Foscam’s metal bullet camera is designed for outdoor surveillance of small and large properties. Instead of Wi-Fi, it requires an Ethernet connection, which means a more stable connection and a little more time installing it. You might not need to connect the power cable, however, as it’s compatible with PoE (Power over Ethernet).
Foscam F19901EP Review
All of Foscam’s IP cameras are supported by an Android/iOS app that will help you through the rest of the installation, and let you stream live 1080p video to your phone, or receive alerts with an image of the action as an attachment.
At £139.99 (around $180, AU$235), the F19901EP is a step up from the basic model and packs a 4-megapixel sensor with 30 IR LEDs arranged around the lens, allowing it to capture full high definition images, night or day.
Design and build
The all-metal construction of this sealed camera housing inspires confidence in a product that feels like it will last a long time. To make it harder for intruders to tamper with the device, all the bolts require an Allen key and the microSD card is buried behind the lens cover.
As mentioned, the lens is surrounded by an impressive array of 30 LEDs and it can be angled up or down in its hinged metal bracket. There’s no sideways or rotational movement with this fixing, so placement is critical.
Here are the full specs of the Foscam F19901EP:
- Type: IP camera
- Location: Indoor/outdoor
- Mounting: Wall/ceiling bracket included
- Connectivity: Ethernet only
- Resolution: 1080p
- Sensor: 4-megapixels
- Night Vision: 30 IR LEDs
- Motion sensor: Yes
- Audio: Two-way sound
- Battery: No
- Local video storage: microSD Card (up to 128GB)
- App support: Android/iOS
- Subscription: $4.99 (£3.90) per month (7 days storage per month)
- Size/Weight: 98 x 65 x 62mm (W x H x D); 255g
As a step up, mid-price model, the F19901EP sports a superior 4-megapixel sensor over the cheaper F19900 and offers a choice of SD, HD and Full HD image quality. Video is automatically recorded to the Foscam cloud, if you take out a subscription, or directly onto a microSD card.
Alerts can be pushed to your phone along with a still image if you so wish. You can set up an account and choose your preferences using either the Foscam app on your phone, or the Foscam portal on a PC or Mac.
Installation and use
Installation is a little tricky because the bracket only pivots in one direction, but at least the screws are included, and the wide 118-degree field of view will probably cover most of the area you wish to survey anyway.
Syncing the camera with a smartphone should be easy, but it took us many attempts before we discovered that it simply isn’t compatible with a 5GHz network, and we had to find an older router which supported 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
In terms of picture quality, the F19901EP is a cut above the average security camera in this price bracket. 1080p is becoming the norm for IP cameras these days, but some, like the Reolink Argus, still look a little compressed. The Foscam manages better contrast and crisper delineation in daylight and a much better than average performance in the dark. Night-time shots, lit by the 30 IR LEDs, look pretty ghostly, but at least you can usually identify the pale faces. No doubt the wired Ethernet connection also results in a more stable video stream.
The ability to zoom up to 6x is an advantage – at least it is when you are in Full HD mode – and the two-way audio could be useful if you are able to set this up. One feature we missed was the ability to send a still image with an alert – instead, the snapshot is saved on an FTP.