We all need to feel secure in our own homes or even offices but sometimes it is not enough just to have a physical protection like doors or walls to protect us. Thieves today are getting more and smarter when it comes to cleverly outwitting home or business owners.
You have probably thought about it too but also thought that it is not needed about setting up your own surveillance security cameras for your own home and if you own a small business, you also probably thought about setting it up on the store as well. When we think of surveillance cameras we initially think that this is a high tech system that only the elite can afford to set up. However, as technology continues to move forward, a lot of these sophisticated technologies became more and more available to the masses with its cheap pricing and yet excellent services.
One of these brilliant breakthrough technologies is D-Link’s own Wi-Fi camera the DCS-2530L Wide Angle IP camera.
When we also think about these sophisticated technologies, we also can’t help but think how difficult it must be to set it up, however this is not the case with the DCS-2530L. It is also extremely easy and fast to set up which makes it pretty much useable by everybody, even the non-tech savvy bunch.
A while ago, D-Link has released the Full HD 180-Degre Wi-Fi Camera model DCS-2630L which is a pretty good camera and amazing for indoors. It cost almost $160. D-Link is again pushing their Smart Home security solutions and has also launched the smaller version of the DCS-2630L which is the DCS-2530L. The DCS-2530L is the second incarnation of the older DCS-2630L but with big improvements. The DCS-2530L retains all of the DCS-2630L’s many amazing features, which includes the 180-degree lens, while also losing its bad ones.
The newer DCS-2530L has the same 180-degree ‘wide-eye’ view but is also in 1080p resolution and is a smaller camera in comparison with the DCS-2630L. It is suitable whether for indoor surveillance either for your home or business. The use can also configure it to send them push notifications when it either detects sound or motion on the area it is observing. It then records the video clips on the MicroSD card. There is a free mydlink Lite app for both Android and iPhone which gives the user an immediate access to the features of the camera as well as a live feed from it at any time. The app itself also walks the user through the setup procedure which is quite easy.
It is also a very compact device in which it only takes up very little room and people will easily not notice the camera initially. It also does a great job of capturing audio as well as daylight video. The night vision is quite average at best which is quite normal for most cameras.
There is a lot more features that we have not discussed yet so let us take a closer look at D-Link’s DCS-2530L Wi-Fi camera.
D-Link DCS-2530L Review – Whats in the Box?
The packaging is quite colorful and nice. It is similar to the packaging of the DCS-2630L. The box opens up in a cool way too and inside you will find the DCS-2530L sitting it neatly on the cardboard. And this is quite amusing but that same exact cardboard can also be opened which is where you will find the manual that contains the QR code to set up the camera.
Inside there’s mounting screws for a wall. An adapter for the camera is also included. And that’s pretty much it. If you’ve seen the DCS-2630L, you will be surprised as to how significantly smaller the DCS-2530L which makes it easier to hide considering this is a security camera.
On the outside, the DCS-2530L looks much like the Nest Cam Indoor. It is a round camera body that is mounted to a horseshoe-shaped stand covered in black. However it actually weighs less if you pick both up. It is actually only a fraction of Nest Cam’s weight. It is because the DCS-2530L is made out of just simple plastic rather than metal. It is also only about two-thirds the size of its predecessor which is pretty helpful considering a surveillance camera’s uses is actually to spy on intruders and not easily being detected makes quite a difference. Having the ability to conceal the home or business owner’s security camera with the décor is quite a need if you desire to be stealthy and also minimizing the feeling that people are constantly being watched which is what normally comes with surveillance cameras. One of the issues of the old modal was its bulk and this is a nice improvement.
Beyond this, the similarity between the DCS-2530L and the DCS-2630L are almost identical. Both have a 180-degree field of view with de-warping technology that mitigates fish-eye distortion that is common to wide-angle lenses. The DCS-2530L also still support the motion and as well as sound detection alerts which is up to 1080p video recording, a night vision up to 16 feet and also a two-way audio. The only significant differences from the DCS-2630L is its 10x digital zoom. The original only had a 8x digital zoom.
It also comes with an attached mounting bracket if the user wants to attach it to walls or ceilings. It can be bent and also twisted to cover specific areas that require a specific angle for the camera. There are a few ports for the MicroUSB cable where it can get power and also a MicroSD card slot to store the video clips. If you look very closely at the camera, you can see the button for connectivity and also a small button to reset the camera.
D-Link’s home security camera does not offer cloud storage which could be seen as a positive for the user or a negative depending on what they are looking for. Just like other D-Link models, the DCS-2530L records video locally to a MicroSD or SDXC card which can have a maximum of 128GB. While some of you will probably prefer having the ability to save recordings to cloud storage there is the obvious downside this would require an always on internet connection which would eat up a lot of your home bandwidth. By saving data locally this frees up bandwidth for your network. It would have been nice to have both options available.
With the DCS-2530L saving data to its own SD card inside the camera this does highlight one particular downside. If the intruder decides to take out the camera once they see it, all the saved recordings will also be taken since it is saved inside the camera’s SD card slot. It is for this reason why we love the camera’s compact size and its ability to be easily concealed. Another downside is you don’t have a backup unless you decide to manually back up the video recordings or connect the camera to Network Attached Storage that supports surveillance cameras.
Now we are getting in to one of the things we really appreciate about the DCS-2530L. The D-Link cameras plays very nicely with popular NAS surveillance options from Synology and QNAP. Simply hook up all your cameras to your network and configure them inside the Synology or QNAP Surveillance Station software. By running the cameras through Surveillance Station you are able to record video directly to your NAS meaning that if the cameras are every stolen or damaged the data is stored save and sound on the remote NAS. Surveillance Station also gives you a full suite of powerful surveillance options to truly allow you to setup a professional grade security system at your home or office. When combined with the affordability and simplicity of the D-Link DCS-2530L Camera you can get one of the most feature rich and affordable surveillance setups available.
Width: 110 mm
Height: 61 mm
Depth: 34 mm
Weight: 105 g
Type: IP Camera
Mounting: Wall/Ceiling bracket included
Night Vision: IR LED
Motion Sensor: Yes
Audio: One-way sound, no intercom capability
Local Video Storage: MicroSD/SDXC (not included) up to 128 gb
App support: Android/iOS
Subscription Fee: None
Video Resolutions: 1920 x 1080 at up to 15 fps, 1280 x 720 at up to 30 fps, 800 x 448 at up to 30 fps, 640 x 360 at up to 30 fps
Field of View: 180 degrees
Connectivity: 802.11n wireless
Web Browsers Supported: Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 12, Safari 6 and Chrome 20 or higher
Cloud Storage: n/a
IFFT connectivity: No
180-degree field of vision
One of the main selling points of the DCS-2530L is its 180-degree field of vision. With the use of D-Link’s de-warping technology the picture is painted nicely.
The LEDs and IR sensors enables the camera to be able to detect motion and also enhance the picture quality automatically even in the dark. Which means the camera can easily detect people trying to sneak their way into the dark and expects the camera to not detect their movements. The motion detection can also be made to be less or more sensitive using the slider inside the app. When you point the camera to a busy area like for example a place where people work or sit or if you position it towards moving cars, the motion detection will always activate. There is a solution for this. If you do not want the camera to record every motion captured then you can choose which areas of the camera’s field of view can trigger the record and alert. You can do this by drawing up to three active boxes on the touch screen. The camera will ignore movements outside the areas and only activate the record and alert if a motion is detected within the areas that you chose. You can choose an area like doors or windows so the camera can only activate when someone goes in and out of the door or if someone closes or opens the window.
There is a helpful sound meter on the mobile app as well as the website that measures the ambient or background noise for the room that is under surveillance. This is quite useful as it gives you an idea on setting the sensitivity for the sound detection. The default level for the sound detection is 70 dB.
There is also a mic to detect sound which can be adjusted as to how sensitive it is. If your room has a lot of low background noise, of course you would not want the mic to activate with these ambient background noises. You can adjust the sensitivity so louder sounds like people speaking can activate it.
Using the Product
Scanning the device’s QR code with the mydlink lite app and then connecting to your Wi-Fi network helps in the process of speeding up the process and you can literally have the camera up within 5 minutes.
The DCS-2530L has three resolutions which are 480p, 720p and lastly, 1080p. You can toggle through the resolutions using the menu bar just under the live feed. Obviously 1080p has the image quality but even just by using the lowest setting which is 480p, it still provided a decent image. It also helps conserve bandwidth.
You can enable motion detection only if you only want to be notified of an event to suddenly tune in to your life feed. You can also use motion detection to trigger the video recording which will then save onto your MicroSD. You can also use sound detection only as well. If the natural background or ambient noise is also loud, you can set the sensitivity higher to ignore these sounds.
Setting up your Motion Detection
We have touched on the motion detection quite a lot and here we will teach you how to set it up. Clicking on the motion detection icon will open a three-step wizard. In the first screen, you can draw rectangles over the live feed. This makes the camera ignore movement outside the rectangles.
In the second part of the wizard, there is an entire screen that is dedicated to a single setting which determines on whether to only record the scene if motion is detected. The third part states what your settings are and confirms it.
You can set the scheduling on the website but not on the mobile app. You can only schedule recording for only one period a day and it will require you to have it set in the same time.
Positioning the camera correctly will stream in full HD resolution the view of the whole room directly to the user’s smart device. There is a sensor and an automatic light meter that will ensure the image being broadcast is decent and clear both in a lit room as well as room with low light. The recorded clips are saved inside the MicroSD card that is inserted in the MicroSD slot. Of course this isn’t included. You would have to provide the MicroSD slot for the camera to use. You will need to buy one. The motion sensors are especially good at detecting very subtle movements and then alerting it to the mobile device. If you find that the alerts can be annoying, you can make the sensitivity of the sensor lesser. That is the general performance of the camera. Let’s dive deeper into each.
The DCS-2530L’s 2 megapixel progressive CMOS sensor produces really good video. It has clear and crisp detail and the colors are vibrant enough to distinguish other areas. The fish eye image has a 180-degree as well.
The night vision is decent. It does not really stand out when compared to other cameras. With only two IR LEDs to illuminate the room, it can be a bit pixelated however it manages to capture things that are located a few feet away even in really pitch-black room.
The DCS-2530L sadly does not have intercom capabilities unlike the DCS-2530L. This means you can’t speak through the app and broadcast it to the room being monitored. The audio quality however is superb. It captures amazing, clean, crisp audio in the room being monitored. The volume is also quite good considering the main purpose of the camera was not meant to be a microphone. A person speaking a few feet away from the camera can still be heard clearly and you can understand their words quite well. However, the background noise does not go away so if the room being monitored has a lot of ambient or background noise it is also heard.
The DCS-2530L has a nice level of control when it comes to motion detection as well. As I’ve said earlier, the camera has the ability to define the area that your camera would like to focus on when it comes to motion. It also has the ability to erase areas that you previously defined as a point of interest. There are few more other settings for the software to make it precise. Overall it is quite decent. D-Link did not just put up the software with default settings. They allowed the user to tinker with it for better customization which I applaud D-Link.
The mobile app is quite intuitive, clean and easy to use. It does not have intruding and useless things plastered on the UI. The homepage has a list of the cameras that is connected to the app. If you tap on a camera name, you can get the live feed from it. There’s five controls under the live feed which are sound on/off, take a screenshot, video resolution (which is 480p, 720p or 1080p), exposure (which is auto, daylight or night), display information.
The auto rotation of the live feed and response to pinch and zoom are fast.
If you click the three-dot icon at the upper right corner, you can access links for the main features which are live view, playback, settings and push notifications which is only for Android.
The D-Link DCS-2530L Wi-Fi camera captures both audio and video in great quality. Especially the video which also has a full HD option but the 480p is also quite good and saves bandwidth. It also has a night option which is quite important if you want to protect your premises in these hours. We also especially loved the 180-degree feature which covers almost the whole room.
The software is intuitive and easy to use with a handful of important features. D-Link didn’t bundle it with useless and complicated options and features that would otherwise confuse the user.