D-Link Vigilance DCS-4602EV review

A very affordable outdoor IP camera that’s built like a tank, though image quality is merely adequate

Price
£162
  • Extremely hard-wearing; Weatherproof;
  • No optical zoom; No wireless support; Image quality isn't perfect

A member of D-Link's Vigilance professional surveillance family, the DCS-4602EV is designed to go where other IP cameras fear to tread. Its IP66 rating makes it fully weather-proof against dust-storms and heavy jets of water, and its solid metal casing and polycarbonate dome have an IK10 external mechanical impact rating - the highest possible - meaning it can stand up to a physical battering too.

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The DCS-4602EV is based on a 2MP CMOS with a top resolution of 1080p. It also features 15 infrared LED illuminators circling its lens, which D-Link claims will deliver night-vision at a range of up to 20 metres - something our tests bore out.

The camera supports wired connections only, and the expectation is that you'll be driving it via PoE - the 12V power supply is an optional extra. A short waterproof Ethernet cable protrudes from the camera's base, so that the RJ-45 connection doesn't become a chink in the DCS-4602EV's armour.

The tidy web interface makes light work of configuration, but as usual Microsoft Edge and Chrome don't support H.264 streams. We had no such problem with IE 11, in either format, and were also able to use Firefox via the QuickTime plugin for H.264 - although as with other cameras, this introduces an annoying three second latency for motion. D-Link tells us it's looking into these issues but is currently advising Windows 10 users to stick with IE 11.

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Live view quality is reasonable, but the camera's focus is on the soft side, making the image appear very slightly blurry. Still, it's good enough for general surveillance of areas such as lobbies and corridors. The camera handles artificial lighting well, and when positioned outdoors it reacted quickly to changing light levels. We suggest you keep it out of direct sunlight, however: faced with our brightest scene, the camera turned down the exposure so far that the areas in shadow were too dark to be usable.

The web interface is standard across D-Link's range, so you'll find a PTZ control pad on the left side, even though the pan and tilt buttons do nothing on this camera. The zoom buttons do work for the DCS-4602EV, but since this is digital zoom it's only good for blowing up the image: you won't capture any more detail, and quality breaks down badly at the maximum 10X setting.

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We defined two streams each with their own resolution, codec and frame rate for PC and mobile viewing, and saw quick links in the live view page, along with buttons for full-screen, taking snapshots and recording on demand.

Setting up motion detection is simple too: you can draw zones to mark where you want it be active, and set a global sensitivity level. A handy indicator in the live view shows when motion detection has been triggered, and this can be linked to a range of events. Up to five email, FTP and NAS servers are supported and we could decide whether to send snapshots, video clips or just system logs to them. You can also set events to be automatically triggered to a schedule, or to a camera reboot.

In addition to the camera's own web interface, you get D-Link's D-ViewCam software for accessing up to 32 cameras and managing recordings to multiple storage locations. The console looks dated but it works fine on Windows 10 and offers plenty of tools including a handy e-map facility. There's also an iOS app: we had no problems accessing the video server host on the LAN, but if you want to access it from outside your company network you'll need to manually set up port forwarding to allow it to get through your firewall.

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The DCS-4602EV is a tough all-weather camera that's built to last and offers plenty of features. Image quality isn't the best, but if you're looking for an vandal-proof outdoor IP camera, the low price makes it an attractive choice.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 270

Verdict

The DCS-4602EV is a tough all-weather camera that's built to last and offers plenty of features. Image quality isn't the best, but if you're looking for an vandal-proof outdoor IP camera, the low price makes it an attractive choice.

1/3in. 2MP RGB CMOS 2.8mm, f/1.8 lens 1080p max res 30/25fps (60/50Hz) IP66/IK10 certified MJPEG/H.264 10/100 Ethernet PoE 15 x IR LEDs 10X digital zoom D-Link D-ViewCam software 110 x 110 x 72mm (WDH) 2yr RTB warranty

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