Dlink DCS-5222L Review
Previously, we’ve looked at both the D-Link 5020L and the Hikvision IR Mini Bullet Cam which were both solid IP cameras. Now we’re going to take a look at the D-link DCS-5222L. We’ll take a look at the Setup, Design & Hardware, and its Performance.
Similar to the Dlink DCS-2332L, getting through the setup wizard for the DCS-5222L was short and straightforward.
The accessible interface made it easy to understand what needed to be done every step of the way. It only took a few minutes to get the camera started, and another 2 minutes to configure the camera with Camcloud’s cloud recording service.
Since privacy concerns have been headlining lately, I like how D-Link requires you to add in your own password. This means that if someone sharing your network (such as a co-worker) managed to stumble upon your camera, they wouldn’t be able to get in without your password.
I liked that D-Link gives you the flexibility to access the camera the way you want to use it. If you want to use D-Link’s myDlink service and not bother configuring your network, then you’re good. There is no forced usage of the myDlink service, or any sort of constant “suggestion” pop-up. After the camera gets plugged in for power, it can connect to the internet wirelessly.
Unfortunately the myDlink service doesn’t offer any cloud storage, but the camera is flexible enough to allow the use of a 3rd party service like Camcloud (note: here’s our setup guide that explains how you can get Camcloud running with D-Link). If you are interested in cloud storage, I highly suggest you sign up for a free plan on Camcloud to get more out of your camera.
Design & Hardware
While the D-link 2332L had a solid sturdy design, the DCS-5222L has a cheap-plastic feel to it. This camera is clearly made for in-home use only, but at the same time I still felt that the outer-shell was a bit too flimsy. For comparison, the Dlink 5020L has a similar but sturdier design, as well as the pan/tilt functionality.
While taking this out of the box and placing it in a fixed location, I was a bit concerned in how I handled the camera. It’s hardware made it feel like it can be taken apart with just a bit of effort.
The pan/tilt controls combined with the 10x digital zoom gave me good flexibility in the amount of room I wanted the camera to cover. It also has a microSD card slot if you’d like. The camera also has 4 silver LED lights around the lens – these are infrared lights that activate once night vision is turned on.
The camera’s strangest function is its focus knob. There is a focus knob around the lens of the camera that you can turn to change the camera’s focus. If there’s a way to do this automatically, D-link have made it difficult to find. I’m struggling to figure out why this was even necessary, but it’s there.
For the price, video quality is okay. Once you go further than 10 feet, things start getting a bit blurry. The quality is good enough to be in a living room, but anything more than that (such as a long hallway or parking lot), and this camera just won’t do the job.
Once again, the camera is advertised to be used in-house, such as using it as a petcam. In that case, the quality is good enough, but not as good as the Dlink 2332L which both have better video quality and fall under the same price range.
Night vision was just as good as expected. The far-distance blur effect was still there, but it’s clear enough to use in a living room.
Setting it up on Camcloud was easy. The Live View feed was very clear, allowing me to see exactly what was going on in the office remotely from my home, while the videos in the Timeline were playing clearly.
Lastly, the camera’s configuration gives you quite a bit to play with, including adjusting the brightness, saturation, and contrast. The settings also had 5 different “Exposure Modes” to choose from, including Indoor, Outdoor, Low Noise, Moving, and Auto.
Overall, I’m satisfied with the camera’s capabilities. D-link has made some strange design decisions here: placing the focus knob outside the camera, requiring me to physically move it to change it, as well as using cheap material that protects the outside of the camera. The video feed is an improvement over the DCS-5020L, but gets blurry once you go further than 10 feet away from the camera. For the price, there are definitely better cameras out there such as the Dlink 2332L and the Hikvision IR Mini Bullet Cam.
If you’re looking for an IP camera with pan/tilt functionality to use in-house, this camera gets my thumbs up.