Foscam FI9821W V2 Mini Review

Overview

I had recently acquired a Foscam FI9821W V2 which is a wireless IP camera. I have been looking for one of these for a while because they are wireless and have a good wide angle view including low light capabilities.

Features

This review is based on system firmware 1.4.1.8.

The camera is mounted on a 360 swivel plate and a motorised vertical mount. This can be controlled from the web interface.

There are IR LEDs for night vision around the camera lense. These can be controlled manually, automatic or scheduled using timings on the web.

An SD card slot allows the camera to record images and video to a card locally but it also has FTP function (unfortunately no SFTP or FTPS).

It has a ethernet port on the back for wired connectivity but also a wireless NIC.

The accessories it comes with include a retractable USB cable, power and a bracket to wall mount the camera.

Management

Web Interface
All the camera controls and settings are done using the web server built into the camera. This means you need to get it’s IP address. I used Network discovery on my Android phone and matched the MAC address from the app to the sticker on the underside of the camera.

The site needs to install a plugin for it to work with the video. There is one for Firefox and Chrome. Without it, you can only configure the settings of the device (and not even control the servos in the camera to move it).

I won’t go into all the details of the settings page but the highlight includes setting up Foscam’s own DDNS, setting up motion tracking and enabling WiFi.

SD Card

It has a built in SD card slot for you to record and take pictures from the camera. This can be done through the website manually or you can setup motion detection. You can set it to overwrite the oldest files once the SD card gets full. I have to admit I was never able to get this to work and I had always planned to use software on a computer to do the recording.

Foscam With motion

motion is a Linux surveillance software which I have been using fairly successfully with a Logitech webcam. It is able to connect to IP Foscams but the site does not state compatibility for this specific model. Configuration is pretty much the same across all the Foscam models. It uses the MPEG streaming channel to grab the video from the camera. This does mean it does not support sound and I was unable to get it to recognise the movement controls.

Summary

The video quality is very good with a good wide angle lens. I found it to work with a lot of open source software from motion to Qnap NAS. The POV controls is hit and miss on 3rd party support.

About Danny

I.T software professional always studying and applying the knowledge gained and one way of doing this is to blog.

Danny also has participates in a part time project called Energy@Home [http://code.google.com/p/energyathome/] for monitoring energy usage on a premise.

Dedicated to I.T since studying pure Information Technology since the age of 16, Danny Tsang working in the field that he has aimed for since leaving school.

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