Up front I want to say that I was fortunate enough to be selected as an alpha tester for the Wyze Cam Pan, but in this review I am going to give you an unbiased opinion of the camera. I am going to include pictures for some A/B comparisons with the V1 and V2 WyzeCams. Hopefully this will allow you to make up your own mind on the performance of the Pan.
For a little bit of background, I have been testing the camera for about 3 months now as a daily driver in my home. I previously had WyzeCam V1 and V2 cameras in my home, after upgrading from PTZ Foscams. I have to say that the one thing I missed about Foscam was the pan and tilt feature. It was easy to justify moving away from it with the wide field of view that the V1 and V2 Wyzecams offered for their price. When I received the WyzeCam Pan (WyzePan), I was very impressed. I’ll break down below the pros and cons of this camera.
The first thing I noticed immediately is how much lighter and smaller this camera was compared to other PTZ cams. While the WyzePan is larger and heavier than the V1 and V2 cameras, it is still light in comparison to other PTZ cameras. When the camera is first plugged in it performed an initial calibration, and I was shocked to see how much faster the pan and tilt action is on the camera than on other brands I have owned. It was also impressive to me that the camera has a full 360 rotation ability. The initial setup in the application has not changed, so the ease of use for the setup has been maintained. After setting the camera up in my app, I noticed that the quickness of the pan was actually causing me to over correct when panning side to side. Luckily, the developers had thought of this and in the settings of the camera there is a slider to adjust how fast the camera will rotate. Once I adjusted this setting to my liking, it was time to put it through some longer tests.
Black and White Levels:
The black levels on this camera are comparable to the WyzeCam V2, which are upgraded from the V1. I tested this in several real world conditions, but also tested it against a black level TV calibration test pattern. I noticed I was able to see through Black 17 on the V2 and Pan, but only to Black 15 on the V1. As far as white levels go, I did think the white on the Pan came somewhere between the V1 and V2 cameras. It has a slightly yellow tint to it, but it’s not as yellow as the V1. In general use applications, I would say that 99% of people are not going to notice the white level balance but most people would notice the improved black levels. This becomes especially important during night vision.
Black Level Test
The Pan has slightly improved upon the V2’s already improved IR setup. I found night vision on the Pan to be as good or better than on the V2. I did notice that up-close the Pan took longer to adjust clearly than the V2. This issue is not present during the day, and seems like something that could be corrected in a software update. The Pan eventually focuses just as clearly as the V2, but I would say on average it took about 1-2 seconds longer. This may be noticeable if you have your camera patrolling often, but I don’t think it’s enough to really be a problem. I was very impressed overall by how good the night vision on the Pan is, even when it is in motion. You will run into some of the same caveats that you do on all IR cameras with regards to not being able to have the IRs active if the camera is shooting through a window, and getting IR bleed if you are resting the camera on a reflective surface. Those are more indicative of the nature of IR though, and not a reflection on the Pan.
Night Vision Test
Color, Clarity, and Outdoor Testing
Now I want to start by reiterating that the Pan is NOT an outdoor camera. That being said, rules are made to be broken so let’s take this bad boy outside to see how it performs. I choose a spot in my frontyard that had a good view of some wooden chairs, stonework, grass, and plants. This gave me an opportunity to test the color and clarity of the image as well as to test how the camera performs in direct sunlight. I came away very impressed. The sensor seems to be on par or slightly better than the V2 sensor, which was a fairly significant upgrade from the original V1’s. Colors were vividly reproduced, and the clarity at a distance I found was actually better than the V2. Items like details in leafs or siding across the street were clearly visible on the WyzePan where the V2 did not show those details. I also did not have any issues with colors washing out in direct sunlight, which is an issue I had noted with other brands.
This is the portion I will say is the biggest drawback of the Pan. The camera does not come with a good mounting solution for my uses. The V1 and V2 used a magnetic base to secure to the wall. The Pan uses a threaded screw similar to the ones found on a camera tripod or on top of a lamp. With the way the camera moves, standing it up on shelves caused the camera to shift slightly and I did have it fall off a shelf on a couple of occasions when I did not have it secured to anything. This can be remedied through using some 3M tape or a screw. The other issue I found is that I wanted to mount the camera on a wall about 6 feet up so it would be at eye level. This is not possible without using 3rd party mounting solutions as the camera sits at a 90 degree angle from anything it is mounted to, making it point at the floor if mounted to a side wall. I was able to get around this by using an L angle mount, a magnet, and a V2 metal plate. That being said, I wish there was a better option for mounting included out of the box.
After several months of daily use, I would highly recommend this camera. While I did notice the sound of the camera turning increased slightly from what it was on Day 1, this has been my experience with any motor-driven device after extended use. At $30, the Pan is much cheaper than competitors. It maintains all of the great aspects of the V1/V2 cameras, while adding additional functionality. The patrol options and the motion tracking options are great. I use this with my kids to keep an eye on them and it is amazing how the camera can follow the toddlers around the room so I always know exactly what they are doing (aka: what are they destroying now). I would recommend this camera to anybody who wants a PTZ home camera. In my experience, Wyze has been very responsive to their community and stands out as a company who is very consumer focused. The support is top notch, and I have really been impressed by how Wyze has adapted to their success. Do yourself a favor and pick one of these up if you are even remotely interested. You won’t regret it.