Synology BC500 Security Camera Review

One of the multitude of features built into Synology network attached storage (NAS) devices is their Surveillance Station software. Surveillance station is a security camera DVR system that runs alongside all of the other functions the NAS can do. It currently supports more than 8,000 IP cameras.

Most Synology NAS devices allow for free use of the software for two cameras with additional cameras requiring the purchase of a camera license. But Synology’s newest products are a line of security cameras that come with the license and offer some built in AI features that integrate with Surveillance Station. I took a look at their BC500 camera in my latest review.

The camera can be powered over ethernet or by DC with its barrel connector. There is no power supply or injector included in the box. And either way you power it an ethernet connection is necessary for video to be sent back to the NAS. There’s no Wi-Fi option on this unit.

The camera is weatherproof although the connector for the ethernet cable was not friendly to pre-terminated cables. The manual instructs installers to terminate the cable after it’s been threaded through the weatherproofing.

I found that the motion detection will take some tweaking to avoid false alerts, but the camera’s built-in AI person and vehicle detection features should reduce those false alarms considerably. The surveillance station software has some neat features like the ability to search for motion in only specific portions of the image.

Video quality is decent out of the camera and it has a night vision mode with a built in illuminator that can light up about 30 meters in front of the camera in darkness. There’s also a built-in microphone that will record audio and can be used as a alert sensor. It can shoot video at a 2880×1620 running at 30 frames per second.

There are much less expensive cameras on the market with similar specs that are compatible with Synology’s system. But the addition of a license along with a 3 year warranty does add some value to the offering. In addition the bullet camera that I reviewed here they also have a turret configuration that shares similar specifications. Although turret camera looks like a PTZ device it does not move once it’s installed and pointed.

Synology will continue to support third party cameras but some users may find a camera designed to be integrated with the surveillance station to be more desirable.