Today we're going to talk about a PoE cameramade by Amcrest.
It's their new UltraHD 4K, outdoor, Bullet, IP, PoE, weatherproof, black camera.
Something like that.
Their words, not mine.
And before we begin I have two disclaimers.
One, Amcrest provided this camera for testing, but of course, you will get my unfiltered opinion.
regardless, And two, this camera's featuresvary based on the storage solution you choose which also affects the app you use.
I tested it using the Amcrest Cloud app whichstores videos to the cloud.
I wanted to call that out as this reviewwill focus on cloud storage.
If you use the Amcrest View app, you can storevideos to an FTP server, an SD card, or your PC.
The camera is also ONVIF compliant and canrecord to compatible NVRs or DVRs.
It also works with third-party software solutionslike Blue Iris and TinyCam.
First things first, the camera is a PoE camerawhich means that you will need to run an Ethernet cable outside.
You can power the camera via a PoE switchor you can purchase the Amcrest PoE Injector for $17.
The Injector plugs into your wall outlet andhas an in and an out port to connect to your router and your camera.
But keep in mind that the Injector can onlyconnect to one camera at a time.
If you want to add multiple Amcrest cameras, a PoE switch is a better solution.
The camera has a 112-degree field of viewand offers WDR.
And while the camera is capable of offeringa 4K resolution, one con of using the Cloud service is that the max resolution is 2688x1520p.
For me, this recorded at 10 frames per secondthough the camera is capable of a higher frame rate if you lower the resolution.
To compare, this is footage from my Full HD NestCam Outdoor.
While the resolution difference between Nestand Amcrest isn't stark, the difference is in the details which you can see by lookingat the flowers and the writing on my shirt.
I also found that the overall resolution ofthe Amcrest camera was more stable, probably due to the fact that it's wired.
According to the box, the camera also hascolor night vision but this is not true.
The camera has a low light sensor but doesnot offer color night vision.
As far as night vision performance, the differenceagain is in the details, which you can tell by looking at the tree on the right but Nestcan see farther.
Using Nest, the house across the street isvisible.
While the camera's resolution was a win, there wereother areas where performance was a little lackluster.
For starters, there was a 4 second lagbetween what was happening in real life, happening in real life, and what I saw on the app.
Second, it took on average 4-12 seconds toload a live feed after swiping to open a push notification.
But it also took about 17 seconds to receivea push notification after an event occurred which meant that there was often almost a30-second delay between event and monitoring of the event.
As far as security value, the only thing thecamera can monitor for is motion.
If motion is detected, it will record a 30-secondclip, send a push notification, and an email.
And It's important to call out that there isno audio.
The camera will stream and record video only.
In testing motion, I compared Amcrest to Wyze CamIndoor, which I've been using outside since June.
Wyze Cam does agreat job of capturing the event plus adding a little bit of pre-event footage.
Amcrest does too.
I've checked on numerous clips over a twoweek period, and don't have any complaints.
The camera seems to capture most motion eventsfrom start to finish.
Recorded events are stored to the cloud for four hours for free.
If you want more than that, you'll need to pay $6 permonth per camera.
The only thing a paid plan adds is access for more cameras and more storage.
Everything else is included for free including access to four motion zones.
Zones tell your camera what areas within itsfield of view it should monitor and ignore.
For each zone, you can adjust sensitivityand threshold to try to reduce the number of alerts received.
Amcrest also supports a motion schedule, whichlike zones, is needed as the camera lacks a PIR motion sensor, which means that it will sendalerts for everything little thing that moves.
During testing, before I had adjusted my settings, I received several alerts every minute.
Fortunately, you can turn notifications off, and regardless of if you have them onor off, the camera will continue to record and mark events the timeline.
The blue marks on the timeline represent events.
You can sort these by day and time, but that'sit.
I found it really difficult to find footagewhen I wanted to find it, and this was even true when I had a vague idea as to when the event occurred.
From the timeline, you can also playback, download, and delete activity.
Finally, if you use the Cloud plan, you canconnect to Amcrest's Amazon Echo skill which works with Echo devices that have a screenlike Spot, Show, and Fire TV.
My opinion is that if you want a cloud-poweredcamera, this is not the camera for you.
Even if you plan to use this camera with theAmcrest View app and an alternative storage solution, I would still say, “proceed withcaution.
” First, Amcrest's customer service is not great.
Second, the camera only detects motion andlacks a way to intelligently filter and sort alerts.
Third, the camera lacks audio, and for me, that'sa deal killer.
Finally, Amcrest ships all of their cameraswith same username and password combination, and there's no way to automate firmware updates.
If you want to update the camera's firmware, you'll need to visit their web user interface and do it from here.
If you want to know if a firmware update is available you'll need to visit a separate website and sign up for updates, a fact which is conveniently omitted from the camera's instruction manual.
In short, I don't this is a camera for everydayusers, but if you have any questions about the Amcrest Ultra 4K HD POE IP Outdoor Bullet Weatherproof Black Camera, let me know in the comment section below, and while you're down there be sure to subscribe, and I will see y'all soon.