Hikvision DS-2CD2055FWD-I 5MP Mini Bullet – Review

Introduction

Welcome to our review of the Hikvision DS-2CD2055FWD-I 5MP Mini Bullet, the 2055 is from the latest EasyIP 3.0 range and features H.265+ codec and EXIR nightvision LED’s. Our expectations of this camera were pretty high after seeing the ultra low light performance of the 2035 3MP mini bullet, but we are still careful not to expect too much because from our previous experience a camera being 5MP instead of 3 doesn’t always mean a better performance.

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 2055 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 water-proof 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 in 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 camera.

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 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, so the first thing we noticed is how 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. This all sounds just as great as what we saw from the 3MP mini bullet, in fact when we put the 3MP side-by-side with the 5MP model the visible differences are minute.

When we came to our first nighttime scene our worse fears of the 5MP being worse than the 3MP are made clear as the 5MP scene is much darker, softer and more heavily pixelated. During the IR test for both cameras, we captured a scene were a cat sat with its back to the camera, in the 3MP test you could see the outline of the cat very clearly and even more impressive was the fact that you could make out the details and colours of the cat’s fur patterns. On the other side when we looked at the same cat in the same position through the 5MP camera the image looked terrible, the cat is barely visible against the background and the fur pattern is so unclear you could easily mistake it for a completely different cat, this might seem like a minor thing but when you scale it up to person and the camera is unable to clearly interpret the distinguishing features of a potential criminals that makes the camera almost useless.

Summary
In conclusion, the 2055 is very much a mixed bag of an IP camera, it's daytime performance is as good if not better than the 3MP model with sharp details and bright colour rendition. The problem is the night performance which, due to squeezing more pixels onto the same size sensor as the 3MP, is incredibly dark, pixelated and just generally lacking the clarity and resolution we expect from a 5MP camera, if night performance is crucial to your requirements we would suggest avoiding the 2055 and go with the 2035 instead.
Good
  • Handles a broad variety of daytime lighting conditions
  • Very little resolution or focus loss over long distances during the day
Bad
  • Very poor night performance, mushy and heavily pixelated
  • Extreme IR spot-lighting makes seeing anything at the edge of the frame almost impossible
  • Very little resolution improvement over the 3MP model
  • Will require extra lighting to function well at night
6.4
Fair
Day Performance - 6.5
Night Performance - 3
Design/Build Quality - 7
Ease of Use - 9

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