Review: Dahua Starlight Mini PT Dome SD12200T-GN

Discussion in 'Dahua' started by tangent, Mar 20, 2018.

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  1. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    The SD12200T-GN is a compact lite series pan and tilt camera with a starlight sensor and fixed lens. It’s basically the offspring of the Dahua Starlight Mini-Dome 3.6mm (IPC-HDB4231C-AS) (which is F2.0) and the older Dahua 3MP 3.6MM Mini Pan/Tilt Video (ipc-hdb4300f-pt) This camera does not have built in IR LEDs. It has a built in mic and audio in/out so you can also hook up a mic like this and it is sensitive to IR light.
    SD12200T-GN_thumb.png
    This camera is part of a family of new starlight mini PT(z) cameras, which also includes the SD12203T-GN, SD1A203T-GN, SD1A200T-GN as well as wireless variants (*-W). These additional models bring differing combinations of fixed lens, 3x zoom and IR. I made a chart comparing some of the differences between these models. Click the spoiler to see the chart.

    @looney2ns' review of the SD1A203T-GN can be found here: Review-Dahua SD1A203T-GN Starlight Mini PTZ


    Specs:
    • 2MP Starlight Mini PT Network Camera
    • 1/2.8” 2MP progressive scan Sony STARVIS™ CMOS
    • Minimum Illumination Color: 0.005Lux@F1.6; B/W: 0.0005Lux@F1.6 (no shutter speed given)
    • 3.6mm fixed lens, 2.8mm option
    • H.265+/H.265/H.264+/H.264 triple-stream encoding
    • 25/30fps max (PAL/NTSC firmware difference) @ 1920×1080 (1080p)
    • Electronic Shutter Speed Auto/Manual, 1/1~1/30000s
    • Smart Detection / IVS (Tripwire, Intrusion, Abandoned/Missing, Face Detection, Audio)
    • WDR(120dB), Day/Night(ICR), 3DNR,AWB,AGC,BLC
    • Multiple network monitoring: Web viewer, CMS(DSS/PSS) & DMSS
    • 1/1 audio in/out & built in microphone
    • Micro SD memory (256GB max)
    • RAM/ROM 512MB/128MB
    • Pan/Tilt Range Pan: 0° ~ 355°; Tilt: 20° ~ 90°
    • Preset Speed Pan: 80° /s; Tilt: 40° /s
    • PoE(802.3af) -OR- DC 12V/1.5A
    • Rated Power Consumption: 6W
    • IP66, IK08
    • Dimensions 128 (mm) x 63 (mm); 5.04" x 2.48"
    The camera I tested has a 3.6mm lens and PAL firmware.

    Product Page: SD12200T-GN
    Data Sheet
    Installation Manual

    Price: ~$153 SD12200T GN 2MP Starlight PT Network Camera SD12200T GN, free DHL shipping-in Surveillance Cameras from Security & Protection on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

    Disclaimer: This camera was provided to me in exchange for a fair and unbiased review by @EMPIRETECANDY

    The camera shipped with this software version:
    Code:
    System Version2.621.0000000.1.R.R4.111, Build Date: 2017-10-23
    WEB Version3.2.1.508074
    ONVIF Version16.12(V2.4.0.485616)
    A newer firmware version V2.622.0000000.2.R.1712 is available on Dahua’s website which fixes a number of significant bugs. I haven’t installed the new firmware yet.

    tl;dr
    The SD12200T-GN is a great compact pan and tilt starlight camera without IR. It will work well in many indoor locations and some outdoor locations. Performance is on par with what you'd expect out of a Dahua Starlight. Like all cameras it needs light, as long as it has modest amount of visible or IR light (more is obviously better) it does very well. You may want to consider the SD12203T-GN with 3x zoom, but it comes at the expense of a smaller aperture (F1.8 vs. F1.6). The IR models have a bit of an unusual appearance that won't please everyone, so you may want to consider external illumination with a non-ir model. The pan and tilt mechanism is very quite. It's a great little PT camera for situations where you don't want a larger full sized speed dome.

    Comparing aperture area:
    If we keep a constant 3.6mm focal length and compare the area of the aperture relative to the F1.4 Starlight Turret (assuming I did my maths correctly):
    F1.6 = 77% of F1.4
    F1.8 = 60% of F1.4
    F1.8 = 79% of F1.6
    F2.0 = 49% of F1.4

    Sample images:
    day.png night.jpg indoor dim.jpg
    indoor shot is looking up at the ceiling fan in a dimly lit room, lit only by a computer screen and a little outside light.

    Temp install:
    installed.JPG

    Except for the dome, the camera housing is all metal. It’s well constructed and is a little larger in diameter than a CD. I’d recommend against installing it anywhere outdoors where the dome catches direct sunlight.

    a.JPG

    asize.JPG

    aside.jpg


    The camera mounts to a metal plate rotating on and off of 3 keyhole slots with a screw from the side to secure it. A drill template sticker is included. I made a copy of the template and cut out the holes. Two things to note:
    • Using the template, the hole for mounting the camera does not extend beyond the camera as the drawing in the installation manual shows. This makes a lot more sense than the picture in the manual.
    • The hole for the wires doesn’t actually need to be quite as large as what’s on the mounting template
    manual template.png
    It’s designed to be mounted to a level horizontal surface. It can also be mounted to certain mounts designed for larger PTZs using the PFA107 mount adapter. Someone asked if this camera can be mounted vertically to a wall, I wouldn’t recommend it. The Camera’s PT mechanism is designed for the camera to be mounted to a level horizontal surface, doing otherwise would probably shorten it's life. If you want a camera to mount vertically to a wall, you’re better off with the Dahua Starlight Mini-Dome 3.6mm (IPC-HDB4231C-AS) or IPC-HDBW4231F-AS | Dahua Technology

    accessories.PNG
    Un-boxing:
    aitb.JPG
    Also included is an installation manual, absent from the picture. The dome arrived mostly unscrewed from the rest of the camera and one of the screws fell out and was loose in the foam bag the camera was packed in (check your packaging carefully). The packaging provided the camera plenty of protection.

    The reset button and microsd card are found behind a small metal panel held in place by 2 Philips head screws. I tested it with a 32GB card. The specs say it supports up to a 256GB card.

    Power up:
    About 20 seconds after you power on the camera, it responds to pings and begins its pan and tilt initialization routine. During this, the camera pans and tilts to it’s zero point, then pans to the other extreme before it returns to it’s previous position or the specified preset/tour after a bit of a delay. This process takes about a minute to complete.

    I made the mistake of trying a 12V power supply in an effort to simplify testing the camera in a couple locations. I strongly suggest only using PoE to power the camera. If for some reason your camera fails to complete the initialization routine described above, power is the first thing you should suspect. If this happens to you, apply good power and reset the camera if needed by holding the button when you connect the power for > 30 seconds. I checked the supply it didn't like and it was outputting 11.5V.

    The camera can pan 355° and tilt from 20° to 90°. Default software settings limit tilt to 25°, this can be changed in PTZ > Function > PTZ Limit. The imager is connected via a flexible cable, which is why the pan range is limited. Due to the FOV of the lens, no part of the pan range is actually out of view.

    It is very quiet when it’s moving and silent when it isn’t. Noise will depend a bit on how and what it’s mounted to and the speed you operate the camera at. At its loudest (switching between presets at the highest speed), it sounds about like a matchbox car being pushed on a smooth surface. Mounted overhead, you don’t generally notice the noise.

    Does it drift? In @nayr’s review of the older HDB4300F-PT, he noted presets drifting. To test for drift, I set up 2 tours making the camera move between a variety presets. It didn’t always stop in the absolute exact same spot, but the camera seems to know if it overshot the preset position slightly. Any error doesn’t seem to accumulate. I ran the PT at it’s highest speed during the tours.

    I use Pale Moon 32-bit to access the camera's web interface since it still supports NPAPI plugins. I was also able to view the camera using Safari (this may change in the future) and Firefox ESR 52 on a Mac. The Chrome NACL web plugin app also works.

    Ask away.

    More to follow
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
    Mike, SDONG, Baja and 6 others like this.
  2. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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  3. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    reserved

    video clips and more stills will be added soon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
    CCTVCam, weigle2, looney2ns and 5 others like this.
  4. bug99

    bug99 Pulling my weight

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    Thanks for doing the review @tangent Good images. I especially like the Lego man for scale :)

    How can you tell from the spec sheet(s) that the camera is sensitive to IR light?

    I think there is a typo in Dahua's spec sheets. The SD12200T-GN one shows F1.6 on the minimum illumination section and on the Max Aperture section, but the SD12203T-GN_Datasheet shows F1.6 on the minimum illumination section but F1.8 on the Max Aperture section, other wise the specs seem the same (except for the zoom parts).

    I wonder if newer firmware allows older cameras to use 256GB uSDs now?
     
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  5. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    Yeah there's a little copy and paste that isn't quite accurate on the *203T-GN datasheets.

    ICR on the datasheet indicates an IR cut filter.
     
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  6. flynreelow

    flynreelow Pulling my weight

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    Where are the video samples?
     
  7. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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    Patience my man. It takes time and effort.
     
  8. rufunky

    rufunky Getting the hang of it

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    I'm assuming this wouldn't have the Auto-tracking feature you see in the big boy ptzs?
     
  9. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    No but it has IVS and you can trigger presets with IVS.
     
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  10. aristobrat

    aristobrat IPCT Contributor

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    So I could have it normally zoomed out like this, but setup IVS so that if someone walks up on the porch, it goes to a pre-set that’s zoomed in tighter on just the porch?

    D5909B42-73F8-41C8-A273-1707E08F211D.jpeg
     
  11. flynreelow

    flynreelow Pulling my weight

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    would like to know this as well....
     
  12. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    yes. mind you the SD12200T-GN can't zoom but the *203T-GN models can. You can't guarantee that it will always be looking at what you'd like it to, but in the right locations it's a very useful feature.

    if the ceiling of your porch is dark like your walls the SD1A203T-GN would be a great choice. Check links to other models and the comparison chart above. Is your porch lighting recessed?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  13. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    Sorry for the delay. My video editing workflow has been disrupted since I quit paying for Adobe premiere and other things keep consuming my time. I'm currently enjoying an internet outage... I was hoping to get some videos online tonight but that's not happening.
     
  14. EMPIRETECANDY

    EMPIRETECANDY IPCT Vendor

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    thanks@tangent no such hurry, i think you can post here when you are free.
     
  15. pcunite

    pcunite Young grasshopper

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    I really like Vegas Movie Studio. Low cost, does a good job.
     
  16. aristobrat

    aristobrat IPCT Contributor

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    Crap, I forgot which thread I was in -- thanks for pointing that out.

    I just placed an order for the *203T-GN model. Excited to give the IVS thing a try!
     
  17. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    Nothing wrong with posting here, these models are all so similar I expect discussion of the other models in the family. I just think it's important for people to mention what model they're talking about to help avoid confusion. Also remember that the *203T-GN models may need a firmware update somewhat urgently if they aren't shipping with the new frimware.
     
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  18. flynreelow

    flynreelow Pulling my weight

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    no rush, but appreciate the write up!!
     
  19. flynreelow

    flynreelow Pulling my weight

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    One questions... looks like this "could" be mounted right to the wall without a bracket? I believe you said you shoudnt or couldnt do this? Any reason why it wouldnt work?
     
  20. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    it's physically possible, but imho doing this would put a bit more stress on the camera's pan mechanism. The pan mechanism would be unbalanced oriented vertically and the small amount of play in the mechanism would lead to an annoying wobble. You "could" do it, but I'd expect it to reduce the camera's life, be annoying to control, and provide little benefit over other cameras that are better suited to vertical wall mounting.

    I think it's best to just mount it in the horizontal plane as intended, but I'm sure someone will try mounting it vertically and they'll probably get a decent lifespan out of it.
     
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