The first thing you’d notice about the Amcrest ProHD Shield 960P (1.3MP/1280TVL) WiFi Video Security IP Camera, is its hexagonal shape. Which is kind of strange to say the least, as many people do not care about the way a security camera looks; rather, they care more about what it does.
This camera is shaped like a diamond indeed. It looks good but is it any good? Check out this article to find out.
- Clear picture (1280×960)
- Remote viewing
- Easy set-up
- Smart motion detector
- 32 feet of night vision
- Easy-to-navigate app
- Affordable price
- Low frame-rate
The Amcrest has a magnetic so it’s quite easy to mount. The manufacturer does oversell the set-up though, because you can’t get a picture straight after opening the box.
However, the set-up takes only 10 minutes and the majority of that involves simple stuff like downloading the app and waiting for the Wi-Fi recognition. So overall, it’s not too bad.
The best thing about the picture is that the angle of the lens measures 140 degrees. That’s one of the widest angles on the market so it will basically cover a whole room. Place it in the corner and you can see across a large space.
They’ve provided an unusual native resolution though.
It’s 1280×960 and this means it’s theoretically better than 720p and a little worse than 1080p. “Theoretically” is the word because you only get 30 frames per second here instead of the 60 fps you get on most other high resolution cameras. So things moving at a fast pace can become distorted. However, we don’t think burglars would move in a speed of a bullet, so to speak, so that won’t be much of a problem.
But overall, the pictures are clear, considering the price. You’ll be satisfied with them.
You get 32 feet of night vision and for around $150-$250 you’d get 100 feet.
But you’re only being asked to pay $50 for this camera so you have to weigh that up in your mind.
Ask yourself: “Do I want to pay quite a bit more for night vision? Or am I happy with 32 feet?”
One of the big complaints you will have seen in the other home security gadget reviews is the motion detectors — the ones where you’re at work and you get a notification because the dog walked past the camera. It can get quite annoying and this problem exists even on well-rated cameras.
So it’s good to see the smart motion detection, which will allow you to separate the area of coverage into zones.
Then you can set the sensitivity levels of each zone, meaning that zones where you know family members are going to go, could be made less sensitive. So less false alarms there. Areas like near the doorway could be made more sensitive.
With this smart motion detection, you won’t be receiving notifications that you feel the need to check but you already know are not emergencies. This is an excellent inclusion.
For this price, you won’t have a hard drive, so it’s suggested that you should purchase one separately. That is, if you will want to keep up to 30 days of recordings for complete security. A hard drive is the only way to do this.
However, this camera unit has an SD card slot so you can record a limited amount of footage with a hard drive. It will support SD cards with up to 64 GB of space. You have to buy an SD card though.
Capture family moments
Amcrest has a non-home security feature that allows recording and capturing family moments for later viewing. They’ve been almost as enthusiastic about this as the shape.
But, if you don’t remember when a specific moment occurred you’ll be looking through hours and days of footage before you find it. So it’s not as easy as they made it seem. You can do it though.
You can go to the app at any time, and from anywhere in the world to view live or recorded footage. You can even speak to the house live and anyone inside can speak back to you. This is great for conversations with the family members. The sound is all right, but not amazing. Nevertheless, it is still a good feature for its price.
The angle of the lens is one of the camera’s best features because it gives you lots of coverage, the picture is clear and in many cases, detailed. The low frame-rate might be an issue if a burglar is moving particularly fast. Of course you’ll still get the motion sensor alert, so you’ll know an intruder is there.
But a fast-paced burglar might be a problem later when police look at the cam to try and identify him if he wasn’t caught. It looks pretty good, but not as good as Amcrest thought.
Other than these issues, Amcrest is a good value for your money. It has a slot that supports up to a 64 GB SD card and the price is very low.