Hikvision vs. Lorex – The Most Popular IP Cameras Compared

Hikvision vs Lorex - The Most Popular IP Cameras Compared - VueVilleHikvision 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, Q-See, 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 to Dahua, do go and check that out too.

Until recently, Lorex 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 used to recommend them in our outdoor and indoor IP camera recommendations.

But a few months ago, Lorex released the latest version of their IP cameras and surprise surprise, they now support ONVIF Profile S. What this means is that the DIY IP camera enthusiast now has a new budget option to consider, other than Reolink.

I have updated the article below to reflect this new development. Even though you can now get 8MP cameras from Hikvision and Lorex, I will still look at the 4MP IP camera models because this is still more than enough resolution for most people.

4MP IP Camera Duel – Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I vs. Lorex LNB4163BW

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

FeatureHikvision DS-2CD2042WD-ILorex LNB4163BW
Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I 4MP Outdoor IP CameraLorex LNB4163B 4MP Outdoor IP Camera
Hardware features
Sensor1/3" 4 Megapixel Progressive Scan CMOS
ONVIF, RTSPYes
120dB WDRYesNo, but has HDR
Night VisionBlack & white night vision, IR cut filter with auto switchColour night vision, IR cut filter with auto switch
IR Range30m27m
Minimum illumination0.01 lux without IR and 0 lux with IR on0.38 lux without IR and 0.28 lux with IR
Lens TypeFixed type
Lens4mm, 6mm @ F2.0, Angle of view: 83°(4mm) , 55.4°(6mm)3.6mm @ F2.0, Angle of view: 83°
Metallic housingYes
Ingress ProtectionIP66
DC 12V powerYes
Longest dimension154mm155mm
Power usage<5W3.2W
InterfacesHikvision DS-2CD2042WD-ILorex LNB4163BW
PoEYes, 802.3af
Wi-FiNo
SD CardNo
Alarm in/outNo
Audio in/outNo
Software featuresHikvision DS-2CD2042WD-ILorex LNB4163BW
Built-in NVRYesNo
EncodingH.264/H.264+/MJPEGH.264+/MJPEG
Max Resolution2688×1520 (4MP)2688 x 1520 (4MP)
Max bitrate16 MbpsUnknown
Simultaneous streams2Unknown
3D Noise ReductionYes
Network storageNAS (Supports NFS, SMB/CIFS), FTP, ANRNo
Alert eventsHikvision DS-2CD2042WD-ILorex LNB4163BW
Email alertsYesNo standalone operation, requires NVR
Push alertsYesNo standalone operation, requires NVR
Simple motion detectionYesNo standalone operation, requires NVR
Line crossing detectionYesNo
Intrusion detectionYesNo
Audio DetectionNo
Abandoned/Missing object detectionNo
Scene change detectionNo
Face detectionNo
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Hardware features

Both the 4MP Lorex and Hikvision have the most common sensor in this class of IP camera, a 1/3″ progressive scan CMOS 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 from 3MP to 4MP and beyond, they have not increased the sensor size. 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.

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. When we compared the Hikvision to the actual Dahua, we noted that the Hikvision goes down to a lower f-stop to achieve this than the Dahua. Sadly the Lorex will struggle in low light as it cannot match the low light ability of the Hikvision or Dahua.

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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.

The latest Lorex IP cameras support ONVIF Profile S and so can be added to any DIY home security camera system that supports ONVIF. It has one trick up its sleeve that Hikvision can’t match – full colour night vision. This is a very interesting feature and does set the Lorex brand apart. However be aware that the camera will switch back to black & white IR night vision below 1 lux to ‘ensure optimal low-light image quality’ as Lorex puts it.

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.

So what was earlier a near slam dunk for the Hikvision is now pretty evenly matched.

Motion Detection ability

Both cameras support basic motion detection but only the Hikvision supports advanced motion detection methods.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of these advanced motion detection methods in reducing false motion alerts.

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Warranty

Hikvision products come with a limited 3-Year Warranty at B&H Photo. Lorex has a 2 year warranty as standard, but can be extended to 3 years or 5 years for an extra fee.

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Verdict

The Hikvision edges out just in front of the Lorex thanks to its built-in NVR feature and the advanced motion detection abilities.

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

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Where to buy

  • Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I-4MM at B&H Photo
  • Lorex LNB4163BW 4MP High Definition IP Camera with Color Night Vision at Amazon
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A mechanical engineer by profession, I am passionate about building a great smart home experience using the best of home security and home automation.

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

  2. 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 !

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