The D-Link DCS-4633EV Vigilance Full HD 3 Megapixel H.265 Outdoor Vandal-Proof PoE Dome Camera is a high definition professional surveillance and security solution suitable for small, medium, and large enterprises.
The camera uses a high-sensitivity 1/3" megapixel progressive scan CMOS sensor with on-board WDR image enhancement to deliver truly superior quality video in all conditions. The all-in-one rugged design makes this camera extremely reliable and ideal for deployment in surveillance applications without the need for additional accessories.
• Full HD 3 Megapixel resolution, up to 2048x1536 @ 30fps
• H.265, H.264, and MJPEG codec support
• Compact and robust housing
• IP66 weatherproof and IK10 vandal proof
• Built-in IR LED illumination
• Wide Dynamic Range image enhancement
• Built-in 802.3af PoE
D-Link does a range of cameras, but the great majority have been indoor units. This unit, while it can be installed indoors, is totally the outdoor beastie. Built with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology that carries communication and power over the same cable, you can install and run it as long as your network hub has PoE capability. That said, for those without such hardware on hand, this unit does come with a power cable into which you can plug any compatible 12V/1.5A/5mm power adaptor, meaning everyone has a shot at using this device. My office doesn't currently have a PoE-enabled router installed, but a few days after this unit arrived I was fortunate enough to get an external power adapter that would work, so could dive in and get this tested.
Apparently aimed mainly at small to medium businesses, this device comes with a solid web interface but does have a bit in the way of mobile support. For some, this will prove a draw-back, but for a fixed-venue business, which may have a suite of cameras hooked up, this may not be as big of an issue. The software that comes on the disc included in the box - D-ViewCam - which is also available on their website, will allow you to connect and view up to 32 cameras in an array on one monitor. Unfortunately, it is Windows-only but there are mobile versions for iOS or Android. Because this device uses a well-recognised industry standard, there are also other software packages out there that are compatible, so there's bound to be scope for anyone to utilise this tech.
Installation was simple enough, and mounting the camera was made very simple by the included template sticker. Peel it off, stick it where you want the camera to go, and it shows you exactly where to drill screw holes and the larger cabling conduit hole too. If you are mounting it to a wall, and don't want to drill a honking great hole in there, you can easily pop open the case and with a few easy adjustments have the camera's cable exit through the side/bottom of the case without compromising the weatherproofing at all. The network cable plug comes with a screw-together housing that you can fit to your ethernet cable end, plug it into the socket, then seal the juncture up watertight in under a minute without needing any special tools at all. The power socket also comes with an integral cap to seal that socket if you are running power to it via the network instead.
The interface software is very easy to get to grips with, with an intuitive layout that makes it quite simple to locate all the key features you may want. I found it so quick to scan through, there's actually little for me to say about this - you'll rarely, if at all, find yourself digging for the help files.
The construction is of a much higher standard than the price tag would lead you to assume. The housing is sturdy and can take the knocks - during installation I accidentally dropped it from a height of 4m onto concrete, and while there was one small scratch on the dome, the main housing remained undamaged to any significant degree. When a device claims to be vandalism-proof I always laugh, because unless it has special nano-coatings, a two-second spritz with a can of spray paint will render it utterly useless, at least in the short term, but this unit will survive physical abuse attacks to a degree. It appears to be far more likely to tear free of it's mounting before it will break apart.
Image quality is, as expected, quite high. With the built-in infrared LEDs illuminating a good distance, and some well-crafted optics, the images are crisp and clear to a range of about 9m before they start to degrade. This can be offset somewhat by careful tweaking of the 3D noise filter, but it's a feature that may be more hassle than it's worth to some users. Crisp images are useful for features such as the motion detection. Very much in line with other models' interfaces, the feature is quick to configure and runs nicely, though I found I had the same issue with this as with other D-Link cameras with this functionality, namely that it seems determined to have complete rows of sections selected - you can select discontinuous segments for trigger-monitoring without it automatically activating all other sectors in a row that contains any selected segments. Totally annoying, highly frustrating, and completely irrational, but there you have it... it's one of those features that you are better to use as an all-or-nothing proposition just to save yourself from WTH moments.
Overall, this was a delight to use, and very well placed for the SOHO and small/medium business market. Larger businesses may want to skip this and invest in the top-line hardware and specialist software, but anyone else will find a set of 4-6 of these more than sufficient to cover the external facings of any moderate building. I found this most effective mounted above the external storage shed, looking down the main approach to the building, where it was safe from all but the most determined vandals while still providing good visual coverage of the main gate, front entrance to both buildings, and the carpark for our office. The price tag is well within the budget for even a home user simply wanting something to keep an eye on the car, boat or approaches to the front door or garage, and for the sake of a couple of holes and some ethernet cable, it gives you peace of mind in all weather. Well worth considering if your needs fall in line with that.
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