Caught In Camera

Smarter WiFi Camera with New Motion Detection Methods

So far, most of the home security cameras I reviewed generally comes with rather generically common features without exceptional product differentiation. D-Link DCS-8330LH Full HD Smart WiFi Camera caught my attention when I saw the list of features on their product page so I agreed to review it.

At a retail price of S $ 149 in Singapore, it is not difficult to get one below the price due to aggressive sales promotion during this challenging COVID-19 situation.

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Unboxing and Operations

When I saw the product design, I actually thought the DCS-8330LH supports pan and/or tilt functions, but I was mistaken. You can manually adjust the left-right and up-down angles but they are not motorized.

It would be unnecessary anyway since the 151-degree angle of view is adequate as it covers more than enough view when placed in the corner or the middle of the room.

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The camera is powered by a standard micro-USB port, which is good so that I can use any generic USB power plug to operate instead of a proprietary adapter.

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You can use your own microSD card 256GB) to store the recorded footage, but it’s definitely recommended to use cloud storage, in case the micro SD card gets damaged or stolen.

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The rear of the camera houses the speaker which provides effective 2-way communication from the mydlink app to the house. The sensitive mic is also clear enough to listen to what’s going on at the house.

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mydlink app

To get the camera working, install the mydlink app and add the new device from the left slide-out menu. Scan the QR code on the device and then go through the setup process to connect the camera to your home WiFi. Once that’s done, you’ll see the new camera appearing on the dashboard.

Most of the functions and settings are similar to other D-Link WiFi cameras. You can change the name, and location, enable night vision, select anti-flicker, invert the image, turn on-off LED status, and select storage destination. Night recording using infra-red is more than adequate to capture large living rooms.

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The rich notification is a unique feature for D-Link WiFi cameras, where during an alert trigger that appears on the smartphone dropdown status bar, you can quickly make a call to the designated contact person.

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Let’s talk about the most unique feature of the DCS-8330LH.

Moving Object Detection

Most WiFi cameras will detect motion by specifying the trigger areas within the frame, either by grid or by drawing a detection area. D-Link DCS-8330LH supports three detection methods.

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Multi-Zone Motion Detection

This is the standard motion detection feature. The DCS-8330LH allows you to create up to 4 different zones of detection. The drawback is that the zone has a minimal size, so I cannot define a very small area. Other brands using the grid selection method can define as many detection points as you want.

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Boundary-Crossing Detection

This is a new camera detection feature, where you can draw a virtual line that triggers detection whenever an object passes through from one boundary to the other. You can choose whichever way before it gets triggered.

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This is different from what I see on the product page or promo video, where it seems to suggest that I could draw a short virtual line on the frame instead of having to stretch across the entire frame.

Priority Zone

This is another new camera detection method from D-Link. The camera will trigger an alert only when an object crosses in or out of the zone. The limitation is that you can only define the zone within a dotted area.

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Due to my home layout, this mode is not quite useful, but I would imagine if you want to set this camera to monitor your baby in a crib, this would be a great detection mode.

Person Detection

An additional detection mode on top of the above is the ability to detect a “person”. This means, that if you enable this additional mode, the camera will trigger an additional alert. And DCS-8330LH also supports sound detection perfect for monitoring crying babies or pets in distress.

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The person detection applies to the entire frame, and you cannot define a zone for person detection. So it’s up to you whether you want to use both or just one. As you can see on the automation rule setting, both are independent.

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False Triggers

Throughout my review period, there were a number of false triggers. When I checked the recorded footage, I did not observe any breach of the zones. I suspect it is due to the changing light conditions or shadows cast by the sun. In some rare situations, the camera triggered a person detection but there was no one throughout the recorded footage. Does the camera see something that I don’t?

Verdict

The D-Link DCS-8330LH seems like a reliable WiFi camera performer as I experienced throughout the review duration. Accessing the footage is also fast and there were no major connection issues even when I am outside. The images are relatively clear as it can capture up to 1080p and 30fps.

Combined with the rest of the D-Link smart devices like sensors and smart plugs, you can create a living space where you interact safely with your family members. The mydlink app lets you set rules like when you want the camera to detect motion and record footage so that it won’t constantly notify you when everyone is home.

With a retail price of S $ 149 and a launch price of S $ 129, it’s a fair value for some nifty smart detection features, although I didn’t really experience the truly intelligent capabilities other than the enhanced detection features.

I like the ultra-wide angle, something that I prefer instead of the pan-tilt mechanism as the footage records the motor sounds and you need to pan around to see things happening.

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