IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

Everyone wants to protect their belongings, which starts with solid security features like secure doors and good door locks. In addition, to monitor outbuildings or to be informed quickly when needed, alarm systems are often used. Good basic equipment is to get this usually cheap, as we could already prove in the test.

However, if a visual home surveillance is desired, already has to be taken much deeper into the bag. Cheap alarm systems rarely offer the possibility to integrate surveillance cameras. This already requires expensive base units.

It is simpler, instead of extending an alarm system with a camera, to install only a camera that has already integrated an alarm function.

We have two models of HiKam (for inside and outside) in the test today. The HiKam A7 outdoor surveillance camera and the HiKam S6 indoor security camera.

Delivery and first impression
Both cameras, the HiKam S6 and the HiKam A7, are delivered in rather small boxes similar to a mobile phone package. These are very stable and already contain important information and technical details on the back.

Especially with the outdoor camera A7 astonished me but the small size. Here a full-fledged outdoor camera should be included. But let's just unpack and look at the content.

Contains everything that is needed for use. Starting with the network camera via mounting material to all necessary cables and the power supply. I can not think of anything I would miss or need in addition. Only the manual or the many individual leaves create a little confusion. Whether you can handle it, we clarify later under the point of installation. At first it seems a bit confusing.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: outdoor

Delivery HiKam Indoor IP Camera S6
Delivery HiKam Indoor IP Camera S6

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

Delivery HiKam Outdoor IP Camera A7
Delivery HiKam Outdoor IP Camera A7

Wireless indoor camera HiKam S6
Amazingly small and therefore almost acting like a toy, the S6 comes to light, which is tiltably mounted on a round foot. The foot itself has a mounting plate that can be screwed on and on which the S6 is secured by twisting. With a metal plate stability is secured even without screwing.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

Small and easy to hide - the HiKam S6
Small and easy to hide - the HiKam S6

The twisting when mounting allows (with screwed base plate), although the cam a little to turn, a further lateral alignment is no longer possible. So you should already determine the subsequent alignment when screwing the base plate. Subsequently, only small corrections are possible laterally.

The vertical tilt function, however, allows an adjustment angle of almost 180°. So that when mounted horizontally, the camera can be placed vertically, but also completely tilted forward or backward. For wall mounting, depending on the attachment, a viewing area from bottom to top is possible.

Somewhat hard and not immediately recognizable is the ability to turn the S6 in its version. This is necessary if the S6 is attached to the side, as I use it in the housing of the 3D printer. So there are certainly no shortage of options for fixing or aligning the IP camera.

The accessories include a power supply and the required USB cable, screws and dowels for attachment, many individual sheets with installation instructions in various languages ​​and a small wire hanger, which can be used to Reseten. Who has not looked in vain for a paper clip or something pointed to press the little hidden button.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

On the ceiling, the S6 monitors my workshop.
On the ceiling, the S6 monitors my workshop.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

The second HiKam S6 watches the 3D printer.
The second HiKam S6 watches the 3D printer.

Since I have two surveillance cameras each available for testing, I was also able to test them in various applications. The first indoor camera moved into the workshop ceiling to monitor the workshop. The second area of ​​use - that will certainly interest many - was a 3D printer housing. Since I have not had the time to build a transparent housing, the cam is particularly useful here to monitor the pressure without opening the dark wooden box. I'm curious if the S6 survives the not to be underestimated temperatures in the printer housing.

Wireless outdoor camera HiKam A7
The Outdoorcam is a bit bigger than the HiKam S6 but still quite handy. I would have expected much bigger. Interestingly, it has two antenna ports and also two antennas, which gives it a special advantage. Although the surveillance cameras have their own motion detectors The Outdoorcam A7 can also be activated via an external PIR sensor or via a window contact. I especially like the window contact. If the movement behind the window glass is not recognized or the person recognition is activated and is still behind the slowly opening door, an alarm can be triggered here and the camera activated.

In addition, it is equipped with a LAN connection, so that it can also be integrated directly into the network and reception problems are excluded. Necessary he was not in my case, since my wireless network with repeaters is well covered.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: test

Amazingly small the A7
Amazingly small the A7

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

Antenna for WLAN and 433 MHz
Antenna WLAN and 433 MHz

The attachment of the Outdoorcam can be done in two different ways. As a simpler variant, the existing holes can be used for direct attachment. This variant is done quickly and I found it on wood as completely sufficient. In addition, however, also a base plate is enclosed, which should be used in my opinion, then, if the substrate is very uneven (plaster). Here, the base plate can be properly secured and sealed all around and then takes with three metric screws on the camera. So it can be securely fastened and there is no risk that the foot of the camera tears due to tension.

I attached my two WLAN cameras for the test directly and without base plate. Their subsurface is wood and tension is excluded. The first IP camera has taken its place on the balcony and covers a large part of the property. The second overlooks our "parking lot" and was attached to the top of the playhouse. Unfortunately, she has to take all weather phenomena directly with her, which fully exploits the outdoor use.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

HiKam A7 inconspicuous and somewhat protected on the balcony.
HiKam A7 inconspicuous and somewhat protected on the balcony.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

Significant outdoor use of the second IP camera.
Significant outdoor use of the second IP camera.

Important note regarding the use of outdoor surveillance cameras
As much as you want to monitor every corner of your property and want to see the supposed burglar in front of the door, so there are a few rules that must be observed.

The surveillance camera must never film a public area. Even if it is a forest or field that is not supposed to enter. Surveillance cameras may only monitor the private property.
Even if the cam is oriented so that it reaches exactly to the property boundary and has no public area in the field of vision, it must not give passersby and neighbors the impression that they are being watched. This is even true for camera dummies.
Not mandatory but appropriate are signs that inform about a camera surveillance.
Installation and commissioning of the network camera
The question "How do I install an IP camera" can be answered quite simply with the HiKam: Fast, easy and intuitive. Any basic knowledge or understanding how an IP camera works is not necessary.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

A sheet as installation guide is sufficient.
A sheet as installation guide is sufficient.

In the first step, we dig through all the information sheets that come with the camera. If all foreign languages, warranty conditions and technical data are sorted out, the installation instructions (A7 two sheets + mounting instructions) remain with both cameras. This is limited to a two-sided printed sheet, of which already the first page should be sufficient. On the back (A7 separate sheet) alternative ways of installation are shown, which were not needed with me.

To install an app "HiKam Camera" must be installed, of course, for which the corresponding store can be used. Then a user is created so that the connection between cam and app works online and not only in the home network. The created user name can then be used on the smartphone and also on other mobile devices. I have the app installed on my Galaxy S5 and a Samsung tablet. There are no differences in the application.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: test

Intuitive installation and operation of the app.
Intuitive installation and operation of the app.

Then the first cam is connected to the stream and waited a while until it makes a permanent clicking sound. On the smartphone or tablet, the search is started with AirLink, entered the Wi-Fi password and shortly after the IP camera already confirms that it has received their data. Since it uses a default password for the first connection, it should be changed. That's it and the cam is integrated into the domestic network.

Subsequently, additional cameras can be set up and named individually. So you keep the overview. Something a pity I find that the arrangement of the representation can not be changed directly. However, as they are sorted alphabetically, whether online or offline, it is helpful to number them. So they appear in the desired order. If the numbering is added later, the app must be closed properly once (Settings / Exit) and restarted, so that the order is sorted again.

Image quality of the surveillance cameras in the test

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

Snapshot in HD quality delivers great pictures.
Snapshot in HD quality delivers great pictures.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: test

Recording in VGA is distorted.
Recording in VGA is distorted.

The indoor as well as the outdoor surveillance cameras HiKam S6 and A7 are equipped with infrared LEDs so that they can be taken day or night. In addition, both IP cameras switch between a day and night mode internally and, unfortunately, can not be influenced. Already with deactivated IR LEDs, the cameras give a very good picture at dusk.

However, I would have liked to determine the time or the threshold itself. Occasionally, the Cam decides quite early for the night mode and thus for a monochrome representation, although the lighting conditions would be quite enough for a good color image. However, this only becomes problematic if an indoor camera is installed in a permanently poorly lit room that is bright enough for colored pictures but the IP Cam decides otherwise. With changing lighting (day / night), automatic switching is of no importance.

Both models, the HiKam S6 indoor camera and the HiKam A7 outdoor camera, deliver an HD image with a resolution of 1280 x 720 px (viewing angle 110°) or 1280 x 960 px (viewing angle 80°) and can also be used in 640 x VGA mode 360 px are used, which is the basic setting and on the smartphone is absolutely sufficient. Switching is possible during the viewing, but a quality difference is noticeable even on a tablet only at a zoom. What strikes, however, is a different aspect ratio. While HD recording uses widescreen, VGA offers an aspect ratio of 4: 3, resulting in a distorted presentation (tablet or smartphone with widescreen). -> Images can be enlarged by clicking.

Also the pictures in complete darkness can absolutely convince. The range of the IRs is very good and they light up even large areas well. On the first night shot you can see the garden surface and an upside down trailer (wheel bearing replacement), with the IP camera mounted at a height of 3.25m and the distance between the trailer and Cam is about 12m.

Test Gallery:

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: test

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: camera

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: test

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

Alarm functions of the IP camera with motion detector
With the app "HiKam Camera" not only the cameras can be managed, but also make deeper settings and above all activate the alarm function, which can be done manually but also (to a limited extent) according to schedule. It is important that not the app monitors the alarm, but the settings are transmitted to the network camera. It does not matter whether the app is active or connected - the camera performs its monitoring independently.

The alarm can be done on different and also at the same time in several ways. Basically, the function of the push message on the smartphone is certainly used, for which different variants can be selected here in the app settings. There are vibration alert, multiple alarms, two different push messages and automatic opening of live video.

Alerting takes place both in the own network (WLAN) and in the mobile reception area. This way you will be informed very quickly at any time and on the way. However, it may be necessary to set the notification of the app to "priority" in the application manager because the smartphone puts the app on standby after a while and alarm messages are not displayed. The mail function of the WLAN camera in the test remained unaffected.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: camera

Camera overview
Camera overview

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

Clear menu
Clear menu

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

alarm settings
alarm settings

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

Simple schedule
Simple schedule

Alerting via the app is practical and attracts attention with different reporting formats in every situation. Unfortunately, the transmission did not work in every case, because apparently always the last connection between the app and camera as currently accepted and then the alarm broadcast is sent. So anyone who leaves his WLAN and still wants to be informed via the app via an alarm, should open the app once from the public radio network and thereby update the connection. Then the alarm messages really work everywhere.

The alarm message by mail worked at any time and anywhere to 100%. The automatic three snapshots are great, giving instant information about the cause of the alarm. If you do not want to trigger a real alarm, but just control what moves on the property so that's a good alternative.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

Alarm Photo 1

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

Alarm Photo 2

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: test

Alarm photo 3

The pictures are taken from an alarm mail and show very well how fast the IP camera reacts. Even before my daughter is completely seen, the first shot is made and even running (finally Friday) she has no chance of the camera to escape.

HiKam surveillance camera with motion detector and personal termination
I live in a rural area, cats are running around here, we have a dog ourselves, there are trees moving in the wind... Do I have to turn off the alarm now or do I get a false alarm at night? According to HiKam not, because the cameras are equipped with a person detection. This means that if this and not the motion detection (both variants are individually selectable and also combinable) is activated, only persons trigger the alarm, but not animals, trees or other moving objects. How well that works, the wireless camera will prove in the test.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

Personendektion by light
Personendektion by light

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

Motion detection in the light
Motion detection in the light

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: test

Person detection without light
Person detection without light

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: camera

Avoidance of the person detection
Bypass person detection

For this, I did some tests during the night to keep it dark and nobody was watching me and played through different scenarios. Movement and people's sections were tested with and without light and even on all fours I crawled through the workshop to test whether people detection could be avoided. Partially even with success. In the open air, I did not go for ground-level gait due to ground frost. Is certainly understandable.

The motion detection and detection was not always triggered immediately at the maximum distance, where just without lighting, the distance plays a major role. Overall, one can be very satisfied with the test result. Finally, the test distance of the S6 was 7 m, and even if living spaces are rarely such a size, the surveillance camera can still be positioned so that the monitoring distance is lower. If this is not possible, the HiKam A7 outdoor camera can be used, whose motion detection went even further in my test. Data on the range of the person recognition are not to be found in the technical data, in the app however a range of the person detection of 0.5 - 6 m for the S6 and 0.5 - 10 m for A7 is indicated.In the dark, it was a little lower in the test of the S6 with 5 m, but with good lighting, I could clearly exceed the information. Here, the A7 reported with the person detection even at a range of 14 m and the motion sensor hit at 18.8 m. Values ​​with which one can be completely satisfied.

HiKam S6 in good lighting (LED lighting) without lighting with IR LEDs
Detection of motion At a distance of 7 m (greater distance was not available) immediate detection of small movements (broom). Detection between 5 and 6 m depending on the object size.
Person detection At a distance of 7 m, a clear distinction between objects and persons. Detection only at a distance of about 5 m and less.
avoid person detection Up to a distance of about 4 m possible. At a shorter distance, the detection is also in crawling posture. No detection of the person up to a possible test distance (due to camera installation) of 2.5 m.

Extra test: IP camera in 3D printer

The topic Wifi Camera, IP Camera, Network Camera or which terms are all used, especially in the 3D printer scene has a special meaning. 3D printers sometimes run for hours, causing high levels of heat that pose a risk. But since they are not necessarily quiet, they are gladly placed in the basement or the workshop, where they run unobserved.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: indoor

Several hours at 50° C are no problem.
Several hours at 50° C are no problem.

If errors occur, it is quite possible that the printer will continue working for hours, even though the print object is no longer useful or the printer even catches fire. Network cameras offer the ability to monitor the printer from a distance and intervene when needed. Be it to stop the pressure due to an error or to keep an eye on the temperature development.

In my case, I rarely leave the printer alone, but this sits in the pressure of ABS in a closed space that allows no insight. I would have to open this to see what is going on, so the much-needed room temperature is lost. Again, a camera creates a huge advantage. However, it is only helpful if it overcomes the temperatures in the pressure chamber.

The HiKam S6 is specified with a maximum working temperature of 50° C. When printing ABS, this can be exceeded. I tried to keep the temperature of 50° C and was very satisfied with the result. Even after a few hours in this temperature range, the IP Cam showed no dropouts or any other problems. This makes it ideal for monitoring a 3D printer.

PC software as an encore (out of valuation)

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: outdoor

If you work on a computer, you may also want to see your surveillance cameras and not be limited to your smartphone or tablet. Clear advantage here is of course a PC software that allows access to the cameras.

Of course, data security is important, because who wants to be watched by his own surveillance cameras. HiKam has therefore decided on a small program, which does not have to be installed and is also unable to influence the network cameras or to change the settings. The software, which is quite simple, simply serves to call the cameras and watch the transmitted image.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: camera

Due to the limited features and the fact that the PC software is not required for the operation of the surveillance cameras, I would like to introduce the software only briefly, but do not include it further in the evaluation.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

Since the software does not have to be installed, it can also be started by memory stick from any computer. But you have to live with the fact that the operating system logs in every time you start and waits for permission to access it. Furthermore, it is necessary to create an additional account to access the cameras. Why? I do not know, but I can imagine that this will prevent further administrative access to the cameras.

Once the account has been created and the IP cameras have been added, which are automatically searched in the network, the software can already be used. The software does not send data or settings to the camera and can only retrieve the current image and stored events. Accordingly easy is operation.

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: test

Simple is the design, but I expect no frills or confusing functions here. I want to see the image of my security cameras and nothing more. That's exactly what the software does - but not always 100%. While the laptop can record and play the image, my office computer limits itself to recording. When playing the just recorded video, the software is on strike. After a codec update, the films are shown in an external video program, but not in their own software. Every now and then the whole software has left on the laptop and quit the service.

Overall, however, the software is already a nice addition, with which one has as a PC user his cameras in view. But I would not mind fixing small imperfections and a few improvements, and look forward to the next update.

Conclusion to the surveillance camera test HiKam S6 and HiKam A7

IP camera test: HiKam in outdoor and indoor: hikam

An IP camera takes advantage of the Wi-Fi connection, which makes it easy to install and perform its monitoring work on its own. This differs from simple webcams that can only actively transmit images in conjunction with a PC. As a surveillance camera, the network camera should also be equipped with a motion detector, record pictures or videos and have a good night vision. All that is offered by the Indoorkamera S6 and HiKam's outdoor camera A7 in good to very good quality.

HiKam: IP Camera Outdoor and Indoor in the test
At the processing there is nothing to complain about and both models can be so easy to install by app, as well as operate. The app is in German and intuitive to use.

Somewhat unfavorable is the required opening of the app when changing the Internet connection between WiFi and mobile Internet. This is necessary to update the connection of the app. However, triggered alarms are still recorded on the camera's memory card even without a message to the smartphone and, if desired, sent with pictures via email. After consulting with HiKam engineers, they are already working on a better solution that will then use Google Push Service. The corresponding update should already exist this month.

In terms of image quality, both models do not have to hide behind other devices despite their small size. The HD cameras delivered top quality images by day and good IR illumination at night.

Very well works the special person detection, which actually only reacts when persons are recognized. Even if the performance wears off in the dark, false alarms are largely excluded. In daylight, the person detection even reacts at a much greater distance than indicated.

Small drawbacks, such as updating the network connection and the existing but not yet perfectly perfected PC software, unfortunately lead to a small devaluation, but do not really affect the function and will soon be safe through software updates - incidentally, also perfectly for the cameras work - fixed. The strong interest of the support in my detailed tests and information clearly shows that intensive work is already being done and there is interest in further improvements. The cameras from HiKam are therefore no "mayflies" that stop at their current state. There are updates for the cameras, for the app and also for the PC software. This will give you my absolute buy recommendation.

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Video Board: HiKam A7 (2018 Version) WiFi IP Camera