Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
on August 16, 2012
I'm thrilled with this camera! Picture is great, right out of the box. Connection was not overly complicated but you do have to have some basic knowledge like the username and password of your router. To see video from this camera on the web you need to assign an IP address and port to the camera then enable port forwarding on your router. It's not hard and Googling "port forwarding XXXXX" where "XXXXX" is the name of your router will result in tons of tutorials.
Back to the camera... construction is robust and looks to be weatherproof. Time will tell but I'm optimistic that this will hold up to being mounted outside at our yacht club. There is one large cable coming out of the housing with a jumble of connectors on the end. To waterproof this I plan to mount the camera on a 4" square exterior electrical junction box as other reviewers of the original Loftek Sentinel have shown.
Wifi works great with a strong wifi signal. Video is indistinguishable from a wired connection. Video white balance adjusts automatically and it does an acceptable job keeping up with transition from IR night vision to CFL when I turn the lights on, then eventually daylight in my office during my burn-in testing.
This camera has night vision! I was really curious to see how Loftek solved the IR reflection issue that other night vision dome cameras have. Brilliantly, Loftek mounted IR LED's on the OUTSIDE of the dome, around the perimeter. Voila, no IR reflection during night vision use.
I've only had it for two days but I feel that I can highly recommend this camera. It offers a lot of bang for the buck and functions perfectly. I'll be mounting this 25' up on a fixed mast at our yacht club and will follow up on this review after it has been installed for a while.
UPDATE 12/12/12 - After installing the camera on top of a 20 foot tall 2" galvanized pipe fixed to the dock at our local yacht club, everything appeared to be fine. Until I zoomed in on a distant object. This camera has a physical zoom lens controlled by a servo motor. So when you zoom from the web interface, the lens actually moves inside the camera. This should render a much sharper image than a "digital zoom" which only crops in on the sensor. Unfortunately, in this case the zoomed image was pretty badly out of focus. Down came the camera and back to my office for some surgery. I followed the advice of other reviewers and removed the 2 screws holding the lens in place. After fiddling around for a while I was able to find a spot for the lens assembly that rendered an adequately sharp image at both wide angle and telephoto settings. This took some time and neither setting is perfect. If you are very particular you will get a sharp image at wide angle OR at telephoto, but not at both. Hey folks, lets not forget that this think is in a pretty low price range. I'm happy with the compromise and will be putting the camera back up at the club.