D-Link Omna Wire-Free Indoor/Outdoor Security Camera Kit REVIEW
Hot on the heels of the acclaimed Arlo security system, D-Link ups the ante yet again with the Omna camera kit, writes PAT PILCHER.
D-Link is upping their surveillance game with its Omna Wire-Free Indoor/Outdoor surveillance kit. Designed to be a doddle to install and use, these cameras provide a high tech, low fuss way of keeping tabs on the goings-on around your home.
The kit comes with two cameras and a complimentary 12-month subscription to the My D-Link cloud recording service (more on this later).
The cameras are HD and are powered by a lithium battery. Being wire-free, they use Wi-Fi to connect to a bundled hub that plugs into your router.
The cameras also feature built-in motion detection, night vision for up to 7.5 metre mics and speakers (for two-way audio), and magnetic mounts/mounting arms. Video can be stored locally on a micro-SD card (or you can plug an external USB hard drive into the hub). Video can also get stored on D-Link’s My D-Link cloud service.
The My D-Link mobile makes checking your cameras and viewing live (or saved) video in HD dead easy. If you have other D-Link cameras indoors, you can access these too. The app will also notify you if it detects any motion.
For those lucky enough to own an Amazon Echo show, the My D-Link Echo skill can display live feeds and can control the cameras with voice commands. By uttering, “Show me the front door camera”, I could check up on the front of my property instead of fiddling about with the My D-Link app.
Getting set up was a relatively straightforward undertaking as there are no fiddly cables to muck about with. After choosing a spot for each camera (ideally one that affords a good view of the entrance and exits to your property), the cameras were mounted using simple to install magnetic mounts. Concerns that these wouldn’t be strong enough were soon dispelled as the weatherproof cameras took a battering and kept on keeping on in a fierce Wellington southerly.
Performance-wise, I was pleasantly surprised at the absence of false positive reports. Previous outdoor cameras I’d reviewed would spam my inbox with umpteen dozen “motion detected” emails on the hour. These typically consisted of four minutes of a tree branch moving. The Omna cameras come equipped with passive infrared sensors so they will only signal an alert when they detect a heat source like a human body. The PIR sensors also mean that motion detection happens even in complete darkness.
The cameras also use a 6700mAh, which is around 3 times the capacity of the batteries used in Arlo cameras. Unsurprisingly, I’ve yet to get a notification that any charging is needed, but D-Link’s blurb says, “Up to 6 months battery usage based on three minutes’ usage a day”. Given the low frequency of motion detection at a typical home, this sounds about right.
Low light footage is an area where even the most capable night vision cameras can fall over. While many will deliver crisp night video, dusk or dawn video can look like a blurry mess. The Omna cameras did a surprisingly decent job in low light conditions due to their Aperture: F2.2 capabilities. Night video wasn’t too shabby either, with 7.5 metres of IR illumination and a diagonal 135-degree field of view throwing my entire front garden (and gate) into sharp relief.
While the kit isn’t cheap, it is the perfect complement to a home security system in that while an alarm can detect movement in your home, the D-Link Omna wire-free cameras can also provide video evidence to help the 5-0 with apprehending intruders. Easy set-up combines with excellent performance to make the Omna one of the better outdoor camera systems we’ve tested to date.