So we got our first look at the SNH-E6440BN Outdoor IP Camera last week. We’ve been playing around with it, tweaking it, and using it in the office so that we can give you a real review without the butterflies and unicorns dancing around what sometimes seems like a fabrication as opposed to helpful facts.
So we’ll be going over a few things including design, functionality, connectivity, pros, cons, etc. We’ve also created a YouTube video so that you guys can check out some real time footage in comparison to some other IP cameras out there.
The design of the new SNH-E6440BN is done fairly done right. As you can see, my hand his holding down the bottom base of the camera. So as you can imagine, the camera itself is fairly small. It’s got a small head that swivels so that the direction in which you can point it at isn’t limited to it’s original fixed position. The camera head also spins on that same axis so if you install it upside-down, let’s say above your front door, you’ll still be able to adjust it to have the image appear upright.
If you’ve ever used any security cameras before, the design of this IP camera should be familiar to you. It is your standard bullet camera but more so of a miniature model. The diameter of the face is roughly 1.5 inches so it is a bit smaller than other Samsung bullet cameras such as the SDC-5340BC. Right above the base is a screw type knob that will allow you to simply adjust the angle and position of the neck of the camera. Don’t worry if you screw it right off because it comes back together fairly simply.
The WiFi adapter is a small rectangular shaped box. The size itself is about the length of the camera, so you can see that it is fairly small. The ports are all located on the back including the RJ-12 port, power port, ethernet port, mic port, and the sound port. It’s a small & sleek design that won’t stand out much even if mounted on the wall. It has a small insert on the flat bottom portion or on the short edge that allows you to attach a stand. So whether you decide to mount it or have it standing somewhere like your normal internet router.
Another good thing about the WiFi adapter at this point is that when it is installed, it’ll be located somewhere within the house as opposed to the camera having to capture WiFi through the walls of the house from outside the house. So as long as you have a stable WiFi network at home, there really shouldn’t be an issue as far as connections are concerned.
The new AC adapter included with the SNH-E6440BN is something new that we’ve seen from the other adapters provided for the IP cameras. It’s a smaller cube shape that doesn’t take up too much space. This is perfect for wall plugs or surge protectors especially when you have a bunch of plugs already plugged in. The SNH-P6410 has a larger adapter that takes up too much space and is the same case with the SNH-1011. The new design is much of an upgrade in the design of the AC adapters this time around.
The functionality of the SNH-E6440BN is identical to the other Samsung IP cameras as far as functionality is concerned. The setup and customization of the system is exactly the same because it uses the interface of the Samsungsmartcam.com as its base. It also uses the same App from before so if you’ve ever used any of the Samsung IP cameras you’ll notice that it is the same.
There have been a few changes as far as features are concerned. Unlike the SNH-P6410, the maximum storage capacity is now at 32GB. The Picasa function has also been removed, so when you get your alerts, you won’t be receiving that picture nor will there be a stored picture somewhere unless you manually take it. Also, because it is an outdoor camera, it seems they took precautions to take away any kind of possibility of weather damage.
The camera does not have a mic or a speaker. So the two-way talk feature that was available on the SNH-P6410 and the SNH-1011 are not gone. The reason why I say that this is weatherproofing is because in the past, one of Samsung’s bullet cameras had somewhat of an issue against rain and dust because the mic hole was starting to become an entrance for those types of things.
However, if you do want sound the WiFi hub actually has two slots for both the microphone and the speaker. This design is very much like our DVR’s; I guess you could call it a mini DVR at this point. You’ll also see that the camera port is what looks like an RJ-12 port. I found out that it is not your standard CAT5e cable; it is actually the RJ12. I don’t have any of those cables lying around so I wasn’t able to check the compatibility of other cables in the case of extending it.
So the installation process is quite simple. The only downside is that you’ll either have to run the cable most likely through a wall. This means making a hole in the wall which most people don’t like; however, since it is one single cable, the hole won’t have to be that large. The power supply for the camera and video feed comes directly from that one line so you don’t even have to have a power cord going to the camera directly.
Although it is a wireless system, it is wired to a certain extent since the camera has to be connected to the WiFi adapter and the WiFi adapter has to be plugged into a wall outlet. So in order to really see it as a wireless camera, you’ll have to see the adapter and camera as one whole package as opposed to the camera and adapter separately.
The setup process as far as syncing your phone and computer to the camera remains unchanged. You still have to go through the App or samsungsmartcam.com to setup the camera. I’ve heard of some using Blueiris to connect their IP cameras but I’m not quite sure if they’ve added this camera to their compatibility list just yet.
The moment I plugged it in at the office, I was a bit disappointed. Why? Because the initial test was done indoors. I was wondering why the resolution looked so grainy to me but after testing it outdoors, I understood that this camera really was an outdoor camera as opposed to an indoor/outdoor. Of course the video footage isn’t so bad that you can’t see anything indoors, but the resolution when viewing it outdoors is just that much better. It may be the artificial lighting or something indoors that may affect the video quality, but the outdoor recordings were rich in color and crisp as far as image preservation.
I did some testing with the SNH-P6410 along with the DropCam Pro to test the differences between these HD IP cameras. You can check out the sample video I’ve made below.
Don’t freak out! One thing to note is that the storage itself is limited. It is limited in a sense where the max is reduced to 32GB.
“Also note that your memory card may not be read the first time when it’s plugged in. Make sure you plug it into you computer and format it. FAT is usually the preferred format and some may come like such, but in the case your microSD card can’t be found or detected, format it and it should do the trick.”
The reason for that is unknown and really unwarranted but that just happens to be the case. The recordings are done in 720p from what I can tell, and I’d assume this was to allow as much recording as possible. Continuous recordings will take you through about 5.5 days. I actually let my sample camera run for about a week and found that the recorded amount was about that much. This is mainly because the daytime and nighttime recordings are of different file sizes. The daytime recordings are much larger in file size compared to the nighttime recordings.
I’d say that if you chose certain times of the day you wanted recordings to occur, you’ll have a much longer period of recording than the 5.5 days that I saw.
One thing that I did notice was that even with continuous recording, the camera records in intervals. So there are several recordings, each lasting 5 minutes each, as opposed to one gigantic file. This is better in certain aspects because they’re labeled by time . It’ll just make searching that much easier. In the case you’d like to show someone the footage, you won’t be uploading a 32 GB file but moreso of a 30mb file instead.
1. Small and compact design
2. Additional WiFi adapter provide for better WiFi reception
3. Good color when outdoors
4. Easy installation
5. Thin RJ-12 cable for easy wiring
6. Fast boot up time
7. Slim AC adapter
1. Camera doesn’t have microphone built in
2. Picasa has been removed.
3. Camera has to be wired
4. Decreased storage space
5. Recordings stored at 720p
So there are a few pros and some cons as well. In my opinion, the Pros really do outweigh the cons. Why? The cons are really preferences as far as features are concerned. i think the dependability of camera as well as its integrity as an outdoor camera is really built into the pros of the camera itself. The only real con that I don’t like is the storage space and recorded video resolution. However, these things don’t exactly put a damper on the surveillance aspect of the camera. If you’re looking to install an outdoor camera, you want something that won’t drown in rain or get blown off due to strong winds. A small yet durable design is probably for the best. They sell microphones at just about any electronics shop and even online so it’s quite easy to get audio if you need it.
The Picasa option was a good feature to have in the other cameras, but the more I think about it, I’ve come to realize that motion detection with pictures would be a bombardment of pictures and notifications when there is motion, whether it’s leaves or squirrels moving around in front.
So ultimately, I believe that it is a good buy especially if you’re not looking for that system with multiple cameras and a DVR. This could be a solution for you that will allow you to have easy setup processes for remote viewing and simple surveillance. If you’re looking for simple surveillance for your yard or just outside your door, it could be a dependable camera to use.