It’s not often I get the chance to review a product, much less a CCTV item! Today, I am reviewing the Amcrest 5MP UltraHD eyeball camera, or IP5M-T1179EW-28MM as the model code.
So here’s how this review will look… The synopsis and the box along with the core tech specs. Will also have the greatness, the good, the bad, and the fugly. At the end, some more technical talk. Click to scroll to what you want to read first, it’s worth your time. 🙂
For starters, this eyeball camera is rather lightweight due to its aluminum build and plastic fitting. Many cameras that were of the bullet and eyeball variety that I’ve handled over the years always were a smidge on the heavy side and were prone to paint-scratches when rotating/moving the unit for positioning. With this camera, all of the unit except for the face of the camera is white…. very white. While the white might be jarring with the black front panel of the lens, it blends in well with most locations inside or outside on light-colored surfaces. The cameras’ video quality is fairly nice, however, there is some visible Chromatic Aberration with the IR cut with objects at a distance of 15ft or more that are on the far left and right sides of the camera’s field of view. The field of view on this camera is quite large (103 degrees large) – and covers a HUGE wide area. Unfortunately, this could lead to overtly wide objects with items closer than 2 feet to the camera sensor. One of the more notable drawbacks (for folks in the CCTV field) is that this camera appears to be a rebrand of a Dahua camera, but cheaper in cost. Overall, this camera with a price point of 60$ per Amazon.com (non-aff link) is a rather decent camera – the fact it supports H265 and POE af standard out of the box is a welcome breath of fresh air compared to older cameras and associated companies that didn’t take the time to futureproof.
Before considering this particular model, there are a couple notable items to this camera, and should be taken into consideration prior to buying.
Core Tech Specs
Main Stream Video:
- Resolution varies. The following options are available, along with maximum framerate and bitrates permitted. Ordered in highest to the lowest resolution.
- When changing the resolution, the web panel will attempt to change other items for you – so change resolution first before modifying segments thereon after.
- The aspect ratio of the sensor is 4:3.
|Resolution||AR||Max Frame Rate||Max Bitrate||Frame Interval, Default|
Audio/microphone is fairly straight-forward, either 8000 kbps or 16000 kbps audio channel – one way to the recorder software/hardware. The audio has a “warm” feeling to it, which isn’t a bad thing!
- Firmware: V2.800.00AC000.0.R, Build Date: 2019-11-13
- ONVIF Version: 18.06(V184.108.40.2062676)
- Web Version: V220.127.116.116712
- Field of View:
- Horizontal: 103
- Vertical: 71
- DORI Details:
- Detection: ~184ft
- Observation: ~73ft
- Recognize: ~35ft
- Identify: ~18ft
- Note: 3ft or less: blurry / severely out of focus.
As per data reported by the UniFi Switch 24 POE…
- Lit area, no IR active:
- Voltage: 53 – 53.25 Volts
- Current: 46 – 54 mA
- Wattage: 2.4 – 3.3 Watts
- Non-lit area, IR cut, and IR LEDs on:
- Voltage: 53.10 Volts
- Current: 64 – 67 mA
- Wattage: 3.5 – 4 Watts
There is no newer available firmware other than what was listed above.
- Very cost-effective.
- Manual IR Sensor and IR intensity control. If you have a split-away LED IR flood – this will be a handy feature!
- Supports h264 and h265 video compression types.
- Supports up to 256GB SDCard’s. In my testing, I popped in a 128GB SanDisk Ultra, and it had no issue seeing or using the card.
- h264b greatly reduces bandwidth transfer from the camera to the remote recording device but shines at h265 when properly configured.
- Very intuitive web UI, quite easy to “get what you need edited and be done”.
- A massive field of view width – 103 degrees of it to be exact!
- At the highest resolution permitted, on a 4:3 ratio or 1.33, the height addition makes for a rather huge area covered.
- It would be great to cover a wide swath of area on a vertical mount and not a ceiling mount.
- With modestly low shutter speeds set, and despite visual blurring with fast-moving objects, quality is quite clear.
- Has a decent microphone, limited capture distance of audio. When testing the microphone audio capture, it would have no issue capturing audio out to 20ft maximum with normal human talking, so long as there is light to no winds.
- Daytime video quality is crisp, clear, and minimal artifacts/ghosting.
- Setting 3D NR to on and set the level to 100 results in incredibly clean, noise-free night and day time video.
- You can slap a MicroSD card from 2GB upwards to 256GB into the MicroSD slot – and it will generally see the SDCard without issue. Just have to ensure the file system is fat32!
- With the Amcrest web UI control panel, any configuration change that you make goes into effect immediately. It does not matter if you click the Save button or not, the changes take effect immediately. But as always, to make the modifications permanent, you click save.
- There’s a very real chance sending too much data with real-time changes can cause stress for the CPU on the camera’s board. Which can sometimes lead to overheating and device failure.
- The WebUI has a difficult time playing the Main Stream feed with settings of h264 or h265 at the ‘native resolution’ and highest FPS of the camera. It will attempt to fall back to the substream.
- Even if UPnP is not enabled or checked on the WebUI, the UPnP web service will remain active and running on the cameras given IP, accepting connections. This is a potential security issue.
- In a low-light situation, with IR LEDs off and IR shutter on, the device has a difficult time with visual-noise / low light compensation – even with 3D NR active.
- This is likely due to the camera being unable to modify gain, shutter, and other settings properly to compensate for low light situations.
- It needs to be stressed that this camera is a rebranded Dahua camera. While there is nothing wrong with that, rebrands can sometimes introduce issues with new firmware updates becoming highly delayed. For example, a delay could happen to fix a security flaw. On the IPCamTalk forums, there’s been a recent thread (as of this writing) where users have found that you can indeed flash Dahua firmware over the Amcrest firmware. This would likely cut out the middleman being Amcrest, but could/would/may likely cause feature incompatibility at some point or another – and would very likely void your warranty with Amcrest.
- The web UI’s control panel has possibly the worst session handling that I’ve used to date. You have no way or means to override the session time out.
- If you refresh ANY page, you will lose your session!
- SDCard slot is a proper pain to pop out of the slot due to how far in-set the card is.
- The realtime video on the WebUI can become quite delayed and would require a 3rd party application for more real-time viewing.
- Camera WILL CRASH if the device is port flooded or ping flooded.
- This appears to be due to the state table size being rather small. Which is common with nearly all cameras.
- This is why you always separate your cameras onto its own network/unique VLAN!
All in all, this is a very cost-effective camera. If you’re strapped for cash, and need a decent Power Over Ethernet camera with almost all the bells and whistles needed, do consider this camera. If you’re wanting to dig into the details of this camera some more, jump to page two and page three for pictures.