31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Good little camera,
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The quick summary: Very difficult to set up, but very good once it's up and running.
I was looking to set up a DIY outdoor monitoring system, partly for security and partly for the fun of it. I'd originally purchased a camera for about $100, but returned it after having nothing but trouble and stability issues. Following the "You get what you pay for" principle, I upped my budget to the $200 range, and this camera fit the bill.
Upon unpacking it, I was struck by just how small the camera is. It's compact, but solid, and has a quality feel to it. No manual or CD was included, with only the most brief instructions given on a single sheet of paper. A power adapter was not included either, but since this is a Power over Ethernet capable device, this was more a "nice to have" rather than a necessity. It did include a mounting kit with 3 screws and wall anchors.
This was the easiest part. A paper template with the marked screw holes is included. Press it against the wall, drill through the hole markers, insert the wall anchors, and mount the camera. Done.
Powering it up:
Since my camera is not near my router, I used a Zyxel Powerline adapter with a BV Tech 30W High Power PoE injector. The Powerline adapter has a pass-through electric outlet, so between the two of these, only one electric socket is used. I then used an ultra-slim ethernet cable through a window, which was slim enough to allow the window to close around it.
This is where things got complicated. The brief instructions made mention to a ConfigTools.exe program which is used to locate and configure the camera. This program isn't included, and no amount of Google searching could locate it. Without this tool to tell me the IP address of the camera, I went to my router, and listed the clients. The MAC address is printed on the bottom of the camera, which made it easier to locate. I saw a corresponding IP address in my router of 192.168.1.176. It would be nice if the instructions noted that it's using this static IP address. No sooner did I note the address, when it apparently went offline - I couldn't ping it, and no longer saw it in my router client list. This continued for about an hour as I unplugged and re-plugged it in, trying to access it via IE. To make a long story short, this issue may have been due to my Powerline adapter setup - after some repositioning in different outlets, I was finally able to access the menu on 192.168.1.176, on the default port of 80. Once I was able to access the config menu, I changed the networking setup from a static IP to DHCP, and had my router reserve a fixed IP address for the camera.
I'd purchased a copy of Blue Iris (highly recommended), as I'd rather let the software and my computer do the grunt work of motion detection and notification. The setup was as easy as could be - use camera type `Dahua H.264 RTSP'.
The first thing that impressed me was how wide the field of view is. It's incredibly wide. While my previous camera was mounted on my patio and provided a view of just the yard, this provides a view of the patio walls, ground and even more of the yard. There's a very slight fisheye effect, as you can see a slight curve in the image, but in no way does it affect the clarity. The camera performs very well in both day and night. The IR illumination has no problem illuminating 60+ feet across my yard, and with streetlights, even cars and houses a few hundred feet away are clearly visible. I set the frame rate on the camera to 15 FPS, and it has no problems maintaining this rate.
Overall excellent camera for the price
Compact, solid housing
Wide field of view
Great day/night clarity
High resolution is a vast improvement over the many 640 x 480 cameras on the market
No CD or user manual included
Difficult setup, even for those with technical experience
Instructions refer to a configuration utility that isn't included or available
It's been up and running for almost 2 days now without skipping a beat. I'll provide further updates on it later on.
***** 5/1/2013 Update *****
The camera has been up and running for about 3 weeks now. I use it in conjunction with Blue Iris, and it's working perfectly. I've set it to record at 15 FPS, and it consistently maintains this frame rate. I have not had to reset the camera once since my initial install. So far it's proving to be a highly reliable product.
Tracked by 4 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 29, 2013 4:41:08 PM PDT
Z. M says:
Very good review, could you by any chance help me find out if I can use chrome or Firefox to set up the camera since I am using Mac computer? Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2013 9:39:37 AM PDT
I'm using a Windows 8 PC, but I've just confirmed that I can access the camera's web interface via Firefox.
In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2013 8:53:17 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 3, 2013 4:58:25 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2014 6:52:29 AM PST
Donald L. Schultz says:
Yes, I was able to configure this on a Mac. I plugged DIRECTLY into the Ethernet Port on my macbook pro, turned off WIFI on the mac, opened the system preferences NETWORK panel and configured the Ethernet IPv4 Manually to match the numbers in the modest instructions included with the camera. IP Address:192.168.1, Subnet 255.255.255.0. Camera then appeared in Safari at 192.168.1.108. Password and user name are both admin. Changed the IP in the camera settings to an IP that match those distributed by my router (10.0.1.99) and saved the setting. It looks like it freezes when you do this but the IP did take. Disconnect the camera from the computer and plugged into the router (or switch), turned on WIFI on macbook and the camera now appeared at the new IP and is easily configurable with in safari.
Posted on Feb 2, 2014 3:35:32 AM PST
I'm about to purchase a couple of these based on your review. One question though...do I need both the POE injector AND the POE switch to run and power these? Thanks for the very detailed review...a great help!
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2014 7:40:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2014 7:41:52 PM PST
K. Konig says:
I don't have any experience with this particular camera, but I do have a few years experience with setting up PoE capable cameras. No, you only need a PoE injector OR a switch capable of providing PoE. (in lieu of a seperate AC-DC adapter)
Posted on Feb 25, 2014 3:30:03 PM PST
Thank you for your detailed post, especially the wide angle comment. I'm looking to replace the Q-see cameras that came with the NVR system (QC804) because those cameras only have approx 25% angle. Do you know if this camera is ONVIF compliant and plug-and-play to the QC804?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2014 1:06:56 PM PST
It should be. I have two Qsee 6mm ones plugged into a Dahua DVR along with two other Dahua 3.6mm cams and they work fine.
Posted on Apr 21, 2014 1:15:54 PM PDT
Doug Bostrom says:
As with Mick, no power adapter was included, in contrast to the product description: "12v Power adapter included. "
In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2014 2:10:11 PM PDT
J. Harrison says:
I am going to also reiterate this. I believed that there would be a 12v power adapter in the box, but there is not. I wonder if they are trying to advertise that there is a 12v power pigtail included which will allow you to use a 12v wall wart?