D-Link Securicam DCS 2120 review
Ever wanted to feel like James Bond without the daily visits to the gym, eating healthy food and being chased by people who want to kill you? Well now you can, thanks to this little wireless camera that lets you monitor a location no matter where you. Well, as long as where you are you can access the Internet or have a decent mobile phone 3G signal.
Yes, that’s right, you can monitor the happenings in your office, outside your front door or even in the bedroom (you dirty birdie) via live video streams complete with sound to your 3G equipped mobile phone or PDA.
But it would be quite wrong to think of this as being just another webcam, this is truly serious stuff: the camera itself is designed as a complete standalone system and as such has its own CPU and web server built-in.
A couple of years ago anything approaching this kind of technical sophistication would have been beyond the budget of all but the real Bond and lottery winners, now it’s yours for under £200. Incredible, just incredible. And that money includes sophisticated IP surveillance software to enhance both monitoring and recording facilities, and enabling you set up as many as 16 of the cameras on a single screen all with motion detection to trigger automatic recording and sending of email alerts.
Want to control your camera from a web browser? No problem. Want to take snapshots from within that web browser interface? No problem. Want to see a clever playback interface with detailed timeline? No problem. Want to set the whole thing up and have it running as you require in under an hour? No problem.
The 4x digital zoom for close up viewing aids recognition, the 802.11g wireless connectivity aids positioning as you are no longer restricted by cabling. And don’t worry about the cost of bandwidth or storage as there’s no need to record 24/7, the motion detection kicks in and only records images when there is something to record. Unless you like watching paint dry that is, in which case knock yourself out recording nothing at all.
The DCS 2120 is small and light, measuring in at just 7.9 x 4.1 x 11.4cm and weighing only 175g meaning it is suitable for mounting pretty much anywhere. The supplied mounting kit helping you out in this regard, but the location should be indoors or at least protected from the elements as this is not a heavy duty weatherproof unit and rain will kill it we suspect. What we didn’t expect was such good low light performance. The 0.5 lux light sensitivity rated lens really comes into play in even the dullest of locations. It isn’t sold as a night vision camera, but as long as there is some ambient light you can darn near get away with using it as one.
Cost effective, flexible and makes you feel like James Bond. What more could you ask for in a spy camera?