SAFEVANT 1080P(1920x1080) IR Bullet IP Camera

This is the description of this camera on Amazon.
SAFEVANT 1080P(1920x1080) IR Bullet IP Camera, 2.0MP Outdoor/Indoor IP Security Camera with6mm Fixed Lens, 8Pcs Big LEDs IR 131Ft(40m) Day and Night Vision, w/ Bracket (Aluminum Alloy)

If you read the new dvr page you know I am getting some cameras installed due to a stolen package at a new place I'm at. I already have three wired cameras but I want one or two longer range with better image resolution. I found this one to be the largest one with a bit more distance than your regular smaller bullet types, according to their specifications. It's also much larger, it was more affordable and it's also an IP camera, so I thought I give one a try. There are other wifi cameras as well, but I really don't know how well each one of those work since I have not used any myself. That will also depend on how good your wifi signal is and I don't think they anything other than 2.4Ghz. So far I like the new dvr and wired cameras, I like the android app even more. With that said I want to give an IP camera a try and see how well it works. So far I think it's a 50/50. I like half of the camera, but the other half which is the software, not too much as I'm still trying to figure it out after a few days and it's not the most intuitive software.

Now I know these can come very useful in some instances. There is a detached garage here, but pulling a wire that far is definitely not something I want to do, not to mention it's not my own house so I have to find another way. Hence the reason I bought this one to test out. The wifi type may work but I don't have one to test out and I like I said, it may not support anything but 2.4Ghz. They also may have a built-in sd card support which may be limited. This one is basically depending on whatever hard drive or storage you want to use, so you won't be limited in that respect. I also read about how some wifi cameras may not stream well in terms of how much video you get to see over the internet. That may also depend on the camera manufacturer, your storage and your internet and wireless network.

So here are the pictures of what this camera looks like and I'll add the software bit later as I describe the whole camera here.


It's a very plain box so not much to see here in terms of specifications.

This is how it came packed and all that's included. So far it arrived fine.

The camera is very sturdy. It's metal all around. I would have like the option of an all white or all black version but this is what this one is and it still looks fine.

You get one sheet of paper which at least includes the information you need and the web links to get you going.
The description says 2 mega pixels, the lens says 3, at least when I read it. You can decide that yourself since many cameras say they are something high and they turn out to be pretty bad in terms of picture quality. I can't say anything about that until it gets installed.

When I first saw it, I really liked the single cable coming out of it, until I saw how large the plug at the end was. Again, some type of small round locking connector to separate the large plug from the rest of the wire would be great here so that you don't have to make such a large hole in a wall. It would also help if the wire was a bit longer. I put a camera around a corner and the leads just made it around the wall and back inside.

You get a 3 foot network cable which worked just fine for me since the router is close to my desk. If yours is not you'll need a longer cable but that's not a problem for most people.

The included power supply. If the camera is going to be out on a wall somewhere, power still needs to be fed to the camera. There is a separate power connector on large white plug. I'm not sure if the camera can also be powered through the RJ45 Jack in this case. I'll have to check on that just to make sure I don't fry anything. If it can, then that will make installation even better.

Then it hit me, I would need a 1 and 1/4" size hole or about a 32 mm hole in order to get that plug through a wall! I prefer to make the smallest hole possible. So I thought I try to take it apart to look at how the wiring is. Maybe I could cut the wires and re-connect them on the other side. Meaning that I could even put them closer to the plug if I used a network cable to extend this. I may not go through a wall where I want this one so it may not be a problem in this case, but it sure would be in most if you don't want to make such a large hole.

No such luck here. It's very well sealed which is nice to see anyway. Unfortunately I also found another issue. I wanted to put this on a side wall and point it in the other direction facing the other wall, but it turned out to be more than the 90 degrees. Unfortunately it won't allow for more so the range in that sense is limited on this mount. And even if I put it on the front wall, I still need to tilt it over to one side and around in a clockwise manner on another joint which is fine if that works. It's a bit hard to describe this, but just know that the range is limited to about 90 degrees and a bit cumbersome to get. Sure you will need to loosen all the screws and tweak all that, but it's still going to be a pain to get right since it has an elbow instead of a ball type of movement.

I took off the top cover and what do you know, it's just a cover/visor. Under it is also solid metal, which again, it's nice to see, but I think you see where I'm getting at here. I then tried to unscrew the front and man that thing was tight as could be. I may have done it a bit wrong, but I didn't want to mess with that too much as it's working fine. In short, the camera is nicely sealed so far and no way to get into it for me to check the wires unfortunately.

The instructions sheet was okay. I decided to just download the app and use that since it seemed to work faster and it was, sort of. Installing it was your usual app set up, but then I was only able to use it locally which was fine as I just wanted to test the camera. Here's the app in portrait mode and defaults to HD which was very slow moving but at least it look fine.

Here's the landscape mode. Once I changed to SD mode the movement was much better, but it still lags a bit. Unfortunately the Mode will always default to HD so that is annoying because it moves really, really slow anyway. Keep in mind that I am in the network so trying to view this from outside would be impossible at that.

Here's what this app looks like. I guess they have a cloud setup and direct login but I could not use those yet. Not much about these setups on the included sheet or downloaded doc so I still have a bit work to do to figure these out.

Here's where you download the program from. You just have to choose your camera version. So far it's a nice website in English, but the computer software still needs some work. I tried to install it and got this at first. http://www.sv3c.com/default.asp?id=3875

I decided to try the IP through the browser since I was getting that error. I was able to log in but this is what I saw in Chinese writing but this really didn't do much either.There's just nothing I can do here at the moment.


 Once you start the install you will need to allow this to work.

 Here's the first time I tried installing it. Two options were already chosen.

 Here's what I got after continuing, so I went back a bit.

 I started just clicking the options and I finally was able to just chose one. The other selected option just disappear. English in my case. Then I was able to continue the installation as usual. I'm using Windows 10 for this test.

Once it got going it was fine.




  
Once the install is finished I started the program and this is the login screen you will see.

 Here's what this software looks like and for whatever reason you can't resize the camera software window that you see here. It's either this or full screen which is very annoying.

 All your setting options are on the bottom right corner. Some I have no idea what they are used for.

 You have to add a device before you can do anything.

I had no idea what port the camera used. This gets picked up once a camera is found and filled in for you.

No matter what I did it would not pick up the camera. I finally unplugged and re-plugged the camera back and it got picked up. It does take a moment to come up.

I managed to set a password on the app and since I was very tired I can't remember what that was. I have now been trying to reset the password on the camera app but I just can't seem to be able to do it. I have tried the the software options and now the device manager tool that they have on the website but nothing seems to work. So the camera is a brick at the moment since I can't do anything with it. I'm just playing with the settings and trying to just make it work at the same time before it gets installed. 

So here are the Pros and Cons:

Pros:
- Heavy duty build
- A single cable coming out of the camera
- Image seems to be clear, but I can't say anything much about the distance until it's installed if it even gets installed.
-Price
-Very sealed, I can't get into it to see how the wires are set up. I was contemplating cutting them so I don't have to make such a large hole. I don't even have a large enough bit for something like that either. I may not have to do it if I can get it working and use it in another area. This is something that you really have to keep in mind before you buy any cameras.
- Very good technical support. They were very responsive with each and every email I sent to them.

Cons:
-Not a very well known brand.
-Computer software has a lot of settings so not very intuitive but worked fine.
-You better have some networking background in order to set this one up. You will be testing for a while.
-Re-setting the camera app password seems to be futile. The app keeps asking me for that old password even after having cleared the options everywhere I could find the option in their program. You can't do a reset from the app either. Not easy to find the right choice for resetting either. I can't seem to be able to re-set the password from the app or the camera software or their device manager version either so I can get back to viewing the camera on the android app in order to keep testing it.
-These IP cameras need a place to store the recording, it's currently pointing at my local C: drive, but I still have to check the little box in order to use it which is good but you'll need that set up somewhere in order to record which will take a lot of space so you need to set that up correctly. That computer or whatever you use will also need to be another component that you need to keep on all the time in order for the recordings to work.
  I'm guessing the wifi cameras will be the same but may be easier to configure than something like this one. I'm liking my dvr connected cameras better in terms of setup. No fuss like this one. I got it all installed and and the dvr app works just fine over the internet without any extra configurations. These others have a lot of settings that may need to be setup before you can actually get it recording correctly but I want to test all three types if I can  in order to get a better idea of each one. I've done regular wired cameras before so I know what those look like.
-You're supposed to be able to go to www.xmeye.net to manage the IP camera, but when you go there, it's this random Chinese page. This is the address on the sheet that came with the camera. So just type it in google to find the correct one.
 -The large connector will require a large hole to be drilled on the wall. Some type of small locking round connectors would be much better so that you can just drill smaller holes. Then you can just unplug the large end, put the wire through and plug them back together on the other side if you're going through a wall.
- Mount is not very flexible in terms of degrees of movement. Like I said, I was thinking of using the 90 degree bend, plus a few more degrees to point it where I need to and mounting it to a side wall to keep it a bit more hidden. This is not going to happen without some type of angle adapter at the base. It just won't go far enough to where I need to point the camera. I should at least note that it's all metal so that helps with the mounting.

I contacted the company to see if I could get some help re-setting the camera and I guess I was using the wrong program. I was sent the link to this program, which would not download at first, then once I got it and installed, it wouldn't do, well anything. I followed the instructions to click on the icon farthest to the right to look for the camera and then click on EXT to restore to factory. This didn't work. Here's the link for this one. http://www.sv3c.com/default.asp?id=3981

 This is the first tool I thought I needed to reset the camera. It finds it and even when I chose the reset, nothing happened there. You can also change the default ip if you want with the main program. I'm just using the defaults to test it, if you do change the ip on any camera make sure you make a note of that as well.

 Here's the original program link I was sent to get. It's all in Chinese so I had to use the translator to read those but it was fine. I did the steps but this one doesn't do anything Either. The camera seems to take a while to come back to life after I connect it.

Here's the pop up that comes up when I click on that last button. I'll wait to see if they can get me back on track here. I just emailed them back so we'll see.

After going back and forth with their tech support which has been very responsive I still can't get this camera app reset. I thought I check out their web service here.
Unfortunately the information goes by so fast on this page you can't even read it. In short the camera seems okay, but the software is another story. 

I also found this article online about the xmeye dvr software.

If I can't get this camera going again it will be going back because it just requires way more tweaking than you really want for any camera. Not to mention re-setting it is not as easy as you would think. At least not on this one. I can see some options in the software, but I can't reset the app so I can actually use that again. I'm supposed to use the software above to do this, but the program won't do anything. 

January 17, 2017 update:
I finally got the camera back on the main program and the actual camera image has to be disconnected in the software before I could delete the camera and add it back on. That wasn't clear since the instructions said to disconnect the camera and not use the actual software. The other software still wouldn't find it but once I manually put the IP address on there, I was able to get it to show up. So at least I finally got that figured out. Now it's time to get the app re-set again and that's what this part is now. I was sent another link for another tool to try and re-set that but it's still not working. This is the reset xmeye tool found here. http://www.sv3c.com/default.asp?id=3981

 This one is really something since I get a bunch of other characters that can't really be read as you can see.  In any case, you can see this is where you type the IP and there's supposed to be a password that goes above that and that was also sent to me. I actually got two passwords sent and the program still doesn't do anything in terms of clearing the app password for me. Then all I have to do is hit the first button on the right next to the IP address.


It seemed to do something for a moment when I first tried it, but the app is still the same. I have deleted the camera, the app and re-installed them both and still nothing. So I just sent another email back to their support. I guess we tried all we could since they suggested I return the camera at this point. I agree and went ahead and processed the return for the camera.

Overall the camera quality seemed good and the technical support was very good. The software still needs work unfortunately as you can see from the pictures above. I definitely would like to see what they come up with in terms high resolution cameras and improved software. I would not hesitate to try one of their cameras again if I could find one that would work in my application. I still need to find two POE or WIFI cameras for a detached building so I will keep looking. I need to find two of the same brand that I can use for that since they need more things set up and that should make it easier to manage. For now I will probably just use another corded camera where I wanted to use this one since I already have the DVR working. I would just need to make a longer wire run but I can already monitor my current cameras from the phone which is nice.


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