Comprehensive Review of the NSC-2A4-PTZ 4MP Weatherproof Mini PTZ IP Security Camera 2.8-12mm
Today we're going to take a look at our brand new mini PTZ, the NSC-2A4-PTZ. Check out the video below for a comprehensive overview, complete with example footage straight from this camera.
This PTZ boasts features not normally found on other mini PTZs its size. First off, the PTZ features stunning 4MP video quality. 4MP video on a PTZ is not really a normal thing. Most PTZ’s, especially of this size, tap out at 2MP (1080p).
For this project, I will be taking down my old 2MP PTZ and replacing it with the new NSC-2A4-PTZ. I'm taking down my old PTZ because it's somewhat obtrusive. Its on the very front of my house pointing down the driveway and it sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s always the first thing I notice everytime I come home. Check it out:
What's great about this PTZ is its small size. Normally PTZs this small are indoor rated only. However, this camera is IP66 Weatherproof rated for all climate conditions.
One really unique feature on this camera is the infrared lighting placement that gives it the ability to see in pitch-black darkness. Infrared PTZs have never been very inconspicuous. As a result, they have always had the problem of making it obvious which direction the camera is pointing. This is because the IR placement always had to be on the outside of the camera pointing in the same direction as the lens. This meant that people would always see where the camera is pointing.
The NSC-2A4-PTZ, on the other hand, has Fixed IR placement built inside the black ring that you see around the camera. This allows the camera mechanism to Pan, Tilt and Zoom freely inside the dome bubble while the IR’s remain in a fixed position. The IR LEDs are placed in a manner to evenly distribute Infrared Light for the cameras entire field of motion.
Check out the hidden infrareds on this camera below, contrasted with a more traditional IR PTZ.
Before we dig into the install and videos, lets take a look inside the box. Its all pretty simple:
Another closer look at the camera:
Here is a closer look at the connections. As you can see, it comes with the ethernet connection and the 12V power adapter connection. For our installation, we will be hooking this up via POE so we will not be utilizing the 12V connection. It also comes with audio wires should you want to hook up a microphone. If you are going to use a mic with this camera, it needs to be a powered pre-amped mic like this one.
The bottom of the camera exposes a removable mounting plate. I can already tell that this is going to be a breeze to mount which is usually unheard of when it comes to PTZs:
Indoor Video Demo
Before my outdoor installation, I went ahead and put this camera in our soon-to-be production room, just to get a feel for what it looks like indoors.
Check out the video with the lights on. I have to say I'm impressed. You can nearly make out the fabric in the carpet for gosh sakes. Note the zoom factor as well. It's not really a long range lens like you see on the bigger PTZs, but it is great for short to medium range shots:
Now lets turn off the lights and take a look. This is with no lights on at all, completely pitch black. My first impression is that the PTZ is adequate for a room this size; however, if it was a much larger room, such as a pitch black warehouse, I would not expect this PTZ to adequately illuminate an area that large.
Therefore, if you do plan on installing this camera in a larger area, make sure you have some ambient lighting from other IR cameras or regular lighting to illuminate the camera's surrounding:
Installing the NSC-2A4-PTZ
Alright, it's time to get to work and replace that old PTZ I was telling you about. I pulled the thing down and I already am liking the size comparison. The new one is much smaller, less than half the size of the older one. Check it out:
Sure enough, the camera was a breeze to install with the easy mounting plate design. Speaking of the mounting plate, there is one important aspect you need to know about it. First of all, this PTZ is not an endless 360 PTZ, meaning there is a stopping point. So to utilize the camera's maximum range, you will need to be sure to position the mounting plate so that the directional arrow points to the middle-most part of your desired visual area:
Once you get mounting plate up, you simply connect your cable, then snap the PTZ in place with a quick turn.
Outdoor Video Demo
It's now time to see some outdoor shots. To say I'm impressed would be an understatement. Before we get to the video of the new 4MP PTZ. Lets take a quick look at some video from my old 2MP PTZ. As you can see, the video is decent:
But just check out this new PTZ with its stunning 4MP video quality. I knew it would be an improvement, but I didn’t know it would be this drastic. You can nearly see the blades in the grass. Also, the PTZ controls are super responsive and quick. See for yourself:
Well, the sun has gone down and it's time to take a look at that nighttime video. You're going to see a few different scenarios in the video below.
At the very beginning of the video, the camera has a lot of help from some nearby cameras with powerful IR. In the video, it will look like there is a floodlight to the left; that’s not a floodlight, that’s an actual security camera's infrared and it does help to illuminate the picture.
I then turn off the other cameras so you can see what it looks like in a pitch black scenario. As you can see, the night time visuals drop dramatically when I do this. This tells me a few things. First, if you are looking to put a camera in a large wide open outdoor area that is very dark at night with no ambient lighting from other cameras or house lights, this may not be a good camera for you.
However, if you do have some ambient lighting in your larger areas, or if you put it in a smaller area such as a porch with no lighting, it's probably going to be a good camera for you. These are things you have to consider when installing cameras, and this is why I like doing reviews like this so you can make your own decisions on whether this is right for your scenario.
Near the end of the video, I turn on my houses garage lights. When I do this, the image looks great. This is what it looks like all the time for me, so this camera is going to be perfect for my scenario. Check it out:
So what do you think? Is this camera right for you? Let's review some pros and cons.
- Amazing daytime image quality
- Very small and attractive design
- Super easy to install
- Nighttime performance is not great in large, pitch-black scenarios
- No endless 360 degree panning
I hope that helps you make an informed buying decision. Contact us with any questions you may still have.