Comprehensive Review Of The NSC-4A425-PTZir: A 4Mp Mini Ptz With Auto Tracking, 160' Night Vision, Hidden Ir, 60 Fps Video, And Long Range 25X Zoom
Are you looking for a fast and powerful PTZ camera, with great video capabilities and tons of great features? Or are you looking for a smaller, compact PTZ that you can install on your property without drawing much attention? Typically with PTZ cameras, you have to choose between function and design. But with our NSC-4A425-PTZir, you can finally have both.
The NSC-4A425-PTZir is a 4MP PTZ security camera with a 4.8-120mm zoom lens. That’s a 25x optical zoom, with an additional 16x digital zoom, and endless 360° pan. This camera has up to 160 feet of infrared range, 3D intelligent positioning functions, a slot for a Micro SD card up to 256 GB, and much more. With its IP66 weatherproof protection, this camera can withstand just about any weather condition. This is a powerful PTZ camera, packed with incredible features, yet built into the sleek and compact design of a mini speed dome.
Why a Mini Speed Dome?
With so many PTZ selections on the market, why choose a speed dome? Well we have an entire blog post dedicated to the advantages of dome security cameras. But in short, dome cameras are superior for two reasons: they're harder to break and they're harder to see.
Check out these two cameras we have installed on our back lot at Nelly's Security. That's the NSC-4A425-PTZir there on the ceiling of the overhang above the back door. Up above it you'll see a turret-style PTZ camera. There are a few key differences.
First is the installation. Due to its tough build and speed dome design, the dome security camera is much harder to pull down with a rope or bust open. (We know from experience… Click here to watch Kyle try and fail to destroy a dome similar to this one.) That's why these are typically called vandal-proof domes, or vandal domes for short. The turret, on the other hand, is quite a bit easier to pull down and destroy, which is why we had to install it much higher up.
Something else you'll notice right off the bat is the amount of space they take up. Not only is the turret bigger than the dome, it's so obvious which direction that lens is pointing. To be able to see the direction the speed dome is pointing, you have to get very close and you have to know exactly what you're looking for.
Also notice the IR sensors on the two cameras. It's easy on the turret. The sensors are just as obvious as the giant lens, if not more so. But what about the sensors on the dome? You can't even see them. They're actually hidden inside the dome, on either side of the lens.
This camera's design is much smaller, much more compact, and much less noticeable than your traditional IR PTZ camera. It's also packed into a tough vandal-resistant dome. If the situation you have in mind for a PTZ camera requires any stealth at all, you'll be much better off with a speed dome like this one.
Installing Your NSC-4A425-PTZir
Everything you need to install and set up this camera comes included in the box. But, as you can see from this picture above, you really don't need a whole lot. You've got your drill template, your mounting hardware, your software CD, and your manual. A PoE injector is also included, which you can use to power your camera.
You can also power this camera with a 12 volt DC power supply, but we recommend using ethernet.
Let's take a closer look at the camera itself.
It has two main cables. The first cable houses connections for ethernet, 12 volt DC power, audio cables to hook up to an external mic, and the grounding wire. The second cable is for connecting your camera to an external alarm. It contains the "alarm in" and "alarm out" connections.
The mounting plate attached to the bottom of the camera. To remove it, simply loosen the Allen screw and twist the plate counter-clockwise.
Installing this camera is as easy as drilling your holes, screwing in the mounting plate, and sliding the camera into place. While screwing your mounting plate into place, be sure not to overtighten the screws. Yes, you definitely want the plate to be secure. If it wiggles around, it's not tight enough. But on the other hand, you don't want it to be so tight that it's flush against the ceiling. Be sure to allow plenty of room for the pegs on the camera to slide through the holes in the mounting plate.
If you would rather install this camera on a wall instead of a ceiling, check out this wall mount for the NSC-4A425-PTZir.
Once your camera is in place, don't forget to use the included grommet to weatherproof your connections.
And that's it! Your camera is installed and ready to go. Now let's jump into the interface and take a look at what this camera can do.
PTZ Functions and Automations
The NSC-4A425-PTZir camera does pretty much everything you'd expect a PTZ camera to do. It pans, it tilts, it zooms. It can hold presets and run through patrols, it can track moving objects and react to preconfigured events. But it does it all so well. It really can't be compared to other PTZ cameras of the same size. Here are just a few key highlights that make this camera stand out:
- Beautiful 4MP resolution
- Silky-smooth 60FPS (at 1080p)
- 300 configurable presets
- 3D intelligent positioning
- 5 basic events
- 8 smart events
Once you pull up the interface in a web browser, the PTZ is easy enough to control using the arrows on the side. But you're probably not going to be sitting at your computer all day manually moving the camera around with the interface controls. So here are a couple of automation tips to help you start getting the most out of the many features this camera offers.
There are a couple of different ways to automate this camera depending on your needs and personal preferences. You can automate the camera based on time or events.
First, let's set the camera up to move automatically by itself, based on time. So no matter what is happening in the camera's frame, it will keep on doing its thing. To automate your camera based on time, you can set up either patrols (also called tours) or patterns. A patrol loops through a set number of presets while a pattern repeats a series of predetermined movements. If they sound really similar, that's because they are. Let's take a closer look at their similarities and differences.
Let's say, for instance, that I wanted to set up my camera to automatically move between three positions around this parking lot. I want it to spend most of its time right here, looking out at the center of the parking lot focused on those cars. But maybe every once in a while I want it to pan over to check out the north and south entrances to the parking lot.
To set up a patrol, I would first need three presets. So I would start by positioning the camera in the middle of the parking lot and saving that position as "Preset One." Then I would move the camera around to face each entrance into the parking lot, and save those positions as "Preset Two" and "Preset Three."
Once those presets are locked into place, I can go into the "Patrol" menu and create a new patrol based on these three presets.
Let's say, in the same scenario, I want the camera to focus on Preset One for three seconds. Then I want it to quickly move to Preset Two, where it will sit for three seconds. Then pan slowly across the parking lot to Preset Three, and stay there for three seconds. Then snap back to the center at Preset One.
To do this, I'll change the time for each preset to a value of 3. Now to change the speed at which the camera will move to the presets, you can change the "speed" value to a number between one and 40, one being the slowest and 40 being the fastest. For presets one and two, I'll leave the speed at 30. But for preset three, I'll change that to five. Click here to see the final patrol settings.
Check out the results of this preset below. The first was shot at a 4MP resolution at 30fps; the second, 2MP at 60fps.
This same concept can be set up with patterns. Instead of setting up a series of presets, to create a pattern you can simply open up the "pattern" menu and hit the record button. Until you hit the stop button, that pattern will record both the camera's movements and the amount of idle time between movements. Once you've recorded a pattern, it will loop through those recorded movements until you tell it to stop.
Patrols and patterns are two means to the same end. They both let you set the camera up to loop through different movements. Patrols loop through a series of presets while patterns are based on the motion of the camera. With patrols you can be a bit more precise in setting up your presets right where you want them. But with patterns you can have a bit more control, a bit more freedom to move around. Whether you set up a patrol or a pattern is all going to depend on your own personal preference.
The second kind of automation you can set up for this camera is based around smart tracking and events. For this, the camera will be still for most of the time. It will only move if there's something happening in the camera's field of view.
So now let's say that I want the camera always focused on the cars here in the middle of the parking lot. However, if someone walks toward our building, I want the camera to follow them so I can see what they're up to. To do this, I'll set up a line crossing event.
First, open up your settings and head into the PTZ tab. Make sure the "Smart Tracking" feature is enabled. Then head over to "Event," "Smart Event," and then "Line Crossing."
From here I'll draw a line on the screen, about halfway between the camera and the cars. That's about 50 feet out. If someone crosses this line, they're clearly headed right for our building, and I want this camera to keep its les focused on them. For that to happen, make sure "Smart Tracking" is checked in the "linkage" tab.
And that's it! This camera will now follow anyone who crosses that line. Here are some images and video clips of Nelly's Security employees triggering the line crossing event.
Again, these are just a couple of ways that you can automate your camera. There are many other events and settings you can play around with to really make this camera work for you.
The NSC-4A425-PTZir doesn't look like much from the outside. It's compact, it's hardly noticeable, and it doesn’t leave a very big impression. But this is part of what makes this such a great camera. Because packed inside this mini speed dome is a powerhouse of PTZ functionality. With its beautiful picture, solid specs, responsive movements, and reliable automation, this camera is certainly a must-have for any surveillance system.
Check out some more video samples below, and when you're ready you can click here to purchase yours today.