Imilab EC5 test: our opinion – CNET France

When setting up a camera, it is generally necessary to take care to choose its orientation to aim for the desired angle of view. In the case of large spaces, you sometimes have to choose between a partial view of what you want to monitor or the purchase of several cameras. Except for so-called “Pan Tilt” products which are oriented on demand remotely.

It is this type of camera that the Imilab brand offered us to test with an EC5 model which is offered at an attractive price with great promises on paper including 2K definition. It also offers automatic tracking when motion is detected via artificial intelligence.

The camera is in any case quite imposing and weighs a certain weight, which contrasts with other more miniaturized models. This offers the advantage of deterrence if the purpose is to warn that your household is being video-monitored. It comes with its three meter long power cable and the necessary to fix the camera to a wall or a ceiling.

This model is able to communicate via Wifi, but also via an Ethernet cable, as desired. On the other hand, it does not have a battery and must be connected to a mains socket.

Cables

The objective is surrounded by two LED projectors whose power we will be able to evaluate later during the night hours.

Projectors

Storage is via a MicroSD card, not supplied, of up to 256 GB. Access to the slot is via a small hatch to be unscrewed with a precision Phillips screwdriver (not supplied). It is also at this location that there is a hole to perform a reset with the help of a paperclip.

MicroSD slot

In the user manual translated into several languages ​​including French, three fixing methods are proposed. On a wall or ceiling, use the fixing kit supplied with screws and dowels. It is also possible to use a cable (not supplied) to fix the camera to a pole.

In our case we choose a hybrid method during the test. Placed under the roof of a garden shed, you can’t miss the EC5 surveillance camera.

Fixation

Its operation via an application is done thanks to Xiaomi Home for iOS or Android. Commissioning is extremely simple and within everyone’s reach. The proximity of the camera is detected after it is connected, it then suffices to indicate the identifiers of the home network when you have chosen to connect it via Wifi.

As soon as the configuration is complete, you can start adjusting the orientation of the camera using a virtual joystick. The engine is fast and the controls are quite responsive despite the quite normal little latency caused by the Wifi connection.

Commissioning

It is possible to play with the controls to move the camera to either side or orient it vertically. Thing that it realizes all alone as of the connection, the displacement is fast.

positioning

In the settings it is possible to make some settings, including that concerning the behavior at night with the choice between infrared or light from the integrated spotlights. However, not all parameters are translated.

Settings

The camera quickly started sending notifications when motion is detected. The problem is that it also sends some when there is no need for it. However, it differentiates between human forms and points it out when this is the case.

Notifications

Even at night, all it takes is a single gnat passing in front of the lens to trigger a notification and video recording. The detection is therefore far too sensitive.

In the absence of an offer to host the images on the cloud, absent from the parameters even if the product sheet seems to indicate this possibility, the recordings are stored on the memory card. It is possible to read them from the application.

Reading

When a person is detected, the follow-up seems effective even if the few hesitations of the camera prevent obtaining a fairly fluid video. 2K video quality is a bit tight.

It’s not the only Pan-Tilt camera we’ve had the opportunity to test. The Reolink Argus PT can be an alternative, the brand has a free cloud system for 7 days, but does not offer tracking of a person on the move, nor a projector. On the other hand, it is completely wireless and is powered via a battery to be charged regularly or via a solar panel. If it’s the projector function that interests you, the Floodlight model from Arlo made a good impression on us.

The main drawback of this camera is the need to power it from the mains, which could be a hindrance for some people. Same for the settings in English and the lack of a few more possibilities in these. Cloud fuzziness and too high sensitivity are also a problem.

However, the Imilab EC5 surveillance camera should not be completely ruled out, provided that an upcoming update resolves these problems and expands the parameters. Subject tracking is quite good, commissioning fairly simple and the presence of a powerful projector will serve as additional lighting when a member of the household passes or have a dissuasive effect on an intruder. At less than 100 euros, the price is rather interesting for these features.

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Imilab EC5 test: our opinion – CNET France


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