Included in the rather attractive mid market box along with the camera itself was a wall fixing kit, UK power adaptor, wifi antenna, Wifi antenna, Ethernet cable, waterproof Ethernet cable junction set, Warning Sticker, software CD and an Install Guide. The User Guide, well printed and easy to read is one of the best I have yet found with any IP cam but not that that is saying much as they are usually pretty abysmal. I enclose a scan of the guide on the end of my unboxing video. Set to full screen and pause as required to read it. The full User Guide can be downloaded from the FOSCAM website.
The build quality of this mega sized camera is fantastic and is feels like it could withstand an earthquake. On the front of the camera is the lens and large LED lamp array. On top is an access panel held by two screws which contains the SD card slot and reset button. It will take SD cards to a maximum of 128GB. Remember to reboot the camera after installing a card. This is hard to reach and I for one would not fancy having to shin 30ft up a ladder, unscrew two small screws and then delve inside the camera innards just to take the card out or reset the device. On the back is the antenna for the detachable wifi antenna. There is a pigtail cable set for Ethernet, audio in/out power and alarm system interface. It is a pity the Reset button could not be on a pigtail cable as it is with some other cameras. The pigtail is the longest I have seen and long enough to be able to poke through the thickest wall if needed.
Setting the camera up was easy enough using the suggested FOSCAM iOS or Android phone app. Download and run the app, power up the camera and connect it by Ethernet cable to your router. Using the app you can then scan the QR code on the camera base and identify the camera on the network. Using the app you can then input your home network wifi password as well as configuring the camera’s motion detection and other settings. Personally, I found it far easier just to connect the camera by Ethernet cable to my router and use my web browser to access the camera’s built in web control panel. Use the default User password of admin/ (blank) to get access. This way you can fully configure the camera’s many more obscure controls including Motion detection, scheduling, etc not all of which can be accessed through the app. Remember to turn UPnP on your router to ensure the camera can be accessed from the internet.
When an alert is triggered the camera will send out an email or in-app alert messages with snapshots/video as well as upload still images to an ftp server. Unlike with many new cameras there is no requirement to logon to a third party server or give out your email address when setting up using the web browser option. FOSCAM are keen for you to sign up to their cloud storage network and this would be a good idea for those with a serious commitment to security, which is probably most of those using this level of camera. To use the app you have to sign up to a free FOSCAM account.However, the camera will work perfectly well independently of the FOSCAM cloud and app.
Video quality is first rate and one of the best I have seen from an IP camera of this price for both daytime and in particular nighttime use. The illumination from the built infra red LED’s a powerful and evenly spread There is an i/r cut filter to prevent colour distortion for during daylight use. The new SONY chip coupled with the powerful on board LED night vision array means it can record images up to 60M away at night. Unlike most rival cameras this one offers both a manual focus option and a genuine 4x optical zoom feature. It offers two simultaneous video streams one best suited to use within the internal network at up FHD 1080P and the other 640k stream aimed at remote access over a weak connection. Set to maximum quality the image quality is perhaps the best I have ever seen from an IP Cam especially at night. The camera supports both audio in and out and even two way audio but sadly external devices are needed for this
The camera has motion detection built in and this can configured in various ways by time or by optical zoning. It has a five second pre record option which means that should an alert be triggered the camera will save and upload video or images starting five seconds before the alert. There is almost no latency anyway I found when using the camera within my network but the pre roll feature will take care of it if it arises later. The camera can also be interfaced with an existing security system using the alarm in/out pigtail cord. The camera motion detection can trigger the alarm system and the alarm system sensors can alert the camera to record. . It can save alert files to the SD card or to any location on your home network as well as sending them by email and FTP. It will alert you with rel time push messages to your phone through the FOSCAM app.
This is the best specified IP camera I have ever used and and offers the very highest video quality. It is also the most expensive. It has almost every option you could ever need available and there is too much on offer for me to cover it all in detail but the important features are listed below. For most User it may be rather more than they need. Also, the camera is very large and intimidating. – about the size of a coconut – and may not be suited to many domestic locations. If you want or need the best then this may be the IP camera for you.
Two stream options (1080p and 640K)
Easy to configure
iOS and Android apps
Excellent Build quality
Superb image quality
Well written User Guide
FTP , email and in-app push alerts
i/r Cut filter
No third party server or subscription needed
4x Optical zoom
Very low latency
128GB SD card support
Well written app
Real time in-app push alerts
Wide Digital Range images
2 way audio support
i/o alarm system interface
Manual and auto focus options
No SD card provided
No POE option
No 5Ghz network support
Short power supply cable
Cloud storage charges (optional)
No built in Microphone
No built in speaker
SD card and reset button hard to access