Amcrest IP2M-841-B-V3 fully supported!

Post here to indicate any hardware you have used and which is known to work with ZoneMinder. Not for questions.
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Noahe
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:13 pm

Amcrest IP2M-841-B-V3 fully supported!

Post by Noahe » Fri Oct 02, 2020 6:41 pm

Hi,

Full disclosure, Amcrest sent me this camera to test and review. It was delivered just 2 ½ hours ago and I've already got everything working in ZoneMinder:

Full HD video using:
rtsp://username:password@IP_Address:Port/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0
Audio is recording just by ticking "Store the audio stream when saving an event" under the Storage tab.
PT controls are working using the default "Amcrest HTTP API" control profile, and "username:password@IP_Address" in the Control Address box.

This camera typically retails for $80 CDN ($55 USD MSRP), which seems a bargain compared to other value cameras like the Sonoff GK-200MP2-B just on picture quality alone.

My first impressions of this Amcrest were that it could see outside the bright windows of the sunroom and interior of the sunroom at the same time, whereas other cameras either wash out the windows as too bright, or you can't see anything inside as it is too dark. This is a far more challenging location for a camera than typical, but it makes for an excellent test.

The viewing angle is a really wide 90º which was surprising for a Pan & Tilt camera, but you can see so much of the room in one frame! Most of my other pan/tilt cameras have about a 64º viewing angle. This means the image looks more like one of those action cameras with a slight fisheye, than video camera. Like an action camera, the wide lens causes some of the image to bend, but I really like seeing so much of the room at the same time for a security application.

I haven't yet played with all of the settings, and there are an absolute ton of them. Importantly for me, you can roll it back from H.265 compression to H.264 for ZoneMinder compatibility. You can adjust the frame rate, keyframe interval and compression to get the bandwidth down to something acceptable (it's looking great at 260-300 kB/s recording 10 fps full HD and audio).

It runs off of a USB adaptor rated 5V at 1.5A, and comes with both the power supply and a very long 9' cable. I really like USB-powered cameras, because you can use a cheap USB Power Bank as a UPS, so long as it supports pass-through charging. My router and home server are on a UPS, so the security camera continues to work for a time during a power outage.

My setup:

ZoneMinder 1.34.20 running on Ubuntu Server 18.04.5 LTS on a decade old i7 tower.
A hodgepodge of 20 different cameras ranging from cheap AliExpress stuff to brand name.
Homebridge Camera FFmpeg plugin serving all the cameras to HomeKit.
ZmEventNotification pushing to ZmNinja.

This camera:
Amcrest IP2M-841-B-V3 running firmware V2.800.0000000.6.R, Build Date: 2020-03-14

My favourite camera continues to be a fairly terrible 720p outdoor pan/tilt/IR under my carport, just because more interesting stuff happens outside and my office is in the basement. But this Amcrest IP2M-841-B is easily the best quality indoor camera I now own. Thanks Amcrest!

Amcrest has already reimbursed me for this camera, so I will not hesitate to update this if I run into issues. But to their credit, they simply told me to try it out and give them feedback after 7 days. I'm already impressed. I just wish I had the white one (IP2M-841-W-V3) instead. I'll probably buy a couple more of these and get rid of some of my more terrible cameras that drop video and cause false alarms.

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