Worlds First Review - Dahua - IPC-Color4K-X / DH-IPC-HFW5849T1-ASE-LED - Full Color 4K Camera

Wildcat_1

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Hey @ljw2k, hope you are well. I can't speak to the 2.8mm as I don't have that, only the 4mm (but I may try and pickup a 2.8 in the future). What I can speak to is the test and the cams in hand on this scene. As always clips are straight from cam, into editor for titles, frame synced for the side by sides then encoded and back out so what you see is straight from cam in both cases preserved in pro codecs along the way. With regards to settings, you see those on screen, therefore apart from the slight reduction in gain which is set to 44 (to also help reduce the noise I mentioned), contrast tweaked slightly (all in cam), those are the only user facing, light impacting setting other than exposure which is also called out. Therefore, accurate representation of both cams in same scene.

The light drops off into the yard the further you go so if we look at the illuminators (which obviously each manufacturer applies a level of tuning to for their cams), I think they do quite well in punching through the light in what comes close to pitch black. You also have to take into account that the bushes, fence line etc dont reflect light (in this case to brighten distanced objects) and are dark in nature unlike if there were slabs all the way out to the fence line as a path or even a solid slat fence, wall in the background, bright windows front and center etc. The 1/60 shots with illuminators only for example I don’t think look that bad based on those being the only source of light.

Remember that AGC / Auto Iris algorithms (another code base adjustment not user facing) also play a role here, are handled very differently in the implementation by both companies and will take into account the bright areas and adjust. This is more aggressive on the Hik if you look at the skin color + patio for example where those are very rarely blown out (therefore preserving detail) hence AGC / Auto Iris algorithms kicking in to adjust for the bright highlights which will darken the other areas of the image. In the case of illuminators those are not super bright therefore AGC / Auto Iris is more balanced (see more in the background). Whereas If you look at the shots with the constant additional light (bulb + spot) this also makes sense as without AGC / Auto Iris kicking in aggressively on the Hik, the areas of patios (which are always front and center to the cam and washed with light) would always be blown out.

Lastly, remember the 5442 (a great camera) struggles to get to the fence line in this scene in color and that’s with an aggressive AGC and on a 4MP sensor albeit with slightly (if we want to be completely transparent) smaller aperture (f1.6 vs f1.0). Therefore I think both 4K cams perform quite well actually. While the Dahua is more liberal in its algorithms (doesn’t reduce for light in FOV as much) therefore potentially allowing more adjustment to reduce highlight blowout etc in cam, Hik takes the more aggressive approach BUT could adjust / bump their AGC / Auto Iris algorithms slightly for night (especially for the 4mm, 6mm potentially) and gain further improvements should they wish to do so. The key would be balancing gain under the covers with additional noise that may be added while preserving the highlight details they do today.

Personally I think this shows an exciting time for these 4K units as they will only get better from here and this means the next 1-2 years (outside of chip shortages :) ) could see these improve further, with more offerings such as vari bullets and turrets as well as larger sensors (on the same page as you here @Parley).

HTH
 

Maconi

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Finally YouTube finished it’s re-processing after failing twice ! So here is the next video which is focused on night testing. Lets jump into how I set this test and the caveats :)

In this case I white balanced both cams using pro cards in the FOV. While this certainly ensures white colors are more accurately represented, remember these are not pro level DSLR or Cinema cams and as with any cam, sensors lean towards specific hues (therefore making the images look warmer, cooler etc due to their lean towards red, blue, green). This of course can be compensated further if you manually tweak RED/BLUE specifically for each lighting condition in FOV so not necessarily a big deal but mentioning it for completeness. Also worth noting that I advocate for the importance of this for color at night. I mention below why I take a slightly different approach for this testing (setting for worst case).

I also took the opportunity to dial the cams in further. Both cams were tweaked slightly and any settings that were touched as always have been added to the lower thirds in the video so you’ll see those. I also adjusted NR and gain to improve the image as much as possible without adding additional noise (reducing where possible) or inducing motion blur / frame smearing. These were dialed in for worst case (i.e. illuminator only testing) where there is generally little light, more noise and resulting images are often desaturated etc, then left these in place through the other tests. While this is great (and fair) when comparing side by side to keep consistency across multiple tests, if this were a final install I was doing or as part of a larger project I deploy globally, then I would be dialing in exposure/shutter + image settings specifically to the FOV, lighting conditions available and camera(s) used.

The Illuminator Only testing is completed with each manufacturers illuminators set to 100%. The reason for this is to show maximum reach of each set of onboard illuminators to give those that are using this without additional light, clear expectations on what is possible. We all know that AUTO mode on the illuminators will adjust as targets get closer to the cam (less light needed and to ensure washout is reduced) but again this test is to show power and light capabilities of each set of illuminators. Therefore any highlight blowouts are expected since these cams are NOT on AUTO in this test and due to the difference of AGC’s at code level I mentioned before that cannot be adjusted by end users. In the illuminator testing the FOV is only lit by these and individually so, i.e. when I call out Dahua illuminators then both cams are using only those listed NOT those + their own illuminators at the same time. This way critically you can see the image from each cam with only Dahua illuminators on then each cam with only Hik illuminators on. When getting to the additional light testing section illuminators are turned off. I also push the cams to 1/250 which I certainly would not use in this specific FOV with the lighting available BUT again show it so you understand what is possible.

As I’ve been asked about doing a versus approach (cams against each other) many times via DM for upcoming videos (on old and new cams), I wanted to address it here that any of those I entertain doing (if you’re interested) I would do under separate, non-review based threads. Therefore to be clear, this video here (as well as others in this thread) are NOT meant to be a ‘versus’ video but rather an opportunity to look at both these 4K, color at night cams together (+ the 5442 earlier) as I continue this Dahua cam review. This gives you the ability to see the performance of the Dahua camera under review here while understanding how it fits in this segment with others. My goal being to provide for a more informed understanding of extra features a camera like the Dahua may bring, quality of caps and what to expect in real-world deployments.

HTH

This is an 8.5 minute video with chapters included for easier navigation. Remember to view on YouTube and select 4K. As always, let me know with any questions.

Next Steps: I am going to look at publishing a re-shoot of the day footage, white balanced and then as this review is focused on the Dahua, will then do a wrap up post with my final thoughts on this specific cam.


VIDEO LINK

Just something I noticed. The Dahua is running at 30FPS in the video (not 20). It makes it look considerably smoother than the Hikvision. If you actually ran it at 20 FPS you would be able to run lower exposures though (while minimizing motion blur), correct ?

What is the bitrate for both cameras (I assume they're both running H.265)? 8192Kbps? 6144Kbps?
 
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Wildcat_1

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'What is the bitrate for both cameras (I assume they're both running H.265)? 8192Kbps? 6144Kbps?'

Maconi

These are both set to 20fps in cam running h264 at 15k for test purposes. As the Hikvision only supports fixed rates both cams were set to the same exposures for the comparison hence 1/60, 1/120, 1/250 that both supported
 
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Maconi

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'What is the bitrate for both cameras (I assume they're both running H.265)? 8192Kbps? 6144Kbps?'

Maconi

These are both set to 20fps in cam running h264 at 15k for test purposes. As the Hikvision only supports fixed rates both cams were set to the same exposures for the comparison hence 1/60, 1/120, 1/250 that both supported
Sounds like a bug with the framerate then (you can use the "," and "." buttons to go frame-by-frame on YouTube to count the frames per second). Should be easy enough to fix.
 

Wildcat_1

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Next up will be the day video revisit with both cams white balanced. This will just be a short one but for completeness wanted to revisit while white balancing with WB cards in FOV
 

Wildcat_1

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Forgot to add, my goal (since already captured and edited) will be to get the day one up today then I'll work on the wrap up over the next few days and revisit with a follow up test once I get the new FW
 

ljw2k

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Next up will be the day video revisit with both cams white balanced. This will just be a short one but for completeness wanted to revisit while white balancing with WB cards in FOV
Will you be refocussing the lens on the Hikvision for closer detail the same as the Dahua? If not it would be an unfair comparison as it was obvious it was OOF ( Out Of Focus ) at close distance.
 

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@ljw2k

out of focus ? i watched the video several times... the hik cam looks a bit oversharpened to me.... you can tune your dahua to the "hik" look... just turn HLC on

also it seems to stutter (?) a bit when it comes to close movements... maybe have something to do with youtube encoding
 

ljw2k

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out of focus ? i watched the video several times... the hik cam looks a bit oversharpened to me.... you can tune your dahua to the "hik" look... just turn HLC on

also it seems to stutter (?) a bit when it comes to close movements... maybe have something to do with youtube encoding
Look at post #103 clips and read from there.

Hikvision is focused for further out
Dahua is focused for close in.

I think the stutter is the pulsing effect on the Hik which has already been mentioned needs fixing maybe with the next firmware as stated by WC.
 
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user8963

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hmm... in #138 the focus looks not OOF for me,.... at least not like #103

maybe i am wrong due it seems that the cameras was remounted and its not the same angle
 

ljw2k

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hmm... in #138 the focus looks not OOF for me,.... at least not like #103
I totally agree with you the night time shots the Hik looks in focus unless WC has refocused the camera between the Daytime shots where it looked well OOF to the night time which look fine. Maybe this is why he is doing another daytime comparison.? hence why I asked has he re focused the Hik.
 

ljw2k

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I think setting both camera's with the same settings is wrong, both should be set to get the best clip possible even if this means 1 setting is 20 on one camera the other camera is 80 etc same with DNR /Sharpness/Exposure/Contrast/Backlight/Front light/Normal/HLC/WDR and so on. Just set each camera up to get the best shot Day/Night no matter the settings.

The settings WC has input are these a standard setting on every camera for best results.
 

Wildcat_1

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I totally agree with you the night time shots the Hik looks in focus unless WC has refocused the camera between the Daytime shots where it looked well OOF to the night time which look fine. Maybe this is why he is doing another daytime comparison.? hence why I asked has he re focused the Hik.
No refocusing at all. In fact I was just about to reply with the following :)

I’m not planning on it for this review but if I get time to revisit I will. To be honest I do think its a fair representation of the experience out of the box. This is a brand new Hikvision I picked up, factory sealed and has this problem. Clearly from what you and others have mentioned and have had to complete (manual refocusing at HW level) this IS a manufacturer issue at Hikvision with this range of cameras. Therefore people do need to be aware of what to expect when they purchase that cam and the steps they may need to take as soon as they remove from box. The Hikvision shows focal point is out of whack (clearly visible during day) and needs to be fixed BUT if we look at where it focuses in the video it still gives people an understanding of the 4K quality it can output plus its handling of day and night.

Either way, I think all of us on this thread have made it clear that everyone should be aware of this Hikvision focus issue and therefore are fully understanding that the expectation is that the sharpness seen at far distance would be seen at close distance once manual refocusing takes place. However this is absolutely NOT something that any end user / purchaser should have to do and especially not out of the box, this is a manufacturing / calibration issue that Hikvision need to fix.

I have passed this info back to Hikvision as well but have yet to hear anything back. Will continue to push.

----

I too had noticed the change at night and wanted to see if others picked up on it. This still points to a focus issue BUT also potentially involves how this camera is handling light. Either way something for Hikvision to look into further for sure
 

Wildcat_1

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I think setting both camera's with the same settings is wrong, both should be set to get the best clip possible even if this means 1 setting is 20 on one camera the other camera is 80 etc same with DNR /Sharpness/Exposure/Contrast/Backlight/Front light/Normal/HLC/WDR and so on. Just set each camera up to get the best shot Day/Night no matter the settings.
Both were set to best possible for the night shoot as I mentioned, thats why settings are different. The day video I am about to repost was re-shot as I wanted to perform a true white balance on FOV (as I did with the night video) and then adjust as needed. In the new white balanced day version it shows that once completed, the settings can be the same (always should be close for day within reason based on similar sensor/optics package) and still pull out very similar and more than usable images from both cams. This doesnt get around the Hivision focus issue but gives a more clear, accurate representation of both cams for day hence me doing it.
 

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Look at post #103 clips and read from there.

Hikvision is focused for further out
Dahua is focused for close in.

I think the stutter is the pulsing effect on the Hik which has already been mentioned needs fixing maybe with the next firmware as stated by WC.
They come that way from the factory. As for the Hikvision they are sometimes focused even further out, and that is why we take them apart to manually adjust them. I do not think you can adjust the focus on these units from the keyboard. I don't have the Dahua so I cannot say for sure.
 

ljw2k

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Do you think the Dahua could be re focussed for better background as it did look a little mushy to me as shown in the pictures.

Would you say they are not fit for purpose and warrant a return?
 

Wildcat_1

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Without further ado, here is the re-shot day version I mentioned. As you can see after the pro WB I performed in FOV colors are more inline with what I would expect plus even with same settings both cams are more accurately representing color and light in FOV which was the goal. As stated, this doesn't fix the Hikvision focus issue but should give all a clearer understanding of day performance. I know I've mentioned it before but havent forgotten, I will also be grouping all videos back into the early video post for ease of reference of new viewers of the thread in the future.

Video Link - Remember to Watch on YouTube and force 4K

 
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