The DCS-6004L HD PoE Day/Night Mini Dome Network Camera is a mydlink-enabled IP surveillance camera built with a ultra small form factor and features Power over Ethernet connectivity, making it ideal for monitoring areas that are hard to reach or require discrete surveillance.
Built for Versatility
The DCS-6004L comes with a wealth of features that enhance its surveillance capabilities, making it ideal for any situation. The ultra small form factor allows you to mount the camera in areas that need to be monitored without the camera being an eyesore. It is perfect for deployment into areas that lack power with its PoE feature. A built-in microphone and audio out allow for 2-way communication during an event.
Peace Of Mind With 24/7 Monitoring of Any Environment
The DCS-6004L is a standalone surveillance camera that requires no special hardware or software, and can run independently even without a PC. Send e-mail notifications with snapshots or video clips whenever motion or sound is detected using just the DCS-6004L and an internet connection. You can customize areas of the video to monitor for motion to keep watch over entryways, and you can set volume limits to detect when a loud sound is picked up by the camera. Night time monitoring is possible with the built-in infrared LEDs which allow for nighttime viewing of up to 5 meters, enabling round-the-clock monitoring of a home or small office.
Instant Anywhere Access with mydlink Cloud Service
The DCS-6004L is mydlink-enabled, which means that you can access and configure your camera remotely, no matter where you are. With a mydlink service enabled camera, see your camera's live view through the mydlink website, or download the mydlink mobile app and view your camera directly on your smarthphone or tablet. Keep an eye on your home while you're at work, or check on the office when you're out on the road; mydlink makes it all possible.
A Complete, Expandable Surveillance Solution
The DCS-6004L is a self-sufficient surveillance solution, capable of recording snapshots and video to a MicroSD card without requiring a PC or network storage device. If you want to expand your surveillance options, D-ViewCam management software is also included, giving you the ability to manage up to 32 cameras with a robust set of features, including multi-camera views and automated e-mail alerts to keep you informed of suspicious or unusual activities.
• HD resolution (1280 x 720) and up to 1M (1280 x 800)
• Power over Ethernet (PoE)
• Ultra-small form factor
• Built-in microphone and audio output for 2-way communication
• Built-in IR LED illuminator for use in dark areas
• Micro SD/SDHC Card slot for on board storage & built-in Samba client for saving to a NAS
• Supplied with Black and White housing ring
OK, let's start off with the best bits first... this is a HiDef camera, so you get a solid 720p feed off it. This gives you crisp, clear images at normal resolution, but it also means you can make fair use of the ePTZ functionality to digitally crop the image down to give you an effective 'digital zoom' on any section of the feed you want. Handy if you can't position the camera in the best place, and have to put it a little further way, but still want to see what's going on in your target zone. With the PoE functionality (Power over Ethernet) as long as you have a suitable router, or adaptor, you only need to deal with a single cable. It comes with all the cables, mounts and even a template for hole-marking, so you won't need to buy anything extra to get started.
It does a good job of high-light environments - something a lot of cameras have over-exposure issues with if they also have night vision modes, due to the hardwired sensitivity of the CCD chip - and it also has an exceptionally good night-vision mode, with the on-board LEDs lighting up a 5m range. Clever design of the camera's mounting pod totally eliminates any reflective backwash from the LEDs - being inside the plastic dome - from corrupting the image. You also get, in the box, a black case ring and a white one, so you can adapt the camera to your decor quickly. The trickiest bit is getting the dome off one ring and onto the other - despite it being a twist-lock, it's a little tricky until you work it out.
However, now we move to the not-so-good list, and it's significant. Installation is a pain, with the supplied CD's autorun being utterly busted. No amount of auto- or manual-launching could get it to fire up. In the end I had to resort to manually installing the bare drivers, then the "Main Console" app, and finally uninstalling then fully reinstalling all the network cameras before I could get a feed off them. Trying to get the ePTZ features to work was a nightmare, with nothing at all happening no matter what I tried, until something I tweaked suddenly enabled it. I just wish I knew what exactly I did that fixed the issue, because I'm stumped. On the physical side of installation, the mounting plate is clever, but with no friction-lock to stop it rotating, it can easily be nudged out of position and create blind-spots in your coverage. It needs some form of friction grip, like a rubber washer or bumper - anything that stops it free-spinning, but still allows for manual adjustment.
Technical Support was non-existent, with my callback - estimated at 12-24 hours later - coming over a week down the track... by which time I had, by sheer luck and brute force, figured out and fixed all the issues I was having. Attempting to get it merged into the network using the "Zero Configuration" protocol was pointless - I am not sure if the issue was with the camera or my router, but it just wouldn't connect. So, sure enough, more manual tweaking was required.
Does this sound harsh? I guess it does... but as the saying goes the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How well does it do what it claims? The answer is: "Pretty well, actually, once you get over the issues."
I found that while the camera was set to get it's address assigned by the DCHP server, it would lock up after a day or two and require a full reset. This meant a new IP address, which meant manually reinstalling it in the "Main Console" app, which had issues auto-detecting cameras on the building network. As soon as I configured the camera to have a fixed IP, all the issues went away. The camera has run non-stop for well over a week without fault. Now, I have easy access to all of the cameras on our network with the "Main Console" app, which to be honest is probably the biggest saving-grace for this product, despite having issues of its own. Having a powerful bit of kit like this bundled goes some way to justifying the price tag that, to be honest, I feel is quite high for what you get, considering a true Pan/Tilt camera - the DCS-5020L - is $150 cheaper.
Overall, does it do as promised? Yes, it delivers on it's stated promises to an acceptable, though not impressively so, level. Would I buy it? Probably not. I think I would prefer a true PTZ camera for this kind of money. Would I recommend it to others? Possibly, but ONLY if the physical size of the camera was an important factor in the selection process. If size wasn't an issue, I would steer potential buyers to more feature-rich units at the same or lower price points. It's a good camera, but that's all it is - Good.
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