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Sony's latest mini-dome IP camera is designed with the great outdoors in mind as the SNC-DF80P comes enclosed in a casing that's vandal proof. Typical external locations would be areas such as covered car parks but we noted that the camera has no IP (ingress protection) rating so should not be mounted where it is exposed to the elements or can be splashed with water.
A key feature of this camera is its use of Sony's IMD (Intelligent Motion Detection) and IOD (Intelligent Object Detection) technologies. These add some intelligence to the camera's motion detection functions and come into play when you configure the camera for both moving and stationary objects. For the former you can select from three size settings where the largest is 64 x 64 pixels and the smallest is 8 x 8 pixels. These can be used to either stop the camera being triggered by small objects or make it miss not even a fly.
Stationary objects are referred to as unattended objects and the camera uses a baseline image to decide whether anything has changed in the area under surveillance. Essentially, any object that should be there but suddenly disappears can trigger an alarm if it isn't back in place after a preset interval. Alternatively, if a new object appears and remains in the view for a specified time this can also be used to trigger an event. If an event causes a trigger to be activated you can configure the camera to store images in its own memory or a CompactFlash card, send them to an FTP server and email them to selected addresses. An unusual feature is the ability to store up to three voice files on the camera and have them played over an attached speaker if an event occurs.
The camera is enclosed in a sturdy aluminium jacket with the lens assembly inside a clear plastic dome. For external mounts you can have all cabling exit the chassis base or through a hole in the side where a protective pipe can be sealed to it for further protection. The camera is 802.3af PoE compliant which was rather handy for us as Sony doesn't include an external power supply in the standard package. For testing we had no problems using an HP ProCurve 2626-PWR PoE switch. Sony also offers an optional internal heater but this requires 22W to operate which is beyond the means of PoE as 15.4W is its top whack.