First of all, you can send video emails. The main menu has an icon for this, which calls up the mode. When you hit record, you’re given a five-second count down, so you can take your place in front of the camera. Then a fixed amount of video is recorded (15 seconds by default), after which you can choose to send the clip to an email address you nominated in the setup process. A similar facility is provided by the detection system. This can be set to send a picture when motion is detected, or when a human face is detected. So you can use the camera as a security system, or a creepy surveillance system, depending on how you look at it.
There’s a lot of set up required to get these two facilities to work, but fortunately, another feature you can use with the EX215’s own built-in wireless access point can make life easier: a Web interface for the main settings. You connect your wireless device, which could also be a notebook, to the EX215’s WLAN, then enter the IP address provided into your browser, and you can configure the various parameters for mail servers and passwords, which is a lot less fiddly and prone to mistakes than using the camcorder’s LCD panel.
You can also set the camcorder to be controllable over a pre-existing wireless network. Thanks to UPnP, the iPhone and Android apps will find the camera automatically. But you can also enter the IP address into a Web browser and access the same set of controls that way. This Web interface also lets you configure settings, too. Using a DDNS service, it’s even possible to make the camcorder accessible outside your local network, so you can control it over the Internet.
These are all pretty amazing features, particularly at this price, but the underlying camcorder is a little less exciting. The EX215 is based around a small 1/5.8in CMOS sensor with just 1.5MP, although this is back-illuminated so will perform better in low light than its size would imply. Video is recorded at a maximum of Full HD and 24Mbits/sec, although two standard definition options are also available. There’s a time lapse recording option, too, with intervals from 1 to 80 seconds possible, and a high speed recording mode for creating slow motion. The latter drops resolution, though, and the high frame rate necessitates a high shutter speed, so both image quality and low light performance are behind regular speed shooting. A single SDXC memory card slot is integrated for video storage, with no memory built in.