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Comparing Hikvision and Dahua Cameras

When evaluating the choice between Hikvision and Dahua cameras, it’s important to consider various factors and their unique attributes. These two prominent manufacturers offer a wide range of security cameras, recorders, and related products, but their suitability depends on specific needs and preferences.

Hikvision’s Reputation and Product Range

Hikvision, officially known as Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., gained significant recognition in 2021 as one of the leading security camera manufacturers. What sets them apart is their dedication to research and development, allocating eight percent of their revenue to continually enhance their products. This commitment has led to the creation of user-friendly and highly capable IP security cameras, among other options.

Hikvision’s network video recorders and digital video recorders offer a plethora of features tailored to security camera systems:

– Adjustable video footage capacity
– Cloud support
– Customizable search and playback
– Enhanced diagnostics and configuration
– Footage tagging
– Multi-channel live view
– Network detection
– Simultaneous HDMI and VGA outputs
– Smart playback

One of Hikvision’s strengths lies in its advanced features that elevate security camera system performance and integration. Their products are designed not only to seamlessly work within their brand’s ecosystem but also to integrate smoothly with other brands, making them a versatile choice. Additionally, Hikvision products tend to be more budget-friendly compared to the competition.

Dahua’s Expertise and Product Offerings

Dahua, officially known as Zhejiang Dahua Technology, also made a mark in the security camera market in 2021. They are recognized for their low-light security cameras, recorders, and related products. Dahua offers three distinct lines of security cameras:

1. UltraSeries
2. ProSeries
3. LightSeries

These product lines cater to different needs, with LightSeries being more basic, ProSeries offering middle-ground options, and UltraSeries providing the highest quality cameras. These categories encompass dome, bullet, and internet protocol (IP) cameras, allowing customers to choose the most suitable option based on their requirements.

Dahua’s digital video recorders and network video recorders are known for their video footage quality, capable processors (up to 4K resolution), ePoE support, video management software, and power over ethernet capabilities. They are user-friendly and easily integrated into modern security camera systems.

Comparing Hikvision and Dahua Cameras

In a nutshell, Dahua cameras are generally favored for residential and small business installations due to their affordability. On the other hand, Hikvision cameras are commonly deployed in larger businesses and commercial settings. Both manufacturers, however, offer affordable yet capable options across the market.

It’s worth noting that both Hikvision and Dahua serve as original equipment manufacturers (OEM), meaning their products may be rebranded and available under different names in various countries. When it comes to comparing their security cameras, the differences are generally technical and subtle.

Lens Options:

Hikvision tends to offer more lens options compared to Dahua, with five different fixed lenses, including 2.8mm, 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 12mm. In contrast, Dahua security cameras typically have fewer fixed lens options, such as 2.8mm, 3.6mm, and 6mm. This variation in lens options can be crucial depending on the specific surveillance environment.

Sensor Size and Low-Light Performance:

Both manufacturers generally use 1/3-inch Progressive Scan CMOS sensors for their IP cameras, which are standard in the industry and effective in low-light conditions. However, some Dahua turret cameras feature slightly larger sensors, providing them with an advantage in low-light scenarios.

Software Features:

Hikvision and Dahua offer similar video management software and configuration options. Hikvision places a strong emphasis on software development, including facial recognition and AI-based features for detecting unusual behavior or objects in the environment. While both support ONVIF and RTSP protocols, it’s important to note that ONVIF halted support for both manufacturers in 2019 due to political differences.

Bitrate and Resolution:

Hikvision cameras typically offer higher bitrates compared to Dahua, sometimes even doubling the bitrate of the latter. Both manufacturers support H.264 and H.265 compression, with Hikvision often excelling in this regard. However, the maximum bitrate is rarely fully utilized in practical applications.

Mobile Applications:

Both Hikvision and Dahua provide mobile applications that allow users to manage their security systems remotely. These apps enable users to receive alerts, stream video footage, configure settings, and review recorded data. The functionality of both apps is similar, with a focus on user-friendliness and efficiency.

Zero Channel:

Both Hikvision and Dahua offer a feature called “Zero Channel,” which provides a single screen to view all channels within a security camera system. This feature helps reduce bandwidth usage, optimizes viewing, and enhances overall surveillance capabilities. It can be accessed via cellular or Wi-Fi connections.


Dahua cameras are generally slightly more budget-friendly than Hikvision cameras on average. Dahua offers products in three price ranges, providing customers with options based on their budgets and requirements. Hikvision also offers a wide range of products, with higher-end options typically featuring advanced hardware and software.

In summary, the choice between Hikvision and Dahua cameras depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Both manufacturers offer high-quality products, but Hikvision tends to excel in advanced features and lens options, while Dahua often offers more budget-friendly options. It’s essential to assess your surveillance requirements and consider factors like lens choices, low-light performance, and software features when making a decision. Additionally, consulting with a security system expert can help you design a system tailored to your needs.

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