Home and away.
What with all that precious gadgetry we've convinced you to buy over the years, you need a home security system to keep an eye on it all. Where to start? A camera, of course; and we've been checking one out from D-Link, the Home Panoramic HD Camera DCS-8200LH.
This WiFi-connected camera boasts a simple set-up and a very slim figure. In fact, it is definitely the thinnest security camera we've ever reviewed, and we were instantly impressed by the shallow profile. However, the huge round face is pretty conspicuous, being wider than the body of the camera itself, but overall the device looks pretty snazzy.
It comes with a mount that can be used to either stand it up on a level surface, or attach it to a wall. Again, this too is big and round – possible a tad bigger than it really needs to be, lessening the overall effect of the slim dimensions of the camera.
One thing that D-Link are keen to point out about this device is that it is the first of their cameras to be fully IFTTT compatible, with a number of 'recipes' already available. For example, you can set it up so when the camera detects motion, your Hue lights spring to life. It's a nice touch, and one fans of IFTTT will jump at.
To power the D-Link Home Panoramic HD Camera you use an included Micro SD cable which plus directly into the back. On the rear you will also find the God-send button – WPS – allowing you to instantly pair your camera with the dlink Home app (iOS and Android). We've used this app before on a couple of D-Link's smart devices, and always found it very intuitive and clutter-free.
Right, we need to talk about quality. Although this is a “HD” camera, it is the lowest end of HD, being just 720p. Don't get us wrong, 720p is fine for day-in, day-out recording and streaming, but it would have been nice to get at least a 1080p sensor, especially when you consider the price of this thing compared to other similar cameras. That said, the video quality was crisp enough to watch fine, but only really on your phone. Record something to a Micro SD card (there's a slot on the side), watch it on your computer, and you'll be less than impressed.
Using the companion app, you can set your D-Link Home Panoramic HD Camera to record when it detects motion or loud sounds. This is a great and simple-to-use feature which lets you choose whether you want the footage to go directly to the SD card, or indeed uploaded to D-Link's Cloud storage servers. Recalling both via the app is a smooth process, and we never had any problems with playback of both video and audio.
That big black ring around the lens is good for something though, as inside are the infra-red lights to power the night vision. Usable up to a distance of five metres, the night vision capabilities of the D-Link Home Panoramic HD Camera were actually very good, but this is a definite indoors-only camera.
So we like the app and the speed at which it both streams the footage, and alerts you to motion or sound triggers, but we can't get past that price-to-video quality ratio. Yes, the IFTTT compatibility is great, but around £150 for a 720p camera is a bit too much to swallow. If the price came down, this is a great and versatile home security camera with some nifty features.