"Fantastic Camera Just Shy of Incredible"4.5 starson by Anthony-Lampert
Pros: + Excellent video quality
+ Sleek looking, easy to configure, solid mounting options
+ Decent Price
+ Good iOS app
+ No need for special software or a PC running to capture all the data
Cons: - Camera pops out of its stand too easily
- No HTML5 for modern browsers
- No app for Windows Phone
Summary: Trying to find the right camera for watching my sleeping baby or insure my home office is secure is no easy task. You are left most of the time either with either excellent video quality and an impossible to set-up network configuration or just the opposite. Try to add iPhone (or other smartphone device) for monitoring and you've just made your hunt nearly maddening. Thankfully, Dropcam made a remote camera I was looking for...and possibly you.Edit:
The first things that impressed me about this Dropcam was it's price, video quality, and iPhone app. Based on the reviews and TWiT networks stamp of approval, I purchased one to give it a try. I wasn't disappointed upon delivery. The packaging is nicely organized and looks sharp. It was easy to removed the camera and USB cable. I quickly plugged it into my Mac and opened the USB drive image and was immediately configuring the camera in three easy steps. In less than a minute, my camera was configured and ready to stream to the Internet.
I moved the camera to the baby's room and positioned it pointing down in a very low angle. The base held its ground and the camera didn't fall over. Nice. I then took out my iPhone, opened the earlier installed Dropcam app, and quickly logged into my camera. In seconds, I had it perfectly positioned and left the room. The test came when my wife put the baby down to sleep.
We opened the app and took a peek at what was happening. The video clearly showed our 10-month-old not happy with his nap time and the audio prefectly transmitted his cries. Both video and audio were sharp and accurate. He finally gave up his protest and fell asleep. We watched for a few minutes and then closed the app. Both my wife and I kept checking on him from within our home network and later my wife while at the store without ever having to make an adjustment to the Dropcam app.
A little over and hour later, we both received an alert message on our iPhones that movement was detected. I opened my iPhone and there was my little boy sitting up, in a fresh awaken daze. My wife went to get him out of his pen before he began crying to notify us that his nap was done like he previously would. Now, we know before he knows we know. :)
So why did I entitled this being shy of incredible? Well, there are a few quirks that need to be resolved. First, the zoom on the iPhone is very kludgy. You must go into the Settings and then select a section (bottom left, center, top right, etc) to zoom into. There is no way to zoom while viewing the video like you can from the website. Second, when you use the built-in speaker to talk through the camera, you lose audio. There is no two-way communication.
Third, and it's less than a quirk and more a complaint, is that the DVR feature is pricey. You have three option: Live streaming only for free; seven-days of video per month for $9.95, or 30-days for $29.95. That's over $300 a year per camera if you desire to use this for security reasons. Ouch. One other cavet is bandwidth consumption. Most ISPs now cap your total usage and this camera will quickly get you closer to that cap. Add a couple or handful to the mix and you'll be looking for another provider.
That said, I love this camera and will be purchasing another one if not a few more. It comes with a mount so I can easily snap the camera onto the ceiling or move it elsewhere at will. Because it uses Micro-USB for power, you can pretty much power this anywhere with a simple adapter including from your car! (Road trips can become interesting if you're hotspot has a great plan.)
Sleek looking, easy to configure, solid mounting options, and dream-like access from any internet enabled device, Dropcam is now pretty much my only remote camera.
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Hope it helpful.
Updated on Dec 28, 2013
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