Vivotek is a long-standing manufacturer of quality IP surveillance products, and have an extensive lineup of network cameras to suit all requirements. We have supported their cameras in our Mac CCTV software SecuritySpy for over a decade, and we frequently recommend them to our customers.
The IB8168 is a small simple bullet-style camera for indoor use. Like its dome-style counterpart, the FD8168, it is described by Vivotek as “ultra-mini”, which is certainly appropriate for a camera that measures a mere 11cm (4.5″) long and 3cm (1.25″) in diameter. It features a 2 MP sensor that can supply 1080p video at 15fps, and is powered by PoE (Power-over-Ethernet), with no option to directly connect a power adaptor. One notable feature of this camera is the size of its image sensor, which, at 1/2.7″, is larger than the 1/3″ or 1/4″ sizes typically seen in IP cameras. Larger sensors almost always equal higher-quality images, due to lower noise and higher dynamic range.
The casing and mount are all made from plastic, which gives the camera a bit of a cheap feel. In addition, the rear cap (which can be removed to reveal a status light, SD card slot and reset button) is a little too easy to unfasten, so in an install I would be inclined to use glue or tape to ensure it doesn’t fall off accidentally. However the camera and mount are well-designed, allowing secure mounting and flexible positioning.
The camera comes pre-set to obtain an IP address automatically from your router via DHCP, so setup is a breeze – all you need to do is connect the camera to your PoE switch and use our Network Device Finder software to discover its IP address, as per our instructions. The camera’s web interface is comprehensive, well designed, and works well on Mac web browsers (other manufactures should take note!).
The camera delivers impressive image quality, due to its high-quality optics and image sensor. The picture is sharp and well-saturated, with good dynamic range. In low light, the image becomes rather noisy, so adequate lighting should be used in order to avoid this. There is a certain amount of barrel distortion, resulting in a mild fish-eye effect, though it’s not too strong and is fairly typical for a camera with such a wide viewing angle (97°).A full complement of image adjustment controls are available, from brightness/contrast/saturation/sharpness to white balance and exposure, which are all very useful in allowing fine adjustment based on lighting conditions.
This is a great little camera that will be highly effective in any indoor environment with adequate lighting. It is especially suited for retail environments due to its discreetness and wide viewing angle. And at only USD $200 it’s also very good value.
- High resolution and good image quality
- Physically small
- Mature firmware with extensive feature set and good Mac support
- Noisy image in low light
- No audio (if you need audio, use the FD8168, which has a built-in microphone)
Note: SecuritySpy is our Mac NVR software product, which will enable you to easily set up an effective video surveillance system in your home or office. It works with thousands of cameras, so there is always one to suit your requirements. Please feel free to email us with any questions.