Sricam SP009 P2P HD IP Camera review

Apr 26, 2016

It's been a while since I used one of these mini IP cameras built around the Hi3518 chipset.


So what make this yet-another-cheaper-like-there's-so-many-out-there camera different?







***WARNING***
Many Sricam users reported that they can only get HD from the Sricam mobile app while they only get 640x360 through RTSP channel, and my tests gave different result
Therefore, it seems that the samples I reviewed do not correspond to production currently sold, despite showing the same model, firmware and hardware versions.
Unless you're only planning to use these IP cameras as Cloud devices, (i.e. with the Sricam mobile app only) I advise against buying these products.
****************


The Sricam SP009 is the cheapest IP camera of its kind compared with the previous model tested, Xiaomi  XiaoYi, and EyeSight ES-IP810W.


For the price, I was almost expecting to receive it wrapped in a plastic bag but the packaging is actually very professional, with the power adapter type suited for my region and a manual in proper English.
















It is impossible to miss the installation instructions: They are on the box, and in the printed manual, and repeated on the Sricam website(Nov.2016, no longer true, most links are dead now).
In addition, a setup video is available for those not willing to read at all!







The mobile app is simply called Sricam and is common to several other brands (like Sunluxy). Despite the below average user reviews found on Play store, I found it to work well once you format the SD card properly, bind an email to the alarm, and activate the surveillance mode.
It is also possible to access the camera through this page: http://download.sricam.com/rjxz.html

The video stream can be intercepted in VLC using the URL: rtsp://ipcam:554/onvif1 for HD (1280x720) [see warning above] and
rtsp://ipcam:554/onvif2 for lower resolution (320x180).

With the recent versions of Synology Surveillance Station, such RTSP stream can be configured under [User Define]
with H.264 Video Format, using the suffix (/onvif1, /onvif2) as Source Path.











The picture quality from the GM8135S chipset compares to Hi3518-based devices. Unfortunately this camera lacks the IR-Cut feature to properly render the colours under daylight (e.g.  green plants will look purple).

Also there's no manual control over the IR LED so the camera could not be used behind a window at night without reflecting its own lights on the glass.

Two-way audio quality is adequate even if not exempt of faint internal camera noises in the background. The internal speaker here is loud enough which is rarely the case in these tiny devices.

Conclusion:
The Sricam SP009 is a good surprise. Not only for its very low price (~21€/23$ @ Gearbest), but also for the overall quality of the product from packaging to the camera itself, and not forgetting the complete setup instructions.
It's a quasi-clone of the ES-IP810W reviewed earlier but with a better speaker and HD streamed through RTSP.
My only grief is the lack of IR-Cut and LED control, but that's because the SP009 is the cheapest variant. IR-Cut is available, for ~4€ extra with the SP009A and SP009B .


Nice:
● Sricam provide a complete documentation including a video guide.
● Easy to setup.
● Up to 128GB microSD card supported.
● HD (1280x720) stream available through RTSP (see warning above)
 ONVIF compliant

Not so nice:
No LED mode control (Not suitable for use behind a window),
● No IR-Cut (consider SP009A or SP009B if you need this)





Special thanks to David @ GearBest for providing the sample reviewed here.

37 comments:

  1. Removed previous comment: internal fault appeared to be a conflict between local router and camera. All they need to add is a scheduled FTP/email of a screenshot, or better still, a web interface for a jpg snapshot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried several of these tiny cameras and although they do differ slightly in their hardware, they all seem to follow the same implementation model: RTSP, uPnP, and no Web Interface.
      Cameras with best of both worlds (Mobile/Cloud and embedded web UI) like the Wanscam HW series are more difficult to find nowadays.

      Delete
  2. Is it possible to get single image from the camera? All I can get is the RTPS stream. thanks.

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    Replies
    1. The only services available in this camera are RTSP/445 and uPnP/5000, so no way to get some sort of snapshot.jpg or anything from a web interface.
      Getting snapshot will depend on the client application used for intercepting the video stream. For instance, VLC has a "Take snapshot" action in the Video menu.

      Delete
  3. Can a static ip be setup for this cam via a web interface ? Is it compatible with 3rd party apps such as TinyCam Pro?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ip address can be bet manually from the network settings of Sricam the mobile app (there's no web interface as such). TinyCam supports the rtsp protocol so it will likely work. I had it working with IP cam viewer, but for some reason it only worked with the lower resolution stream: rtsp://ipcam:554/onvif2

      Delete
    2. Thanks. Did the audio features work with the app you tried?

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    3. tinyCam Monitor supports this camera (rtsp/h264, 1-w audio).

      Delete
    4. Has anyone got this to work over rtsp at full res? I installed iSpy and can see the camera but only at low resolution.

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  4. ATTENTION!!!! SECURITY PROBLEM, I received my camera and update it to the latest firmware 14.0.0.52,
    I can access the camera from WEB! using IP cam viewer or other apps WITHOUT USING PASSWORD!, I input random password to the ip cam viewer and I still got the live image from camera

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. forgive my typos, I am really disappointed.. for this serious security issue

      Delete
    2. I have both SP009 and SP012 with 14.0.0.52 for some time and don't see that problem. I have to provide a password to access http://videoipcamera.cn/view. How do you exactly connect to your camera from the web?

      Delete
    3. using IP Cam Viewer from my android phone, from another network
      settings Generic RTSP over UDP, myip:554/onvif2
      and typing ANY RANDOM username/password

      Delete
    4. ok, that makes sense. The rtsp protocol is not secure and does not use authentication, that's true for any IP camera.
      In my other review for the SP012 (http://www.gadgetvictims.com/2016/05/sricam-sp012-p2p-hd-ip-camera-review.html), I also show a way to access the camera using the port 5000. Same story anyway, no authentication supported. The "less unsecure" way to access these cameras is to use the Sricam app from playstore, but the only secure way is to have an Ip camera manager that relays all this through a https connection like Synology Surveillance Station. Personally I block the outside access to rtsp and upnp ports on my firewall.

      Delete
  5. Hi Bubbah, this is a nice review. It's worth noting that as of July there is now a IR cut filter included and I can confirm it works great.

    I wonder if you can help with something that puzzles me about the camera. When turning on the camera for the very first time it obviously is not connected to my home WiFi. I install the app and send the WiFi SSID and password to the camera. HOW does the app transfer this data to the camera wireless?

    For extra information, I have been informed that the WiFi SSID and password can be passed to the camera by using a text file on the SD card. This is quite nice for people that don't want to use the app at all (I use Blue Iris for remote access).

    Let me know if you have the answer! :)

    Richard

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  6. Hi Richard, thanks for the info about the text file.
    As you have to enter unique camera ID as the first step in adding a camera, I believe the app just queries the LAN for that unique ID using the unsecure Upnp/5000, not yet needing authentication just for doing that. Only if detected, it then asks for the SSID login to finish the process.

    Personally I block the upnp outside my LAN and only use the Ip camera through a secured connection (Synology Surveillance Station acting as the DVR server)

    While it make setup easy, upnp should not be allowed to reach the www:
    http://www.howtogeek.com/122487/htg-explains-is-upnp-a-security-risk/

    I'm preparing an article on IP cameras and security but it's still in draft and I've been a bit lazy/busy lately.

    Cheers
    Bubbah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bubbah, can the app query the LAN for the ID even if the camera is not yet on the LAN and multiple SSID's are broadcasting?

      I've seen that some cameras listen to a sound from the phone to pass the data and I've seen some cameras look at a QR code displayed on the phone to get the credentials (I believe this camera can use the QR route if the Smart WiFi fails).

      I'd be interested in your security post. This is my general setup http://richard.mackney.com/wifi-security-camera/ (a bit outdated now).

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. I'd have to repeat an installation process with some network sniffer (like "Wi-Fi PCAP Capture"), I was also under the impression that somehow the camera was detected before being given any AP password, but the tutorial video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siw6mfDMGnA) shows that the camera is searched only after receiving the AP name and pwd (entered by hand or by showing the QR code generated by the app, it does work nicely), which makes more sense to me. The rest should be just a matter of using a multicast SSDP packet.

    I hope to find time to complete my research and finish this article soon. It will be an updated version of this older one: http://www.gadgetvictims.com/2012/02/security-and-ip-cameras.html

    I like your blog! I think I'll stick around the tech and beer (and no especially in that order) for a while (-:

    Cheers

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  8. Hello,
    i have a problem with vlc stream ... the camera only shows the 1st frame of the stream in vlc and than stands still ... Any ideas on how to fix this?
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. during my tests the HD rtsp stream (/onvif1) only worked fine within my LAN, but not from outside. The low res. /onvif2 always worked but is not an acceptable resolution. I've been using the onvif access (port 5000) instead with IP Camera Viewer (from Robert Chou). That give a stable HD stream. There's a screenshot with the settings in my review for the SP012 (same hardware but in a Pan-and-Tilt casing)

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  9. The motion detection alarm is completely erratic in this model, so much that is useless. There is a solution to that problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ariel, it's not only with this camera but most in that range have a unreliable motion detection, often reacting to daylight changes, and the software has no option to control this.
      A NVR server can be used to process the motion detection instead of the camera. It's like a hub that manage all the IP Cameras, like Foscam FN3004H NVR. Personally I use the Surveillance software included in my Synology NAS, and takes over the motion detection, with zone definition and other more intelligent functions that the camera does not have.

      Delete
  10. How many mobile devices are allowed to view one camera?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi there,
    I have a few SP009 Sricams and I am trying to view their streaming on a webrowser and not using any application.Can someone help me with the URL that I need to use? Thanks !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use this

      rtsp://IPADDRESS:554/onvif1

      in progs like VLC but not a web broswer. As far as I know the cams don't have a built in http web server.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the reply. Would you know of a cheap IPcamera that has the built in server?

      Delete
    3. Try the Wanscam HW series. I'll publish the review of the hw049 later this week.

      Delete
  12. Bought two of these wish I hadn't, they are terrible freeze all the time , go blocky, 10 sec delay on motion. Just rubbish. I also have an old wansview 541 http , not on the dreaded onvif rtsp. This camera works day in day out for years, never a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello, after a month usage, I opened the micro sd today and in the E:\npc\record folder there are one folder for each day of the month, and inside there are many files in .AV format for any every half an hour.
    what are these?
    Thanks.
    Bye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check this page on how to read these files: https://www.sg-sricam.com/pages/setting-up-your-memory-card-and-manual-recording-24-7

      Cheers

      Delete
  14. Bubbah,
    Excellent blog, very informative.

    I purchased a Sricam SP009 P2P HD IP Camera from Amazon, but having read about the security risks in your excellent articles I'm thinking of returning it.

    Is there a camera manufacturer with a budget camera that you recommend and does not have the uPnP security issues?

    Also, do you have any experience in MAC OS software to view and manage several IP cameras? I've tried iSentry using the built-in iMac camera and it works well: images saved to dropbox and alerts. It even with the free version. But I cannot, as yet, get it to view the SP009. Any Mac software recommendations?

    Thanks

    Stephen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephen, since most budget IP cameras are aiming at non-techies, they tend to all have a Cloud solution based on uPnP. Even the very good Wanscam HW series is trying to chat to suspicious ports but I would still recommend them for the following reasons:
      - they have rtsp, onvif, rtmp (flash player stream) and web interfaces (which increases their compatibility with some 3rd party viewers)
      - they provide full PTZ, Video and audio through Onvif
      - they work fine with my Synology Surveillance Station (so far for me the best solution to group all the IP cameras under one secured server)
      I expected the latest Digoo BB-M2 to be like that, but they have stability issues and don't stream audio through rtsp/onvif.
      So my personal reference at the moment is this HW series (I will soon review the HW0036) because they all seem to be built on the same specifications.
      It is quite easy to control they chatty behaviour from any router by assigning them a range of IP addresses which outbound traffic is dropped by a firewall rule.

      I don't have much info about a good MAC OS solution, but the Synology NAS I use as "NVR" has a good web interface but still relies on ActiveX plugins. However, at least, they provide very good mobile apps
      .

      Cheers!

      Delete
    2. Bubbah,

      Thanks for your reply. Yes, I think virtually all cheaper IP cameras use uPnP to ease of access from outside the home network. But therein lies the security weakness.

      You suggestion of assigning a range on IP addresses and blocking internal traffic seems good. But if a camera is assigned a fixed IP on the internal network and incoming traffic to that IP is blocked at the router, will the phone app still be able to see the camera from outside the LAN?

      Your preferred solution of the Synology NAS, although a good one, is not a cheap - about £70 for the NAS and £40 more for software licenses.

      I'm returning the Sricam sp009 and buying a D-Link 932L. I know it's slightly more expensive, and more basic, but it is confirmed to work with the iSentry MacOS software I like and has great support on firmware updates from D-Link.

      I'll let you know how it goes.

      Stephen

      Delete
    3. Hi Stephen, in the context of a Synology, QNAP or any NVR solution (some are cheaper than Syno), the cameras will only speak with the NVR and it is this NVR that will serve all the cameras streams through one unique, preferably encrypted, connection with the outside world.
      I made this diagram to illustrate my current setup. It's part of my latest review of the Veskys camera.

      I thin you can't go wrong with the 932L, it has many good reviews on amazon.
      Good luck.

      Delete
  15. Hi Bubbah, here is a promised update on my first experience with IP cameras.

    As mentioned above, I returned the Sricam SP009 because I was worried about external access to the camera without a username and password (I'd read about uPNP security issues through your excellent posts). I purchased a D-Link 932L instead.

    It took a couple of days but I now have what I was looking for. Here's how I solved the problem:

    1. Installation of the camera was straightward, the 'mydlink lite' app guides you through installation. I could see the camera from home and remotely using wifi, very nice to keep an eye on the dog! However, access to the camera through mobile data did not work. Reading other blogs, there seems to be difficulties with viewing this camera with the mydlink lite app using 3G. Perhaps it is because it's an older camera. The motion detection notification did work over 3G so you can use this app to notify you of movement.

    2. I found the OWLR d-link app (see owlr.com) and this solved the problem. Again setup was easy using the app and their website explained how to port-forward using Apple hardware and MacOS. I can now see the house and get motion alerts the moment they happen at home!

    The D-Link 932L has a web based configuration accessible from a browser on the LAN and this allows very detailed setup of motion detection, scheduling, notification by email, and uploading of images via ftp. It has Infra-Red for night-time imagery too. But the Owlr app can handle everything with the need to configure in more detail (just note that Owlr do charge £0.99 a month for motion detection notification).

    Now If I get a motion detection images of the 'intruder' (or dog stretching!) are instantly available to view in an email and I can call up the owlr camera app for a live view. There is no audio, but that's not important to me. Nor does it save rolling video, but that's not what I was looking for either.

    The camera does connect to iSentry on MacOS, but using it with the software is a £20 in-app purchase. I found the camera could do what I wanted without the need for using iSentry.

    Some things I learnt:
    Spend time researching, you will get there.
    D-Link seem to be good a firmware updates and have lots of FAQs.
    A newer, more expensive, range of 'mydlink home' devices communicate with each other to provide a smart home setup.
    Owlr.com are worth keeping an eye on - they are a London based start-up specialising in IP cameras.

    The D-Link 932L is currently £34 on Amazon.co.uk, and I'd recommend it as a cheap home security device any day.

    Stephen

    ReplyDelete
  16. hi there.

    got the 009 today and working my way through the paper install and the youtube install...but....it is still not working. the password is wrong. even changing the password doesnt work. it keeps saying the password (old) is wrong. total reset already done, but it still not working. Can you help me? kind regards. greetings from Poppel (Belgium) RObert

    ReplyDelete