Pros: Works well in total darkness; robust design; uncluttered interface
Cons: No manual control over infra-red LEDs; VGA resolution; expensive
Bottomline: The night vision is impressive, but the fact that you can’t turn it off manually is disappointing
But it online at:
As with all IP cameras, the Connectcam doesn’t need to be connected to a PC.
Instead it hooks up to your network (this Swann model features both wired and wireless networking) and lets you keep an eye on your home or office.
The camera’s main draw is its ability to see in the dark using infra-red. During testing, we could see clear images in total darkness up to around 10m; the camera uses a light sensor to tell it when to activate the infra-red LEDs.
There’s no way to manually control this mode, which can be frustrating as, even in fairly well-lit conditions, it switched on the infra-red LEDs and would unnecessarily lose colour and clarity as a result.
The Cmos sensor can muster decent-quality images, but the resolution of 640x480 is a little low – for this price we were expecting a one-megapixel sensor.
You can’t pan or tilt the camera remotely, and focus is manually adjusted on the camera. However, a built-in microphone provides audio and, if you attach a speaker to the 3.5mm jack, you can have a conversation.
Motion detection can be set up with snapshots sent directly to an FTP server, network hard drive, email recipient or attached USB key (there is a USB port on the side of the camera).
You can also turn on 3GPP streaming to access video via a 3G phone. Although this worked well, there’s no secure login, meaning anyone with the appropriate link can access it; this is a big security flaw and we’d advise activating this mode with caution.
The Connectcam is well built, has great features and is easy to set up and use, but the fact that you can’t manually turn off the infra-red LEDs will disappoint those looking for high-quality images.