We had a chance to test a 3 megapixel bullet camera from Acti's new E series. In this review we'll go over quality and compare it to some of the other bullets on the market. Out of the box, the Acti E42, a.k.a. E42A, feels solid. The enclosure feels well built, sturdy, and rugged. In the box you get the, bullet camera, sunshield, conduit gland, mounting screw kit, sunshield screw kit, quick installation guide, bracket, bracket plate, and warranty card. The camera doesn't come with a power supply so be prepared to purchase a PoE switch or PoE injector. This camera does not work with traditional 12 or 24 volt power supplies.

Acti E42A Review

We had a chance to test a 3 megapixel bullet camera from Acti's new E series. In this review we'll go over quality and compare it to some of the other bullets on the market. Out of the box, the Acti E42, a.k.a. E42A, feels solid. The enclosure feels well built, sturdy, and rugged. In the box you get the, bullet camera, sunshield, conduit gland, mounting screw kit, sunshield screw kit, quick installation guide, bracket, bracket plate, and warranty card. The camera doesn't come with a power supply so be prepared to purchase a PoE switch or PoE injector. This camera does not work with traditional 12 or 24 volt power supplies.

Connecting the camera was easy since there's only one thing to plug in, the ethernet cable. It gets power from your injector or PoE switch. It isn't ready to go out of the box but setting it up is pretty simple. You'll have to remove the first part of the barrel which covers the lens and IRs to focus the camera. Some lenses adjust smoothly like cutting through butter with a hot knife. This was not the case with the E42. Lens adjustment is choppy even when the screw that tightens the lens was completely loose. This doesn't seem to affect image quality other than having to adjust it for a while to find the sweet spot, which I kept losing once I tightened the screws. With a little patience, I was able to find it. The mount is pretty simple. If you're putting the camera low to the ground or just want more flexibility when mounting, consider purchasing a housing bracket. They're a little sturdier and stick out further from the wall. The pivoting head is a little easier to adjust too.

You'll also need to crimp the cable once you run it through the waterproof glad so water doesn't get into the enclosure! This step is very important so you don't have to get the camera repaired for water damage.

Scroll down to see a basic setup guide

Here is a shootout between the Acti E42, Axis P13 series, and Sony SHC camera. In the video, you can see night performance is similar even though the Acti camera is a fraction of the cost of the Sony and Axis cameras. I would like to see a video at dusk and also some movement in each of the clips to see how the sensors react to movement or people. CLICK VIDEO TO PLAY.

Acti E42A Pros

  • High resolution
  • Reasonably priced
  • Good night performance
  • Flexible lens
  • Compact

Acti E42A Cons

  • Focusing is difficult
  • Mount is kind of flimsy
  • IR "spotlight" effect
  • No 12VDC or 24VAC
  • Requires some assembly

Expert Option

Overall, the E42 is an excellent choice for someone who doesn't need all the bells and whistles of a multi-function camera. With no audio in/out, alarm input/output, SD Card support, BNC spot monitor, the E42 is a barebone basic camera that only captures video. While it might work for most people who wont use these functions, I can see some wanting more, especially the SD card slot.

Basic Set Up Guide

Before you start you'll need a PoE injector or PoE enabled switch and some ethernet cables. Its also a good idea to download the so you can scan your network for IP cameras.

Step #1: Configuring the IP Address

In order to be able to communicate with the camera from your PC, both the camera and the PC have to be within the same network segment. In most cases, it means that they both should have very similar IP addresses, where only the last number of the IP address is different from each other. There are 2 different approaches to IP Address management in Local Area Networks – by DHCP Server or Manually.

Using DHCP Server to Assign IP Addresses

If you have connected the computer and the camera into the network that has a DHCP server running, then you do not need to configure the IP addresses at all – both the camera and the PC would request a unique IP address from DHCP server automatically. In such case, the camera will immediately be ready for the access from the PC. The user, however, might not know the IP address of the camera yet. It is necessary to know the IP address of the camera in other to be able to access it by using a Web browser.

The quickest way to discover the cameras on the network is to use the simplest network search, built in the Windows system – just by pressing the “Network” icon, all the cameras of the local area network will be discovered by Windows thanks to the UPnP function support of our cameras. In the example below, we successfully found the camera that we had just connected to the network.

By double-clicking with the left mouse on the camera model, it is possible to automaticall y launch the default browser of the PC with the IP address of the target camera filled in the address bar of the browser already.

If you work with our cameras regularly, then there is even a better way to discover the cameras in the network – by using IP Utility. The IP Utility is a light software tool that can not only discover the cameras, but also list lots of valuable information, such as IP and MAC addresses, serial numbers, firmware versions, etc, and allows quick configuration of multiple devices at the same time.

The IP Utility can be downloaded for free from https://www.acti.com/product/IP%20Utility

You can quickly see the camera model in the list. Click on the IP address to automatically launch the default browser of the PC with the IP address of the target camera filled in the address bar of the browser already.

Using the Default Camera IP Address

If there is no DHCP server in the given network, the user may have to assign the IP addresses to both PC and camera manually to make sure they are in the same network segment. When the camera is plugged into network and it does not detect any DHCP services, it will automatically assign itself a default IP: 192.168.0.100

Whereas the default port number would be 80. In order to access that camera, the IP address of the PC has to be configured to match the network segment of the camera.

Manually adjust the IP address of the PC

In the following example, based on Windows 7, we will configure the IP address to 192.168.0.99 and set Subnet Mask to 255.255.255.0 by using the steps below:

Access the Camera

Now that the camera and the PC are both having their unique IP addresses and are under the same network segment, it is possible to use the Web browser of the PC to access the camera. You can use any of the browsers to access the camera, however, the full functionality is provided only for Microsoft Internet Explorer.

When using non-Internet Explorer browsers, free third-party software plug-ins must be installed to the PC first to be able to get the live video feed from the camera. Check the firmware version of the camera to determine which plug-in is necessary:

Firwmware Version / Required Plug-In

A1D-500-V6.04.xx-AC or older Basic VLC Media Player (http://www.videolan.org)

A1D-500-V6.05.xx-AC or newer QuickTime (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/)

When using Internet Explorer browser, the ActiveX control for video stream management will be downloaded from the camera directly – the user just has to accept the use of such control when prompted so. No other third party utilities are required to be installed in such case.

The following examples in this manual are based on Internet Explorer browser in order to cover all functions of the camera.

Assuming that the camera’s IP address is 192.168.0.100, you can access it by opening the web browser and typing the following address into Web browser’s address bar: http://192.168.0.100/

Upon successful connection to the camera, the user interface called Web Configurator would appear together with the login page. The HTTP port number was not added behind the IP address since the default HTTP port of the camera is 80, which can be omitted from the address for convenience.

Before logging in, you need to know the factory default Account and Password of the camera.

ACTi Camera Default Password

  • Account: Admin
  • Password: 123456
May 31st 2022 tony

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