As a CCTV camera this produces excellent pictures, and it appears to match the quoted resolution of 650 'TVlines' colour and 700 'TVLines' Black & White from a sensor with 976 elements on 582 rows (Bayer mask). The sensitivity and AGC operation is excellent, and I find that I have turned off the noise reduction even for night use.
Construction is good, with a solid metal casing and rubber seals on all the joins including the cable exit. There are no claims made about its Ingress Protection but judging by the ruggedising I would suggest it is reasonably dust and splash resistant. It is not suitable for underwater use. I have mounted this one on the ceiling of a porch where it will not be exposed to either direct rain or sun, but might experience mist or secondary spray. It replaced a less clear ten-year-old Swann dome camera.
The infra red LEDs have a good range of about 30metres in the centre of the picture suitable for a long Zoom, but are less effective at the edges when the Zoom is wide. To protect them they have a separate piece of glass from that which covers the lens, so there is no risk of flare from the LEDs upsetting the camera picture when they are on.
The set-up menus allow fine tuning to optimise the performance to suit the application, including adjusting the sharpness to correct for cable losses and yet have a clean picture which is not too edgy. The field of view Zoom is a genuine 4:1 and requires a small screwdriver, but the least touch on that adjustment also requires the Focus to be corrected to match. Fiddly.
Power consumption is typical for this kind of camera; my sample uses 77mA from the 12V supply in daylight, and this rises to about 320mA when the 36 LEDs are lit. So if left on 24/7 it will cost around £3.50 a year to run with a normal PSU and a 13p domestic electricity tariff. Note that the camera does NOT come with a power unit, fortunately I already had a suitable 12V supply and a splitter lead
capable of feeding four cameras.
Menu controls include, Contrast, Brightness, Hue, 'Gain' (saturation), Sharpness, Noise reduction for Luma and/or Chroma, Shutter and AGC modes, White Balance modes, Camera ID, Sync modes, and many more security related functions.
So why is it silly? All the menu controls are by a button switch with five-ways of movement (N,S,E,W, and press in), which sounds good so far, but it is on the short lead adjacent to the camera, not inside in the dry at the monitor end of the necessary long extension cable (not supplied with the camera). So to make any adjustment at all after installation you need to be up a ladder with a phone in one hand and the screwdriver or button set in the other while conversing with your helper who is inside looking at the monitor. This is what loses it a star.
I first tested it and set it up indoors and then aimed out a window, using a spare extension cable
of the correct length (with the 5.5/2.1mm barrel power jacks and the BNCs) while still able to watch the monitor, and tried to anticipate all the conditions that the adjustments are there to cater for. Fortunately, it remembers the settings. Some of the descriptions of the menus in the data sheet are poorly translated, and really one needs to experiment with the controls to find out what they actually mean; for example the 'Gain' shown in the on-screen menus and in the data sheet actually means 'Chroma Gain' or 'Saturation'. But I still needed someone to help me fine tune the Zoom and Focus and direction when I was up the ladder.
One of the reasons for going with a 'Dome' camera rather than the cheaper 'Bullet' cameras is that the spiders are less keen to cover a dome with their webs. Except this camera has several spider-sized holes in the mounting plate, to encourage them to use it as a home base even if not stringing their webs across the lens. So I had to fill those holes with white silicone. Yes, I know it is cruel to exclude all those spiders who do such a valuable job in keeping the biting insects at bay, but my security is even more important to me.
On balance this is a very good camera, and if the menu controls could have been at the monitor end of the extension cable I would have said it was brilliant. This is my third camera of this EFFIO type, but the first in a white case.
If you need a wired camera (but without the IR LEDs) that does have the controls at the monitor end of the cable there are two alternatives I have used which are worth considering:
1. PRO-750 PTZ camera kit
from Swann, but it has almost doubled in price since I bought mine, and its lens is not so good as this dome,
2. PTZ EFFIO 700TVL camera
which is better with an excellent 12:1 Zoom, but it is not a complete kit solution like the PRO-750, and therefore more expensive to implement.