Y-cam Bullet HD 1080 review

27 Nov 2012

A compact external IP camera with good resolution undermined by below-par image quality

Y-cam Bullet HD 1080
Price when reviewed 
466
4

Y-cam has upped its game with the latest Bullet IP camera. Not only has it given it a boost in resolution, up to 1080p, but it’s smaller than ever. Earlier Bullet models were as big as artillery shells; this one is much more dainty.

As with all Bullets, the HD 1080 is IP66 rated, which means it’s weatherproof and can be used outdoors. It’s also ready for low-light use. The lens is circled by 32 IR emitters, 20 more than the Bullet HD (web ID: 371857). Three H.264 video streams are available: the first goes up to 1080p, the second supports 720p and the third is fixed at 320 x 180 for mobile access.

Image quality isn’t great, with slightly blurry, out-of-focus footage. It’s possible to make out faces up to 5m away, but if you’re monitoring a car park it’s tough to read number plates, and there’s no zoom function. We also had to adjust the contrast and brightness settings manually, since the automatic defaults are far too dark for daytime use.

Y-cam Bullet HD 1080

The extra IR emitters have a big impact on night viewing, though, with areas up to 10m away illuminated as if by searchlight, and a range that extends to 25m. Happily, the Bullet HD 1080 has banished the nasty vertical-smearing effect of its predecessor too.

Scheduled and continuous recordings or snapshots can be sent to NAS appliances, and this worked fine in our tests. Instant snapshots can be sent to local folders, FTP servers are supported, and the camera has an internal SD card slot. For motion detection you can create up to three windows, each with its own sensitivity setting, and any that are triggered can send images to email, an FTP server or the SD card.

The Bullet HD 1080 is a feature-packed device for its compact size. But despite great low-light performance, overall image quality could be better.

Details

Price ex VAT £388
Overall rating 4
Performance 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty RTB years 1

Specifications

Sensor type 1/2in RGB CMOS
Video frame rate 30fps
Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
WiFi standard 802.11n
Power over Ethernet yes
Compression scheme MJPEG, H.264
Motion detection yes

Software

Web interface? yes