Reader Paul Richarson wrote a comment in an earlier camera blog of mine which triggered me to get hold of an ESCAM QF288 1080P WiFi IP Camera from Banggood as he suspected the camera is 3* optical zoom, not 8* optical zoom…. and he’s right – the ads claim 8x – I like the camera – but having wired mine up it looks distinctly like 3x to me., with the rest made up in digital zoom.
The ad also claims that the QF288 is ONVIF compatible – let’s also put that to the test… but first I wanted to load in a BlitzWolf® BW-TF1 Class 10 UHS-1 64GB UHS-3 V30 Micro SD card which arrived a few days earlier – as you can’t record anything without such a card unless you use the (initially free for a month then paid) cloud service. I wasn’t interested in the latter (whatever happened to offering FTP access – I have 2 cheap Chinese cameras that do just that – had them for years and you simply give them the FTP details of your server – but that seems to have gone out of fashion (see elsewhere in here – Instar cameras do FTP – but then they are moer expensive) – on the other hand I did once forget that I’d left my older cameras online and ended up with about 4 year’s worth of video on my website storage area – service provider was not happy).
So, I opened the package which includes camera and power supply and in my case southern European mains plug. After undoing 4 screws and fitting the (separately supplied) 16GB SD card (I didn’t format the card or prepare it in any way) for local storage, I plugged the supply into the wall and into the camera. The Android APP for this camera is called ICSee (I have the PRO version of that but one thing at a time). The APP accepted my user name (email) and password for ICSee Pro, I hit + on the APP and within seconds I was up and running. I made sure my phone was on the 2.4G WiFi – most of these cameras don’t work with 5G WiFi and the QF288 is no exception.
A reasonably English voice in the camera said “System starting up” – “Connecting – please read” – at the same time – 4 bright white LEDs came on momentarily – I told the APP about my 2.4WiFi and the camera connected without issue though I’ve no idea why these and other similar cameras often say “please read”…
“Connected to router successfully”. Next step – check the zoom. Well, there are zoom in and out buttons on the APP (which came with very few instructions) and either I’m going blind or that is indeed 3x zoom – which is fine – but it would be bettr if the ad didn’t claim 8* zoom. You can of course pinch with fingers to get more – up to probably 8* – but I’ll swear that extra is NOT optical zoom – it is digital zoom with corresponding reduction in quality.
After moving the camera about, I checked “playback” to ensure that a recording had actually been made at my setting of “best quality”. Sure enough the quality is reasonable – though it seems standard these days to claim 1920×1080 resolution without referring to the blockiness caused by compression – there is a LITTLE of that at best quality record but not much. As the camera use H265x ( you can set 264 or 264+ if you wish) I’m expecting to get quite a lot of storage out of my 64GB card before the camera starts over-writing old recording segments.
The camera clock said 16:10 – it was 17:10. I found a menu item that said “click here to sync the time with your phone” – that worked. As well as 4 WHITE lights, the camera has 4 powerful-looking infra-red lights and supports 3 different modes of lighting.
I have the ONVIFER APP on my phone, I turned that on, the camera was discovered automatically – so that’s another box ticked.
I mentioned I already have ICSee Pro – I could not tell the difference and both work with the same user and camera passwords.
As for alarm settings, the camera does indeed do people sensing – as for “Cordon” – the only CORDON I know is Cordon Bleu which has nothing to do with cameras 🙂 I can however see in the APP something about “alert triggering direction” under that title – maybe someone can enlighten me in here. Perimiter sensing?
Device upgrades (firmware) are apparently possible but without instructions I could not see how – all I got from the APP was a list of local folders and something about local upgrade.
So, all in all apart from the somewhat misleading ZOOM claim – not bad at all. I had a quick play with the sound – and I have to say – reasonable 2-way audio.
OH, ALARM – you have to see this…serious female American voice…. I love it. And as for the “Howling alarm” I nearly had a heart attack when I set it to “You have entered the monitoring area” – for the older people in here that reminds me of “Step away from the hehicle”. It’s as well that they have a custom alarm facility (roll your own) because some of the English isn’t spectacular – “Danger of depth, pay attention to safety” being one example – however with the custom facility, the sky is the limit – just create your own suitably serious (or otherwise) audio recording in the APP.
I wonder if I could get a job recording Northeastern English alarm warnings? At a pinch I could manage a Scottish accent as well…
I should mention that you CAN use hardwired Internet rather than WiFi – that is on the connector lead (which makes for a slightly larger hole requirement in the wall but that’s not uncommon). I find the WiFi connection to be fine.
The camera is supposed to be IP66 waterproof – time will tell though I’ve never had a corrosion problem with ESCAM cameras in the past. I could rant on about the remaining features but I’ll refer you back to the earlier-provided link to get full tech info from the Banggood site.
I will add some footage soon – but right now the camera is sitting on my floor pointing up – it needs to be on the outside wall on a fine day, not due anytime this week.