20
May
12

IQEye Alliance Pro IQA32N 1080P Dome


Moved to www.NetworkCameraCritic.com

Most of the cameras I’ve reviewed have built-in illuminators. This is something I like because external illuminators are costly and require additional wiring. What if there was a camera that worked well in low light without the need for illuminators? That’s the question that the LightGrabber II Low-light feature of IQEye cameras answers.

The Alliance-Pro is a vandal resistant dome that comes in different resolutions up to 5 MP. I chose the 1080P (2 MP) model which is capable of 30 fps. It’s a rugged camera with an aluminum housing and a Lexan bubble.

Main Features
• Resolutions available up to 5 MP (this camera is the 1080P version)
• H.264 + MJPEG Compression
• 60 fps @ 720p, 30 fps @ 1080p
• Two-Way Audio ports
• IQrecorder feature
• Day/Night Movable IR Filter
• Lightgrabber™ II Low-light Feature
• Power Over Ethernet, 12-24 VDC, 24 VAC
• IP66/NEMA 4 Outdoor Enclosure
• Indoor/Outdoor Vandal Resistant Dome
• On-Camera microSD Card Storage
• Direct-to-Storage via FTP or NAS
• 5 Year Warranty

The camera comes as an indoor camera and an outdoor housing separate. To mount it outdoors, you remove the indoor ring and install the camera into the outdoor housing. Installing the camera involved attaching the housing to where you want the camera, plugging the ethernet cable in and snapping the camera into the housing. The dome cover is attached with 4 security torx screws using the included tool. This is the easiest dome I’ve ever installed. It has a 3-axis adjustment that’s fairly simple to use. You rotate the entire camera in one axis, the lens tilts up and down and you can rotate the lens for image tilt. Again, very simple to do.

They provide an analog video port in the front to aid in focusing and pointing the camera. Focusing and varifocal adjustment is similar to other cameras with wands that screw in to set the focus and focal length. Use the web browser with the magnification up to get the sharpest focus.

This is what the web interface looks like when you first log in

IQEye Alliance Pro - IQ32N 1080P Dome

There are basically two tabs, “live” and “setup”. This camera has the optional tab for “IQrecorder” feature. This allows you to record to the SD card on the camera and view the recordings like NVR software would using a timeline as shown below. Here you can also export the video as an AVI file. The ability to add apps to the cameras is one of IQEye’s strong points.

IQEye IQrecorder

I found this worked as advertised, but it would be great if they provided this capability with NAS recordings. Their support team said they are reworking this option and expect to have a new improved version out very soon.

I mounted the camera at the front of my garage, under the eave which is tilted about 30 degrees. With the varifocal lens set at 3mm, it was perfect for viewing the entire front of my home. While at that wide of an angle, you can not ID someone across the street, it was very effective as people approached my front gate or driveway. As with my other reviews, click on the images below to see the full size image, straight from the camera.

IQEye Alliance Pro IQA32N 1080P Vandal Dome

Here’s a night-time image. This is without any lighting other than the streetlights across the street and two 15W flourescent porch lights. The image is a little soft and that’s due to in-camera noise reduction. This is a trade-off between noise and a smooth image that impossible to avoid.

IQEye Alliance Pro IQA32N 1080P Vandal Dome

I took a day and a night video and posted them on Youtube. I had some issues with the recordings from the SD card not working correctly with my video editing software so I relied on BlueIris for the videos. View it at the highest resolution you can which is 1080P. The video was recorded at 15 fps, a limitation of the BlueIris software. You can see that the video at night starts off in B&W night mode, but the car’s headlights trigger it back into color day mode. Most of the time, the camera did not even have to go into B&W night mode. There is a color night mode, but the colors are way off and I recommend you stick with B&W for dark situations. The camera was set to a minimum shutter speed of 1/30th of a second. Setting it to a faster 1/60th of a second did force it into B&W night mode all the time but reduced motion blur on fast-moving cars on the street.

Daytime Video
Nighttime Video

Setup on the camera is where it differs from most. On most cameras, you make changes to a set of parameters and then click a save button. With this camera, most settings are applied immediately with about a 1 second delay. You’ll see the word Completed in red when a change is confirmed.

The first screen you come to when you select the “setup” tab is this one where you set the camera name. You see other tabs for advanced, exposure and streams and are all key in setting the camera up. Also across the top you see new tabs for window, network, security, event and so on.

IQEye Alliance Pro - IQ32N 1080P Dome

In the advance screen is where you setup the image settings, daynight settings and audio.

IQEye Alliance Pro - IQ32N 1080P Dome

You can use up to 4 motion detect zones. This is one of the few screens where you have to click “apply” to save the settings.

IQEye Alliance Pro - IQ32N 1080P Dome

Another thing that makes this camera a little quirky is that not all the settings you may want to set are done from the web browser interface. For example, to set the minimum exposure to 1/30th of a second, you enter this command in your browser – http:///set.oid?OidTB1.2.8.27.1=30. You can view all the cameras options by using this command – http:///oidtable.html. It displays as a 5 column grid with all the possible configuration options. In the next release, their support promised that many of these options will be configurable in the web browser interface.

Conclusions

Compared to other cameras I’ve tested, this one does very well at night with available light. Not the sharp crispness of the previously reviewed ACTi TCM-7811 in low light, but without the noise and better resoluton. Where the ACTi dome can only go down to 22F without the heater, this camera can go to -4F without a heater. Considering the higher resolution and low light capabilities, the camera’s street price of about $800-900 is appropriate. This does not included the IQrecorder feature which is an additional $100.

It is not able to see in complete darkness as there aren’t built-in illuminators but works well in most suburban and urban environments using street and porch lighting. For a dark alley or backyard, I would recommend the use of external illuminators or a camera with built-in illuminators.

The pluses for this camera are;
• Very good low light capability using their Lightgrabber II feature
• Day and night function with mechanical IR cut filter should you need it
• Built-in f3-13mm, F1.4 lens
• Can write AVI files directly to NAS
• HD 1080P resolution at 30 fps (or 720P at 60 fps)
• Selectable H.264, MJPEG compressions with triple streaming

Drawbacks for the camera include;
• IQRecorder feature only use the internal SD card
• Web browser interface lacks the ability to set key options

Recommended for those needing to protect their homes or business that need a high quality professional camera with very good low light capabilities and all the features one could want.

Spec sheets, manuals, overview are available here


16 Responses to “IQEye Alliance Pro IQA32N 1080P Dome”


  1. 1 David
    May 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Looks like a nice camera overall. The night shot is a little soft as you mentioned, but overall a good picture.

    thanks for the reviews.

  2. 2 DSod
    May 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Actually, I find even the day shot to be quit soft too. Notice the tree and front grill. Looks out of focus or low res – doesn’t look HD (2Mpixel) to me.

    • May 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      It’s not focused as far as the tree. The focal point is the driveway but I do admit it’s not as crisp as other cameras like the TCM-7811 that’s there now. I did try and refocus the camera 3 times with tips from support and I got it as good as I can.

  3. 4 Adam
    May 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Nice review. One suggestion when reviewing cameras. Can you show actual pictures of the camera as it’s installed? Nice to see how the camera actually looks to gauge its appropriateness for residential/commercial installations.

    Thanks!

    • May 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Here’s what a dome looks like in front of my house. It’s installed under the eave and from the street all you see is the bubble so it’s pretty descrete. I used to have a bullet camera there but people asked me about it and nobody has noticed the dome so far. I took down the IQEye and this is an ACTi dome but frankly, they all look the same.

      Dome Installed under eve

      • 6 Adam
        May 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm

        Thanks for posting. I’m certainly aware of what domes look like🙂 (I’m akelley on cctvforum), although, some are definitely larger than others. Your eave is a little different than others that I’ve installed, as from the street you can really only see the dome, and not the body. In fact the body blends in nicely with the white eave.

        While bullets can be smaller and discrete, they more often get spotted by people than domes. Maybe people are so used to seeing domes in stores and office buildings, they don’t jump out as foreign objects.

  4. 7 ranchcam
    June 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I personally like the smallness of the Axis M3114-VE since that one is smaller than my hand and the quality of the image is pretty good. I believe that once thugs see that a home has camera’s they will do their best in covering their faces so having something that doesn’t catch their eyes would be good. I’m actually looking at ways to add something to the camera either a vent with a cut out for the bubble or something else that would camouflage it. If I would get one of those Axis PTZ’s I might even place it in the housing for one of those high pressure sodium lights as they seem to fit in it and would then definitely be less conspicuous. I’ll revisit that idea when the time comes. Any othere great idea’s out there for hiding dome camera’s? Then again, since we’re all a little bit addicted to IP camera’s by now and are probably proud of having added the camera’s to our houses hiding them may go against our instinct…

    The Axis M3114-VE do lack the additional options that others have (no mic, no in/out, no SD) but otherwise happy. I now have three of them at a vacation home and am looking at adding a few additional cameras. In my search for quality/price I stumbled upon two Geovision cameras (MFD-130 and FER-521). The first one is a (I believe indoor) 1.3MP mini dome similar to the M3114-VE but with mic and sd (still no in/out and would like that too as want to add external PIR) and the second one is an outdoor 5MP fish eye 360/180 camera. The first Geovision is $200 so quite inexpensive, the second one is $650 and is only a small step up of adding another Axis M3114-VE.

    Have you (or anyone else) ever dealt with the brand Geovision and have you (or anyone else) had any good experiences with any of the fish eye camera’s out there?
    Mobotix seems to have a good fish eye but costs much more and since I have a large area to cover adding a few of those would be quite expensive. Then again you get what you pay for so the Mobotix might at the end be better..

    Thank you by the way for adding the reviews on the various software packages available. I purchased a Qnap NVR before and returned it due to some limitations in the software (bit fuzzy recordings compared to Axis own recording, lack of Mac support, limited options). I am now using BlueIris on an older computer but going to order a new small form factor computer just for recording and putting either Blue Iris on it or one of the other packages mentioned.

    • June 9, 2012 at 12:03 am

      Have not tested or used Geovision cameras, so not sure of their support or quality. I have used the ACTi fisheye camera, the KCM-3911 and it works quite well. I’ve used the Mobotix Q24 and it works well but is day or night only, selected at order time, not day/night like the Geovision or ACTi versions.

  5. 9 Roger
    June 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I’m having difficulty with recording to the microSD card. Are there limitations on the type of card that’s compatible? Special formats I must be concerned with? Ideally, I’d be able to stick in a 16GB microSDHC card and record 24/7, with the oldest material getting overwritten. Any troubleshooting tips?

    • June 9, 2012 at 12:06 am

      They require that you purchase a seperate option to be able to write to the SD card. I believe it’s called IQRecorder.

      • 11 Roger
        June 9, 2012 at 12:43 am

        Yeah, it was like a hundred bucks extra. We have that. Sometimes the software recognizes the chip, sometimes it doesn’t. But even when it does, it doesn’t seem to work right.

      • June 9, 2012 at 12:54 am

        Their support mentioned that they are re-doing that piece and should be out with it soon. Ask them for more details.

  6. 13 EatMy45
    June 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Just curious what is the length and width of your driveway? The eave on my hose has a 2ft overhang and aluminum soffit, noting solid to mount to. Any suggestions on how to mount a dome type camera? Thanks!

    • June 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      You can mount it side of the house on the wall and most installs I’ve seen do that or on the facia. Orientation doesn’t matter as you can rotate the camera internally on 3 axis to compensate. The aluminum soffit has to attach to the old wood soffit or framing and you can attach the camera at that point where you have wood to screw into with longer screws.

  7. 15 david
    July 2, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Hi, I’m looking for a camera probably similar to this to monitor fires in the foothills of Colorado. (We’ve had a lot of them lately). So this is an unusual application. I apologize for not being familiar with this kind of forum, I’m still using a tube radio in the basement😉 Could any of you suggest a PTZ camera that would work in harsh weather, have a reasonable zoom (5x mechanical or better?) have good low-light sensitivity and have web-accessible software? Or could you suggest a more appropriate forum? Ideally I could find a solution that’s reasonably priced such that many people in the foothills could adopt this approach to watch for and monitor wildfires, and have a wide enough coverage that we could provide a public service with this ability. Thanks for any input!

    • July 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Look at the review on the Axis P5535-E, a well made 720P PTZ camera with good low light capability. Also, low light means street lighting, not forest area in total darkness but I’m assuming the glow from a fire may be all you are expecting to see. ACTi should be coming out with a 1080P PTZ speed dome that will be priced more favorably. Also, Dahua in China makes one that’s very inexpensive, the DH-SD6982A-HN, maybe under $1,000, but there’s no U.S. precense or support, a risky proposition and not many NVR software will have support for it but to direct view the camera’s through it’s web interface, it may be good enough. There’s two forums that you can ask these type of question, http://www.networkcamerareviews.com and http://www.cctvforums.com.


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