Video quality with the IP70 was a bit of a mixed bag. On the negatives side, even at its highest resolution sharpness is only okay and more pressing is the very poor colour accuracy with everything looking very washed out even in good lighting. Such criticisms are fairly typical for IP cameras but it’s still a shame to see quality hasn’t improved. This is all the more annoying as webcams like the Microsoft Lifecam Cinema are perfectly capable of producing far better image quality and cost only £50.
It’s not without its redeeming points, however. It dealt well with fast motion, displaying none of the blurring that plagues many webcams. Thanks to its infra red light array and sensor it also did an admirable job of showing plenty of detail of subjects in a completely dark room. Both are important qualities for an IP camera.
Unfortunately, audio is far from impressive. The pinhole microphone performed averagely at picking up background sounds, but as there is no filtering this is accompanied by lots of distracting noise, including a slight but audible constant hiss (though this is eliminated with the use of a dedicated external microphone). As with video, there is a noticeable delay of around a second, though that’s not necessarily detrimental to the IP70’s intended usage. Output through the device’s speaker was sufficient to get the message across, but any attempts to recreate Andy Dufresne’s antics will probably fall very flat.
Overall then, Compro’s IP70 is a difficult product to quantify. On the one hand it offers connectivity, adjustability, features and build quality that belie its sub-£90 price, throwing in excellent motion and night-time performance. On the other, its software is versatile but outdated and not always user friendly, its user guides occasionally indecipherable, and its audio and video quality is only adequate at best. In the end it depends on what you require from it: to an extent you get what you pay for, and if you’re on a tight budget or within limited parameters it should be a decent solution.
Compro Technology’s IP70 Network Camera doesn’t set new standards in audio and video quality, nor does it offer every bell and whistle. However, if all you want is a basic indoor IP camera that offers night vision and two-way audio, it is competitively priced.
Score in detail