EZVIZ C6T Internet PT Camera Review
There's nowhere to hide from the C6T!
What is the EZVIZ C6T?Thanks to WiFi being as essential as the air we breathe, we have seen many devices take advantage of this on AVForums over the years of which internet enabled cameras are one of our favourites. From the simple and well performing efforts from Y-Cam to budget offerings from TP-LINK and BT’s Home Cam 100, all of these generally offer slightly different features, but one thing they all have in common is that the camera is fixed. Regardless of where you place the camera, it will only see a fixed position.
Those of us familiar with the security systems at our place of work will most likely be aware of cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom. These are generally large and cost a small fortune. With the ever-improving level of technology, these PTZ cameras are now becoming smaller and much more affordable.
One such offering is from a new smart home brand called EZVIZ, a subsidiary of Hikvision which is the world’s leading and largest CCTV manufacturer. Their C6T Internet PT camera available for just £89.99 offers all the features you would expect from an Internet enabled camera such as Full HD, cloud storage, night vision and local storage via MicroSD card but with the added benefits of a camera that can also pan and tilt to allow a much-increased area of coverage. Read on as we put this very competitively priced camera through our tests...
Design and ConnectionsTraditional pan and tilt cameras are often pretty bulky affairs but, with their C6T, EZVIZ have created a camera that is fairly compact in size. Not much larger than a good-sized apple (the fruit and not the company) at just 90mm high with a diameter of 100mm and weighing just 220g. It makes for a camera that because of its size can be placed in the ideal location without any issues. The rotating part of the camera is all black, with a fixed white base and no, it's not a Pokemon.
Setup and FeaturesMost of the current crop of Smart Home devices are firmly in the ‘piece of cake to setup’ category, usually with a quick installation and very easy to follow setup procedure via a free app. This also applies to the C6T and to setup you simply turn it on, install the app (available on both iOS and Android platforms), create a user account via the app, register the camera, connect to your WiFi network and that’s it. The camera is now all setup and ready to use.
Unlike a traditional fixed IP camera, as the C6T can pan and tilt there are no motion detection zones to setup within the app. This is fine unless you plan on having it in a location where you need to blank out an area that doesn’t want detecting, this isn’t possible here. The camera will pan and tilt to track any movement, which would render setting up any motion zones pointless. The app allows for a good level of customisation such as setting up a notification schedule, motion detection sensitivity and notification sound level.
This has cropped up in previous reviews, but only in small print on the side of the box does it say Cloud recording is optional. This is fair enough and is perhaps assumed on these sort of devices, but it would have been nice to see on the box details of the costs for the Cloud service as whilst you can still record locally to an SD card, without the Cloud service the device functionality is limited. Potential buyers should be made aware of the this and the costs prior to purchasing.
A decent notification system is probably the most crucial factor when looking at IP cameras. Our previous camera reviews have usually found this area to be very well supported and that applies to a degree here too. With the notification system setup and turned on, you will receive an alert on your phone within a couple of seconds after motion has been detected. The video is available to view just a few seconds later, although it is a tad laggy at first but does clear up if you wait a short while, which does mean you can very quickly check if the intrusion is cause for concern or just the cat wandering around. The notification system is slightly limited in that it only gives a Smartphone notification, it doesn’t for example like the Y-Cam camera’s send you an email with an image, but then those cameras are a tad pricier than the C6T. You also cannot configure it to send recordings to a 3rd party system. When viewing back a recorded video, the camera appears to be constantly buffering as you get at least 10 seconds of video before any movement appears.
Performance and TestingHaving previously only experienced fixed cameras, it is something of a novelty to have a camera that follows you about as you walk across a room, almost like it is sentient and watching your every move, which of course it is. The quality of the camera means saying it is a novelty is very unfair and compared to some of the much more expensive models, for just £89.99 it punches well above its weight.
Starting with the camera itself, it does feel a little lightweight and flimsy, especially on the rotating half, but that wasn’t cause for too much concern as you won’t be handling it too often or using it as a football. The motion sensing is particularly good and the camera will instantly pick you up and track your movements as you walk across the room, but the panning motor is not particularly quick and because of that it will lose the target if the movement is too quick and may end up looking in the wrong direction. Once it picks you up again it will get back on track, but if you are looking to use this camera to cover a wide area you may suffer from a few tracking issues.
Moving onto the quality of the videos themselves, we were impressed with the 1080p recording in both daylight and night vision modes. It does a good job of switching between night vision and day modes when recording, although in low light that doesn’t quite trigger the night vision there was some grain and artifacting noticeable. In a good light condition or with night vision the recorded image quality is excellent and is more than capable enough to identify faces at a distance or any other details such as which cat is the one to blame for the sick you’ve just trod in.
As with all Wi-Fi enabled cameras, it will thrive in an area with excellent Wi-Fi coverage, place it in an area on the fringe of your Wi-Fi network and whilst we found it to still work, the time before your videos are available to view or the connection time to live viewing was significantly extended.
The app is very simple to use and viewing back recorded videos, downloading them and configuring the system offered no issues at all. At the low price point of the C6T we kept expecting to find an area where it would fail but we just couldn’t find one. In the live view mode the tracking system is easy to use, plus you even get a cool option of recording a 360 degree image, which if you place the camera in the centre of the room it certainly makes for an interesting and unique image.
As well as the app, you can also log in to the Cloud service via a browser (not Chrome unfortunately, only IE appears to be supported). It requires the download of a plugin, but once installed you can easily browse through the recordings and download to your PC along with various configuration options found on the app and security settings. The browser system is a little on the slow and clunky side, but it’s functional enough for what you need it to do.
- Great features
- Excellent 1080p video quality
- Very good value for money
- Local SD card storage option
- Cloud service is not free
- Camera panning occasionally loses target
EZVIZ C6T Internet PT Camera Review
Is the EZVIZ C6T worth buying?Given that our previous reviews of Wi-Fi Cloud cameras were mostly in the £130+ bracket, we have to admit to expecting this £89.99 Chinese contender to be rather limited and, in that regard, we have to apologise to EZVIZ as their C6T (also known as the Mini 360 Plus) is nothing short of superb. Although given their pedigree in the professional CCTV market, perhaps we shouldn't have been so surprised.
From the easy installation, user friendly app and the impressive array of features we were blown away by how well it all performed. If we were being picky the panning isn’t the quickest and does lose track of quick movements, plus the notification system is slightly limited to smartphone notifications only and the Cloud service costs are not mentioned on the packaging anywhere, but these are really the only negatives.
What alternatives are available?This is now a very crowded market with offerings from many of the popular companies such as TP-LINK, Y-Cam, D-LINK and plenty of Chinese manufacturers you won’t ever have heard of. One of these is most likely EZVIZ but after the excellent performance of their C6T it should be a name firmly on your radar. Most of the alternatives with Pan and Tilt are limited to 720P recording and those that offer a similar feature set to the C6T are significantly more expensive. As such the EZVIZ C6T is easily worthy of an AV Forums Recommended award and is definitely worth your consideration.
Ease of Use9
Value for Money9
Our Review Ethos
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