Tech review: Ezviz C3W security camera shoots colour at night

Ezviz's latest C3W Color Night Vision security camera sports two spotlights that help it capture colour video footage in low light conditions in 1,080p resolution.
Ezviz's latest C3W Color Night Vision security camera sports two spotlights that help it capture colour video footage in low light conditions in 1,080p resolution.PHOTO: EZVIZ

Capture potential intruders in colour, even at night. This feature, which could improve the identification of people and things of interest, is the main selling point of Ezviz's latest C3W Color Night Vision security camera.

An upgrade of the existing C3W camera, the new model adds two spotlights that help it capture colour video footage in low light conditions in 1,080p resolution.

For those not familiar with Ezviz, its parent company, China's Hikvision, is one of the biggest manufacturers of video surveillance products.

Built for outdoor use, this Ezviz camera is resistant to water and dust with an IP67 rating. Its metal housing feels solidly built, with two external antennas for wireless connectivity.

But it is not a battery-powered wire-free camera. A 40cm-long extension cable lets it connect to its power adaptor and an Ethernet cable for wired connectivity. A mounting kit with drill screws is included so you can install the camera to a wall or a ceiling.

Like other modern home security cameras, the Ezviz camera is configured using a mobile app (available for iOS and Android). After signing up for a free Ezviz account, I simply scanned the QR code on the camera to start the installation process.

While most security cameras use LED indicators to inform users during the set-up process, the Ezviz uses recorded voice messages instead, which startle me initially.

It offers three night vision modes - colour, black and white, and smart. The last mode uses black-and-white night vision by default, but turns on the spotlights for colour night vision when motion is detected.

A feature of the Ezviz I have not seen in security cameras: Users can record their own 10-second audio clip to be played when the camera detects motion. For instance, you can warn potential intruders you own a fierce dog.

Other features, which are standard for security cameras, include the ability to set a schedule for the camera to be active and customise its activity zone. The latter helps to avoid false alarms from motion detected in less critical areas within the camera's view.

When motion is detected, the camera's spotlights will flash, while the built-in siren - in my case, my pre-recorded audio warning - will start up. The mobile app will also send a notification with a photo taken by the camera of the event that triggered the camera. This notification arrived promptly and faster than with other security cameras I have tested.

Video recordings and photos can be automatically saved to a microSD card (up to 256GB) in the camera or manually saved to the phone. The captured videos and photos look decent, but not as good as the ones by more expensive, higher-resolution cameras.

Ezviz also offers a cloud storage option that will be launched in Singapore by the end of next month. A seven-day cloud storage plan costs US$4 (S$5.50) a month or US$40 a year, while a 30-day cloud storage plan costs US$7 a month or US$70 a year.

At $149, the Ezviz C3W Color Night Vision security camera is very affordable for its features and performance.

FOR

Takes videos and photos in colour in low light

Custom audio messages

Prompt notifications

Value for money

AGAINST

No free cloud storage option

SPECS

Price: $149

Video resolution: Up to 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

Video format: H.264/H.265

Field of view: Up to 130 degrees diagonal

Night vision: Yes, in colour

Motion detection: Yes

Mobile apps: iOS and Android

Weight: 380g

RATING

Features: 4/5

Design: 4/5

Performance: 4.5/5

Value: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

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