The Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I is a great choice for a high-end domestic CCTV camera system - if you like the look and find a lens to suit, it can't be beat at this price-point.
Note: This is an updated Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I camera review, with a bit more detail about the image quality and embedded firmware interface.
The Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I is a dome CCTV camera released in 2015. However, Hikvision have released a number of minor hardware revisions and lens variants. The model reviewed here sports a wide angled 2.8mm lens, 4MP resolution and a manufacture date of September 2016. The firmware version was 5.4.1 build 160525 out of the box.
One of several new cameras from Hikvision, the Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I like its siblings sports a massive 4MP image resolution. This means you can take static snaps at 2688×1520 pixels, and grab beautifully detailed images like the one below.
That’s a lot of pixels Mr Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I
Manufacturer’s in the electronics industry love to cram a few more megapixels into their optical products. Oftentimes the results are marginal at best.
Hikvision are playing the same game with their DS-2CD2142FWD-I which is very similar to the 3MP variants in their stable. The dome camera housing is unchanged compared to other Hikvision cameras. Like the 3MP equivalents such as the DS-2CD2132 it cranks out full HD video streams at 1080P and then some to your NVR of choice.
The firmware is tweaked regularly by Hikvision but the 4MP variants share all the same features as their 3MP equivalents. You can stream at 20FPS but the great thing about these Hikvision IP cameras is the ability to tweak and choose the stream quality to suit your network and usage.
The Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I will capture stills at 2688×1520 resolution which is better than the 3MP CCTV cams. How important really is this if you’re capturing a 1080P stream any way?
Personally, the stills quality is so good, it turns the Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-1 into a powerful surveillance solution. Many lower-end CCTV cameras do a great job at monitoring, but are let down if you need to identify a suspect from footage – the quality isn’t good enough. The sharpness of the Hikvision stills, even at range and in low light, is just great. And the firmware lets you tweak exposures and numerous other settings to let you grab quality native pictures suited to the lighting of the environment you want to watch.
Even the video quality is top-notch. Bear in mind, you’ll need a rock-solid network plus plenty of hard drive storage to constantly record CCTV footage like the sample below. This is a quick clip, taken through glass, on a bright Autumn day.
Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I ticks the feature boxes
This is a Power-over-Ethernet camera, and if you can crimp a network cable, you’ll get a good waterproof seal from Hikvision’s cable routing system into the camera. All you need is the starting IP address for the camera (in this case 192.168.164) and a PoE-enabled ethernet port and the camera is visible on your network. Setup is very, very easy – especially compared to some of the cheap all-in-one kits I’ve used.
The Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I is rated down to 0.01lux so low-light performance is even more impressive. There are 4mm and 2.8mm lens variants too, so you can get a wider angle for monitoring larger areas – think garages and back gardens. (Note – the ‘S’ variant of these cameras has an I/O for audio too).
There are lots of Hikvision-branded mounting solutions, and the firmware lets you rotate the image with the camera in situ if needed. It does motion detection, recording to a schedule and much more, especially if you pair it with dedicated CCTV management software like Synology’s Surveillence Station.
Take off the housing and you can slot an SD card (not included) and set the camera to record to an onboard target. This is actually a great feature if you’re installing in locations without an NVR. Many homes and businesses may not have the capacity to manage a CCTV video recording server. Hikvisions onboard firmware is so good though that you can roll with onboard storage and save money for a network recorder at a later date. Failing that, point it at a NAS and away you go.
Is the Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I worth it as an upgrade?
With bullet variants of this camera, if I was buying new I’d definitely opt for these 4MP Hikvision cameras.
Unless you can get a substantial discount on the older 3MP versions, cameras like the Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS really set the standard, and are worth the RRP.
You could build a high-resolution, low-light capable surveillance system, and with PoE it can be made a secure and tidy install. The firmware is so good now, that with an onboard SD card you have a very good self-contained system. If you don’t need eight CCTV cameras on Day One, you could build up a collection of Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-I cameras over time to create a super-quality system.
However if you’ve already got the 3MP Hikvision alternatives and you’re happy with the video quality, it’s difficult to recommend an upgrade. These cams still stream at 1080p, the firmware is basically the same, and the low-light performance is a bump up in spec, rather than anything revolutionary.
But it’s always nice to have few more pixels…