Flexible and efficient connectivity
The DCS-4701E is part of D-Link's Vigilance line of IP Cameras together with a Dome model with similar features, conceived with efficiency in mind. The bullet can be used in large, medium, and small business and home environments, as the small lens allows for an impressive 96° horizontal field of view with a maximum 1MP resolution. It is IP66 compliant for outdoor use but it's dimensions also make it also suitable for indoor use. If discretion is within the requirements, it's worth noting that this bullet has a green status indication light blinking above the lens all the time. The DCS-4701E has a built-in PoE module that simplifies installation by providing power and networking connectivity with a single cable, reducing the need to drill holes or lay additional cabling. It is a class 1 device, so it's on the lower tier of power consumption.
Suitable for a range of lighting conditions
D-Link promotes this device with the promise of reliable 24-hour surveillance based on its ability to combine multiple light-adapting features. The DCS-4701E’s digital wide dynamic range video enhancement technology automatically improves video quality for daytime monitoring of environments with uneven or difficult lightning. Similar to what happens with digital/optical zoom, digital WDR is less crisp than optical WDR, but it is still very useful to balance brightness and shade. The built-in IR LED illuminators can be configured to automatically turn on depending on the environment, allowing the camera to capture clear-cut video in no-light scenery. Combined with the IR cut filter, the camera can also provide sharp grayscale video in low-light conditions.
Behind the scene: steps to set up
D-Link cameras are ready to set up from the moment you unbox them: there is no activation required and ONVIF protocol is enabled by default. This is great news also because their web interface is functional, yet very clunky. For instance, there is no option to remove the camera name and timestamp from the overlay. Hint: If you plan to test and use the 10x digital zoom advertised on the technical specs, you'll have to exclusively use Internet Explorer, as it is not supported by any other browser.
The D-Link is effectively plug (to an Ethernet cable) and play (proceed to set up).
The numerous and very specific configurations available for image quality allow for a fine tune-in experience, but it's performance is on par with the other models we've tested. We were specifically curious about the 10x digital zoom feature that is not present in most cameras in this price range, but the experience was disappointing due to browser restrictions. Overall it is a good-quality camera, but it loses in comparison to other brands that offer better features at a lower price.
Where to buy?
D-Link operates in Australia and sells to consumers directly through their website: the DCS-4701E is currently listed at AUD299.95. The next model up with a 3MP resolution and a smaller lens of 3.6mm is listed at 449.95AUD. To put this in perspective, the 2MP Uniden and 5MP HIKVision bullets are listed at AUD199, so D-Link is slightly expensive. It is worth noting that D-Link cameras are sold in every big retailer (with manufacturer warranty), so they are likely to be found cheaper when combined with discounts or promotions. Hint: Shipping time ranges from a few days (if an express option is available) to several weeks based on the retailer and destination, so it's worth looking carefully.