Wyze Cam V4 Review

Last week Wyze released the latest iteration of their low cost camera, which they call the “The Wyze Cam V4.” I checked it out in a recent review.

Like before it retails for around $30. That purchase price used to get a lot more bang for the buck, including cloud storage and AI features but those added functions now cost extra.

The Wyze subscription is priced at $3 per camera per month or via an unlimited subscription at $99 a year. In fairness the subscription isn’t all that expensive, but many original Wyze customers are put-off by once free features that are now locked behind a paywall. Wyze still gives customers the option to use an SD card for continuous or event-only recording to avoid the subscription fee.

The camera’s design maintains its plastic weatherproof design, allowing it to withstand outdoor conditions. It operates through USB power, with the package including a sufficiently long cable, though longer options are available for outdoor setups. A notable upgrade in this model is the visual quality, transitioning to 1440p resolution from the previous 1080p, enhancing both daytime and nighttime surveillance capabilities. It also now has an LED spotlight that can help its color night vision features extract more visual information.

Through the accompanying Wyze app, users can control the camera and review footage easily. Wyze subscribers can review footage in a single tap, but SD card footage review takes a few more taps and requires a connection to the camera be established. In addition to the lack of off-site cloud storage, non-subscribers also do not get the very useful AI detection feature for persons, pets, and vehicles.

I found the image quality to be a nice step-up from the previous iterations of the cameras. They are so inexpensive that it doesn’t take much of an investment to cover an entire property or add more to existing infrastructure. They’re also compatible with IFTTT, Amazon and Google so they can be integrated with other equipment too.

We’ll have some more Wyze related product reviews coming soon. Stay tuned to this playlist!

Disclosure: Wyze sent these cameras to the channel free of charge. However they did not review or approve this video before it was uploaded, and no other compensation was received.

Using Docker to Add RTSP Functionality to WYZE Cameras via a Synology NAS

Yes this headline is a mouthful! But I stumbled across a great solution for Wyze camera users who want to keep their cameras up to date yet still use them via RTSP to their own security NVRs. Setting this process up is the subject of my latest “how to” video.

With Wyze pulling their official RTSP firmware some super smart community members figured out a way to build a “bridge” that takes video out of the Wyze cameras and makes that video available as an RTSP, RTMP or HLS stream that can be used by any compatible security DVR/NVR. It does this through the use of a Docker container that can run on just about any compatible Linux based device.

Once installed and logged into your Wyze account, any compatible camera on the same network as the computer hosting the container will be available. Your security NVR will connect to the stream on the container which will in turn bridge the video from the camera. Since this process mostly passes a relatively low bandwidth video stream it’s not very resource intensive and even a Raspberry Pi can get the job done.

As of the time of this writing it’s compatible with most Wyze cameras with the exception of their new “OG” cameras and their Video Doorbell Pro. It’s likely Wyze is disabling whatever loophole existed in their older hardware to prevent this circumvention around their subscription services on newer devices. You can learn more about their push to subscriptions in my recent video on the topic.

In my Docker how to video we connected my cameras to Synology’s Surveillance Station – a pretty robust NVR that’s included with most Synology NAS devices. I did a tutorial series a few years ago on it. But this should work with just about anything including some of the popular open source projects.

Docker is something I’ve been learning about over the last year or two and this is a great first project to play with if you’re interested in dipping your toes into containerizing applications. Synology has a great graphical Docker interface that helped me wrap my head around how it all works.

If you’d like to learn more about Docker I found this video from Networkchuck to be a great summation of its power and potential.

Wyze Cam Pan V3 Review

Our look at some of the new Wyze cams continues with a full review of their Wyze Cam Pan V3. This latest iteration of their pan and tilt camera is nicely improved over prior models but it loses a lot of the free functionality those had. See my full review here.

The biggest changes here have to do with its industrial design. The camera now has a wider range of motion (a full 180 degrees vertically) along with an improved image sensor that has great infrared night vision along with a low light color mode.

The camera’s motor, while still audible on recorded clips, is much quieter than before. It also has a neat privacy mode where the camera shuts down and also points itself at the base for added privacy.

Missing though are a lot of the free out of the box features of the prior versions. This model does not support RTSP nor will you get any cloud video storage without having to pay an additional fee. And it’s not compatible with their “name your price” subscription plan called Cam Plus Lite. We detailed most of these changes in my video from last week.

I also got in the new Wyze Cam OG and OG Telephoto. I unboxed both on the Extra’s channel the other day and provided a quick look at their image quality (spoiler, it’s not good). Both of those cameras have the same restrictions for non-subscribers so unfortunately a lot of the value proposition Wyze delivered with their new cameras is not going to continue.

Is the Wyze Free Ride Over?

Last week I got in the new batch of cameras that Wyze is rolling out, including their “OG” camera and the latest Pan Cam. One thing I noticed right out of the gate was that functionality that was once free on their old cameras now requires a subscription fee. I dig into that in my latest video.

The biggest change is that their new cameras will no longer get any free cloud storage. In the events feed you’ll only see a still image – not a video clip. In the past the cameras would store 12 seconds of video clips in the cloud each time a motion event triggered something. Additionally the older cameras also benefited from some of Wyze’s AI technology which could cut down on false alarms by only triggering when a person was detected for example.

Wyze went through some financial difficulties during the pandemic as their business relied upon hardware sales for solvency. When component supplies became constrained they couldn’t sell cameras and they had a hard time paying the bills for their cloud server overhead.

Their solution was to create a “name your price” subscription plan called “Cam Plus Lite” for their existing camera line. Customers could declare a price of 0 and continue using their cameras for free, but they did require everyone with an existing camera to sign up for the plan in an effort to reduce the load on their cloud services.

Wyze’s new cameras are not eligible for Cam Plus Lite. The only option is to subscribe to their “Cam Plus” subscription plan. Cam Plus currently costs $1.67 a month per camera but subscribers can also opt for the “unlimited” option that costs $99 a year and connect as many cameras as they’d like.

Competitively it’s fairly reasonable but I think many loyal Wyze customers will feel like the rug is being pulled when they buy a new camera and find it won’t work the way the prior ones did without coughing up a few more bucks on an ongoing basis.

Additionally Wyze has stopped development on their RTSP firmware that allowed their cameras to work with security NVRs like Synology’s Surveillance Station. While old cameras with the RTSP firmware installed will still work, the firmware is no longer available on Wyze’s website for download. There are no plans to offer it with the new cameras.

Stay tuned for reviews of the new Wyze cameras! I wanted to get this piece out first so people knew what to expect. In the meantime I have some first impression videos up on the Extra’s channel.

Wyze Cam Pan V3 Unboxing & First Impressions

On my Extra’s Channel I unboxed the brand new Wyze Cam Pan V3 – a sizable upgrade over their prior edition pan & tilt security camera.

In the video we take it out of the box, set it up and get some initial first impressions under ideal lighting conditions. Over the weekend I’ll be testing more of its features and will have a more detailed review early next week.

Wyze is taking a harder stance against those who opt-out of its subscription services. You’ll find that the Cam Pan v3 offers far less functionality versus their prior cameras unless you cough up the monthly or annual subscription fee. More on that in my review. Stay tuned!

See more of my Wyze videos here.

New Extra’s Channel Video: Unboxing the Wyze Cam Floodlight

As many of you know I use a bunch of Wyze IOT stuff because it’s convenient, cheap, and can work without a subscription fee. I have a long dead motion detector floodlight on my garage and recently came across this Wyze floodlight that has a Wyze Cam Version 3 attached to it.

I haven’t hooked it up just yet (I am having an electrician friend do the work for me) but thought I would unbox it so people who are more handy can see what’s in the box for hardware. The TLDR is not much.

Watch the unboxing here! And see some of my prior Wyze reviews here.