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Foscam R2 Wireless 1080P IP Camera review: Strong on security, but definitely not DIY

Michael Ansaldo | Jan. 12, 2016
The R2 Indoor 1080P FHD Wireless Plug and Play IP Camera is Foscam’s latest entry in the DIY security sphere.

foscam web portal
A 360-degree virtual dial lets you pan and tilt the camera incrementally.

This is no easy feat. Because the code is on the bottom, you must hold the camera perfectly steady in your hand for the scanner to read it. Getting the QR code in exactly the right position and holding it perfectly still is a chore, and the scanning is complicated by a bar code directly below the QR code that you’re instructed to keep out of the frame. After 15 frustrating minutes of this balancing act, I gave up and opted to manually enter the UID.

After the camera is added to your network, you need to create a name and login for the camera to access the R2’s app controls.

Once I got through the arduous setup process, though, the camera impressed. Image quality was crisp in both regular and night-vision modes—there are controls to adjust color and image resolution if you want to fine-tune it—and audio was clear and clean.

The R2 can be accessed and controlled from both the mobile app and the Foscam web portal. Both are pretty intuitive and include tools for managing audio, taking screenshots and manually recording video, turning night vision on and off, adjusting video quality, and controlling the camera’s pan-and-tilt feature. A range of camera settings can be accessed from each, including the scheduling and sensitivity settings for sound and motion detection and scheduling for night vision.

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The R2 records video locally to a microSD card as well as to optional cloud storage.

Despite these customization options, which can help you curb false alerts by reducing the sensitivity of the camera’s sound and motion sensors or restricting monitoring to certain times of day, I found the out-of-the box settings to be just right. Motion detection was keen enough to alert me when a body—human or animal—passed in front of the lens, but it didn't overreact to changes in light or other trivial movement. Sound detection was also good enough to respond to the cat knocking something over upstairs, even thought the camera was set up downstairs.

The pan-and-tilt feature is particularly cool. Both the app and web portal offer a few methods of using this feature. You can choose from presets to have it turn all the way up, down, left or right; click a “cruise” button to have it perform an up-and-down sweep at its current angle; or use a 360-degree virtual dial to move it in increments. This makes it incredibly easy to surveil a moving pet or just search a room for the cause of a sound alert. In a worst-case scenario, you could even tail an intruder, rather than wait for him or her to walk in front of the camera, and improve your chances of identifying them.

 

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