Following on from the review of the excellent Y-Cam Evo indoor Wi-Fi camera we have the review of their outdoor Wi-Fi camera, which essentially offers all the same features as the Evo but in outdoor format.
The Outdoor HD Pro costs £179.99 which makes it a little less competitive in pricing than the indoor model. At this price point you can pick up the Arlo for £190 or Nest Outdoor is £179. There is also a huge range of IP CCTV cameras well below this price from companies like Reolink, Hikvision, Ezviz and more. These IP CCTV don’t normally come with cloud recording, and the apps are not normally as good, so these are not really a like for like comparison.
As I opted to use Ethernet I didn’t need to pass my WiFi details over to the camera, but it works the same as the EVO. In both cases you need to power up the camera, search for it or type in the serial and then follow the set-up procedure.
Physical set up of the Outdoor Y-Cam is a little more complex because it is much larger than the EVO and it needs to be securely mounted on an outside wall and you also need to make sure all the cables are protected from the elements.
I opted to use POE for this camera. While I am sure WiFi comes in handy occasionally, in general, I don’t see the point for outdoor models, you are already running a cable outside, so you may as well just establish a more reliable connection using ethernet. Having the option for WiFI is always good though.
Using Ethernet I did have some set up issues. There is a base plate that is screwed to the wall, cables are run under a this then back through the hole in the centre, then everything is contained in a void in the back of the camera so it is all nice and weather tight. Using both the power cable and ethernet was impossible, there just isn’t room in the camera to fit all the cables, hence why I used power over Ethernet (which is more convenient anyway). Even then, using a jacketed ethernet cable was extremely difficult to fit inside the unit, there just wasn’t quite enough depth. I was using CAT6 outdoor cable, which is quite chunky, so if you opt to do this then I suggest trying to source some narrower cable with small jackets or none.
Once the cable was squeezed inside and the camera screwed on you lock it into place with a little bolt at the bottom which seals things up nicely.
From here, the camera functions identically to the Y-Cam EVO, you use the exact same app, and can set up motion sensing in the same manner. I did find getting a live stream to this camera takes much longer than the EVO, I am unsure why. It is possibly my ethernet, but I doubt that is performing worse than WiFi. It does work if you give it time though, and connecting to the saved videos works fine.
Image performance is excellent, it uses a nice wide angle lens like the EVO and there is a microphone built in. I have it mounted next to a window on my upper floor and I can clearly see everything in my back garden and neighbours garden. Image quality during the night is also good, with very little outside light I could still make out everything in the gardens.
Motion detection also works great, the same as the EVO. You can have 2 motion zones and you can set sensitivity levels which are great. Outdoor cameras are prone to false positives, in particular, heavy rain will trigger it, and living up north means this happens more than I would like. The rain shield on top of the camera does seem to work at stopping the camera getting obscured with rain drops though, which is a nice feature.
Just as the EVO, you get 3 years free recording for a period of 7 rolling days. This is more than adequate in my opinion, I don’t need to keep months worth of footage. However, after three years you will need to sign up to one of the subscription packages which starts from £5.99 PCM.
Overall this is a great camera and it works as expected. Mounting it was a little fiddly but this could have been partly due to my questionable DIY skills. The App generally works well though not as nice as some competing brands. Most importantly since I have set it up it has been running without issue and so far has required no maintenance or messing around with the settings once I have got it working. Motion triggered recordings work well and appear to be reliable even if the rain does set it off.
It is around the same price as other brands so there are plenty of other options, but this would be great as part of a full house set up. Y-Cam offers an alarm system too which integrates with the App and as far as I am aware no other brand offers this sort of functionality.
You can buy the Y-Cam Outdoor HD Pro for £179.99 here
A full list of all the Y-Cam hardware options is available here