Hikvision vs. Lorex – The Most Popular IP Cameras Compared

Hikvision and Dahua are the two most common brands that DIY IP camera enthusiasts flock to. But for those who are more budget conscious, there are other brands such as Lorex, Swann, Amcrest, Reolink. These are also some of the IP camera brands that I get the most questions about.

In this second post of the IP camera brand comparison series, I am going to do an in-depth comparison of Hikvision vs. Lorex. In case you missed the first post in this comparison series where I compared Hikvision vs. Dahua, do go and check that out too.

Lorex has a complex history of shifting strategies when it comes to IP cameras. For the longest time, their IP cameras were intended to be used only with their own NVRs. In other words, you were not allowed to venture outside their ecosystem. This was totally against the ethos of openness and inter-operability that I champion here at VueVille. That’s why I never recommended them in our best outdoor and indoor IP camera roundups.

Then in February 2018, Dahua acquired Lorex and soon afterwards Lorex cameras started supporting ONVIF and RTSP protocols. But recently they removed that support just as Dahua sold Lorex to Skywatch, a Taiwanese company.

So we have a somewhat strange comparison on our hands – Hikvision with their IP cameras that are compatible with other brands, and Lorex with their proprietary IP cameras that work only with their own NVRs.

A quick note: This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and then purchase something, we may receive a fee. This does not cost you anything extra. Also note that Hikvision and Dahua do not consider certain platforms including Amazon as an authorized seller platform. So if you need warranty support please purchase from authorized resellers of Hikvision and Dahua products in your country.

Hikvision vs Lorex - The Most Popular IP Cameras Compared - VueVille

Hikvision vs. Lorex – the Stories behind the Brands


Unlike Lorex, Hikvision is not a retail brand. They are an OEM and primarily cater to professional installers. They are not really interested in retailing to the general public. But their affordable DIY IP cameras with powerful motion detection features and great build quality attracted DIY-ers like crazy. That’s also the reason I bought my first IP camera, the Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I back in 2015.

A couple of years ago, they launched their retail brand EZVIZ. Confusingly, EZVIZ used to be the name of their cloud app as well. Anyway the EZVIZ models are dumbed down versions of the Hikvision cameras and are not worth spending any money on. What about HiLook? Same story. That’s why I am focusing on the main Hikvision brand.

The biggest concern I have with Hikvision is not so much about their cameras, but who owns the company. The Chinese government owns at least a partial stake in Hikvision. This creates a few ethical and moral quandaries that I won’t go into here – you know what I’m talking about.

If you live in the USA, there’s one more reason to avoid Hikvision cameras – the US government has recently banned the sale and import of new Hikvision products into the USA unless certain conditions are met. They are still being sold by their authorized retail seller BH Photo though. Of course, you can always get them from AliExpress as most of us have always done.

From a technical standpoint, you should treat any security camera the same way – with maximum suspicion that they may be ‘dialing home’ to their manufacturer’s own servers and leaking your data. So lock them down using Virtual LANs (VLAN) and strict firewall rules like I have in my DIY home security camera system.


Lorex was founded in 1993 and has head offices in Markham, Ontario, Canada and in Linthicum, Maryland, USA. They have product warehouses in Markham, Indiana and California.

But first let’s start with the company FLIR, better known as the high-end camera manufacturer who revolutionized thermal imaging for the military and industrial markets. They acquired Lorex in 2012 for around $60 million seeking to lower the cost of thermal imaging and open it up to the retail market.

So for the next 6 years they tried to penetrate the DIY and SMB markets. During this period, their main OEM supplier was Dahua. In February 2018, however, FLIR exited the DIY security camera space by selling Lorex to Dahua. Until November 2022, they operated as a subsidiary of Dahua. So effectively, Lorex was a Dahua brand between February 2018 and November 2022.

As mentioned in my intro above, Dahua has now sold Lorex to Skytech, a Taiwanese cloud services company. The disappearance of ONVIF and RTSP support from recent Lorex models is probably a sign of things to come.

8MP 4K IP Camera Duel – Hikvision DS-2CD2085G1-I vs. Lorex E892ABW

Before we go any further, I need to point out that the biggest difference between Hikvision and Lorex is this: Hikvision cameras can work in standalone mode, or with Hikvision NVRs, or even any 3rd party NVR that is ONVIF compliant.

On the other hand, Lorex cameras will work only with Lorex NVRs and that too select Lorex NVRs. Simply put, Lorex cameras work only within the Lorex eco-system.

Hikvision cameras on the other hand which will work with any 3rd party ONVIF/RTSP compliant system. Okay now let’s get into the details.

Hardware features

The Hikvision camera I’ve selected has the term ‘Darkfighter’ in its marketing material and what gives it strong low light performance. This is really due to the 1/2″ sized CMOS sensor whereas the Lorex has a 1/2.8″ CMOS sensor. The Lorex is simply outclassed here by the much better Hikvision sensor.

The size of the sensor has a huge bearing on the low light ability of a camera, whether it be a camcorder or a security camera. The larger the sensor, the greater its ability to gather light and so do well in low light conditions. But as you cram in more and more pixels into the same size sensor, they get smaller and smaller, which adds noise. Noise is the bane of low light video and reduces the detail that you can get out of your video.

So while security camera manufacturers have pushed pixel count to 8MP and beyond, they have not always increased the sensor size proportionally. While the Hikvision has true 120dB Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) to help improve video quality, the Lorex doesn’t. This leaves the Lorex at somewhat of a disadvantage, even as it claims HDR support.

When it comes to minimum illumination required, again we see divergence. Hikvision can do a minimum illumination of 0.01 lux and 0 lux with IR on. Lorex doesn’t provide this information. Both cameras have an automatic IR cut filter that will switch to black and white infrared vision when it gets dark. So far, that’s standard IP camera behaviour.

However, Lorex claims a ‘colour night vision’ feature whereby you still get colour video under low light conditions. So this feature still requires external illumination. So I fail to see how this is something special – the Hikvision has a much larger sensor and probably even better low light colour vision ability! I see this so-called feature as a marketing gimmick and nothing more.

What about the Lorex’s LED lights though? They look like LED spotlights that you can leave permanently on through the night, but actually they are only warning LEDs that are motion-activated or activated on-demand in the mobile app. If these lights were at least proper spotlights, then Lorex’s colour night vision claim would make more sense (Hikvision has such models).

The Lorex has 2-way audio using an onboard microphone and speaker combo, with the speaker doubling up as a siren deterrent. This Hikvision model however has neither.

Both cameras have on-board SD card for local storage of video clips and snapshots.

Winner: Hikvision

Software features

The three most important software features that the Hikvision has are ONVIF support, the built-in NVR feature, and the advanced motion detection features that help reduce false alerts.

Hikvision cameras support ONVIF & RTSP. Lorex however has recently removed all mentions of ONVIF support on their product pages (their datasheets never mentioned it anyway). Lorex has also confirmed in their website Q&A section that this camera doesn’t support ONVIF.

Why is ONVIF support important? ONVIF support ensures that your camera will work with ONVIF-compliant equipment from 3rd party manufacturers. ONVIF ensures that your camera will work with standards-compliant equipment from 3rd party manufacturers. This is why you can add a Hikvision camera to your ONVIF-compatible NVR or DIY NAS NVR.

RTSP allows even non-ONVIF equipment (such as software) to access the security camera’s video stream. Examples are video players like the popular VLC player, and Blue Iris PC NVR software.

So this is a slam dunk for Hikvision.

Both Hikvision and Lorex have on-board storage but only Hikvision cameras have the built-in NVR feature – because Hikvision cameras are designed for standalone operation (don’t need an NVR).

The Hikvsion IP cameras can do basic motion detection, advanced motion detection, dace detection and can send email/push alerts – all without an NVR. This is local processing in action. The Lorex cameras cannot do any of this on its own. It is just an IP camera with no smart features unless its connected to an NVR.

Motion Detection ability

I classify motion detection ability into three categories:

  1. Basic motion detection – this is detecting just simple pixel changes, results in false alerts.
  2. Advanced motion detection – like line crossing, intrusion detection, which result in fewer false alerts.
  3. Smart detection – person / face / vehicle / pet detection, the best method for eliminating false alerts.

Hikvision supports basic, advanced and 1 single smart motion detection method of face detection.

The Lorex doesn’t have the wide array of advanced motion detection alerts that Hikvision has, such as line crossing, intrusion detection etc. which are all great for reducing false motion detection alerts But it does have person and vehicle detection. These are equally effective at reducing false alerts.

But as mentioned earlier, the Hikvision is capable of standalone operation. It can record motion detection triggered clips, take snapshots, and send out email alerts and push notifications to the Hikvision app on mobile devices without an NVR or PC.

The Lorex can do none of this by itself, you have to buy a compatible Lorex NVR.

The Hikvision camera I have selected doesn’t have the AcuSense feature which reduces false alarms by ignoring birds, animals, lights and movement of trees.

As part of a DIY NVR system that uses QNAP QVR Pro, Blue Iris or Home Assistant, only Hikvision fits the bill.

Winner: Hikvision


Hikvision products come with a 3-Year Warranty from authorized dealers only. Lorex has a 2 year warranty as standard, but can be extended to 3 years or 5 years for an extra fee.

Detailed Comparison Table

Here’s a summary in a nice and easy table:

FeatureHikvision DS-2CD2085G1-ILorex E892ABW
Hardware features
Sensor1/2" 8MP CMOS Sensor1/2.8" 8 MP (4K) CMOS Sensor
WDRYes (120dB)No, but has HDR
Night Vision850nm IR, Black & white night vision, IR cut filter with auto switchBlack and white night vision, IR cut filter with auto switch, Colour night vision
IR Range30m (98 feet)
Minimum illuminationColor: 0.008 Lux @ (F1.2, AGC ON), 0.0014 Lux @ (F1.6, AGC ON), B&W: 0 Lux with IRN/A
Lens TypeFixed type
Lens2.8/4/6mm2.8mm @ F=2.0
Lens Field of View (FOV)Horizontal (2.8/4/6mm): 102°/78°/50°
Vertical (2.8/4/6mm): 55°/43°/27°
Horizontal: 108°
Metallic housingYes
Ingress ProtectionIP67
DC 12V powerYes
Longest dimension171 mm184 mm
Power usage<7.5W (with IR ON)< 9.5W (with IR ON)
InterfacesHikvision DS-2CD2085G1-ILorex E892ABW
PoEYes, 802.3af
SD CardYes (128GB max)
Alarm in/outNo
Audio in/outNo
Audio recordingNo2-way audio using microphone and speaker
Software featuresHikvision DS-2CD2085G1-ILorex E892ABW
Built-in NVRYesNo
EncodingMain stream: H.265+/H.265/H.264+/H.264
Sub-stream: H.265/H.264/MJPEG
Third stream: H.265/H.264
Max Resolution3840 × 2160 (8MP) @ 20 fps3840 × 2160 (8MP) @ 15 fps
Bitrate32 Kbps to 16 MbpsN/A
Simultaneous streamsUp to 6 channelsN/A
3D Noise ReductionYes
Network storageNAS (Supports NFS, SMB/CIFS), FTP, ANRN/A
Max users32N/A
Alert eventsHikvision DS-2CD2085G1-ILorex E892ABW
Email alertsYesNo standalone operation, requires NVR
Push alertsYesNo standalone operation, requires NVR
Simple motion detectionYesNo standalone operation, requires NVR
Person DetectionNoYes - requires compatible Lorex NVR
Face detectionYesYes - requires compatible Lorex NVR
Vehicle DetectionNo
Pet DetectionNo
Line crossing detectionYesNo
Intrusion detectionYesNo
Audio DetectionNo
Abandoned/Missing object detectionNoYes - requires compatible Lorex NVR
Scene change detectionNo

Authorized US Retailer: BH Photo

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Verdict – Hikvision vs. Lorex

The Hikvision handily beats the Lorex thanks to its flexibility of operation modes in a DIY CCTV system – standalone, with a Hikvision NVR, or with any 3rd party NVR system. It also has advanced motion detection methods that Lorex doesn’t have.

Also check out the other recommendations on our best outdoor IP cameras list.

Where to buy

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Daniel Ross

Daniel Ross

I am Daniel and VueVille is where I document my DIY smart home journey. I focus on 100% local-processing and local-storage because that’s the only way to secure my family’s safety and privacy. Oh and I don’t like monthly subscriptions!

  1. Technically talking if i don´t mistake “LOREX” uses Dahua rebranded cameras (i´m not a CCTV expert just a curious person) ! For example the Lorex IP 4K Camera model LNB8921BW looks like exact same as Dahua HFW4831E-SE Camera !

  2. Hi Daniel, Is there a chance you could do a comparison on Hik and Laview?

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