.0000000.64.RHNAN_200219_34642
  5. Security Baseline Version V2.1
After upgrading both people and car tracking improved. Instead of zooming into where the object was originally detected, not finding it because it had moved, and panning to the sky, it now pans to the location and then gradually zooms in by steps. This tends to be much slower for getting to a detail view, but it works much more reliably. My guess is that something in between would work best - predict where the object will be by the time the panning to the new position should be done and simultaneously zoom halfway in. Also, the <Target Tracking Size> parameter does not seem to be as sensitive. I can now use values from 35-55 or more without gross tracking errors.

Currently, car tracking tends to start out OK but gets lost when the moving car passes in front of another prominent car. It seems to prefer the shiny parked car. When I use Internet Explorer to watch, I can see the outline box around the tracked car merge into the box for the parked car. Even if it regains the box for the moving car it usually sticks with the parked car. If there is something moving (like a flag blowing in the wind) near the parked car it often stays on the parked car for 10-30 seconds until finally giving up. Does not differentiate between a moving car and movement near a parked car.

I don't really care about tracking cars so I turned motor vehicles off.

The camera does an excellent job tracking people. If there are no interfering objects around it will track a person until they disappear from view. Smaller tree trunks are usually no problem. When a person passes behind our bigger tree on the corner, the camera gives up tracking about the time they reappear. More of a problem is cars. When the person walks behind a car with their head still visible the camera usually, but not always, loses track. Even with motor vehicle tracking turned off, the camera seems to fixate on the car.

I now have the camera zoomed out (wide FOV) looking at my front yard and driveway and on down the cul-de-sac. Anyone approaching my front door or on the sidewalk triggers the camera to start tracking. On the sidewalk. people are tracked until they pass behind a tree or cars. People approaching the front door are tracked right up to the door. I do wish that the tracking would prioritize peoples heads and not their center of mass. If the person keeps moving within the FOV for long enough I can often get a detailed image with the person filling the image. Even when tracking messes up it usually gives me a better view of the person than before trying to track.


Now for some questions

1) Anyone else see tracking switch from one object to another. Car to parked car? Person to car? Even when no motor vehicle tracking enabled?

2) <Max Size>, <Min Size>, and <Pixel Counter>. Any explanation what they do and how to adjust? I left them at their default sizes (8191^2, 0^2, and 0^2). Min Size and Pixel Counter seem redundant and presumably set the smallest object to track.

3) I am using Blue Iris. Is <Face Detection> or <Video Metadata> usefull without a Dahua NVR? If so, how?

4) Is there a good browser to use on a Mac? The boxes drawn around objects in Internet Explorer are very useful and some controls just don't work in Safari or Firefox. When I use IE on my BI computer it usually drops the frame rate of all the cameras in BI to around 50% with lots of stutter. Does not improve after quitting IE.

5) Some new parameters in the web interface. What are they?
5.1) Camera - Conditions - Picture. What is <Picture Freeze>?
5.2) - Exposure. What is <AE Recovery>?
5.3) - Video - MainStream. What is <SVC>?
4.4) When setting up tracking I thought from the interface that I could setup two different Intrusions. One using human and one using motor vehicles. And then have different <Target Tracking Sizes> for each. Apparently not?

6) What effect does varying the frame rate, WDR, etc. have on tracking? Any other non obvious parameters thataffect tracking?

7) When setting up tracking should a border be left around the tracking region?
 

wittaj

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Nice review. I do not have that camera, but in my experience with Dahua PTZ:

Just because these cameras are capable of 30 or 60 FPS and a lot of IVS rules doesn't mean we should run at that. If you are running the FPS at the max, then you are running this camera at capacity and the little CPU bugs out at 100% and that is just enough to lose track.

Movies for the big screen are shot at 24FPS, so it doesn't make much since to run higher than that for our TVs and phones LOL.

Try dropping to 15FPS as that is more than sufficient for surveillance cameras.

Just use 1 IVS rule - too many and the CPU usage goes up and it can get stuck for a split second - since all you care about is human just do one intrusion block enters and exits.

Ideally you should have the initial field of view be such that the camera doesn't have to initially pan too much up/down or left/right to get the object in the center of the screen to start tracking. The closer the object is to the center of the image, the better the chance that it will track correctly.

Now for some answers to your questions:

1) Anyone else see tracking switch from one object to another. Car to parked car? Person to car? Even when no motor vehicle tracking enabled? It happens. Hopefully the suggestion above helps with that, plus answer on #6

2) <Max Size>, <Min Size>, and <Pixel Counter>. Any explanation what they do and how to adjust? I left them at their default sizes (8191^2, 0^2, and 0^2). Min Size and Pixel Counter seem redundant and presumably set the smallest object to track. Best case is to leave them default and let AI for human do it's thing. These are more for IVS where you do not use AI for human or vehicles, so you would set a size in it.

3) I am using Blue Iris. Is <Face Detection> or <Video Metadata> usefull without a Dahua NVR? If so, how? Not really since BI does not know or have that capability. Keep it turned off.

4) Is there a good browser to use on a Mac? The boxes drawn around objects in Internet Explorer are very useful and some controls just don't work in Safari or Firefox. When I use IE on my BI computer it usually drops the frame rate of all the cameras in BI to around 50% with lots of stutter. Does not improve after quitting IE. Known issue with Dahua and in particular the PTZs are to use IE for the settings to be accepted.

5) Some new parameters in the web interface. What are they?
5.1) Camera - Conditions - Picture. What is <Picture Freeze>? Basically takes a picture at the preset, but not sure why or how useful
5.2) - Exposure. What is <AE Recovery>? a period of time after which the camera’s exposure will reset. In most locations it doesn't have an impact.
5.3) - Video - MainStream. What is <SVC>? leave at default for BI as it is a layering kinda like iframes and BI will struggle with other settings
4.4) When setting up tracking I thought from the interface that I could setup two different Intrusions. One using human and one using motor vehicles. And then have different <Target Tracking Sizes> for each. Apparently not? Nope - would be nice if the tracking size could be different for each IVS within a preset!

6) What effect does varying the frame rate, WDR, etc. have on tracking? Any other non obvious parameters thataffect tracking? A lot - dialing it in to your setting can eliminate a lot of the false trackings. Try not to ever use WDR and dial in the other settings first like shutter, contrast, brightness, etc. Do not run auto shutter and provide enough contrast so that the camera can see the differences. Brightness of the image isn't always your friend. For my night settings, I actually took it a little darker (opposite of what you would think to do) to allow the camera to track the subject better than a similar contrast in the background.

7) When setting up tracking should a border be left around the tracking region? Most cases you can run it right up to the border.
 

Wildcat_1

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Glad you like the camera !

Please take a look at my videos at the start of this and the other PTZ threads I've posted that show how to dial in tracking for consistency and to assist in maintaining target through the track
A number of the questions you list below, I've answered in this and other threads but let me try and assist in reply too

1) Target Switching - Depending on your FOV and how you've dialed your image in, YES you can see an object switch tracking (often times caused by light conditions changing etc). AI will always try and track the stated object but again at times can switch on you. Dialing in the cam for the FOV and adjusting for foreground objects and lighting etc will help

2) Max, Min, Pixel - Max & Min Size, Pixel counter etc I mention in my 49225 thread and the post specifically relating to this question is located HERE

4) Browser on Mac - You need Internet Explorer for settings to be controlled on camera GUI directly, correctly. Worst case run Parallels, Virtualbox etc on a Mac.

5) These settings are covered in many threads. Do a quick search or look through the other PTZ threads I mention above and you should find answers to these and more. A few quick replies below:
5.2) AE Recovery - Really only useful when dealing with extremes of lighting or crazy conditions in which the entire scene changes (from an exposure perspective) in an FOV and resets the Auto Exposure for the overall scene based on the timer you set. Leave as default BUT on the topic of Exposure DON'T USE AUTO, take time to dial it in as I mention above and through these and other threads for best results
5.3) SVC = Scalable Video Coding and speaks to how the substreams in an h264 container are encoded by layer which allows for adaptation or adjustment of a layer for the target viewing source. Leave this as 1 (1:1), no need to change for 95%+ of applications​
5.4) Multiple Rules - Yes you can setup multiple IVS rules and each rule can have a rule type (intrusion, tripwire etc). Each rule type can be set for Human, Vehicle etc. Be very careful how many rules you create per preset and don't overlap them otherwise you won't get the results you desire. Remember less is more here, have specific areas of an FOV and specific targets in mind when setting up​

6) Other Settings - Frame Rate, Backlight (WDR) make a difference to the overall image being capture and again need to be dialed in for the FOV, install location and conditions on site. Due to this they can make a big difference in tracking.

7) Border Around Target Area - Depending on your rules and needs + FOV you do want to leave some gap, border on around the edge although its not required. Again dialing in the image for FOV and rules for the targets you want to capture is the best way to tackle this

Remember, dialing the camera in is key

HTH and if you would like me to take a look at your cam, settings and dial in for you. Just ping me in DM and can set some time to take a loo
 

Wildcat_1

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Thought I would update with a quick couple of clips showing how well this camera still does in 2021. Here I show how this camera does when tracking in the snow. Uploaded in native res and you can view in 2K in YouTube once processing completes. In the meantime be sure to select 1080p HD

 

Wolf4Ever

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Can You put some pictures how exactly this PTZ looks outside from 5 meters?

All pictures on Dahua site are renders, I don't known how glossy the chassis is and how much chassis different from optics in distances like 5 meters?
 
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looney2ns

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So, I just received one of these cams. How is the firmware status?
Mine came with:

1621199087864.png

I see that Dahua list's these newer firmwares.
The top one in this list looks suspicious from the naming convention difference.
Any experience with any of these? Thanks.

1621199490676.png
@EMPIRETECANDY @Wildcat_1
 

Wildcat_1

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Hey @looney2ns I run 2.810.0000001.3.R, Build Date: 2020-06-08 on the 5A425's. As I mentioned in this thread at this post HERE, I've not been impressed by later FW's as Dahua decided to 'mask' the ability for the camera to capture Vehicle metadata correctly. If you don't need Vehicle Metadata and are ok with this then using something like the newer FW's are fine where SMD improves a little as does Auto Tracking response (crispens up). For me I'm staying on 06/08 as Dahua has not addressed the Video Metadata findings yet and having a black box where the data used to be is not a good solution IMO. My hope is that this will be addressed at some point.

HTH


So, I just received one of these cams. How is the firmware status?
Mine came with:

View attachment 89793

I see that Dahua list's these newer firmwares.
The top one in this list looks suspicious from the naming convention difference.
Any experience with any of these? Thanks.

View attachment 89794
@EMPIRETECANDY @Wildcat_1
 

Wolf4Ever

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So, I have been messing with mine for a few days and day is great but I can't seem to get a good picture at night in Color or B&W and at this point color is a little better than B&W to me as the capture goes. Color is ok if forced but wondering why is similar to the 5442 I have to force color and it won't work on auto like the 5442. As it has an adjustable iris/f-stop it should get more light even at 50% then the 5442 with a set iris/f-stop. I have played with the gain/shutter and left iris at 50% as to not blur to much FOV but its noisy and anything over 120 has rolling/hz issues. I don't mind 120 but would like and thought it could do 250. Also, the IR at times is like a spot light and blows out almost everything, any help would be appreciated.
Auto tracking is ok for the most part, just like to have but not depending on it as the overall view is good enough, but would like the overall capture to be better.
@Wildcat_1 @EMPIRETECANDY

NVR_Front Door 4mp_main_20210517014937_@1.jpgNVR_Parking 4mp PTZ_main_20210516210649_@1.jpgNVR_Parking 4mp PTZ_main_20210516211926_@1.jpg
 

Wildcat_1

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So, I have been messing with mine for a few days and day is great but I can't seem to get a good picture at night in Color or B&W and at this point color is a little better than B&W to me as the capture goes. Color is ok if forced but wondering why is similar to the 5442 I have to force color and it won't work on auto like the 5442. As it has an adjustable iris/f-stop it should get more light even at 50% then the 5442 with a set iris/f-stop. I have played with the gain/shutter and left iris at 50% as to not blur to much FOV but its noisy and anything over 120 has rolling/hz issues. I don't mind 120 but would like and thought it could do 250. Also, the IR at times is like a spot light and blows out almost everything, any help would be appreciated.
@Wildcat_1 @EMPIRETECANDY

View attachment 89861View attachment 89862View attachment 89863
@Wolf4Ever with that small amount of light on scene is there a reason you want this in color ? Can you utilize another fixed cam with fixed aperture to cross cover the area for any color details you need ? With B&W on the PTZ you'll have more control and we can certainly balance out the 'bloom' you mentioned. Either way, if you want, DM me and we can set some time up for me to jump on your system, take a look and dial in to get this as good as possible for this FOV and location. Let me know
 
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