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Image Quality - Indoor Night

Next, let's look at the night indoor picture.

D-Link DCS-5020L night indoor image

D-Link DCS-5020L night indoor image

Now the DCS-2310L. Bear in mind that the DCS-2310L is an outdoor camera. As such, the IR LED dispersion becomes more rapid outdoors. It would be an easy conclusion to draw that the interior night picture of the DCS-2310L should be very good. But the DCS-2310L image was very disappointing to me.

D-Link DCS-2310L night indoor image

D-Link DCS-2310L night indoor image

The night image from the ZyXEL.

Comparison night image from the Zyxel IPC-4605N

Comparison night image from the ZyXEL IPC-4605N

And one from the TRENDnet TV- IP572PI this time. Keep it in mind that these cameras are not all necessarily close to each other in price.

Night image from the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI with 4 IR LEDs

Comparison night image from the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI

It's hard to pick a winner between the ZyXEL and the DCS-5020L. The Zyxel has 12 IR LEDs vs. the DCS-5020L's 10. Both easily see well past 25 feet back into the furnace room. The 10 FEET marker is still very legible in the DCS-5020L image.

Image Quality - Outdoor Day

Moving on to outdoor day images. We'll compare the DCS-5020L...

66° Field of View from the D-Link DCS-5020L

66° Field of View from the D-Link DCS-5020L

to the DCS-2310L...

47.8deg Field of View from the D-Link DCS-2310L

57.8° Field of View from the D-Link DCS-2310L

to the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI...

51.8deg Field of View from the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI
51.8° Field of View from the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI

and AXIS M1054 again.

84deg Field of View from the Axis M1054

84° Field of View from the Axis M1054

The seasons have changed a bit in our comparison pictures, so it's hard to draw a good comparison here. Some things to note are the vivid colors of the DCS-5020L and the fact it seems to be compensating for the bright light rather well. Also interesting to note is the horizontal field of view. Despite being 66° for the DCS-5020L, it looks rather wide.

Image Quality - Outdoor Night

Lastly, the night outdoor images. The outdoor night image is a relatively new benchmark I've been doing, so I only have two comparisons, the DCS-2310L and the Belkin Netcam HD.

DCS-5020L night outdoor image

DCS-5020L night outdoor image

Belkin NetCam HD Outdoor Night Image

Belkin NetCam HD Outdoor Night Image

D-Link DCS-2310L night outdoor image

D-Link DCS-2310L night outdoor image

It's clear to see the winner here. The DCS-5020L actually sees the playset and bushes, while the others hardly show faint outlines of trees.

Closing Thoughts

The D-Link DCS-5020L is a good little camera, especially for the $120 it is currently going for on Amazon. At that price, you get great night vision and the ability to pan and tilt for more viewing area. You don't get recording to an SD card or network share though, the latter being a strange omission since it's available in other D-Link cameras.

You also don't get HD, although the picture was good in the conditions I tested. Wireless works very well, and you have the option to use the camera as a wireless extender if you're so inclined.

All things considered, the shortcomings of this camera are easily made up for in price. I think it's worth taking a look at if you're looking for an inexpensive PTZ camera where night vision is a priority.

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