You can see the mount and solar panel need to be on the same side in this application. But as my kitchen chair setup shows, it's possible to put this camera anywhere and view it from anywhere, and that's very appealing, indeed.

Hikvision’s EXIR 4G 2MP solar bullet has a battery pack that allows the unit to operate for 7 days if the 20Ah lithium battery is fully charged by the 40W photovoltaic panel.

Features include 120dB of WDR, battery display, battery high-low temperature protection, charge-discharge protection, low-battery sleep protection and remote wakeup LTE-TDD/LTE-FDD/WCDMA/GSM 4G wireless network transmission, support for Micro SIM cards and water and dust resistance to IP67, which is immersion.

The camera has a ½.8-inch progressive scan CMOS sensor with minimum scene illumination of 0.004 in colour at F1.4 with AGC on, or 0.002 Lux @ (F1.4, AGC ON), 0 Lux with IR on in monochrome. The bullet camera is available with the option of a fixed 2.8, 4, or 8mm fixed lens, giving 41 to 107-degree angles of view. You drive the unit via the Hik-Connect app, which I found very easy to use.

First impressions with SEN’s version, which sported the 4mm fixed focal length, were pleasing. Something to note first up, is that our test was conducted on a remote rural property in the presence of 2 bars of 4G, dropping at times to 1 bar. This skimpy network support meant we kept the camera at SD more often than we would have in another location, when HD would have been the order of the day.

You can see how rich the colour rendition is – this is at SD with a shallow depth of field – the red brick is 10m from the lens. I took this snap on my phone while walking towards the house. 

The 2MP bullet impressed with good colour rendition, decent performance against backlight and excellent low light performance from the camera’s integrated IR array. There’s movement detection and other AI stuff to play with, making monitoring automatic and limiting storage requirements. Setup was easy, too – you load the app, scan the camera mounted QR code and away you go. But what really shone through was the flexibility of this solution.

I should point out that the unit is relatively heavy at 15kg and relatively awkward to handle for one person in terms of installation using the supplied stainless straps. In my application with Northerly sun and a Southerly scene, having the solar panel tilted to the same side as the bracket (it tilts through 180 degrees) meant pole or tree-mounting would block the solar array from the sun.

Instead I found myself positioning the camera on a water tank, a tree stump, a grassy bank, a kitchen chair, an outside table (in my application the perfect solution would be a 2m pole with the camera mounted a few inches from the top). These organic mounting points highlighted just what a flexible CCTV solution Hikvision has built.

Happily the IR doesn’t interfere with stargazing – again we are SD. 

You can put the DS-2XS6A25GO Solar Bullet anywhere you like that’s stable and that offers a field of view. You can move it any time you like to meet unfolding threats, or to cover evolving monitoring requirements. In my case that was approaches to the house, the front gate, the front yard between house and garage – on a whim I connected to the camera while it was sitting in the back of the car. Battery performance was good, too, even with Autumn sun.

It goes without saying it’s not only about flexibility in terms of situating the camera, you can also connect to it anywhere you like – for me that included while lying in front of the fire, while parked outside a supermarket 20km away, and while standing beside the unit checking I was happy with the angle of view. Camera performance is good – it’s not a Darkfighter X – but for my application and for many of yours, this solar bullet is a very capable and extremely flexible solution.

Don’t miss the full review of the DS-2XS6A25GO solar bullet in the May issue of SEN!