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Round-Up

Everfocus EPN4220/C

81%

Grundig GCI-K1779P

The EPN4220 employs a Sony 1/3 inch CMOS chipset to deliver a resolution of up to HD1080P, with dual streaming that makes use of H.264 and M-JPEG algorithms. The camera has a quoted sensitivity of 3 lux. Optical zoom ratio is 20x. Video functionality includes WDR, motion detection, AGC, backlight compensation, privacy masking and an integral MicroSD/SDHC card slot. Mechanical performance delivers 360 degree continuous pan, and a tilt range of 90 degrees. Maximum speed is 360 degrees per second for pan, and 180 degrees per second for tilt operations. The dome supports up to 192 presets, as well as the creation of 4 patterns of 90 seconds each, and 16 tours consisting of 16 preset positions. Other features include four alarm inputs with one output and two way audio. The camera is supplied with a paper quick start guide; the full manual is on a CD. The unit also comes with a PSU. It’s a 120V unit with a non UK plug, so you’ll need to be sourcing a more suitable alternative. The unit is configured using DHCP and a supplied utility. It’s basic, and whilst it found the camera immediately, it took three attempts for the IP address changes to be saved. However, once done the rest of the connection and set-up process was simple.

The configuration menu isn’t the cleanest you’ll see in this market sector, but it’s fairly intuitive and does the job. To be honest, once the camera is up and running you’re not going to be dipping into it on a regular basis. The camera offers video streams in H.264 or M-JPEG; at the highest resolution (HD1080p) in real time, latency with M-JPEG is around 5 seconds, so stick to H.264 – which most will do anyway! With the more efficient processing, the image is clean and motion is smooth. Colour fidelity is high, although there is a very slight bias towards warmer tones (this can be adjusted out if desired). Maximum bitrate is 6Mbps, which does allow clean and consistent footage to be captured. Reducing the bit-rate to 4Mbps doesn’t have any significant detrimental effect on quality. The camera holds a clean relatively noisefree colour image until around 6 lux. Day/night switching is adjustable, and the earliest we could get the camera to change modes was at around 5 lux. Given that there are 28 threshold levels, it might be nice if there was an option to switch earlier. PTZ operation is decent if you stick to low speeds. Whilst pan and tilt control is good once you’re used to it, zoom is a bit frantic, and you do find yourself using it very carefully. Setting up presets and tours is simple, and is achieved via the PTZ menu.

The GCI-K1779P is a fully functioned day/night dome that offers a resolution of up to HD1080P, 79% with dual streaming that makes use of H.264 and M-JPEG algorithms. The camera utilises a 1/2.8 inch CMOS sensor, and has a quoted sensitivity of 0.1 lux for a 50IRE image. The camera has an optical zoom ratio of 18x, and a focal length of 4.7-84.6mm. Video functionality includes wide dynamic range, privacy zones and video motion detection. Mechanical functionality includes 360 degree continuous pan and a tilt range of 200 degrees. Maximum speed is 400 degrees per second for presets, or 90 degrees per second for manual operation. The dome supports up to 256 presets, as well as the creation of 8 patterns. Other features include four alarm inputs with one output, two-way audio and an integral MicroSD/SDHC card slot. The camera can be powered via PoE or 24V AC; a power supply is not included. There is an A4 quick start guide, and a CD containing viewing software, an IP finder utility and a PDF of the full manual. Connection to the camera is initiated via a static IP address. The Finder utility did not find the camera, even when the unit was up and running on the network! Streaming a real-time HD1080p image with 8Mbps bandwidth and a H.264 stream delivers a high quality image. Motion is fluid, detail is sharp and colours are replicated well. There is a slight bias towards warmer tones, but it’s not obvious in everyday use. Reducing the bandwidth to 4Mbps doesn’t have a detrimental effect on overall performance. There is a lag of around half of one second, but it is consistent. As light levels fall, the camera’s simplistic configuration options do pretty much leave you at the mercy of the automatic processing. Noise becomes visible at around 5 lux, and colours lose their fidelity at around 4 lux. The settings are automatic, and our camera switched at 1.5 lux, which was too late. Mechanical operation is good with regard to programmed elements such as presets and sequences (tours), which are easy to set up. Manual control is a bit haphazard and takes a very gentle touch.

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Benchmark April 2013  

Benchmark April 2013