When it comes to IP security cameras, there’s not a lot of different well known choices available outside of Dropcam. It doesn’t get much easier to use than Dropcam which is what most people who are in the market for that kind of thing want and need. It just works right out of the box with very little interaction afterwards. Today however, I’m going to introduce you to a competitor that I feel is one that will give Dropcam a run for its money. It’s the Oco Camera which retails for about $150 currently and one that I firmly believe is even easier to setup and use than Dropcam.
The Oco Camera Hardware
The Oco Camera ships with a wide-angle camera that captures video up to 720p. So all you 1080p worshippers out there will be a little upset, but the 720p on this device is more than sufficient to keep an eye on your home or business when you’re not available to do so personally.
One really nice feature of the Oco Camera is the fact that the camera swivels in a complete 360 degree circle regardless if you have it mounted on the side of a building or a stand on a flat surface. One thing to note is that this isn’t a small, discreet camera at all. It’s a bit on the bulky side, but not overly bulky. It’s something that is easily seen and to me I feel that’s important so that people know they are possibly being recorded while on your premises.
The Oco Camera comes ready for setup right out of the box. Meaning it has all the supplies you need to get it operational as well as mounted with drywall anchors and everything else. No having to spend any additional money to get the Oco Camera ready to do what it was made to do; recording video.
The Oco Camera Software
The Oco Camera is actually an Ivideon camera, meaning that it uses and is controlled completely by the Ivideon app found in the Google Play Store. You use this app for everything from setting up the camera to monitoring and everything else that you could possibly do with the Oco Camera. And to top it all off, Oco and Ivideon make this process so dang simple and easy that you just can’t go wrong or mess anything up even if you tried it seems.
To get started you will need an Ivideon account, which only takes a couple of minutes to get of course. Once you have done that, it’s as easy as plugging in the camera, waiting for the indicator LED light to blink orange, enter the WiFi password into the Ivideon app, select your plan(more on this below), and wait it for it to provide you with a QR code within the app on your mobile device. Once you have the QR code, allow the Oco Camera to read it and voila, that’s it. You’re done with the setup of the Oco Camera.
The Oco Camera’s daytime video quality is very sharp. Colors appear crisp and natural, and the 720p image showed good detail in my tests. Moreover, the lens offers a wide 120-degree view with only a trace of barrel distortion around the edges. Black-and-white night vision video is also quite sharp, but the camera tends to switch over to this mode before it actually becomes dark. For example, with Night Vision set to Auto mode, the camera would switch over to black-and-white mode at around 4:00pm in the afternoon, while there was still adequate light for full color video.
I was able to resume color video by disabling Night Vision in the camera settings, which tells me that the light sensor may be a bit too sensitive. Unfortunately, the camera lacks a setting that lets you adjust light sensitivity. The motion and sound detection sensors worked well, but you may want to adjust their sensitivity levels if you have pets in the house (my smartphone became loaded down with notifications at night thanks to my two nocturnal cats). Two-way talk conversations were clear, and I never lost audio communications with the Oco Camera and that’s definitely a good thing.
I mentioned earlier about the Oco Camera being a bit bulky compared to others and that’s definitely true. But one thing that I don’t like about the Oco Camera is the all the lights that are always lit up on the product. This makes it a bit harder to hide out of the sight of someone who might be trying to do wrong or bad things to your home or business while you’re away at night. Hopefully Oco will realize this and give you an option to turn these on/off or something similar.
Conclusion And Final Thoughts
The OCO WiFi Cloud Camera is a nifty little home surveillance camera that delivers sharp daytime and nighttime video. Its motion and noise detection features work wonderfully, as does its two-way audio feature, and it’s a breeze to install and set up. That said, its light sensor is a bit too quick to switch over to night vision when in Auto mode, and it lacks a digital zoom option. Moreover, you can’t capture and save video without a cloud subscription.
Other than those couple of things, for a price tag of $149 you really can’t beat the Oco Camera for what it does and what all it offers. This was my first experience with this type of device and I have to admit that I’m thoroughly impressed and would highly recommend the Oco Camera to anyone who is in need of something like this for their home or business.