Finding a good outdoor security camera is hard. A lot of times, you end up sacrificing video quality, looks, functionality, or all of the above. But as technology progresses, we’re finding more viable options. One such option is Netatmo Presence.
Netatmo Presence is an outdoor security camera that doubles as a floodlight. It's similar to Kuna and Ring's recently launched Floodlight Cam. In theory, a camera that doubles as a smart light sounds amazing, but is it enough to protect your home?
Netatmo Presence Image and Video Quality
Presence can stream live footage to your phone. During the day, the camera streams FHD 1080p videos. At night, you can choose between the dimmable LED floodlight or Infrared LED lights for night vision. If you choose the floodlight, at night your videos will be in color, albeit the range of view is shorter. If you choose to go with the IR LEDs, you'll get a better night vision range (up to 50 feet), but the image will turn to a crisp black and white.
One minor drawback to Presence is the field of view. The 100° viewing angle is small compared to other solutions. However, if the camera is placed strategically, you can still protect a semi-sizable area.
- FHD 1080p
- LED Floodlight or IR LEDs for night vision.
- 50 ft. night vision range with IR
- 100° viewing angle
- Motion Sensor (65 foot Detection Radius)
- Night Vision (50 foot View)
- 100 Degree Field of View
- Digital Zoom
- Flood Light
- 1920x1080p HD Video
- Live Streaming From the App
- Motion Event Recording (SD card or FTP Server)
- Alert Zones
- Push Notifications
- Recognition of Car vs. Person vs. Animal
- Bank-Level Encryption
- Camera purchase includes mounting kit and 8gb SD card
Presence To Enhance Home Security
Presence has three major security features. One, it notifies you if motion is detected. Two, it records live videos of events. And three, it turns on the floodlight when motion is detected. It also has other "smart" features that can further enhance your home's security.
Presence's motion sensor is customizable. Its maximum motion detection range is 65 feet. This means, in theory, all motion within a 65-foot range will be detected. If you've used outdoor cameras before, you'll know that this isn't necessarily a good thing, mainly because of the number of false alarms this could cause. Presence allows you to reduce the detection range as needed. If you're property only extends 30 feet from where you've placed the Presence device, you can limit the detection range to 30 feet. Also, you can set detection zones. If you want Presence to detect motion within a particular zone, let's say, your porch, creating a detection zone is the way to go.
Besides customization, Presence is equipped with software that lets the camera distinguish people from animals and cars. You can set Presence to notify you only if it sees people, people and cars, cars and animals, or any combination you want. You can even tell Presence whether or not the light should turn on if it sees people, animal, or cars. This feature also improves motion alerts. Presence sends push alerts tagged people, animals, or cars, depending on what it sees.
Frankly, we haven't tested Presence hands-on. But we did write a hands-on review of its indoor counterpart, Netatmo Welcome. While Welcome has the added feature of face recognition, the ability to tell who it sees and not just that it sees a who, Presence's feature should be sufficient enough. Thankfully, after testing Welcome for well over a year, we've never been confused with an animal. My biggest concern, however, is Presence's ability to detect people at night. Welcome struggles with doing so in low-light conditions, which makes me wonder if Presence can do any better.
Another security-enhancing feature is the time-lapse feature. After a long day, Presence won't make you search through all the recorded event clips. Instead, it compiles a day's worth of clips into a time-lapse video highlighting the day's most important events.
Finally, you can take advantage of the remote light activation feature while live streaming via the Netatmo Security iOS app, Android app, or browser app, the same app used to monitor Netatmo Welcome. This feature can be used to deter intruders in real time.
- Motion alerts
- Motion-based recordings
- Motion-triggered floodlight
- People, object, and car detection
- Customizable range and detection zones
Video Storage and Monthly Fees
Another feature that makes Presence stand out is multiple video storage options. If you've been researching security cameras, you're probably aware that most brands require that you pay a monthly fee for cloud storage or even premium features. With Presence, you don't have to worry about monthly fees. All the features above are included if you buy a Presence camera. And for storage, you can choose between local and cloud.
For local storage, videos are stored on the 8GB Class 10 microSD card (you can use a memory card with up to 32GB of space) that is included with the package.
For cloud storage, you're free to choose between your own FTP servers or Dropbox. If you plan on using an FTP server, make sure that you choose a secure server. It's a fair warning as not all of them are secure.
- MicroSD Card included free
- Send videos to FTP server
- Lacks in-house cloud service
Working With Others
What makes modern security cameras even smarter is the ability to integrate, and Presence is not to be left behind.
Presence integrates with other Netatmo Security products via the Netatmo Security app. It doesn't do anything with Welcome, Tags, Siren, or the new Smoke Alarm, but being able to monitor the indoor and outdoor spaces of your home using one app is nice.
If you're looking for more interesting integrations, the Netatmo Security app also works with IFTTT. IFTTT allows you to integrate Presence with over a hundred different devices and apps. Using IFTTT's Applets, you can make Presence trigger lights, garage door controllers, security systems, and more.
Finally, Presence will soon work with HomeKit, Apple's home automation platform. The integration will launch through a firmware update. With HomeKit compatibility, you'll be able to monitor the camera using the Home app on your iOS devices and control your cameras with your voice via Siri. If you want to learn more about how HomeKit works with security cameras, head here.
- Netatmo Security App
- IFTTT and HomeKit
Drawbacks To Netatmo Presence
Presence is designed for outdoor use. It even conforms to HZO protection standards, which means it's waterproof, dustproof, and weatherproof. While this is a good thing, Presence might cause a couple of installation woes.
First, Presence requires a hardwired setup. You literally have to take down one of your outdoor light fixtures and use its existing wiring to power Presence. That is, unless you're willing to hire an electrician to layout new wires for your camera, which is, believe me, too much trouble just to install an outdoor camera. That said, Presence isn't the type of camera you can "install wherever you want".
Second, not everyone has a strong Wi-Fi signal outdoors. If your signal isn't strong enough, it might affect Presence's functionality. How about running an Ethernet cord from your router to Presence? Sorry, you can't. Presence doesn't have an Ethernet port.
Presence has all of the right features to enhance your home security. But is it the best option? I won't go so far as to call it the best solution, but it's certainly up there with other high performing outdoor cameras. It offers a unique solution = a smart light + smart camera combo, that not many cameras can compete with. However, if you decide to get a Presence camera, be prepared to do a harder-than-usual outdoor camera installation. Also, be prepared to pay a higher-than-usual price.
Presence can be purchased on Amazon.com (Check latest price)