- Good build quality
- Modern design
- High view angle
- Wide compatibility range
- Complete accessories in the box
- Thermal and motion sensing
- Reliance on DVR quality
- Not a standalone device
Camera-based surveillance is one of the cornerstones of home security. They work both as a deterrent and as well as a reliable tool for prosecution and defense. We will be looking at this camera from different perspectives to create a full accounting of its capabilities and effectiveness for the average consumer.
Other than that, in our detailed review below we look at more technical details regarding this camera, including ease of installation, feature set, and, because no product is perfect when it comes to home security, any potential issues that the end-user will face when using this product.
Swann Bullet Camera Detailed Review
Design and Features
The Swann Bullet Camera visual design and features can be called a modernized classic. When you look at the unit on the shelves, or after it is installed, it looks like a standard security camera that came from the set of a modern science fiction movie. The design is a contemporary take on the security camera which works both on the aesthetic as well as security fronts. An obvious security camera often deters would-be thieves from attempting to enter and area.
A quick look at its face also reveals that this security product from Swann can do a lot more than your regular old security camera. The front of the camera shows its wide-angle lens and the highly capable sensor array that contains its PIR motion sensor.
The black and white color scheme is a great match for almost any type of wall or ceiling application. The circular base is also great for matching the design concept of the wall no matter what angle you want to aim the camera at.
Setup and Usage
This camera is easy to install and setup, especially as part of a broader Swann security system installation. It can easily mount to a variety of surfaces using the included mounting screws and plugs. Everything that is required to install the camera is included in the package. The cables, screws, plugs, power adapter, and even stickers that come with the camera are designed to match and complement the camera.
The position of the base itself makes it easy to access during installation and can be conveniently done DIY. Cross compatibility with a variety of Swann DVRs makes it an easy addition to existing systems, as well as a good option for expanding the packages that are already available. Set up is quick if you are already familiar with the Swanns’ DVR system.
When you playback the video taken by this Swann bullet camera, you will be able to see what is happening with quite a lot of detail and accuracy. This is helped by the high-resolution 1080p video with a functional resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. If you have heard of this before, this is because a lot of modern content, including movies, are displayed in this format!
Another great but under-appreciated feature of this camera is the 90-degree viewing angle. Many other cameras on the market have wider viewing angles than this camera from Swann. However, most consumers do not know that larger fields of view can cause warping of the image in some areas of the video. As a result, details are lost or stretched to the point of being useless. The 90-degree angle is a perfect balance between seeing enough of an area with the quality of the video image produced.
Finally, videos taken in darkness during the evenings are very high quality. With this, you are allowed to see details of objects and persons with ease. The viewing distance of the camera, 30 meters / 100 feet, makes it ideal for covering large areas during the evening. With effective triggering from the PIR, this makes it quite effective at producing useful images during the nighttime.
Another plus about this item is the fact that Swann is known for their highly competent movement detection technology. The way the apply PIR technology helps detect the movement of warm objects and including people and cars. The applications that use the camera can send notifications to the end-user to alert them of detected movement so they can react appropriately. We found that the system was effective in detecting people and vehicles crossing the camera’s viewing angle, and that the false detections were not a problem.
The effectiveness of the motion detection capability of this camera lies upon clever use of the PIR or passive infrared sensor on the front of the camera. If you look at the camera’s face, you will see this sensor under the camera lens. The PIR is both a thermal and a motion sensor with an outstanding range of about 10m, much more than sensors on other cameras.
Unlike solutions that require complicated data plans and storage schemes, Swann’s bullet camera can be paired with the efficient storage options included with their own DVR lines. Cross compatibility with many DVR models means that the user can select the storage option that would be more economical or appropriate to their needs. It can also offer peace of mind to those who don’t want to put their sensitive data on the web. Swann DVR devices are known for their reliability and cost-effectiveness and they work well with this bullet camera.
You can also make use of the mobile app for accessing additional options for storage and online backup capability. The app can be connected to other online storage devices, or even to store the videos captured by the camera on the device itself. Playing back from the local storage on the DVR is also possible, which makes it a great option for those who do not wish to store their security videos in the cloud.
Smart Home Compatibility
Although the device itself is not directly controlled by Smart home devices, use of a Swann DVR or security system that is compatible with Smart Home Technology will allow you to use the camera with smart home applications. The full capabilities accessible via these applications will vary according to the DVR you connect the camera to.
You can monitor your security system remotely by using Swann’s HomeSafe View app. You can add the DVR via the AR code on it or its unique device id. This way, your security system is as secure as your home’s physical access. With the app, you can select which camera you wish to use and you can remotely view the live situation covered by the camera or playback videos recorded by that camera. This app also controls the notifications generated by the True Detect detection technology on the camera.
You can get the apps here:
Can you use this camera with any DVR?
The Swann Bullet Camera is only compatible with specific models in Swann’s DVR product line. To make sure that your DVR will work with the camera, it is best to check with the device compatibility list on Swanns’ website, as well as on the camera’s documentation.
Can you access the camera remotely?
With the appropriate and compatible DVR, you may use the HomeSafe View app to access the camera as well as the recorded videos. Live video quality will however be affected by the speed of internet access of your mobile device, as well as the internet speed you have at home. Low internet speeds might prevent you from getting the full quality of the images from the device.
Can you install this camera yourself?
The camera comes with all the accessories you will need to install and add it to an existing and compatible DVR system. Basic tools and a working platform, like a ladder, is all you will need to install this camera.
The Swann bullet camera is a great option for those who are already using a compatible DVR. It is an inexpensive unit that extends the capability of your security system and provides additional coverage while being easy to install. However, to fully be able to take advantage of this camera, you need to use it with a good DVR, as a low-end unit will not be adequate enough for the more advanced and effective capabilities of the camera.