Great usability, lots of (free) storage options including local SD card, apps are decent too. Like a Nest Cam. But much cheaper...
- Very easy to setup
- Micro USB power port
- Record to onboard micro SD card
- Recording to Foscam Cloud a bit hit and miss
- Resolution not full HD / 1080p
- Foscam support could be better
Will our Foscam C1 review convince you to buy this instead of a Nest Cam?
Foscam C1 Review : Features
Foscam has a middle-of-the-road standing in the world of IP cameras. They make economically priced IP cams for indoor and outdoor uses pitched firmly at domestic and small business CCTV users.
Expectations can be high at this price point in the market. You may not want to haemorrhage money for a more expensive surveillance camera, yet you still want your IP cam to work as well as the pricier competitors. Foscam has a reputation for wonky reliability with it’s cameras, and their support can be iffy too.
Find a Foscam that works for your usage and home network though, and the functionality of a cheap little Foscam is difficult to beat.
Foscam’s previous indoor wireless camera options for home monitoring have been a little uninspiring thus far. So it’s nice to see a camera like the Foscam C1 step up to the plate and offer something a bit different.
And the price is right too. For less than £60, you get:
- 1.oMP sensor and 720P recording
- Wide angle lens to 100°
- Easy QR code and wireless setup with Foscam app
- Good IR LEDs for night vision
- Motion triggers, live-streaming, and record to Cloud options
Does the Foscam C1 perform?
The Foscam C1 is a circular camera, about the height of a cup or mug. It uses a slightly odd pose able stand that is much more stable than it looks. Included in the box are screws and plugs to wall / ceiling mount as needed – the base twists off so you can affix the Foscam C1 where you want.
Note that the Foscam software supports flip and mirror mode, so you can mount the IP cam in any direction you fancy.
Foscam C1 Power
It uses a non-proprietary micro USB port for power, giving you some flexibility.
There’s even the possibility of using external power packs to get juice to this camera, voltages permitting. You get a 2m cable in the box, but it’s nice to have simple options for an even longer cable if needed.
I found the USB cable to be a bit stiff and it tends to poke out the back of the Foscam C1. But if you’re popping the camera on a shelf, you won’t notice this when it’s in position.
Foscam C1 Picture Is OK
Image quality is not pin-sharp, but good enough for a well-lit interior. Even in failing, evening light, you get hood pictures outside.
As it gets darker outside, the camera switches to the IR LEDs with an audible click, and the range drops to about 5m.
The Foscam C1 has a microphone which is almost useless, unlike the night-vision features which are actually pretty decent. The device has an onboard speaker so 2-way communication is possible, although again, the quality is pretty pedestrian.
You can either use the Foscam C1 wirelessly or over ethernet.
The camera is so small, that it actually looks quite clunky with the ethernet AND a power cable in the back. After initial setup, I found the wireless functionality to be solid on my home network.
The interface is snappy to respond, live playback is flawless, and reviewing recorded clips from the onboard micro SD card worked well.
I changed all my settings and ran playback via a web browser, in my case Safari on OSX. It requires a plugin, but otherwise I was pleased by the wireless functionality.
Foscam C1 Review : Software and Apps
Add the camera to your network by plugging it into your router, finding the IP address (Foscam have an application for this), and accessing it over port 88.
Alternatively, Foscam offer their EZlink method. Install the app on your phone, scan the QR code on the camera and add the IP cam to your wireless network.
Foscam C1 motion detection
Foscam have upped their game, so the motion detection and email alerts are much more reliable than on their other IP cams. Things are probably helped by the very wide angle lens.
What you lose in optical quality, you sort of gain in field of view and detection on the Foscam C1.
There’s a plethora of options to adjust when the Foscam C1 records snapshots, to tweak the detection sensitivity and detection areas. You’ll need to play around with the settings to get it working just right under your lighting conditions.
I found the C1 to be quite sensitive, but not annoyingly so. Setup an SMTP port and you’ll get email alerts without any complicated DNS tweaks.
Remote access on the Foscam C1
Foscam do try and offer a subscription-based Cloud storage, but it’s not really worth it. You have several local storage options, including to a micro SD card. This is more a home monitor than a rock-solid security camera.
You can use the Foscam quick setup and their own DNS system to activate remote access. I found streaming to the app on iOS to be quite blocky, although the recordings to the SD card and FTP location were the expected, good quality 720P footage.
I suspect the Foscam network infrastructure isn’t enough to support the kind of super-quality remote access you see from a Dropcam.
Foscam C1 verdict
That said, the Foscam C1 is a cheap and cheerful home monitor camera released in 2015, and offering more than enough features to satisfy the baby monitor, pet watching and home surveillance market.
You can pick it up for less than £60, and with the easy setup and support for micro SD recording, I like the C1.
Good job Foscam!