This new IP camera from Aoleca arrived well packaged in a medium sized mid market looking box. Inside was the camera itself, a wall/ceiling bracket, USB power cable with UK adaptor, together with simple but easy to read User Guide. 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 (64GB max), Reset button, 5v micro-USB power in port and standard speed Ethernet RJ45 connector. 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. The lack of antenna makes the unit look smaller and more discreet.
One selling point of the camera is the 5v micro USB power source which not only removes the need for a bulky mains adaptor but means it can be powered from any USB port and even, I would suppose from a Power bank, which would in effect give it a battery power option.
Configuring the camera is very easy – at least when you have used similar P2P audio setups before. Download the MIPC iOs or Android app to your phone and connect the camera to your router with the Ethernet cable provided. Using the app add the camera to it by scanning the code on the base of the camera. The app will then find the camera on your network and through the app you can then configure your home network’s wifi setting to the camera. You can then disconnect the camera and it will automatically connect to the wifi network. This can also be done without need of an Ethernet connection by making a P2P link to the camera but this is a more complicated process and best avoided if possible. A thirs way is to connect the camera to the network by Ethernet and using your computer web browser go the the address of the camera and log in with the password ‘admin’. 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.
The app is very easy to use and the on board help file is clear and easy to use. The included User Guide (included on my video) is large sized, well printed and easy to follow.
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 and is one of the best I have seen for a camera in this price bracket. Also good is the excellent 30fps full HD image quality and I enclose a sample image in my video.
I see many similarities to the traditional Foscam hardware here although this camera has improved upon the chunky old design dramatically. The app control of the device although is better realised and makes the camera easy to use and for those not familiar with networking, port forwarding and the other problems that beset old time IP cameras. I used the Android app and in fact I found it one of the easiest to use and most configurable of any IP cam apps I have tried.
The camera 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 video storage this is in fact a better Baby Monitor than it is a security camera.
I found few issues with this camera. 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 and considerable latency at times in use. The latency is sporadic and seems to only effect the sending video to the app rather than instructions to the camera. My video, made with the camera attached by Ethernet to a wifi repeater on my home network and my phone attached by wifi, show an almost instant response from the camera to commands sent from the app but sometimes a delay of nearly twenty seconds before the video on the app was updated. This should not reduce the efficiency of the security features of the camera.
If you want a good quality rather old school security or baby monitor at a reasonable price then this would be a decent buy
USB port powered
iOs and Android apps
Two way audio
Good image quality
Good build quality
Pan and tilt control in app
IR Cut filter
Easy to read User Guide
Micro SD card
Image refresh delay
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