Customer Review

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Image quality has improved, but quality and firmware issues still present, January 10, 2014
This review is from: Foscam FI9826W (Black) 1.3 Megapixel (1280x960p) 3x Optical Zoom H.264 Pan/Tilt Wireless IP Camera (Electronics)
I have owned 9821 V1 for a while and was looking for better options. 9826 was released a few month ago overseas and only now made it statewide at a higher premium price. 9826 is not a direct replacement of 9821, there is also 9831, but it's the only one available for sale in the US. So is this one better then 9821?

PROs:

1. Excellent and actually improved image quality over 9821. It has a new sensor with 960p resolution and it doesn't disappoint, there is very little noise and images are quite clean and sharp. Day or Night, looks beautiful. If you use 960p image is 4:3 format, there is option to use 720p for a wider picture.

2. Improved design, overall this one looks nicer. Same size as the rest of Foscam PT cameras which is on a large side.

3. Zoom lens is a nice addition, although not as wider angle lens as 9821 or especially the new 9831 (not available yet).

4. I am using this as a baby cam and built-in speaker/microphone work well, but not quite as loud. Also, there is just no way to control sound levels.

CONs:

1. Firmware is still far from being perfect and you will run into bugs there and here and some features not fully working. Especially latest firmware where the camera would drop fps and show ghosting with IRs on. (1/2/2014 Ghosting addressed in latest beta) For recording I would probably use some 3rd party software. It's getting better though, at least they added support for "hidden SSIDs" with latest update.

2. Same issue as 9821, but 9826 takes extra time to display picture then my other IP cams. Especially annoying when using Android apps. That doesn't matter if it's on wireless or wired. For instance it's 3 am in the morning and your baby cries, you launch the app if you are using it as a baby cam and you want to see picture immediately at night and not wait 3-4 seconds before it connects. These extra seconds are really annoying.

3. No zoom presets.

4. Expensive at full price. I bought it for $195 during holidays which I think is reasonable.

5. QA is not very good still. I have two cameras with different hardware issues that require replacement. If you are lucky you may get a perfect one, otherwise be prepared that you might have to exchange it at your own expense.

6. Zoom lens a bit noisy. Might be a concern if you are planning to use it in a baby room

7. Focus is fixed and if you have a blurry picture there is no way to adjust it. It's a hardware defect that requires replacement.

Issues specific to my cameras:

1. My first camera exhibits strange behavior with PT angle button movements where camera stops responding when pressed. It comes back after a minute or so.

2. My second camera came in defective with a blurry bottom when zoomed in and IRs on. I had to exchange for a new camera at my own expense. 1/2/2014: New Replacement arrived, again with blurry lens with IRs on and zoomed in. Waiting for resolution from Foscam.

If you do buy this camera, expect you'll run into bugs with the firmware and make sure to check if you have any blurriness in the picture when using zoom and IRs on. I have 2 cameras with this defect already.

I've been doing extensive research and monitoring IP camera market over the years. Tried dozen different brands at my own expense. Despite all Foscam flaws, I haven't found anything else yet that would offer same set of features and offer excellent image quality at this price, but their quality control could be hit and miss. They still have no real competition with their latest cameras specifically 9826 or 9831. I really hope someone can tell me otherwise.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 13, 2014 2:04:11 PM PDT
Thomas I. says:
I'm in the market now and doing research on baby monitors. Are you still using this product? Have you found any other ones better? Any feedback would be appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2014 2:08:49 PM PDT
I am using Hikvision for baby and house monitoring. Cheaper and more reliable. See it in my reviews.
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