As our homes become more and more ‘connected’ and ‘smart’, so the number of devices we can connect to for smart homes increase. I recently got sent through the Ezviz Pan & Tilt security camera through for review.
‘Who are Ezviz?’, I hear you ask. They are a subsidiary of Hikvision, which is the world’s leading and largest CCTV manufacturer, and the C6T is an internet-connected Pan and Tilt camera available for just £79.50.
At this price, the camera offers some pretty impressive features including:
- Full HD
- Cloud storage
- Night vision
- Local storage via MicroSD card
- Motion tracking
- Ability to pan and tilt to allow a much-increased area of coverage
Size-wise, the Ezviz C6T is 90mm high, with a diameter of 100mm, and weighing in at just 220g. So unlike traditional pan and tilt cameras, this one is a nice and compact affair, not much larger than a good-sized orange. The top rotating part of the camera is black, with a fixed white base.
At the rear of the camera, there is a MicroSD card slot for local recording (up to 128GB), together with a proprietary power connection, (it would have been nice to see a standardised USB Type-C or Micro USB) and a Fast Ethernet port (100mb), but there is also 802.11 b/g/n WiFi connectivity option.
The Ezviz C6T offers Full HD 1080P recording at 15FPS and 720P recording at 30FPS. It has a lens that is 4mm at F2.2, featuring a horizontal view angle of 72° and a diagonal viewing angle of 92°. The camera can tilt upwards by 80° but downwards by only 10°, with a panning angle up to 340°. It includes a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way communication, and the night vision has a range up to 10 metres via the infrared LEDs.
Set up of the C6T is a really simple affair; install the Ezviz app (iOS or Android), create a user account, turn on the camera, register the camera and then connect it to your home WiFi… and that’s it – you’re all set up. I just wished my outdoor home security cameras were as easy to set up. The app can be secured to use fingerprint login in order to restrict to stop any unwanted access.
Unlike a traditional fixed IP camera, the C6T can pan and tilt, so there are no motion detection zones to set up within the app. The camera will pan and tilt to track any movement, which would render setting up any motion zones pointless. The app allows for a good level of customisation, such as setting up a notification schedule, motion detection sensitivity and notification sound levels.
Storage of footage is of two flavours: local storage via a MicroSD card, and a separate cloud-based service. A nice surprise coming from Ezviz is 30 days of free trial of the cloud storage when you first install the C6T. This is unlike the usual 7 day trial offered by other suppliers, but to continue to have the cloud option enabled, you either need to pay £4.99 per month, per camera for 7 days of storage, or £9.99 per month, per camera for 30 days storage. Videos can be downloaded to your phone at any time but a subscription will be needed for recording. It’s a tad pricey, given that if you choose the £9.99 option you will have paid more than the camera itself in just 9 months. But with such a low RRP, it’s no surprise Ezviz is looking at alternative sources of revenue.
One of the most important features in any sort of connected home security setup is a decent notification system: with the Ezviz C6T, you will receive an alert on your phone within a couple of seconds after motion has been detected. The video is available to view just a few seconds later. It is a tad laggy at first, but does clear up if you wait a short while, which does mean you can very quickly check if the intrusion is cause for concern or just the cat wandering around.
The camera is lightweight, some might say flimsy, but I didn’t think as such. I found that the motion was particularly good, and the camera will instantly pick you up and track your movements as you walk across the room. Be aware that anything more than a walk means that the panning motor is a little slow to keep up.
The C6T provides impressive 1080p recordings in both daylight and night vision, with a good switch between the two. In good light conditions or with night vision, the recorded image quality is excellent and is more than capable enough to identify faces at a distance, or any other detail that might be relevant.
One good feature is the ability to record footage straight from the app and then upload it to YouTube. Below this are a couple of examples of both day and night vision (allowing for YouTube compression) I just placed the camera on the side in the conservatory, apologies for the Christmas tree in the right-hand side of the fame.
The app is very simple to use. Viewing back recorded videos, downloading them and configuring the system presented no issues at all. As well as the app, you can also log in to the cloud service via a browser (not Chrome, FireFox, or Safari, unfortunately. Only IE appears to be supported). It requires the download of a plugin, but once installed you can easily browse through the recordings and download to your PC. There are various configuration options found on the app and security settings. The browser system is a little on the slow and clunky side, but it’s functional enough for what you need it to do.
The C6T is a superb home security camera packed with features and options, and it is at an excellent price point currently available from Amazon for £79.50. The camera is easy to set up and use, with the only limitation I could find was the speed of which the camera was able to pan in some situations. But if you after a connected camera that gives more than a limited view, the Ezviz C6T is well worth a look.
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