d-link-dcs-4603

The New DCS-4603 from D-Link is a small form factor indoor camera that has integrated IR LED with automatic IR-cut filter module for visibility in dark conditions, and a Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) for high contrast areas.

The sensor is a ⅓” 3 Megapixel progressive CMOS sensor. This is not a vandal resistant camera so the housing is very light weight plastic, and feels somewhat flimsy. The camera can be powered by using a PoE switch or by using a 12 volt power adapter (neither is of course included with the camera). In the package came a CD with the Setup Wizard, Quick installation Guide, Manual, and D-ViewCam VMS software. You need a CD-ROM to gain access to it, and if you want to install the Setup Wizard or the VMS software, you need to run Windows. However, unlike many of the other camera manufacturers you can manage the camera and view the video from pretty much any browser. Support states that they support Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari, on Windows and Mac, but I find that it works just fine on Chrome as well. This support is one of the differentiators with other cameras. After plugging in the camera I ran a port scan against it to see what ports were open. It found the web ports 80 & 443, and 554 for RTSP, but it also had TCP 49152 enabled for UPnP, after disabling UPnP in the management interface that port was closed. When you first connect with a browser to the camera it will prompt for the user ID and password. The default UID for the camera is

After plugging in the camera I ran a port scan against it to see what ports were open. It found the web ports 80 & 443, and 554 for RTSP, but it also had TCP 49152 enabled for UPnP, after disabling UPnP in the management interface that port was closed.

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When you first connect with a browser to the camera it will prompt for the user ID and password. The default UID for the camera is admin with a blank password. Once you provide that you are brought to a page where you will set a new admin password.

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Day Time

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Night Time

The D-Link camera management interface provides granular control over the camera and the image configuration and quality. It is easy to navigate provides great control over configurations of what protocol and port you want to utilize. Setting up Dynamic DNS, internet settings, motion detection etc. The image can be easily adjusted to fit the location and light condition of the camera placement. Infrared Cut Removable filter can be adjusted to increase the sensitivity in low light conditions, and the Infrared LEDs can be synchronized with the ICR filter.

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For example, on the image setup, it provides the ability to flip or mirror image, or adjusting any other setting. Since this camera is mounted in a high contrast area I increased the WDR to compensate for some of the light, and it improved the image drastically.

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Setting and changing the IP settings is easy and can be wizard driven or done manually. If you change the IP of the camera the browser is automatically redirected to the new IP after the setting is applied which is nice, not having to type the new address. In the Network Setup section, you can adjust and configure IP address DHCP or Static, PPPOE,HTTP,HTTPS, RTSP,Class of Service (CoS), Quality of Service (QoS),IPV6, Multicast, and Bonjour settings. Also on the left-hand side of the screen, there are helpful hints of what the different options mean, and you can also click on the help to gain additional insight into the different options. This type of help is nice but could be expanded by providing more insight into what the expectation is for changing something. For example, if you change Denoise from 1 to 10 what are the conditions you would typically do this for, and does it affect the quality or any other aspect of the image? Nevertheless, the help is far better than many other manufacturers.

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Configuring to notify on motion is easy to set up through a wizard-driven interface. First configuring the motion area and the sensitivity. Then setting up the schedule when it should alert capture on motion, and lastly set up the delivery method, either SMTP e-mail or uploading to FTP.

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This camera comes with a 5-year warranty to provide peace of mind and is suitable for indoor office space, retail outlets/counters, covering building entrances, and reception areas for any enterprise application.

Pros:

  • Support on Windows & Mac, IE,Firefox, Safari, and it works fine on Chrome (though not officially supported)
  • Sub $200 price point makes this an affordable PoE IP camera choice.
  • Easy to use and comprehend management interface
  • Highly customized settings for video and settings.
  • 5 Year Warranty

Cons:

  • Camera dome feels a little flimsy
  • VMS software and Camera setup only available on Windows.
  • Not a real con since they do a better job than the average camera manufacturer, but the help on option selection could be more detailed and provide more guidance.