The Hikvison Mini Dome IP camera one of the smallest dome-style cameras on the market. The actual dome measures about 1 3/4″ and the entire camera can sit in the palm of the hand. The camera is small and discrete enough to be used indoors or outdoors and has a clean modern look.
The lens is so small they provide a tool to help adjust the lens along with its 3-axis range of motion. There are 10 IR LEDs wrapped around the lens. Also, the camera has a micro SD card slot that can hold up to a 128GB card.
Review: Hikvision Mini Dome IP Camera
This camera comes in lens sizes: 2.8mm, 4mm, and 6mm. The 2.8mm lens offers the widest angle up to 106 degrees, so it will give good coverage. However in certain situations when you need a narrow-angle (and farther away) you should use the 4mm version, or even the 6mm.
It comes with an IP67- and IK08-rated housing that provides protection from ingress of dust and moisture as well as impact, ensuring uninterrupted surveillance in exposed locations.
The main features
- 4MP 1/3″ progressive scan CMOS sensor
- 2688 x 1520 resolution video at up to 20 fps
- 120 dB WDR (Wide Dynamic Range)
- 3-axis adjustment
- 12 VDC and PoE
- Up to 33′ IR range
- Built-in microphone, audio output, alarm input/output
- IP67-rated housing for outdoor use
- IK08-rated impact protection
This Hikvision mini dome camera has a low-profile shape that makes the placement of the camera unobtrusively. The full metal body gives the camera a very solid feel (the white cover is plastic though).
The camera has the same waterproof RJ45 pigtail used on other Hikvision for PoE and camera connectivity, however, in this model, the PoE module is outside the camera. Or you can power the camera using a power adapter (DC12V).
Either way, the run cannot be longer than 330 feet (100m). It’s better if you power all your cameras using the PoE this way you have to run just one cable.
The backing plate is used to install the camera by screwing the backing plate to where you want it mounted, then attaching the camera to it with 2 screws. The lens adjustment tool is provided to help aim and rotate the lens. It’s so small it’s hard to aim it otherwise.
Hikvison makes a series of brackets for this model such as a short wall mount with the junction box, pendant cap, pole, and corner mount, etc, so there are different solutions for different installations.
The microSD card slot is in the back of the camera as shown in the picture. Also, there’s a reset button in case you need to factory reset the camera.
The camera comes with firmware version 5.4.3, which offers a new interface compared to the old mini dome version. After you connect the camera to your network, install the SADP software on your computer.
This is the Hikvison configuration tool and can be found on their official website or on our Downloads section. By default the camera is inactive, meaning there’s no password on it, so the first step is to activate it, and then if it’s necessary you can modify the IP address. In this case, we set the IP to 192.168.1.221.
Open up Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox ESR and type the IP of the camera on the URL bar. On the login screen enter your credentials to access the camera. The picture below shows the liveview interface on the camera.
It has a sleek design and offers many options such as Capture (to take live snapshots), Start Recording (to start recording locally), Zoom, Aspect Ratio, etc.
On the configuration page, there are various settings under Local, System, Network, Video/Audio, Image. Event and Storage.
Video settings are where you change the resolution, frame rate, bit rate. For those that don’t understand bit rate, it’s basically how much do you want to compress the video. The lower the number means higher compression is used to achieve that goal, a higher number means less compression.
In my experience 4096 Kbps does a decent job, 6144 Kbps is significantly better, and somewhere in between is where I’d recommend setting your cameras.
Stream type is where you chose which stream you want to change settings for. For example, when viewing the camera remotely, it’s better to use the second stream to reduce bandwidth use. The frame rate can be anything above 10 fps. My recommendation is to use 15-20 fps.
The next important section is the Image menu. This is where you adjust the camera settings to get the best image quality possible for specific locations. For example, you can try to modify the Sharpness level.
Sharpening may make a prettier picture, but sharpening artifacts can reduce the ability to identify an object or suspect. At night sharpening enhances noises so if you wish to reduce noise at night, consider reducing sharpening.
Backlight Settings in the Image menus is where you can choose between backlight compensation (BLC) or wide dynamic range (WDR). BLC is used when your image is very dark because of backlighting like the sun is making everything into a shadow.
WDR works differently by brightening shadows and darkening overly bright areas to provide more balance. The downside to WDR is that at night, it may introduce more noise into your image. This camera actually does very well with shadows at night without WDR.
Wi-fi settings and performance
Like most of the IP cameras with a wireless function, this camera has two separate interfaces for the wired connection and for the wireless connection. To start the configuration go to Basic Settings > TCP/IP > Wlan and set the IP of the camera.
It’s recommended to set the IP on static, that way you’ll know all the time what’s the address of your camera. Set the correct gateway and subnet mask.
The next step is to go to the Advanced Settings > Wi-Fi and to scan the network. Select Wi-Fi and type the correct password. After this, the camera will be connected wirelessly to the network. The last step is to disconnect the Ethernet cable from the camera.
The Wi-fi quality and range for this camera depend on many factors, how far away the camera will be from the Wi-Fi point, how fast/strong the Wi-Fi is, the obstacles on the way of the signal.
To my experience, the wireless on this camera works well, however, it depends on the factors mentioned above. I connected the camera to an 802.11ac capable access point at a distance of 50 feet and it worked great with no frames dropping (or freezing).
Audio settings and performance
By default the audio feature is disabled. To turn it on go to Configuration > Video/Audio > Video for the main stream and sub-stream change the video type to “Video&Audio”. You need to enable this option in order to hear the audio on the Live View screen or remotely (phone/computer etc).
The built-in mic performs well and it’s quite sensitive. There’s an extra feature on the audio section called “Environmental Noise Filter”. By enabling it under the Configuration > Video/Audio you can reduce the white noise which microphones are very efficient at picking up.
You can add a speaker on the camera’s pigtail and have a 2-way “walkie-talkie” style conversation.
Daytime and Nighttime picture quality
As you can see from the videos shown below, the picture in the daytime is sharp with a lot of details and good color accuracy. The 120db try Wide Dynamic Range (WRD) works great in daylight and it’s definitely a feature you should deploy if your environment requires it.
Technically the WDR will help the camera deal with images that have high contrast, such as a scene where there’s a bright light source in the background (can be the sun, light from the window, or garage’s door).
Also, if necessary, you can tweak the image settings on the camera and make it work better with your location. However, from my experience, the default settings work just fine in most situations.
This camera is, being a mini-dome style, has smaller and lesser IR LEDs, but wow, the camera really shines at night-time. You can see details from quite a distance. It’s really surprising how good this camera does in low sensitivity.
This is with WDR turned off. There is a little more noise than in other Hikvision camera models, but the detail is there and it’s quite good. For more, judge the night-time picture by watching the videos below.
The Hikvision Mini Dome IP Camera is a very capable camera with very good daytime and nighttime picture quality. The low profile design makes this camera great for indoor installations, or outdoor spots where you don’t want the camera to be very noticeable.
The built-in mic it’s another interesting feature on this camera and it’s a useful feature in any situation. The Wi-Fi performs well when the Wi-Fi coverage is strong. Overall, it’s a great camera. If you need a complete system, take a look at our recommended Best IP Camera Systems.