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Image Quality

For the picture quality comparison, I used the same setup used in the D-Link DCS-942L review. This consists of a control daylight image in our junk room with a Nikon D5000 DSLR and a $84 Foscam FI8918W IP camera comparison. A vacuum is placed 15 feet from the camera with a sign attached indicating that 15 foot distance.

Figure 11 is the Nikon D5000 DSLR.

Control image taken with Nikon D5000 DSLR
Figure 11: Control image taken with Nikon D5000 DSLR

Figure 12 is the ZyXEL IPC-4605N.

Zyxel IPC-4605N daylight image
Figure 12: ZyXEL IPC-4605N daylight image

Figure 13 is the Foscam FI8918W.

Control image taken with Foscam FI8918W
Figure 13: Control image taken with Foscam FI8918W

When comparing all of these pictures, look beyond the vacuum. The DSLR image shows detail beyond the vacuum, obviously due to its flash. But notice the Foscam provides some visibility into the dark room behind the vacuum. That is not seen as much with the ZyXEL. Overall though, the clarity of the daylight picture with the ZyXEL is very good.

The night vision of the IPC-4605N was where the camera really shined, no doubt due largely to its 12 LEDs. Since the IPC-4605N's 12 LEDs are said to be good for 10m, it should see well past the vacuum. As a refresher, let's look at what the D-Link DCS- 942L looked like a few weeks ago.

D-Link DCS-942L night mode image from DCS-942L review
Figure 14: D-Link DCS-942L night mode image from DCS-942L review

Now let's look at the ZyXEL IPC-4605N. There is quite a bit more detail in the ZyXEL night vision picture, with definite visibility into the distant room. Objects are quite a bit sharper than the D-Link and the ZyXEL appears to also have a slightly wider viewing angle.

Zyxel IPC-4605N night vision image
Figure 15: ZyXEL IPC-4605N night vision image

Finally, let's look at the Foscam FI8918W. The Foscam has eleven IR LEDs to the ZyXEL IPC-4605N's twelve.

Control night image taken with Foscam FI8918W
Figure 16: Control night image taken with Foscam FI8918W

Night illumination between the ZyXEL and the Foscam are comparable. But the ZyXEL clearly has a much sharper image, due to its 720p HD resolution.

One thing I've done in other IP camera reviews is to load the camera into Blue Iris to see if the measured framerate is comparable to the advertised framerate. But because this camera is so new, it isn't officially supported in most camera software yet. While poking around, I did see some mention that this camera may be a Compro camera. And, in fact, it is very similar to the Compro IP540.

I was able to load it as a Compro camera in one application and access all PTZ functions, but it was a no-go in Blue Iris. So officially, I can't make any claims regarding its framerates with my standard testing methods.

Closing Thoughts

The ZyXEL IPC-4605N has good night vision, good picture quality and lots of customization features. Without a manual, some of the interface settings aren't very intuitive and will leave you scratching your head or doing a lot of trial and error. With the manual, things start to make more sense.

The motion detection features of the camera with storage in the cloud work very well and make viewing motion detection events a snap. $5.99 a month for 14 days of storage seems very reasonable and is the nicest of the cloud-enabled cameras I've seen so far.

The main downside is the security hole that I referred to earlier, which ZyXEL or seedonk should take quick action to close.

So if you want a cloud-enabled camera with good motion detection and night vision for under $200, the ZyXEL IPC-4605N definitely may serve you well.

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