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Linksys WVC200 Wireless IP Camera
Not only does the Linksys WVC200 stand out for it distinctive design but it’s also the lowest cost PTZ camera we’ve yet seen. For such a low price you’re actually getting a lot of features as along with pan, tilt and zoom functions the camera supports 802.11g wireless operations, has built in audio functions and provides motion detection facilities.
The camera body is built well enough although the lightweight plastic stand supplied in the kit is too flimsy and not heavy enough to stop the power and network cables moving it around. Lens coverage is comparatively good as the camera can cover ± 67 degrees in the horizontal plane and +30/-34 degrees in the vertical. To keep costs down, optical zoom is a casualty as all you get is a basic 2x digital zoom and our tests showed it delivering some poor results.
The camera is equipped with a Fast Ethernet port and an 802.11g wireless client - a useful feature is the small LCD display at the front which shows the unit’s IP address. This does have security implications as you don’t really want everyone knowing the camera’s address but Linksys has this covered as you can switch the display and status LEDs off from the web management interface. Operations in low light levels aren’t as good as most of Axis’ IP cameras as the WVC200 can only go down to 2lux but it does have an IR filter so it’ll work with any IR illuminator. We tested this with an Axis MFLED 850nm LED illuminator and the camera showed it lighting up the surrounding area like daylight.
With a DHCP server on the case, installation is a cinch as you just read the IP address from the front panel and enter it into a web browser. Alternatively, you can use the bundled setup wizard utility which searches for Linksys cameras and takes you through wireless configuration if required. On first contact, the web interface requires valid login credentials after which you go to the home page which offers a row of tabs across the top for each function. The live view page provides plenty of camera controls alongside the viewing window so you use the nine button keypad to control pan and tilt or use the on-image controls where you point at the area you want the camera to move to.