I was given the Foscam C1 Lite and Foscam FI9800P to Review, and might I say, these are two fair cameras for the price but both have their pro’s and con’s and the cloud service and software itself turned out to be one of the biggest hangups that I had with the product.
Review of the Foscam C1 Lite
Pros: This camera features a surprising 720p HD video, that can most definitely be compared to 1080p in picture quality. The Two-Way Talk feature is perfect for communicating with family members or even the family pet, especially when either are up to no good. And for $40 dollars this camera is kind of hard to beat.
Cons: Now although the C1- Lite performs extremely well, there are some features that would have been amazing to have included since this is a Wired Device. And that bring me to my first con, which is the “wiredness” of this camera. This C1-Lite has to be plugged in ALL THE TIME! Making this camera very limited as to where you can put it. Secondly, there is no Night-Vision and or Bright LED’s attached to this, so if you were actually thinking about using this as a night time security camera, think again. The mountable viewing angles are atrocious and the App does not make it any better.
Review of the Foscam FI9800P
Pros: Starting off again, These 720p HD Cameras have surprisingly impressive lenses that allow them to look as if they are 1080p. The best feature of this FI9800P is definitely the Night Vision. The specs state that the FI9800P’s Night-Vision is viewable up to 65ft, and it does just that and more. It features a high-powered antenna, allowing for better connectivity and greater distances between the device and your wireless router ( if you choose to go the wireless route). The camera also has pre-wired A/V cables and an Ethernet port so you can connect this to a Closed-Loop system. For an $80 dollar camera, those features alone are worth the price.
Cons: Again, this is a Wired device. Making the areas in which you can put the camera, very limited. But it is for good reason, since this camera IS equipped with Night-Vision. NO AUDIO! you would think if someone is going to be using this FI9800P that it would come standard with audio as well. Along with the C1-Lite the mountable viewing angles are terrible.
In my own opinion, I think Foscam should delete everything that has to do with any of their software. It is a complete and utter mess and is very difficult to deal with. I spent over two hours just trying to connect the C1-Lite and FI9800P to the iPhone App. Ranging from taking pictures of the QR code on the bottom side of the cameras, directly in the app to connect it (that didn’t work). To having to add the UID manually. After finally adding the cameras to the app, getting them to connect to the internet was a whole other problem.
Going back to the mountable viewing angles, the app only allows you to turn the camera angles in either a horizontal and or a vertical manner, so when you mount these up you better have them perfectly aligned or your video feed may be a little sideways.
The only way to record video is to do it manually and or schedule a time to record. You can set the C1-Lite and or FI9800P to send you push notifications, but it is pointless. It only tells you when there was either motion detected and or sound, but fails to record the incident.
And don’t get me started on how difficult it is to connect these cameras to the standalone client on your PC
I would like to say something good about the services, but I really can’t. In order to get the full force experiences with any Foscam camera you need to get their most expensive service, which is $50 dollars a month. Allowing 30 days of continuous recording that is saved to their Cloud Storage. But I do not see spending $600 dollars a year for software that isn’t up to the standards that every other company has. And Foscam does have a “Free service” feature, but it is truly sad that a company would do something like this after you just bought their product. If you do not want to purchase their service, the free option is good for one camera, and allows you to view your camera that you have purchased for 30 minutes. Ahh but the upside is, you can manually record 30 videos and or take 100 pictures.
After having the C1-Lite and FI9800P for little over two months, I’ve come to the conclusion, that I personally would not recommend Foscam to any friends or family just on the software alone. Both camera’s on the other hand are decent, with camera quality and features. I just wish that Foscam would implement more into the cameras and possibly in the future make things battery operated so you can put these cameras virtually anywhere.
Disclaimer: Foscam provided me with the C1-Lite and FI9800P so I could do a showcase and share thoughts on the product. All opinions are 100% mine and mine alone. For more information visit http://bit.ly/dbdisclose