Brickcom has entered the U.S. market with cameras that have unique features that many have been asking for from the established players for years. The WOB-130Np is a megapixel bullet camera similar in shape to what ACTi, Vivotek, Messoa, Sony have done for years but that’s where the similarities end. What sets this camera apart is a combination of features including their wireless capabilities (WiFi & 4G), their ability to record to an SD card or a NAS, the ability to adjust focus and focal length from a browser and good low light performance.
• N-Series Sony Exmor 1.3M Outdoor Bullet Camera
• SmartFocus® to Ease the Zoom and Focus Adjustment Remotely
• Focal Length: 2.8mm~10mm
• Brickcom WDR Enhancement® Technology inside
• Intelligent Multi-Profile Sensor Management® for Different Environments
• HDTV Quality ( 720p @ 30fps)
• Removable IR-cut Filter /Auto Light Sensor for Day and Night
• Built-in 3G/4G module and SIM slot for Wireless Connectivity
• Two-way Audio/Built-in
• Micro SD/SDHC Memory Card Slot for Local Storage
• 1 DI/DO for External Alarm and Sensor Device
• IP67 Outdoor Enclosure Built-in Fan (-40°C ~ 60°C) and Heater
• Power over Ethernet
Overall this camera impresses with it’s slick menus, image quality and low light performance. You can set the camera up in various aspect ratios, the popular HDTV 16:9 format for 720P or the traditional PC format that gives you 1280 by 1024 pixels. Although they provide a free IOS app for your iPhone/iPad, you can access this camera using the Safari browser via an iPad just as well. If you have more than one camera, the IOS app allows you to look at multiple cameras and chose a single camera.
This is what the web interface looks like when you first log in
From this screen you can adjust the focus and focal length, tweak the brightness and adjust mic and speaker volume. There are buttons to allow full screen, mute the mic, take a snapshot, pause/play, manually record, flip/mirror image, start/stop motion detection and more.
Click on Configuration takes you to the setup options. In this screen you can configure the two available streams.
This is where you setup the camera options, for example WDR, auto iris, denoise levels, IR cut filter, IR leds, color or b&W. You do this for different profiles, for example a day profile, a night profile and dusk profile. For example, if you want the image in color at night but want the IR cut filter on, you can set this up, not very common for IP cameras. Most either let you chose between color during the day or b&W at night. There’s plenty of flexibility here to adjust the picture to your tastes.
Some of you like the idea of having a surveillance system devoid of PC’s or NVRs. You want the camera to write directly to either internal storage like an SD card or to networked storage (NAS). This camera delivers on both fronts. Here’s the window where you specify the SAMBA settings to write to a Windows mount on your NAS. Worked very well with my Western Digital MyBook Live 1TB ($149). The video motion detection was spot on. Using Windows 7, I was able to open the network share folder, view snapshots of each video, double click on the snapshot and it played on Windows Media Player without any conversions as many cameras require you to do to share on other computers. This is definately a good way to go if you have a small number of cameras.
Speaking of motion detection, this is where you setup as many as 3 zones for motion detection. I was surprised how well it handle motion detection, very on target, no surpises.
The last thing I want to show you is the WiFi setup. I plugged in the antenna, about 10″ long (shown below) and it picked up every WiFi router within a one block radius. I normally see 2-3 of my neighbor’s routers when I search on my laptop at home, this picked up about 30 routers.
Here’s a picture of the antenna. If you need wireless, this is the camera to get, seriously, nothing else even comes close. Also you can set this camera up with a cellular SIM for 3G/4G connectivity. If you have a remote location, like a construction site where there’s no internet access, this is the camera to get.
Now onto the images, how well does this camera peform. I mounted the camera at the front of my garage, under the eave. With the varifocal lens starting at 2.8mm, it was perfect for viewing the entire front of my home. While at that wide of an angle, you can not ID someone across the street, it was very effective as people approached my front gate or driveway. As with my other reviews, click on the images below to see the full size image, straight from the camera.
This is the camera at it’s longest focal length at 10mm (about a 4X zoom controlled from the browser)
At night you have a choice of color or b&w with the IR filter off. I did not see any difference in noise or image quality between color and b&w, it’s purely a preference. I prefer color if it doesn’t degrade the image. I have noise reduction set to auto. The IR illuminators do a very good job of lighting up the area. There is some noise, but compared to other camera I’ve tried in the same location, it’s actually quite low but not perfect.
As a new feature of my reviews, he’s actual video captured by the camera. Use the max resolution youtube allows and go full screen to get the best effect.
The street price on this camera is in the $800-900 range which may seem high, but considering it’s unique features, it represents a good value. Those that don’t need wireless capabilities, you can save some money by buying the none wireless version (remove the W in the model number). But if you need wireless, for example you have large property and you want to put a camera where running ethernet is not practical, either because it exceeds the ethernet 100m length or it’s just physically not possible, this is your camera.
The pluses for this camera are;
• 1.3M and 720P HD quality at up to 30fps in an outdoor bullet camera
• SmartFocus® takes the drudgery out of focusing manually at the camera
• Nice wide practical varifocal range of 2.8mm to 10mm
• Excellent IR illuminators, good for the advertised range
• Wifi and built-in 3G/4G module and SIM slot for Wireless Connectivity
• Two-way audio built-in
• Micro SD/SDHC memory card slot for local storage
• 1 DI/DO for an external alarm sensor
• Power over Ethernet (PoE)
Recomended for those needing to protect their homes or business that need a high quality professional camera with low light capabilities. Highly recomended for those that need wireless connectivity, be it a simple WiFi or put in a remote construction site or vacation home for example where there may be no internet connectivity and cellular service can be quickly deployed.
The only shortfall of the camera is that I was expecting the autofocus and varifocal to act more like a zoom. This is not the case. The autofocus gets you fairly close, but you have to tweak it to get an optimal focus. While this is done at the comfort of your browser, it doesn’t have the accuracy or quickness of a typical PTZ speed dome but it’s not advertised as such and is certainly much better than standing on a ladder with a laptop in hand trying to manually focus the camera.
Spec sheets, manuals, overview are available here
This review is sponsored by Ray Cortes of Global Surveillance Systems. Good guy to buy cameras from. His email address is email@example.com and phone number is (703) 222-4666 x106