Amcrest ProHD Home Security Camera Review

Amcrest ProHDThe Amcrest ProHD Home Security Camera is a 1080p HD indoor camera made by a company called Amcrest.  For those not familiar with Amcrest, they are a large manufacturer of home security cameras.  They make indoor and outdoor cameras.  Some are wireless, some include a DVR.  This particular model uses the cloud.

Amcrest traces it’s roots to Foscam which has been around for quite sometime.  The design of this Amcrest camera shares a lot of characteristics with the Foscam line.

Let’s take a closer look.

Software

The Amcrest ProHD software is the most difficult feature to write about.  While it provides more customization potential than any camera I have seen to date, it’s also the most difficult to use.  If you aren’t into a software challenge, get out now, and look at our reviews for a Nest Cam or Canary All-in-One Home Security System.

The Amcrest ProHD can be accessed from their apps (yes I said apps) or a web browser.  Neither are user friendly.

You can setup the Amcrest HDPro from a PC or smartphone.  I chose to use the smartphone app from my Apple iPhone 6s Plus.  The app is called Amcrest View.

Initially it seems like a typical installation.  Download the app, let the camera boot up, connect it to the app and authenticate your home wireless network, enter camera userid and password.  And connect away.  Except it didn’t work.  After messing around with everything for 30 minutes, I notices the app didn’t change the default user and password to my new settings.  it was setup with the defaults despite my change being entered.  But I got around it and quickly changed the defaults.

Once in the Amcrest app, you will see a wide variety of icons and options to turn stuff on and off.  It isn’t terribly intuitive and will require some documentation.  Oh wait, there isn’t any documentation.  Just a quick start guide.  Here’s the Amcrest ProHD Manual download link.  Download it and print it.  You’re going to need it.

Within the app are options to toggle motion, video tamper and recording schedule options.  Like many home security cameras, you can alter the motion sensitivity as needed.

Under options, you’re going to see one called Cloud Storage.  This option takes you to the app store to download (or open) their cloud app which is called Amcrest Cloud.  That’s right, it’s a separate app.  Unlike every other home security app I have used, this has a separate app for cloud access.  You will also need to setup an account on the Amcrest Cloud service.

The Amcrest ProHD camera includes 4 hours worth of cloud storage.  There are paid cloud subscription upgrades to consider that start at $6 monthly for 7 days.  The free 4-hour plan includes 2-hours of live streaming per month.  If live streaming through the app, there is a 10 second delay which is typical.

So bottom line is that you need two apps for the Amcrest ProHD.  One for typical access.  The other for accessing the cloud service.

The Amcrest View app for the most part is stable although I found having to end the app by swiping it off the screen and restarting it as it failed to connect to the camera a few times.

There are a multitude of customization options that require an IT background and then some.  Here are a few articles to help you out with some essential tasks:

How to Upgrade the Firmware on an Amcrest ProHD Home Security Camera
How to Setup Email on an Amcrest ProHD Home Security Camera
How to Eliminate False Motion Alerts on an Amcrest ProHD Home Security Camera

Connectivity

The Amcrest ProHD camera connects to your wireless router at 2.4GHz using 802.11 b/g.  Connectivity was good.  No interruptions were experienced.

Hardware

The Amcrest ProHD hardware is very good.

This is an old type eyeball camera.  You can manipulate the physical positioning of the camera lens be swiping the display left or right, up or down.  Given the 90 degree wide angle lens, the ability to move the camera via the app more than doubles the amount area the camera can cover.  In fact, I can actually see up and behind the camera when moving it all the way to the top of the display.  That’s different from a current home security camera which typically has a very wide angle stationary camera lens.

A photo of the Amcrest ProHD accompanies this article.  It isn’t a small camera measuring roughly 4.5 inches high x 3 inches wide x 3 inches deep.  It comes in black, silver and white.

The video records at HD 1080p at 30 frames per second.  It’s a 90 degree wide angle lens, which isn’t so wide.  However, the hardware provides the ability to pivot and swivel to provide a span that is in excess of 180 degrees.  You can also swivel the camera somewhat behind the placement which is pretty cool.  This is all done through the app.

Like I said, the camera can be swiveled all over the place.  Except downwards.  There’s a real limit on the down part which meant that if it’s sitting on a table edge you cannot see a certain portion beneath the ledge.

The 1/2.7” 2 megapixel progressive scan CMOS lens provides a bit of fish eye view as images around the edges seem a bit distorted.

I would describe night vision as more than adequate.  The IR night vision is good for around 30 feet.  I tested it at about 20 feet and it worked as expected.

There’s an integrated microphone and speaker for two-way communications.  It’s a good implementation of the microphone and speaker.  I can hear the speaker real well.

The Amcrest ProHD accepts a micro SD card so you can write to the card as well as the cloud.

Mounts

The Amcrest ProHD includes a mount that allows attachment to a flat surface like a wall.

This camera features a standard 1/4″ – 20 threaded screw hole and fits a standard tripod.  That means a wide variety of mounts and tripods will fit.

Fun and Different

So you have a lot more customization and viewing options with this camera versus many of the leading consumer models out there.  This means you can pipe the video into other applications for viewing purposes.  There are also ports on the back of the camera so that you can attach external speakers or an alarm.

Summary

The Amcrest ProHD Home Security Camera isn’t for a beginner.  As already mentioned, for those looking for an intuitive app that isn’t complicated, check the Nest Cam or Canary.

This camera is best for technical people.  It offer high end hardware features and good quality video.

It’s a great piece of hardware.  Amcrest would benefit greatly from a complete face lift of their app to make it more user friendly.

Video QualityField of ViewCloud SupportSD SupportNight VisionMobile/Web AppAlertsOutdoor
1920x108090 DegreesYesYesYesYes/YesYesNo

Manufacturer Link:  Amcrest

All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way.  I have owned and tested dozens of cameras.  Manufacturer support varies.  There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions.  There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).