Dahua vs Hikvision: The battle of Best PoE Bullet Cameras

  • Dahua and Hikvision are one of the most popular security cameras brands
  • When looking for the best 4MP PoE bullet security camera Dahua DH-IPC-HFW3841EP-AS-0280B and Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I are usually the two models to choose from
  • The main differences are around low light performance (Hikvision performs better), WDR (true WDR For Dahua vs digital WDR for Hikvision), installation (Dahua will need more skills) and max bit-rate (Dahua is at 4 Mbps while the HIKVISION at 16 Mbps)
  • See a detailed comparison of Hikivision vs Dahua security cameras below based our testing and use at the test facility
  • Our overall conclusion is that Dahua is better value for money with varifocal lens while Hikvision is superior in low light conditions and better image quality
  • Also, check our review of Best PoE Cameras

Dahua DH-IPC-HFW3841EP-AS-0280B

Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I

CCTV Surveilance Security Camera PoE Bullet Surveilance Security Camera
on Amazon $179.00 on Amazon

Great value 4MP PoE Bullet CCTV Camera with a varifocal lens which struggles in low light

The best mini bullet security camera with a small and discreet body and strong performance

  • Great daytime color image
  • Can set the field of view and zoom level as needed
  • Varifocal Lense and advanced motion detection
  • Amazing picture quality at both day and night
  • Easy installation 
  • Does not provide usable images at night without enough infrared light
  • Limited support from the manufacturer
  • Limited customer support

The Main Differences Between Hikvision and Dahua

There are not many noticeable differences between these cameras, but the major ones are:

  • The Dahua camera features true WDR, whereas the Hikvision camera has digital WDR.
  • The Dahua camera provides night vision up to 80m while the Hikvision device covers only 30m at night.
  • The installation and use of Dahua are a little tricky, and you might need some tech skills to understand the process, whereas the HIKVISION camera features plug-and-play functionality.
  • The Dahua camera is available for around $80, and the Hikvision one is priced above $100.

Customer Reported Issues


There were no complaints regarding this product.


The customers have reported lousy customer service. The company doesn’t provide any support if the product is bought from an unauthorized dealer. Some say the product is difficult to setup.

Brand Trust (Hikvision vs Dahua)

Dahua and Hikvision have so many similarities with very few differences, making both the brands in close competition with each other.  With a variety of features, it’s a tough task to pick a winner.

Although Hikvision camera is trusted more by tech-savvy people, Dahua is also gaining popularity day by day. While the resolution of the cameras is the same, and each offer motion detection features, both these brands are the ideal pick for security cameras. 

Hardware Comparison

Both the Dahua and Hikvision camera have the 1/3” progressive scan CMOS sensor. The sensor’s size influences the low light ability of a camera; which basically means larger sensors are better suited for low light conditions.  

But with cramming more and more pixels into the same sensor, they get smaller that creates additional noise. But the cameras have 3D noise reduction technology and WDR for improved video quality. 

However, the Dahua camera features true WDR, whereas Hikvision has digital WDR. While true WDR works with shutter speed technique, Digital WDR works with a software compensation technique. It means a camera with true WDR is better than digital ones. At the same time, true WDR requires extra components and more processing power.

Moving further, both the cameras have a fixed lens available at different focal lengths with different angle of view. The Dahua IPC-HFW4431R-Z provides 99 ° ~36 ° angle of view whereas Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I offers 83° angle of view with 4mm lens and 55.4° with 6mm lens.  

Software Comparison

As for software comparison, both the cameras are ONVIF compatible, which means the cameras are compatible with third-party equipment. Also, the RTSP feature allows even non-ONVIF devices to access the camera’s video stream.  

On daytime, the video quality of both the cameras is crisp and clear, thanks to the 4MP resolution offered by these cameras. But, there is a noticeable difference in the night video quality.  

While both the cameras are equipped with IR LEDs, the Dahua camera provides up to 80m of night vision whereas HIKVISIN camera allows only 30m of night vision.

Hikvision camera has no inputs and outputs for audio components, so it’s not possible to hook up a microphone or a speaker on this camera. Further, Hikvision camera has a max bitrate of 16 Mbps vs. 4 Mbps of the Dahua DH-IPC-HFW3841EP-AS-0280B.

Dahua bullet camera can stream three videos simultaneously at different resolutions, while another one can only do two video streams.

Another worth mentioning attribute is both the cameras have a basic motion detection feature along with advanced motion detection techniques. But the Dahua Varifocal PoE IP Bullet Security Camera offers Crowd Gathering Estimation, Fast-Moving, and Parking Detection as well.   

Our Verdict

While there are subtle differences between the two cameras, comparing them comes down to your preferences. While you can’t go wrong with either of them, it all narrows down to your requirements.

If you are want to cover a larger area, you might want to go with Dahua camera as it provides up to 80m of night vision.

But if you want more explicit images on both day and night, you should go with Hikvision camera as the Dahua doesn’t offer the best images at night. The Dahua camera is just not designed for low light conditions.

While both have their pros and cons, Hikvision would be the best pick if we consider all the major factors needed for a security camera.

Tech Specs: Hikvision vs Dahua


Dahua DH-IPC-HFW3841EP-AS-0280B

Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I

Resolution 2592×1520 2688 x 1520
Encoding H.265/H.264/H.264B/H.264H/ MJPEG H.264/H.264+/MJPEG
Max BitRate 1080P:2~4Mbps 720P:1~2Mbps 32 Kbps ~ 16 Mbps
WDR True WDR Digital WDR
Night Vision (IR Range) Up to 80m Up to 30m
Lens (Angle, Type etc.) 2.7mm~12mm Electric Zoom Lens Fixed Lens Angle of View : 99 ° ~36 ° 4mm, 6mm @ F2.0 Fixed lens Angle of View: 83° (4mm) , 55.4°(6mm)
Housing & Package (Metal) Metallic housing Metallic housing & bracket
Power (PoE) Yes Yes
Connectivity (Wi-Fi) No No
NVR (Built-in NVR or SD Card)   Built-in NVR No SD Card
Alerts (Alert events, Email alerts, Push alerts)   Email alerts Push alerts
Audio / Video Detection Video Detection: Motion Detection/Video Tamper/Defocus Detection/Face Detection Smart Detection: Tripwire/Intrusion/Abandoned/Missing/Scene Changing/Loitering Detection/Crowd Gathering Estimation/Fast-Moving/Parking Detection Face Detection, Line Crossing, Intrusion Detection, Motion detection, Dynamic analysis, Tampering alarm, Network disconnect, IP address conflict, Storage exception
Other (Alarm in/out, Audio in/out, Other ) Alarm in/out: Audio in/out: No Alarm in/out: No Audio in/out: No
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Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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1 year ago

Hi there!
I just read your article on Dahua vs Hikvision: The battle of Best PoE Bullet Cameras and I must say, it was a great read! As someone who is looking to invest in a PoE bullet camera, your article was really helpful in understanding the differences between the two brands and their products.
I appreciate how you went into detail about the features and specifications of both cameras, and how you highlighted the pros and cons of each. It really helped me make an informed decision about which camera would be the best fit for my needs.
I also appreciate how you didn’t just focus on the technical aspects of the cameras, but also talked about the design and build quality. It’s important to have a camera that not only performs well, but is also durable and weather-resistant.
Overall, your article was a great resource and I’m grateful for the time and effort you put into creating it. Keep up the great work!

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