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CloudCam Indoor Wireless Pan/Tilt Daytime IP Camera w/ MicroSD Slot

I'll review qualities from best to worst. Best: it does exactly what it claims, at least for wired connections: there is no configuration needed, just the password they supply. I plugged it into my router with the supplied ethernet cable, dowloaded the free Android app for my smart phone, and I was able to watch the video on my smart phone by simply entering the camera's ID number and password, both of which came with the camera. It connected within seconds, from miles away. It worked with 4g and 3g connections, and once seemed to work when the connection dropped to the "1x" level, which I assume on my phone means the old Edge network. Almost as good: wireless configuration. Of course this is going to be a little harder, since you do have to have the camera find your wireless network, and you have to give the camera the password for the wireless network. Still, by carefully reading the one-page printed instructions, I was on line within five minutes using my wireless network. Now I can move the camera around the house and plug it in to any electrical outlet, and view it from my smart phone miles away, or from my computer in another room. Mediocre: the image size on the smart phone is only half that available on the computer (320x240, instead of 640x480). And the 640x480 resolution on the computer is not high. Even then, image quality is less than with many other 640x480 cameras I owned years ago, and far behind the quality of many mid-priced USB cameras now on the market. Also mediocre: the pan and tilt features and the microphone work perfectly from the computer, but are simply unavailable from the smart phone. So, I can't pan around the room from the smart phone, nor listen from miles away. Also, the camera tilts upward, but not down at all below horizontal. Poor: low-light sensitivity is just plain poor. Also, ability to adjust some of the finer details of the image, such as gamma, are not provided. Bottom line: if you hate the idea of having to learn about subnet masks, gateways, ports, and all that other tech jargon needed to access most internet-protocol cameras, this one works, easily, with no knowledge beyond the ability to plug in a cable and read a printed password. It could use a better-quality chip and higher resolution (even if frame rate were limited at that higher resolution), and it would be nice if the resolution available over a smartphone were better. This is the era of high-definition webcams, and megapixel phone cameras, after all. If this company could sell an upgraded resolution camera with better image quality and better low-light resolution, I would buy it in a heart beat. Still, they have made internet access to a video camera pitifully easy, and that is something.
Date Added: 07/19/2012 by Daniel J. (Evansville, IN)

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