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 £69 camera will have to have some above average features to justify the price.
This new IP camera from SkyGenius arrived well packaged in a medium sized down market looking box. Inside x was the 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 lengthy, well written and easy to read User Guide. I attach a copy of the User Guide essential pages to my unboxing video. The build quality seems first rate throughout and although the camera is quite large it is well made and looks impressive if rather old school.
On the front of the camera is the camera lens and the single large infrared LED, the motion detector PIR and microphone, together with indicators for Ethernet or Wifi connection status On the rear of the unit are the micro-SD card slot, Reset and Function (WPS) buttons, micro-USB power in port and standard speed Ethernet RJ45 connector and reset button. On the side is the built in speaker. Unlike with many of the Foscam clones that this resembles there is no interface for an external alarm system and no external antenna connection.
Configuring the camera is very easy. Download the iOs or Android MIPC app to your phone and ensure the phone is connected to your home network. Open the app and register a new account. Then plug in the camera,and connect it to your router using the supplied Ethernet cable.. On the app go to ‘Device List’ and then hit the ‘+’ symbol and follow the instructions to scan the code on the underside of the camera. and follow the app instructions to scan for the camera on the network. 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 settings page and then connect directly to the camera IP address. This 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. When first logging in you will be asked to rename the User and Password and then to input the wifi password if required. You can also use the WPS button but this is not covered in the User Guide. Looking at the Skygenius web page I could find no mention of this camera model and no links to download the Setup Guide mentioned in the User Guide.
Like most similar devices it has motion detection for security use and it records still or video to the app or to the built in microSD card. The motion detection works well and can be set to operate continuously or to a schedule. . 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 better 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. It has two way audio which means it can work as an effective baby monitor as well as a security camera.. In fact due to the lack of Email alerts or off site alert based video storage this is in fact a better Baby Monitor than it is a security camera.
The problems I encountered with this device are the rather confusing setup instructions, the lack of automatic off site video storage – you can only save to the open app or to the SD card, the need to register an account before getting full benefit from the app (although this is not needed when using web browser setup and SD card storage), no Motion detection zones.
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
Good build quality
Pan and tilt control in app
iOs and Android apps
IR Cut filter
Easy to read User Guide
Micro SD card
Bulky when fitted to wall/ceiling mount
No 5Ghz network support
No SD card included
No FTP uploading’
No Email alerts
App needs to be registered