During my meeting with Aztech Marketing on my giveaway, they asked if I would like to review the top-of-the-line webcam, RaptorVue WIPC680QHD. It retails at S$249 and boasts several noteworthy features, and the one that attracts me is the smart tracking.
Smart tracking works by detecting movement and the camera will pan and tilt to follow the object across the entire coverage, 355-degrees horizontal and 90-degree vertical. This is better than the D-Link DCS-8515LH where it only tracks horizontal movement unless you set the camera to record in inverted mode.
With a 94-degree angle of view, the camera will record the movement, either on micro SD card or on the cloud storage (paid subscription required), in H.265 video compression. It also has an option of either wireless or wired connection to your home network.
The WIPC680QHD also boasts a 2K QHD resolution at 20fps which is higher than most models in the market. A higher-resolution camera allows user to zoom into the footage to observe more details (just like what you see in movies). With the WIPC680QHD, it is even possible to set a digital zoom during live view and recording instead of zooming in during footage review. The smart tracking will detect movement within the digital crop and track. I would not recommend that, as it would result in losing a bigger picture (literally). From the app, you can also configure the activity zones to trigger the tracking and recording, as well as setting schedules to record regardless of motion.
Like all webcams, the WIPC680QHD supports 2-way audio that comes with micro SD slot up to 128GB. The speaker and mic quality is above average, sounds clear enough to be heard by both parties. However, the video footage will also record the pan-and-tilt motor sounds. For peace of mind, you might want to subscribe to cloud storage, else a burglar could take off with the micro SD card.
The Aztech RaptorVue app requires a different login account from the other Aztech webcams. It does not allow multiple login sessions, so it will kick out any earlier login session. During the setup to add new camera, the app will ask to scan the QR code of the webcam, followed by emitting an audible tone from the smartphone before connecting successfully. For reasons unknown, the app crashed on Google Pixel 4XL, so I used the Samsung Galaxy S10 to complete the setup. Once that is done, I was able to use the Pixel 4XL for the rest of the interactions on the app.
The app is generally responsive when using from the smartphone logging in the same home network. I was receiving motion alerts within milliseconds of the detection, the fastest I have experienced on any IoT device. The UI is generally easy to use, and for recorded footage, I can review either in a timeline view or as thumbnails.
Loading the footage is also very fast at home. However, when I am out of the home network and tried to access the recorded footage, it could not load successfully. Other functions like live streaming works fine.
When activating “Smart Tracking” mode, the RaptorVue cam will track moving objects and pick up all the small movements and keep the object at the centre of the frame. This results in rather excessive – albeit sensitive – camera movements. In a home environment, this can get rather annoying because while tracking the primary moving object, it might miss out other objects located outside the frame. And like other auto-tracking cameras, the Aztech WIPC680QHD is susceptible to distractions or false movements, for instance, a flying bug, or ceiling fan.
I would hoped that the “Smart Tracking” would be a little smarter. For instance, the camera should not aggressively pan-and-tilt to position the moving object at the centre of the frame. Rather, it should be “smart” to observe the movement path and then move the camera angle only when the object is almost out of the frame.