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 in their product page so I agreed to review it. At a retail price if 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.
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 angle but they are not motorised. It would be unnecessary anyway, since the 151-degree angle of view is adequate as it covers more than enough view when placed at the corner or the middle of the room.
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 proprietary adapter.
You can use your own microSD card (up to 256GB) to store the recorded footage, but it’s definitely recommended to use the cloud storage, in case the micro SD card gets damaged or stolen.
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 in what’s going on at the house.
To get the camera working, install 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 will 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, location, enable night vision, select anti-flicker, invert image, turn on-off LED status, select storage destination. Night recording using infra-red is more than adequate to capture large living rooms.
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.
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.
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 grid selection method can define as many detection points as you want.
This is a new camera detection feature, where you can draw a virtual line which triggers detection whenever an object passes through from one boundary to the other. You can choose whichever way before it gets triggered.
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.
This is another new camera detection method from D-Link. The camera will trigger alert only when an object cross in or out from the zone. The limitation is that you can only define the zone within a dotted area.
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.
An additional detection mode on top of the above is the ability to detect “person”. Meaning, 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.
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.
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?
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 did not really experience the truly intelligent capabilities, except the enhanced detection features. I like the ultra wide angle, something that I prefer instead of pan-tilt mechanism as the footage records the motor sounds and you need to pan around to see things happening.