Technology

EZVIZ LC3 review: our opinion – CNET Leer en español

Connected surveillance cameras are no longer reserved for professionals these days, and these types of items are becoming more democratic among individuals. As with all products of interest to the general public, manufacturers try to vary their offers with accessory functions such as connected video door phones that are found in our selection of the best surveillance cameras.

This time it’s all about camera and lighting. They are not simple projectors that help night vision, but a real light that can act as ambient light on a terrace or in a garden. It is this type of product that the Ezviz brand offers with its LC3 model, which it describes as a “two-in-one solution for intelligent lighting and advanced security”. Let’s explore it.

The device has a cylindrical shape that leaves no doubt about its lighting function. Even if we clearly notice the presence of a camera in this image, it could deceive from afar and pass for a simple light.

The camera is integrated into the base and can be slightly tilted 10° horizontally and 15° vertically for a 140° field of view. The little button below the lens is a reset button which we weren’t necessarily expecting in this location and could be annoying if the camera is placed within easy reach.

Camera

Under the device there are holes that allow the integrated siren to speak, and also rubber feet that can be useful in certain cases as we will see later.

The camera mount is attached to the top of the device, which will allow it to be attached to the top of a wall. It comes apart by removing a small screw that allows you to release the plastic back panel.

Support

Inside, the electrical domino will be used to house the phase, neutral and ground power cables.

connections

This is perhaps what will slow down some users who want to equip. The camera is powered exclusively by a network cable connected to a power supply or directly to the meter. Most tinkerers won’t back down from this difficulty. Those with a plug nearby will be able to sacrifice an extension cord and strip the cable to retrieve it, the connection is not complicated with this method.

Electric connection

Once placed, a notch allows the passage of the cable, which will therefore not necessarily have to go through a wall, but will expose an electrical cable.

Cable

And if you don’t like drilling into a wall, the rubber feet that Ezviz has cleverly placed, as well as the natural weight of the camera base, allow you to use the camera-light placed on a table. It is not the most sensible option on the security side, but it can help, at least to test locations or vary them from time to time.

In a table

Installation via software is preferably done before physical installation of the camera so that locations can be tested. This goes through the EZVIZ app on a smartphone and a scan of the QR Code to easily recognize the model, then comes the Wi-Fi network setup by entering the home wireless network identifiers. Simple and effective, there is no difficulty to overcome in this case.

Setting

Once in place, you can test various locations before drilling, if necessary, and permanently connecting the camera to mains power. The logical destination for such a camera, with its integrated lighting, is rather to place it in the entrance of a house, under a terrace or near a corridor near the fireplace. Here we have chosen to strategically locate it on an exterior terrace with two entrance doors, a quite sensitive place for surveillance, but also practical in terms of lighting, because it is a place of passage.

Camera

What we don’t anticipate is that this type of placement is problematic for a number of reasons. For example, we were thinking of using the rotate ability to orient it so that we can see both to the right and to the left. Unfortunately, its targeting capabilities are a bit limited and, except for a slight adjustment, it must be positioned in front of the targeted passage location.

On the other hand, the night vision that could be good, is hampered by the presence of a nearby wall that influences the sensor in its automatic brightness adjustment. This is especially true for infrared night vision, without illumination. The proximity of the wall also interferes with motion recognition, causing permanent detection and requiring a switch to human recognition only.

infrared vision

While adjustments have been made to manage this choice, it is not recommended for optimal use. By the way, we note that efforts could be made at the translation level, for example with the title of the section “Light regulation” which has been translated to “Light regulation” due to the word “light” which means both in the language of Shakespeare.

Settings

Somehow a good compromise has been found to receive relevant notifications even if the viewing angle is not the most optimal. The video playback system makes it easy to search for a specific location with the ability to filter the day of the recording. On the other hand, it is only possible to retrieve videos to download using the Save button during playback of the moment to be saved in the phone memory.

video playback

In terms of rendering, it’s very bright in daylight on a smartphone. This is still true after recording and viewing on the big screen. The sound is also quite clear. On the other hand, during a detection, the actual recording saved starts a few seconds earlier (probably thanks to a continuous recording system). This is satisfactory.

At night the quality is logically a little less good from a distance, correct as soon as you get closer. Here again it is the presence of the wall that spoils the quality a bit, so you will have to avoid using this camera with an object close to the field to take advantage of the full power of the lighting even at a greater distance.

Finally, Ezviz offers a cloud recording service. This has the advantage of saving the recordings on a remote server. An intruder who tried to steal or damage the camera would still have a small memory of him online that he could not access. In this regard, Ezviz has placed an (admittedly inconspicuous) reset button below the camera lens. It would have been smarter to place it in a less accessible place.

Returning to the cloud, this option has a cost. Count €50 per year (or €4.99/month) to save the last 7 days of video history. To keep the last 30 days you will have to pay 99 euros per year or 9.99/month. And this is just a single camera package, it’s pretty cheap.

However, it is common for brands to offer online video hosting. If this is not essential, you can resort to other alternatives such as the Reolink Argus 3 Pro camera, which works without a cloud, but with a battery, with less powerful lighting. Another battery-powered alternative that doesn’t require power and offers robust cloud lighting, but at a slightly higher purchase price, is the highly-rated Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight model.

In the end, the Exviz LC3 surveillance camera turns out to be a good model with only a few conditions to respect: provide a fairly clear location for unrestricted use, in particular due to its small angle of rotation. You should also plan a substantial subscription budget if you want online hosting in addition to local storage. Finally, it will take a bit of DIY to get it fixed and turned on.

It represents a good solution in these cases to act both as a security camera that does not seem like it, and as lighting, with or without automatic triggering. Its modern design will go perfectly with any style and offer good quality videos.

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