Why have I included the SNH-1011N? Only because we do need a baseline for where improvement can actually be seen.
As you can tell, the specifications on both the DropCam Pro and the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro are actually quite similar. There are minor differences in areas such as the digital zoom and the camera angle. The biggest things that set those two apart is the Resolution and Storage features. The DropCam Pro is actually a 720p Camera as opposed to the 1080p of the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro. The DropCam pro shoots video in 720p, but on the box as well as company reps say that it is capable of 1080p, although I’m not quite sure as to how to toggle the function unless the HD button actually toggles between 720p and 1080p.
The Storage function is actually one of the bigger benefits of the HD Pro as opposed to the DropCam Pro. Although both cameras offer a free subscription with direct streaming, the capability of storing actual video storage is better on the HD Pro only because the only requirement is a microSD card. The DropCam Pro requires a subscription along with monthly payments in order for you to utilize their cloud recording function. The DropCam Pro does have a unique factor that somewhat makes up for it by storing events recorded only up to 1 week prior which you can actually go back and view while a HD Pro will only take snapshots of events in the case you do not have an Micro SD Card installed.
Fairly simple up until now, right?
Both designs are actually quite nice.
The SmartCam HD Pro is quite large compared to the DropCam. I’d say it is maybe 1.5x to 2.0x the diameter of the DropCam and possibly twice as thick as the body is concerned. The stand on which it sits is made of plastic and has a twisting button/screw type of fixture that holds it in place. It’s bulkiness is attributed to the added microSD card slot, network port on the back, and Samsung’s WiseNet Chipset built inside the body. It definitely would’ve been a much more beautiful design if even with the diameter they had made it slimmer, but the trade off isn’t too bad (I’ll talk about these more in the features.) The SmartCam HD Pro utilizes a AC adapter for the power source so it can be a bit bulky as far as plugging it into your outlets, but thankfully the main outlet plug is built sideways so you won’t lose on out one of your plugs.
The DropCam is much more compact compared to the HD Pro. It’s stand is actually made of metal, giving it a more sturdy feel compared to the HD Pro. The camera portion of the DropCam can actually be popped out so you’re left holding what looks like half an eyeball, but it still works. The whole front portion of the camera is made of glass, giving it a very sleek look. It charges using a mini USB port so it’s actually quite convenient when you plug it into your computer or the charger since you’re just unplugging a USB from either port.
If there is one thing about both cameras that is a bit daunting is the fact that they both get a bit hot around the head. I’ve noticed that because of the size of the HD Pro, heat venting is actually a bit better. The DropCam ends up being a bit hotter around the head but it isn’t exactly enough to burn someone.
Here you can see the difference between the two video screens while recording outside.
These images are as exactly as they come on the two interfaces of online desktop viewing.
The Samsung interface is a much smaller than the one viewed on the DropCam. Does it mean that it’s much better? Not really but it is nice to have your regular view to be quite large. If there is one thing to notice here is that the DropCam streams its videos a bit darker than that of the Samsung HD Pro (I’ll also point this out later on in another image.)
Although the Samsung video is a bit brighter, a bit too bright, you’re still able to adjust the brightness of the video whereas the DropCam doesn’t have that function. One of the other things to notice is that the DropCam leaves a watermark on all video footage. Granted it is not a huge discomfort or anything of that sort, but its something to mention as the watermark is on the corner of the video footage whether you’re streaming or viewing recorded footage on the cloud service.
As i mentioned before, the brightness of the cameras are quite noticeable when you have them placed side by side. The middle of the picture is the DropCam Pro at its standard setting. The brightness is not adjustable but I’d say it’s more of a color adjustment within the camera itself to bring out the best color quality while maintaining good video quality. The SmartCam HD Pro is shown on the ends of the picture. You’ll notice that at the standard brightness of the camera is still quite bright. Although the color of the image may seem a bit distorted, the brightness gives it a bit more room for the minor details.
You’ll also notice that the video itself is a bit more crisp as far as the sharpness of the image is concerned. The cameras were both positioned in the same spot in order to create this side by side image, and as you can see the DropCam portion seems to have a bit of blurring whereas the image of the SmartCam HD Pro is a bit more on the sharper side. This can’t be helped considering the difference in max resolution of the cameras considering one is 720p and the other is 1080p, respectively.
After seeing the list of features and differences, have I helped you make a decision in any way?
Ultimately, it comes down to how you want to use it and what you really need. Your opinion may be way different from mine but here is my final comparison.
As far as list of features go, I believe that the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro is the better buy here. From my opinion, the quality is slightly better and everything is really on a hair of a difference since video quality is quite similar across most HD quality videos. The real kicker for me is the storage capability. Having to pay a monthly for fee to store your video footage seems too much of a burden for me. I’d much rather pay about $30 to $40 for a microSD card and have my video footage right where I can access it rather than having to download it from a cloud server.
The cost may be an issue for some as well. Both cameras range around a similar price where the SmartCam is $189 and the DropCam Pro is currently $199. Both can be a financial reach for some but I do believe that whichever you choose is a great investment if you’re looking for a small surveillance system without going through the entire wiring process.
many people have complained about IP cameras in general about how signing up for an account and sharing information with the company they bought it from is unsafe and whatnot, but I believe that to be the way our society is shifting. We’re sharing information from our phones, our computers and social media sites whether we like it or not. Signing up with these companies are actually quite safe despite the running opinion that it may become a violation of privacy if the internal employees decide to take a look. If you look at it, even our credit card information is not safe since hackers are all over the place, but it’s just like going on a plane; it’s safe to go on a plane these days, but one crash is enough to make people think all planes are unsafe. So don’t be too wary of the IP camera industry as it is getting better and the security around the networks are pretty tight.
That about wraps it up! Happy Shopping folks!