One of the challenges of setting up a low cost security camera setup is the mounting and installation. Of late manufacturers have been looking to solve this problem by repurposing existing outdoor lighting fixtures as mount points. My latest review is of the Wansview G6, a camera that screws into a lightbulb socket.
It boasts a 2K resolution with night vision and audio recording. The built in speaker isn’t very loud, but it’s sufficient for someone in your vicinity to hear and hold a conversation through their app remotely. It’s a pan and tilt camera, meaning the camera swivel in 360 degrees as well as up and down. There’s also an SD card slot for continuous or motion event recording which allows you to avoid their subscription fees.
The camera plugs into a socketed light bulb and supports 120 and 240 hertz outlets. It’s designed to hang upside down, which is how many light fixtures are configured. However, it can work in the other orientation as well but you’ll need to adjust the setting in its app to flip the image. It’s IP63 rated, meaning it’s relatively weatherproof, but it’s best to have some covering or housing around it for optimal protection. The camera does have a built-in light for illumination but it’s not nearly as bright as the bulb you’re replacing likely is.
The visual quality of the camera is good in regular light and it can deliver about 15 frames per second at its 2k resolution. It feels very similar to the Wyze and Blink cameras we’ve looked at earlier.
It has a two options for night vision. The color night vision mode works well in areas with some ambient lighting although it will be very grainy. The infrared night vision mode provides a clearer black and white image, although the camera’s infrared illuminators don’t reach very far.
To use the camera, you need to install and run their app. The app allows you to control the camera’s position, turn the lights on and off, and communicate with someone in front of the camera. The app also has motion detection features but I found the alerts come much later than the actual event took place.
One of the features of the Wansview G6 I was most excited about is its support for RTSP & ONVIF. This means it can work with other security recording systems, adding a layer of versatility to its usage. For instance, during my testing, I was able to connect the camera to my Synology NAS using their surveillance station software. The camera was automatically detected on my network due to its ONVIF standard support.
But prepare for disappointment. The camera still needs to phone home to Wansview’s servers first, even when using RTSP. Also, the pan, tilt, and zoom controls do not work with third-party applications, only with the Wansview app.
Overall, the Wansview G6 is a nifty little security camera, especially given its price point. But I’m concerned over its insistence on phoning home even when using it with other security software.