Like so many techy products IP cameras of all types are falling rapidly in price. The £100 camera of a year ago can now be found for less than £50. At the same time design and build quality are rising too.
This new IP camera from FDT arrived well packaged in a medium sized mid market looking box. Inside the box was the somewhat camera itself, a wall/ceiling bracket, a UK power plug and cord, wall plug and screw fixing kit, together with an Ethernet cable and a well written and easy to read User Guide. I attach a copy of the User Guide to my unboxing video. The build quality seems first rate throughout and although the camera is rather large it is well made and looks impressive if rather old school.
On the front of the camera is the lens and the infrared LED, the motion detector PIR and microphone. On the rear of the unit are the wifi antenna , the micro-SD card slot, audio out port, power in port and standard speed Ethernet RJ45 connector and reset button. Unlike with many of the Foscam clones that this resembles there is no interface for an external alarm system.
Configuring the camera is very easy. Download the iOs or Android FDT View app to your phone and ensure the phone is connected to your home network. Open the app and then plug in the camera,and connect it to your router using the supplied Ethernet cable.. Press ‘Add Camera’ and then ‘Setup new Camera’ inside the app and follow the app instructions to scan for the camera on the network. When the camera is found you can then rename it using the app and then input the login and password for the camera which will be ‘admin’ and ‘admin’. You can then configure the camera how you wish including inputting the login and password needed to access your wifi network after which you can reboot the camera and remove the Ethernet cable to connect wirelessly to the network. Alternatively, and this is the method I use, connect the Ethernet cable as before but using your computer’s web browser discover the LAN IP number of the camera from your router and then connect directly to the camera IP address which will give you access to the web control panel of the camera where a great many more options are available including setting up a wifi connection. I was pleased to see that the video stream worked fine when using the Chrome browser and unlike with many other cameras it did not require the use of Internet Explorer to function. I include a screengrab in my video
Like most similar devices it has motion detection for security use and it records still or video to the cloud or to the built in microSD card. The motion detection works well and can be set to operate continuously or to a schedule. When triggered it can send email, in-app alerts as well as upload to an FTP server and save video and stills to the internal SD card.. The video quality is good but and is one of the best I have seen for a camera in this price bracket.
As a long term Foscam user I see many similarities to the Foscam hardware here although this camera has improved upon the old design dramatically. The app control of the device is very well realised and makes the camera easy to use and for those not familiar with them networking, port forwarding and the other problems that beset old time IP cameras are things of the past. It has an IR cut feature which means the filter which is used for night time infra red use is removed during daylight to preserve colour fidelity, a feature some cheap Foscam clones lack. There is digital zoom as well as physical pan and tilt control which can be made from the phone or web control panel. It has two way audio which means it can work as an effective baby monitor as well as a security camera..
It lacks the P2P setup found in many cameras now but I prefer the Ethernet based setup as it is more reliable and less prone to fail but it does mean you need physical access to the router. However, unlike with many rivals no subscription or third party server access is needed to use the camera. At 720P the video is not as high resolution as with FHD cameras but the quality is good and perfectly suitable for security camera use. The camera can be configured with a phone app but this is not a requirement and the camera can be set up and viewed using a computer or many third party apps.
If you want a good quality rather old school security or baby monitor at a reasonable price then this would be a decent buy
Two way audio
Good image quality
Easy to configure
Pan and tilt control in app
No Subscription needed
iOs and Android apps
Audio alert detection
IR Cut filter
Excellent User Guide
Micro SD card
Bulky when fitted to wall/ceiling mount
No 5Ghz network support
No SD card included