IP cameras are beginning to become quite popular as many vendors have brought the ability for consumers to build their own home monitoring systems. While we have seen many solutions in the past from vendors such as Netgear and D-Link, today we add another in Foscam.
Foscam has been around for quite some time and focuses on delivering quality HD cameras for nearly any use. The C1, which we are taking a look at today, is one of their latest offerings and features 720p resolution using H.264 video compression and an IR Cut filter that improves color accuracy. Night vision extends out 26ft via its ring of IR LEDs that surround the lens with a 115-degree viewing angle. Connectivity is available via 802.11n or LAN and is easily setup with Foscam's Quick Access setup. Compatibility includes iOS and Android smartphones for the Foscam Viewer App.
Packaging for the C1 carries an image of the camera front and center with an overall clean look otherwise.
Flipping the box around, we have a quick specifications list for the camera, with a 1-megapixel sensor with 720p resolution. Also, this camera supports two-way audio a microSD slot for recording and night vision.
Opening the box, we found the camera packed quite well with each part in its own box. Clear plastic protects the face of the camera.
The scope of delivery includes the USB power cable, wall adapter, and mounting hardware. You also get a disk with viewing software.
The face of the camera houses the motion sensor at the top while the image sensor resides in the center. Down below we have a series of LEDs for activity and power.
A quick look at the back of the camera shows the LAN port to the left with WPS and the power input to the right.
Tucked away at the top of the camera is the micro SD slot.
Setup of the Foscam C1 is probably one of the easiest I have used. To begin, we must add a camera via the app.
This is accomplished by scanning the QR code on the back of the camera. Optionally, you can add a camera via its IP address.
Next up, we must choose a wireless network to connect the camera too. After entering that information, you wait about 120 seconds and your camera is set.
After setup is complete, we are ready to view our camera, which as you can see in the image above does have good clarity. Down below we have all the controls for the camera including audio, snapshot, recording and day night setup. You can also flip the image and adjust the quality.
Here we have a quick look at the settings menu within the Foscam application. You can control everything from alerts to the connection along with gathering information about the camera and firmware upgrades within this menu.
In past years and months, I have had quite a few cameras come through the office. While I enjoy setting up cameras, adding them to my network, and testing them, there are times when I would much rather a quick and simple setup process. Apart from the Netgear Arlo, which required a simple press of a button to sync the camera's, IP solutions typically take many arduous steps before they are ready to go.
With the Foscam, I was instantly blown away by how easy the setup process was. It just consists of scanning the QR code on the back of the camera with your phone, entering your network password, and that's it - 120 seconds. Done.
As you could see in our last images, the picture quality of this camera is superb, whether it be from the IR Cut filter but the colors look crisp and vibrant. Adding to this the quality of the stream is solid via its wireless interface, I don't know that I have ever had a wireless IP camera that has streamed this smooth, but then again that was a few routers ago. The interface while viewing the C1 is simple to use with all controls right below the image. Even further, for those of you that may want to use several of these camera's together, Foscam does include viewing software for PC, and if that's not enough for you, these cameras do work with iSpy, open source camera software.
With all of the above, it's hard for me to say anything negative about the C1 from Foscam. I haven't had a single issue since day one, and if we look at pricing, this particular camera comes in with a MSRP of $79.99 which makes it nearly $100 cheaper than the competing solution from D-Link. The Foscam C1 IP Camera also comes with one-year warranty.
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|Quality including Design and Build||87%|
|Bundle and Packaging||86%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||90%|
The Bottom Line: A strong price point is not all that is in store with the Foscam C1. You also get 720p HD streaming, intense image quality with both onboard recording and night vision support in one convenient package.
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