About a year and a half ago, D-Link released their 2630L camera that had a key 180 degree field of vision. This of course means you can see an entire room from just the one camera. D-Link now has a smaller version, the 2530L. It’s more of a refined version rather than something new and revolutionary, and with its promised software support and features, it should be a good contender for something like a nanny cam or watching a pool among all the other reasons you might wish to use it for.
Unboxing and Overview
The packaging includes the camera itself, along with the power adapter, mounting screws and documentation including warranty information, user guide, setup and software statement.
The camera itself looks nice with a piano black finish, though quite obviously plastic making it look cheaper than it really is. This shouldn’t bother you though, what a surveillance camera looks like is pretty much immaterial. While it is smaller than its predecessor, the DCS-2530L is still quite a large camera, and this is something you should be aware of if discretion is required.
Of course the key feature is its 180-degree field of view with de-warping technology. This removes one of the inherent weaknesses of wide-angle lenses which often suffer from an excessive fish eye effect which can distort the wide angle view so much as to be useless. There are motion and sound detection alert options, night vision, up to 10x digital zoom and up to 1080p video recording. The DCS-2530L only supports 802.11n Wifi. Ideally we’d like to see ac support, but this is not really that important since we aren’t dealing with 60fps 4K or anything crazy like that.At the top of the unit you can see a pinhole, which is where the microphone is located. Underneath this is a light sensor. There are a pair of infrared LEDs either side of the main lens, while at the bottom is a small WiFi indicator LED.
Finally on the rear of the unit is a WPS button and a reset button on the right side.
Underneath the base are a set of rubberized pads as well as slots for securing the unit with the included screws.
Setup and Software Overview
Installation of the 2530L is easy, but can get a bit more complicated depending on the equipment you have. The first thing you have to do is visit your devices’ app store and download the mydlink App (Android in our case) Once you’ve installed that, there are QR codes to make things really easy. This automatically sets the network configuration from your mobile device. If you have WPS protocol support on your router then the entire setup takes about 3 or 4 steps. You can choose a manual setup where you will need to enter the SSIDs and passwords of your devices.
Once the setup is complete, you’ll be presented with the following screen whenever you enter the MyDLink app.
Below is the main interface. It’s really simple to use. There aren’t any complicated settings. In the screen below you can see buttons for sound on/off, screenshot, video resolution and recording while the auto button allows you to leave the camera to set itself according to the light levels, or you can manually select night mode or day mode. For most users, that should take care of most of your needs.
Clicking the three small squares at the top takes you to a settings page. This is where you can set things like the sound and motion detection, the SD card settings and access things like the firmware and the notification settings. For example, if you’re not at home and have the motion detection enabled, you can set an alert. You can set a threshold for the sound detection. This will be important to avoid false alarms, such as if a bird outside chirps or a loud truck drives past.
For most users, D-Link have set the right balance by keeping the major settings immediately accessible and simple. There’s also a web portal that can control the camera in much the same way the mydlink app does, though it does offer some more advanced settings, particular with regards to the image and network settings.
Testing and Usage
Pardon the mess! Below are two screenshots, the first one is with the room light on. The clarity at the edges of the picture is very good. usually this is where the picture would be its worst, so its clear the de-warping works very well. The second picture is with the light off, and essentially in complete darkness, with the exception of some electronic device LED’s. The entire room remains illuminated and the contrast is good enough to make out smaller details. An intruder will not be able to hide here. If my naughty cat decides to knock something over.. well.. I’ll have the proof of who did it!
Below are screenshots from the three different supported resolutions, 480p, 720p and 1080p. 480p displays some clear pixelation, but surprisingly the 720p and 1080p shots aren’t too dissimilar.
Wide angle capability
Motion and sound detection
Easy to use
Easy to set up
No cloud functionality
There are cheaper alternatives