Three star Review of Coomatec DVRCam C802 from Amazon
Review of Coomatec DVRCam C802 from Amazon

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We had some lawn lights turn up missing, so we decided we would get some form of security camera. We rent, so it's a headache sometimes getting major wiring projects approved. We also did not want to spend a lot of money in the experimental stage. Came across this unit, and thought this might be a good starter solution.

 

There are some things that need to considered with this unit for a similar situation. The power cord is a USB cable - so it can be used as a webcam as well [it does an excellent job of this, and the night vision in this case is an added plus for low light situations, though it could look a bit washed out at times in these situations.] The Micro SD card slot seems to have a gap in it, so I dropped the card into the camera innards at one point. The camera pops out of the base fairly easily, and a quick twist of the front half opens it up easily, so retrieval was possible. On the subject of the Micro SD slot - it is located on the top of the camera. Because this style camera is generally mounted to a ceiling, this means that the user must turn the camera upside down to eject the card. Added to the fact that this is generally the way that you get the information off the camera, you will spend some time resetting the position of the camera - unless you don't mind the recording being upside-down. The best way to frame your picture and set the angle of the camera is utilizing the webcam feature on a laptop, I have found, as it takes all the guesswork out. There is a small arrow denoting the top of the camera, but it is black, and so blends in with the rest of the camera, making it difficult to see. A quick going over with a silver permanent marker is an acceptable solution for this. The night vision itself works okay, but is limited. If you have the camera mounted and pointed inside of a room, the IR light can reflect off of walls, so you can get a very good look at everything in the room. Take it outside, and range falls off a few feet away from the lens - especially if there are conflicting external light sources, like streetlights etc. Because of the nature of IR, keep in mind that it will be impossible to mount the camera inside a window to monitor the outside - there is a massive glare from the IR diodes that makes the picture useless. Daytime should be okay, however. The USB cable [that plugs into an adapter to supply power to the unit] is only a couple of feet long, and does not detach, so outside mounting will also require a hole big enough for a standard USB plug to fit through, so keep that in mind as well.

 

All in all, this unit does what it sets out to do, and is a low cost solution. The picture is decent enough that it will get the job done. I have not had a chance to do extensive testing, but it is running as I type this, so I will have some footage to review this evening.

 
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