Page 4 - Sample Videos and Analysis
While the D-Link DCS-8600LH is an outdoor camera, I decided to set it up in my study area where my computer and other gear exist. Part of this was because I was not entirely sure where I would want to install this camera, and I instead mounted the camera on a tripod with the standard mounting screw underneath. In addition, the temperatures in Calgary were hovering below the recommended temperatures. Even though I think D-Link has done a good job of weatherproofing their design, I also did not want to put this camera into worse conditions than it is made for, and I wanted to be sure that I would always have an eye on my house when I was away. With some limited testing outdoors in cold and snowy conditions, the D-Link DCS-8600LH performed as expected, and so the following clips are meant more to look at its capture quality rather than its rugged abilities. I set the DCS-8600LH to record at its maximum resolution, which was 1080p at 30fps. I also left night mode to turn on automatically based on the lighting conditions.
From this still image in adequate lighting, you can see the lighting is generally acceptable for consumer cameras to get a decent shot without losing too much detail. From here, the upgrade to a 2MP image from the previous 1MP is noticeable, as the image is smoother and retains more detail overall. This is still a functional camera meant to capture images rather than care as much about quality, but I do like that the image is a sharper one. You can see smaller details like the items on my bookshelf can still be easily made out. While the light source in this photo is completely blown out, this still is good in the sense that everything else in the image can be clearly made out. The wide 135-degree angle does show some fish-eye distortion, especially near the edges of the camera. This is as expected and a worthy compromise in order to capture as much of the area as possible.
In the night shot, the extra resolution sensor plays a more pronounced role here, as you can still make out details of items on my bookshelf, even if it is in a grayscale image. What I did find impressive is also the fact we do not have too much blotching or blurring in these things. The IR sensors do a great job in still showing all of the things in the camera's view, which is great. D-Link does mention up to seven meters of night time visibility, and while my room does not have exactly seven meters of distance, everything here was clearly distinguished from each other.
In my next test, you can see the daytime recording video sample of the D-Link DCS-8600LH above. One thing that was notably worse from the D-Link DCS-8010LH was the lower frame rate of 30fps. This is clearly displayed in the video when I rotate about my chair and the jacket on the back swings. The movement was choppier and not as smooth as I would have liked. D-Link does say this is better than some competition that uses an even lower rate, but I would have preferred the higher 60fps. Otherwise, the detail captured in this video is pretty similar to the still image, though this should not come to anyone's surprise. You can see a few more artifacts around objects in motion, especially the pixels near my face, but this is as expected. Audio quality is passable, though I think it sounds a bit hollow. This is not a big deal as it is more important that the DCS-8600LH was able to pick up these noises.
With the lights off, I decided to throw my Oculus Rift S on and play some Beat Saber. One side fact is that you can see all of the IR sensors emitting from the controllers of the Rift S that are used for tracking within the game. As for the quality, the night video seems to be poorer in quality compared to the daytime, though this is expected. The recorded clip was once again boasted a higher resolution but lower frame rate. Interestingly enough, there are several portions of the clip where more frames were dropped for no apparent reason. Otherwise, details of surrounding objects are alright with some detail lost in the bookshelf items.
Overall, the D-Link DCS-8600LH was capable of capturing movement in both good and poor lighting conditions even if we saw the drop in frames. It is important to remember this camera is a surveillance camera, with capturing the necessary moments being a higher priority than image or audio quality. Implementing a better image sensor, even if still a 1080p one, could make a huge difference in the end result, but capturing movement as a whole is the main point of the camera. In addition, while I may prefer a higher quality, this will mean your video clips will take up more storage than you might want, which could be ill-advised for those using local storage.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Sample Videos and Analysis