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Customer Review

102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A basic pan/tilt IP Cam at an entry level price, November 11, 2010
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This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) (Electronics)
This is a decent IP camera with enough features for most first time users. I was able to configure and use the camera without having to load any of the included software without any trouble, but an average person might have trouble getting every feature working. If you don't know what DNS or FTP means, you are one of these people.

If you are planning on just sitting this on a window sill and pointing it outside as a 24/7 security camera, think again. It works fine in the daytime, but interior reflections on the window glass make it less useful at night. The IR LEDs reflect back off the window and effectively blind the camera.

Image quality is typical of a low-cost CMOS sensor. Color accuracy and saturation is poor, but adequate for most uses.

It also has several shutter speed settings....a 60hz speed for night/low light, a 50hz speed for medium lighting, and a slow shutter speed for outdoor use. While the camera is able to automatically adjust sensor sensitivity a bit to compensate for changes in lighting, it doesn't have an automatic shutter speed setting. This means that if you have the shutter speed set on the "Outdoor" setting, it works great on a sunny day, but at night is far too dark to be useful. You'd have to manually switch shutter speeds every day if you were using it as an unattended security camera. Leaving it on 60hz setting and trying to view an outside scene just results in a white video image...the sunlight totally overwhelms the sensor unless you use the "outdoor" setting.

The motion detection feature is excellent. You can have the camera automatically email you a sequence of still photos everytime it detects motion. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this worked. You can specify up to 5 individual recipients.

It is also capable of uploading the same still images to an FTP server if you wish to archive them for review later. A date/time stamp on the image would have been a nice addition but isn't a feature.

I did not try the audio features, thus cannot say if they are improved over the old camera. If you are looking to integrate this camera into your DIY home security system, you should purchase the previous model (FI8908W) as this new one doesn't have the RS485 port anymore.

Bottom line, whether you want to use this camera to monitor an interior room, or an outside scene, it's a good entry level camera. Just don't expect it to be able to do both without manually making some adjustments for one or the other.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 9, 2010 2:59:37 AM PST
C. Malone says:
Excellent review. I bought the black version, which curiously has a separate comment thread. Wish they used a slightly better sensor.
I felt compelled to offer a 'duct tape' solution to "The IR LEDs reflect back off the window and effectively blind the camera."
-->try a variant of a tube carefully fitted to the camera and window, with a diameter smaller than the ring of LEDs but larger than the sensor/aperture.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2010 2:37:51 PM PST
Joan says:
Iwish you would spell out technical terms like FTP for unsophiticated people like me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2011 11:06:50 AM PST
C. Malone says:
Good Luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2011 12:13:00 PM PST
Joan says:
Since you put this in a window, Are you saying, with duct tape, I can use this for outdoor viewing of my front yard?
Thanks for a reply.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2011 12:35:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 1, 2011 1:40:50 PM PST
C. Malone says:
Joan, please read all comments/discussion. If you don't understand something, please be specific in your questioning. This Foscam (FI8918W) is not weather proofed. The 'duct tape' comment was directed at the reflected IR saturation issue discussed above--and as written, it is an untested suggestion.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2011 1:39:06 PM PST
Joan says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 27, 2011 6:17:58 PM PST
There is a date/time stamp function.
Look under "for visitor" OSD, pick your colour and check off the box "add timestamp on record"
The audio features work "OK"

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2011 11:26:00 AM PST
A. Bogdan says:
FTP is File Transfer Protocol. It is a way to upload data (in this case, photos the webcam takes) to a remote server, so that you can check out if someone was walking around in your yard etc...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2011 12:12:02 PM PST
BooYaa says:
The "remote" is the real advantage of FTP. If you rent some web space (for as little as a couple of dollars a month) your images can be transferred off site. So even if an intruder broke in and stole your PC, the crime photos would still be recorded. Emailing them has the same advantage as they would be stored off site on a mail server. The advantage of emailing them is it's free, the disadvantage is the number of emails you can receive. Setting up a Gmail (or similar) account to receive these emails is one way to keep them separate. The time stamp issue is solved with email as the emails themselves are timestamped.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2011 8:33:02 AM PDT
But people should know this works against the dumb thief only - which may be most of the time. This would be useless against the guy who knows where to cut the coaxial and phone lines where they enter the building after they case the place. Using a cell service would be good for this.

Some sort of recording device (external hard drive, networked storage, DVR) should be on location hidden somewhere.

Always use multiple layers of protection. Having only one may be as useless as none.
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