The Amcrest IP2M-841 and Foscam R2 are two security cameras that have many similarities.
In this post I compare these two cameras in lots of different ways.
In order to make it easier, I have created lots of different charts and each chart has a description.
Where appropriate, I have added a “verdict” section in with the descriptions. These sections contain feedback from other owners of these cameras.
To start, I have created a chart that compares the ways in which these cameras are similar and different.
Related Post: Amcrest IP Camera Buyer’s Guide
Similarities and Differences
The two WiFi cameras in this comparison have the same;
Resolution, PTZ, storage options, motion detection features and power.
They are different in their;
Dimensions, night vision capabilities and field of view.
So let’s have a look at these two smart security cameras in more details
These two cameras come in a black version or a white version.
Both cameras look very stylish with their smart curves and sleek lines.
The black version for both of these cameras is totally black, apart from the company logo that appears at the bottom of the front of the camera in white.
The rest of these two cameras are black. Mostly a matt black is a matt black apart from a circle around the lens which is black gloss.
The white versions of these cameras are totally white apart from the company logo which appears at the bottom of the front side, written in black and the glossy black circle around the lens.
The Foscam is a more compact camera. Standing at a height of nearly 6 inches (5.9”) and only 4.5 inches wide, this camera is smaller than the Amcrest model.
The IP2M 841 in contrast is nearly 8 inches tall (7.8”) and nearly six inches wide (5.8”.)
And so if you are looking for a smart security camera that is easier to hide then you might want to opt for the R2!.
Looking at the back of the the IP2M-841, at the bottom we see various ports and sockets.
There is a socket for the power supply, audio input and output ports, micro SD card ports, connections for an external alarm and an Ethernet port.
At the top of the camera at the back is the speaker
The rear of the R2 is a bit different.
Like the Amcrest, it has its speaker at the back but in the midway between the top and bottom of the camera.
At the bottom, there is a socket for the power supply, an Ethernet socket and an antenna- to connect to your WiFi.
That is why the R2 is not as wide as its Amcrest rival because it doesn’t have as many sockets or ports.
Some people find the antenna a bit of a turn of in terms of how it makes the camera look. I personally don’t mind it because it is at the rear of the camera.
It is hidden from view and if it provides a better connection to your WiFi, then I don’t think there is too much of an issue.
A final interesting point to draw your attention to is that the Foscam camera was launched eight months later than the Amcrest.
Foscam R2 Setup and Installation
Watch the video below, which will guide you through setting up the R2 using the Foscam app.
Before you start, make sure that you have;
- Installed the Foscam app on your phone
- Connected your phone to the same WiFi network that the camera will be using.
- Create a free Foscam Cloud account.
There are 9 steps to this process, which should only take you a few minutes.
Amcrest IP2M- 841 setup and installation
This video will show you how to install your new Amcrest camera using the Amcrest app.
Before you start, make sure that you have the Amcrest app installed and that your phone is connected to the same WiFi network that your new camera will use.
There are 13 steps to follow but it should only take you a few minutes.
Both cameras use infrared Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to deliver their night vision capacity.
The Amcrest camera has 12 LEDs and promises a range of 32 feet or 10 meters, whilst the Foscam uses 13 LEDs and promises a bit less- 26 feet or 8 meters.
In practice, the night vision capabilities of the Amcrest and the Foscam are excellent. The overwhelming majority of users are really impressed by the quality of the image, even in total darkness.
Both of the WiFi cameras in this comparison offer a range of motion detection features; motion zones, push alerts and email alerts.
A motion zone is a separate area within the camera’s field of view that you want to monitor specifically.
With the Amcrest camera, the user can create up to 4 different motion zones. And each zone has its own adjustable sensitivity levels, so that you can decide how often you want to be alerted.
The Foscam R2 allows a user to set up 3 motion zones.
In real life, the motion detection capabilities of the IP2M-841 are more highly rated than the R2. Users particularly like receiving motion detection snapshots via email.
Neither of the two cameras in this comparison has a siren built in.
But, the Amcrest does allow you to connect an external alarm to it via some connections on the rear of the camera.
However, the Foscam doesn’t have this feature.
Some of the top smart cameras on the market, such as the Nest Cam or Amazon’s cloud Cam, offer person or human detection if you subscribe to their cloud storage service.
Person detection will alert you when a person is “filmed” by your camera.
The Amcrest does not have this facility but the Foscam R2 does and it can be accessed for free by connecting with your Foscam via the browser.
Foscam R2 users are undecided about human detection. Lots of people really like this feature and think it works well but others don’t think that it works very well at all.
What is interesting is that in the updated version of the R2 (R4), this feature is not included. Also, for other best selling smart security cameras, person detection is only available via a cloud storage subscription.
Continuous Video Recording
Another more advanced and new feature that is being offered by smart security camera companies as part of their cloud storage service is Continuous Video Recording or CVR.
This allows a smart camera to record footage constantly, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Camera companies such as Arlo, SmartCam and YI offer this facility.
However, neither Amcrest or Foscam offer this feature.
Both cameras have a maximum resolution of 1080p.
The R2 1080p resolution is at a twenty five frames per second (fps) whereas the Amcrest’s 1080p is at thirty fps.
Users of both the Amcrest camera and the Foscam are very, very impressed by the picture quality.
Even people who gave very critical feedback for both cameras, frequently praised the picture quality!
Field of View
The Foscam R2 has a field of vision of 110°, whereas the Amcrest only offers 90°.
The Amcrests field of view is a bit disappointing. It is a bit narrow and restricted.
In contrast, the Foscam’s field of view is absolutely brilliant. It is very wide and the images are clear.
Both cameras through their PTZ capabilities, offer a 360° view.
The Foscam pans through 350° and can move vertically 100°. It offers a x8 digital zoom.
I am not sure about the exact pan, tilt and digital zoom capabilities of the Amcrest model.
This is perhaps the biggest stand out feature of these cameras and it doesn’t disappoint for either camera. Many users love this feature and once again, even critics of these cameras, liked the PTZ.
2 Way Audio
Both cameras have a built in speaker and microphone.
A person who is standing close to an Amcrest or a Foscam security camera can have a conversation with another person who is connecting to the camera via the Amcrest or Foscam app.
Many users of both cameras are unimpressed with the 2 way audio. It seems that the sound quality that is heard via the app is poor.
Both cameras offer live streaming.
Live streaming is when a user can connect to their camera via the app or browser and view the live footage.
Overall owners of the IP2M 841 were disappointed by this feature. Much of this is because if you connect to your via a browser, then live view does not work in Google Chrome.
Owners of the Foscam R2 on the other hand think that the live feature is great. The connection is quick and reliable and the quality of the footage is very high and does not lag.
Power and Storage
The IP2M-841 and the R2 are powered by a standard AC power supply.
The leads for both cameras are about 4 foot long, which means that they need to be positioned quite close to an electric socket!
They cannot be powered in any way by batteries.
Amcrest offer three paid plans (7, 14 or 30 day plan) and a 4 hour free plan.
Foscam offer two paid plans (7 and 30 day plan) and a 30 day free trial.
Micro SD card
If you are more comfortable using local storage then both cameras offer micro SD card storage.
The slot on the Amcrest is at the base of the camera, just under the audio sockets.
For the Foscam the card slot is at the side of the camera.
The maximum size micro SD card should be 64 GB for both cameras but there are people who are successfully using cards with higher capacities than that.
Many Amcrest and Foscam camera users are frustrated by the micro SD card system.
A lot of this has to do with the poor quality of written instructions that comes with each camera.
But, this video, walks you step by step through setting up a micro SD to use with the Amcrest IP2M 841.
And this video shows you how to use a micro SD card in the Foscam R2.
Network Video Recorder (NVR)
Another form of storage that both cameras are compatible with, is NVRs.
And this form of storage is most likely to be used in businesses.
The IP2M 841 and the R2 connect directly to a router via a 2.4 Ghz WiFi network or an Ethernet cable- it just depends on the location of your camera in relation to your router.
Neither of them connects to a base station (such as the Arlo Pro) or to other smart hubs such as Wink or SmartThings.
Neither camera uses bluetooth as a form of connection.
Although there are some IP2M and R2 users who could not get their cameras to connect and stay connected to their WiFi or home router, most users found it very easy to connect to their cameras and stay connected.
Design and Warranty
Neither of these cameras has been built to be used outside- they are not weatherproof. They are to only be used indoors.
Both cameras come with a standard 1 year warranty.
Amcrest provide their customers with lots of different forms of support. These include; live chat, email and telephone support. They also have lots of video tutorials and a YouTube channel.
Foscam offer everything that Amcrest do, but they do not have Live Chat support. Foscam’s YouTube channel is here. It is not as large as the Amcrest channel.
Customer service is a huge topic of debate in any area of technology. Although there are horror stories of users who have received very bad service from either Amcrest or Foscam, many more users say how good they have found customer service to be.
An area in which both cameras in this comparison are weak in, is home automation. Neither of these cameras are compatible with any of the biggest smart home systems out there, including Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The Foscam and the Amcrest come with excellent remote access options.
And what I mean by that is that they both can be managed and controlled in a variety of ways using different devices.
If you want to use these cameras with an iPhone or iPad, then your device needs to be running version 8 or later of iOS.
If you want to control the IP2M 841 via an Android device, make sure that is running version 3 (Honeycomb) or later of the Android software.
If you want to connect with the R2 from your Android device, then it needs to be running version 4.1 (Jellybean) or later.
Windows 10 Mobile
Neither of these cameras has an app for a Windows phone.
There is no app for Windows 8 or Windows 10.
If you want to control your Amcrest or your Foscam from a laptop or desktop then you can.
You can use a Windows or a Mac.
You will connect to it via a browser but you will need to install a couple of free bits of software first.
The first piece of software (called a Search tool) connects your camera to your laptop or desktop.
The second piece of software is a browser plugin that allows you to connect to your camera “live”.
When you purchase one of these cameras, what else comes in the box?
Well, for each of these cameras, it is almost identical.
Both boxes come with; security camera, power supply, quick start guide, software CD, wall mount (with screws and wall plugs.)
The Amcrest camera comes with an Ethernet cable but the Foscam R2 doesn’t.
Pros, Cons and Verdict
Having compared these two security cameras in lots of detail, I think that there is very little to choose between them.
I would choose the Foscam R2 because I think that it looks nicer and its app is simpler to use.
To help you decide which is the best camera for you, I have listed a few pros and cons.