For those of you who don’t know, SpotCam is a leader in providing wireless IP cameras for the household and what sets them apart from other Wireless IP camera providers is they offer a cloud storage solution as part of the IP Camera package. This benefit here is that the Spotcam camera is streaming the video to the cloud and recording it in real time, instead of saving it on a local SD card, this prevents someone who may want to tamper or damage/remove the SD Card from deleting the footage if you were using the IP camera as a home intruder detection system. we have reviewed a previous Spotcam model before, but this is the review of the SpotCam EVA which kind of reminds me of the robot EVA from Wall-E a little bit in appearance.
Video Showcase of the SpotCam EVA
The SpotCam EVA differs from the previous SpotCam camera in that it can remotely be adjusted to pan, tilt, zoom and give you wider angles of viewing as well as being able to look around an area remotely with the IP Camera. Now for the review purpose I installed the SpotCam EVA above my outside door, and it was positioned so it could see anyone who could enter my gate, but also anyone who may bump the back of my wife’s car parked in her spot (which has happened before).
You can drill a hole and run the wire better inside your home or wall if you choose, but it plugs into a standard outlet, and I use this same mount spot to test multiple Wireless IP cameras so I just leave the wire exposed at this point, it is covered from the elements. Though this camera is not considered an outdoor camera, it is not waterproof or weather-resistant I have used it for more than 30 days on my front porch which is covered, but moisture can built up with humidity and the camera is just fine. The SpotCam EVA has night vision mode which you can either set to auto where it detects the dimming light.
In the dark you just get the glowing lights from the camera. Above shot was with flash and hard for camera to not pick up some blur when flash is on at night.
The interesting thing about SpotCam as a service, is that you can tie multiple cameras into the same account. Say you wanted to put one outside all doors or monitoring all rooms of your house for example.
You also have the ability to make public or private camera feeds, so if one wanted, you can create a 24×7 live public broadcast for something. Think of this for like a Zoo or if you were monitoring a bird nest in your yard or other nature display, but it also could be if you wanted to be on camera entertaining. You could go to the SpotCam Now On Air section and see all public camera’s and pick a feed. Here was a sample of some of the live feeds I took while writing this.
SpotCam is truly awesome as a detection system, it can pair with your SpotCam application on your iPhone or Android to give you 24×7 access to check your feeds. I have used it to check on my dogs when I am out on a day trip. You can setup all sorts of alerts and monitors with thresholds, such as “sound activation alert” or “motion activation alert”.
You can see in the video you get a live timeline of your video, and any alerts that were triggered show up as points in the video. These include the red NOISE alerts, and the Blue Motion alerts. These are trigger points that you can go back and check to see what triggered this event.
The SpotCam only has the ability to send alerts via email from the website (though you can get alerts via notifications on phone) you can easily work around this by creating an IFTTT recipe that turns those emails into SMS pages if you need to however.
So last night, you can see I honed in on one of the motion alerts, and my son triggered it. Depending on how sensitive you have the motion sensor, it may capture wind chimes or other tiny motions, so make sure you adjust the sensitivity as you need to.
Now this SpotCam EVA camera has an excellent mic picking up background sounds like even my neighbor’s dogs barking without any issue so it has a very good microphone on it. It also allows you to speak through your phone or computer PC mic and your voice can be heard and projected from the camera. This means if you see a delivery truck park in front of your house you can speak to the delivery guy through the camera giving him instructions in real time for example.
One of my favorite features of the MySpotCam service is the ability to make a Time-Lapse film out of the footage.
This allows you to take a snapshot at certain intervals which can compress a large volume of time into a single watchable video short. The shortest interval is every 2 minutes, so you can say get 30 frames for 1 hour of footage.
This could make 24 hours of footage with 1 snapshot every 2 minutes watchable in 48 seconds as seen in screenshot below.
Now it is possible to not capture specific events in that 120 second window, but if you were to find or see something bad in the “before/after” comparison, you could then drill down to that time spot and watch playback in normal time.
Now with SpotCam cloud plans, you get the free live streaming plan and the 1 day cloud video recording for free from purchasing the camera. If you want to store 3 days, 7 days or 30 days of video footage online in their cloud you will need to pay for the monthly subscription. If you are very much checking your camera every day, and reviewing, you can do fine with the 1 day plan, but if you want to monitor your home for like a 7 day trip and review all the footage when you come back, you will need a 7 day plan.
The price is pretty reasonable if you have a single cam, and cheaper than most home security monitoring solutions.
Back in the camera options, you can put the camera into sleep mode to where it only records and broadcasts on alarm activation if you want as well. Plus if you install the camera or want another angle you can reverse 180 degree the image if you install the camera upside down or on a ceiling and need to reverse the image. The Status LED which is blue indicating it is working and streaming can be disabled so no light displays too, which hides the fact that it is on and recording but also doesn’t give you a orange light or indicator if it has problems either.
I love my SpotCam EVA, it is fantastic and the only things I would say are that the camera resolution even with HD video could be higher, if you zoom in it gets grainy and you can’t read fine details at all, The response time of moving the camera is also a bit slow, you can try to move/pan the camera and it takes a few seconds delay before the camera picks up your command from the Internet and moves. The cool thing though is you can preset positions for the camera, and even create zagging motions making the camera move and pan in a pattern.
If you need a Wireless IP Camera that stores the footage and broadcasts it real time to the cloud instead of storing the video on an SD Card, then the SpotCam EVA is an excellent choice and this camera gets a 4.5 star Editors Choice award from me.