D-Link has never been friendly when it comes to integrating their cameras with other smart home gadgets. An isolated strategy didn’t get them very far, and D-Link knows it. So now, they are changing direction by offering an IFTTT-compatible camera, the DCS-8200LH. Will this change in strategy work for them?
D-Link DCS-8200LH Image & Video Quality
DCS-8200LH is a decent HD camera with 720p resolution, 8x digital zoom, and a maximum framerate of 30fps. Although its highest resolution is 720p, you can downgrade to 800x600, 720x480, 640x480, or 320x260. If you’re planning to use the camera for home security, I suggest setting it to a resolution no lower than 800x600. This setting will improve your chances of capturing a clear image of whatever it is you are trying to record.
The camera offers both IR LEDs and an IR-cut filter. The IR-cut filter is activated during the day to avoid color distortions caused by Infrared light. At night, it is turned off to increase the camera’s light sensitivity, allowing it to see in the dark. Night vision is backed by two automatic IR LEDs, which increases its ability to see objects in the dark up to 16 feet away. While this distance may sound impressive, this is sub-standard when compared to cameras like the iPROBOT 3, Canary, and even iSmart Keep, which all allow for night vision up to and beyond 25 feet.
The DCS-8200HL boasts an 180° field of view, allowing you to see an entire room within one frame. This is certainly an impressive range, one offered by cameras that sell for twice the amount of the DCS-8200HL. The wide-angle lens is coupled with dewarping technology, which gets rid of the distortion caused by the camera’s wide-angle view, otherwise known as the fisheye effect.
DCS-8200HL Software Behavior and Home Automation
Unlike other D-Link Wi-Fi cameras, which use the mydlink Lite app, the DCS-8200HL uses the mydlink Home app that is available to Android and iOS users. Unfortunately, the app is rated 2.5 stars on Google Play and 1 star on iTunes, not exactly confidence inspiring.
The mydlink Home app works with all D-Link devices that fall under the home automation category. It integrates the DCS-8200LH with other D-Link smart home accessories, like motion sensors, smart plugs, window sensors, and sirens. It allows you to create rules to make your devices interact with each other. For instance, you can create a rule that triggers the camera to start recording when a certain window is opened.
DCS-8200LH also integrates with other automation brands and services via IFTTT. Through IFTTT, you can create rules to automate actions based on trigger events. For example, you can create a rule that when motion is detected by your camera, your Scout Alarm siren will sound. SmartThings, Nest Cam, Netatmo Welcome, and Piper are some of many IFTTT-compatible brands.
Currently, D-Link doesn’t offer cloud storage for the DCS-8200LH, but you can store videos locally to a microSD/SDXC card (up to 128GB). You have the option to record continuous videos or short event clips. If you run out of space, the camera deletes your oldest videos to make way for new ones. Also, it compresses all videos using H.264 and MJPEG simultaneously, so you get the most out of your available storage.
While there is no data on what IFTTT channels will work with the 8200LH yet, it is possible that IFTTT will open up other storage possibilities. There are IFTTT channels for Google Drive and Dropbox, which are certainly capable of providing video storage.
DCS-8200LH For Home Security
DCS-8200LH comes equipped with a sound sensor and a motion sensor. Both sensors work together to help you prevent an intrusion by sending you push alerts when an event is detected. The sensors can also prompt the camera to start recording a short clip of the event. However, you must make sure NOT to place the camera where it is easy to spot, or the intruder might grab it and leave you with nothing to show the police.
You can also enhance your security by integrating DCS-8200LH with other devices through IFTTT or the mydlink Home app. For instance, you can make your lights automatically turn on when motion or sound is detected. Better yet, you can make your siren sound when the camera detects an event.
A Quick Summary
In short, D-Link DCS-8200LH is an HD camera with night vision, 180° field of view, motion sensor, and sound sensor. It has a lot in common with DCS-2630L, except it has a slightly lower resolution, works with D-Link’s smart home accessories, and is IFTTT-compatible.
The DCS-8200LH is missing two-way audio, a strong night vision range, and automatic disarm, but the price is right. The camera sells for $139.99.
Creating an IFTTT-compatible camera was just the start for D-Link. After Apple’s HomeKit announcement at WWDC, D-Link committed to supporting HomeKit via their Omna 180 security camera. Through the HomeKit integration, you can control the camera using your Home App and Siri. You can also pair it with other HomeKit-enabled devices. The camera sells for $199.95.