Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera is a Good Value with an Unusual Option

Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt CameraThe Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera is a solid WiFi entry from a familiar company.  Our prior experience with Zmodo has been positive.  They market cameras that are very competitively priced and couple it with a reliable, easy to use smartphone app.  Too often, we see competitively priced cameras, but fails on the app.  Not the case with Zmodo as the app and hardware are both solid.

Our prior Zmodo reviews include the Zmodo EZCam Pro and Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Camera.  The Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera shares the same app so there’s no need to install yet another app on your phone.  Like the other two cameras, the Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera was easy to setup and simple to control.  It includes all the popular options for monitoring a home or office including motion and sound.

Software

You can access the Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera with your iPhone or Android smartphone.  There is a web portal for desktop access as well.

An instruction pamphlet in the box is mostly sufficient to get started.  Download the Zmodo app, plug the camera into the wall outlet and hit the plus sign within the app.  The app then asks you to select Zink, Automatic or Wireless Device and Smart Kit.  You would think Automatic is the way to go, but you will select Zink as the connection method.  Find the camera’s WiFi network on your phone.  Connect to that network using your phone and follow the prompts.  You will eventually be prompted for your WiFi password for connection to the router.

The Zmodo app is easy to use.  It’s not fancy.  It’s not complex.  There are a few advanced features and a few others that would be nice to have but aren’t there.

Motion detection is a funny thing on the Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera.  Can’t readily see a way to easily customize any alerts to your phone or email, yet they are acknowledged on the Zmodo cloud service.  Unlike some other pan and tilt cameras, motion does not trigger the movement of the camera head to the point of motion.  Instead, the Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera can use optional door and window sensors to move the camera lens to the event of motion.  These door and window sensors are not included with the base camera.  We discuss this feature in more detail in the Fun and Different section of the review.

There is no activity zone to control where motion alerts can occur.  This is a nice feature to have as it reduces false motion alerts.  A lot of pan and tilt cameras don’t have this feature, so no big surprise there.

Mode settings are provided to permit setting customization.  These are manually triggered by entering the mode within the Zmodo app.  You can set the camera being on or off, turn notifications on or off and toggle the sharing settings.

The 1080p video can be customized to stream at 10, 20 or 25 frames per second.  Might as well use 25 frames per second if your WiFi can handle it.  If your WiFi strength is weak, the lowest setting will result in a more stable experience although you will notice a difference in the continuity of the stream if using the lowest setting.

Like most Zmodo cameras, there’s an emphasis on sharing the camera streams.  You can select who to share it with and what features you would care to enable.

It’s not a bad cloud service.  For $4.99 per month, you get continuous cloud recording with 7 day retention.  The free service gets you motion clips for 36-hours.  Probably one of the more generous free services and the price on the paid part is competitive.

Hardware

That’s the Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera in the photo that accompanies this article.  It’s a tall camera and not as wide and deep as other pan and tilt.  So if you have a limited amount of space, and like the concept of pan and tilt, this might be a good choice.  The approximate measurements are 6 inches tall x 2.5 inches wide x 2.5 inches deep.

These are indoor use only, outdoor use is likely to ruin the camera, so keep these inside the home or office.

The included power adapter is a horribly designed micro USB cable attached to an A/C adapter that is about six feet long.  The micro USB end plugs into a recess at the bottom of the camera where it’s handy to have fingers the size of a small child to plug it in.

The daytime video quality is really nice, especially at 25 frames per second.  An extra wide 140 degree field of view is quite high on a pan and tilt camera.  When coupled with the pan and tilt features, you can cover 350 degrees from side to side and 70 degrees on the tilt.

The motion sensor is only as good as the 140 degree field of view.  Motion that occurs outside the current field of view will not be detected.  That’s where the optional door and window sensors, described in the Fun and Different section of this article come into play.

The Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera has respectable night vision up to 30 feet.  The quality of the night vision was ok, not terrific, not terrible.

Sound is fully supported, and a microphone is included for two-way conversations.  It’s a manual process using the push to talk feature.  A bit awkward for a lengthy conversation but it works.  The speaker volume can be controlled within the Zmodo app.

There is no on-board storage on the Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera so you cannot use an SD card.  All history must be viewed from the cloud.

Connectivity

The Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera connects to your wireless router at 2.4GHz using 802.11 b/g/n.  The 5 GHz frequency is not supported.

Mounts

This is strictly a flat surface tabletop type of camera.  There are no additional mounting accessories included.

An optional third party accessory that can be deployed for seeing out a window is the ElHook Stick-On Nest Cam Security Video Wall Mount which will work with this camera just fine. Although it’s marketed for a Nest Cam, turns out these fit a few other home security cameras including this one.  This mount is useful in that you can mount it to a wall or window without using screws.

Fun and Different

The Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera comes in a few different configurations.  There is the bare camera by itself and then there’s the Zmodo 1080p HD Pan/Tilt/Zoom Wireless IP Security Camera System and Smart Hub with 2 Pack Door / Window Sensors.  The latter includes a pair of door and window sensors. Works just like an alarm sensor except it will trigger the camera lens to point to the place where the sensors are located.  The concept being that since the window or door just opened up, you want to see who triggered it.

Summary

The Zmodo 1080p Pan and Tilt Camera is a decent pan and tilt cameras.  Very good video quality with an easy to use pan and tilt feature are the positives.  The way it handles motion could be better.  If you’re looking for a home security camera to keep an eye on a wide expanse of area, this is a good choice.  If you are expecting a lot of motion and need alerts sent to you for valid activity, there are better choices.

Quick Specs:

Video QualityField of ViewCloud SupportSD SupportNight VisionMobile/Web AppAlertsOutdoor
1080p140 DegreesYesNoYesYes/YesYesNo

Manufacturer Link:  Zmodo

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