EnGenius EDS6255 review

Night vision isn’t great, but this little camera packs in a lot of surveillance features for a tempting price

Price
£180
  • Image quality is excellent; Good range of surveillance features
  • Night vision range is disappointing; Web view only works properly in Internet Explorer

Measuring just 65mm in diameter and 96mm tall, the EnGenius EDS6255 is small enough to provide discreet surveillance. With night vision and wireless network support, it's well equipped, and it's quite a bit cheaper than the Axis M1065-LW.

The kit includes a circular plastic mounting bracket and a set of clips for hanging it from the T-rails of a suspended ceiling. The orientation of the lens can be easily adjusted via a small screw in the side of the camera body, with tool that's handily secreted in a slot below. On the other side is a rubber cover for the micro-SD card slot and reset button.

We had no problems powering the camera via the lab's HPE ProCurve 2626-PWR PoE switch - although EnGenius also includes an external power adapter, for those wanting to use a wireless connection. Setting this up is pain-free: the web interface listed all SSIDs in the camera's vicinity, allowed us to add multiple SSIDs as AP profiles for quick selection and offered a quick WPS setup option.

Once it's up and running, the camera supports two live video streams, using either H.264 or MJPEG at up to 30fps. The first supports resolutions up to 1,920 x 1,080 while the second is aimed at mobile viewers and only goes up to 640 x 360. As usual, however, this is also the only stream you can access via either Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. Switching to IE 11 got everything working perfectly, and we found image quality at the top resolution to be very good. Focus is sharp, colour quality realistic and motion is conveyed over H.264 with only the slightest of delays.

It's also easy to access your video streams over the internet, thanks to Engenius' free DDNS service. After enabling this on the camera, we were able to use the EnViewer iOS app to access its live view from anywhere in the world, as well as taking snapshots to our iPad's photo library, recording and playing back video and listening to its mic. EnGenius even provides a QR code label for the camera, for effortless connection.

The bundled Video Management Software (VMS) adds more value, providing a well-designed console and a video wall for up to 16 cameras. It worked fine with Windows 10 and we used it to view live feeds, schedule recordings, set up motion detection events, browse the video archive and apply an e-map for quickly accessing different cameras.

For motion detection, you can create up the three windows, each with their own sensitivity rating, and schedule when they're active - but only one action can be applied to all of them. When any one is triggered, you can record to either local or network storage, and fire off notifications to email, mobile devices running the EnViewer app and the VMS console. The camera also supports audio and camera tampering detection, which can be linked to various alerts and recording destinations.

The EDS6255's weak suit is night vision. According to the datasheet, the EDS6255 has 12 IR LEDs - although we could only see one on each side of the lens. Whatever the reality, its night-time range is limited: after dark, we were completely unable to make out details beyond a range of four metres. An annoying quirk of the software also means that a schedule can't run past midnight, so if you want to run motion detection overnight you have to create two separate schedules.

Night-vision quibbles aside, the EDS6255 is a versatile IP camera offered at a very reasonable price. It packs a lot of useful features into its compact shell; as long as you don't need to peer too deeply into the murk, it delivers good video quality and comes with decent video management software.

This review was originally published in PC Pro issue 270

Verdict

The EDS6255 is a versatile IP camera offered at a very reasonable price. It packs a lot of useful features into its compact shell; as long as you don't need too much night vision, it delivers good video quality and comes with decent video management software.

1/2.7in. RGB CMOS; 2.8mm, f/1.8 lens; 1080p max res; 30fps; MJPEG/H.264; 10/100 Ethernet; PoE; 802.11n wireless; 2 x IR LEDs; Internal mic; Micro-SD card slot; External PSU; EnGenius Video Management software; 65 x 65 x 96mm (WDH); 237g; 2yr RTB warranty

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