Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera Review

Zmodo HD Outdoor Security Camera MediumThe Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera comes from a company that’s been around the home security camera arena for awhile.  The camera is a less expensive but reliable option for those wanting a bullet camera that can live outdoors.

For those unfamiliar with Zmodo, they manufacture lower priced home security devices.  Mostly home security cameras.  This bullet camera compares to a few others reviewed on this site including the Lorex LNC226X Outdoor Bullet Camera.  You could also compare it to several other cameras that are outdoor but not bullet shaped such as the Nest Outdoor Camera or Canary Flex.  All in all, the Zmodo entry is lower priced but with less features and lower end hardware specs.

Software

You can access the Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera with your iOS or Android smartphone.  There is a web portal for desktop access as well.

The instructions out of the box are enough to get you up and running.  Download the Zmodo app, plug the camera into the wall outlet and find the camera’s WiFi network on your phone.  Connect to that network using your phone and follow the prompts.

It took me a little longer to connect due to what I believe was the lack of support for special characters in my password.  That’s my theory based upon repeated failures until I changed the passwords to exclude special characters.  After I got this issue behind me, it was clear sailing.

I should mention at this point that I did attempt to contact Zmodo support via the live chat feature.  While someone acknowledged my support request, they didn’t return to the chat and I wound up figuring it out on my own.  I only tried to contact them once so cannot say this is the norm for live chat support.

I find the Zmodo app to be 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 event alerts are supported.  The Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera supports establishing a single motion detection area.  This feature can be used to limit motion detection to a smaller area of the room.  This can be a huge help in reducing false motion alerts.  This feature is often used to only look at areas above the height of a wandering pet or to eliminate tree branches that could be moved by wind or rain.

Strangely missing are motion sensitivity settings.  Many competing home security cameras allow the user to increase or decrease motion sensitivity.  This can sometimes help to reduce false motion alerts from trivial events.  Absence of this feature means alerts for anything that moves.

Mode settings are provided to permit setting customization based upon time of day.  It would be nice if these settings were partially based upon your location, but that’s not the case.  Time and day settings get correlated to home, away and sleep.  That’s how alerts, device sharing and camera activation are controlled.  Mode settings are optional and can be deactivated if desired.

HD video is 1280 x 720 and video options for lower 640 x 480 quality is also supported.  If your WiFi strength is weak, the lowest setting will result in a more stable experience.  You can easily toggle it up to the higher HD experience to see the action when necessary.

A free cloud plan for storing 36 hours of motion events is included.  Paid plans get longer retention.

Hardware

That’s the Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera in the photo that accompanies this article.  It’s physically smaller versus other bullet cameras I have seen.  It’s quite small measuring 2.6″ × 2.4″ × 3.9″ and weighing in at 1.14 pounds.  Constructed of mostly metal, these cameras are a bit heavy but appears to be well constructed.

These cameras are made to use outdoors but can also live inside.  The integrated power cable has a recessed micro USB connection to an included typical A/C adapter with an adapter at the other end.  The recessed connection worries me a little in terms of weather exposure.  I’m guessing Zmodo agrees given a statement on their site that suggests covering it with an insulated material if that connection is left outside.

The video during the day is clear at 720p at 25 frames per second.  The Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera has a 62 degree wide angle lens.  Somewhat less than many competitors so I recommend placing this in a corner to get as much of the view as possible.

The Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera deploys 2 IED arrays for night vision.  The manufacturer states this is good enough for up to 65 feet from the camera.  I didn’t test it that far but can say it was effective up to 30 feet.

Sound is not supported.  Don’t be fooled by the presence of a microphone in the app as it doesn’t work.  If this is being used for outdoor security, that’s probably not a deal breaker.

There is no on-board storage with the Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera.  All history must be viewed from the cloud.

Connectivity

The Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera connects to your wireless router at 2.4GHz using 802.11 b/g.  There aren’t any sync modules.  Each camera serves up the video independently.

Mounts

A nice wall mount is included with the Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera.  It attaches to the bottom of the camera using a standard 1/4″ – 20 threaded tripod screw.  The included mount is one of the better ones I have seen.  The included mount has a ball and socket design with a base that has mounting holes and screws.  The stand can be used on a wall, ceiling or it can stand up on a shelf or table.

Fun and Different

The Zmodo app places more emphasis on sharing versus other home security cameras I have seen.  They make it easy to share live video with your contacts or an email address.

Summary

The Zmodo HD Wireless Bullet Outdoor Camera is an ok camera.  It’s a middle of the pack outdoor camera.  Decent video quality coupled with an easy to use app but hampered by a 65 degree field of view with less than stellar vendor support experience.  If looking to deploy a bunch of these, consider the Zmodo Smart Wireless Security Cameras- 4 Pack.  Each camera works independent of the other but can be accessed via the same home screen within the app.  The Zmodo app supports up to eight cameras.

Quick Specs:

Video QualityField of ViewCloud SupportSD SupportNight VisionMobile/Web AppAlertsOutdoor
1280x72062 DegreesYesNoYesYes/YesYesYes

Manufacturer Link:  Zmodo

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).