Customer Review

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good performance for price, January 29, 2012
This review is from: LOFTEK® Sentinel Wireless Pan/tilt 3x Optical Zoom Waterproof Outdoor & indoor Dome Wifi/Wirelss/Network/IP Camera. 4mm-9mm Lens, Viewing Angle: 30°-69°, Pan/Tilt Angle: 355°/90°. White (Electronics)
Overall, fully acceptable performance. I purchased three Foscam cameras for inside the house and decided to try the Loftek Sentinel for outside. It is the only one that offers pan, tilt and zoom in an exterior camera at anywhere near this price. I am impressed by the clarity and colors. Low light vision is acceptable for in-city use. My outside lights are sufficient to see colors on the porch, and I can see the street and other houses but not as clear. There are no infra-red lights so do not expect much performance if you yourself can not see in the darkness. Daytime, the colors are correct and not washed out. Response time is acceptable, although it occasionally will do a full pan rather than a step movement. The field of view is more narrow than I expected.

I have not had it long enough to see how high wind and rain will affect it. The bracket has four U slots, but it is difficult to get the screws in as the camera bulb and antenna plug are in the way. I ended up using a 90 degree offset screwdriver.
The AC adapter sucks. It is a rather large, palm-sized brick that plugs in sideways - goes to the side of the plug receptacle rather than hanging down. This would not be too much of an issue inside, but for outside receptacles, it does not fit well and will not fit any of the exterior receptacle boxes that I found. The power cord is only four or five feet long; for an exterior camera a 20 foot option would be a nice accessory. (Philmore 48-1024 12' power line extension cord runs about $6; plug size is 2.1x5.5mm)

The cables are an octopus of wiring! Ethernet, audio in, audio out, alarm and power! Over a foot long, and how are you suppose to waterproof this mess? I bought a 4x4 plastic junction box from Home Depot, drilled a hole for the electric extension cord (I cut the female end off of 110 AC extension cord, inserted into box then attached a new female plug) and a slot for the octopus and managed to fit the mess inside - the wiring would have been easy, but the AC adapter and extension cord plug will barely fit.

I am running Blue Iris (which is great software) so did not bother to load the included software. If you have installed a Foscam, you will find this pretty similar and easy to install. If you have never installed an IP camera, most of your time and trouble will be spent dealing with your router, not the camera. I am now a semi-expert on routers! The camera's mobile phone setting works surprisingly well.

One thing I have learned is that after three or four wireless IP cameras, the b/g network performance will degrade significantly. I am now running most interior cameras in lower format (320x240) and slower FPS. If you can run wired cameras, by all means do so. For an older, two-story home, wireless is pretty much the only option.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 5, 2012 1:13:01 PM PST
AZ Doug says:
In situations where wireless operation presents problems, consider powerline ethernet adapters. Even the old and slower models are likely good enough for QVGA at a lower frame rate. I use a them when we stream Netflix to my HTPC and it gives consistently good HD video over my cable ISP which is 3Mbps. When I used wireless with the same PC, we would often be interrupted by the application trying to adjust to a slower connection rate. That hasn't happened with even the older varities of adapters I have. You will have to save room where your power adapter is stored for another item that requires 110V power, and will have to add an ethernet cable from the adapter to the camera, but you may find it well worth the effort.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 6:07:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2012 6:09:24 AM PDT
Another option is to install a second or third wireless access point. I have three access points operating on different frequency bands. My primary access point is for my laptops, cell phones, tablets, and streaming Netflix to a TV with a WiFi connection. The other two access points are dedicated to my security cameras, 2 cameras on each AP.
Moving the cameras off the primary AP really improved my network performance.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 7:14:03 PM PDT
ToM says:
Hello, Great info and posts. One question about the vertical travel of camera. Listed as 90 deg. The sales pictures shows 90 deg from vertical to horizontal. I think this is a 'flub'. Isn't the travel in each direction from (downward facing) vertical only 45 deg in each direction? So, the camera has to be mounted high or tilted to observe, say, a sunset? -- I recently purchased a 'PTZ Wireless IP WaterProof Outdoor IP Camera 3X Optical Zoom IR' and found this to be the case; POJ lasted 2 months. Appreciate any reply. TM

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 8:43:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 5, 2012 10:22:27 PM PDT
AZ Doug says:
While I don't have one of these cameras yet (I'm waiting for the H.264 model), I would bet a lot of money that the vertical travel is from pointing straight down to parallel with the rim of the dome. Travel either direction from vertical is not necessary to cover the maximum area, because, all you have to do is rotate the camera to view what you can't see if you can't rotate both directions from vertical. Since the camera can't rotate 360 degrees, there is a small amount of area that you can't view.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 5:23:27 AM PDT
YuF says:
ToM, I uploaded two pictures to show vertical travel. The camera itself probably pivits 90 deg, from parallel horizontal, to straight down. The lens itself has a field of view, so the actual edge to edge view is more than 90.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2013 10:23:33 PM PDT
Pat says:
Thinking about purchasing this camera, how exactly does it connect to a power supply? Do I need an adapter. I have a regular outside wall socket i was hoping to plug into, also how hard was the setup to connect it to your computer/ ipad
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