Aesthetics, finish and durability
The new Cisco camera does not go unnoticed and cause, it is the largest model in our comparison. XL This template is explained by the presence of two motorized axes capable of orienting the lens vertically or horizontally. On its website, Cisco does not specify the magnitude of the degrees of freedom offered by the joint.
Quality finish this time, if at all, the camera inspires confidence, we can not necessarily be said of the foot system. The latter is made of a thin, hollow plastic that may well not appreciate dishonest solicitations. One can also criticize the relatively fragile rail system in which the camera is plugged. In short, we particularly note that, overall, we are entitled to a quality product even if the fixture is poor (see next section).
For single support, Cisco provides a non-adjustable foot! True, the camera lens is powered, but is still expected to have a fastening system developed! Cisco still expected this eventuality since we can see that a thread is present in the back of the camera. Unfortunately, the builder lets users adjust the question of the holding arm because nothing comes complete … We expected more from Cisco, for stronger reasons when we know that the old model ( Linksys WVC54GCA) was indeed accompanied by yet this essential accessory.
In the absence of adjustable mounting cane, the least you would have been to offer impeccable support.Unfortunately, this is clearly not the case. Indeed, when using a conventional network cable, one realizes quickly that the black shoe is not high enough. When the length of the network jack on the cable end is greater than 3 cm (common), the camera out of its support, hampered by the rigidity of the cable. Of course, this small problem will not hinder people using the camera in Wi-Fi mode.
Powered Optical: a welcome feature
While it is true that the absence of a good adjustable mounting bracket is sorely felt, we must still insist that Cisco’s camera is one of the few models that are equipped with a motorized lens. Through this mechanism, the camera can be oriented horizontally or vertically. The software layer manages perfectly this little feature since it is possible to record nine different profiles of axes x / y so easily point the camera or to the desired locations.Better still, you can even record a series of positions that the camera will monitor loop (between each position, it is possible to set a defined period of time). However, I believe, it seems to be impossible to program a loop of perpetual motion.
About the installation phase
On our test machine (Windows 7), the installer was not able to automatically detect the camera. Conversely, this phase does not pose any problem on XP (tested on the same network). It will not take as long to heap scorn on Cisco: the manufacturer has had the good idea to specify the IP address of the camera in the clear on a small LCD screen located on the base of the device! After an automatic IP assignment via DHCP (enabled by default), just open a web browser to seize the address displayed by this indicator … difficult to get any easier. The interface is naturally protected by a password. After passing this step, you find yourself face to face with the interface of the Cisco small camera.
About the Web interface
First, in the presence of the latest firmware (V1.1.0), we can only deplore the lack of French translation of the interface. I believe, at the time of this writing, English is the only language available. The followers will not be bothered too much, others may spend their way. Second regret: the interface often lack of responsiveness. We see it every day, but things really become annoying when sometimes see a very large gap between the capture and reality (the time exceeds 40 seconds sometimes). The processor in this camera seems to show its limits, the use of a more powerful chip would have been preferable.
To return to the features this time, many signs indicate that the firmware of the new Cisco camera is a simple evolution of the team Linksys WVC54GCA. First, the configuration interface still requires the installation of an ActiveX in Internet Explorer. Then, it is found that the motion detection module is completely identical to that of the former camera Linksys.
The motion detection
The similarities with the WVC54GCA (Linksys) are in the detection, Cisco camera incorporates the strengths but also the weaknesses of his little sister. Let’s start with the quality of this application: it is possible to program a detection over the entire surface of the sensor, or on a set of defined areas. Beware, however, as with the old camera from Linksys, this operation can only be done via Internet Explorer (via an ActiveX). When we ventured into this part of the administration interface with Firefox or Chrome, the settings appear a few seconds (middle picture below), then give way to the video stream that is captured by the camera. We have seen this bug with the latest firmware to date (V1.1.0). In the end, you have to use Internet Explorer to act on a lever particularly critical as this one. Users who only have a machine running Mac OS or Linux will not appreciate having to virtualize Windows to take this step …
On the other hand, the motion detection seems to be capricious. So overall, the program performs rather good job, we see that even with high sensitivity, some large movements are not detected. Yet we have properly adjusted the camera to detect any activity without waiting for a pause between each shot.
When the camera can detect a movement, it can either send a capture or a short video mail, an online storage type FTP where to write these files to a storage space present on the local network (a using the Samba protocol).
Examples of photos taken with this camera
Cisco motorized camera produces images of good quality with a resolution of 640 x 480. Perhaps we simply regret the little weaknesses of the integrated motion detection program that has not changed since the WVC54GCA Linksys (Cisco repurchased the Linksys brand, which explains that the firmware of the WVC210 approaching that which equips the WVC54GCA).
Cisco WVC210 is an evolution of the WVC54GCA Linksys. It therefore takes over a part of these software features. Since the model was marketed by Linksys, we expected a significant overhaul of the motion detection module that we had not really convinced on the old model. Unfortunately, once again, it will be content with an embedded program that does not start recording when movement does not change a small portion of the image (although maximum sensitivity).
Speaking of the old camera, WVC54GCA owners who complete their installation by adding a Cisco WVC210 might be disappointed not to be able to use the new camera management software (SWVMS16) with the Linksys model. Finally on small regret not only the foot does not lend itself well to the use of an RJ45 cable, but in addition we would have liked to have available an adjustable mounting arm. Cisco ignores such nevertheless indispensable. To position the camera on a wall (for example) will require ingenuity.
However, this absence could be forgiven in part because this time, the camera features a motorized axes relatively well designed system. The new firmware takes full advantage of this new feature: it can record nine different positions, and perform “cycles” so monitoring to observe all corners of a room.
The video quality is not forgotten: even if Cisco does not yet gratifies us a megapixel lens (it should not count exceed 640 x 480), the quality of shots has nonetheless evolved since the model aped Linksys: this new motorized camera produces excellent pictures bill.
Other positives accompany this model. For example, you appreciate the sound management, the ability to manage up to 16 cameras using a Windows utility that is provided for free as well as display the IP address of the camera (which facilitates the configuration phase).
In the end, the little weaknesses of motion detection module is far from playoff. For a price of around 200 euros, Cisco offers a particularly comprehensive camera.