I just received a nice IP camera from INSTAR Deutschland (Germany) GmbH – the IN-9008 Full HD camera (1920×1080). I’ve had several emails from Mike Polinowski of Instar – and this is the end result – the “first ever” MQTT IP Camera. I have to say it LOOKS good – rock-solid in fact….and works perfectly up to now – not cheap though. Oh, wait for it – not just an MQTT client – this thing has it’s own built-in MQTT BROKER. WHEEEE.
But can you compare Chinese cameras that look similar but cost 25% or less than the cost of this beast? Not even remotely – as they are not like-for-like. The IN-9008 would I imagine be ideal for a commercial environment – it does the job smoothly and without issue so far. Is it overkill for domestic use? Hopefully and most likely over time I’ll attempt to answer that question. Read on… I want more already. From the box: Microphone, IP65 waterproof, Onvif, WPS, WLAN, MicroSD, PIR, Push/email, h.264, https. Made in Germany.
The box is in German with some English titles – don’t ask why – probably as this is new – the camera is made in Germany (most other cameras I’ve come across so far have been made in China).The manual looks excellent – 2 part with one part in German, the other part in English. The mounting kit like the camera is solid and comes complete with Allen key and screwdriver. A WiFi antenna is included and again that looks solid. You get lots of screws and 3 different seals – i.e. this is a complete package. A variation of the unit can also manage power-over-ethernet. Amazon sell this at £249.00 (pounds sterling).
To start the ball rolling I used the supplied screwdriver to remove the back and put in the single 12v power cable. Easy. The board inside is held in a frame with a single screw for ease of access. Looks like it was built by engineers for engineers – I love it already.
I then powered the unit up and looked to see what to do next. At this point we had a power cut. Bloody useless electricity company, if only their service was as solid as this camera. To set up the IN-9008 I went off to the INSTAR website and was asked to rate the camera on one of two sites – in order to get a free licence for their InStarVision 2.0 software. Lovely. as well as the web UI, there are Apps for EVERYTHING including IOS, Android, PC and more.
I just downloaded the latest beta update from the web and I’m looking at the MQTT support which includes both the camera’s own internal MQTT broker and any external broker of your choice with or without user/password, with or without SSL – but why wait – they talk about interfacing the camera with MQTT and Node-Red over on Discord. There are so many features… it beggars belief.
For my next trick I figured I’d set up the camera using it’s own WiFi access point and my mobile phone – that all worked but I thought that maybe the camera had been tested at the factory as I could not get any usual default passwords I know to work (RTFM), so I tried the Ethernet route. 192.168.14.143 according to Advanced IP Scanner on my PC (INSTAR Deutschland GmbH). As it happens I didn’t need that first step – the user is “admin” and default password is “instar”.
I now have the camera showing video simultaneously on my phone and PC and left it on overnight just to prove the point. Not tested the actual alarm zoning yet but I WILL soon. Meanwhile I hope this is interesting including my pretty awful snapshot showing simultaneous App and WebUI views on the PC..
Before anyone comments about my dress sense – the camera image was a REALLY early morning effort to get some feedback to you guys quickly.
I initially had an issue with horizontal banding but Instar tech support responded quickly and suggested changing hardware WDR (wide dynamic range) to software WDR (web interface – in settings – multimedia – image – advanced). It looks like my LED lighting was causing the issue. Their suggestion worked a treat. I’ve now tested the camera in low light level conditions, i.e. NO light other than the 5 IR LEDs on the camera. As you’d expect the image switches to monochrome but is excellent quality.