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349 of 363 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars on everything but user friendliness
First off. I purchased one of these cameras to make sure it meet my needs before getting another and then finally 4 more. I have a total of 6 cameras protecting my property and am using the blueiris software to record and manage the cameras. It is the best software but this review is not for the software ,which is excellent, but for the camera.

Camera...
Published on May 25, 2011 by Eric Ripley

versus
228 of 240 people found the following review helpful
The manufacturer commented on the review below
1.0 out of 5 stars Foscam 8905 DSP bug
This review is to inform current owners and potential buyers of a DSP bug that affects the Foscam 8905 line of cameras. This bug exhibits itself by either rebooting, black video or neon colors. Foscam has confirmed the bug and does have a repair procedure in place. Although, users have had varying degrees of friction in processing these repairs. Foscam has responded and...
Published 15 months ago by J Den


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349 of 363 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars on everything but user friendliness, May 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8905W Outdoor Wireless/Wired IP Camera with 4mm Lens (50 Viewing Angle) 100ft Nightvision - Silver (Electronics)
First off. I purchased one of these cameras to make sure it meet my needs before getting another and then finally 4 more. I have a total of 6 cameras protecting my property and am using the blueiris software to record and manage the cameras. It is the best software but this review is not for the software ,which is excellent, but for the camera.

Camera construction:
Robust. Perfect for outdoors. In fact all my cameras are outdoors but under overhanging eves. The shell is waterproof and cord out of the camera is waterproof as well.

Wiring the cameras:
These are wireless cameras but i will inform you that you will have to run a wire of some sort as these cameras will need wired power. so i went ahead and wired the cameras via ethernet as well since i had to run power. one suggestion is you can use what i did and run cat6 for the ethernet and POWER. that is if you are technically inclined. I used 4 wires for the ethernet (orange, orange white, green, green white) and the blue and blue white for power and the brown and brown white for ground. I physically cut the power cord that comes with the cameras in half and soldered one end to the ethernet cable extra wires and the other end. the cameras are really low wattage so you can easily get away with this. I ran 40 feet of cable this way and the cameras work fine.

Software on the cameras:
If you get a real foscam then the software built in to the cameras is very good and will do everything you want to do except record video stream. The cameras will do time delay snapshots but for advanced features such as stream captures etc i recommend blue iris software. Make sure you get real foscams as there are unofficial clones with a different interface.

The camera picture quality:
Here is where the camera is both a blessing and a curse. Curse first. The cameras during the daytime show everything as washed out. Grass is white and not green. Trees are a purple hue. But you can see and makeout everything fine. At night everything is of course white as well but the camera has extremely good night vision. The infrared LEDS are so good that if you switch out lenses to a smaller focal you will get a "hot spot" or "ghost ring" of overbright led power. there is a solution for this, see the next section on lenses. Blessing, the camera does night vision perfect and daytime good. what other camera for 100$ has this cameras abilities and build quality? Can you get a better quality camera for daytime..YES. This washed out look is inherent to any IR cameras as the way the infrared filters work. So a camera that doesnt have night vision will look very good during the day but dont let that fool you that this is an inferior camera. Do robbers come during the day? Some do i guess.

Lenses:
The 12mm lense is unusable for me. the quality of the lense is excellent but 12mm shows you a 10 foot by 10 foot area 100 feet down the block. Not good for home surveillance. But good for a radio tower or traffic camera.
You can use CCTV lenses. they just unscrew. lenses are cheap on amazon or ebay. Figure out the focal length you need using online calculator. Im using 1 8mm lense 2 6mm lenses, and 3 2.8mm lenses.
To avoid the ghosting from the overbright LEDs when using smaller lenses....use wax paper. yes the stuff you cook with. cut a ring out that fits over the leds and cut the center section out for the lense and install behind the glass. this filters the infrared, or blurs it if you will, and produces a good night vision without the hotspot.

Networking setup:
The camera is a nightmare. im a IT guy and hate to admit i had a bit of trouble with it. I have it using wired ethernet with wireless as a backup. Im using gmx for my email setup as that provider works with the foscam software for email. I have my cameras accessible over the internet. i suggest you get one camera, dont mount it and configure it in front of your computer and test to make sure its working on your network before mounting it. once you figure out how to network one of the cameras the others are a simple cut and paste and change a few settings such as IP address if you use a static like i did.

Summary:
Almost all the cameras shortcomings can be overcome. the cost of the camera is exceptional for what you get. the networking setup is where most people fail the camera or give it low reviews. its not really the fact that the camera is the problem. there is just alot of configuring to do...email alerts, ftp, web access, wired dhcp static or dynamic, wireless setup and security...etc.
These cameras are alot of bang for the buck. Dont regret my purchases 1%.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
228 of 240 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Foscam 8905 DSP bug, July 14, 2013
By 
J Den (Denver, CO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Foscam FI8905W Outdoor Wireless/Wired IP Camera with 4mm Lens (50 Viewing Angle) 100ft Nightvision - Silver (Electronics)
This review is to inform current owners and potential buyers of a DSP bug that affects the Foscam 8905 line of cameras. This bug exhibits itself by either rebooting, black video or neon colors. Foscam has confirmed the bug and does have a repair procedure in place. Although, users have had varying degrees of friction in processing these repairs. Foscam has responded and claims that all cameras purchased from specific retailers as of November 2013 have the issue 100% resolved. However, new users continue to report faulty cameras from these sources.

This bug affects multiple models of Foscam cameras. In an effort to better comply with Amazon review guidelines regarding duplicate information, the details of this bug can be found in the review linked below.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R30GQV3F3C8KGX/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B006ZP8UOW&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Dec 18, 2013 3:18:14 PM PST
Jonathan,

Thank you for your detailed summary of the DSP issue affecting the Foscam MJPEG camera model FI8905W. Please note that all Foscam FI8905W outdoor cameras manufactured after August 15th, 2013 have this issue 100% resolved. In addition, all cameras currently sold by Foscam US through the Foscam US website as well as through Amazon.com direct and the Amazon store "Foscam Digital Technologies LLC" have the issue 100% resolved as of November 2013.

Furthermore, Foscam US (not the manufacturer which is Foscam China) is willing to replace any cameras free of charge (shipping cost covered both ways) which are suffering from this defect. Cameras will be covered if purchased directly from Amazon.com, Foscam Digital Technologies LLC Amazon store or from the Foscam US website. Please contact support@foscam.us if your camera is suffering from this issue and we will happily fix it or replace it free of charge and cover shipping costs both ways. Cameras affected would most likely be those manufactured after January 2013 but before August 2013.

We apologize for the frustration caused to many end users and will do everything within our power to rectify the problem and ensure that you are fully satisfied. Foscam is fully committed and "all-in" with respect to making sure that our customers receive the support and attention they deserve to ensure their satisfaction and repeat business. Again, please contact us at support@foscam.us or call 1-800-930-0949 for immediate assistance 24/7.
 
 

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
251 of 271 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No auto gain or exposure, June 18, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8905W Outdoor Wireless/Wired IP Camera with 4mm Lens (50 Viewing Angle) 100ft Nightvision - Silver (Electronics)
Length:: 2:51 Mins

(for this video review, the USB webcam is on the Left and the Foscam is on the right)

I have had this camera for a few months now, early on, I noticed that there was no auto gain or exposure. (it somewhat has it but there is a but that keeps it from working, (if you change the modes, eg from outdoor mode to 50Hz mode then back to auto mode, the auto gain kicks in for about 5 seconds then stops working)

I have contacted the company and they said they are working on a firmware update to fix this issue. then upon checking on forums, users basically said forget waiting on a firmware update as they have been saying that for over 3 years now and have never released an update for this issue.

For a rundown on the issues of this camera:

1, Lens is not IR corrected so you will get a black and white image outdoors when ever sunlight is present. (color is fine indoors)

2, No autogain or exposure. This means when ever there is a slight change in the light levels outside, your camera image will either become completely white (overexposed) or black (underexposed), this means you have to constantly monitor it and manually adjust the exposure by switching modes (the software controls for brightness and contrast are post processing so they do not work when the image is over or under exposed)

3, Email notifications use very old standards so most modern email services will not support it. (I had to create an email at gmx.com in order to get email notifications working)

4, While the camera is advertised as 15FPS, even in a bright day, I have never gotten over 8FPS and at night, the framerate drops to 2-3 FPS (the firmware does not allow for adjusting the sensor sensitivity so the way it increases exposure is by lowering the shutter speed.

5, The bolt around the antenna jack was not tightened properly, most users who reported failures, had them because water got into the bolt around the antenna jack when the camera was place outdoors. To fix this, you need to double check that all screws nuts and bolts are tight and if any are loose, then tighten them.

6, While the camera advertises multiple users but it is software crippled to make this an avoidable experience for users. It seems that the company has plans or are already releasing a higher end line of camera that will have more or less the same hardware, so these cameras are software crippled. By this I mean, if more than 1 user connects to the camera, the framerate is reduced by about 75% regardless of if that user is actually requesting data (if you have any DOS tools that can create a pending connection then you connect to the video stream with it but not actually use any bandwidth, the famerate drops.

7, The camera uses a CMOS sensor instead of a CCD, this causes a video problem known as rolling shutter. this means moving objects will appear stretched or slanted as the image is updated by rows instead of all at once like in a CCD

If you have a computer near where you want to monitor, I recommend getting an old webcam and taping it to the window, you will get better picture quality and a higher FPS since even the cheapest webcams have auto gain and exposure which actually prioritize motion so the frame rate is not reduced until max sensor sensitivity is reached.

8, The stock 12mm lens is crap, it is only useful for long range (well over 100 feet (beyond the range of the IR LED's, I had to get a 4mm lens for mine It also did not have a IR cut filter as the ones with them cost 3 times as much, and I only had $4 left in my paypal.

9, The camera has really bad dynamic range, meaning if you are monitoring a location where there if anything that can be considered a shadow, it shows up almost completely black, and if you aim the camera to the shadow then do the mode switch trick to get it exposed, then the non shadow areas are completely white. The camera lacks the ability to average the exposure to handle both the shadow and highlight.

Pros:

1, The camera allows for you to connect it over WiFi or Ethernet, so it can be mounted almost anywhere there's a power outlet near by.

2, It works great for bring mounted at a front door to monitor for package deliveries (this has fixed the problem I had where amazon would use USPS to deliver packages and USPS will just leave the package outside, and those people who walk around sticking those ads on your door will help them self to any packages laying by the door. (I lost a few books and electronics this way)

Additional notes

Cameras with IR light will not work behind a window if you plan to use the IR lights (the glass of the window will reflect the light back at the camera and you will get a completely white image).
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Dec 18, 2013 3:49:23 PM PST
Mokona,

Thank your for your detailed review and pointing out the auto-gain exposure issue. Please note that all Foscam cameras manufactured after January 2012 have the auto-gain and exposure issue resolved. In addition, we have changed the default lens from 12mm to 4mm as you have suggested (many customers recommended this). In addition, we have upgraded the mounting bracket and improved on several of the software and hardware issues you have outlined. If you have any questions please contact us at support@foscam.us or 1-800-930-0949 for an immediate response 24/7

Best,
 
 

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad for the Price, but Takes Some Work, February 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8905W Outdoor Wireless/Wired IP Camera with 4mm Lens (50 Viewing Angle) 100ft Nightvision - Silver (Electronics)
First of all, I just have to say; you need to actually look at the dimensions of this baby. I really expected it to be much small, but then, what would I be able to tell from a picture of just the camera?

As others have said, the pigtail on this thing is VERY cumbersome. The Ethernet cable/Rest switch/Power leads make securing this camera a challenge. I will try to post some pics to give you an idea...

I of course refuse to use the windows software, so this review is for Linux or Mac users.

Once you unwrap the camra and get it set up someplace inside, connect the Ethernet cable to your switch or router then check the DHCP log for the new device. Open Firefox and put that IP into your browser location field. The camera will display a login screen. If you do not get the login screen for that IP, you might need to push the rest button and wait about 1-minute for the camera to reset. Then refresh your browser. Ignore the ActiveX portion at the top and select the Login button at the bottom of the display. You will get a login popup. Enter "admin" for the userid and lease the password blank. This will get you to the device status. You will also see the "Live Video" and "Device Management" tabs which you can Read The Fun Manual for.

One BIG gotcha that took a while and some googling. You can thank me later. The camera works great inside and the night vision is amazing with the Eye of Sauron LEDs shining brightly, but when you take it out into the sunlight, the live image goes totally white. On the "Live Video" page, find the "Mode" button, click on the pulldown selector and select "Outdoor". Poophtah! You have an image again. You may need to adjust the brightness and contrast a bit.

It won't do wireless and wired at the same time. Set up the wireless, unplug the wire, and reset the camera. If you leave the wire attached, it just seems to disable it.

An annoyance: the camera seems to always have a component of IR sensitivity. If you want true colors, don't even bother. Warm colors seem to work, but blues and greens are washed out to a night-vision look. For me, I can deal with it because I plan to enjoy the night vision component for watching deer and raccoons around my LakeShack.

Pros:
Good price
good nightvision
Fairly good resolution
Works with Firefox and Linux
Works with my MiniCam Android App. (You'll need to set up dynamic DNS and a port pass-through on your router...google it)
Supposedly works with ZoneMinder on Linux...Hope to try that.
I tested the FTP portion and it worked fine. (Wish it would let me change the names it uploads like Trendnet cameras)
live video without ActiveX

Cons:
Really big! It won't be discrete
IR LEDs are very red in the dark. Again not discrete
Mounting bracket is barely usable.
Poor color rendering
VERY narrow field of view. Good for distance, not great for covering a wide area close to the building.
Did I say it was big?
Power supply is one of those wall-ticks and it gets really hot.

TL/DR: Good for the price, great for night vision, works without Windows and Internet Exploder.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really Bad for Outdoor Setup, March 31, 2013
By 
WilliWu (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8905W Outdoor Wireless/Wired IP Camera with 4mm Lens (50 Viewing Angle) 100ft Nightvision - Silver (Electronics)
What they do not show in the pictures is a huge cable/connector collection that is not weatherproof and cannot be disconnected from the camera after wireless setup. This leaves you with the choice of either drilling a large hole (1-inch plus) in the side of your house, or building a special weatherproof enclosure (almost as big as the camera) to house the cables and connectors outside. In theory; all that should be needed after wireless setup is a very thin DC power cable that would require only a 1/8 inch hole to be drilled through the wall and require no extra housing for cables and connectors. I don’t know how much they saved by not designing the setup cable to be disconnected before outdoor installation, but they have certainly lost one customer for failing to do so. This was a huge disappointment to me because it is otherwise a very nice camera and the technical support was excellent.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Got what I wanted..., July 31, 2011
By 
MrPossum "Mr P" (Chappell Hill, TX) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got what I wanted out of this little camera. After reading over a lot of reviews of the Foscam line on Amazon I was a bit skeptical, but this camera works as advertised!

It arrived in short order, packed well. I opened the box and had it online in a matter of minutes. First, you have to plug it into your wired network, set some configuration settings and then unplug it, reboot and voila! WIRELESS! We left it in the server room and let it "burn-in" for a day before the chore of mounting.

The mount they give you with the camera - THROW IT AWAY! It can barely handle the weight of the camera and if it gets hit by high winds, it will fail. I mounted it inside an old weatherproof camera enclosure for one of my old CCTV security cameras. The power cable is so short I placed the power supply inside the enclosure too. We mounted it on a pole above our parking lot next to the barn just about sunset... It is about 150 ft. from our wireless router.

We went inside, brought up the window on the PC and we had good video! OK, B&W and it looked like we were looking through a night-vision scope, but it worked great! I could walk around outside and my wife can see me plain as day. The IR goes out to about 60-70 ft. reliably but gets a little sketchy after that - I will solve this issue by mounting some new floodlights OUT of the camera's view, shining out into the parking lot.

When daylight came, we watched the sunrise bounce off of the parking lot and we got COLOR! Sure, it is a little fuzzy, the colors are off because it IS an IR camera after all, it looks sort of like a web-cam view, but it works pretty good!

Caveats - The mount is cheesy, the adjustment to light changes is a little slow and you have to be careful not to point it AT lights or highly reflective material or it will fool the internal light adjustments of the camera. DONT point it where the sun can ever cross the path of the lens's view - period. Unless you WANT to ship it back for a replacement. IR cameras HATE to see the sun directly and will have a very short useful lifetime. The dongle hanging off the back isn't weatherproof so you have to make it so somehow (which is why I put mine inside another enclosure that holds the power supply as well!). The power supply cable is too short.

But hey, for a $100 buck weatherproof camera - you can't get much better on the market as far as I am concerned - I am very happy with my purchase, even though I had to do a little engineering of my own to make it durable enough to handle the Texas heat and weather and to suit my application, I look forward to using it daily.

MP
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good camera for the price, December 1, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8905W Outdoor Wireless/Wired IP Camera with 4mm Lens (50 Viewing Angle) 100ft Nightvision - Silver (Electronics)
Before I go on any further, basic wireless skills are required. The more familiar you are with setting up wireless networks, the easier it will be to set up camera . It took me about 10 minutes to set up this camera. Set up goes as following:

1) Set up the base of the camera in the location that you desire, don't mount the camera until the very end. This is the set you make sure the camera has all proper requirement such as power,setting up the the base etc. Once the basic tool set up is completed, move to the next step.

2) Bring the camera inside your home and put it near your wireless router. The closer they are, the easier it will be to plug things together. Plug in the ac adapter from the camera to the outlet and wait for the camera to be fully on. It Should take less than 30 second to first turn on.

3)Once the camera is on, plug the Ethernet cable from the camera and plug in behind the wireless router into one of the empty slots. Most router have a total of 5 slots.

4). Leave the cables connected . With the cables connected, go ahead and install the CD that is provided in the box. Follow the instructions until it installs the software that will help you identify the cameras IP address. Once the software is installed, a window will pop up with the IP address of the camera. Select it and double click it. A blue window will pop up through your internet browser. It will take you to the cameras set up options. The standard password to log in is "admin". The password field should be left blank.

5) Once you enter the cameras password, you will be take into the set up menu, click on Device management. Once the full menu is displayed click on Wireless LAN Settings. Press the scan button to locate your home network, enter your password and select submit. The camera will reboot it self within 30 seconds once you have successfully entered your wireless network passwords. Once the camera reboots, feel free disconnect the Ethernet cable that links the camera to the router. The hardest part is now over. The minute you hit submit both your network and the password will be saved in your cameras memory. Feel free to disconnect all cables, including the ac adapter.

6) Go set install the cameras in the mount, either outside or inside your home. The minute you plug the ac adapter, the camera will automatically register to the network. You will be able to view the camera through the software that you installed in the beginning(IP camera tool.)

I will be uploading pictures of the menu later on to help avoid confusion.
Its not as hard as it looks, all you need is a little patience. The user has the option to use other programs to view their IP cameras. I use iSpy. The basic program is free and very great. They have a paid version that includes more features such as viewing your cameras on your phone etc. The basic version is free and will do just fine for many.
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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product - setup maybe not for the average computer user, December 31, 2010
By 
schmendrick (San Diego, Ca, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8905W Outdoor Wireless/Wired IP Camera with 4mm Lens (50 Viewing Angle) 100ft Nightvision - Silver (Electronics)
State of the art hardware as well as software.
Great pictures, long range with Auto-Infrared at night.

Although the English in the manual is not the best, you definitely will be able to set up the camera, IF YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS STEP BY STEP.
Internet access gets more complicated for the average user, since one has to do "port-forwarding".
I recommend [...], click on your router and follow the steps. SHOULD be easy.

I also have the FI8918W Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) for indoors.

I installed IP Cam Viewer Lite ([...]) on my Sprint EVO 4G, easy setup; now I am able to monitor both cameras on my EVO.

In summary:
This camera as well as the FI8918W are highly recommended for the computer savvy. The average computer user should consider asking the neighbor's Computer Wiz Kid for help.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera For The Price, June 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This camera seems to work pretty well. The light sensor and auto adjustment are a little slow, but my security software seems to handle the coarse adjustments without any false triggers. Basically, if you watch the images around dusk, you'll see your pictures get fairly dark before the camera adjusts. Hopefully, Foscam will provide an update that fixes this, but it's really just an annoyance to me.

The mount is a little cheesy. The base appears to be thin aluminum and the ball joints don't enspire confidence. Having said that, I used Red Threadlock on everything once the cameras were mounted and aimed and they haven't budged in the wind and rain.

Like others have done, I used a silicone-based sealant (RTV) around the cable and antenna, just to be safe. They didn't look waterproof, but they should be now.

I've had a bit of an issue with DHCP via Windows Server 2008 R2. Sometimes, two cameras configure with the same IP address although I have distinct reservations for each MAC address. I think this may be WS, but I haven't figured it out yet. You can always assign a static address that is outside your DHCP pool and this becomes a non-issue.

Pros: Cheap, fairly compact, GOOD IR illumination, VGA picture is outstanding, the detail is really good. easy to set up if you're familiar with wireless LAN/AP and device configuration.

Cons: Mount is flimsy, auto bright/contrast is a little clunky, although it does work. Slow framerates on my fairly quiet N network. I see about 12FPS at 640x480.

Overall, I'd recommend this camera to be used for home security. I have two more on the way along with an FI8904W with a shorter lens.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the technically savvy, this camera will save you about $300, February 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8905W Outdoor Wireless/Wired IP Camera with 4mm Lens (50 Viewing Angle) 100ft Nightvision - Silver (Electronics)
Most of the reviews here are accurate. If you're not technically savvy, go for a more expensive 'plug-and-play' style setup.

The first thing I recommend doing is buying the monoprice 4mm lens here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EFD5CU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

There's a pretty good installation video here: [...]

After that, you've got a 4mm wide angle, IR blocking IP WIFI camera for less than $100.

There are two VERY important links that aren't mentioned (at least that I saw) in the manual. Developers can think of these as "API" links, almost.

Still Shots:

[Camera IP]/snapshot.cgi?username=[camera username, default admin]&pwd=[camera password, default blank]&rate=[shot rate, safe value is 6]

Streaming Video:

[Camera IP]/videostream.cgi?username=[camera username, default admin]&pwd=[camera password, default blank]&rate=[shot rate, safe value is 6]

These will allow you to insert stills or a straight up mpeg stream into pretty much whatever web-enabled monitoring solution you want, for a lot cheaper than other models that do this same thing with less initial setup.

The image quality is fantastic during the day w/ the 4mm IR blocker, no washed out colors, looks like a normal 480p CCTV cam, and the night vision really is stellar, very clear and crisp images.

I was concerned that this camera would not meet my needs based on some of the other reviews, and I can see why some less technically inclined people are having trouble with it. But for $100, if you know what you're doing, this is an excellent camera, very happy with my purchase.
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