Byte sized review: D-Link compact full HD pan & tilt wi-fi camera

D-Link’s DCS-6500LH wi-fi security camera is a home security camera with a difference to your normal static position camera: It offers pan & tilt functionality, meaning it will track movement.

Offering full 1080p HD video, sound and motion detection and auto motion tracking, the DCS-6500LH is incredibly easy to set up using D-Link’s smartphone-based My D-Link app: I had it up and running straight out of the box in a matter of minutes.

The camera itself is well made and the base has four rubber pads that will help keep it secure as well as a camera-mounting screw hole if you want to mount it on a ceiling. It offers a 2MP CMOS sensor and up to 5m night vision recording. It has a built-in microphone and speaker and is mains powered so you’ll need a power socket nearby.

With the app you can set the parameters of the camera, such as having it alert you via the smartphone app when it senses movement or sound, and whether you are alerted via a notification to your smartphone or it just records a video clip which it then saves either to the cloud or onto a microSD card. You can also set the camera into “privacy” mode which means it won’t record while you are at home

You can store captured footage either locally onto the microSD card or to the cloud, through subscription model, which ranges from free (which records footage from up to three cameras, storing the footage for one day before deleting) or through paid services which range from $4 to $16 a month. You can access the footage anytime from the My D-Link app as long as you have an internet/wi-fi connection.

I found the DCS-6500LH an excellent addition to my home security set-up – I have two other D-Link cameras set up around my house – and being able to monitor them via the My D-Link app is great. The footage is clear and the camera came in extremely handy to check on the dog when I’m away from the house. The smartphone app will let you take a snapshot or record footage in case you need to use it at a later date.

The original footage was captured by the camera in 1080p.

The motion tracking work well, following a subject as they moved around the coverage area, which you can determine via the app, but I’d suggest you don’t set the camera facing a busy street frontage, like I did initially: You’ll receive constant notifications as cars and people wander past.

The night vision works well, too, capturing movement in completely dark rooms, but if you plan on using the camera to monitor outside activity I’d suggest not placing the camera too close to a window as you’ll get reflection from the camera’s IR LED off the glass.

At just on $NZ100 ($AU80), D-Link’s DCS-6500LH is an affordable camera in its home security range that offers great performance and, importantly, peace of mind when you’re away from home or just want to keep an eye on what your canine friend gets up to while you’ve popped out to the shops.

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