Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera


A General trend in consumer technology is to provide the user of such products, which do not require special knowledge for their operation. Does not require special resources, no material and technical training. It would seem, describes the gadget has all the features and equipment for Housewives. Possible. At least at the stage of installation and in the process of primitive operation it looks like this. But if the user tries to look into the settings of such a device and sum functions — he will be very surprised.

Yi Home Camera 2: Design, specifications

Surveillance camera Yi Home Camera 2 comes in a traditional production Yi a snow-white package with a minimum of information on it. Red ribbon, probably intended to create the impression of a gift. And that is a very thought out: it is not necessary to care about the design if you think to give the camera to friends.

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera

Inside the box is the same minimalism as the outside: the camera Yi Home Camera 2 with attached stand, round plate 3M double sided sticky tape, power adapter with a fairly long (two meters!) USB cable and quick installation guide.

Nice lines, white matte plastic, a stable stand — the standard of design of home surveillance cameras.Glossy black cylinder crowning the upper part of the body, hides inside a lens, a matrix and a chain of 11 infrared LEDs that provide a night vision camera.

Under the lens is a hole Omni-directional high sensitivity microphone.

By the way, the unit lens is actually much harder than you can imagine looking at this tiny black eyes.System of the lenses and accurately mounted the matrix — that’s the key to good image quality:

Back of the case shows all the same minimalism as the front or on the packaging of the camera. Detachable cover (we’re under her look) Yes, the grille is quite loud internal speaker. It serves not only to reproduce a variety of sound alerts, but also participates in reverse audio.

The base has a micro USB port. Its location is more than justified, because in this way the camera body is free to change its inclination, and no the wire does not hurt to do it. And the angle at which the camera can change position relative to the stand, quite large, 180 degrees:

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera

A loopback mount of the camera body Yi Home Camera 2 with the stand has a fairly tight course is a good thing. The camera Yi Home Camera 2 will not change its position over time, if, of course it didn’t help.

The sole of the stand is equipped with an adhesive strip running around the perimeter — probably double sided tape, just before use it is covered with a protective film, which we did not pull out.

By unhooking the latch of the back cover casing, with genuine we were surprised to find beneath it cast in metal alloy frame. To admit, such construction looks defiantly room for serious home kamerki. And then began to slip the first doubts about the banal simplicity of the device. If the heat took so much metal, what’s inside does, what power is processing? That the visible metal part plays the role of a radiator, no doubt.

Here, in this metal casting is a slot for memory cards format microSD, recessed flush with the surface of the button to reset the camera Yi Home Camera 2 to factory settings (Reset), and also some recesses for screws, fastening the construction of the apparatus.

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera

Hidden led light creates around the lens the ring it plays the role of a standard indicator, which informs about the current camera mode. By the way, luminous infrared LEDs located around the perimeter, it is absolutely not visible. Neither the eye nor the camera. In the following screenshot, the camera works in night mode, the infrared light is included, but its presence cannot be determined.

Yi Home Camera 2: Settings, operation

Developers cameras offer the easiest and visual way the original connections and camera settings. But there is this way in all its clarity, one serious drawback: camera must be on arm’s length person. Because the hand must have a smartphone, the display of which is displayed QR code. This code, in turn, needs to be read by the camera. Only now the connection will be. Thus, the camera cannot be mounted in inaccessible places (ceiling, tall Cabinet, etc., etc.), not having attended this pre-configured. The downside?For someone like, but nevertheless…

So, to register camera need smartphone or tablet with the application installed Yi Home (version for Android). When installing the program asks for a region intended for connected camera. Here the main thing — not to be mistaken. We chose, of course, our region, Europe.

For which he paid. Camera Yi Home Camera 2 in any did not want to connect, constantly telling about the wrong QR code. It turned out that our test got the version intended for the American market. Accordingly, in the region needed to select the appropriate. Had to remove app data from phone memory and start again. Now the process registration and setup the camera flew within a few minutes, including the time for confirmation of email address which was registered on the account.

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera

Most interesting in this process is that virtually every step is accompanied by a voice-over in English. And this accompanied by the sounds not only from smartphone but also from the camera — albeit with half-second delay. A pleasant female voice welcomes and informs about the readiness of the camera to work, advises when to send the smartphone to the camera, warns about errors (this error we described above), congratulates with the established connection. But it is better to see once than hear a hundred times. In the following video the sound in the smartphone was turned off.

What could be simpler? Indeed, this method of connection is ideal to any student (anyone, and the current student knows a lot about smartphones).

The interface of the mobile application is laid out and comfortable because of its similarity to other programs with a similar purpose.

In view mode, live video broadcast, the user can enable/disable the audio coming from the camera, start/stop video recording or take a snapshot and activate voice communication. This relationship makes it possible to transmit to the speaker of the chamber a short voice message. You have the option to expand the viewing window on the entire display of the smartphone. Choice cut the camera’s recorded video to view can be done by rewinding the time line (timeline), which is marked with color points of activity.

During operation, the camera Yi Home Camera 2 continuously transmits video to your cloud service and conducts recording on a memory card. Files with a duration of one minute each fold in folders with an hourly cycle:

In the camera Yi Home Camera 2 settings there is a point, the inclusion of which stops this permanent record and activates the recording only on motion detection. There is a difference between the recording time on the memory card and the recording, which sends a push message to the user. If on a memory card recorded videos lasting one minute each, then download the video on the link of the push message, we find that the duration: actually registered by the camera movement plus a few seconds before and after the event.A comparison of the performance obtained in two ways we came to the conclusion that the transfer via the cloud the video stream does not re-encoded, and transmitted accurately in its original form. He’s just cropped to the required size.This fact is a huge plus in the Treasury of the developers of Yi. The fact that physically obtain the video recorded on the memory card, not so easy: requires detach the rear plastic cover and remove the memory card from the risk of losing it.Yes, the card can easily fly out of the slot under pressure of the spring retainer, if the user otelnet card and do not insure it with your fingernail.

For recording in-camera available in three formats:

Here we should note an important point: the title format, the bitrate will rarely be true. Most likely, manufacturer, pointing to the “older” format, bitrate 1,5 Mbit/s, the mean static live without the presence of the frame, any moving objects. Because in practice, the bitrate as not constant, increases depending on the amount of movement in the frame. In our case, many times, up to 6 Mbps. in Addition to the three presets of quality, the camera Yi Home Camera 2 provides a second type of record, which is always performed synchronously with a basic type.This second — let’s call it the shadow record is also carried out on the memory card, but the generated video files have a size of only 640×360. For what it is, such a record? Everything is thought out: it is needed in the case if access of the smartphone to the cloud is via a low bandwidth connection, slow mobile networks, for example. In this case, the user will be sent like this, a truncated version of the event record. Select the format in which the user will be sent a video made directly in the preview window:

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera

Thus, the camera Yi Home Camera 2 acts very reasonable: despite the poor connection, it always saves on the memory card in high quality video. Yes, the cloud can “get away” and less quality videos, but it depends on the connection speed. But the original remains on the memory card. Not forever, of course. After all, once the memory card runs out of space, the old files are erased, and the vacant volume is occupied by new files. Are all surveillance system or car recorders.

The following table lists all formats (it turns out, four of them) in which you’re recording. Note that the video bitrate set to its maximum value. Bold key parameters that distinguishes one format from another.

The feature of this video is its variable frame rate, which is the way encoded video cameras of all smartphones and tablets. In statics, this frequency is lower in the presence of active movement — above.But the average number of frames per second will be same 25, of specifications.

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera

By the way, the sensitivity of the Wi-Fi adapter, built-in camera, a matter of respect. To test this sensitivity, the camera was powered from a mobile power source — a normal powerbank — and along with them are at a distance of about 35 meters from the access point to which at the moment was connected. These 35 meters does not prevent the camera to broadcast live and to confidently respond to commands without any slowdown and fading broadcast. The level of Wi-Fi signal was estimated by the camera 40%.I would like to move even further to see what distance communication is still interrupted, but alas, only more dense the grove, and then condition is true line of sight and no obstructions. Nothing like carefully put the camera and power source to the ground, go home and make some screenshots. Below red circled access point remote from the camera at 35 meters, and a menu bar that displays the signal level of the router at the moment.

No, not particularly powerful routers the author is not available — as a router acts as a regular wifi repeater, placed under the roof of the balcony in a country house and pleasing to all free communication. This.

Of course, when operating in urban environments with high density Wi-Fi networks result in 30 meters, even in line of sight and no obstacles, can be elusive. It should be borne in mind when placing the camera.

In testing, we have repeatedly faced with the necessity of placing the camera Yi Home Camera 2 in different places, and accordingly, with the connection of the device to a different Wi-Fi networks. And came to a disappointing conclusion: every time you change the “place of residence”, the user will have to do a full reset of the device. The so-called hard reset. This is done by long pressing the Reset button, which is located under the plastic removable back cover.The subsequent connection will not take much time, and, fortunately, this resetting does not lead to the disappearance from the cloud Yi of all previously registered events. More precisely, links to them.

I thought: why not apply a sort of life hack. Before you go on a trip with the camera Yi Home Camera 2 and planning to quickly connect it to another network, you can create by using the second router the second network with the same parameters, which has one remote and still inaccessible to the network. What is copy? Perhaps the network name and password to connect to it. Why not try it? No sooner said than done. In the camera settings there is the item responsible for the change Wi-Fi network. You want to activate it, then reboot the camera. It will restart in a special mode to wait for a connection to a new network.Then everything is the same as the usual connection. Less than a minute — and ready, the camera is connected to a new network and works successfully.

But now the question is: if we disconnect it the usual way, simply removing the adapter from the socket, and then move to another location and turn the camera on — if it connects automatically to the network, a remote, a copy of which we imitated here? Answer: Yes, connect, experiment ended successfully. Note: the routers used in the experiment — unequal, belonging to different brands.

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera

Usually when studying surveillance cameras, we first try to see its full capabilities. They are found only inside of the camera itself, in its web server. Unfortunately, this camera is not the first in which the web server was blocked. Attempts to connect to our camera locally, by typing its IP address in the browser or nothing: the camera is protected from intrusion and obtain the video stream, or see the settings allowed only through the company’s cloud service.

That is, to control the camera Yi Home Camera 2  is allowed only through the mobile applications with which they connect.However, we know that any mobile app built on the concept of minimalism. It will not see the advanced settings, subtle functions, or the ability to modify the configuration files of the equipment. Sorry, but nothing can be done — look at least in the setup provided by the developer.

Now explore some of the most interesting functions. Interesting both from the point of view of specificity and productivity, and the way of implementation. For example, functions such as correction of lens — distortion lens. Of course, there is a fix in software. But how it happens is best judged visually by using a special table.

As you can see, included without correction the image is standard on all wide-angle cameras disadvantage: distortion of the type “fish eye” or, in common parlance, “fisheye”. Looks such a picture, to put it mildly, ugly: stretched in all directions, faces, distorted proportions, curves, legs and arms. Software correction of this distortion does not lead to an absolute alignment of the image to a perfect plane, but significantly softens lopullisesti frame.So that it becomes possible to assess the resolution of the studied chamber — she confidently reaches 900 TV lines in the older recording with frame size of 1920×1080 pixels. A careful study of snapshots can show that the resolving power even higher, but it is just the serious software image processing, which is to increase the contrast of object boundaries.Perhaps if the camera was used this optics, which is used in a good photo or video cameras, resolution, and would reach a “clean” 1000 lines, but now, with the software distortion correction, which inevitably occurs, the digital zoom of the frame with a trimming of its edges, the actual resolution does not exceed 900. However, this is a very high result for home-melkoroznichnoj surveillance cameras have miniature optics.Usually an IP camera of this level do not show more than 700 TV lines, and a corresponding negative, of course — affects the detail of the transmitted and recorded image.

The second interesting point — the enabling and disabling of infrared light. The switch is responsible for its activation, can be in three positions — Auto, Always on and Always off. Of course, for everyday use the camera rely on automation to determine when to transition from Day mode to Night and back. Following the experiment conducted in the box with adjustable light level, shows some “confusion” of the camera during the transition from a Day mode to the Night and back. On the one hand, this would not be reprehensible, if it was for a street camera — she really have to hurry, because the sunsets and sunrises do not occur instantly.However, our camera Yi Home Camera 2 is designed for indoor use, where, as you know, sometimes it turns on and off artificial lighting. Unlike the sunset, the light turns off instantly. Therefore, the camera should be a little faster to respond to changes in light.

Switching to IR mode and back accompanied by a little audible click is shifted to the infrared filter. By the way, in this clip, you notice a curious fact: in night mode, the correction of distortion is not running. It is only activated if the camera is in Day mode and its infrared light off.

The efficiency of infrared light can be assessed as very high for the indoor camera. We have no closed space area, which would not have been able to highlight the IR diodes of the apparatus. But there is a open area where you can set targets-numbers that denote the distance from the camera in meters. Now you can try at night to assess the range of infrared light. Below are the Central parts of the snapshots obtained in different conditions.

Perhaps this testing could be more effective if it were not for our camera, actively hindering “proper” testing.Explain. The camera blocked the ability to login to its web server, therefore access to the full settings (and they probably is) impossible. But mobile software developers have not provided the user with any tools to disconnect, for example, digital gain. How this reinforcement works can be seen on freeze-frames.Amazingly effectively. With it the camera is no longer just a high sensitivity, and hypersensitivity.Here it is a gain and does not evaluate the effectiveness of the IR illumination. Because with that sensitivity, if you think of it, no IR illumination is not needed.

But, is there a way to see what actually “sees” the camera is disabled when sverhusiliya. The fact that the gain is switched instantly — automation requires a short time to evaluate light of the picture and use the gain. Thus, the camera can be fooled with normal bulbs. In our case, the spotlight that suddenly the camera turns on and off.

Actually the automatics has not time to activate the necessary technology, at this point you can see almost complete darkness. So it looks like the shooting scene in real life.

The alarm on the appearance of a person is for the weak artificial intelligence is not so difficult. The main thing is to give the camera Yi Home Camera 2 to recognize a face. Because only the face is the main difference between a person from, for example, thrown by somebody in rags. It is suspected that the camera just reacts to the dummy and ordinary person — send a message marked Human Detected. But let’s conduct an experiment with the usual doll.

And we were right at 100% — the camera still saw the events in person. She was not embarrassed by the fact that the person was in the frame with the hands of a giant. The main thing — human.

About the same “accuracy” shows and autodetector, including anxiety, when the camera “hears” a child crying. It turned out that the singing of the ordinary cock perfectly mimics the cry, resulting in the camera being installed on the balcony of a rural house for a long time regularly reminded about the forgotten the child. By the way, according to the results, it is possible to make an interesting chart, the crowing of the neighborhood rooster.

Of course, if the camera is installed in the nursery, she immediately alert push message about waking the baby. We just showed that while it is not possible to distinguish the banal baby crying from the other sharp sounds of similar frequency.

By the way, you might think that a user is viewing the recorded events are stored in the cloud Yi. But it’s not.In fact, in the cloud is written only thumbnail and link to it, the material is stored on the memory card inserted in the camera. During testing it was noted that sometimes the thumbnail of the video is not displayed in the event list, instead the program shows a “stub” in the form of a photograph of the beautiful interior. Any system display or not display true thumbnails could not be detected.Maybe there is some role played by the mode of operation of the camera itself or the servers that store the content of users of the cloud Yi. If a camera connection and servers all right, thumbnails of the events look like the usual freeze-frame of the camera’s recorded video.

In conclusion, I will tell about the most, perhaps, interesting — or rather striking — mechanism body gestures, which is available in the camera. First of all you need to tell about the purpose of such a function.Our camera is devoid of any buttons, and to touch the camera is set up is not recommended — easy to knock down to its original position. What about the user in a frame can send a message to the owner of the camera or the person on whose smartphone has the application installed that is associated with the camera? It’s very simple!Enough to stand in the camera field of view at a short distance from her and held up his hand in a welcoming gesture. The camera will immediately switch the color of your indicator from the “working” blue to green, which means the standby team. Now you want to squeeze the hand into a fist, this gesture will serve as the chamber’s call to action. A second later, the camera will warn you about the beginning of the recording and starts the countdown. We could not resist and did an experiment.

The camera in this mode, which is called Gesture Recognition (gesture recognition), records a 12-second clip, which immediately saved to the memory card, and all connected users are sent to a special push-notification marked Heartwarming Message (touching or disturbing the message is, most likely, the effects of translation from Chinese to English, and from English and Russian).

Yi Home Camera 2: Conclusion

Excellent quality of materials and workmanship, sophisticated system of waste heat circulation, a high resolution, ultra-high sensitivity with efficient nocturnal illumination, wide viewing angle with software correction of distortion, very sensitive microphone and decent recording quality audio, reverse audio, a unique feature of gesture recognition, cloud, stream and storage of event records, user-friendly mobile. That offer turns out, even if briefly list the main positive properties of the described camera.

Of the minuses, we can note only a small constructive “nedodumku” — very good idea to provide slots or lugs in the base for mounting with screws or with screws. I wanted to find at least a couple of flaws, but alas, the camera Yi Home Camera 2 does not allow you to do so. Of course, if we raise requirements to the camera to the level of the expensive universal machines, the main drawback here is the lack of possibility of direct connection to the camera.But a device designed mainly for home or mellowing use where one of the main properties is the availability and easy setup. These requirements and our camera Yi Home Camera 2 is responsible for more than completely.

Yi Home Camera 2 Review and test IP-camera was last modified: November 21st, 2016 by Tomas Shellby