This DS-2CD2042WD-I Hikvision mini bullet IP camera from Hikvision is capable of 4 megapixel resolution (20 fps) or full HD 1080p (30 fps). Features include true day/night, 30m IR illumination, dual codec, 3D noise reduction, 120db Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), motion detection, tampering alarm, ONVIF support and PoE. The firmware version was 5.4.1 build 160525 out of the box. For security reasons is recommended to keep your systems always updated to the latest firmware, especially if your camera/surveillance system will be exposed on the internet.

The camera’s lens size comes in 4mm (lens which gives 83º angle of view) or 6mm (which gives 55.4º angle of view, and provides a narrower but more zoomed in view). The bullet camera housing is metal, it feels sturdy and slightly heavy (1.1 lbs / 0.5 kg) and it’s relatively small size surveillance camera. There are no inputs and outputs for audio components, so it’s not possible to hook up a microphone or a speaker on this camera. The camera has an IP66 weather protection rating (meaning it’s completely protected against dust and will hold up fine in the rain). The mount and joint system are an all-metal affair, and the ball-and-socket adjuster makes it easy to reposition the camera.

DS-2CD2042WD-I Hikvision logo box.

DS-2CD2042WD-I Hikvision logo box.

The box open. Inside: the mounting screws, the shield, manual, CD.

The box open. Inside: the mounting screws, the shield, manual, CD.

Installation

Like all the Hikvision cameras, the camera can be powered via PoE or using a power adapter (12V and at least 700mA). The Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I doesn’t have a detachable input on cable tail to the camera, so you will need a big hole (15mm+) to run it through a wall. Alternatively, a waterproof junction box can house the cable inputs to the CCTV camera, although it’s not as tidy. However that ball-and-socket hinge is crying out for intruders to whack it out of alignment. If you’re putting this camera out unsupervised and within reach, take a look at Hikvision’s 4MP dome equivalent, the DS-2CD2142FWD-IS.

DS-2CD2042WD-I mini bullet camera. The size is relatively small.

DS-2CD2042WD-I mini bullet camera. The size is relatively small.

There's a reset button on this camera. Keep the button pressed for 15 seconds while camera is being powered.

There’s a reset button on this camera. Keep the button pressed for 15 seconds while camera is being powered.

You can stream the camera feed to a NAS or Hikvision NVR. The camera supports ONVIF protocol, so it’s suppose to work with third party NVRs, however sometimes the motion detection won’t work properly. Thus, the camera as a better performance when used on Hikvision Network Recorders (4 channel / 8 channel / 16 channel). There’s no SD card slot on board, which means the camera cannot work standalone.

Configuration

The camera needs to be configured using the configuration tool SADP provided by Hikvision. Bring the camera on the network by connecting it to your switch/router (and don’t forget to power the camera, if the switch doesn’t support PoE). Install and run SADP, and if the cabling is done correctly the camera’s IP will be listed there.

By default the IP of the camera is 192.168.1.64 and the camera itself is inactive, meaning there’s no password on the camera yet. To activate the camera, select the IP on the list and create a password on the left panel of the software. The status on the camera will show active.

By default the camera will be inactive. Meaning the camera has no password. Activate the camera by creating a password.

By default the camera will be inactive. Meaning the camera has no password. Activate the camera by creating a password.

On the next step you need the camera’s IP to be on the same IP format. Most of the time the IP format of your network will be 192.168.1.1, but in some cases (for example if your ISP is Time Warner) it can be 192.168.0.1 or even 10.1.1.1. In our case we modified the IP to 192.168.1.223. To access the camera directly, type the address on the url bar on Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox ESR (the preset username is “admin”). The browser will ask for the plugin the be installed, install it and allow the browser to use the plugin.

Go to Image Settings and Image Adjustment and play around with the different settings to find the best option for your camera. This is also where you can make changes to settings such as Exposure, Day/Night switch (from automatic to on/off), Backlight, White Balance, Image Enhancement and Video Adjustment. Usually the camera works best with pre-set settings, however you may need to customize the settings depending on your environment.

In this section you can adjust the extra image settings of the camera. Usually the pre-set settings work well on most of the setups.

In this section you can adjust the extra image settings of the camera. Usually the pre-set settings work well on most of the setups.

On another section, Event > Basic Event, you can enable the Motion Detection for the camera, adjust the Sensitivity or exclude parts of the picture that you don’t want the camera to get triggered (for example a tree). If the camera is hooked up on Network Video Recorder, these settings can be set on the NVR directly. In this section you can enable the video tampering, which will notify or alert you in case the camera is blinded/covered.

The Motion Detection section. Here you can exclude parts of the image that unnecessarily trigger the camera (for example a tree).

The Motion Detection section. Here you can exclude parts of the image that unnecessarily trigger the camera (for example a tree).

Daytime and Nighttime picture quality

On daytime the picture quality of Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I is crisp, clear and colorful. Below you can see some footage of the camera on daytime. Personally I find the quality really good.

Equipped with an infrared-cut filter and IR LEDs, the camera delivers advanced night-time monitoring, providing up to 98 feet (29 meters) of night-vision and automatically switching from day to night mode depending on light. A Wide Dynamic Range of up to 120 dB allows the camera to capture images under varied lighting conditions, including backlight and low light. The night-time picture quality depends on the external lights of the enviroment (street lights,flood light around the property etc), the position the camera is mounted and the angle. The way the camera is angled can affect the night time quality, the IRs need to bounce on some barrier, so it’s recommend for the camera to be angled a little bit down.

Conclusion

Hikvision’s DS-2CD2042WD-I IR Mini bullet offers high quality footage at a very affordable price. Images are crisp and clear when used in both daylight and night vision, and the HD video quality ensures a vivid picture at all times. For CCTV installers, these Hikvision cameras make for excellent mid-range offerings, and pair it with a dedicated Hikvision NVR, and you’ve got a pretty snazzy setup. With 4 megapixel resolution this Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I outdoor mini-bullet network camera is ideal for small to medium-sized external CCTV installations that require high quality security monitoring 24-hours a day. If the bullet shape is not preferred, check the dome version Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS with the same specs.