Aztech WIPC402 review
Aztech’s latest IP camera promises a range of surveillance features at a price that will appeal to small businesses. It cuts costs with a basic 3x digital zoom, but the WIPC402 packs in pan and tilt functions, mobile access and 802.11n wireless for less than £50 exc VAT.
Night surveillance is on the cards, too: eight IR emitters switch on automatically when light levels are low. The WIPC402 also has an internal microphone and a pair of 3.5mm jacks for connecting an external microphone and speaker for two-way audio.
Installation requires you to run the search utility from the supplied CD. The camera defaults to HTTP port 8081, but this can be changed once the camera is detected.
Wireless setup proved more problematic. The web console’s search facility picked up all the nearby wireless networks, but despite saying it had connected to our Netgear WNR3500 802.11n router, we couldn’t access the camera from a wireless client, even after several attempts and camera reboots.
The camera’s top resolution of 640 x 480 pixels delivers good colour balance and contrast, but focus is poor. You won’t notice it on smartphone or smaller tablet displays, but on a PC monitor the picture is fuzzy; it looks even worse in full-screen mode.
Pan and tilt can be controlled by pointing in the live view and holding down the mouse button, or for mobiles, by swiping the screen. Two streams provide H.264 feeds for 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 resolutions, while a third, for mobile viewing, drops the resolution down to 160 x 120 and MJPEG encoding.
For motion detection, you can define up to four windows and send video or snapshots to an FTP server, via email or direct to an SD card in the camera. Bear in mind, however, that while the claimed 5m range for the IR emitters is achievable, the fuzzy image quality won’t make identification of objects very easy.
At only £47, the Aztech WIPC402 IP camera is a tempting purchase, since it offers plenty of features for the money. Don’t expect top image quality, however, and prepare to be frustrated when connecting it to a wireless network.
|Warranty RTB years||2|
|Sensor type||1/4in RGB CMOS|
|Video frame rate||30fps|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|Power over Ethernet||no|
|Compression scheme||MJPEG, H.264|