I know there has been some talk about cameras, and I recently got my father-in-law a new EZVIZ camera, the C3X. It replaced his old Husky Air (C3W).
He is a vet with consulting rooms at his house, so he wanted a camera pointed to the entrance gate to know if somebody is waiting outside, and of course for general security. We had an old EZVIZ C3W which worked fine, connected to the EZVIZ NVR (X5C).
First, the real reason for the camera was the built-in person detection. The old one’s motion detection was pretty much useless – it triggered motion (and thus recording and alerts) when leaves moved in the wind, if somebody walked past, if it rained, when cars drove past (headlights) and even when the sun went behind clouds. It meant that we disabled the alerts, got him a secondary Wyze V2 camera for person detection and that was it. The EZVIZ camera continued recording for archival reasons and he used it occasionally to check that everything was fine when he was out.
The new one is incredible, though. So far we haven’t had one false alarm, and it detects instantly when a person walks into the frame, including through the gate itself (something the Wyze cam struggled with). The camera’s lights starts flashing (or playing a sound, more on that later) and a couple of seconds later a notification comes through on his phone. Hikvision / EZVIZ did an excellent job here!
Second, the night vision is color at night, as it uses two sensors/lenses to combine color and infrared images. It looks kinda weird, but pretty good:
Bear in mind, this was just taken during loadshedding, so the only light is basically from the moon (no streetlights, and he didn’t have any lights on outside). Pretty good!
Installation was a bit iffy. First, we found out with the original camera that his wifi just didn’t extend far enough (around 30m, through multiple walls) so we had to lay an ethernet cable. Unfortunately the new camera isn’t POE either (there’s supposedly a separate, non Wifi version that is POE enabled, but no idea where you can find it), so you have to run a 12v power cable along with the ethernet cable, which is a bit stupid. Luckily that was already in place.
Adding it to both the app and the NVR was fairly simple, until the point where it somehow got a different IP address than the rest of the network and failed to connect to anything (the EZVIZ cloud, the NVR, the EZVIZ desktop software – none of it worked). I had to download the Hikvision SADP software to reset it to DHCP – no idea why that happened.
Also, the NVR is the weakest link in the equation. It doesn’t support the Smart events – so it relies on motion detection to record. It also doesn’t support H265, so I don’t get the storage/bandwidth benefit. While you can access the cameras from the app through the NVR (and share it with other users), it also means that you lose the benefit of the smart features, so you have to add the camera to the app/EZVIZ account separately too. This includes the person detection, the 2-way audio (which is also quite good, actually), the ability to manually trigger the siren (which is quite loud for a camera, but not as loud as a proper alarm siren) and the ability to tweak settings for any of these.
I also had trouble accessing the camera through the NVR on the app – even though I removed the old one from the NVR and added the new one, it kept on listing the old one and not showing the new one. After a lot of fiddling it corrected itself, but never adopted the new name I gave it in the NVR .
The one good thing is that the camera, even when added directly to the app, picks up that it is recording to the NVR, so you don’t have to access recordings through the NVR-linked version of the camera. You can still go directly to the camera through the app and still see the recordings there.
EZVIZ does push their cloud subscription a bit, but it seems to go away after you’ve basically told it that you’re fine with on-premise recordings.
- Loud alarm (a voice saying that you are trespassing and should leave immediately
- Soft alarm (a short but audible beep)
- Silent alarm (only the lights flashes)
- Custom sound that you can record
We specifically wanted it for number 2 – it’s loud enough that you know it picked up a person, but doesn’t sound like an alarm. He doesn’t actually want to chase away customers! But unfortunately it looks like they must have updated the firmware, because now on this camera the options are:
- Loud alarm (siren)
- Soft alarm (the voice saying that you are trespassing)
- Silent alarm (lights flashing)
- Custom sound – no upload unfortunately, so I would have to record a “beep” sound with my phone’s mic.
I think it is a worthy camera! The price is a bit too high for my liking (R2 699 on Takealot) but the person detection and image quality does seem really good. If you are already in the EZVIZ camp but sick and tired of false alarms, I would consider this camera!
I bought it from Avico for R2 565: https://www.avico.pro/products/ezviz-dual-lens-wi-fi-camera-with-built-in-ai-c3x
More pics from the camera:
(Blacked out the number plate for privacy reasons, but it is quite legible)