74
8.0
final rating

reviewed on
purchased on
this review has been viewed 1670 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Video quality Soft due to compression good
  • Sound quality No comments good
  • Design and form factor No comments good
Detailed review
A web based Security/Monitoring camera. Can be used for free (after purchase price) for streaming only. For Recording/Review capability a monthly dvr plan is required. Currently $9.95 a month for 7 days of recording or $29.95 a month for 30 days of recording. There are discounts for paying by the year. Also, additional units can be added in for a discounted rate as well.

Setup up is very easy, simply connect to your computer to configure for your wifi network and activate it. Once activated, it can now be unplugged from the computer and moved anywhere within range of your wifi. Power is supplied using a USB style power adapter, which is provided.

Video quality is very good considering the heavy amount of compression used with the h.264 codec. Amazing, considering they've managed to keep the data rate down to about the same rate as the previous SD dropcam. Picture quality can vary by the amount of light, but the camera does have 12 high-power infrared LEDs for night viewing. It has a wide 107 degree field of view. If placed in the corner of a typical room, it will be able see the entire room.

The Audio quality is also very good, picking up audio in and even outside the room it is installed. It does have talk-back capability, although the speaker is really small (the camera itself is only about 3 inches in size).

The camera can be viewed/re-viewed by going to the dropcam web portal. Controls are provided for reviewing recorded video and for configuring the camera. The dropcam can be turned on/off using the online controls. Motion Event and/or Sound Event Alerts can be configured to be sent via email or to an iPhone/iPod touch or iPad. The dropcam can also be shared privately with other individuals, and can also be configured as a public share where anyone can eavesdrop on the cameras view.

The dropcam can get VERY hot when the infrared LEDs are on, otherwise it is warm during normal operation.

A few items I wish it could do-

To be able to turn the dropcam into Night Vision mode without turning on the internal infrared LEDs. Useful for when you already have infrared illumination.

To be able to 'lock' white balance. The dropcam attempts to track the white balance. The curtains that I have filter the light in a way that cause the dropcam skew pink during the day. Turning on lights in the room or opening the curtains results in proper white balance.

A timer functionality that will automatically turn it on/off at set times during the day. Useful for those who have bandwidth caps and also for when they just don't need the camera on all the time.

It would be nice to have a native iPad app. The iPhone app does not get the full benifit of the 720p HD aspect of the camera.

To be able to stream directly on the local network. You get a double whammy uploading and downloading the stream to dropcams servers. If all you want to do is view what's going on at the front door, it seems a waste of bandwidth.

Comments (1) subscribe to this review's comments

nhowell

My dropcam gets so hot that I burned my arm on it. I agree there should be a way to turn it on/off based on if you are logged in to view it. We also would rather have this over the LAN, not internet.