My new camera arrived recently from Banggood (links below) – marked as ESCAM Model YN88-WIFI-130W and with the simple name “Solar Camera”.
This section updated July 14, 2019: Unless I find out otherwise, I’m holding back on recommending this camera as it is not reliable. We’ve had great weather here in Southern Spain and the last 2 days have been particularly hot. The last time I used the camera was a couple of days ago, no problems, then tonight at 6pm, I started up the app to check the view on our hill. All worked perfectly. I handed my phone to my wife to take a look, the camera stopped working. I reset the phone as I did last time this happened a week ago – made no difference.
This happened last week, I reset the camera and all was well. No doubt the same will happen again but clearly this is no good for remote operation. I have two other (cheap) cameras which have not failed once in 2 years.Just checked again – nope, it’s staying off until I go poke it.
Right, the camera is in my office in front of me. Still nothing, access panel open, switch to off, then on, seconds later all is well. I can’t rely on this otherwise excellent camera as things stand.
End of update
Sizes, info and more pictures are in the links over the break, suffice it to say for now that this is a monster, running entirely off the sun and talking over WIFI. I’ve not plugged it in or physically connected it to anything. After being in transit for several weeks (thanks to a pretty useless courier mentioned elsewhere) and after getting only half an hour of sun yesterday, the camera came up straight away, IR lights running at full steam, it then lasted the night and was working perfectly this morning. I am well impressed.
Construction is mainly white coated metal – it will have its work cut out, dealing with the intense Spanish summer right now and no doubt a cold if short winter – hopefully all without ever being plugged into a power source.
The image was captured this morning – a screen grab – the actual image in the free App “toSee” (in my case on my Android phone) is WAY better than this screenshot. Not a lot to say as the setup last night took me seconds – “trivial” doesn’t do it justice. The camera IS for outside use, DOES optionally record video (if you add a microSD card (up to 64GB card supported) – socket is under a plastic seal) – and by default it was sending out alarm movement-triggered messages to my phone last night (after I installed the app which again took no time).
Apparently up to 200 short recordings a day means 70 days worth of recordings on SD before it starts recycling. As we’re likely to be out of the country for up to 6 months, I will be having a lot less daily recordings than that. It is not necessary to fit an SD card to use the camera. I’ve not fitted one yet.
There are of course many Chinese and other IP cameras out there (I own and use several of them) in the £30 bracket – this is more expensive at around £85 (89 Euros inc. free post depending where you are) but if you don’t like or can’t have a power lead to the camera (you still need it to be in WIFI range) and you want something a little further upmarket without going overboard, then this gadget might be ideal for you.
It produces a good quality image in colour or mono depending on the time of day and has it’s own build in IR lighting – all solar powered!! There is of course a wall mount metal bracket supplied and if needed there is a longer lead to separate the camera and solar panel by several feet. I didn’t need that as this is going on my Pergola, watched by two regular WIFI cameras. So if anyone gets any ideas about stealing it – beware, you are on candid camera
Solar camera and two garden lights (left solar light is full colour (more on that elsewhere – yes, colour choice is retained from day to day), middle solar lamp is a simple but powerful white solar twin flood, all on test… no wires anywhere. On the right above, the solar camera is on display with its internal 4,000maH battery capacity and default solar panel which is 2.2w.
Links below: No I don’t work for Banggood and I’m not on their affiliate program before anyone asks