As well as being able to check out what is happening while you are away when you want you can also have alerts sent to your phone to let you know it has detected motion or sound that you might want to look at.
It can be concerning when you are not at home and these type of cameras can help with peace of mind by being able to check up on this as well as detecting, recording and notifying you if there is something that could be a problem.
It can be set to continuously record or only record when it detects an event.
As well as keeping an eye on your home it can be used to see and talk with your children, pets or anyone else that might be in your home.
Unlike many of these cameras there are no monthly fees to contend with to access the camera services.
But, as can be seen from customer reviews there are few things to be aware of before buying which may leave you disappointed.
In this review these items are gone through fully so you know how it performs as a security camera as well as for checking up on the kids, pets, baby and so on, as well what is doesn’t do.
In a hurry? >>>
- 1 Installation
- 2 Contract
- 3 Support
- 4 Cameras
- 5 Video Storage
- 6 Alarms
- 7 Notification
- 8 Samsung Smartcam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wifi Camera Remote Monitoring
- 9 Battery
- 10 Sensors/Detection
- 11 Setting The Camera
- 12 Camera Panel
- 13 Protection Against It Being Switched Off
- 14 Coverage
- 15 Wireless or Wired
- 16 Dimensions
- 17 Features
- 18 Accessories
- 19 Pros
- 20 Cons
- 21 Samsung Smartcam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wifi Camera Consumer Ratings
- 22 Samsung Smartcam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wifi Camera Price
- 23 Summary
Installation and set up is quick and easy to do – taking only minutes in most cases for set up.
Installation is quick too, with it being able to be put on a shelf or mounted to a wall. The hardware required for mounting is included in the box.
To set up the camera you need a PC (Windows XP,7,8 desktop UI – not Chrome browser) or MAC (OSX) or IOS (6.0 or higher) or Android (jellybean or higher)with the free Samsung Smartcam App.
It can be used with both 2.4 GHZ and 5 GHZ WIFi frequency which means it works with more home WiFi’s and if using the 5.0 GHZ frequency you should see a more reliable connection due to it being able to handle higher bandwidth content. It works with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n.
The minimum bandwidth is recommended is 1.5 Mbps.
The camera can be set up for wireless or wired connection to your router.
The camera is easy to mount anywhere in your home. You do need to be able to connect to power (power ocrd supplied is 8ft long) and also have a WiFi signal.
It can be placed on a shelf or on a wall using the included double-back tape or screws. The camera can be tilted up or down and swiveled around to get the view you want to monitor. If using the double-back tape it is likely when taking off the wall it will damage the wall by taking off the paint as it is strong.
If you are going to be install on a wood wall you need a Phillips head screwdriver and if on a concrete wall a drill a 5 mm bit and a hammer.
For set up of camera you follow along to mobile App or PC/Mac web browser plug in – this takes you through it all step by step with clear pictures and instructions.
You can then quickly set up schedules, detection, recording (if you have SDXC card) and notifications.
It is all included in the original price of the camera.
The company can sometimes slow at responding to customer requests.
Some customers have been very pleased with their response and pro-activity in getting problems solved.
You can contact them by phone, live chat or remote support giving good coverage to answer issues.
When I contacted them for this review they responded very quickly to my email and with proper answers too.
The camera comes with a 1 year warranty.
It gives a fixed view only of an area. You can electronically pan/tilt/zoom within that view but the camera itself doesn’t move – you can just focus on areas within its 128 degree field of view.
The zoom is 10 X on computer and 4 X on a smart device. It gets very grainy/pixelated when you get past 4 X zoom.
The 128 degree field of view gives a great coverage of a room – if it is installed in a corner you can see the whole room without any blind spots.
It can be viewed and record at 1080 p or 720 p or 640 p. Although it will default to 720 p for recording and you may find you are having to change that regularly if you want to record at 1080 p
The images during the day are in color and it has reasonable clearness to be able to identify people. At night the images are less clear but you can still see people up 10 ft away when being used to monitor indoors
The camera includes two technologies when the lighting conditions are not ideal to enhance the quality of the image. The SLE technology gives you are better image when looking at areas that are in the shade or dark. It brightens the image and makes it clearer.
The WDR compensates for when there is bright light coming through a window or behind a subject it enables you to see the background clearly as well as clean up the shadows on things in the foreground so you can see what is happening clearly and who or what is doing it.
The camera doesn’t work outdoors as it isn’t weatherproof. Some people do point it out of a window to monitor areas such as driveways.
You do need to get it right up to window to prevent reflection during the day from the window. You also need to keep it out of the direct sun or the glare will ruin the image. You can get a reasonable image and motion detection doing this.
At night the IR will reflect off the window making if difficult to get any sort of image. To be able to monitor at night you need to turn off the night vision and use another method to illuminate the area you are monitoring by either having a light on constantly or a motion activated light. The quality will depend on how well lit the area is.
Video can be stored on a micro SDXC card that needs to be bought separately. The camera can use up to a 64 GB card.
This is put into a slot that underneath the camera.
It can record 7 days plus of continuous video recording and isn’t dependent on having an internet connection for recording when set to continuous. (it won’t record if set to record on motion or audio detection when internet connection is lost.)
There are 3 ways you can set the camera to record – continuous recording, manual recording from your smartphone (or other device) or using motion and sound detection.
When the card gets full you can set it to record over the oldest video.
It seems there can be issues with getting the camera to work with 64 GB SDXC cards but seems to work fine with 32 GB and lower. There is a process that can be followed that is part of a review on Amazon here (Aidan’s Daddy) that works for formatting and using 64GB cards for the most part.
It doesn’t work with any other ways of storing video. All video is therefore stored locally so can be stolen if someone breaks in and steals the camera leaving you with only pictures stored on.
To help in playback you can select date and time you want to view as well as jump to events in the period you want to watch – sound or motion. You can also fast forward and rewind through the video.
When it detects motion it doesn’t sound an audible alarm but can be set send an alert to your phone by email or push notification.
It does now work with the Samsung SmartThings to add some more security coverage. This can be set up with a siren. But this is limited to controlling the camera through the SmartThings controller.
You can then be notified of events, check them out with the camera, sound the alarm (if not already triggered) and then notify police if the correct.
However, you can get a similar arrangement to this with a very good alarm system the Fortress GSM-B Home Security Alarm System that uses cell network and/or landline to contact you (it doesn’t have an App). It comes with more sensors and siren. You’re not reliant on the internet to be contacted,
The camera can be set to send notifications and pictures to three different places when motion and/or sound is detected.
It can upload a photo to picasa and to a gmail account where you can view at any time. Your picasa account may get full after awhile so you will need to do housekeeping so that the latest pictures are saved.
It can also be set to send push notifications to the App on your phone, emails and twitter notifications when it detects motion or sound.
From my email discussion with the supplier there doesn’t seem to be a way to add more people to the account to help with dealing with notifications. So, if you miss a notification of a security event then it won’t be dealt with in the proper way at the time – if it is a break-then one of the others on the list could notify the police on your behalf.
Samsung Smartcam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wifi Camera Remote Monitoring
From your smartphone you can view recorded video, view a live feed from the camera and manually record. You can also hold a conversation with anyone at home or your pets.
When having a conversation there is a few seconds delay even when you are on the same WiFi network but although annoying you can still have an effective conversation. The volume is loud enough on both ends and what is said can be heard clearly.
From the camera screen you can choose the camera you want to view – if you have more than one camera you can monitor them all at once – you have to toggle between them.
You can monitor up to 10 cameras from the one app allowing you to have good coverage of the inside of a single location.
Or, you can also view and monitor multiple locations from the one account (confirmed by the supplier in email). It can allow you to have a vacation home, small business and your home all monitored from the one App on your smartphone from anywhere you can get a signal.
Only one person can be logged into the account at a time and view cameras . It does restrict the ability to monitor your home as only one person can do it effectively at a time – so if that person can’t use their phone (in a meeting at work) or their computer then as discussed in notifications sections there is no one monitoring the cameras so anything that needs attention will not be addressed in real time.
There are no batteries required.
It plugs into the house supply using the supplied cord and adapter. It is about 8 ft long so camera needs to installed within that distance unless an extension cord is used.
If there is a power outage the camera stops working until power is restored.
The camera detects movement in its field of view using algorithm to detect changes in pixels between one frame to the next. It can also detect loud sounds.
This detection can be turned off which you might want to do when you are home or others are there to prevent too many notifications (although these can be turned off). You could want it on during the night if you want to detect when people are up and about.
You can adjust the sensitivity of both detections to avoid getting false alerts. The motion detection has been set to avoid things like leaves moving in the wind or clouds causing a shadow to move across the floor.
You can also set up to 3 areas in the camera view where the camera only detects motion outside these areas motion is ignored. This can help with avoiding a dog moving around your home or you can set it just to focus on doors and windows as they are the likely areas where unexpected access is likely to occur.
The camera can also be set to detect sound and the sensitivity can be adjusted to avoid getting false alerts. You may find this useful but my view of this type of detection that it can result in too many notifications or recordings for it to be worthwhile.
Setting The Camera
The camera is always on. It can’t be turned on/off remotely. You can only change whether it is recording video or not. The only way to turn it off is to unplug it.
There are a number of ways you can set the camera up:
The camera can be set to be always recording 24 hours a day or to record only when motion and/or sound is detected.
You can set schedules by day by hour quickly in the App. This allows you to set when the camera is recording and/or detecting motion/sound. This feature means you don’t have to rely on your memory to set it for example you could set it for your when you expect to leave the house for work and when you return home from work each day of the week.
The camera is controlled remotely by a smartphone or via a web browser and is where you set up the camera. So there is no panel or buttons for setting up the camera.
However, there are some features on the camera and here is quick run through of what is there:
At the front of the camera at the top is status LED light that lets you know if it working as it should be (this can be turned off if you don’t want to see it).
Below this at top center is the camera lens. Around the lens is the IR-LED for night vision. At the bottom of this section is the luminance section for detecting light levels to let the camera know when to switch to and from night vision.
At the bottom on the left side there is the speakers for talking to people in the room. Underneath the camera is the slot for the SD card.
At the back of the camera are small WiFi direct and reset button for setting up WiFi and if the camera requires a manual reset back to default settings by holding it in for 10 seconds.
Below these buttons is the Ethernet port that can be used for a wired connection and set up. Next is an audio output if you want to add speakers to the camera and next to this is the power cable input. On the other side is the built-in microphone.
There is a large thumb screw at the back of the camera that attaches the camera to the stand. You can undo this and turn the camera around to change the direction it is pointing – this can stop the camera from tipping over if you tilt the camera more than the base can support thereby reducing the tilt required.
There is a hinge on the base that allows to change the tilt of the camera and you can swivel the camera on the base to change the direction the camera is pointing.
Protection Against It Being Switched Off
The camera does not have any back up when there is a power outage. It does however continue to work if there is an internet outage. It will continue to record video if set to continuous recording but won’t be able to send out notifications or upload pictures to picasa or gmail. Nor will record if set to only record on detection of motion and/or audio.
You aren’t notified if it loses internet connection or the power is out.
The distance the camera can be away from your router is dependent on the strength of your WiFi signal but it should be able to be placed anywhere you have a strong signal
The signal can be strengthened with a WiFi repeater or extender for your router.
Wireless or Wired
Apart from when setting the camera up it works wirelessly with your WiFi for communicating with you where ever you can get a signal to your smart device. It uses either 2.4 GHZ or 5.0 GHZ
If you do have problems with your wireless connection you can use the camera as wired to get a better connection using the included network cable.
To be powered it needs to be plugged into the house supply using the supplied power cord and adapter.
The camera’s dimensions are:
Overall are 3.3 (camera) by 4.67 by 3.12 (bracket) ins
Camera body is 1.75 ins deep.
The contents of the box are:
Quick start guide
8 ft power cord and adapter
Ethernet cable for installation/set up purposes and for wired connection
Ferrite core – goes on power cord to prevent interference
There aren’t any specific accessories for the camera. You do need to buy a Micro SDXC card (up to 64 GB) to be able to record video.
It does, however, now work with Samsung SmartThings in a limited way which may bring more options in the future on how you can use the camera.
The camera as well as being used for monitoring your home can be used as a nanny cam, pet camera, baby monitor or keeping an eye on people in your home while you are away.
When used as a baby cam it is important to note that there is a limit on how long you can view or record live of 7 minutes. It doesn’t tell you that it has stopped so you could think you are still viewing live when it has actually stopped.
It can send you notifications when it detects sound and movement so you can respond but there can be a small delay as to when you receive notifications.
If your baby is restless you can play one of the three included lullabies or your recorded voice or speak to them direct through the camera to help soothe them.
You can also keep an eye on your pets by way of getting a notification when they are in a certain area or you can check up on them from time to time. Again you can speak to them to keep them calm or tell them off if they’re climbing on or damaging the furniture etc.
When you have a nanny or people working in your home while you are away you can set the cameras to record continuously and also send you alerts when movement is detected in areas that they shouldn’t be in such as bedrooms or where you have valuables or alcohol stored etc.
When used in conjunction with SmartThings you can use the home automation controller to control when it is active recording or detecting. But this seems to be the limit of it so far, as the integration is fairly limited at this stage from the feedback I received direct from the supplier.
There are no monthly recurring fees to use the camera
It is compatible with Samsung SmartThings (limited)
128 degree field of view gives great coverage of a room with no blind spots when placed in a corner
Can set daily/weekly schedules for when camera is active recording and when it is dormant in this respect
Works with IOS, Android, PC and MAC
Can record locally either continuously or on motion or sound but you do need to buy an SDXC card separately
It can send notifications to your phone and computer when motion or sound is detected, as well as send photo to picassa and your gmail account
There are no ongoing monthly fees to use and store video
You can view recordings or live feed anytime you want and anyplace you have a signal
It can used either wirelessly with WiFi or wired using Ethernet cable
Works with both 2.4 GHZ or 5 GHZ Wifi
Video storage is local so it can be stolen in the event of a break in
Is not weatherproof so can’t be used outdoors.
Camera does not physically pan tilt or zoom but can be done digitally
When digitally zooming it can start to get blurry after 4X zoom
Power cord is 8 ft long which can restrict where you place the camera unless you use an extension cord.
To view remotely and get notifications you are reliant on Samsung’s servers to be up.
Camera can’t be turned off remotely. It can only be turned off by unplugging it from power
It can take up to 30 seconds to connect to the cameras after opening them up on the App
Does not record when set to motion recording when internet connection is lost
Only one person at a time can view cameras or be logged into the account
Not designed to share with others for receiving notifications and monitoring
Samsung Smartcam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wifi Camera Consumer Ratings
Customer reviews are mixed on this camera with only 55% of them scoring it a 4 or 5.
The biggest complaint is down to the change in how you can access the camera and also where you can record video to.
The latest firmware updates have restricted these to just through their website (for access) and to the SD card (for recording video).
You now can only access via the company’s servers and only record to a SDXC card. Many people bought the camera as they liked the flexibility of options for viewing and recording. This change does bring it into line with many other similar cameras with restricting access via their servers.
People also have problems with setting the camera up and WiFi issues in a few cases.
The other change made recently is that you are kicked out of a live feed or manual recording every 7 minutes or so without warning or notification which can leave you thinking you still have a connection and you don’t.
Those customers who are okay with the SD card recording and aren’t looking for extended periods of live feed on the whole like the quality of camera and the image clarity. They also on the whole seem to be able to navigate around the App and plug in to get what they want from the camera.
So it is very much down to expectations but the company could have done better with making the changes to existing customer’s products.
If you are buying it now you are getting a camera that is similar to many on the market now in terms of restrictions to how you can access it and where you can record video to.
Samsung Smartcam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wifi Camera Price
When looking at other cameras that provide local storage such as Fujikam Vimtag FI-361 HD it is $70 less but doesn’t give you the ability to monitor with a MAC. It also only records and the live feed is n 720 p so the image quality is lower. It is a harder set up. There are also no ongoing fees.
The Smartcam is about $50 less than the Nest Cam and provides similar levels of functionality apart from where they record video – with Nest it is recorded online and you are charged per month for this with the Smartcam it only records locally on a SDXC card.
A big benefit of this camera is that there are no ongoing fees to store video unlike many of the other cameras.
When I checked Amazon had the best deal where it qualified for free shipping and Prime.
The Samsung Smartcam 1080p is a good solid camera but it isn’t without some drawbacks. You can only record locally on to a SD card (bought separately). You are dependent on the company’s servers to be able view the camera and receive notifications (there have been issues with this in 2015).
It is easy to set up and use from the App or web browser plug-in from anywhere you can get a connection. The video quality is reasonably clear day and night to identify what is happening.
Like many of these types of cameras they keep on changing the software and restricting how you can use them which has disappointed existing customers.
The integration with SmartThings still needs some work before it can be said to be properly integrated.
You can only have one person logged into the account to monitor the camera to view recordings, live feeds and notifications. This can be an issue if you can’t respond to alerts due to other commitments and there is a security event that requires a response.
With this shortcoming in mind and you think it won’t be a problem , then if you want a basic IP camera for monitoring your home, pets, children and others that can send alerts when motion or sound is detected then it does a good job.
Filed under: Reviews
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