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on July 23, 2011
UPDATE ON Aug 11, 2013: I have had these working for two years. I ended up buying four of them. I posted a picture of one working. One of them had an issue because it was too close to the dryer and would go off unexpectantly when I was drying clothes. For some reason moisture does affect a few, but not all, of these cameras. I ended up swapping it for one of the other detectors and had no issues with either when I did that. Other than that, they are working great with no issues. I have caught two contractors and a "friend" looking through drawers in my house. The "friend" actually took money out of my wallet while I was in another room. He isn't invited back any more but I never told him about the camera.

The picture is great. The sound is so clear that my cat heard his own voice recording and went to the PC speakers to investigate. No one ever thinks that the smoke detectors are recording. Even the installers just thought it was a new type of central alarm system; you have to run the lines through the attic to a central location and I wasn't going to crawl up there in 100 degree weather. Well worth it.

Remember that this is just a surveillance camera and you have to buy the DVR and connecting wires separately. Some people rated this bad because they thought it was a complete system, which it never claims to be.

To answer some of the questions I have seen on here:
1. This is a surveillance camera. It does not record. It does not have memory. It doesn't come with instructions because it is to be used with a surveillance system. It does not have an independent removeable battery. It needs a power source and needs to be connected to a system that is typically used for surveillance, like a 4-channel DVR. Power is usually supplied with those systems. This is basically an add-on.

2. If it doesn't look like the picture shown on this page, return it. You got the wrong product.

3. This gives a real crisp and clear picture when it gets plenty of light. It works in diim light but not in the dark. The less light, the less clarity.

4. Finally, this does work as a smoke detector and no one looks at the smoke detectors. I have no idea why people think it is obvious as I bet you cannot describe your smoke detector. It has a hole (of course) but shows no sign of a camera. Only if you absolutely have seen one of these before would you know it is a surveillance camera.

5. It takes some electronic know-how to hook up a security system so if you know nothing about electronics, seek professional help.

ORIGINAL POST: I had bought another brand that was cheaper and I was unhappy. The other one was priced under $50 but did not have audio, was black and white, and was not a functioning smoke detector. If you looked at it, you can even spot the camera as it is not totally concealed.

So, I decided to purchase this one because of the pic (yes I know that can be dangerous). Well, it looks exactly like the pic. The actually picture quality is really good and in color. The audio works perfectly. And it is a functioning fire alarm. There is no way anyone can tell it is a camera device.

The only problem I had was that I gave it a little power to test the video, which activated it. So, when I take the power away, it beeps like it has a low battery. Very annoying when you are setting it up.

I am buying a second one.
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1212 comments| 160 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 13, 2013
I install business/home security cameras and I admit I was worried when I first saw the tiny pinhole. Most 1/3" lens Sony cameras I install have a much larger lens. I thought there is NO way this is going to give the area of view my customer was looking for. I plugged the thing up to our "in house" DVR and wow was I surprised!! I held it high above my head as close to the ceiling as I could get and after seeing the viewing area, color quality and brightness, I could not wait to get it installed.
We installed this in the customer’s house and after getting everything plugged in I was AGAIN amazed. Not only did it cover everything they wanted to see, the AUDIO reception (which I did not test before) was OUTSTANDING. We could hear their small dog drinking from its water dish from across the room as well as watch him doing it. ALSO, it really is a smoke alarm. It has a rechargeable battery that is recharged from the power supply. This is NOT a night vision camera. There has to be some light in the room. We installed two of these in the customer’s house; one in the kitchen where lighting was outstanding, this resulted in OUTSTANDING color and clarity. The second was in the living room where the lighting was dim (table lamp and television) and on a scale of 1 - 10 I would still give it a 5 or 6 simply because even though it has no infrared emitters it still produced a picture good enough you could tell what was going on in the room even in the dark corners.

** NOTE ** This is a camera/smoke alarm that MUST be plugged in to a 12v power supply (not included) and either a DVR or something with video INPUTS. You will need to cut a nickel/quarter size hole in your ceiling to run the (not included) cables to a power supply and your video source.

Pros:
1.) Tiny pinhole that if you did not know it was there you would NEVER notice it.
2.) 1/3" SONY CCD Wide Angle Color lens which in my opinion for the size and money you can't beat.
3.) REAL WORKING smoke alarm!!! The smoke detector has a rechargeable battery and really detects smoke! There is even a test button on it that when depressed emits a loud alarm

Cons:
1.) This is in NO WAY a complaint. I'm just mentioning it so you know. NOT A NIGHT VISION CAMERA. For it to be "Night Vision" it would have to have infrared LED's and then (to some people) it would be obvious that it's a hidden camera. You defeat the purpose of "hidden camera" then. This camera needs a least a small lamp in the room to see.

** NOTE ** This is a camera/smoke alarm that MUST be plugged in to a 12v power supply (not included) and either a DVR or something with video INPUTS. You will need to cut a nickel/quarter size hole in your ceiling to run the (not included) cables to a power supply and your video source.
11 comment| 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 22, 2012
We have a dozen or so cameras (all exterior) located around the house and property, but due to how the front porch and door is recessed, it would have been nearly impossible to mount a dome or bullet camera to cover the front entrance without it sticking out like a sore thumb. I decided to mount an indoor camera to cover the front door and I installed this camera approximately 2 months ago. I wanted to try a concealed/covert style to avoid mounting an obvious dome or bullet, but must admit I fully expected the quality to be crappy because of the low price. I was wrong. This little camera not only blends in perfectly on the ceiling, the resolution is indistinguishable from 750 tvl cameras mounted outside. This camera does require more light to operate than our outdoor domes and bullets (when they are in color mode), but I don't need it to, nor would I really expect it to. I am extremely impressed with the quality of this camera and am amazed at the price. I strongly recommend this camera to anyone who needs an interior day only camera, but doesn't want to install an obvious camera. I should probably point out that I did not hook up the microphone, since I only needed the camera. Therefore I can't comment on how the audio works, but have no reason to think it wouldn't impress me just as the video has.

Amended review on 9-2-2012:
I have just installed a second one of these cameras in the office and experienced the same results. Once again, I'm very pleased. This is a very nice camera at a remarkable price.
11 comment| 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 16, 2011
Great item, gives a good, slightly fish eyed view. I needed it for a narrow entry and wanted to also cover a side door without setting the unit in the corner of the room. It worked perfect, giving view to both doors and most of the entry.
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on October 23, 2012
Installed this in a friends living room who was having trouble with money disappering from her purse. Got the colprate the first night. Picture quality is excellent in good light. Decent in low light.
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on February 16, 2015
Please do a little research before buying. It seems most of the negative reviews are based on a misunderstanding of the product.

This unit requires a 12VDC power supply and some sort of recording unit that takes standard analog video input via BNC cable. (There are adapters for BNC to RCA, but if you're not familiar with cameras and DVRs already, I'd suggest getting some assistance) I can see why most users would think that a "hidden" camera would have everything built in and whatnot, but this unit is clear in the description of what it is and does.

Now to the actual review.
Used this camera in a hallway at work where we suspected wrongdoing was going on. I already had a 12VDC analog system distributed throughout the space, so I knew this product would be perfect for the job. Drilled a hole through the ceiling where the unit would be mounted, and ran the pigtail of cables coming from the camera up through the ceiling. Perfectly disguised and discreet. Ran the cable to the DVR through the ceilings and the suspected troublemakers had no clue. If you cant have wall or ceiling access to the area you need monitored, PLEASE look for another product! I don't know very many smoke detectors that have a bundle of cables coming out of them, so it won't do much good if you install it like that... The image was clear enough compared to other similarly priced cameras.

I believe the actual smoke detector function works. However, I didn't want it to malfunction or actually go off (as it was placed near a kitchen!) and I disconnected the alarm. So this can be a plus if you are actually replacing a functioning smoke detector.

The camera angle may be a problem for some. If they had some slight adjustment for the angle of the pinhole cam, it would be a 5-star product for sure. (its set at about 45 degrees from the horizontal)

For my purpose, I did not use the mic, so I will not judge that part of the product.
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on February 20, 2013
It says "Does not come with a built-in DVR. Not a wireless product." Also does not come with manual, at least mine didn't. And it's hardly intuitive. I don't know how to work it. So I went to the company Website where there was a link to download the manual. Doesn't work.

We're not off to a great start with this product.

Update:

I contacted customer service, which sent me what's purported to be a user's manual. It's not. It's a list of contents with an image. There is NOTHING explaining how to wire the system. I'm sure it's "intuitive" to them, it's THEIR system. It's probably intuitive to some buyers. But I'm a smart guy and it's hardly intuitive to me. I have no idea how to wire this thing. And so far the Web searching I've done, which I shouldn't have to do, has turned up nothing but reviews. Very disappointing.
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on July 23, 2012
This is a potentially dangerous product because it is being labeled as a "functional" smoke alarm. I have only been able to get the camera to function. I have NOT been able to successfully test the smoke alarm function. After completely installing this product in my ceiling I have been able to successfully initiate the camera function. Unfortunately the "SMOKE ALARM" feature is DOA. Dead on arrival. The red light illuminates and blinks as if it is functioning. The button right next to the instructions to "test weekly" does not perform any function at all. I pushed the button. I pushed and held down the button. I repeatedly pushed and then held the button. Nothing happens. The red light continues to blink.
The next test that I performed was with burning matches. The smoke and suit from the matches was not efficient to set off the smoke alarm either. I tried multiple matches as well as burning paper. Nothing worked.
The smoke alarm is DOA.
Unfortunately I had ordered a second one before I realized that the first one was crap. When the second one arrives I will test it as well.
Oh. As a bonus to my negative review this device is a "hard wired device" only yet it doesn't come with a power cord or an A/C adaptor. That requires an additional purchase.
This is bordering on ridiculous.

Be careful.
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on May 25, 2012
These cameras worked great. Clear video and audio and you can't even tell its a camera. Looks like any other smoke detector. Easy to install.
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on July 18, 2016
Okay for some specific areas but would be better if it had a 2.5mm camera lens...
don't like the working smoke sector as it beeps too much and draws attention to it!!
And even if you open it up carefully, the camera stops working???
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