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Hikvision ColorVu Review: Colour Night Vision at an affordable price?

Nov 8, 2019 12:00:00 PM / by Paul Hibberd


Hikvision ColorVu box 1280

When it comes to great quality night time security footage, Hikvision's Darkfighter cameras have long ruled the roost, but with ColorVu Hikvision are claiming to add full colour to the night time mix.

And what's more, rather than holding ColorVu tec

hology to ransom in it's range-topping cameras, Hikvision are launching ColorVu with a 2MP turret available from around £150. They're even making a ColorVu camera available on it's suberb Turbo HD range, designed to keep adoption costs low by running HD cameras on your pre-existing coaxial cable.

So, we're sold on the availability, costs and packaging, but one question remains.

Does ColorVu work?

Let's take a look....

Quick Comparison: ColorVu vs Darkfighter vs Standard HD.

The Test

HikvisionColorVuvsHikvisionDarkfightervsMeraki MV71

Comparison Test Details:

  • Standard HD = Meraki MV71 external dome (gen 1)
  • Darkfighter = Hikvision Darkfighter 3mp external bullet
  • ColorVu = Hikvision ColorVu 4mp external turret
  • Test date = 21/10/2019
  • Test location = Sheffield, UK.
  • Daytime = 17:00
  • Nighttime = 19:00

Tests were run using surrounding ambient lighting only (which can be seen in the images), no floodlights.

We've been a bit delayed in getting our ColorVu up on our test rig due to some truly atrocious weather of late (tell me something new) so we've only had a chance to pull some basic test footage off (see above) as yet.

We'll be running some more in depth tests soon, so follow us on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook to be updated when we post them up.

However, even from our very brief testing, you can certainly tell the difference.

The Results: Daytime

Standard HD, day:

Screenshot - office 2 external - Oct 19 2019 050002 PM BST

Darkfighter, day:


ColorVu, day:


As you would expect, there's very little difference between the cameras during daylight hours. To be fair to the Standard HD camera we had to leave it on a slightly different view because of the job it's currently doing, but you can see enough of the silver van and green bin to see there's very little between them in terms of daytime clarity and image quality. But, of course, it's the night time images we're really interested in.

The Results: Nighttime

Standard HD, night:

Screenshot - office 2 external - Oct 19 2019 070000 PM BST

The MV71 is a good camera, but the lack of specialist night vision hardware really shows once the scene is plunged into darkness. The van can be faintly seen, but only just.

Darkfighter, night:


What an amazing difference! That says it all for Hikvision's patented Darkfighter technology, which is enabled via a special chip within the cameras themselves. Crisp and clear, you can see just about as much in terms of detail as you could during the day. The only real difference is the lack of...

ColorVu, night:


Colour! Yes, a bright colour image, even at night! The difference is as clear as, well, day!

It's really impressive how much colour is brought into the final image, with the green and red of the logo on the van, and the greenness of the bin and the shrubs in the background really coming through.

One other amazing thing is how it's creating shadows that aren't really there. By sucking in the available light through it's advanced F1.0 aperture lenses and high-sensitivity sensors the shrubs and van are somehow casting shadows in the pitch dark!

But let's have closer look...

The Results: Close Up

Standard HD, Night, Close Up:

Screenshot - office 2 external - Oct 19 2019 070000 PM BST-1

Nothing to see here. Literally.

Darkfighter, Night, Close Up


Really clear image with lots of definition. Impressive. However, note the high level of reflectiveness from the number plate. This would make vehicle identification for crime reporting very difficult, as would the fact that we can't say with confidence what colour the vehicles are.

ColorVu, Night, Close Up


Amazingly clear and with colours almost identical from those from the daylight images. Also, there's no glare from the number plate, and if the plate were visible, it would be readable. Equally the colours of the cars and their logos can be clearly seen. Imagine you've caught a person breaking into vehicles in your forecourt. Being able to describe the colours and patterns of their clothing is a far more compelling description for the police and courts than just describing how dark or light their clothing is!

Conclusion: Hikvision are on to a winner!

Admitedly this is a very basic test based on a few snapshots on a clear winter's night, but even from this you can see instantly the advantages that the ColorVu cameras bring.

Greater clarity, less glare and - of course - colours!

It's an amazing thing Hikvision have acheived, really, being able to put this technology into a package that any business can afford, and form factors they're used to.

More about ColorVu

What ColorVu cameras are available to buy now?

2MP Full Time Colour Turret Camera

DS-2CE72DFT-F 2MP Full Time color Turret Camera

2MP Full Time Colour Bullet Camera

DS-2CE10DFT-F 2MP Full Time Color Bullet Camera

4MP ColorVu Fixed Turret Network Camera

DS-2CD2347G1-L 4MP ColorVu Fixed Turret Network Camera

4MP ColorVu Fixed Bullet Network Camera

DS-2CD2T47G1-L 4MP ColorVu Fixed Bullet Network Camera

Learn more about Hikvision ColorVu

> ColorVu Factsheet

> Smart Security

Use the chat widget or my contact details below for advice on rolling out ColorVu in your business, or just to chat about your security and visual surveillance needs.


Topics: CCTV, security

Paul Hibberd

Written by Paul Hibberd

Security Expert at One2Call (, @One2Call_CCTV)

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