Price (RRP): $249.95
Early in 2017 D-Link released its OMNA 180° security camera for the Apple Home Kit. That is great for about 10% of smartphone users, so it went to work on the other 90% who use Android.
Gadgeteer Thomas Bartlett reviewed the Apple Home Kit compatible device giving it 4.5 out of 5 saying, “Great picture, pleasant looking, if you live in an Apple ecosystem, you’re likely to be very pleased with one or more D-Link OMNA 180 CAM HD cameras.”
This review is about how it works under Android.
Out of the Box/setup
- The camera
- A 5V/2A micro-USB power adaptor (as it has no battery)
The camera distinguishes itself by the silver metal cylindrical design and a 180° lens – it is petite at 132 (h) x 58mm diameter.
No microSD card to record events is included (should be!). It supports SDHC Class 10 microSDXC cards up to 128GB.
Perhaps it is just because we review so many security devices that we expect to plug it in, download the app, set up an account, connect it to the Wi-Fi network and that is it. Well, in theory anyway.
As I have reviewed D-Link products, I have a MyDlink account. The dedicated OMNA app flashed up a cryptic message that the email address was in use – either use a different email address or go via the MyDlink app.
I opened the MyDlink app, went to set up the camera only to find it was not listed – it had all the DCS models, and this is a DSH model.
On a hunch, I went back to the OMNA app and this time just logged in with MyDlink credentials and voila! It found the device, entered a pairing code, and away we go.
There are no specifications for the megapixel or pixel um size. We do know that it is a 1/3.3” CMOS sensor (quite large), f/2.0 (good for low-light and will work down to 0 lux in mono and .3lux in colour) with a field of view of 180° (Horizontal) x 66° (Vertical). IR (infrared) night vision is up to 5 metres.
It streams H.264 16:9 video up to 1920 x 1080p at up to 30fps but only records video (H.264/MJPEG) in 1280 x 720 or 640 x 360 typically at 15 fps. It automatically adjusts image size and resolution based on Wi-Fi network quality.
A 180° ‘fish-eye’ camera curves straight lines. OMNA does a great job in reducing the distortion via its ‘de-warping’ technology.
I suspect the CMOS sensor is around 2-3MP as details reflect that. Colours are fine, especially in daylight or in the home as long as adequate daylight comes in the windows.
It will live stream live 1080p video, but it will only record in 720/360 for about 10 seconds for any motion event. You can set it to start recording again (motion trigger delay) from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. That is to save SD space.
It will take adequate night vision videos, but these are not sufficiently detailed to identify a person’s face.
Placement is the key. Remember it is a 180° camera, so it is usually placed on a desk or ledge against a wall. To get sufficient ID facial features place the camera at chest height in front of where an interloper would walk. It helps to have some low-lighting as well.
It has both a microphone and speaker that allows two-way communication up to five meters away. Let’s just say it is adequate.
If your smartphone is close to the OMNA, you will get feedback.
The PIR (Passive infrared) motion detector is quite sensitive and will issue a notification (good – not an email alert) to the host smartphone. Tap on the notification, and it loads the app and goes into live view.
You can also configure motion detection zones in the app – handy if you just want to monitor a door, not the whole room.
I found that setting a smaller monitor zone and reducing sensitivity to around 50% worked best for my needs – you will need to experiment to avoid pets or curtains flapping in the wind setting it off.
You can also set it to stealth mode where the green LED status light is turned off.
The PIR, unlike some of its competitors, is not sound aware. It should be a simple matter for D-Link to enable this via the inbuilt microphone and firmware.
Remote access is easy via the app. Depending on the internet speed it takes a few seconds to a minute to display an image.
It hung a couple of times, but I blame that on the internet provider.
D-Link OMNA is a good camera, but the Android app is limited. It is a different story in iOS where it is Home Kit enabled.
For example, it could have basic facial recognition, optional cloud recording, sound activation and a few more user-set tweaks like scheduling when you know you are going to be home or out.
Fortunately, apps are easily updated, and I hope D-Link gets that message.
I am also a great believer in a browser-based URL/client as well – for when you cannot use a smartphone app.
Some of the competitor’s cameras also have environment monitoring – temperature, humidity and air quality.
As it already is Apple Home Kit compatible it would be great to integrate it into Google Home etc.
It would be good to have a small internal battery backup for event recording in a power outage – burglars often cut the electricity before breaking into your home. In the interim, you could place a USB power bank inline.
I would like to see a 1/4” tripod screw mount or a simple way to wall mount it as well.
The DSH-C310 is the winner of the 2018 ‘Home Security Camera Product of the Year’ award from IoT Breakthrough, an independent organisation that recognises the top companies, technologies and products in the global Internet-of-Things (IoT) market today.
D-Link ANZ MD Graeme Reardon said, “Omna winning this award is a great honour for D-Link. The fact that it was the industry’s first Apple HomeKit compatible Wi-Fi camera, comes feature-packed and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, makes it the ideal IoT home monitoring solution.”
“The Connected Home market experienced exponential growth in the past year, and connected cameras and security solutions were largely driving that impressive growth,” said James Johnson, managing director, IoT Breakthrough. “Congratulations to D-Link for delivering a ‘breakthrough’ connected home security camera with an impressively rich feature list, combined with aesthetically compelling product design.”
As a 180° camera it fills a niche for the whole-of-room view. Others such as the NETGEAR ARLO, Reolink Argus or Nest Cam only do 130°.
It is elegant, discrete and does what it says.
Having reviewed many security cameras my best advice is to stick to the one brand for indoor, outdoor etc. as you only want to use one app to access them. D-Link needs to bring its entire security camera series under one app.
- Now works with Android as well as iOS/Home Kit
- Well designed
- Does what it promises
- 180° image is not as distorted as most
- Easy set-up
- Wi-Fi settings saved in the event of a power failure – it will come back online in under a minute
- Indoor only (not intended for outdoor use anyway)
- It would be nice to have a small internal battery to enable event recording for say 15 minutes after a power outage (or use a Power Bank in-line).
- Would be nice to work with more Smarthome controllers like Logitech Harmony, Google Home and use IFTTT commands
- Would be nice to have a starter microSD in the pack – even 32GB would be enough
- Easy to steal the camera and with it the SD card ‘’
- No optional cloud-based storage (this is at extra cost on other brands)
- Hate the USB charger – its one of those “upside” down 240V plug packs that can obstruct the power switch
- The camera cannot be wall mounted – it has a flat
$249.95 from major retailers or online
- Overall: 4 out of 5
- Features: 4 out of 5 – 180° camera with a good image
- Value for Money: 4 out of 5 – not cheap
- Performance: 4 out of 5 – Camera is fine – sound feedback issues
- Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – easy set up
- Design: 4 out of 5 – if it had a mounting solution it would have five points