The marketing for the EyeSpy247PTZ makes great play of its ease of use, and the Wi-Fi Protected Setup button does indeed make it easier than most to connect to a compatible router. When it comes to more advanced tasks, though – such as customising your network settings or setting up mobile access – you’re left to delve into a form-based web interface spread across 20 pages.
The feature list calls for a pinch of salt too. The manufacturer promises “night vision”, but the EyeSpy247PTZ has no infrared sensor, merely an array of bright white LEDs that can illuminate its view in low light or when movement is detected. Strictly speaking it works, but it makes the camera highly conspicuous – not necessarily a plus.
The “PTZ” suffix is misleading too. Yes, it can pan and tilt, with true 360¡visibility from floor to ceiling. But the only zoom on offer is a digital effect that adds no detail. Manual steering is slow, too, taking around 30 clicks and more than 20 seconds to sweep the room with default settings.
Yet while the EyeSpy247PTZ may not quite live up to the hype, it’s still a perfectly good camera. Video is clean and sharp at its maximum 640 x 480 resolution and 30fps frame rate – and both can be lowered to save storage space and bandwidth. There’s two-way audio too. Recordings can be scheduled or triggered by both motion and body heat detection, and for extra peace of mind, stills or videos can be uploaded to a remote server or sent to you by email.
Mobile devices that support RTSP can also monitor a configurable low-bandwidth EyeSpy247PTZ feed in real time over the internet. Of course, the quality isn’t great, and the passkey system – which involves simply appending a numeric code to the end of the URL – is hardly unbreakable. That’s a shame, as the standard web interface offers quite sophisticated security, letting you filter access by user ID, IP address, and time of day.
Still, as IP cameras go it’s a very respectable roster of features, and the price even includes 512MB of remote storage for a year, along with access to a “pay as you go” SMS alert service. If you need true night vision, or an optical zoom, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But if you just want a versatile directional camera this is – overblown promises aside – a good product at a good price.
|Warranty RTB years||1|
|Warranty C&R years||0|
|Warranty On-site years||0|
|Sensor type||1/4in CMOS|
|Video frame rate||30fps|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|Power over Ethernet||no|
|Compression scheme||MJPEG, MPEG4|