D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera

D-Link HD WiFi Baby Camera.
D-Link HD WiFi Baby Camera.

Review At A Glance
Product D-Link DCS-825L HD Wireless Cloud Baby Camera [product link]
Summary A portable HD Wireless Baby Camera that transforms your mobile device into a baby monitor. Now you will be able to keep an eye on your little one wherever you are.
Pros+ Replaces traditional baby monitors
+ 2-way communication and lullabies to sooth your baby
+ WiFi and USB-powered for instant monitoring anywhere
Cons – Does not (fully) work with Network Video Recorder
– Camera can only be added to a single mydlink account
SRP S$159.00 (at time of post)

 

New to parenting? I am. Being the geek in the family, I looked out for stuffs that (hopefully) makes parenting easier. Baby monitors happened to be one of the stuffs that I think will (supposedly) make me and my wife’s life easier by letting us know when Ariel wakes up from her nap. The D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera allows us to monitor and receive alerts on our smart devices without the need to lug along the video receivers of traditional baby monitors.

Some may argue that apartments/ houses in Singapore aren’t that big and one will be able to hear the baby cries easily. Personally, I feel that I can concentrate better on tasks without the need to periodically listen or check if the Ariel is awake. Sometimes I hear imaginary cries. So why not leverage technology to inform us when the baby is awake?

 

Technical Specifications

D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera
Resolution 1280 x 720
640 x 360
Zoom 4x Digital
Sensor & Lens 1/4" Progressive CMOS
Focal length: 3.3mm
Aperture: F2.2
Angle of View: (H)66.18°, (V) 35.9°, (D) 76.22°
Lighting Works in both Day and Night (with IR LEDs onboard)
IR lighting range is ~5m
Connectivity WiFi (802.11n)
Audio Built-in Microphone & Speakers
Power 5V 1.5A via microUSB port
Mobile Device Support iOS: 5.1.1 or higher
Android: 4.0.1 or higher
Requires mydlink Baby App
Others Temperature sensor
microSD for local recording

 

Features Overview

Intelligent Monitoring & Alerts

The settings that can be done on the D-Link WiFi Baby Camera.
The settings that can be done on the D-Link WiFi Baby Camera.

The WiFi Baby Camera is capable of monitoring its surrounding for changes in temperature, sound level and motion. You will get push notification on the mydlink Baby App when they get above the threshold that you have defined.

Babies typically sleep well when the room is well-ventilated and cool. You can set the WiFi Baby Camera to notify you when the room gets too warm or too cold for comfort.

Setting the temperature threshold for the temperature alert. If it is out of the defined zone, the circle (on top of the WiFi Baby Camera) will turn red and an alert will be sent.
Setting the temperature threshold for the temperature alert. If it is out of the defined zone, the circle (on top of the WiFi Baby Camera) will turn red and an alert will be sent.

Similarly, you can enable motion detection to notify you when the baby is awake. With the ability to define the detection area, you can exclude areas where false positives will occur (e.g. movement of overhead toys, fan, etc.). If your baby has the habit of tossing and turning during sleep, the sensitivity level for motion can be decreased. Yeap, that is how flexible the D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera is. When Event Recording is enabled, snapshots or video clips are recorded to the microSD card.

Setting the detection area to be where the baby is going to be. Any moments (above the threshold) will trigger an alert and parents will be notified.
Setting the detection area to be where the baby is going to be. Any moments (above the threshold) will trigger an alert and parents will be notified.

HD Monitoring

Screenshot from the app itself.
Screenshot from the app itself.

The WiFi Baby Camera can capture videos and snapshots up to 720p HD. When the room gets too dark for the camera to work properly, the IR LED will illuminate the area in front of it. The above picture is taken in normal lighting. Yes, I know that the baby cot is over cluttered with toys.

WiFi Connectivity

The WiFi Baby Camera is equipped with WiFi (802.11n) connectivity. It can operate regardless of whether WiFi network is present. When the WiFi infrastructure is available (e.g. home’s WiFi), it will work like a IP camera and allow you to access the video feeds over the cloud. On the other hand if WiFi infrastructure is absent, it creates its own local WiFi network and your handphone can associate to it and continue to monitor your baby using the mydlink Baby App. This feature is great for staycations or overseas trips.

USB Powered

The camera runs on 5V/ 1.5A. Don’t get what it entails? You can power the WiFi Baby Camera using a USB power bank instead of from the wall electrical socket. This is good when you need to use the camera in areas without a electrical socket.

Easy to Setup

Setting up the WiFi Baby Camera is straight forward and the entire process is guided by the mydlink Baby App. Simply download the app via the App Store or Play Store, launch it and follow the onscreen instructions. You will be monitoring your baby in no time.

 

Package Contents

D-Link HD WiFi Baby Camera.
D-Link HD WiFi Baby Camera.

The D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera comes in a box with cute pictures of babies instead of dull looking boxes of typical IP cameras.

The package contains the WiFi Baby Camera, Power Adapter. Wall Mount Kit & Desktop Base, Pink/Blue Accent Rings and Installation Guides.
The package contains the WiFi Baby Camera, Power Adapter. Wall Mount Kit & Desktop Base, Pink/Blue Accent Rings and Installation Guides.

Within the box, you will find:

  1. D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera
  2. Power Adapter
  3. Wall mounting kit
  4. Desktop base
  5. Pink and Blue accent rings
  6. Quick installation guides

A tip for those who don’t want to damage their walls for the wall mounting kit, you can try out the 3M Command Sticky Nail Sawtooth Hanger.

 

The WiFi Baby Camera

The D-Link WiFi Baby Camera just sits (snugly) on the desktop base. You can easily tilt the camera to monitor your baby.
The D-Link WiFi Baby Camera just sits (snugly) on the desktop base. You can easily tilt the camera to monitor your baby.

The D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera itself is a cute little sphere with interchangeable coloured accent rings in pink or blue. It can either sit snugly in the desktop base or attached onto the wall mounting kit.

The WiFi Baby Camera on the wall mounting kit. The ball neck allows the camera to be easily tilted to face the area that you wish to monitor.
The WiFi Baby Camera on the wall mounting kit. The ball neck allows the camera to be easily tilted to face the area that you wish to monitor.

Instead of using the desktop base, you can also use the wall mounting kit to elevate the camera off any flat surface. This setup is still relatively stable but it will topple if you tilt it too far back/ forward.

At the front of the WiFi Baby Camera, you will find the camera, infra red emitter and microphone. You can adjust the video focus via the (white) focusing ring.
At the front of the WiFi Baby Camera, you will find the camera, infra red emitter and microphone. You can adjust the video focus via the (white) focusing ring.

On the front of the camera is where the IR LED emitter, ambient light sensor, microphone and camera is located. Do adjust the focus of the camera once you have decided the location to place the WiFi Baby Camera. You don’t really need to adjust the focus unless you pixel peep.

The buttons on the top allows you quick access to lullaby (and volume) and power to the unit.
The buttons on the top allows you quick access to lullaby (and volume) and power to the unit.

Whereas, green circle means the temperature (of the surrounding) is within your defined temperature zone.
Whereas, green circle means the temperature (of the surrounding) is within your defined temperature zone.

The colour circle on top visually informs you on the surrounding temperature. Red means that it is outside the temperature zone that you have set.
The colour circle on top visually informs you on the surrounding temperature. Red means that it is outside the temperature zone that you have set.

Tilting it forward and you will find the buttons for lullaby, volume and power on top of the WiFi Baby Camera. The circle on top of the WiFi Baby Camera lights up in red or green to visually inform you if the ambient temperature is outside the defined limits.

At the back, you will find the microSD slot (left of microUSB slot), microUSB power connector, temperature sensor (yes, the antenna) and the speaker.
At the back, you will find the microSD slot (left of microUSB slot), microUSB power connector, temperature sensor (yes, the antenna) and the speaker.

Rotating it around, you will find the microSD slot, microUSB power connector, temperature sensor on the tail/antenna and speaker. Personally I find that the heat from the unit escapes from the WiFi Baby Camera and it causes the temperature sensor to measure the heated air above the unit. Not a problem if you got good airflow around the camera.

The LED statuses at the bottom of the D-Link WiFi Baby Camera keep you informed of its operation state.
The LED statuses at the bottom of the D-Link WiFi Baby Camera keep you informed of its operation state.

Flipping the camera over, you will find the LED statuses to keep you informed of the state it is in. Whether it is linked up to the cloud (via Internet) or it is in setup stage, etc.

 

Closing Thoughts

I had the D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera for close to 1.5 months now and there are some good and some bad points of this camera.

The good parts:

  • It replaces traditional baby monitors. The DCS-825L, being a basic IP camera, allows you to use any supported smart devices to view or receive alerts from it. Making it more versatile than traditional baby monitors whereby you need to use the included viewer.
  • WiFi and USB-powered. Essentially you can go cordless/ wireless with this WiFi Baby Camera. I have setup my baby cot in the middle of the bedroom and being cordless gave me the freedom to deploy the Baby Camera at one of the edge of the baby cot powered by USB power bank when baby is napping in the afternoon.
  • Lullabies. Babies love them and goes back to sleep when they hear them. Do I need to elaborate more on this?
  • 2-way communication. Baby wakes up crying, Baby hears familiar voice, Baby stops crying and goes back to sleep. Good?

Now comes the parts that can be further improve on:

  • Single mydlink account. The WiFi Baby Camera can only be added to a single mydlink account so you got to share the mydlink account with your spouse. I would prefer that I can delegate viewing rights to my spouse’s mydlink account.
  • Lack lustre ambient light detection. The ambient light detection can be further improved. Sometimes the IR LED will just get enabled in daylight and the video turns greyscale as a result. Well, I can still monitor the baby just that I prefer to see her in vivid colours if possible.
  • Heat from the unit interfering with the temperature sensor. Hot air rises, cold air sinks. Physics.  The heat from the unit interferes with the temperature sensor (on the tail) when the room fan is not moving the air around the camera. Not a major cause for concern.
  • Does not work with Network Video Recorder. Unlike typical IP cameras, you cannot link the DCS-825L with a network video recorder (e.g. Surveillance Station of Synology NAS or QNAP NAS) so you won’t be able to tap onto the motion detection of the NVR. However, you can manually add the following streams but it does not work perfectly.
    • http://<ip address>/image/jpeg.cgi
    • http://<ip address/video/mjpg.cgi
    • rstp://<ip address>:554/play1.sdp
    • rstp://<ip address>:554/play3.sdp

Conclusion?

The D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera is a great WiFi Baby Camera as it exceeded my expectation for a Baby Monitor. Although there are cheaper IP cameras alternatives but do note that they typically do not come with 2-way communication, motion and sound detection capabilities. These features are particularly useful for a baby monitor. So instead of scouting around for cheaper alternatives, just grab the D-Link DCS-825L HD WiFi Cloud Baby Camera.

 

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