Review: D-Link Full-HD 180-degree WiFi Camera – DCS-2530L

D-Link is the global provider of network technology solutions for consumers and businesses to connect with information, resources and each other. D-Link defines technology innovation by designing award-winning, high performance and first-to-market products to suit every budget.

Specs:
• 180° Field of View – Widest angle lens
• Crystal Clear – 1080p HD Quality Video
• Unique De-Warping Technology – Maximizes video quality with less distortion
• Wi-Fi – for convenient placement
• Sound and Motion Detection – Push alert notifications when noises or movement is detected
• Audio – Built-in microphone
• Local Recording – MicroSD/SDXC card slot for local recording based on event triggers
• Night Vision – See up to 5 metres in complete darkness with built-in IR LEDs
• Remote Viewing – See what your camera sees using the mydlink app suite.


Review:

When security in your home, office or workplace is of paramount importance, the more you can see means the less that can happen un-noticed. That’s where something like this comes in very handy. With a full side-to-side field of view and some fancy onboard computing to ‘unbend’ the image back into something our brains can comprehend without discomfort, it’s the perfect camera for discrete observation of large open spaces.

Installation is a breeze, though you need to overcome your fear of breaking it and give the base a good solid twist to remove the mounting plate. I found it very uncomfortable trying to do it with my bare hands, and instead grabbed a small dowel and used a couple of small screws to make a sort of wrench that I could slide into the mounting holes on the baseplate and twist it off. Do hold the unit at the hinge, not the camera end of the stand, to avoid breaking it.

One thing that I must applaud D-Link for was including a power adaptor that has a ‘bent’ USB plug on the end. Most cables have the plug sticking out parallel with the cable, but this one turned over into an ‘L’ shape to ensure maximum range of positioning for the camera without the plug catching on anything and jamming it up. This is particularly great when you take into account that the design of this camera allows you to rotate it through all three axis – you can tilt the camera forwards and backwards on the base hinge, you can rotate it left/right on the baseplate, and the camera itself spins clockwise and anti-clockwise in the housing at the top, meaning you should be able to move it around to see anywhere you want, no matter where you have to mount it.

Right, on to the camera itself. Once it was set up and connected to the WiFi, it was a simple matter to add it to the cluster of devices on the mydlink app. Through this app, I can check the camera anytime I want to, from anywhere that has cell coverage. it’s also very easy to adjust the settings – resolution, motion-detection zones, sound-detection, etc. – and even start recording the live stream. The one glitch I found with this was that it seemed to have some trouble keeping only the motion-detection zones I selected, instead adding and subtracting a few for no apparent reason. If you imagine a piece of paper with a grid drawn on it…. I wanted detection only in two corners without detection happening at the top or down the middle. After setting up the zones and closing the app, I tested it by walking through the ‘detect this’ zones – sure enough, alerts on my phone – and then in the ‘ignore this area’ zone… and alas, I got an alert. Checking the settings… the zones in the bottom-middle had been activated as well. Annoying and confusing.


As you can see from the photo above, the camera works very well in all lighting conditions. On the left is ‘daylight’, the middle shows ‘night vision’ and the right side shows ‘low-light’… all three give you clear images right out as far as you could need. Indoors, the night vision mode actually gave a very clear face at 8 metres. I have also tested this camera looking outside through a window, and while night-vision causes all sorts of mess due to the InfraRed LEDs reflecting off the window glass, it worked very well as a door-security camera in daylight and at night with the IR LEDs turned off (So, forcing the camera to operate in ‘day’ mode) and utilising outside motion-sensor lights to provide illumination when someone enters the area.

Recording your video onto your phone is as simple as hitting the red ‘Record’ icon on-screen in the mydlink app, and you can configure your camera to record direct to a microSD card in the unit itself automatically if you so desire. That’s great if you have motion- or sound-detection activated. However the one feature I really wish it had, but doesn’t, is the ability to TRANSMIT sound. Similar devices (also from D-Link) have an onboard speaker, and I think that would have been great for this unit too, but it’s not a deal-breaker really.

Overall, this is certainly a worthy device to consider if you want something discrete, stylish and highly functional.One of these in each room of the house would give you total coverage, excepting any odd nooks and stub-walls that may block lines of sight. I can easily see these becoming a fixture in many homes that value style AND security.

Rating:

Disclosure Statement: This unit was supplied free of charge expressly for the purposes of review by D-Link Aust/NZ. No fee was accepted or offered for this review.

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