Hikvision 3MP (Darkfighter Lite) vs 5MP (EXIR) Dome

As technology evolves, we continually monitor our fixed price offerings to be able to offer the best value for money. We recently announced that Hikvision launched the new 3MP (Darkfighter Lite) and 5MP (EXIR) Dome Cameras to replace the existing 4MP line up. During this write up, we are going to show you the differences between the two cameras, but first here is a little explanation of the two options and what they provide.

Darkfighter Lite – Hikvision doesn’t settle for Black and White
In darkness all colours fade to grey and for the best security performance you need to be sure that you comprehend all details in every situation. A city surveillance solution for example will expose a graffiti artist not just as a silhouette, but as colourful and detailed as his creation. While in darkness all these colours seem grey, Hikvision’s Darkfighter Lite cameras show the true colours.

The Darkfighter Lite is the first camera in the industry to have these innovations incorporated. The revolutionary full colour image, the patented EXIR technology and new bulb cover design make this camera suitable for all low light challenged indoor and outdoor settings.

EXIR – Extended IR
Patented EXIR technology, cameras deliver revolutionary rectangular footage with a consistent IR illumination, eliminating traditional LED lens issues, such as overexposure at the center of image, and darker areas at corners. Due to enhanced LED light strength Darkfighter Lite camera reduces the power consumption, heat and has a longer life span.

Hikvision have developed a new bulb cover to prevent the image distorting effects. These could be caused by reflecting of the (IR) light due to bad weather circumstances such as rain. The dome prevents these effects and keeps the image clear in every condition.

Hikvision Redesigned Dome

The test phase was carried out in a controlled environment. The following should be noted during this review.

  1. The 3MP and 5MP cameras are being compared to each other.
  2. Both cameras were using default settings, with just the BLC setting on Auto.
  3. This was performed on a residential street, the nearest lamp post to the camera would have been 3 meters forward, then 5 meters to the left.
  4. Cameras were using H264 compression, not H265.


  1. DS-2CD2135FWD-I 2.8MM – 3MP Ultra-Low Light Dome Camera
  2. DS-2CD2155FWD-I-2.8MM – 5MP EXIR Dome Camera
3MP vs 5MP Test MDF

The test was conducted in Essex, where most of the street lamps go out at midnight. It’s handy to note that the 3MP ultra low light camera still needs ‘some’ lighting in order to perform and provide a colour image. It will not provide the colour image in complete darkness, but will simply jump over to its EXIR to provide you a crisp night-time image, albeit in black and white.

DS-2CD2135FWD-I 3MP 0811 HOURS
DS-2CD2155FWD-I 5MP 0811 HOURS
DS-2CD2135FWD-I 3MP 2152 HOURS
DS-2CD2155FWD-I 5MP 2152 HOURS
DS-2CD2135FWD-I 3MP 2205 HOURS
DS-2CD2155FWD-I 5MP 2205 HOURS
DS-2CD2135FWD-I 3MP 2304 HOURS
DS-2CD2155FWD-I 5MP 2304 HOURS
DS-2CD2135FWD-I 3MP 2231 HOURS
DS-2CD2155FWD-I 5MP 2231 HOURS
DS-2CD2135FWD-I 3MP 2345 HOURS
DS-2CD2155FWD-I 5MP 2345 HOURS
DS-2CD2135FWD-I 3MP 0006 HOURS
DS-2CD2155FWD-I 5MP 0006 HOURS

As you can see from the screenshots above, the 3MP Ultra Low Light camera performs very well at night, providing there is ‘some’ lighting present. Once the clocks hit midnight, the street lighting went off, and even the Darkfighter Lite couldn’t produce a colour image – instead the EXIR kicks in to provide a crisp black and white image.

The 5MP camera provides a clearer image during the day, because it has the advantage of an extra 2MP. However the 3MP dome provided colour images right up to midnight when the streetlights turned off.

What camera would you prefer? The clearer, more detailed image during the day – or sacrifice that for a colour image during dim lighting?

Videos of the above tests will be published on our YouTube channel which can be found here : https://www.youtube.com/user/CCTVAware

Camera Tech Specs
The DS-2CD2135FWD-IS is a 3MP dome camera from Hikvision that provides great images in ultra low light scenarios up to 30fps with the use of 3D noise reduction technology and IR LEDs that have a working distance of up to 30m. The resolution is 2048 x 1536 @ 30fps.

The DS-2CD2155FWD-I is a 5MP dome camera from Hikvision that provides great images with the use of 3D noise reduction technology and IR LEDs that have a working distance of up to 30m. The resolution is 2560 x 1920 @ 30fps.

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