Welcome to our review of the Hikvision DS-2CD2385FWD-I 8MP Turret, the 2385 is from the latest EasyIP 3.0 range and features H.265+ codec and EXIR nightvision LEDs. Our expectations of this camera were pretty high after seeing Hikvision’s 3 & 5MP turret models perform above and beyond what we expected and knowing that this was an 8MP/4K turret at a reasonable price if it met our expectations it could be a game changer.
What’s in the Box?
As usual Hikvision’s packaging is well designed and professional looking, when you open the box you’ll see all the usual bit, instructions, drill template, screws, and a waterproof gasket. When we actually get the camera out we finally get to see the turrets unique ball and socket, flat-faced, 2 window design up close and, like all Hikvision cameras, it is as well built as it looks. This 8MP turret model is part of the 2nd iteration of turret cameras, and even with only one opportunity to make changes to the design they’ve still made some big design improvements including changing the design of the mounting ring and managing to squeeze in space for a MicroSD slot. Some of these design changes aren’t perfect and can make the installation trickier, the big one being the smoothing of the ring around the face of the camera which makes adjusting the camera’s lens position much harder.
Installation and Setup
The physical installation of the 2385 is, like all Hikvision cameras, made really easy by having all the accessories you’ll need for installing come with the camera, everything but the screwdriver. The process for installing the camera from box to wall takes no time at all and is just as easy to install whether you’re a security installer or just an everyday end user. The technical setup of the 2385 is the same as all new Hikvision cameras, in that it can be set up multiple different ways depending on your IT skills and knowledge.
Now we come the main part of the review, the camera’s performance, we had the camera up for a few days to capture scenes in a variety of lighting conditions and from both day and night. You can see some of this footage in our video review by clicking the video tab on the previous page, now here in the written review we will highlight some of the points we commented on in the video as well as going into greater detail of some of the pros and cons we came across during our test.
So, first of all, we tested the cameras day time performance and as we expected from an 8MP 4K camera the pictures looked amazing, they were sharp and full detail with incredibly accurate colour rendition. The camera’s auto settings also do a really good job of balancing out the brightness of scene so that the majority of the scene is not too bright or too dark, the only issue we came across in our initial tests was the low frame rate being jumpier than we had seen on other Hikvision models set to the same frame rate, but this issue is easily avoided on cameras from the new EasyIP 3.0 range as they include the latest H.265+ CODEC that allows for huge compression and lets you record at 20fps and still get days of recording. (check out the second video on the other page for our full test of the H.265+ CODEC using the 2385 set to 20fps)
Next we tested the cameras IR night time performance and one of the first things we noticed was how much better the IR coverage is when compared to models not using the 2-window, square LED layout, this layout bounces IR light in all directions to offer much more even IR than cameras using the older style ring of LEDs that always generated a lot of bright spotting as each LED in the ring was focused to a central point. Jumping off from this last point the coverage generated by the Turret IR layout also means that the night performance as a whole is much more detailed and much sharper allowing you tell the difference between materials and how dark or light coloured something in the scene is, which is a very useful feature when it comes to identifying the type of clothes a potential criminal might be wearing. One final point about the performance is to do with the H.265+ CODEC which before this test we hadn’t seen in action ourselves and had only heard the buzz coming from the manufacturer, which we usually take with a pinch of salt, but in the case of H.265+ everything they claimed was correct including the fact that even when using H.265+ with this 8MP model the compression has minimal to no effect on the quality of the cameras recording, which makes H.265+ a real game changer.