Saturday, August 29, 2020

Dahua IPC-HFW2831T-ZAS-S2 vs IPC-HFW4631H-ZSA

Mention in here:

8MP PoE Security IP Camera - OEM IPC-HFW2831T-ZAS-S2 2.7~13.5mm Vari-Focal Lens 5X Optical Zoom, Ultra 4K Bullet Outdoor Starlight Camera with 196.85ft Night Vision,SD Card Slot,H.265,IP67  Specs sheet

6MP Outdoor POE Bullet IP Camera IPC-HFW4631H-ZSA, 2.7-13.5mm Motorized Varifocal Lens, 5X Optical Zoom Security Camera with Built-in Mic, IR 197ft Night Vision, Smart H.265 WDR, SD Card Slot, IP67


First note, oddly they seem to use diff and conflicting plugins so you can only view the stream from one or the other in IE at the same time.

Second I had a 256 GB SD card from my old LG V30 phone that I had previously used in the SereneLife IPCAMOD47 failure which I tried to use in the IPC-HFW2831T-ZAS-S2  after formatting it but it appeared as 2 drives and failed to format. I did not have a second to 256 GB to try so it might have chosen that time to go bad. Sticking the 256 GB SD back in a Windows 10 PC it says only 47 MB like the second drive listed in the camera now. Sticking a 128 GB into it seems to work OK. I was able to recover the 256 GB SD with SD formatter.

Third you will notice (if you click on the images) the form factors between the 4Ks (3840x2160, Aspect ratio = 1.78) and the 6MP (3072x2048, Aspect ratio = 1.5) are quite diff. Most of the 4K's added pixels are in adding width not height which might factor into you choice.

The tests

One of my Reolink 511s is starting to have moisture issues so I thought it would be a good time to upgrade the IPC-HFW4631H-ZSA with a IPC-HFW2831T-ZAS-S2 and use the IPC-HFW4631H-ZSA to replace the 511. Before that though I wanted to do a quick compare so stick the IPC-HFW2831T-ZAS-S2 next to IPC-HFW4631H-ZSA and captured some video and snapshots from them and the Amcrest IP8M-2496 in the same location to get both zoomed and wide compares. 



These videos the Dahuas start off on max zoom. You can see me stepping off and dropping eye charts at about 50, 100 feet and at the gate about 188 feet from the camera array.  There is an old license plate on the cart I'm pulling for reference too. At about 1:24 PM I start back from the gate. About 1:40 PM both Dahua cameras are zoomed to max view angle to compare with the Amcrest. 

IPC-HFW4631H-ZSA video

IPC-HFW2831T-ZAS-S2 video

IP8M-2496 video

Nighttime with IR

The 6MP looks slightly better to me. Start with just IR lights on (note mainly from IR flood). Shortly after the start the white driveway lights come on the go off just before the end of the video. The driveway lights have almost no affect on the video detail. Passing cars give indications of motion blur affects from the slow shutter speed.

IPC-HFW2831T-ZAS-S2 video

IPC-HFW4631H-ZSA video

Nighttime low light color

The 8MP does way better here. Both cams are set to manual 1/12 exposure, color mode and 0-100 gain range. Otherwise all default settings. Start with just IR lights on, mainly from IR flood, but they seem to have no real affect unlike the HikVision ColorVus that tend to get a purple tint when IR floods are on. About 9:38 PM the white driveway lights come on making a dramatic change in both videos. 

For instance the old school house across the street lit by its own security light is about all you can make out on the 6MP though if you look real close can see where the sky is slightly lighter the trees and shadow on the ground. After the driveway lights come on the detail is better but 50 foot detail is still not as good as in IR night vision. Though past 50 feet it was better in color mode.

By contrast the 8MP actually appears to be in color though again the details are few. You can kind of make out the eye chart silhouette and moon shadows. After the driveway lights come on the detail is almost that of day time. 

Passing cars give indications of motion blur affects from the slow shutter speed. Shortly before the end of the video the driveway lights go back off again showing how quickly the cameras adapt.

IPC-HFW2831T-ZAS-S2 video

IPC-HFW4631H-ZSA video

In pics

The UPS box is at about 160 feet.

You can watch the videos to see how fast the zooms and focusing work but are some quick snaps to see how the cams compare in max zoom. The calculated DORI numbers are

Click on an image to see close to full screen and rapidly switch between.

The 6MP camera view

The 8MP/4K camera view
Just to drive home the diff distance makes, here are views from the cameras mounted about 20 feet from the UPS box. 
View from another Dahua 6MP in widest view mode.

View from an old Foscam FI9804WS 720p cam.

I used the 6MP Dahua and will use the new 8MP cam in max zoom but while I have them all together I though I'd get some wide angle view compares as well. Not e how much the auto focus improves the detail. The 50 foot chart is clearer even to the 6MP camera than the fixed Amcrest 4K. The Dahua 4K is even better. Granted it is also almost twice the cost of the Amcrest.
The Dahua 6MP in widest view

The Amcrest 8MP/4K wide angle view

The Dahua 8MP/4K in widest view

Nighttime with IR

6MP just IR

6MP in IR mode with driveway lights on.

8MP just IR

8MP in IR mode with driveway lights on.

Nighttime low light color

6MP color mode.

6MP in color mode with driveway lights on.

8 color mode

8MP in color mode with driveway lights on.

Friday, August 28, 2020

SereneLife IPCAMOD47 - hard pass

Outdoor PTZ IP Security Camera - 4X Optical Zoom - Starlight Night Vision 2mp HD 1080p Home Wireless WiFi Video Surveillance - Two Way Audio, Cloud Storage, Alexa Show - SereneLife IPCAMOD47

Note description says 36mm lens but I think they mean 3.6 mm lens and it is fixed, not zoom (see below).

Manual and specs can be found here

When I went back looking for an alternate to this I'm wondering if I meant to order this 5 MP cam given it looks exactly the same though has totally diff specs and only $20 more. Already boxed this one up to go back. Below is why.


  • Appears the only way to set up is via phone while cam is wired
  • In cam web interface is only available after setup via phone. In fact it does not even seem to get an IP address from DHCP till after you set it up via phone by scanning a tiny, hard to scan QR code.
  • Requires creating account to use app needed to setup
  • Zoom appears to be only digital and no zoom controls in web interface.
  • No common protocol support so forget using an NVR including Blue Iris.
  • Even less feature controls than any of the dozens of cams I've tried (See screen shots below)
  • Web interface wants plugin for IE that antivirus blocks from installing (see screen shots below) though plug does not actually seem to be needed. On Chrome you get not video at all though it does not ask you to install the plugin
  • Phone lost connection and would not reconnect despite web interface still working.
  • Mute speaker and mic controls in web interface do not seem to work. You will need to mute your PC to avoid feedback during viewing via the web app if cam is within ear shot
  • Takes long time to boot up and be ready
  • NTP requests to odd server triggers IPS alerts but you can at least change it. (See screenshot) 
  • Time defaults to 1971 and no option to sync with PC. Only can turn off sync and set manually at which point sync turns back on when saved
  • Note factory reset does not seem to actually reset all settings.
  • Firmware update gets flagged as network Trojan though probably mistakenly.


  • Has motion triggered lights
  • 512 GB SD card support per manual though ad says 128 GB max. Seemed to work with a 256 GB SD fine. Though when I pulled the SD card when getting it ready to send back I did not find any video files on the SD. Just a "backup" file. Though I did see clips in playback interface. 
  • Default login appears to be random string though you do not seem to be able to change it

Stuff that would be pros but did not get to try

  • 2 way audio
  • Alexa support
  • Starlight sensor for color night vision

Screen shots

Network options

On screen display settings. If you turn on Display name you get a prompt that only takes letters, not numbers.

SD card screen

Motion settings page 1

Motion settings page 2 though both would fit on one easy.

Recording schedule screen

Maint screen

Other screen which is volume settings.

WiFi setup pops up right after first login

No video/audio stream on Chrome. Pan tilt controls also appear to be dead.

Yet Chrome did get a pic from the camera. It just goes blank when you click the play button. Note it does not auto play.

On IE you get prompted to install a plugin

IE after ignoring plugin install request

Time setting screen. Note the odd ntp server.

Typical download option. At least the plugin comes from the same place as the firmware update

Should you click Run here you will most likely get a nasty message from your anti virus program that just says I'm not letting you do this.