I had been looking at getting an outdoor PTZ surveillance camera, but I didn’t want to spend hundreds dollars on something like the Amcrest IP2M-853EW. I’m sure this is a very nice camera and the features are impressive, but I simply do not require a PTZ camera so I don’t want to spend $290. I then saw a couple inexpensive outdoor PTZ cameras by JideTech on Amazon. The camera I ordered didn’t have a typical model number listed on Amazon, but instead was titled “HD 1080P PTZ Outdoor POE Security IP Dome Camera with 4X Optical Zoom Pan/Tilt/4X Motorized Zoom, Dome Style for Ceiling Installation.” When I received the camera I saw that the model number was P1-3X.
I would have preferred purchasing their other model with H.265 video encoding, but I’m not familiar with this brand and I don’t want to spend any more than I have to until I can form an opinion. I have lots of storage so I don’t mind H.264.
When reading the answered questions section on Amazon, which really needs a search feature, I saw a few references to using settings for other common IP camera brands. This makes me suspect this camera is made by an OEM company and JideTech puts their name on it (though they answered a question saying they make their cameras). I suspect a lot of surveillance camera components are made by just a few Chinese manufacturers and then branded by different companies. I suspect this is the case with Amcrest, Hikvision, Dahua, etc., because these cameras all have too many things in common.
Here are some of the pros and cons I have experienced so far with this camera.
- This camera feels solid and well-made. I don’t foresee it not standing up to the elements, but time will tell. We have infrequent rain here, but it can really come down when it does rain. What we do have are brutally hot summers, often over 100 degrees. I plan on having this camera partially under the eaves of my house so it will get partial shade, but it will still get some afternoon sunlight for a few hours a day in the summer.
- Was easy to setup on Blue Iris. I just entered the IP address and hit “Find/inspect…” and ONVIF worked perfect. PTZ controls on Blue Iris also worked fine.
- The picture is clear and has a nice and wide field of view. The specs on Amazon do not say how wide the field of view is, but it is wide enough that it starts to get a bit of a fish eye looks (which is fine with me).
- The Infrared for night vision is surprisingly bright, but has an unusual shadow (more in the cons section).
- The pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) speed is acceptable at the maximum speed. I find it a little slower than I would like, but a fast PTZ can be difficult when dealing with latency over the internet.
- Power over ethernet (PoE) worked fine with my PoE switch – even over a fairly long distance.
- Setup was easy enough for me, but I have some surveillance camera and technical experience.
- The interface is easy to navigate and very quick/responsive. Some of my older Amcrest cameras have an annoyingly slow interface.
- It’s an inexpensive outdoor PoE, PTZ camera at $99 on Amazon. I haven’t seen a deal better than this for the features offered.
- Mounting can be an issue depending on where it is needed. This camera comes with metal mounting bracket that is screwed to the wall or ceiling. You then place the camera on the ring and twist. That’s it. Taking it off will be as easy unless you put this camera out of reach, which is often the case.
The solution to this vulnerability is to use this LEFTEK aluminum wall mount that screws directly into the base of the camera. The LEFTEK mount has holes in the top for just this very thing (the LEFTEK cameras look identical to the JideTech camera). This being secured to a wall will much more secure than using the mounting ring supplied with the camera.
- I don’t know how much of a con this will be, but the camera dome got a little dirty and I was seeing a reflection from the infrared LEDs at night. So much so I could see a reflection of the lens and housing around it. A quick cleaning of the dome exterior took care of the that and there is no reflection. I have a non-PTZ dome camera outside and it doesn’t suffer from this, so I don’t know if it will be an issue too often. I am not going to mount it too high, so cleanings should be easy with a normal ladder.
- Another more serious issue with the infrared LEDs is that there is a dark triangular shadow at the top of the picture. The triangle goes from about 50% shaded when horizontal to complete black when pointed almost completely downward. A shaded ring forms when the triangle is at the darkest (it is not easy to see in the screenshot below). I zip tied the camera to a ladder to test it in darkness and took a couple screenshots. The first photo is with the triangle at the darkest and is the full camera image. The second photo is with the camera at the horizontal position (all the way up). This photo was cropped and is just to show the lightest the triangle appeared in this setting. This shadow of sorts has been present when tested elsewhere.
- There is a bit of a blur/double vision at the top of the picture when the camera is panned as high as it can go (basically parallel to the ground). This only seems to be a problem with things at a distance (about forty feet away in my case). So, this should only be an issue if you are trying to look at something a bit far away and the camera is panned as high as it can go.
- The setup needs to be a little more polished. The camera came with a small CD, but I was using a Mac Pro with no optical drive so I downloaded the software from JideTech.
- The download was in RAR format and not the ubiquitous ZIP format. I did not know what program to use on a Mac to decompress the RAR so I used a Windows PC. I then located the IP program, which was also a compressed file in the folder I had just decompressed. They should not have any compressed files in the main directory that had already been compressed. However, I was able to locate the camera with the IP address program and make the necessary changes to work on my network (though more cons related to this).
- Instructions were in Microsoft Word format. Why not use PDF to make this more easily viewed? Not everyone will have something capable of viewing Word documents.
- The camera comes with the default IP address 192.168.1.18. This does not make sense to me since not all networks use the 192.168.1.X IP range or could already have a device with 18. I would have preferred they just used DHCP so I could have checked my router for new devices or their IP program could still find the camera. I could then connect via the IP address and not their software. I don’t like running an executable on my computer if not absolutely necessary. However, their software was easy to use to change the IP address.
- Does this camera have a 4X optical zoom like it says in the title on Amazon or 3X like it says further on down in the description? Other specs say 4X motorized zoom. Is this thing 3X or 4X zoom? Do they mean 3X optical zoom and 4X digital zoom? I’m confused and tired of researching it. Most of what I’ve seen suggests this has a 3X optical zoom, but they need to fix this description.
- The interface looks very 2009, but that is just cosmetic criticism. Everything I needed was there and it is responsive.
- I could not find engineering specifications for the mounting holes on the base of the camera to determine what wall mount would be compatible. Some of the mounts on Amazon show the distance between mounting holes. This camera will likely be on a wall so I would want a mount. I like dome cameras hanging down and not sideways.
- This company seems quite new and the website looks like they bought a template and slapped on some text. The English and formatting could use a little polishing. I am tempted to copy parts of it, correct it, and email it to them. I have done this for programs where English was not the developer’s native language. I am not criticizing anyone for their English skills since I only speak one language, and as you can see, my writing is not perfect (it would help if I more closely proof read what I wrote).
- The website does not list the current firmware, nor offer firmware downloads. I emailed the company and received a response within minutes asking for my firmware version. I replied and was later notified I had the most current version. I was impressed with how quickly they responded since I had no idea where they were in the world. They should just make it easier on themselves and list the current firmware. Maybe there is only one version [so far], but at least people would know.
- This is petty, but I don’t like their logo. They should make it look a bit more professional. I removed the logo with Goof Off, which was surprisingly easy.
- This is even more petty, but another thing that makes me suspect JideTech does not make their own surveillance cameras is what else is available on their website. You can buy surveillance cameras, HDMI switches, VGA equipment, face scrubbers, and hair brushes. I think a company should diversify, but how about separating these products into separate companies? Sell tech gadgets on one and beauty supplies on another.
This seems to be one of the cheapest outdoor PoE, PTZ cameras at $99 on Amazon. If you really need a PTZ at the lowest price possible, this may be the one for you. If you are like me and wanted a PTZ camera out of curiosity, I would read a lot about this camera before making a decision to purchase it. I obviously need more time with this camera mounted outdoors before I can make a recommendation on whether or not you should purchase it. However, I’m losing satisfaction with this camera the more I use it and at this point I would not consider a second one until I get further testing outdoors.
After using this camera for a while now, I personally wish I would spent less and bought a non-PTZ camera. I am not too pleased with this camera because of the cons listed above. I would not recommend this camera unless you need an outdoor PTZ at the lowest possible price and night use is not too important (because of that shadow issue).