Lifespan of a V3 camera and is it worth upgrading to a telephoto?

I’ve had my V3 for exactly 2 years. I also have the subscription. It sits in my front window and gets a lot of sun. Up until recently it’s been working “ok”. There’s always a few glitches here and there. But, over the past couple months I noticed occasions where it simply stopped recording clips of motion, cars, etc. The live feed was still working but just wasn’t recording clips of people walking by. The problem was usually fixed by unplugging it. For the past 3 weeks I haven’t had any issue. So I’m wondering if these cameras have a lifespan before needing to be replaced?.

I kinda like the V3 for image quality and because it’s kept inside my window, I keep the colour night footage the same as the day. Does the job. But I’m wondering if using a telephoto would be that much of an improvement over V3 for daytime/night?. Reviews seem mixed on youtube. The only advantage that I can see is the ability to zoom in. So I don’t know whether I should buy another V3 as a spare or get the telephoto and use it along with the existing one I’ve got. I’m assuming I will need a second subscription?.

I find the OG cams image quality to be comparable if not slightly better than the V3. The load speed is much faster. But, there are some drawbacks to using the OG too. It has a different mount system than the V3 and if it loses internet it will not record to the SD Card during the outage.

The OG Telephoto and the V3 have exactly the same ability to digitally zoom in via the app by zooming the video image. On both, you are zooming in on the digital image playing on the phone, not the area captured by the cam. The OG Telephoto is a fixed 3x zoom. It does not have adjustable optical zoom. The FOV is fixed at 3x. In comparison to the V3, the amount of physical area in the FOV image is ⅑ that of the V3. It is just in a permanent zoom state to focus on distant areas. This makes the physical FOV quite narrow.

If you plan to run 2 cams on Cam Plus you will need a second subscription. Unlike the V3, the OG is not compatible with Cam Plus Lite.

1 Like

Thanks for your response. With regards to the Telephoto. I was under the impression from some Youtube reviews that this camera had a much better zoom (and clearer) than the other models. If I’m reading your response right, I think you’re saying that the Telephoto is always in a permanent zoom state. So it’s kinda like having binoculars recording things further away whereas the V3 would capture more of what’s going on around it.

For me, I’m mostly interested in capturing what’s going on in my front yard. The V3 pretty much records my entire property from one end to the other. I don’t use the night vision because it sits inside my window. but it still does ok with recording stuff at night. As I was saying in my other post, the camera sees a lot of sun and I wondered if they have a certain lifespan before needing to be replaced. I’ve had a few incidents recently where it stopped recording clips.

So is it really worth getting the Telephoto or do you think I’m better off getting a second V3?

Correct. The OG Telephoto starts in a 3x zoom as it’s only FOV. IMO, it has a bit more clarity than the V3. That’s why I said it was comparable if not slightly better. But, because the cam starts at 3x zoom, the cam is already set for a crisp focus for objects that are farther away. The telephoto lens does that. It is also rendering that smaller area with the same number of pixels as the V3 so those distant objects have better clarity.

If you think of it this way… divide your V3 field of view into 3 equal horizontal bands and 3 equal vertical bands… like drawing a tic-tac-toe board over the V3 FOV. Take one of those 9 boxes and blow it up to match the size of the V3 image. That is all the FOV you get in the OG Telephoto. It isn’t grainy like a digitally zoomed V3 because the 3x telephoto lens is focusing it on distant objects and that narrow FOV now has the same number of pixels as the wider V3 FOV. Digitally zooming the V3 FOV to that same small box makes the pixels 3 times bigger. You would need 9 OG Telephoto cams to monitor the same area as 1 V3 cam. Another example would be like setting both cams behind home plate on a baseball field. The V3 would see everything between first and third, the OG Telephoto would only see the pitcher and second base and the pitcher would take up most of the screen because it is starting at 3x zoom over the V3.

One of my cams is doing the same. But I do use IR Night Vision with the IR lights in the cam off. I have IR floodlights outside that illuminate the yard at night for my cams.

They are two different tools for two different purposes. Apples and Oranges. If you want to monitor the whole yard like the V3, the OG Telephoto will not do that. It will only show you ⅓ the width and ⅓ the height of what your V3 shows you. The OG Standard, however, will cover the same area as the V3.

But, in my opinion, the V3 is still my choice. It is a workhorse. The one and only reason I will not buy any more OG S Cams is because of it’s loss of SD Card Recording if the Internet fails. The OG S brings an onboard spotlight, updated app GUI, and quicker loading due to a different OS build on the cam, but those don’t overcome what I need… 24\7 SD Recording. I also don’t have a specific use case to need another 3x zoom cam. If I did, the OG T is my only option.

I ordered an OG and OG Telephoto the day they were announced. The main thing I dislike is the new playback UI— although the “old” UI has its issues, I like having a minimum full minute recorded to SD card for each motion event (I have Cam+, but also an SD Card in every cam, and they record only events, not continuously). With the old UI, I could often benefit from seeing what preceded the motion event. I can’t figure out how to do that without continuous record in the new UI.

Anyway, the OG-Tele did not turn out to be very useful in my small yard for security, but I quickly pointed it to the sky, and started experimenting with time-lapses, and I’ve gotten some pretty cool results from that, here is quick sample:

The telephoto lens gets a much sharper view of the night sky and stars than non-tele could. I know I could get better results from “regular” digital cameras and better phones, but there are not many (if any) in the $30-40 range which are weatherproof and can be mounted pointed up at the sky for eight months or more without any problems whatsoever from the weather. Add to that I can set up a time lapse from anywhere and view the recordings from anywhere at any time. So, I would say this is a fantastic use for this OG-tele camera. But overall, I prefer the V3 to the OG due to the UI, and if I stay with the Wyze brand, I will probably only buy V3s as long as I can unless they make the new UI have some features of the old UI. Cheers–


The OG records to the SD Card the same way the V3 does, 1m MP4 Video files, and the new UI has the same features as the old UI, just in a different place.

While recording continuous, the uploaded Event Video will be the starting point to find that same video on the SD Playback. Clicking on the Playback icon at the bottom of the Event Viewer will launch to the SD Playback at the time reference of the event. You would then use the <30s or 30s> to view video immediately prior to or following that event.

Thanks, @SlabSlayer – I did not explain it very clearly, but to start, I do not want to record continuously, I just record motion events. With the old UI, the entire minute would be recorded for each motion event, and if the motion event would go over the “00 seconds” mark, two minutes would be recorded. The new UI, as far as I can see, starts the ~1 minute recording at the beginning of the motion event, and only continues after the event.
In addition to the horizontal timeline, I prefer the old way of recording to SD, and here’s an example:
V3 cam, motion detected 10 seconds after 10:05 am (10:05:10 am) and it records a 12 second event. The “Events” tab reports and shows the 12 second clip at “10:05 AM” But the old OS records and the UI can play back the entire minute from 10:05:00 to 10:06:00, and you can find that full minute by tapping “Playback” and pinching to zoom in. It often has interesting information before the motion event clip starts, perhaps some relevant motion outside of the detection zone. Since events rarely start right at “00” seconds, there was usually always some amount of recording before every event clip.

Similarly, if the same motion event started at 10 seconds before 10:06 am (10:05:50) and went 12 seconds, the “Events” tab listed and showed the 12-second clip the exact same way as above, but tapping “Playback” showed that two minutes were recorded: 10:05:00 until 10:07:00.

That’s actually the way it has worked for me for 4.5 years since I got my first Wyze V2. Only the event max clip length and cool-down time changed when I got Cam+ Unlimited, now the clips are usually longer, not limited to 12 seconds, but the older cameras still record onto the SD card the full minute (:00 through :59) of any minute the clip overlaps. I have found that the extra time recorded before a motion event more often shows interesting information leading up to the event than anything recorded after, so I prefer it. But I realize that my preference won’t change anything in Wyze’s roadmap.

And to confirm, I do not want to fill up my SD cards and use my bandwidth to have the cameras record continuously. (For those who do like that, that’s fine, but I don’t want it, I have never seen the need.)

Thanks again for the response.

Exactly. And this is how I understood the OG Cam to operate as well. At least that is how it is “supposed” to work, just like the V2 and V3 cams with the old UI, recording all SD footage in individual MP4 files starting at second 0 and ending at second 60. But I found something odd in testing this…

I switched over to Event Recording on my OG S and initiated several events. Then I checked the SD Card and each event was exactly 1m long. However, each event recording started at the 23s mark even though motion was initiated in each event at different times within that minute.

Then I pulled the card to review the SD files. Here is the odd thing… even going back almost 2 weeks into the continuous recorded 1m MP4 files, none of them start at second 00. Even more odd is that each day’s recordings start at a different second mark. One started at second 33, one at second 44, one at second 5, one at second 40. They were all over the map. That isn’t the way they are supposed to record. Every 1m MP4 is supposed to start at second 0 and end at 60.

More testing is in order…

I can understand not wanting to fill up the cards. I use 256GB cards so I get a pretty long history before it overwrites. But, it isn’t using any bandwidth recording continuously. That is local recording on the SD in the cam, not Event Uploads.

Thanks for explaining that. It’s really helped me better understand the differences. I really appreciate your help.

1 Like