Today we take another look at one of Foscam’s cameras from their current model lineup, their 720p outdoor wireless IP bullet-style camera (model FI9800P). Another camera that iClever was nice enough to send out to us so that we could share with you what we find in our brutal tests. Ok, maybe not brutal, but we did dump a bucket of water of this one–because who can resist dumping a bucket of ice cold water over a new gadget to see how it fares?
The FI9800P camera is meant for outdoor situations where you need a little more muscle for the job vs a camera that will break down in weather or sunlight. It can withstand most weather conditions and sunlight all day in fact–at least that’s what Foscam is hoping for. It has a IP rating of 66 (on a scale of 0-69, that’s not bad at all), which makes it pretty well-shielded against dust, wind, rain, snow and so forth. Like I said, we put that to the test by dumping a 5 gallon bucket of water and ice all over it. The ice was to help create a colder temperature as well as some weight to represent crazy hail. At no point did the image show any droppage or anomalies. All we got was vibration from the camera being whacked around by so much force and pushed downward some (maybe that was a little too much weight).
It also features IR night vision with a range of up to 66ft for a clear view during extremely low-light conditions. The camera will switch to the IR mode at such times, giving a more black and white display that clearly picks everything up with that 66ft range.
The camera can be installed to any wall or ceiling support that can take screws. A decent hole, at least 1 1/2″ to 2″ is required behind or near the camera for the wires to run through (the harness is a little bulky, so space will be needed to make all your connections and stuff it all into). If not directly behind the camera, the hole should be relatively just as close as the harness of wires coming from the base only reaches about 16″ to 17″ in length and you don’t want your connections to be in the open. The only cable that ultimately needs connecting is power (once you have the camera added to your network, which we will cover in a moment and then go over the other connectivity options. If you find the power adapter that it comes with isn’t long enough to reach the outlet solution you need to get to, you can find and order a Foscam power extension cable to gain 12ft with.
It is important that you seal the camera quite well where it has been installed to maintain top durability to weather. Since it doesn’t want to get any moisture sneaking in from the backside where the cables are coming out of. So once installed, you may want to run a layer of caulk around it base where it meets the installed surface. You can never be too safe (especially when it involves you having to climb up somewheres to fix or replace something).
Positioning of the camera’s angle is a cinch as you have full control over this. You have full vertical tilt via he joint between the neck and the camera as well as full rotation of the camera as well. This helps obtain any angle you could be looking for, regardless of the installed location. Good job Foscam!
Adding it to your network is also a cinch as you have two options to do so, both of which are to be done before physically installing the camera. The first option, is that you can download Foscam’s EZLink app for your mobile device. More information about that can be found here. Once you have downloaded the app and set it up, you simply have to scan the barcode on the camera (make sure it is plugged in to a nearby outlet and powered on of course), enter your WiFi login information and it will add the camera to your network for you. You can also grab the app by scanning the barcode to the left.
The other option is to manually add it to your network via ethernet. Simply bring the camera to your router and plug it into the wall to power it. Plug an ethernet cable (it does come with one) between the router and the camera. Download Foscam’s IP Camera Tool desktop application, which will search your network for all connected cameras and display them in a list where you can access each one in your browser with. Find it in the list and double click on it to open it in your browser. The default login will be “admin” for user and nothing (blank) for the password. Then access the settings tab and go to town. Under “Network” and then ‘Wireless Settings”, you can configure your WifI information. Make sure to type in your password or passphrase correctly else you will have to do this all over again. Once you have set it up to your liking, save it all and power down the camera by pulling the power. Remove the ethernet cable and power it back on. Give all your tech 30 seconds or so to shake hands and get to know each other and try the IP Camera Tool application. You should see it in the list, and if you do, that means it’s wireless and ready to be installed. Unplug and have at it.
Obviously, it is easier to use their app then to do it manually, but then again, you will be accessing the browser screen eventually anyways to set everything else up with. When you do, make sure to change the username AND password for the camera. Try not to use the default for either of those two variables when a device gives you the option to (for security purposes).
I mentioned that power is essentially the only thing you “need” to have connected coming out of the back of the camera. The other cables are optional and include the following:
- Audio-out (red): For if you would like to have a nearby speaker to speak through as this camera does not have a built-in speaker. This is for audio coming from you via your desktop or mobile app, going to the camera.
- Audio-in (yellow): This is for audio you want the camera to hear and send with the feed (if at all). You can search online for microphones that can be used for this. The camera doesn’t have a built-in mic either. Both a speaker and mic are missing due to weather durability reasons and the assumption that the camera may be installed from a distance (at least that is our theory that makes sense to us).
- Ethernet: In case you want to go wired with the camera. For situations where you are already running a wired CCTV system or you simply just can’t get wireless to reach that far if it isn’t close enough to your router. You could also solve distance issues by installing a WiFi repeater somewhere between the camera and router or getting a more powerful antenna for the camera (although you may not like it visually).
- Reset button: Not to be confused as anything else, this is simply that, a reset button. If you press and hold it, it will completely reset all the settings on the camera to factory default. Some Foscam’s like the C1 Lite that we just reviewed offer a WPS/Reset combo, but this model does not. It is simply a reset.
Wireless distance is pretty basic for a Foscam. When the camera was within 40-50ft (straight-line shot) from the connected router, it worked perfectly fine. Moving it out further to about 60+ft resulted in drops in signal or a complete drop depending on how many walls were in the between the two devices. So you will want to make sure it is relatively close (within 50ft) to the router or a repeater. Else, you may be defaulting to a larger antenna or going wired, as mentioned.
The settings screen offers everything you would want in a security camera. Motion detection works great and you can select areas within the image as hot zones so that you aren’t picking movement from trouble areas where things like plants or traffic may create false positives. If a connected microphone is used, you can also detect sound and have the camera respond accordingly. If you are using Foscam’s app, you can use push notifications for alerts, else you can have images sent via email or FTP. The latter (FTP) of the options can also be used for recording video clips and storing them. You also have the option of making use of Foscam’s cloud service.
The 720p picture is basic and not the cleanest 720p like you would find in a nice LED TV display, but it looks great and you can make out faces quite fine when they are closer to the camera. As you gain distance, things are less detailed but still
You can access the video feed from nearly any browser on your network (a plugin is required and your browser will prompt you for such). This is the same login/screen where you access all of the settings. You can also access your video from Foscam’s mobile app or any IP Camera app, which are available for all OS devices (ie, iOS, Android, Windows, etc).
Inside the box you find the camera, antenna (screws onto the back of the camera), wall adapter, ethernet cable, screws for installation and some documentation that comes with a sticker for your window.
A fantastic camera that delivers a good image and offers great durability. You have plenty of options for connectivity and there is no angle you can’t achieve. The harness of cables is a little bulky for a wireless camera, so there is a little to get over with there and the lack of WPS support is unfortunate. Beyond that, this is a great camera and inexpensive for around $100.
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
Sensor Type 1/4″CMOS
Display Resolution 1.0MegaPixels(1280 x 720 )
Frame Rate 23fps
IR CUT yes
Minimum Illumination 0 Lux (With IR Illuminator)
Lens Type f: 2.8mm; F: 1.2
Diagonal Angle Of View 75°
Horizontal View Angle 70°
Infrared Mode Automatic or manual
IR Range 20m (65.6 feet)
Ethernet One 10/100Mbps RJ45 port
Wireless Security WEP, WPA, WPA2
External I/O N/A
Power Adapter DC 12V/1.0A
Video Format H.264
Multi Stream dual stream
Motion Detection yes
Scheduled Recording yes
Built In Ddns Server yes
Browser Supported Microsoft IE8 and above version or compatible browser; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome; Apple Safari.
Os Supported Microsoft Windows 2000/XP, Vista, 7,8; Mac OS
Day Night yes
Firewall Supports IP Filtering
User Acconuts Three levels user role
2 Way Audio yes
Built In Microphone N/A
Built In Speaker no
External Speaker Output yes
Dimensions(mm) 97×67 x64 (L*W*H)
Power Consumption < 4.2Watts
Operate Temper -10°C~ 55°C (14°F ~ 140°F)
Operating Humidity 10% ~ 80% non-condensing
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.