At one time security cameras were expensive, ugly clunky things with bug-ridden web-based interfaces, were unreliable, hard to operate and the province of geeks and the techy minded user only. Not so now as this new camera from Apeman is typical of the new generation of stylish, easy to use and simple to configure reliable home security cameras.
The camera arrived in an attractive and well designed branded product box. Inside was the camera itself, a wall/ceiling bracket, UK plug power supply, wall mounting kit, USB to micro-USB cable, and a simple, easy to read but rather basic User Guide. The build quality seems good throughout and although the camera is quite large it is well made and looks impressive if slightly old school.
On the front of the camera is the camera lens and the row of night vision LED’s, the motion detector PIR and microphone, together with LED status indicator. Easily overlooked is the SD card slot which is on the front of the camera but visible only when the lens is tilted upwards. On the rear of the unit are the power input port, Ethernet RJ45 connector and single antenna. On the underside of the base, there is the interface for the supplied mounting bracket and a metal tripod. Unlike with many of the Foscam clones that this resembles there is no interface for an external alarm system and the rear antenna is fixed in place cannot be removed when using Ethernet. Also, no Ethernet cable is included perhaps for reasons I shall discuss later. The camera is powered by a USB adaptor and so can work with any standard phone charger if the one supplied is unavailable. Unlike with some rivals, here a standard micro-USB socket is used and so the device can be used with any cable.
To use the camera it is necessary to install the IPC360 app to your Android or iPhone and register it before use. Once registered just click the + button to add a camera with walkthrough instructions for both Ethernet and Wifi (2.4Ghz only) connection with voice prompts to simplify the process still more. You can use the app to add the paid for cloud storage system to store stills and video or use a micro-SD card (not supplied) to store the footage on the camera. The app will also receive push alerts from the camera when abnormal activity is detected. Like most similar devices it has motion detection for security use and this detection works well and is easy to configure. The user can customise the motion sensor sensitivity as well as configure scheduling so the sensor will be active during set periods only.
The camera has an IR cut feature which means the filter which is used for night time infrared use is removed during daylight to preserve colour fidelity, a feature some cheap Foscam clones lack. It has two-way audio which means it can work as an effective baby monitor as well as a security camera. It is a pity however than an external speaker and microphone cannot be connected and neither can third party alarm systems.
Video quality I found to be excellent, sharp, clear and with good colour fidelity. As my video shows there was little latency between the phone and camera Pan and Tilt movements. This is better than I have found using some cameras costing several times the price.
I found few issues with this camera. The lack of free off-site video storage – you can only save to the open app or to the SD card – the need to register an account before fully using the app, no motion detection zones. However, all the features most people will need are here plus a few more besides.
If you want a good quality and easy to use security camera or baby monitor at a very reasonable price then this would be an excellent buy.
App needs to be registered