Top positive review
Enterprise grade camera with a consumer grade price
December 11, 2018
One can expect a long list of features that a typical good IP camera has from this camera – video in various resolutions, mirror/flip transformation, two-way audio, pan/tilt, alarms including motion/audio/tamper detections, SD card, all sorts of network and system configurations… I doubt one can find a common IP camera feature that this camera is missing. I would like to focus on what makes this camera an enterprise grade, standing out from common inexpensive consumer grade IP cameras.
This is not my first IP camera. I have already had a system consisting of half a dozen network cameras in and outside my home, half cheap consumer grade IP cameras, half lower end enterprise grade IP cameras from leading brands such Axis, Samsung. As usual, my first concern for this camera is its ONVIF conformance (i.e. future proof and compatibility with my existing system). I have found a camera’s ONVIF conformance is usually a very good indicator of product quality. I would say this camera’s ONVIF conformance is exceptionally good. It takes seconds to discover and set up the camera. It supports RTSP over HTTP, so only one port is needed for everything – video streaming, snapshot, ONVIF services (e.g. camera configurations, pan/tilt…) and web GUI. Most cheap consumer grade cameras use up to three different ports, making WAN access (e.g. access outside home LAN) configuration unnecessarily complex. Its full feature support of PTZ presets surprised me – supporting adding, deleting and editing presets. The pan/tilt operation is very responsive. The camera supports SD card. To my surprise again, it supports ONVIF Profile G for edge storage that is usually found only in enterprise grade IP cameras.
The video streaming supports three encoding methods: H.264, H.265 and JPEG. Cheap consumer grade IP cameras usually do not support JPEG that can be handy under some circumstances. The encoding can be selected easily with an ONVIF conformant client app. H.265 should be preferred, but some older Android devices or PCs may not support H.265, so you can select H.264 or JPEG. The most impressive part is H.265 at 4 MP. It is fairly common for an IP camera video to have some delay or jerkiness at high resolution when there is a lot of movement (e.g. during PTZ operations), hence increasing the data rate significantly by the nature of H.264/H.265, but the video has little latency and remains smooth under all circumstances.
This is my first camera using a USB cable for powering. Out of curiosity, I plugged it into my laptop computer and it works! A little happy surprise. The camera can be mounted on a tripod (my video was taken when the camera was on a tripod). It can be handy if you bring it with you on the road. Its well-designed bracket with a swivel makes it adaptable to all kinds of locations.
I originally thought about comparing it with some enterprise cameras costing over $1K to find its shortcomings compared with cameras 10x more expensive to make this review look more balanced, but not sure what good it would do. If cost is not a factor for you, just go for the few major brands. I have used this camera for only a few weeks. I will come back to report if I find any issues with this camera.
The short video clip shows how to get the camera set up and running in less than a minute, and few basic operations of this camera (video streaming, pan/tilt, examining and replaying videos stored on an SD card…). I have also recorded a 4 MP H.265 video from this camera with the app (Onvifer) to show the excellent video quality of this camera, but Amazon allows only one video for a review. I will try to provide a way to download it later. One of the pictures is a 4 MP snapshot from the camera.