1,174 of 1,231 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Features for the Price
Considering that you are paying less than $100 for a wireless IP Camera that provides PT (no Zoom), infrared night vision, motion detection, and automatic email of alarm photos, there is very little one can criticize about this camera. Yes, it's tricky to set-up if you have never done port-forwarding before and yes, the frame rate and resolution are both a little low,...
Published 20 months ago by R. Tickle
341 of 349 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of a hardware problem introduced on newer Foscam cameras
Quick Summary: Foscam is manufacturing and selling cameras with a known manufacturing defect. If the camera is pointed at a scene with too much detail (trees, grass, wood grain, window screen, etc) the camera will fail by either freezing, displaying black or rebooting. This defect was introduced as the result of a sensor change late in 2012. This manufacturing defect has...
Published 4 months ago by Jonathan E Reberry
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341 of 349 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of a hardware problem introduced on newer Foscam cameras,
This review is from: Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (Black) (Electronics)Quick Summary: Foscam is manufacturing and selling cameras with a known manufacturing defect. If the camera is pointed at a scene with too much detail (trees, grass, wood grain, window screen, etc) the camera will fail by either freezing, displaying black or rebooting. This defect was introduced as the result of a sensor change late in 2012. This manufacturing defect has been confirmed by Foscam as the DSP and a repair procedure has been made available. However, Foscam (the manufacturer) has released themselves of responsibility for repairing this defect. To be clear, Foscam acknowledges this manufacturing problem but refuses to be responsible for repairing the cameras. As of this writing, 423 faulty cameras have been reported in the Foscam forums. Exchanging the camera does not correct the problem as +91% of exchanges have the same defect (also detailed in the forums). The small percentage of successful exchanges are explained as old 2012 inventory. Users also confirm that Foscam continues to manufacture cameras with this defect. It seems that Foscam simply hopes users will not notice the defect or incorrectly identify the problem as cabling or networking gear. Do not buy this camera, or any other Foscam MJPEG camera unless you want to gamble with this known and confirmed freezing/black/rebooting problem. Based on the quality of support I recommend staying away from all Foscam cameras in general. They are inexpensive, but your time and sanity are worth a far greater value.
This defect has been confirmed on various Foscam models and a review has been posted to each of these confirmed models. This includes Foscam models 8904, 8905, 8906, 8910, 8916, and 8919. However, be aware that the defect may exist on additional models as well.
(Original Review - The contents of this review and the three updates have been summarized above)
This review is to alert potential buyers to a substantial hardware problem with the Foscam 8904, 8905, 8906 and 8910 cameras. As the image complexity increases, there is a point where the video stream fails and remains in this failed state until the video encoder is manually reset by the user. The trigger point for failure is a function of the complexity of the image; inputs to this function include the scene being recorded, the intensity of the sunlight at any given time, and the software image adjustment settings (brightness and contrast). This problem is well documented on the Foscam user forums. For more information, do a web search for "MJPEG Cameras hanging rebooting based on image data." You will find a thread where the bug is reproduced by many users with a variety of Foscam models. The power supply, firmware, webUI, and network type have all been ruled out as sources of the problem. The working theory is that this bug affects all Foscam MJPEG cameras manufactured after a specific date. Users are trying to determine the specific date that introduced the hardware change that causes the bug.
For me, this problem first exhibited itself by the camera failing every afternoon. It took awhile to isolate the problem, but it was because the sunlight was brighter in the afternoon. The bright sunlight intensifies the luminosity changes in my scene and the image detail increases. The increased detail causes the video encoder to fail.
Buying one of these cameras is a gamble. If you are lucky, then the scene you are recording will naturally have a lower level of detail. This would include walls that are a solid color, shaded areas, and large sections of solid sky. If you are unlucky, then your scene will have too much detail (grass or light through tree leaves) and you will be at the mercy of your encoder failing every time the sun comes out from behind the clouds.
I've literally spent over a month in an ongoing email conversation with Foscam's support, tech support, and the R&D team and they are unable to reproduce the problem. Many other users have been receiving the same response from Foscam. Until Foscam acknowledges this problem and provides a solution, I do not recommend buying this camera. I'm surprised by the sheer volume of 5 star reviews, and suspect some potential manipulation by Foscam.
It has now been two months and I (and other users) continue to communicate with Foscam. The cause of this error was likely a sensor change that was introduced by Foscam in late 2012. It took several months before this hardware change trickled into the consumer market. The reason that Foscam has been unable to reproduce the problem is because they have been testing on older lab units; this problem only exists on units that have been manufactured since implementing the sensor change in late 2012. The forum thread mentioned above currently contains 82 cameras documented with this problem and 14 RMA's where the replacement cameras have also exhibited the same problem. One of Foscam's resellers has sent them a camera that exhibits the problem, but Foscam has remained silent on confirming any of the testing results from this specific camera. As it currently stands, the faulty cameras are likely still being produced and Foscam continues to fail in providing a solution for current/future owners. The bad news is that it took months for the hardware change to make it into the consumer pipeline. If Foscam ever decides to actually fix this issue by changing the sensor, then it will likely again take months before the new functional hardware makes it into consumer's hands. Even then, there will probably be pockets of old hardware still trickling out to consumers.
After 39 e-mails back and forth, I just recieved a confirmation from Foscam of this hardware problem. The e-mail is below.
"For the issue that MJ cameras reboot when light is too bright and the environment is very exquisite, our engineers find the reason and provide the solution. The reason for this issue is that if the environment is special (light is very bright and has many grass and trees), the picture size may beyond the DSP buffer. It can solved by flash the the DSP driver of the sensor board. Please contact your reseller to have repair.
Have a nice day!"
It is unclear if Foscam plans on continuing to manufacture the cameras with the DSP bug or if they will begin reflashing the DSP as a part of manufacturing. Based on their track record, if they do plan on making a change I doubt it will be any time soon. To correct the problem current cameras need to be shipped back and the DSP must be flashed. It is good that Foscam has confirmed the problem and can provide a fix for ambitious current camera owners. But, I think we are going to continue to have new users purchasing faulty hardware and identifying this problem for a significant amount of time.
This update will repeat some if the information already available in the quick summary up top. Foscam has now provided a repair solution. However, they have also claimed that Foscam (the manufacturer) is not responsible for the repair of this manufacturing defect. Foscam claims it is the individual resellers, in this case Amazon, who are responsible for repairing the cameras. I wholeheartedly disagree with this, but that is Foscam's stance. Users in the forums have compiled the steps of this repair procedure together along with a list of required parts/cable as a DIY project. The DIY repair will likely void your warranty on a brand new camera, but it is good to know that this option exists. The end result of this issue is that the defect has been confirmed by Foscam and a repair solution has been provided. But, they claim no responsibility in actually performing the repair. Foscam has been the definition of difficult through the entire process and so I do not recommend buying any Foscam cameras. I recommend finding an alternative even if it costs a little more money, your time and sanity are worth it.
1,174 of 1,231 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Features for the Price,
This review is from: Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (Black) (Electronics)Considering that you are paying less than $100 for a wireless IP Camera that provides PT (no Zoom), infrared night vision, motion detection, and automatic email of alarm photos, there is very little one can criticize about this camera. Yes, it's tricky to set-up if you have never done port-forwarding before and yes, the frame rate and resolution are both a little low, and the audio is crap, but remember that you paid less than $100 for this thing. If you need audio, higher frame rates and better resolution, you should buy a more expensive IP camera.
As far as setup goes, if you understand networking and port-forwarding, these are my recommendations:
1) Do NOT install the software on the CD.
2) Connect the camera by Cat-5 wire to your router.
3) Login to your router (via browser) and find the IP address assigned to your camera.
4) Login to the camera at that IP address (via browser) and IMMEDIATELY turn OFF the DHCP.
5) Give your camera a fixed IP address on your network and fill in the subnet mask with what you normally use.
6) The Gateway and DNS fields should normally be the IP address of your router.
7) Fill in the SSID, encryption type, and share key used by your wireless network.
8) Pick a 4 digit number to use for the HTTP port number. (I have no idea what "Network Lamp" is so I left it checked.)
9) Disconnect the Cat-5 cable and re-boot the camera.
10) Re-login to the camera at the new fixed IP address to verify that everything's working.
11) Login to your router and set a port-forwarding entry to map to the fixed IP address and HTTP port you gave your camera.
12) Use the "What's My IP" site to find your outside IP address.
13) Enter your outside IP address and HTTP port number into a browser and verify that you can get into the camera from outside your house.
14) You're done.
Under the Mail Service Settings there is a checkbox named "Report Internet IP by Mail". If you check this, when you ISP gives you a new external IP address or when the camera reboots because of a power failure, the camera will email you the current external IP address and port! A very nice feature for those of us who prefer not to use DDNS services.
The best app I've found for viewing IP camera feeds on a smartphone or tablet is IP Cam Viewer by Robert Chou.
While I am still pleased with my FosCams, two things have happened recently that make me wonder about the business practices of FosCam. First, out of the blue they have raised the price $10. Second, FosCam.us is given me the run-around about an RMA to return a camera I purchased directly from FosCam. If you do decide to purchase a FosCam camera, buy it through Amazon. Amazon will not give you the run-around over a return. FosCam seems to be money-grubbing and anti-customer.
576 of 625 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great inexpensive security cam,
This review is from: Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (White) (Electronics)The Foscam F18910W camera is operating quite well. I have 3 F18918W cameras and have been pleased with their operation and function as well. They are very stable cameras - images always available whenever I link to them- and easy to set up.
For setup, I have found it easier to just plug them in using the Ethernet connection, and then log into my router and find their IP address, and set them up from there. The only thing you have to remember during setup is that the new camera's port may be set the same as an existing camera. In this case either shut down any existing cameras, or use the FosCam install software and let it find the new camera and port number.
I have the FosCams mounted in our business for security and their range of motion and quality of images- including infrared- has been invaluable. Also the sound quality is good from the camera. Talking through the cameras to someone is weak, but there. I am replacing older D-Link DCS-900 cameras which are fixed position only provide picture- no sound or two-way communication capabilities.
One feature that would be good in my case would be the ability to zoom in on an object. Zoom is not a function of any of the FosCam models I now have.
I monitor the cameras from my IPad, my Droid 2 and 3 phones using an excellent app - IP Cam Viewer from Robert Chou. I also use IE and Chrome browsers.
You do have to use port forwarding on your router so you can find the cameras via your business/home location's IP address. If you don't have a static IP address, you can use dyndns.org to track your dynamic IP address.
399 of 438 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Value Wireless IP Camera,
This review is from: Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (White) (Electronics)Summary:
This camera, and the company itself, clearly has some shortcomings. However, at this price you'll be content, if not ecstatic. It works well as a security camera and baby monitor. After using it for 1 week I've bought 2 more. Details below.
After researching Wireless IP cameras for a few hours I concluded that this camera is the best value. I compared it to all other wireless IP cameras including TrendNet TRENDnet TV-IP422WN SecurView Wireless Day/Night Pan/Tilt/Zoom Internet Surveillance Camera Logitech Logitech Alert 750e Outdoor Master Security System with Night Vision Foscam 8918 Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) and the high end ones Panasonic Panasonic BB-HCM531A Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Security Network Camera (Silver) and this amazing one from Axis Axis 214 Ptz Network Camera Pan Tilt Zoom Day/night 2 Way Audio. Not to mention this camera is light years ahead of a TrendNet camera I bought a few years ago for the same price (Newer Model) TRENDnet ProView Wireless Internet Surveillance Camera TV-IP501W (White).
Setup: I couldn't find the software available for download on Foscam's website so I actually had to use the CD (People still use CD's?). Once I installed the software, I hard wired the camera to my router Linksys E2500 Advanced Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router, opened up the software, read the manual, typed in the default use id and password, read the manual again, played with all the setting and then set it up to connect wirelessly. Then I closed the software, unplugged the camera from the router, unplugged the power to the camera, plugged the power back in, opened the software back up and everything worked fine.
The rotation works great. If you set the speed to 0 it moves fast.
At far distances, the lens itself is decent enough to get more than just general idea of what is going on. At close distances it's sufficient.
Works great with the iPad.
According to my Kill A WATT P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor it only uses 3 watts.
Either the quality control is off or something got mixed up because I ordered this camera in white and it came with a nice multifunctional mounting bracket. However, I ordered the silver/black version of this camera and it came with 2 antennas, but no mounting bracket. I contacted Foscam about this. They apologized, didn't question me, and sent me a mounting bracket for free.
The body of the camera fees a bit cheap, which maybe it is. For example, the top half of the camera does not fit snugly into the base. However, I have not had any problems rotating it.
The edge of the picture has a slight bow to it.
The resolution is not HD. You couldn't make out a license plate from more than 20 feet away if that.
While transferring a large file wirelessly from one laptop to another using my E2500 router, the camera would pan erratically. As soon as the file transfer stopped the camera worked fine.
I couldn't get the speakers to work even with a microphone NADY SP-4C Dynamic Microphone plugged directly into the unit or into my computer. (Not sure what to do here.)
I couldn't get it to play/record any sound either. To improvise I bought a baby monitor NTM-910YLW - Sony Baby Call Nursery Monitor.
Runs hot, but it hasn't affected its performance and again it's only using 3 watts.
Supposedly you can't use this outside. I may test that theory. If I do I'll let you know.
You can't change the size of the camera view.
You can't digitally zoom in on one spot.
If the alarm triggers it records for 1 minute. The only thing you can adjust is the sensitivity.
You can't adjust screen size, which is really annoying when you use the multiple camera view because the screen size of each camera is tiny.
If you have multiple monitors, double click on the picture and it will open up a full screen view on one of your other monitors. This is especially helpful if you're using the multiple camera view because the picture is small.
The company details the limitations of the camera, but you don't realize how nice it would be to have some features until you use it.
This camera should be able to turn 360 degrees instead of just 270. It's quite annoying to not be able to see behind the camera.
The alarm settings need to be much more adjustable.
The screen size needs to be adjustable.
You need to be able to click on an area of the screen and zoom in.
Anyone else have a sneaky suspicion that someone in (guess where?) is looking at what I'm looking at? Maybe that's why they're so cheap?
If you figured out how to get the sound working or have a solution to any of the other problems leave me a comment!
I was able to get the sound and microphone working. I had to add the camera's IP address to my trusted sites. The manufacturers website has a forum with answers to questions like this.
I have 4 cameras total. 2 black, 1 white and 1 silver. The silver model appears to have some problems. I have a tripod that will easily screw into all but the silver one. Also, after about a month of use the IR filter will not turn off on the silver one so the green grass looks like a purplish gray. I've just started the RMA process and will try to update.
After a phone call to tech support, an email to the sales department, and about 3 weeks of time I have a new camera in black. They didn't have a silver one and I don't wonder why.
167 of 188 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This camera has a defect that Foscam.us will not fix. Their support is awful. Find another camera,
This review is from: Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (Black) (Electronics)This device is distributed by Foscam Digital Technologies LLC (...). They are a "company" in the sense that they have a website and they sell these cameras. Aside from that, I don't think they are a real company as they provide laughably horrible support and in regards to this camera, it has a design defect that Foscam knows about but will not fix nor will they correct the misinformation in their marketing materials.
This device is marketed has having both 2-way audio and wireless, but these 2 functions do not work together. You can not use 2-way audio when the device is setup to work wirelessly.
Note that some users have said that they can get the audio to be "not horrible" by removing the antenna (Foscam will tell you to do this as well), but this doesn't fix the issue and it severely limits the range of the wireless functionality. This is not a fix.
Foscam.us doesn't answer their phone. They don't return messages. And they will stop returning emails once they know you have this issue.
Also be aware that the internals of this device can be found in many other cameras. You will be better served buying a non-Foscam device.
127 of 142 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware, do your research F Rating on BBB.org,
This review is from: Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (White) (Electronics)Pro: Good camera for the money
Con: Everything else
They have a F rating with the BBB
You may want to heed the warning from some of the lower rated and even higher rated reviews.
This Business is not BBB accredited
Phone: (713) 893-7869
12633 Memorial Drive, Suite 211, Houston , TX 77024
View Additional Email Addresses
16 complaints, 10 of them still open and most related to delivery and problems with product.
The customer service complaints seen here on amazon along go well beyond the 16 complaints made here.
Many people don't realize you can look up a business online through the Better Business Bureau.
Let alone that you can submit a complaint online there and the company will receive a call/email from the BBB regarding the complaint as a advocate for the customer.
Unresponded complaints will count towards the companies rating and should be used as a benchmark for educated consumers on which companies to avoid doing business with.
It can be a far more effective tool then the potentially "loaded" positive reviews on Amazon and other such retailers were "plants" my post fake positive reviews to offset bad reviews.
No tinfoil hat here, check the url, check consumer affairs as well, let the customers that took the time to do something about it speak for themselves.
74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just returned after one week,
1. This product is built OK physically, but its software is close-to-impossible to use, and its user instruction/manual is absolutely terrible;
2. Therefore, almost any user has to call customer service to set it up properly;
3. After setting it up, the customer service would ask the user to leave a 5-star on Amazon.com;
4. Here comes all those 5-star reviews -- not necessarily fake, but not genuine either.
Now back to the product itself: I don't like the way it is set up for internet viewing -- through port forwarding and the use of a free domain somewhere. This is very insecure.
117 of 131 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY,
117 of 132 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tech Support does not exhist, install software is POS,
Finally after the 5th time I refused the call back and got put on support with someone. After trying to determine the problem the engineer determined that my unit was not recognizing DHCP correctly (although all the other networked computers and devices on my network do)so I asked him if we could connect to the device manually using default IP's (this is the normal fail-safe for most items like this camera). Not only did the software not allow this, but the further attempts required me rebooting the entire computer to get the software to prompt me for IP configuration.
This is a camera I can get in China for about $15. This company branded the item and is reselling it. No attention has been made to improve the OS or the Firmware, as the firmware is the exact same as the Chinese brand that I had in Hong Kong. To add insult, the most recent software was "unavailable" to download off their website. You get what you pay for.
100 of 113 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great product...poor service experience,
My key disappointment is how difficult it is to set up for remote monitoring.
Let me start by saying that I am not a techie by any stretch. I have a basic understanding of computers, I know what an IP address is and some other basic networking principles; however I don't care/want to know anything about routing tables, port forwarding etc. Not interested! So I think I am pretty much the average parent wanting to put in some self-help technology and way too busy to spend hours trying to make it work.
Out of the box the camera is really easy to set up within your home network- no problem! However when you want to set it up for monitoring from outside your home (which is really the whole point about having this camera!) that's when the "fun" begins.
First of all the manufacturers do not care to ship the most up to date manual with the product. Then you have to learn real fast about things like static IP address, dynamic IP, port forwarding, get a domain name from DYDNS etc etc. Don't worry calling their "help desk"- totally unhelpful and take no accountability for anything.
I got it to work eventually, but it took me a good 4 hours over 3 days to get it working properly, and I needed a domain name (NOT FREE!).
They could really improve this product by making it easier to set up and improve their Customer Support.
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