Last updated on February 28th, 2019 at 06:11 am

I reviewed the outdoor Kodak PTZ network camera back in July last year, it was a good camera, but it was let down somewhat with the poorly designed software compared to many popular brands such as  NestRing and Arlo.

Most recently I have been reviewing their Cherish F685 Home Security Camera which is an indoor PTZ camera with a built-in battery allowing it to work wire free for up to 5 hours.

Priced at £84.99 on Amazon this appears to be a decent, affordable option. Looking at competing products they are mostly unknown Chinese brands. While they are probably perfectly suitable cameras, I would prefer not to have an unknown named brand recording video footage inside my house following all the hacking scares in recent years. The only known brands offering a similar function is Foscam R2 and the Reolink C1 Pro neither of which have a battery.

Last updated on 20th May 2019 10:09 am

If PTZ isn’t a required feature there are plenty of alternative big named options, the aforementioned companies all have indoor static cameras.

Key features:

  • With 1080p HD video, 120 degree viewing range and a focal distance of over 10 metres, you'll have a complete scope of your home’s interior or exterior.
  • Use your KODAK Smart Home App to wirelessly control motorised pan and tilt on your Kodak F685 Security Camera, or easily pinch-to-zoom when you need a closer view.
  • A built-in light sensor monitors light levels and automatically turns on infrared night vision so you always have a clear picture, day or night.
  • Sound detection makes the KODAK CHERISH F685 Security Camera the perfect choice for monitoring your home while you sleep at night. Audio plays only when sounds are detected, ensuring you'll only be woken up when you truly need to know what's happening.
  • Communicate effectively from both sides of the camera. With the KODAK Smart Home App, you can use your iOS or Android device to enable walkie-talkie mode and use your voice to communicate with a family member in another room or ward off an intruder.
  • Built-in temperature and humidity sensors keep your family safe and comfortable with readings displayed on your KODAK Smart Home App.

Design and Build

The camera has quite a unique design that is taller than it is wide, compared to many PTZ options, looking a little like a periscope. The tower design rotates on its base giving you horizontal movement then the camera which sticks out to the side rotates up and down. It is not exactly a discrete camera, but it isn’t too ugly either so it can sit on a shelf without being too obtrusive. The build quality is very plasticy but this is one of the cheaper cameras on the market so it is to be expected.

The base of the camera has screw slot mounting points giving you some flexibility to where you place this.

Set up

Confusingly this uses a completely different app than the outdoor PTZ model I reviewed, you instead need to download the Kodak Smart Home App. It has the same ugly yellow brand, keeping in line with the main Kodak colours and a similar interface.

While the app has a similar design to Kodak secure, it is much better and more user-friendly. It can’t compete with most of the competition but it is still a decent improvement. General navigation around the app is reasonably user-friendly and everything is quick to respond (apart from the PTZ).

Setting up the camera is more complicated than many competing options, it took me several attempts to get it to connect. I had to disable mobile internet and wait a considerable time for it to establish the connection. However once connected there were no more issues.

App

Once set up you can go into the live view and drag the image to move the camera to your chosen spot. This can be great if you want to monitor your pets throughout the day in a large room, rather than having the camera fixed into place. If you are wall or ceiling mounting, it makes the set up easier too, as you don’t have to awkwardly try and place the camera into the correct position. The PTZ can be very slow to respond, I have found it can be 5+ seconds before the camera moves, which inevitably meant that I moved the camera too far as I kept dragging it to make it work. So it does take some practice to get it to work, but it isn’t something you will be doing all the time.

You get plenty of settings within the app you can set up motion detection with different levels of sensitivity plus you can define zones of detection.

The camera can also be set up for sound detection and temperature detection, both of which will be useful for extended periods away from the home.

The camera comes with a free 24-hour storage plan, or optionally you can record to miscoSD.

On the main screen, you can save snapshots or record videos allowing you to catch intruders or important events that you may be monitoring such as your children or animals.

You also have the option to play a melody or use the speaker function from on the camera as a walkie talkie.

Performance

The camera itself performs perfectly well, the main issue is the extremely slow PTZ performance. I had to issue the command once, wait over 5 seconds to see where the camera moved to, then move it again if I wanted to move it further. It is not the end of the world, but don’t expect to be able to pan around in real time following your puppy or child.

While the camera has a battery, it is only rated for 5 hours. So this is not designed to be left off charge but can be placed somewhere temporarily, and it should last through most power outages. As the camera is not small it is a little strange there is not a larger battery in there, but it is better than none that other PTZ cameras have.

Conclusion

If you want a PTZ indoor camera then this appears to be an excellent option, there are cheaper alternatives, but I would be cautious about their trustworthiness and security. Comparing it to Reolink and Foscam it is around the same price if not cheaper and you also have the flexibility of a 5-hour battery.

The indoor camera market is highly competitive, and if you can live without the PTZ functionality there are many worthwhile alternatives that are worth looking into that offer superior apps, battery and smart integration. However, even when you take these into account, this is still quite an affordable choice, with many decent alternative options costing over £100.

Kodak Cherish 685 PTZ Indoor home security camera review
  • 78%
    Overall - 78%
78%

Summary

Last updated on February 28th, 2019 at 06:11 am

A decent well priced indoor PTZ camera that also features a small battery compared to other PTZ models.
Last updated on 20th May 2019 10:09 am