The first thing to note is that this is one of the cheaper cameras on the market. At around £40, it's a third of the price of the Y-Cam models. But does that low price means it compromises on features?
What's In The Box
As well as the camera and power supply (output of 5V, 2A) you get a wall-mounting kit and instruction leaflet.
The leaflet is poorly translated - but there's not really a great deal of complexity here. Plug in the camera to the network, then plug it into the power.
All the apps - including desktop apps - are available at http://www.netcam360.com/en.html
With the app you're able to fully control the camera - including receiving audio from it. If you want to access it from outside your network, you'll need to set up the necessary port forwarding.
This is a fully featured IP Cam.
- This is a Pan / Tilt camera. It can rotate ~350° and can tilt ~150° from pointing straight up.
- 10 Infrared LEDs around the camera give it night vision
- Microphone on the base allows you to hear what's going on in a room.
- Speaker on the side to generate alarms - or you can use the microphone on your phone to talk to people near the camera..
- 2.4GHz WiFi, LAN port, 3.5mm audio jack.
- Micro SD card support for local file saving
Really, the only let-down is the comparatively poor resolution of the camera itself. Although the unit claims to deliver 720p, the maximum resolution is 640*360!
The software is basic, but functional.
- Android App.
- iOS App.
- Built in web browser (port 81 by default).
- MJPEG support for streaming.
- RTSP support (although I couldn't get it working).
- ONVIF support (untested).
The Web UI is basic - but good enough.
There's a full suite of settings for you to fiddle with. Everything is reasonably sensibly laid out.
The same can be said for the Android app - everything works without much fuss.
With the Android app, you can use the touchscreen to control the camera's movement. You can also hold down the microphone button and use your phone's mic to broadcast your voice out to the camera! Nifty 🙂
The camera also works perfectly with 3rd party webcam apps.
Digging around in the web UI, it seems that users of Internet Explorer are able to force the camera into 720p mode.
However, if you don't want to install an OCX file, or can't use IE - it doesn't look like there's a way to get 720p out of the camera.
Every IP camera is tricky to set up. This is no worse than any of the others. It will allow you to send photos via email, upload them to FTP, or save them on the Micro SD card.
The alarm sensitivity took a little bit of practice to get right, but once it has been configured you never have to touch it again. It might have been nice to support SMB or SFTP - but for a budget camera, it'll do.
You get quite a lot of camera for your money. The only real drawback is the limited resolution if you don't use Internet Explorer.
The Pan/Tilt motor is virtually silent. Even if you sit next to it, you'll hear it only as a whisper.
Infrared capabilities are good - you'll be able to see in even the darkest room.
This is a re-badged WansCam JW0004. It's a cheap-and-cheerful model. The basic functionality is great, the camera's sensor is adequate for domestic use, and the software is of the usual quality.
So, you want to integrate this into your other systems, eh? Ok!
I found this information via Lud's blogpost on the JW0004.
WansCam offer API documentation in Chinese - this is my attempt to translate the more useful parts of it!
This is not a complete list - but should be enough to get you started.
All of these will require authorisation. Sometimes the API parameters are
user=&pass= and sometimes they are
Get Still Image
Get a streaming video
See various configuration settings
Initiate a WiFi scan:
What WiFi networks can the camera see?
Reboot and reset
Set resolution to 320*180
Set resolution to 640*360
Motion control is slightly tricky.
&command= controls the direction of movement.
&command=90Up + Left
&command=92Down + Left
&command=91Up + Right
&command=93Down + Right
&onestep= controls how far it will move in that direction.
&onestep=0- move as far as possible (i.e. all the way up, down, left, right).
&onestep=1- move a short distance in the direction of travel.
So, to move all the way up:
To stop all motion.
To Calibrate and return to centre:
Bit of a complex one this. The
patrol_X_rates take one of three values.
Chained together, they look like
http://--:81/set_misc.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas= &ptz_patrol_rate=1 &ptz_patrol_up_rate=1 &ptz_patrol_down_rate=1 &ptz_patrol_left_rate=1 &ptz_patrol_right_rate=1
By default there is a flashing green LED on the front of the camera.