on July 14, 2013
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 in December 2012. It was first reported by users to Foscam in May of 2013. Foscam publicly confirmed this manufacturing defect as the DSP in December 2013 and they also put a repair procedure in place. This procedure involves shipping the newly purchased camera to a distributor in Texas for repair. I've personally sent two cameras in for repair; the first repair took 15 days and required a significant amount of effort to process including a BBB complaint. The second repair took 18 days to turn around and was processed easily. Oddly, the serial number of this second camera changed before/after the repair so they seem to have sent a different camera instead of repairing. Regardless, the camera now works. Other users have reported varying amounts of friction when attempting to process these repairs.
This DSP problem is widespread among Foscam cameras. Many users potentially have cameras with the defect but do not observe the effects because the camera is not pointed at a scene with enough detail to trigger the fault. Other users may observe the defect but incorrectly identify the problem as cabling or other networking gear. At last check, 423 faulty cameras have been reported in the Foscam forums. These forums detail this defect extensively, and also offer a DIY solution for users brave enough to open the camera up and fab a custom USB cable to interface with the DSP. This forum thread can be found by doing a web search for "MJPEG Cameras hanging rebooting based on image data." The defect is reproduced by many users with a variety of Foscam models.
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. Amazon is aware of these details being documented on multiple reviews for different models. Please see the update at the bottom of this review for more information regarding this.
Foscam currently claims that all cameras purchased from specific retailers as of November 2013 have the issue 100% resolved. Unfortunately, the forums show 111 faulty cameras reported from 11/1 through 12/10. To be fair, some users have reported purchasing non-faulty cameras and hopefully this will continue. But other users (as of February 2014) continue to report new cameras from these specific retailers with the defect. Unfortunately, purchasing a Foscam camera continues to be a gamble.
There is a relatively simple way to verify if a specific camera has the DSP bug. The Foscam web GUI has the option to capture a snapshot. Faulty cameras that have the DSP bug are not able to capture a snapshot greater than ~60K. If a camera is able to capture a snapshot above this threshold then it does not have the bug. If the snapshot is smaller than 60K then the current scene does not have enough detail to verify if the bug is present. The camera will need to be pointed at a more complex scene and tested again until a snapshot greater than ~60K is achieved or failure is observed. Faulty cameras that have been repaired by Foscam can also capture above the ~60K threshold.
I do not recommend buying 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.
::::Foscam posted a response to this review. If you are seeking additional information, my comments on the response are below::::
Foscam US, thank you for the response. I have been close to this issue since the defect was first brought to Foscam's attention in May and this is the first public acknowledgement that I am aware of. Previously this had only been acknowledged privately through email/phone. As there are currently 62,997 views on this topic in the Foscam forums and over 400 reported faulty cameras I'm glad that there is now an "official" acknowledgement of this defect.
I do contend with some of the statements you provided as these statements do not match the current experience from actual users.
Foscam US - "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"
This is simply not true. Users continue to report faulty cameras from these sources. It is also worth noting that several times over the last 7 months Foscam support told users (privately over email/phone) that the defect has been fixed and newly purchased cameras will function correctly. Regardless of these statements by Foscam, users continue to report defects. Data from 11/01 through 12/10 shows that 111 additional faulty cameras have been reported since November 1. Time may show otherwise, I hope it does, but currently this statement is simply not true.
Foscam US - "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"
This is also simply not true (unless this policy very recently changed). I have 50+ emails back and forth with Foscam support detailing exactly how difficult it is to process the repair. My experience was not unique, as other users have reported similar experiences. Since 8/23 there have been 7 BBB complaints; overall the BBB gives Foscam a D rating. However, if these policies have recently changed then I applaud the decision to reverse Foscam's previous policy. (Amazon Review Update: Credit where credit is due, my second repair was processed smoothly so this process may indeed be getting easier)
1) Foscam's response claims that cameras sold from specific retailers have the issue resolved as of November 2013. This is simply not true based on consumer reports.
2) The response also claims that Foscam US will replace faulty cameras free of charge. If that is true, then that is a change in policy and a step in the right direction. However, many users outside of the US are also reporting faulty cameras. Unless the manufacturer (not simply a US distributor) steps up to repair the cameras, then these international users are still without a repair solution for their faulty cameras. Foscam the manufacturer needs to assist users in correcting this defect.
--The referenced data and user experiences above are detailed in the Foscam forums and from the BBB.--
:::: Update Regarding Multiple Reviews ::::
On 2/17 a version of this review was pulled-down from the Foscam 8919 listing. I asked Amazon to review the removal. Amazon performed a review (Megan, Kath and Kai specifically) and relisted the review unmodified on 2/20. In an effort to preempt any future problems I have modified some reviews for other affected Foscam models to point to the full details on this review. However, to be clear, Amazon approved the relisting as-is. Thank you to Amazon for taking the time to have humans evaluate this review in the context of my other reviews and to relist. It is always good to see a system/process that works as intended.
on March 29, 2012
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.
on February 29, 2012
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.
on February 15, 2012
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.
on July 21, 2012
This camera really is very good value for money. We received it as a gift from our baby registry to use as a baby monitor for our first child.
I'm a software engineer by trade so I had very little trouble setting up the camera and configuring it for use. However, I could see it being confusing for people with less of a technical/networking background.
- The web interface lets you control all the features very simply. There are loads of features on the camera - more than we needed for our simple baby monitoring scenario
- The camera works great on several WiFi versions; I've used 802.11g and 802.11n with it. Note that the camera doesn't work on the 5Ghz 802.11n band, although to put that in perspective, neither does the newest iPhone 4S so this isn't that big of a deal
- The infra-red night vision is really very good. Crystal clear video, with picture quality as good as you get from the camera when the room is fully-lit
- Very good range of motion - nearly 360º in all directions. The camera has 8 preset locations so you can save and load your favorite positions (i.e. crib, doorway, main part of room, etc.) without having to navigate the camera to these positions by hand every time
- Decent apps to control the camera from Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad. I downloaded "Baby Monitor for IP Camera" which was free if you don't need the audio support (this can be added as an in-app purchase). Can't speak to Android support since I don't have an Android device
- Able to downscale the resolution to 320x240 which still gives you a very usable picture. This is handy when I'm viewing the camera over 3G or LTE on my iPhone/iPad when away from home, and don't want to burn up all the usage on my limited data plan
- Foscam has published well-attended forums on their US web site, with an enthusiastic user community, many of whom are technical enough to provide good suggestions to problems. The staff hasn't been quite as responsive as the user community, but the purpose of a forum is to let the user community support itself to an extent so this isn't such a big deal
- There is a very simple web-based API for the camera so you can write your own utilities, or even just hit certain URLs and pull data about the camera. Great for technical folks who want to get under the hood
- At least on the white model (I haven't tried the black one yet) there is an internal network activity light mounted on the circuit board of the camera, and it's visible through the camera case. Since the case is white plastic, it acts as a diffuser. When idling, the light flashes several times a minute and is not that noticeable, but when monitoring video it flashes every time a request comes into the camera to update the image, which is several times a second. My wife and I are concerned that this might cause our little one to be distracted in the dark and interfere with him sleeping. There is an option in the web console to disable the external network monitor light, but this setting has no effect on the internal light I'm describing (nor does it turn off the external red network light, although this is easily solved with a small piece of electrical tape). I have uploaded a product image to show you what the internal network activity looks like in a dark room. It's not quite as bright as my picture makes it look, but it's definitely noticeable.
- Some of the default settings for the camera are a bit dumb. For example, initially I couldn't get any of my preset camera positions to save or load. Searching on the forums, it turns out the preset save/load feature is disabled by default. Enabling it is as simple as clicking a check box in the web console and saving, but surely the default should be for this feature to be active?
- Security on the camera is pretty much non-existent. Passwords for the administrative web-based console are sent "in the clear" (i.e. unencrypted) and there is no HTTPS capability on the device to secure the console. This is more than understandable considering the low cost of the device, but it means that if you use the camera over the Internet to monitor your baby/house/whatever when away from home, anybody could sniff your password and gain access to your webcam. For me, this was not a problem since I have the technical chops to set up SSH tunneling and/or VPN to secure interactions with the console made over the public Internet, but for non-technical users this could be a bit more challenging. Also, if you are only using the camera at home over WiFi and have basic WiFi security enabled on your internal home network, the lack of HTTPS support is a non-issue - this is only really a problem for people using the camera over their cell phone, from a WiFi hotspot in a coffee shop, etc.
- I haven't fully diagnosed this next issue yet, but the camera is interfering with the motion sensor on our 10-year-old Brinks home security system. Our nursery is a bedroom on the second floor of our house, while the motion sensor is mounted to the ceiling in the living room directly below the nursery. The morning after I set up the web cam, our security system started indicating trouble with the motion sensor. The sensor still works, although not very well, and the security system starts beeping every morning at 7:15 AM complaining about the issue when the web cam is on (which is really annoying). When I turned off the web cam, the problem went away instantly. There are a few possible issues. The first is that the IR sensor on the camera is interfering with the motion sensor, since the way I had the camera positioned it was pointing right at the spot on the floor above the motion sensor in the living room below. However, this seems unlikely since I don't believe IR light would go through the floor. The second possible issue is that the camera is a wireless networking device on the 2.4Ghz spectrum, which is close to the microwave spectrum, and some motion sensors are microwave-based. If this is the issue then I don't have a resolution on the camera since it doesn't support the 5Ghz 802.11n band. It's possible that I can get a different kind of motion sensor from Broadview (who bought Brinks) but that is likely to incur additional expense.
Overall I think this is a really fantastic little camera, and it's pretty much perfect for our needs as a video baby monitor. If the black model solves the flashing internal network light issue and I can get it playing nicely with our home security system, I'll be a very happy camper.
UPDATE: I switched my WiFi network to 802.11n on the 2.4Ghz spectrum and it seems to have fixed the issue with our security system's motion sensor. Still working on fixing the internal flashing light issue.
UPDATE 2: I ordered a replacement black model, and it does not have the translucency/flashing internal light issue that the white model has. The black model is coated with a rubberized material that gives it a nicer overall finish in my opinion. Based on this, I recommend the black model over the white one.
on March 20, 2012
[**Updated now with 2nd camera over internet, see below for information on multiple camera set up with dyndns **]
I bought this over the cheaper, but older model (FI8918w) based on the reviews saying this had a better picture. So far I am sufficiently pleased that I will look into getting some more to cover more of the house.
* Setting up the camera.
The camera is very easy to set up as a wifi camera, by following the written instructions and the video that comes on the installation disk.
The process involves plugging the camera into your router, installing the software and getting the camera recognized on the network and then unplugging the network cable and logging the camera into your wireless network. All fairly plain sailing, and this allows you to play around with the camera settings, and get used to its operation.
Setting up the camera for web access is a little more difficult. The video on the disk is a useful primer, but the best place to go for help is foscam.us forums. In the end it took me a few hours of frustration (and reading), but I am sure this can be alleviated by considering the following points:
1. The DNS service at dyndns.org is no longer free, but will give a 14-day trial after which the service is $20 per year.
2. I am a Verizon Fios customer and it took me some time to identify that you should NOT allocate port 80 to the camera. It seems that Verizon blocks this port according to one post I read. I allocated port 8090 for this first camera and it worked fine as soon as I did this.
3. The Fios router is easy to set up for port-forwarding - it's a hyperlink on the main menu which takes you into the Advanced Options.
4. Be patient. You often have to repeat actions on the camera and allow it to reboot a few times before it will show "success" on DNS forwarding.
* Operating the camera.
There are several camera parameters that can be changed, such as picture size, frame rate, brightness and contrast. The IR works well and can be turned on and off remotely.
The camera has motion detection, with user sensitivity settings. When in alarm mode the camera can be set to record to your main network PC drive and also take still photos and email them directly to you.
The camera has 2-way audio although there is a distinct lag between network and speaker. There is some audio feedback which I managed to alleviate by rotating the camera aerial (wifi antenna) so this it faces flat. I read somewhere that this is due to the way these aerials are coiled inside the wand so that the signal is better from the sides that the wand top, which seems counter-intuitive, but my point is that you should play with the aerial (wifi antenna) position before getting too angry with it :-)
Overall I would say this is a good buy at under $100 and gives good pictures. Now that I have set it up I shall be getting some more, so I guess that says it all. The software will allow up to 9 cameras to be connected.
I deduct one star as I had to do a fair amount of research, and there really is no need for this. I would think this should be set up in under an hour with the right guidance.
[Update 24 March 2012]
* Multiple Cameras
I bought a second camera and set it up on the network very easily, simply using the IP Camera Tool already installed for the first camera and even the network cable that I had left in the back of the router. Camera #2 was picked up and identified and then I added it to the wifi network as with camera #1.
Getting access over the internet was a bit more tricky, although once I had read through the foscam.us forum posts and started thinking properly it was fairly straightforward.
I assigned port 8091 to camera #2 (remember to keep away from port 80, as mentioned above) and then copied all the settings from camera #1 to camera#2 in the DDNS Server settings and Mail Service Settings menu (except port number, obviously).
* Hint for using presets:
If you want to use the preset camera positions you MUST first uncheck the "disable preset" box in the PTZ menu under Administrator. Then, if you check "goto preset on boot" whenever the camera reboots it will start up in the preset position you last left it in. This of course assumes you have set the preset in the first place under the Operator menu (!) As an aside I don't know why they call it PTZ, as there is no zoom function on this model :-(
* Now for the internet:
In the Multi-Device Settings it is important NOT to use the local IP address of the camera (e.g. 192.168.1.11) but instead use the the DDNS web address, in my case [...], when completing the host field.
Once done this all works pretty well, and successfully emails me from either camera when motion is detected and records a video to my PC's HDD.
Next step, removing the PC as video storage by either using NAS or FTP directly from the router...
on July 1, 2014
Works fine for me since I have background building computers and configuring routers and networks. What that helped me with as understanding the directions. Even so, I still had a few issues and had to walk away from it for an hour, then return and check all my settings and restart my router/computer. MY hangup was getting it to be viewable from the internet. It setup perfect and fast on the internal home network. But I was stuck on the internet thing until I took a break.
I didnt have to call tech support. I followed the directions step by step,. Its not HD, but I just wanted to get the whole process figured out before I invested too much money in it.
At this point, I'm ready to add 3 more cameras. I've got the hang of it. The picture is quite reasonable for non HD. The camera pans and tilts nicely. Very easily mounted on my garage wall I'd say maybe 75' from the router and behind 3 walls, out in the garage. Connection appears perfect.
My last advice is if you think you have all your settings correct, CHECK them again, restart your router, then restart your computer. Follow the directions line by line. You should be good. I've only had this an afternoon, so I'll update if anything else comes up. Be patient.
UPDATE July 7: Just installed my second camera. It was a breeze. I now have two going on my phone, tablet, and tower computer. The software that comes with it works nicely. It does all I need it to do. Allows multiple cameras and viewing from the internet.
Setup is really EASY. When setting up to view from the net you MUST do these things. Assign a port number in the setup page on the IP cameratool. You can assign almost anything. Try 8000, then make the next camera 8001, and so on. NOW, you have a camera with an ip address that is YOUR home IP address followed by :8000 or :8001. That now becomes the IP address of the camera. Go to Starbucks. Type your IP address in with the colon/port number (your ip:8000). There you go. You get the login screen. Log into the camera.
If you want to use the software that comes with it, add the camera with that SAME number.
I admit I was a bit stumped on the first one, but after playing with it for a week, then adding the scond camera, its a breeze for THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE SOME CONCEPT OF NETWORKING!!!!!! If you dont, either hire someone or dont buy this camera.
UPDATE: I've since added 3 more of these. And as I said, if you understand what you are doing, you'll be fine. but it is NOT for the average non networking person. You MUST understand how to allow ports through your router IF you want to setup viewing from your phone in a remote location. I use an Android app called IP Cam Viewer Basic. You have to pay 2.99 if you want to use the sound and mic features. Well worth it. The app is excellent. I would not advise the Foscam app as they try to bait you into another app that requires you to "login" with an email. No thank you.
I am completely satisfied with the price, setup and use of these cameras. Just ordered another anf a friend of mine ordered one based on my recommendations.
on March 1, 2012
I purchased the FI8910W (in black) and have had it setup indoor for about a week:
Device ID 000DC5D65545
Device Firmware Version 126.96.36.199
Device Embeded Web UI Version 188.8.131.52
* Pan/Tilt (my first PT cam), adjustable speed, quiet
* Built-in web server (convenient, but not the greatest UI)
* Small and unobtrusive design
* Two-way audio (with built-in mic and speaker)
* Night-vision with decent IR LEDs and IR-cut filter (for daytime)
* Price ($95 with foscam.us discount code "WIFI1001")
* Infinite focus
* Decent low-light performance
* Good color saturation
* 640x480 max resolution (maxing out at about 6fps)
* MJPEG video only (not H.264), which is likely limiting the potential frame-rate (fps) over WiFi
* Lack of anti-aliasing
* No PoE support
* Serious background noise in audio input (microphone)
* Bad/scratchy audio output (speaker)
* Two-way audio (talk-back) does not work reliably over the Internet at all
* Will toggle IR LEDs/Cut-Filter on/off frequently when ambient lighting changes rapidly
You can see a sample picture from this camera (and side-by-side comparison with some other cameras) at [...]
I'm using Blue Iris Web/Security Camera Software with a variety of different camera types and brands and very happy with it (the software, not included with this camera).
on February 25, 2012
UPDATE 2/20/2013 - Ok, I tried one of these PTZ cameras to give it another chance and Maybe my original review was harsh, here's why. I couldn't get the Foscam or the DB Power camera to work on wireless because both of my wireless routers have MAC Address filtering set up. So, I took an old wireless B/G router I had lying around, I set it up without MAC Address filtering, and guess what? The wireless settings got saved and the camera worked wirelessly. The camera I tested this on was a WANSCAM PTZ camera. Also with these camera's you do not need a DDNS service to get them to work outside of your home network. You just need to set up Port Forwarding on your router. On my Trendnet router that would be on the "virtual server" screen...very easy..
First wireless IP Camera I bought was a DB Power, returned it because I could not get it to work on wireless. Second camera was this Foscam. I bought it based on better reviews than the DB Power, and people had success setting up the wireless. I tried for a week, read all the blogs, videos, You tube, nothing worked. I tried to do a firmware download from FOSCAM, but it never gave me the confirmation email that they said I'd get. I tried 3 times. I called FOSCAM, got redirected to call another number and got nowhere. By the way, I tried this on 2 wireless routers, a linksys wrt54g and a TP Link, even went as far as turning off all security and firewalls, still nothing. Tried all the different security variations, nothing. I am returning the camera on Monday. I think all these Pan tilt cameras are all made in China by the same company and they're all garbage. I give up. I in no way blame Amazon. I like their service. My review is strictly about the worthless camera. Oh, I should point out, if you want a WIRED camera, it's not bad. It was easy to set it up without any dns services that you have to pay for to get it to be seen across the internet, you just have to port forward the ip address and get your external IP address. That part was easy. I just refuse to pay for something that doesn't work as advertised.
on June 30, 2014
I bought this camera last year. I am a novice at computer stuff. I struggled for about 2 weeks to get it to work. I was under the impression that since I bought it on Amazon and not directly from Foscam that I have to pay for technical service. I chose to attempt it myself. Im pretty sure I got it to work by luck. Once I got it to work, its a GREAT camera. I used the app to log in remotely, but that too was extremely difficult for me. Again, luck and help from the NO-IP representative got me thru that. The pan tilt and zoom is crystal clear. The alarms work perfectly. I use it to keep an eye on my dogs. The only down side to this camera, with no fault of the camera is the set up. Although Foscam has detailed videos and good instructions, I found it to be extremely difficult. Even after watching the videos multiple times, I still have no idea what an IP or a DDNS is.
I recently had to change my router, so I am without the camera working and I am probably going to hire someone because I can't figure it out.
Its a great camera. If I can hire someone that can re-install the camera on my new router, I will probably get a few more because they are great cameras.