Edimax IC-7010PTn review
Average image quality at best but Edimax packs in a lot of surveillance features for a very low price
Review Date: 19 May 2011
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £165 (£198 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Edimax’s new IC-7010PTn is one of the cheapest PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom) IP cameras we’ve seen, but despite the low cost, it doesn’t skimp on features. It boasts support for wired and wireless 802.11n connections, H.264 encoding, 1.3-megapixel resolution, night vision and IR illuminators.
The camera has a good pan/tilt range, and can spin through 355 degrees horizontally and 120 degrees vertically. There’s more, with the rear panel equipped with a 10/100 Ethernet port, SDHC card slot, an audio out socket and mounts for two wireless aerials.
Pan and tilt is controlled from the web interface, and you can assign nine preset positions. In addition to this, three motion detection windows can be set up, and you associate actions with each, from emailing JPEG frames or AVI clips to a preset address, to saving them to the memory card or an FTP server. If you mount the camera on the ceiling or wall, the image can be flipped either way to compensate.
Edimax includes a keyed metal disk which twists into the camera base and provides a screw fixing for the wall mount bracket. But the camera’s plastic chassis is lightweight and insubstantial, and will need a tender touch during mounting.
After setting up a LAN connection, we activated the wireless feature and joined the camera to a Netgear 802.11n access point. Image quality isn’t great as even after extensive adjustment the focus is slightly fuzzy. Detail at distance is also poor and the 4x digital zoom won’t help either. We also found artificial lighting gave footage a distinct pink tinge.
The camera can’t handle very low light levels, relying instead on its IR illuminators, which can be turned on automatically at night or at scheduled times. With these in action close-up detail was good, although quality dropped away considerably at their 4m limit.
Bandwidth usage depends on the codec selected and we measured this using Riverbed’s Cascade Pilot software. An M-JPEG feed at the top resolution used around 4.8Mbps whilst H.264 only drew 0.5Mbps with no activity and 2Mbps with movement.
The IC-7010PTn offers a heap of surveillance features at a very low price. If you want a PTZ camera with top image quality, however, you’ll need to pay a lot more than this.
Author: Dave Mitchell
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