One of My [Current] Favorite IP Cameras

amcrestI have a few different Amcrest surveillance cameras, both indoor and outdoor. I was recently going through my various models to tweak time settings and I forgot I had the Amcrest IP4M-1055E because it is similar in appearance to the several Amcrest IP2M-844E cameras I have. However, I prefer the newer IP4M-1055E for several reasons (not necessarily in this order):

  • The firmware is much faster when remotely accessing the camera settings.
  • This camera is 4MP, but only at 20 fps (frames per second). This frame rate may be fine for some, but I prefer smooth playback so I have mine set to 2304 x 1296 at 30 fps.
  • The field of view is 118.6°. I really like a camera with a wide of a field of view. Any narrower and the coverage is not sufficient for large areas. I have this camera on my porch and the field of view is still appropriate because it covers my entire porch. I cannot think of a situation where it would be too wide for my use.
  • I like the dome style camera without a clear dome/cover. I like to adjust my cameras without having to remove a shroud. I’ve had shrouds move camera angles more than once when securing it to the housing. When this happens, it means taking off the shroud, re-adjusting the camera angle, and then carefully putting it back on. This is not fun when working on a ladder at an awkward angle. My cameras are also out of reach, so I do not worry about vandalism. I still might not even choose a dome if the camera were within reach in a residential situation. This would be different if the camera was in a public park or somewhere where vandalism was much more likely.
  • It’s weatherproof with an IP67 rating. I have this camera where rain never hits it, but I have similar cameras exposed to direct rain with no issues. Don’t let the lack of a dome worry you.
  • The infrared is sufficiently bright enough in open areas. I would like a little more light, but it would take many more LEDs. This could cause a lot of reflection when an object gets too close. I have considered installing an infrared LED array where I have a couple similar cameras, but I never went through with it.
  • The camera is rather small at 2.7″ tall and 3.6″ wide at the base.
  • It has PoE (power over ethernet), so no need to run power. You will need an PoE injector or PoE switch, but this is far better than running separate power.
  • It’s cheap on Amazon at $90.

UPDATE 1/1/2019

Though I really like Amcrest, I am testing out some other cameras. I wrote a review on the JideTech outdoor PTZ camera and I will soon be testing my first Dahua camera. Dahua cameras are generally cheaper than Amcrest and many times will have better features. The Dahua camera I will be testing is the Dahua IPC-HDW4631C-A. This is a 6MP (but only at 20 fps) outdoor PoE camera with audio (microphone only – not two-way audio). I am excited to try this camera because I have indoor cameras with audio and I really like that feature. You may not be able to see something, but you may be able to hear it. I have indoor my cameras set to record when audio of a certain level is detected. I would really like to have a speaker like Ring flood light cameras, but that feature is not yet common. I doubt I will ever use a Ring flood light camera because they require a power supply and a WiFi connection. I prefer PoE and I don’t like using WiFi for cameras.

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