Spotcam is a new established manufacturer for cloud based surveillance solutions from Germany which products we have already presented earlier in our blog. Now we had the opportunity to test out Spotcam. In the following review we want to present to you our results and impressions.
Like a regular webcam the task of the Spotcam is to record a livepicture.The only difference is that the Spotcam does not save the data on your local hard drive, it saves them in the cloud. This service is for a live broadcasting and for saving the video data for one day without any cost. After that you have to pay a fee depending on the length of the video material
The content in the package is kept simple. Next to the Spotcam there is only a manual, equipment to set up the Spotcam and the charger. Though it has a small content in the package you can start instantly with configurating the spotcam which we will look into further in the „Installation“ part.
The compact Spotcam is able to send or record a videosignal with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and 30 frames per second. The recording angle is 110 degrees. With the implemented infrared-LEDs you are able to record at night aswell.
On the inside a wireless lan modul has been build in to stream the broadcast to the internet. Additionaly, the manufacturer added a loudspeaker and a microphone.
The Spotcam is designed very practical. To set up the Spotcam you only need to find a place to stand down the camera. On the bottomside you can find three screw openings which you can use in order to attach the camera to the wall.
The body of the Spotcam has a diameter of five centimeters and 15 centimeters in height. Aswell the body has a movable hinge which is connected to the foot. The weight is around 200 gramm.
Next to the camera the logo of the manufacturer is seen aswell as the microphone and the state-LED which is depending on the use of the camera to shining or blinking.
On the backside there is the hole for the charger and a switch which allows you to change the wifi-mode of the Spotcam. This switch offers a special function which we will describe in the „Installation“ part later.
At the top of the Spotcam you can find the loudspeaker.
After we unpacked the Spotcam and plugged it in, we were already able to start the installation.
For the installation you require a router and a device which supports wireless-lan. We decided to use a notebook and a smartphone for this purpose in order to see if there are differences during the installation process.
Independent from the way of installation you have to register on the website myspotcam.com. For the registration you just need to enter a username, a password and an email-address. No personal data will are required until you chose a payed plan.
After verifying the registration we log in with our new data and download a program for the Spotcam onto our notebook. On the smartphone we just download the app.
Both ways of installation are following the same procedure and will try to establish a direct connection to the Spotcam. The wifi-switch we mentioned earlier has to be set on AP so it allows a local access point to be avaiable.
We find the Spotcam and connect ourselfs with access point. To find the access point with the smartphone is a little more complicated than with a notebook. It is possible that a network with a stronger signal of connection is used and you will have to try a few times.
In the following we get the message, that we should switch the wifi-mode to go on with the installation. We also have to change the network so that the Spotcam can connect to the home network.
While the installation on the notebook is very easy and without problems, the installation on the smartphone has some problems with connecting to the network. In the listing of wireless networks sometimes no entries will show up.
After more tries which all failed, we now go on with the installation on the notebook. The installation will end with choosing the name of Spotcam and the choice of the payed plan which allows us to use the Spotcam privately or for public purposes.
All in all we are a bit concerned with the installation progress because it is a lot of work for not experienced users. For this we would like to have an easy solution like WPS push setup or an input form.
After you positioned the Spotcam you are able to record with the camera at day and night. You are able to choose to record a whole field or just to record several details with the camera which will be send with a delay to the server. In our case we had a delay of two to four minutes depending on our bandwith.
The quality at day times is satisfying. The colours are shown strong and the brightness is also in a good quality which makes the recorded video data naturally. Certainly, the moving elements in the picture are not always shown smoothly which you are able to see in the following video where for example the trees are not moving.
In the night the camera is able to record too due its infrared-LEDs. The video is broadcasted clear and distinct. If you choose to activate „Nightvision“ in the preferences the video will be displayed brighter. If the area which should be recorded is already enlighted you do not need to activate the option „Nightvision“
Preferences via browser or app
Spotcam allows us to set up preferences via an app or the internet browser. For example you can switch of and on the Spotcam via remote control or put it into sleepmode.
Furthermore, you can reduce flickering and turn the area of view around 180 degrees.
Additionally, we can choose if the camera is recording or playing sound while surveillance. If you like Spotcam to be shared with the public, you can do that with the help of a link.
Results for Spotcam
Spotcam is an HD cloud-based camera which allows you to make records for a period of time which will be saved in the cloud.
The package content is kept simple and contains a quick start guide, equipment to set up the Spotcam and a charger in order to power the camera.
The position of the camera can be done with the help of the foot and can be fixed with the additional screws in the package contents, so that you are able to record a predefined area. Furthermore, the camera has a built-in wireless-lan-module and twelve infrared-LEDs in order to record during night times.
Although the camera consists of plasic, the Spotcam is well processed and looks neat, too. Power and internet connection are required and you are not able to use Spotcam as a standalone camera.
Furthermore, the long installation process requires technical knowledge from the consumer and cannot be done without it. During the installation process there may be some connection problems or disconnections which end up in frustration or cancelation of the installation.
Additionally, it was not possible to process the installation with the help of a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet, because the Android operating system may have some problems while changing wireless connections.
When the installation is proceded after five to ten minutes, we are able to view the live broadcasting via internet browser or smartphone app. While doing this, we recognize that the camera does not record slight movements like leaves rustling. Otherwise the recording quality is satisfactory which applies to both daytime and night shots.
The extensive smartphone application and the preferences in the internet browser allow the setup of the Spotcam. Therefore, both offer a similar work flow so that the consumer sees nearly no differences between those.
With Spotcam the consumer gets an HD cloud-based camera which is suiteable as a surveillance solution. It offers a good video quality, live broadcasting via internet and convinces us with a good price-performance ratio in our test.