52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2011
First off, I really like this camera. Mainly I wanted to share some helpful tips with others that may be considering this for purchase.
1. This is a night vision camera. If you use this outside in the daylight colors will appear different than they do to the human eye. This is normal. (It looks like my trees are Cherry Blossom's in full bloom. Kind of cool.)
2. They hard code an IP address in the camera and expect to see your home network in the 192.168.0.X range. If it's not, (like mine, it's a 192.168.2.x net) then you may have difficulty getting to the camera from your PC to set it up. I simply backed up my router configs, changed it to a 192.168.0.x network, reset my PC's networking, and I was able to browse to the camera and set it up to where I wanted it.
3. This is an indoor camera. If you plan on pointing it out a window it will work pretty good during the day, but after dark the infrared lights will reflect back off the glass and blind the image. This is normal for this type of camera. You can still point it out the window, but you'll need to do something like cover the existing LED's on the camera and purchase an "infrared illuminator" (there are several on Amazon) and install it outside the window, covering the area you want to see.
4. I have 64 bit Windows7 and could not get the little CD to work for me, but was able to configure the camera just fine via my web browser after I got through the initial networking stuff mentioned above.
On the CON side, I'd have to say that it would have been smarter to simply make the networking DHCP and not have hard coded the IP address. I'm sure a this has confused folks into thinking that their camera was dead on arrival. I'd also like to have an easy way to turn the built in infrared LEDs off if I want to use an external source. That's all the negatives I have though. Great bang for your buck.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2011
I bought a non-PTZ camera to watch my puppy while I was away at work. It's a nice camera but I found that I needed to be able to pan or tilt to see anything beyond the set view. I was skeptical in PTZ cameras being so cheap in price as usually for a good quality one they would be hundreds more. I took a chance on the loftek one and I was very impressed.
I opened the box and everything was there including a little CD for drivers. Well I have a slot loaded CD that can't accept these so I surfed the net to try and find the drivers. no luck. So I wrote support and with a few hours they wrote back saying please send us your regular email and we will send you the drivers. I was skeptical that they actually would but I sent my email anyway and waited. The next day I checked my inbox and low and behold there was a compressed file with all the goodies in it to get me going. Setup was easy and the PTZ option is great. I even setup audio to be the "voice of god" for when my pup is being bad or on the couch. The audio feature works but only with IE.
Now that the dog is pretty well behaved I'm going to move this to an external camera for security. I then told myself, bummer I wish they had white because black really sticks out, at least on my home. I wrote to them and asked if they had any white ones. Within a few hours they replied they would in a couple days. Sure enough I get another email in 2 days stating they now have em on Amazon. Amazing. I ordered 2 more just because the support experience was so good. The price can't be beat and the CS is great. This is my first review ever and I felt I really needed to do it because this experience was by and far the best experience I've had dealing with a company and their product support.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2011
I have to say I'm impressed by the quality of this camera for what it costs. Keep in mind, this isn't going to give you HD quality video or even close. But for the sub eighty dollars it costs, you can't beat this. As background, I have extensive experience with IP cameras, from Arecont to Axis to Mobotix to Panasonic, and just about every brand in between. I thought I would take a look at the cheapest cameras out there so I could recommend them to clients looking for a cheap home solution as a nanny/pet cam or just wanting to check on a vacation home. Keep in mind, this camera (and the 100s of other Chinese made cheap IP cameras) should not be used for real surveillance or security purposes - great for casual home users, but I wouldn't rely on them to protect a business.
The video image is pretty decent at 640 x 480 resolution. Daylight use colors are vibrant but a tad off, which is common in low end cameras, but better than those that lack an IR cut filter (this model does not have the ir-cut filter, but the updated Loftek 3200 model does). The IR LEDs are quite powerful and you'll find that you'll want the camera at least 10 feet away from any object as they will be washed out by the somewhat powerful IR lights (i.e., if using as a baby monitor, don't put it too close to the baby, or the baby will be completely washed out in light). Also, you can manually focus this by twisting the outer ring cap of the lens. You can also replace the lens entirely if you want (different zoom or FOV etc.) by unscrewing the lens off.
I found the set up to be very easy. My machine I used to set this up on is a Windows 7 64 bit desktop. My internal network runs on 192.168.1.xxx, the camera by default runs on the 192.168.0.xxx subnet; this was no problem for the camera search utility that came on the included CD. In fact, the search utility found the camera in about 1 second. Using the utility I set a static IP address for the camera (I could have allowed my router's DHCP to assign the IP, but I manually assign all of my camera IP addresses as it makes port forwarding on the router easier). The camera rebooted and I accessed the camera directly through the Chrome browser. No problems. Video came up right away. Was able to switch between various video resolutions (160x120, 320x240, 640x480) without any problems. I then set up my wireless network; again, no issues. Like any network camera, if you aren't familiar with basic networking concepts and more advanced ones like port forwarding, you may have trouble getting this set up to be accessible from outside your home.
The pan/tilt on this is quite good. For such a cheap camera I couldn't believe how quiet the motor mechanism is on this. The only other cameras that I've found to be this quiet during pan/tilt (PT) are Sony cameras, but you'll pay upwards of 10 times more. So, if you're looking for a quiet PT this is actually quite good. Pan/Tilt speed range is quite good too (in the settings, you can specify 0 - 10; I made the mistake thinking that the higher the number, the faster it would pan, which was wrong; a setting of 1 is very fast, so I set mine at 3 which is fast, but still controllable). I was however, disappointed that there wasn't any zoom available. I knew there was no optical zoom (and really, how could there be on a sub 80 dollar camera?), but I thought there would at least be digital zoom via the client software. But no, no digital zoom in either the Java client (for non Internet Explorer (IE) browsers) or the ActiveX version for IE browsers. Which brings me to the issue of the ActiveX (IE Browswer) versus other browser functionality. Like most IP cameras (even from the professional lines) you're going to be able to access more camera features through an ActiveX interface than a Java client. So on the LOFTEK CXS 2200 you can only record, take camera snap shots, access audio, and view multiple cameras through the ActiveX client. Also, I had no problems accessing the camera from my Android phone using a product called IP Cam Viewer (available in Amazon's App Store or the Android Market).
I have not tested this on a Mac computer so I cannot comment on using this camera (or even setting it up) with a Mac. In the Windows world, this worked fine on Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit), and Windows XP. I was able to view full motion video and audio on an HTC EVO 4G cell phone, running Android 2.3.2 on the Sprint Network (3G speeds only; haven't had a chance to test 4G yet). My Linux (Ubuntu 11.4) clients had no issues accessing the camera view Chrome (I did not test setting up the camera using a Linux box, though)
For what this camera costs, you can't beat it. The video quality is fine for this camera price range and set up was a breeze using a Windows 7 machine. Playback was fine on a number of Windows 7 and XP machines, as well as an Android 2.3 phone. There is no zoom available, but the lens can be replaced easily. I can't speak to the durability/reliability of this as I've only had it running a couple of days now. But like I said at the beginning of this review, this camera shouldn't be used for real surveillance or security purposes. If you keep these points in mind, this camera should give you more than enough value for its cost.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
It's the most cost effective solution per feature I could find.
Great picture quality in light or pitch dark.
Pan and Tilt controls have a wide range of motion.
The flip/mirror feature allows upside down mounting for high on a wall.
Motion detection notification works like a charm.
Audio monitoring is surprisingly sensitive. I haven't tried to *send* audio yet.
Works with WPA2 WIFI.
The setup software on the CD is the key to successful use of this camera. Allow the software utility to *find* the camera on your LAN, then manually configure the IP address that you want your camera to have. THEN: setup an external (visible to the internet) port (pass-thru) on your home router so the camera is accessible from the internet (via username and password you establish) and then you can view your camera at home from work... or vice-versa.
Setup multiple cameras in multiple locations and the very slick viewing software allows you to see all cameras on one screen... or choose to monitor just one camera in full screen mode.
I'm going to buy several of these to keep an eye on my senior parents while I'm at work.
You probably won't use it for cinematography any time soon, but it's a wonderful WIFI/IP camera for the money.
There may be more "high-end" cameras with more intuitive software interfaces... but for the money, I think this one deserves 5 stars.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2013
Most of the other reviews do a great job of describing the features and functionality. You can pan, tilt, listen to audio, setup motion alerts, view at night, etc.. I think for the price, the feature set is top notch.
However, there are glaring security vulnerabilities that Loftek is not addressing. This issue first came to the public spotlight a week or so back when a Texas couple had their baby monitor hijacked by a hacker who was controlling the camera. The exploits are out in the open, and are very easy to execute. Foscam, Loftek, and other camera manufactures are all vulnerable, but Foscam drew the most criticism and has consequently put out firmware updates that are supposed to resolve the issue. Feel free to read all about the security issue here:
It's very easy to test on your own camera. Without logging into your camera, just go to your [...] This is a dump of the memory, and with a little searching, can see your username/password in plain text!
This link would show the hacker your wifi password. [...]
This link would let the hacker actually reset YOUR password, so they can access the camera and you cant. [...]
I've contacted support several times (as has the author of the article I just mentioned) but they have yet to commit to resolving the issue. The support from Loftek is questionable - while generally speedy, the responses are in broken English at best.
If you already own this monitor and just bought it, send it back for a refund! Let's get Loftek's attention and have these issues fixed. If it's too late for a return, then close up any firewall ports, because anyone with a little effort can take control of your camera. If you are a little more tech savvy, you can setup a VPN, reverse SSL proxy, or IP filter tables to block access - but you are not 100% safe.
Loftek, please read this review and address a major security vulnerability in your entire line of cameras. You should feel a sense of responsibility to your loyal customers to secure your cameras.
After posting this review, Loftek did release a new firmware that fixing the most critical of these known issues, for the CXS2200 Camera. I'm not sure if this new firmware fix was rolled into other vulnerable Loftek cameras, but I'm guessing it has not. I do thank Loftek for finally committing some resources to fixing this issue. I'm raising my review to 3 starts. I still feel a full security audit is in order, fixing all known issues should be done, and releasing new firmware for their entire line of cameras needs completed. However, they did respond to my request, and fixed the most gaping of issues.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2011
I purchased this camera for use as a baby monitor. The overall quality is very good compared the similar Foscam camera that one of my colleagues uses for the same purpose and had originally recommended to me. Setup was pretty straight forward, and after a bit of tinkering I now have it working smoothly both in-network and over the internet. The camera lets me view the video stream, and also has a built-in microphone so I can hear what's going on as well. Also, the infrared night vision mode lets me see the whole room even in the pitch black. I'm very satisfied with this camera, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality camera at a reasonable price.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
- decent camera
- decent interface
- affordable price
- does not do the whole panning/scanning/patrolling thing at bootup which saves time
- beware! makes unauthorized outbound connections to 18.104.22.168 port 80 (which i've blocked - i don't need outsiders to spy on me at my house) [UPDATE: fixed by loftek, see update below]
- wide angle (convex) distortions
- no configuration backup/restore page as in most cameras (although the .cgi (same as in foscam) will send you the config if addressed directly via url)
- the really annoying blue strobe light, highly visible in the dark (white version)
UPDATE (2011-01-11): loftek has addressed the outbound connection issue by recently making a tool available on their site (SetDDNS) for changing those settings. kudos to them. i wish they'd include a readme with the tool to let people know what it's for. upgrading the ratings of the camera to 4 stars.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
Pretty easy to install if you know about port forwarding, then it's a breeze.
In no time I was at work and able to open a browser to my router's public IP along with the :port I chose and I got my video feed. Also works well on mobile phones, but slower if you're on 3G only.
But no motion detection recordings. Although set to alarm with only action being record, it never posts recordings unless I actively make it (using the software).
And in a browser, it starts as 320x viewing...upon making it 640x it crashes the browser...every time.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2011
I'm writing this review for people wanting to use this camera on a Mac. I am running Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6 so it will work on both operating systems BUT, you pretty much NEED a PC or PC emulator software to use the set-up software and make any changes to the camera. You also need a PC to setup the wireless. Safari, Chrome or Firefox will only allow you to view the camera image and use the tilt/pan functions from a mac. You can't adjust image size or use advanced alert and FTP settings directly.
Fortunately I have a PC desktop as well and once I got it up and running I was able to set things up. The most difficult part of the set-up was setting up the camera to work remotely. Through the help of a website, portforward.com it walked me through setting up the camera for my particular router and I used the settings from Foscam and that worked.
I had problems getting one of the two camera I am using to work wirelessly and thought it wasn't working but restarting the router solved the problem.
Once I had everything set up on the PC I, I realized that I needed a decent IP camera software that worked on the mac. I decided to purchase Vitamin D software. There is a free version that supports 1 camera but in order to do advanced features such as defining an alarm area and adjusting image size you have to purchase the software. It doesn't, at the moment, control pan tilt, but you can do that from a web browser on the mac (Safari or Chrome, the image never displayed on Firefox).
The camera quality is exactly as expected based upon the earlier reviews. I will say that I wish the camera wasn't so bulky. But for the price, it is something that I can live with.
Knowing all I know now, I probably would prefer a camera with integrated Mac software. But if you have access to a PC to get things up and running you will be ok!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2011
Great product definitely 5 stars. This is an amazing little security camera. I recommend reading all the information in the two manuals that come as part of the cd--first. It works best for me to get an overview of what they want you to do. Going step by step is like leaving bread crumbs in the woods-it is always better to get an overview of the forest before you start the journey.. I normally use Firefox browser, and yahoo mail. For this project use Internet Explorer to access your camera, and I created a special Gmail account in google chrome for all camera related email that is sent out over the web when triggered.
The instructions with camera is great. If you stumble on something like "port forwarding", remote email etc--utube has wonderful videos on every obstacle you might encounter, setting things up. I'm not a computer programmer, and found that everything went smoothly. This is a great opportunity for the novice like me to learn about routers, and computers.
Setting the camera up with the "quick set up guide" is easy. "Port Forwarding"--you need to be able to log into your router and follow directions. There are three excellent videos from Loftek that are great visuals. The hardest thing for most of us is following directions. Every once in a while it really works. If you don't believe it look at the cereal boxes in your kitchen-they rarely are opened like the manufacturer recommends--I've seen them opened upside down.
I have Nikon software for my "point and shoot camera"--I love the way the Loftek csx 2200 puts the photos into a file with my other photos. If a burglar spots your security camera and destroys it---to late.
Plan to only use adapter not batteries, and if you are planning to have your cxs 2200 more that 50' from main computer-hard wire only by extending ethernet cable directly from router. You have to experiment. If you have a laptop that stops working as you move further from the router-so will the camera.It depends on the router signal strength.
Burglars go for guns and jewelry so I placed the wireless ,IP camera in a gun room facing door.The wireless camera is only 20' from main computer in the next room. When someone opens the door they are already videoed and caught on still shots, sent immediately to my Gmail address. If they find my main computer and decide to cart that off the information is already in cyberspace and can't be stopped.
I ran ethernet cable through my attic to the opposite end of the house for additional out door cameras that monitor driveway and rear door. This camera has two way sound so you can speak to the intruder and he can speak back instructing you as to how he wants his body shipped and to whom.
There is no zoom function, but I accept that--it would be a great tool. The focus on the camera can be adjusted by turning the ring around the lens. The pan, tilt and ability to take video and stills can be done from anywhere in the world, on any computer.
The night vision is great--total darkness looks like daylight. The picture quality is very good if you adjust the focus.
Remember this is a security IP camera not a video camera with a DVR.
My only moment of pause here is the regret that an American company didn't design and produce this wonderful razzle-dazzle gadget. Hats off to Loftek-three cheers for China--WAKE UP AMERICA.