Image Quality - Night
For the night shot we need to compare apples to apples. Since the AXIS M1054 camera uses visible LEDs vs. IR LEDS, we really can't compare it to the TV-IP572PI. Instead, for this comparison, we'll go back to the D-Link DCS-942L night shot, because the DCS-942L has a comparable 4 IR LEDs. For posterity's sake we'll also include the Zyxel IPC-4605N night image, which uses 12 IR LEDS. TRENDnet's specs say it should be good up to 7.5 meters (24.6 feet), so let's see how it does.
Figure 8 is the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI night image with 4 IR LEDs.
Figure 8: Night image from the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI with 4 IR LEDs
Figure 9 is the D-Link DCS-942L night image with a comparable 4 IR LEDs.
Figure 9: D-Link DCS-942L night mode image from DCS-942L review
Figure 10 is the Zyxel IPC-4605N night image with 12 IR LEDs.
Figure 10: Zyxel IPC-4605N night vision image
Unfortunately the D-Link and Zyxel reviews were done before I started using the 5 foot markers. However, we can pick out items in the picture which are consistent between all pictures, such as the wall mirror at the door to the furnace room (which is right at 24 feet). In the TV-IP572PI image, the mirror has a sharp edge, whereas it is fuzzy in the D-Link DCS-942L image. Neither camera really has penetration past the 20 foot marker into the furnace room.
The TV-IP572PI image does look sharper and more clear than the DCS-942L image. The Zyxel IPC-4605N by comparison, lights up the room, has nice sharp edges, and sees well back in to the furnace room past 20 feet. But the Zyxel IPC-4605N has 12 IR LEDs to the TV-IP572PI's four.
Lastly, we'll look at horizontal field of view with an outdoor shot. Since I've been evolving my testing protocol, this is new data. The only comparison I have are the two AXIS cameras. The first image is the TV-IP572PI with it's 51.8 degree field of view, while the second shot is the AXIS M1054 outdoor image with the 84degree field of view.
Figure 11 is the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI outdoor field of view.
Figure 11: 51.8° Field of View from the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI
Figure 12 is the AXIS M1054 outdoor field of view
Figure 12: 84° Field of View from the Axis M1054
While future reviews won't have this luxury, these two images were done just minutes apart and were done with the camera's default image settings vs. trying to adjust for a better picture. The field of view is obvious when you look at the miniature slide on the left and the fence decoration on the right. Response to natural light is also much different between the two pictures.
Bear in mind that the M1054 is twice the cost of the TV-IP572PI, but look at the detail in the far bushes. Leaves are distinct and visible in the M1054 image, whereas the TV-IP572PI image is noticeably darker. Near objects are very distinct in the M1054 image as well, whereas they are darker and barely identifiable in the TV-IP572PI image. Careful placement of the TV-IP572PI in response to light sources, as well as fine tuning of the Image settings may be needed to get the desired result. If a person were standing halfway to the swing in the above image, it's really a guess as to whether their face would be identifiable due to response to light.
$143 shipped is nice for an HD camera with adequate features, including night vision and Power over Ethernet. What the TV-IP572PI does do, such as motion detection, it does very well. But it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive cameras, but much of that may not be needed in all situations. Performance at night might be a little less than what I would want in a camera, but was good considering it uses only four IR LEDs. In all, this camera is a great bargain if you are looking for an entry-level wired network camera to test the HD waters.