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Baby Surveillance, part deux

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

The webcam that we aimed at Claire's crib works really well. I like just about every aspect of it except for the low-light performance. If the light in the room is low you really can't see anything. Even during the day if there is a storm it can get dark enough that you can't see anything.

I bought a second camera from some Chinese crap dealer online that supposedly had decent night-vision. After doing a little research I read that you can basically add night vision to any camera by adding an infrared LED array. Since your eye can't see the infrared spectrum of light, you don't see anything, but the camera can. To prove that, you can point your TV remote at your point-and-shoot camera with the screen on and you'll see the light flashing on the remote through the camera when your eye can't see it.

The camera arrived Friday and I wasted no time setting it up. Once it got dark I was very impressed with the night-vision. I mounted the new camera just below the old camera (to see which one I want to keep, if not both) and I fully expected the old camera to see the IR light put out by the new camera. However, it's still pitch black on the old camera. I haven't figured that one out yet.

Night-vision babycam non-night-vision babycam

These two screenshots were taken about 30 seconds apart.

The new camera is cool because of the night-vision and the fact that you can move it via the web interface silently, but it's a colossal failure because it requires an ActiveX control and therefore only works with Internet Explorer. I've heard there is a new version of the firmware that enables Firefox/Chrome support, but this is a cheap knockoff of a Foscam camera and the firmware is from Foscam, so I don't really feel like bricking it.

Tags: baby camera

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