Hikvision is a big name in the IP camera industry, offering a wide range of cameras that cover the whole spectrum from small home-use cameras to professional high-resolution industrial models.
The DS-2CD2432F-IW is an inexpensive ($130) compact camera suitable for indoor use, with an impressive feature set. The 3 MP sensor offers higher resolution than many competing products from other manufacturers (Hikvision themselves also produce a DS-2CD2412F-IW model with a lower 1.2 MP resolution, but the price difference is not large, so we we would recommend going for this 3 MP model). It has both WiFi and Ethernet connectivity, and can be powered either by PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) or by a 12v power adapter, making it easy to install in any network environment. The sensitivity of 0.07 Lux, combined with built-in infrared (IR) illumination, allows it to function well in low-light situations, and it has a built-in microphone and speaker for two-way audio.
The camera body itself is all-plastic, but it’s well-constructed and has a solid feel to it. The mounting bracket is part-metal and is surprisingly sturdy given its small size and plastic appearance.
The camera comes pre-set to obtain an IP address automatically from your router via DHCP, so setup is simple (full details can be found in our Setting up network cameras instructions). To use this camera in SecuritySpy, enter the camera’s IP address and use the Hikvision profile.
The camera’s web interface is comprehensive and easy to use, and generally works well on Mac web browsers.
In good light, the 3 MP image sensor produces detailed images with good dynamic range, and the 4mm lens gives a wide angle of view, though there is a certain amount of barrel distortion that is fairly typical of wide-angle lenses.
The lens is fixed-focus and fixed-iris; in general, better image quality can be obtained from auto-focus and/or auto-iris lenses (however, at this camera’s price point, it would be unusual to find such features). Still, the lens does provide impressively sharp images.
In low light the image does become noticeably more noisy, but not excessively so, and below a certain threshold the built-in infrared (IR) LED kicks in, providing a good amount of illumination. The images under IR illumination are surprisingly sharp, which is unusual for a camera at this price point.
The camera runs either in 16:9 2-MP mode (1920×1080), or in 3:2 3-MP mode (2048×1536); the latter being cropped at the sides. We would recommend running in 3 MP mode as it does give a lot more detail in the image, despite the minor cropping.
This camera is a good choice for general indoor usage in a home or business setting. The comprehensive feature set and impressive image quality, combined with its very reasonable price tag, makes it stand out from its competitors.
- Good resolution and image quality
- Comprehensive feature set
- Inexpensive ($130)
- Easy to set up and install
- Basic fixed-focus, fixed-iris lens, with significant barrel distortion