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Kodak’s Inexpensive and Connected HD Security Camera

You may have already heard of Nest Cam, Arlo, or other big names in the industry of network cameras. But today we’re going to shine the spotlight on a camera made by a company who pioneered digital imaging — Kodak.

Kodak was established more than a century ago and has left a mark on the industry of photography, digital printing, and imaging. Ever had a Kodak moment? However nostalgic that might make you, Kodak’s sales have been declining bringing them close to bankruptcy. Kodak has survived. And now they've managed to start a new family of network cameras aimed at home security. Earlier this month, the latest and most advanced camera in its family of products was announced, the CFH-V20.

Before we review CFH-V20, let’s take a quick look at the other two home security cameras from Kodak. The CFH-V10 was the first to be released. V10 records and streams HD (720p) videos with the help of its 2MP 1/3 inch CMOS Sensor. It has a field of view of 77⁰ (horizontally) and 56⁰ (vertically). It has features such as motion triggered mobile notifications, 2-way voice, and night vision. It can serve as a Wi-Fi extender to other cameras and it can be accessed via web app or the mobile app iSecurity+. iSecurity+ has an IFTTT channel, which means Kodak’s CFH cameras can be integrated with other products and apps compatible with IFTTT.

v15 CFH-V15 looks quite different from the V10 but that’s only because it has the ability to pan-and-tilt. This ability can be controlled from the mobile app. Besides that, all CFH-V15's features and specs are similar to the V10.

So how is V20 different from the previous two Kodak security cameras? And how does it compare to other cameras in its league?

Improved Features

V20 records and streams 720p videos, sends motion alerts, has night vision, and has a 2-way talk feature. However, it has upgraded image sensor technology. It has a 3.15 megapixel (the others had 2MP) 1/3 inch CMOS sensor. A similar image sensor is used in Nest Cam though Nest Cam has a higher 1080p resolution.

V20 has a wider field of view compared to previous Kodak security cameras. It has a horizontal FOV of 180⁰ (the others had 77⁰) and vertical FOV of 100⁰ (the others had 56⁰).

Also, V20 is USB compatible so you can draw power from standard USB battery packs. Besides that, you can also detach it from the base. This design allows you to bring V20 anywhere you wander so long as Wi-Fi is within range.

Unlike the other two, V20 offers WDR (Wide Dynamic Range). What is WDR? Basically, having WDR allows V20 to capture the whole frame in detail even when both dark and bright areas are present.

How V20 Compares

V20 sells for $110 on Amazon. It's priced close to Arcsoft’s Simplicam, D-Link’s Pan and Tilt camera, and Belkin’s Netcam. What makes V20 appealing is its free 24-hour cloud storage. Simplicam charges $5 on any cloud service. Belkin offers a 30-day free trial after which a premium subscription will be required. D-Link offers private cloud service only, wherein the server will be at your home.

If you want a more flexible cloud offering, you can sign up for premium cloud which costs $3, $5, or $20 a month. The $2.99 subscription gives you Smart Detection plus 24-hour cloud storage. Smart Detection will make motion detection smarter. It has the ability to filter movements that are from actual people versus something like a tree. The $9.99 subscription offers 14 days of cloud storage plus Smart Detection and the $19.99 subscription offers 30 days of cloud storage and Smart Detection.

Another appealing feature of Kodak's security camera is its ability to integrate with IFTTT (If-This-Then-That) through its iSecurity+ channel. With this, you can get V20 to work with Nest, WeMo, and other home automation devices compatible with IFTTT.

Though its 720p resolution is a notch lower than 1080p from Nest Cam, Piper, and Netatmo those same cameras are also priced at least $50 higher than the V20. From a price-value standpoint, it seems like the CFH-V20 is worth taking home. Its features and upgraded CMOS sensor make this security camera a good value.

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