This DS-2CD2442F-IW Hikvision 4MP Cube Camera is an inexpensive compact camera suitable for indoor use, with an impressive feature set. Featuring a 4MP 1/2.8″progressive scan CMOS sensor and a 2.8mm lens (or 4mm), this camera can capture 2688 × 1520 resolution video at up to 20 fps in a 105° field of view (or 83° for the 4mm version) . It has both WiFi and Ethernet connectivity, and can be powered either by PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) or by a 12v power adapter, making it easy to install in any network environment. A built-in microphone and speaker allow two-way communication, while the IR LED allows the camera to produce clear images at night from up to 33′ away (10 meters).

DS-2CD2442FWD-IW retail USA box.

DS-2CD2442FWD-IW retail USA box.

The sticker on the camera.

The sticker on the camera.

The retail box's contents.

The retail box’s contents.

The main features:

• Up to 4-megapixel high resolution
• Full HD1080p Real-time video
• 120dB Wide Dynamic Range
• Back Light Compensation, 3D Digital Noise Reduction
• DC12V & PoE powered
• Supports H.264, H.264+ Technology
• Infrared LED- Up to 10m IR range
• Support on-board storage upto 128GB
• Built-in Microphone and Speaker
• Built-in PIR sensor – up to 10m at 80 degree
• Built-in WIFI – IEEE 802.11b/g/n

Installation

The camera body itself is all-plastic, but it’s well-constructed and has a solid feel to it. It comes with a stand as shown in the pictures. The mounting bracket is part-metal and is surprisingly sturdy given its small size and plastic appearance. You loosen the gray collar and it allows you to aim the camera as you wish. You can remove the plastic cover at the base, and you can use screws to attach it to a wall, ceiling, angled or straight and the plastic base cover snaps back in to give it a nice clean look.

The camera and the mounting piece.

The camera and the mounting piece.

DS-2CD2442FWD-IW view from the back: PoE port, the DC12V port, the Alarm block. There's a reset button on the camera. Note the speaker.

DS-2CD2442FWD-IW view from the back: PoE port, the DC12V port, the Alarm block. There’s a reset button on the camera. Note the speaker.

Use the PoE or the WiFi to hook up the camera to the network. PoE works as you would expect and is the absolute best way to use this camera if hardwiring is an option for you. On the WiFi and as you can imagine, the further you are from your WiFi source, the lower the frame rate gets at 4MP or less than that. To get the full frame rate, you need to be fairly close to your WiFi router/access point. It still connects further away, but the video starts getting choppy. Recordings to the SD card remain smooth as it’s independent of the network, but if you were recording to an PC NVR, WiFi may not be the best solution and PoE is recommended.

This camera supports micro SD card up to 128 GB. Meaning you can use this camera standalone.

This camera supports micro SD card up to 128 GB. Meaning you can use this camera standalone.

The camera's dimension for the 4mm and 2.8mm version.

The camera’s dimension for the 4mm and 2.8mm version.

Configuration

This 4MP Hikvision cube Camera comes with 5.4.3 firmware and by default the camera is inactive, which means there’s no password setup for the camera. Install the SADP tool that comes with the camera (or you can download on our Tools section) and put the camera on your network. If everything is hooked up properly the camera’s IP address will show up on the SADP software (default IP: 192.168.1.64). Activate the camera by setting up you own password and then modify the IP to match your own network. In our case we set the IP to 192.168.1.221.

Install the SADP and activate the camera.

Install the SADP and activate the camera.

The camera’s web interface is comprehensive and easy to use, and generally works well on Windows or Mac web browsers. Use Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox ESR or Safari to access the camera (Chrome or Edge won’t work). Under the Network menu under Advanced Configuration, you can set the IP address for the wired lan and the WiFi in the “wlan” tab. You set the IP address of each as you wish. The camera must first be connected via Ethernet to configure as is common with many WiFi cameras.

Here you can set the IP of the camera when on WiFi.

Here you can set the IP of the camera when on WiFi.

WiFi options are set under the WiFi tab. You can have it search your area for WiFi networks by clicking the Search button. Click on the network you want to connect to and provide a password if needed (make sure to type it correctly). You can connect to regular WiFi router type network (Manage) or connect directly to a device, like to a PC without going through a router (Ad-Hoc). After your WiFi shows “connected” you can disconnect the power or the PoE feed from the back of the camera and the device will work on wireless (via the IP you did set up on “wlan”).

On the WiFi section you need to select your WiFi and enter the password.

On the WiFi section you need to select your WiFi and enter the password.

In the same menu option you also have the Time Settings tab where you can set the date/time or use an NTP time server to automatically sync the time to your chosen time zone. For New York the time zone is -05: 00. To set daylight savings time, you need to go to the same menu option under the Advanced Configuration. (DST for USA: Second week of March at 2am and first week of November at 2 am).

Time and Date settings.

Time and Date settings.

The Video/Audio menu is where you can set video and audio options. In the first tab, Video, you can set the resolution, frame rate, compression, i-frame and such. By default the audio is disabled on the camera, so you need to set the video type to Video&Audio for both Main Steam and Sub Stream.

By default the audio is disabled. You need to set the video type to "Video&Audio" to enable it.

By default the audio is disabled. You need to set the video type to “Video&Audio” to enable it.

The Audio tab shows your options for the microphone and encoding choices. Most important is the volume. Set it fairly high to get the sensitivity you want. If needed, you may enable environmental noise filter.

Here you can tweak the audio settings of the camera. Increase the input volume for a better performance.

Here you can tweak the audio settings of the camera. Increase the input volume for a better performance.

You control the image options in the Image menu option. The first one is Image Adjustments and lets you set the brightness and contrast and such. Indoors, if you have some high contrast, like a bright window area, you have two choices. If the window overwhelms the image and makes it seem dark, consider using the Backlight Settings where you can use backlight compensation (BLC) or wide dynamic range (WDR) to adjust the picture to your liking. In the Video Adjustments category, you can set the video standard to the country you are in, 50Hz for most of the world, 60Hz in the USA. This is where you would use mirroring to flip the image upside down if you need to mount the camera upside down. The rotate option is good if you have say a long hallway and you want to rotate the image 90 degrees to have a portrait style layout instead of the traditional landscape mode.

Image settings. You might need to experiment on this section in order to get the best of this camera.

Image settings. You might need to experiment on this section in order to get the best of this camera.

Then Events menu option is where you set how you want to record. You can use traditional Video Detection as shown below or Other Alarm for PIR motion detection.

Enable the motion detection. This way on the SD card will be stored only motion related events.

Enable the motion detection. This way on the SD card will be stored only motion related events.

To use the PIR motion detector that is built-in, you need to go to the “Other Alarm”, check Enable PIR Alarm, check Trigger Channel and set a schedule and click the Save button. This is a far better way of doing motion detection than the method above. Where you would want Video Detection is if the camera is facing out a window as PIR won’t work though glass. If you set everything up correctly, the camera should start recording video when motion is detected. You’ll know because you’ll see events denoted by a red lines on the timeline of the Playback tab. You can slide the timeline to the time you want to look at it, use the calendar on the right to select a date, and use the plus/minus signs on the right side of the timeline to adjust how much time to display at once on the timeline. Note: The SD card must be formated in order for the camera to record.

Built-in PIR sensor - up to 10m at 80 degree

Built-in PIR sensor – up to 10m at 80 degree

Daytime and Nighttime picture quality

What makes this camera more unique is that it’s a day/night camera, meaning it has an IR cut filter to change to IR mode at night and has a bright IR LED that provides nearly invisible lighting indoors as you’ll see later. During daytime, the 4 MP image sensor produces detailed images with good dynamic range, and the 4mm lens gives a wide-angle of view, though there is a certain amount of barrel distortion that is fairly typical of wide-angle lenses. As you can watch on the video below the picture is pretty good.

In low light the image does become noticeably more noisy, but not excessively so, and below a certain threshold the built-in infrared (IR) LED kicks in, providing a good amount of illumination. The images under IR illumination are surprisingly sharp and clear. The IR LED allows the camera to produce clear images at night from up to 33′ away (10 meters). You can check the picture quality below.

Conclusion

This Hikvision 4MP cube camera is a good choice for general indoor usage in a home or business setting. The camera is easy to place anywhere indoors without a lot of installation effort. It has a lot of features in a small package. It has good clarity, good low light performance, good color accuracy. Some other pluses of this camera: reasonable price, WiFi & PoE (making it good as a nanny camera), 2-way audio (mic and speaker built-in), 4 MP resolution that can be downgraded to 3MP, 1080p or even 702p, supports SD card, so you basically can use the camera as a recorder as well.