Hikvision DS-2CD2035FWD-I 3MP 6mm Mini Bullet Camera – Review

Introduction

Welcome to our review of the Hikvision DS-2CD2035FWD-I 3MP Mini Bullet, the 2035 is from the latest EasyIP 3.0 range and features H.265+ CODEC and EXIR night vision LEDs. Our expectations of this camera were pretty high after seeing Hikvision refer to this 3MP model as their ultra low light model, but we were still hesitant to jump the gun before seeing the camera’s performance for ourselves.

What’s in the Box?

So again like any Hikvision camera the packaging is excellent, it looks professional before you open the box and when you do open it all the essentials for an easy setup are there, drill template, screws, plugs, gasket, etc. When you finally get to the camera itself the quality of the product is clear from its robust metal design, like most mini bullets the 2035 uses the classic ball and socket bracket but Hikvision has improved the design of the bracket with the addition a large locking screw, this makes adjusting the camera’s final position a lot less fiddly. Other physical features include a MicroSD slot and a waterproof cable gasket.

Installation and Setup

The physical installation of the camera is made really easy by the inclusion in the box of a drill template, screws, and plugs. The whole process of installing the camera, from box to being mounted, can easily be done in 15-20 minutes, in terms of the technical setup with the 2035, like all Hikvision cameras, there are multiple ways to do so which makes it a versatile piece of kit. In the case of our test we set the single camera up with SADP and by logging into the specific camera’s IP address using a web browser, but if you don’t feel confident doing it this way you can now connect Hikvision cameras to your network by scanning the QR code on the camera using the Hik-connect mobile app.

Performance

Now we come the main part of the review, the camera’s performance, we only have each camera up for a few days but that’s enough time to capture scenes in a variety of lighting conditions 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) So after activating the camera and seeing the live view, the first thing to say is how impressive clear, bright and sharp the daytime images were, no matter how sunny or shadowy the scene might be. Also throughout the daytime scenes the camera could see an impressive distance with very little focus or resolution loss, so good in fact that in one scene we could make out the facial features of a person up to 30m from the camera.

When we came to our first nighttime scene we finally understood why Hikvision call this a low light model, its IR performance was very impressive for a camera of its size and price. The IR is evenly distributed across the scene with minimal bright spotting and drop off, the smaller details of the scene are clear if slightly pixelated on closer inspection, but this is to be expected of a 3MP sensor, even so, the pixelation is minimal when compared to some 4 and 5MP IR performance that we have tested. Also the IR didn’t reach quite as far during our test as the stated 30m, but this is more to do with the positioning of the camera and certain large objects in the scene blocking a lot of the IR light from travelling as far as it should, in most situations with some minor adjustments you should be able to get the full 30m distance.

Summary
In conclusion the DS-2CD2035FWD-I is a powerful and affordable addition to Hikvision’s camera range, its daytime performance was almost perfect no matter how bright or dark it was and its clarity over long distance was really quite a surprise, at night the quality drop, when compared to similar cameras on the market, was a lot less noticeable. Its IR performance was so good that the camera was able to separate individual leaves from one another, which really helps with interpreting the depth of the scene.
Good
  • Excellent colour rendition
  • Impressive image clarity across all lighting conditions
  • Handles movement incredibly well, even at low fps
  • Objects easily identifiable up to 40m away from the camera
  • Inpressively clear IR performance throughout the evening
Bad
  • IR doesn't quite reach its expected 30m range
  • In some bright conditions causes very distracting blacks across the image
8.6
Great
Day Performance - 9
Night Performance - 8.5
Design/Build Quality - 9
Ease of Use - 8

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