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Customer Review

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great camera, retarded software, mounting bracket from hell, connectors NOT weatherproof, November 15, 2011
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This review is from: LOFTEK® Nexus 543 Outdoor Wireless/wired Waterproof Ip Camera 4mm Lens 36 Infrared Leds with Night Vision. Silver (Electronics)
I am giving this camera five stars because its performance is by far the best of the three relatively low-price surveillance cameras I've tried recently. It has a few peripheral flaws that I cannot bring myself to deduct stars for because they are fairly easily resolved.

PROS:

The image is probably as good as it gets for a cheapish VGA-resolution camera (640 x 480 pixels). The infrared optics and electronics required for nighttime imaging do not seem to detract at all from the color fidelity of the daylight image, which is excellent. Unlike an even cheaper IR camera I tried, greens are not gray, grays are not green, and blacks are not red. All colors are as they should be.

The monochrome nighttime image quality is also the best I've found so far, much clearer and MUCH better detail than on the cheaper IR camera, even though its resolution was supposedly the same.

The 36 IR LEDs give bright, even illumination over the entire viewing area and up to at least 30 feet (which is as far as I care about), with no noticeable concentration of light in the center as the 11 LEDS on the cheaper camera did.

After initial setup with an Ethernet cable to the router (which is mandatory), I have used wireless connection exclusively with flawless results, in several different locations up to 80 feet from the router, inside and outside, with several interior and exterior walls and now even a massive triple-flue brick chimney in between.

The case of the camera is very impressively hefty and rugged. I don't doubt that it is as weatherproof as the manufacturer claims. The IP66 rating is indeed impressive. It means that NO solid particles can enter the camera body. Period. There is no dust fine enough to get through the seals. It also means that no jet of water at any pressure from any direction can enter the camera enclosure. It might be susceptible to liquids only if completely submerged.

Which leads me to the flaws:

CONS

Although the camera enclosure is impressively weatherproof, the electrical interface is not weatherproof at all, and it is permanently fixed to the camera through a singly hefty cable about a foot long. That cable ends in a receptacle for the Ethernet cable, which has two thinner cables about five inches long branching out the back, one to a connector for the power supply and the other to a small push-button reset switch. So any installation that takes advantage of the camera's ruggedness is going to have to provide separate and equal protection for those very vulnerable electronic connections, UNLESS you can bring the cable directly indoors within a foot of the camera. I can't do that, so I'm having to rig up another enclosure for them that will be mounted next to the camera. A little better attention to the design of the electronic interface would have made the camera's IP66 rating more easily exploited.

The mounting bracket is one of the worst I have ever had the misfortune to wrestle with. I'm too angry at it right now to say much more, except that getting it adjusted and stable is a nightmare.

The included software - as other reviewers have noted - is lame, as is most of the documentation (which completely ignores the mounting issues I just described). Clearly the manufacturer invested all its development budget in the camera itself, which at least was a wise choice. The camera really is so good that I still refuse to deduct even one star for these deficiencies.

COMMENTS

After a couple of hours' research, I followed another reviewer's lead and got Blue Iris software to control the camera. It is fantastic, and it's well worth the cost of $30 (support for one camera only) or $50 (up to 64 cameras). It makes setting up flawless motion detection, viewing video clips, zooming, panning (only in SW with this camera, but also in hardware with appropriate cameras), etc., a breeze. It has built-in support for this camera, and the only thing I haven't been able to do yet with it is adjust brightness and contrast, for which I had to use the included IPCamera Soft software. I did not have Blue Iris yet when I set up the camera's network interface through the Ethernet cable, so you may have to use the included software bundle to do that too. But that part is well enough documented and easy enough that it's okay.

Finally: the color. Maybe color names have different meanings in China, but I never in a million years would have described this camera as "silver gray." It is a lovely lilac color, a definite, unmistakeable LILAC, without any hint of gray, although it IS a sort of silvery lilac. It is a beautiful color, but macho types will not be showing it off to their beer buddies.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 17, 2012 8:52:33 PM PDT
DAC says:
Thank you for mentioning the odd color. I agree it is a nice color but it is not Silver Grey, whatever that is supposed to mean (Silver or Grey which is it HAHA).

Beware though if you purchase another camera as they are now SILVER.

Posted on Jan 1, 2013 10:54:21 AM PST
benjaminw says:
This review is excellent. Do you have any further thoughts or experiences to share since you posted your review in November?
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