A comparatively cheap outdoor camera, the EZViz CTQ3N gets the basics right: it has good quality video during the day and night, and you can use the camera’s settings to cut down on notifications. Cloud storage is expensive (it’s better to use the microSD card slot) and installation can be a bit fiddly.
- Great video quality
- Good value
- microSD card storage
- Expensive cloud storage
- Fiddly power connection
- UKRRP: £89.99
- USARRP: $79.99
- EuropeRRP: €79.99
- TypeThis is an outdoor security camera, which comes with a stand so you can wall or ceiling mount it. It has a Full HD resolution.
- ConnectionThis is a Wi-Fi camera (2.4GHz) although it can also be connected via an Ethernet cable.
EZViz is a building a good reputation for low-price, high-image-quality cameras. The EZViz CTQ3N is one of its cheapest cameras yet, but this outdoor model is capable of shooting in full colour at night time and it requires no subscription.
The app is slightly fiddly to use and image quality is a little off the best that the competition can offer, but given the low price, this camera is something of a bargain.
Design and installation
- Fiddly power connector
- Optional Wi-Fi or Ethernet
- Flexible stand
An outdoor camera, the EZViz CTQ3N comes with a flexible stand that must be drilled into a surface. It can be mounted horizontally, such as on a fence, or it can be mounted on a ceiling, angling down.
Thanks to the ball joint in the stand, there’s a good amount of flexibility in this camera, so it’s pretty easy to get it to point where you want it.
This model is a Wi-Fi camera, as you can probably tell from the two large antennas on the side of the camera’s body. While these aren’t the most attractive design feature, they do at least mean that it’s easier to get good wireless reception, which is something very important when the camera’s outside.
If you prefer, there’s an Ethernet port so that you can hardwire the camera into your home network. EZViz provides a weatherproof kit for this connection; it’s a shame that the same isn’t true of the 12v power input. This should be wrapped in waterproof tape to protect the camera.
A Power over Ethernet connection would make even more sense, sending data and power down a single cable.
Once in place and powered on, the camera can be connected to your network using the EZViz app. In my case, it took just a few minutes to get the camera up and running.
- On-camera people detection
- SD or cloud recording
- Motion detection zones reduce notifications
The camera comes with default settings. Out of the box it starts to monitor the local area and uploads video to the cloud thanks to the free online storage trial to EZViz CloudPlay. A single camera costs £2.99 a month for three days of video history (£29.99 a year), or a whopping £9.99 a month (£99.99 a year) for 30-day video history. Options are available for four cameras, too.
That’s comparatively very expensive. Buy a Ring camera and for £8 a month you get 30-days of history of an unlimited number of cameras and extra features for the Ring Alarm.
If you’re going to get cloud storage here, the basic 3-day plan makes the most sense. Alternatively, you can insert a microSD card into the camera (there’s a screw-in slot underneath) and use local storage instead.
All saved video is available through the app. Tap the camera’s thumbnail and you go to the live view section, which also has a list of thumbnails for recordings. You can tap any of these to view the recording but you can’t download it from here.
Instead, you need to go to the video library (available for local or CloudPlay footage) and you can see all of the available recorded clips. From here you can download a video, which gets saved to the app’s album, and from there you can save it to your phone’s camera. That’s a little more hassle than being able to save a clip straight to your phone but, given the low price, something I’m comfortable living with.
With the basic controls, you’re likely to get a lot of notifications and clips. EZViz has a few features that can help. First, you can turn on Human Shape Detection (that’s people detection to me and you), which uses in-camera processing to only warn you when a person is spotted.
It’s pretty accurate, too. Sure, you get some errors, as you do with all cameras that offer similar features, but the CT3QN is right most of the time.
Secondly, you can use motion detection zones, so you’ll only get alerts and recordings when motion is spotted in these areas. The tool is a little more rigid than with other cameras: the Arlo Pro 3, for example, gives you fine control and you can have odd-shaped zones while the EZViz CTQ3N lets you select rectangular zones only. However, it largely does the job and stopped me from getting too many alerts.
There’s an option to schedule when you receive alerts, too. The camera will still record but it just won’t bother you about it. There’s an option to arm or disarm all of your cameras to get them to stop recording, plus a new Geofencing feature that can enable or disable cameras automatically based on your location.
From the live view you can see exactly what’s going on, but as this camera doesn’t have a speaker you can’t have a chat with anyone that you can see. There’s also an Active Defense button, which causes the camera’s spotlight to flash. That can warn someone that they’re being recorded, but it’s not as useful a feature as on EZViz cameras that have a speaker, as here Active Defense also plays a siren sound.
There’s a spotlight inside the camera that lets it shoot in full colour at night time. By default, the spotlight comes on at night and stays on. With the camera pointing into my kitchen, I kind of felt as though I was trying to mean a break from prison and had spotlights on me.
There’s an option to set the spotlight to only turn on when it detects motion, which makes far more sense and is the default option on similar cameras, such as the Arlo Ultra.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant skills are available, so you can view the camera’s live feed on a compatible smart display.
- Slightly over sharpens the image
- Clear video during the day
- Great night vision
With its 120-degree viewing angle, the EZViz CTQ3N doesn’t have the widest field of view, particularly for an outdoor camera. However, I could still manage to capture a good area of my garden, focussing on the back door.
During the day, the camera shoots a nice, well-exposed image, even when facing into the sun. There’s a fair amount of processing going on, with a lot of artificial sharpening, so the final image doesn’t look particularly lifelike. However, detail is good enough that you can see clearly what’s going on and it’s possible to identify people.
With the spotlight turned on, image quality remains similar at night, which is good to see, and far better than the usual black and white IR image that many cameras shoot.
Without the spotlight on, the camera defaults to regular black and white footage, lit up by IR. Range is pretty good here, as you can see from the sample shot below: you can see me in the kitchen a good 40 feet away.
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Should you buy it?
If you’re after a low-cost security camera to monitor outside, then this is a good choice. It offers subscription-free recording via a microSD card, has decent image and a good set of features.
Cloud storage is expensive and there are better options if you have to have this. And, installation can be fiddly, particularly with the power adaptor, so a battery camera may suit you more.
This isn’t the best outdoor camera, that’s currently the Arlo Ultra. It’s also not got the best overall ecosystem and set of controls, as that privilege belongs to Ring. What you do get with the EZViz CTQ3N is a very good camera for the price. If you want cloud storage, I’d urge you to look elsewhere (my guide to the best outdoor security cameras can help) but if you want to avoid fees and record straight to a microSD card, then this is a good budget camera that shoots more than good enough video.
Yes you can. This could give you a more stable connection than Wi-Fi.
Yes it does, although the plans are quite expensive. It’s cheaper and easier to insert a microSD card for local storage.