Amcrest vs Foscam

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In this guide, I have directly compared four different types of Amcrest and Foscam IP cameras against each other.

These types are; small and portable indoor camera, indoor camera with pan and tilt, an outdoor bullet camera, outdoor vandal proof dome cameras and outdoor cameras with pan, tilt and optical zoom.

Each comparison contains a detailed chart, a description of a target audience and an explanation of key differences and similarities.

After these comparisons, I also provide some more in depth analysis around important common features that Amcrest and Foscam cameras both have, such as motion detection and storage.

Hopefully the analysis will stop me from repeating myself too much!

Want to know if Amcrest and Foscam are the same company? I discuss that here.

Related Post: Amcrest IP Camera Buying Guide

Amcrest IP3M HX2 vs Foscam C2 HD

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Target Audience

These smaller, ultra portable wifi security cameras are a less formal type of security camera than other types of cameras.

They are small enough and light enough to be moved quickly to different locations in the home to support different parts of family life.

I think that they are targeting home users who want to use a smart camera to develop more fun ways to interact with one another rather than a means of recording footage of any possible intruders.

These are cameras that help to bring the family closer. If everyone is out at work or at school, it is a camera that can be placed in the room where the family dog is. Everyone can keep an eye on him and using the two way audio, they can interact with them as well.

When the kids come home from school, these portable WiFi cameras can be a means that the kids use to quickly interact with Mom and Dad to let them know they are home.

Or perhaps if Mum or Dad are still at work whilst the family is eating dinner, these smart cameras can help the family all be together.

And finally, when the children go up to bed, this camera can keep a watchful eye over them whilst Mom and Dad are relaxing downstairs.

Setup and Installation

Key Differences

Related Post: Amcrest IP2M-841 vs Foscam R2

Resolution

The Amcrest model has a 3 MP lens and can record footage at a resolution of 1296p, whereas the Foscam camera has a 2MP lens and records footage at 1080p

Field of View

The Amcrest camera has a larger field of view which measures 140° whereas the Foscam camera’s field of view measures only 120°.

Night Vision

Once again the Amcrest is slightly better because it has a range of 10 meters whereas the Foscam only has a range of 8 meters.

Connection

The Amcrest IP3M can connect to both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz WiFi networks whereas the Foscam C2 can only connect to 2.4 Ghz networks.

Key Similarities

Storage

Both of these smart security cameras offer various forms of storage. Footage can be stored on Micro SD cards (these must be purchased separately), with a Cloud storage plan or onto a Network Video Recorder (NVR.)

Motion Detection and Alerts

Amcrest and Foscam both offer push notifications, email alerts and motion zones as part of the camera’s motion detection capability.

Power

The Amcrest Shield and the Foscam C2 both need access to a standard electrical socket. They do not use Power over Ethernet or batteries to power themselves.

Apps & Software

Both cameras provide free apps that work on Apple and Android powered smartphones and tablets. If it is being used on an iPhone, both IP cameras need to have version 8 or later of the iOS software.

If they are used on an Android device, the Amcrest model will need the device to be running version 3 or later, whereas the Foscam will need the device to be running 4.1 or later.

Browser Access

Both cameras can also be managed and controlled by via a browser on a laptop or desktop.

A small piece of software needs to be downloaded at first in order to establish a connection.

Pros & Cons

IP2M 841 vs Foscam R2

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Target Audience

These next two cameras will be bought by people to stay in one location for most of the time.

They are not as portable as the cameras discussed above.

The IP2M 841 and Foscam R2 are cameras which are built to be primarily used as security cameras.

Although they have features such as two way audio, these cameras are bought to monitor and protect a home as opposed to bringing a family closer together.

In fact, rather than bringing a family closer together, these cameras are purchased to protect the family and to keep them safe.

These cameras are still targeted primarily to be used in family homes or in small businesses.

Although the cameras could be mounted on a wall or ceiling they are primarily located on horizontal surfaces such as tables, worktops or shelves.

And because of that, these cameras still have an “informal air” about them, which suits a family home.

Perhaps the most striking feature of these cameras is their pan and tilt function.

And I think that it is this function that make these cameras an excellent choice to monitor larger rooms (where a fixed lens camera cannot view everything) with several areas that you want to keep an eye on.

The biggest difference between these cameras and the two cameras that were compared earlier, is that the Amcrest 841 and the Foscam R2 has a pan and tilt capability whereas the Shield and C2 cameras have fixed lenses.

Key Differences

Field of View

The R2 camera has a field of view of 110° whereas the Amcrest 841 model has a smaller field of view of 90°

Night Vision

Whilst both cameras use infrared LEDs to provide their night vision, the Amcrest has a greater range of 10 meters. The Foscam camera has a range of about 8 meters.

Key Similarities

Resolution

Both of the cameras in the chart have 2 MP fixed lenses that are capable of recording footage at a resolution of 1080p.

They have no panning and tilting capabilities and the zoom is only digital.

Power

The Amcrest and the Foscam cameras both use a power cable. They do not have any internal batteries.

PTZ

Both cameras pan (swivel) in such a way that the camera gives a 360° view. The Foscam R2 can also tilt 100°. The Amcrest camera can as well but I am not sure of its exact tilting capabilities.

Motion Detection Alerts

The Amcrest and the Foscam have the same motion detection and alert capabilities. They each provide push notifications and email alerts and both of these IP cameras can have motion zones created.

Connection

These cameras both use WiFi as a means to connect and they will only connect to routers running at 2.4 Ghz.

Apps

Both camera models have iOS and Android apps that are available to download. If it is being used on an iPhone, both of these smart cameras need to have version 8 or later of the iOS software.

If they are used on an Android device, the Amcrest model will need the device to be running version 3 or later, whereas the Foscam will need the device to be running 4.1 or later.

Both devices can also be controlled via a browser. A small but free piece of software needs to be downloaded to establish a connection.

Storage

Once again, each of these cameras offers three forms of storage;

Micro SD card
Cloud Storage
Network Video Recorder (NVR)

Pros & Cons

Installation & Setup

Troubleshooting

Amcrest IP3M-943W vs Foscam FI9900PR

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Target Audience

Bullet cameras are a great outdoor camera to buy if you want a camera that will record great footage and act as a visible deterrent.

They are a perfect solution for businesses that want security cameras that can be mounted on a wall instead of on a ceiling.

Most businesses will prioritise the security of their premises over how their premises looks. Having a few bullet cameras mounted on an outside wall will not matter to them.

I think that homeowners will think differently. Although some homeowners buy bullet cameras because they like the idea of a camera that can easily be seen, most homeowners will want the opposite.

They will want a camera that records great footage, but they will want a camera that blends in with the outside of the house, in order not to spoil how the house looks.

Most homeowners would prioritise the design and look of a house over its security.

And perhaps the homeowners who buy bullet cameras have been victims of crime and therefore to them, having a camera that acts as a visible deterrent becomes more important.

Key differences

Resolution

The Amcrest bullet camera has a 3 MP fixed lens that is capable of a resolution of 1296p. The Foscam bullet only has a 2 MP fixed lens that can shoot at a resolution of 1080p.

Field of View

The Foscam has a much larger field of view compared to the Amcrest camera. The Foscam has a field of view of 118° whereas the Amcrest only has 81°.

Night Vision

The Amcrest bullet promises a night vision range that is 10 meters greater than the Foscam bullet. 30 meters vs 20 meters.

Build Quality

Both of these cameras have the best kind of weatherproof rating available, which is an IP rating. The Amcrest bullet is 67 and the Foscam bullet is 67. The first number (6) tells us that both cameras are completely dustproof.

The second numbers (6 and 7) indicates how waterproof a product is. Essentially both products are incredibly water resistant but the Amcrest bullet is slightly more waterproof!

Audio

The Foscam has a microphone built in with an audio socket so that an external speaker can be connected to it in case you want to listen to the sounds around the camera. The Amcrest bullet has no audio capacity.

Key similarities

Apps

The apps and browser access that are available to each of these cameras are the same as the Amcrest and Foscam cameras which have been compared above.

Connection

Both cameras connect to a 2.4 Ghz WiFi network

Power

Both cameras use a 120V power supply. The Amcrest lead is 10 ft, whilst the Foscam lead is about 5 ft.

Storage

Neither of these two cameras have a micro SD card slot for storage. Instead you have access to a cloud storage plan, an NVR or FTP storage.

IP2M-851E vs FI9961EP

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Target Audience

These two vandal proof dome cameras are a perfect buy for people who want a ceiling mounted, outdoor camera.

It is also well suited to a buyer that, with its IK anti vandal rating, wants a camera that is robust enough to withstand being attacked.

Both of these cameras are also PoE (power over Ethernet)

PoE is a more flexible way of powering a device than using a power adapter because a PoE device does not require there to be an electrical socket nearby, which a device powered by an adapter does need.

PoE devices are an ideal choice for a buyer doesn’t have easy access to outside electrical sockets- a position that lots of potential buyers could be in.

Key Differences

Field of View

Yet again there is a big difference between these two figures. The Foscam Dome wins again because it has a field of view of 107° against the Amcrest Dome which only has 92°

Night Vision

Since these two dome cameras use the same night vision technology that the bullet cameras use above, the specs are the same.

The Amcrest dome has a range of 30 meters, which is 10 meters more than the Foscam dome.

Audio

The Foscam Dome has a microphone built into it and an audio socket so that an external speaker can be connected to it, whereas the Amcrest dome has no audio.

Key Similarities

Resolution

Both of these dome cameras have 2 MP lenses capable of recording footage with a resolution of 1080p.

Power/ Connection

The cameras use PoE as a means of connecting to the Internet and being powered.

Apps

These two dome cameras use the same apps with the same requirements and have the same browser access as all of the security cameras described above.

Storage

The Amcrest dome and the Foscam do have a micro SD card slot and so instead you need to choose between a cloud storage plan, NVR or FTP storage.

Build Quality

These two dome cameras have the almost the same build quality.

The Amcrest dome has a weatherproofing rating of IP67 against the Foscam Dome IP66.
Both cameras have an impact resistant rating of IK10.

Amcrest IP2M 853E vs Foscam FI9928P

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Who Should Buy These Cameras?

What makes these two outside cameras unique when compared with any other camera in this review is their optical zoom and the huge range of their night vision.

These cameras are for a business or homeowner who has a very large outside space to monitor.

Large outdoor spaces are very difficult to closely monitor because they rarely have electric sockets or good Internet connection. The two things that most smart security cameras most need in other words.

However, if your IP camera has decent optical zoom and a larger than normal night vision range, then they can be mounted on the outside of a house or office.

These cameras would ideal to provide surveillance over a car park, a field with precious animals or a very long driveway or large front yard.

Key differences

PTZ

The Amcrest cameras PTZ capabilities look fantastic. The camera can pan 360°, it can tilt through 90°. It has x12 optical zoom and x16 digital zoom to enhance the zoom even more.

The Foscam, although impressive, is no match for it unfortunately. It can pan 355°and tilt 90°. But it only has x4 optical zoom and x6 digital zoom- which seems puny compared to the Amcrest.

Power/ Connection

The Amcrest Speed Dome is connected and powered via PoE, whereas the Foscam connects via WiFi to 2.4 Ghz networks.

If you are interested in looking at other security cameras which are powered by power over Ethernet, then check out this post.

Night Vision

The Amcrest camera has a night vision range of 100 meters, whereas the Foscam camera has a range of only 60 meters

Audio

As with the other outdoor cameras, the Amcrest does not have any audio whereas the Foscam does.

Key Similarities

Resolution

Both of these cameras have a 2 MP fixed lens that provides 1080p resolution.

Motion Detection and Alerts

Storage

Build Quality

Common Features

Storage

All of the Amcrest and Foscam cameras in this comparison offer at least three forms of storage; micro SD card, cloud storage and Network Video Recorder (NVR.)

Micro SD Card

Amcrest & Foscam

If you want to use a micro SD card, then you need to purchase one separately.

It is difficult to work out what the maximum capacity of micro SD that each Amcrest or Foscam camera has.

This is because, this detail is sometimes missing on individual camera specification and because in some of the forums people are using micro SD cards with a higher than recommended capacity.

Cloud Storage

I have written a very detailed guide to the Amcrest Cloud Storage plans, which you can read here (link to cloud storage comparison.)

However, to summarise the main details…Amcrest has six different storage plans.

These plan range from a 4 hour storage plan (which is free) to a 90 day storage plan which costs $27.50 per camera per month.
Amcrest charge per camera per month- there are no details of discounts for users who want to pay annually.

Foscam

Foscam cloud storage plans are much simpler. They have two paid plans and a 30 day free trial.

The two paid plans are for 7 day storage (costing $4.99 per month or $49.90 per year) and 30 day storage (costing $12.99 per month or $129.99 per year.)

Network Video Recorder

Amcrest and Foscam

An NVR looks just like a TV box.

Inside it contains a hard drive (much like any laptop or desktop.)

However, instead of connecting to a TV, an NVR connects to a computer network via an Ethernet cable.

Because of this connection, any IP or WiFi camera that is connected to the network can also be connected to the NVR.

Instead of recording and storing TV programmes, an NVR records footage from connected security cameras.

There are two important ways that NVRs differ from one another. Firstly by the capacity of the internal hard drive.

Secondly by the number of cameras that can connect to it, which is described in terms of channels.

So for instance, an 8 channel NVR is capable of having up to 8 cameras connected to it.

NVRs come in 4, 8, 16 or 32 channel versions.

Motion Detection and Alerts

The best way to set up these motion detection features is to use web UI for both sets of cameras.

The Amcrest and the Foscam camera have very similar motion detection features and I think that there are 5 main ones.

Motion Zones

These are specific areas within a cameras field of view that can created and monitored separately for motion.

Scheduling

Using a calendar showing a 7 day, 24 hour view, you can decide when you want motion detection on or off.

This is a useful feature for those people who only want motion detection “on” when they are at work.

Sensitivity

This option allows you to choose how sensitive the detection capabilities should be. If you set the sensitivity levels to high, you will have more alerts than if you set them to low.

An important factor in the selection of these settings is the individual location of the camera.

Length of video

This option allows you to choose the duration of the video clips that are taken after motion is detected.

For Amcrest cameras, the maximum length of clip is ten minutes.

I could not find any details for the Foscam cameras.

Send Email

As well as receiving a push notification via the app on your phone, you can have an email sent to you when motion is detected.

Apps and Software

Foscam App

The Foscam app is available to download for your iPhone and iPad here. Your phone will need to be running iOS 8 or later.

For your Android devices, get it here. Your device will need to be running Android 4.1 or later.

Don’t confuse the latest app (see the icon) for the out of date “Foscam Viewer”.

Below I have posted a video walkthrough of the app, which highlights it’s main features.

In case you don’t want to watch the video, I have listed some of the main features.

There are five key items; adding cameras, viewing photos and videos, My Plan (which shows your cloud storage plans) and support.

The homepage of the Foscam app lists all of your cameras.

Tap on one to see a live view. From here you have a large range of functions available.

These include; audio, pan and tilt, taking a snapshot and controlling night vision settings

This looks to be a very good looking, well organised and easy to use app.

Foscam Browser Access

Not only can you interact with your Foscam camera via an app for your smartphone but you can also access your cameras via your browser.

This is fantastic because it provides terrific access that for those of us who spend more time on laptop or desktop computers than we do on our phones.

You can access your Foscam camera from a windows PC or a Mac.

Step 1: Turn your Foscam camera on and connect it to your router with an Ethernet cable.

Step 2: Install the Foscam Search Tool.

This is a small piece of software that finds and creates a connection between your computer and your camera.
The software is include in a CD that came with your camera but if you can’t find the CD, don’t worry.

If you are using a Windows machine, download it from here.

Or if you are using a Mac, find it here.

Step 3: Load the software and copy the address from your camera over to your browser.

Step 4: A login page should be displayed.

Step 5: Download and install the plugin.

There should be a message on the page about a missing plugin. Click on the link to download it. Then install it. Refresh the page.

Step 6: Login.

The default username is admin and password is admin.

Click on enter and you should see a live view of your page.

Look at a video I have added below which will give you a 4 minute tour of all the features of the Foscam UI.

The video much longer than four minutes but I have set it to start at the beginning of the tour…

Amcrest App

The Amcrest app for your smartphones is called Amcrest View Pro.

Get it for your iPhone here. Your phone will need to be running iOS 8 or later.

Or for your Android phone, here. Your device will need to be running at least Android 3.

I have posted a video walkthrough of the Amcrest View Pro App which demonstrates the key features.

Some of the key features available in the menu, include; Live View, Playback, Saved files and cloud storage.

From the live view for each camera, the most important controls you have are; audio, pan and tilt, screen rotation, video recording and turning night vision on or off.

Amcrest Web Interface

Just like Foscam cameras, Amcrest IP cameras can be accessed on your laptop or desktop, via a browser.

Just watch the video below in order to find out how.

How to Add a Foscam Camera

The easiest way to add a setup and install a Foscam is to use the Foscam app on your smartphone.

Before you start make sure that your phone; has the Foscam app installed, is connected to your WiFi network and that you have created a Foscam Cloud account (which is free.)

Watch this video which uses the latest Foscam app to find out how.

Step 1: Turn your camera on and wait for it to initialize.

Step 2: Open your Foscam app

Step 3: Login to Foscam Cloud account.

Step 4: At the bottom of the screen, tap on the “+” sign.

Step 5: Scan the QR code at the bottom of your camera.

Step 6: Choose between Reticle (Ethernet) or WiFi as a way to set up your camera.

WiFi

The WiFi network that you are connected to will be displayed automatically. Type in your password.

Step 7: Wait as your camera connects to your WiFi.

Step 8: Your camera is connected. A live view of your camera appears.

Step 9: Change your username and password. It is best to do this for to make sure that your camera stays secure.

How to add an Amcrest Camera

The easiest way to add a setup and install an Amcrest camera is to use the Amcrest app on your smartphone.

The video below shows you how to do this step by step.

Before you start, make sure that you have the Amcrest View Pro installed on your phone and make sure that your phone is connected to your WiFi network.

Step 1: Turn on your Amcrest camera and wait for it to start up and initialise.

Step 2. Open the Amcrest app and in the top left hand corner, tap the burger menu (3 horizontal lines)

Step 3: Tap on Device Manager

Step 4: In the top right hand corner, tap on the “+” sign.

Step 5: Now tap on WiFi configuration.

Step 6: Create a name for your camera.

Step 7: Tap on the icon next to serial number and scan the QR code at the bottom of the camera.

Step 8: Click on next

Step 9: Add your WiFi network’s password.

Step 10: Click on next.

Step 11: Wait for the camera to connect.

Step 12: A “connected successfully” message appears

Step 13: Click on Live Preview in order to connect to your camera.

Just what is the relationship between Foscam and Amcrest?

The simple answer to this is that Foscam and Amcrest are not the same company.

Foscam is the US trading arm of a Chinese company, Shenzhen Foscam Intelligent Technology Company.

The Chinese company was founded in 2007.

In 2009, Foscam was created to sell Shenzhen’s products in the U.S.

But in 2016, the person behind the creation of Foscam (Adam Ravat) had a dispute with Shenzhen over reselling rights in the USA.

Mr Ravat wanted to have more control of the products that he was re- selling and so he left Foscam and founded Amcrest.

Amcrest is linked with another Chinese electronics manufacturer (Dahua) and sells their products throughout the US and Europe.