Since my first IP camera, I've favored the Foscam brand because they offer services that are unexpected in that price range: a technical support which is not just a dead inbox, firmware updates taking the customers feedback into consideration, and I've yet to find another brand that provides you with a recovery procedure and files for bricked cameras like Foscam did.
However, this time, I thought I'd give a try to something they don't have in their current offer: a small IP Camera dome (8(H)/12.5(W)cm) that can sit discreetly on the ceiling of my front door porch.
So I gave a try with this compact, low cost (about 43€, but you can find it for the friendly price of 85€ on eBay!) camera from Chinavasion. For that price, it is acceptable to to have low expectations, and it may not survive well outside, even in a sheltered place. A Wanscam AJ-C0LA-C128 equivalent is available from DealExtreme for about the same price.
There are some confusing points to clarify about this model:
The manufacturer's web site and GUI may suggest otherwise (most is copy/paste from the IP603w specs),
but there is no Pan & Tilt control and no audio support !
At least the manual makes things clear: no ptz and no audio for "IPCAM04"
In fact the firmware uses a WebUI portion that is common to most of their ES-IP6x camera range, and the PTZ and audio controls are present in the interface altough not functional with the 603. Their latest firmware (which is on par with features found in the latest fw.126.96.36.199 from Foscam's FI8908W), is fairly complete so the absence of firmware update on their website should'nt be too much of a problem.
|Device Firmware Version||188.8.131.52|
|Device Embeded Web UI Version||184.108.40.206|
The manual does not mention anything specific about mounting the IP611W.
While it is quite simple to figure out it deserves a closer look:
1. The dome is unscrewed by hand easily.
2. Once done, it is possible to unlock the bottom plate by pushing a small piece of plastic with a pen or screwdriver.
If you're challenging this camera for outdoor use, you may want to tape the center to help prevent humidity to get in.
4. The angle of the camera can be adjusted by releasing the screws as shown on the picture.
5. The main challenge is to pass the bulky cable ends by a 3 cm large hole through the wall.
It takes a lot of "Ifreann na Fola!" (and other Irish swears) and a 30mm tungsten carbide tipped core drill to go through the concrete wall and then pass the connectors. The hole can then be filled with an expanding foam spray.
6. The camera can be then screwed back to the bottom plate affixed on the ceiling. A click will indicate that it is in place. A good idea is to apply a ring of bathroom silicone around the base of the dome to further prevent humidity to sneak in.
- The red ring on the base is easy to remove if you prefer your camera only white.
- Be sure to have the wireless setup already done before fixing the camera.
- The camera has no Ingress Protection Rating and therefore is not designed for outdoor use, so mounting the camera outside the house may damage it.
With a picture quality just similar to a FI8904W (outdoor camera from Foscam), comparable CGI command set and software level, the IP611W is the smallest form factor you can find in the entry level IP camera market. Despite its lack of PTZ and sound support, it remains a good purchase thanks to its attractive price.