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Recommendations please: HD IP-cam NO PTZ + NO online membership

edited October 2015 in Cameras
After years of using cheap Instar cameras—with low resolution, no audio transfer to SS and many physical weaknesses—I’m now looking for something in the $150–200 price range.

Obviously it should work with Security Spy (audio & video).

The camera should be fixed with no option for Pan/Tilt/Zoom.
I don’t need P/T/Z and had cameras screw up their position on their own.

It should have an IR function (Infra Red/Night Nision).

The resolution should be 720p or more.

There should be no online service or membership required to set the camera up or use it.
Therefore the Samsung SmartCams would be excluded for example, I couldn’t get their WebViewer to work in any browser and I’d like to avoid further hassle with memberships and online set-ups.

It doesn’t need a speaker or any extras.

Any suggestions? Thank you!


  • Yes it's annoying that the Samsung cameras require you to sign up online - it's an unnecessary hassle. However it is free and just needs to be done once.

    In terms of other options that have all the features you want, here are a few:

    Dahua Technology IPC-HDW4300C - we reviewed this camera recently, and while we weren't too impressed with its image quality when used outside, it seems to work a lot better indoors with artificial light.

    Foscam C2 - generally we don't recommend Foscams, but this one is good.

    Hikvision DS-2CD2412F-I (W)

    Vivotek IP8336W

    Hope this helps.
  • edited October 2015
    Thanks a lot, I will get one of these four!

    Does the Foscam C2 require Windows, as an reviewer claims?

    RE: Samsung SmartCams
    Yes it only has to be done once but it doesn’t work. Their support seems clueless about Macs and it works neither on Snow Leopard (Safari, Firefox, Chrome) nor on any browser on El Capitan (according to Samsung support). So to start using the device, I need to move to a specific neither new nor old version of the OS which I have on none of my Macs currently. Unnecessary hassle.
  • edited October 2015
    Foscam C2W seems very blurry when movement occurs, to the point where faces are indistinguishable:

    Can this be solved by lowering the resolution to 720p? Otherwise not a good camera for surveillance.

    The Dahua IPC-HDW4300C doesn’t seem to have this problem at all:
  • The Foscam C1 and C2 do not require Windows for setup, however they do require you to use Safari and install a plugin in order to configure the camera.

    The C2, like most cameras, will adjust its exposure time (shutter speed) based on available light. So if the scene is very well-lit then the exposure time will be very short, and there will be very little motion blur. However, in low-light situations, the exposure time will increase and there will be significant motion blur. Some cameras will allow you to specify the minimum acceptable exposure time in order to limit the amount of motion blur (at the expense of increased noise in the video image), however the C2 does not have such a setting. So, if you will be using the camera in well-lit areas then you don't have to worry, otherwise it's a valid concern.

    Reducing the resolution won't help the situation, as the exposure time is purely affected by the amount of light reaching the sensor, not by the resolution of the video stream.

    The Dahua IPC-HDW4300C has much better low-light sensitivity, so it is able to maintain short exposure times even in low-light situations. Plus, it does have a setting that allows you to manually specify the exposure time.

    Hope this helps.
  • Yes, very helpful, thank you. I’ll get the Dahua, sending back the Samsung now.
  • Sorry to bother you again but do you have more cameras you can recommend?

    German Amazon just ran out of the Dahua, some of the other ones you named are only available from sellers from China and other countries or for double the price from German sellers with bad ratings.
  • What do you think of the Dahua IPC HDW4300S?

    Image quality looks fine to me.
  • Hi Robert, the IPC-HDW4300S is very similar to the IPC-HDW3400C (main difference with the S is lack of audio and a different form factor). So if this one is available to you at a good price from a reputable seller, and you don't need audio, then I think it would be a good option.
  • Thanks for the warning!

    Actually I do need audio because while my other cameras have audio, somehow it doesn’t end up in SS or any other third party applications.
  • Okay update: I got the Hikvision DS-2CD2412F-I (W), comes with no power or network cable but no problem.

    I can see the live feed from their viewer but how do I get Security Spy to accept it as a device?
  • Hi Robert,

    - In the Video Device Settings window in SecuritySpy, create a new network device
    - Set the device type to "Hikvision”
    - Enter the camera's IP address but leave the Port fields empty
    - Enter the camera’s username and password
    - Select "H.264 RTSP” as the Format.

    This should get your Hikvision camera streaming video to SecuritySpy.

    If you haven't done so already, it's also good idea to give your camera a fixed IP address on your local network, as described by our IP camera setup instructions.
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