Hikvision Ezviz Mini 360 Plus - $80 Autotracking Camera Tested
Autotracking, integrated IR, local storage, full HD, cloud access: $80.
That is the claim of Hikvision EZVIZ's new Mini 360 Plus. But for this rock bottom price, below even typical budget IP cameras, can it really deliver?
We bought and tested this new cloud camera to see how well autotracking worked plus its overall video quality and usability.
The EZVIZ Mini 360 Plus performed well in our tests, with reliable autotracking, a feature not found in the vast majority of commercial PTZs, as well as solid day and night image quality competitive with other low cost 1080p models.
The Mini 360 Plus' autotracking followed subjects throughout small to medium sized rooms without issues, day and night. However there are two key autotracking limitations:
- Subjects very near the camera (filling the majority of the frame) and those moving quickly (fast walk or run) were not reliably tracked.
- Additionally, the Mini 360 Plus uses video motion detection only, so objects entering a room opposite the direction the camera is facing will not be detected or tracked until entering the camera's field of view.
Because of these limitations, camera placement is key. The Mini 360 Plus should be placed as far away from typical movement paths as possible to mitigate these issues, as smaller relative object size and lower speed make tracking more reliable.
VMS Integration Not Available
Note that the EZVIZ Mini Plus 360 does not integrate with any VMS or NVR, though cameras may be viewed in Hikvision's iVMS-4200 Windows app. The Mini Plus 360 is not ONVIF conformant, and we have been unable to locate a usable RTSP stream (though port 554 is open).
Compared To Zmodo Pivot
The Mini 360 Plus elicits comparisons to the Zmodo Pivot, since both claim 360° viewing and automatic tracking. However there are two key differences between the two:
- Zmodo tracking was poor/EZVIZ worked well: The Pivot's "tracking" was based on PIR motion detection. Movement in any direction caused the camera to rotate and take an image of the entire room, but it did not specifically track objects as they moved, unlike the Mini Plus 360. Additionally, the Pivot's panning speed was so slow following even normal walking speed was difficult.
- Zmodo "sees" behind itself/EZVIZ does not: Because it uses a 360° PIR, the Pivot can "see" behind itself, away from where the camera's lens is aimed. The Mini Plus 360 can only track objects which enter its field of view.
Zmodo's slow speed and "dumb" pseudo-tracking make the EZVIZ camera a better choice for users looking for actual, functional autotracking or just a usable pan/tilt model.
CNET Is Wrong
In their review of the Micro 360 Plus, CNET sums up the camera with:
Unfortunately, the Mini 360 Plus wasn't particularly good at following motion activity -- one of its core features. I'd look instead to the $150 Zmodo Pivot for a true 360 cam that tracks activity without stumbling.
Based on our tests, the opposite is true. The Mini 360 Plus offered true autotracking, instead of motion simply triggering a 360° pan in the Pivot (see our Zmodo Pivot test report). It appears in their demonstration videos that CNET tested motion tracking only at very close distances, which was notably an issue. However, camera placement may easily reduce or eliminate these issues, as shown in our tests.
The Mini 360 Plus sells for $80 direct from EZVIZ or online outlets such as Amazon, Sam's Club, Staples, etc. This pricing is lower than average compared to most cloud cameras, such as Nest (~$180) or even EZVIZ's own Mini Plus (~$100).
Cloud access to live video and SD card recordings is free, with cloud storage plans starting at $5 per camera for 7 days' storage.
The Mini Plus 360 is spherical, with the top half of the sphere containing the lens and pan/tilt mechanism. The bottom half contains the camera's microphone/speaker, SD slot, power, and Ethernet (no PoE) connections.
Users may set the camera to privacy mode, which causes the camera to tilt its lens straight up (down if ceiling mounted) where it is covered by a shroud, unable to see anything. Privacy mode may be set manually via mobile app. EZVIZ also integrates with services such as IFTTT and events from supported systems (arm/disarm of alarm system, home/away mode of thermostat) or geofencing may also be used to enable privacy mode.
Privacy mode is shown here:
When the Mini 360 Plus' autotracking mode is enabled, the camera attempts to automatically follow subjects as they move through its FOV. Note that this is a pan/tilt tracking only, as the camera uses a fixed 90° lens.
Overall, this tracking worked reliably. For example, our subject was tracked as he entered the room and moved throughout here:
The same was true at night, due to the camera's built in IR illuminators.
However, there are two key limitations to note which impact where the camera should be located, reviewed below.
Close Objects Not Tracked
When subjects were too close to the camera, ~3' or less, the camera was unable to track properly. Since the subject is so large at these distances, its edges leave the FOV of the camera, making it more difficult to determine object position.
This example shows the same issue at night, with IR on. The camera moves to the right as the object enters the frame, but fails to track as the subject moves to the left.
Fast Moving Objects Not Tracked
Second, fast moving objects are less reliably tracked. At medium range (~10', about halfway through our conference room test scene), objects walking quickly failed to track about 50% of the time, with closer objects very rarely tracked. Note that while running subjects are possible in residential/small business settings these cameras are intended for, the number of obstacles and small relative size make running less likely.
At longer ranges, even fast walking subjects were tracked properly, shown in this example:
Image quality of the Mini 360 Plus is typical of low cost 1080p models (such as Hikvision, Hanwha, Dahua, etc) as well as other cloud cameras, such as Nest, with solid details in well lit scenes, but reduced details at night.
The Mini Plus 360's built in IR illuminators were sufficient to illuminate the camera's entire field of view, seen here:
EZVIZ Cloud Service
For those unfamiliar, EZVIZ essentially provides cloud connectivity (no port forwarding required) for live and playback video as well as notifications. Connected devices are available via mobile app (EZVIZ and/or Hik-Connect), as well as iVMS desktop and mobile apps (iVMS-4200 and 4500).
For example, using iVMS-4200 for Windows, users simply log in using their cloud credentials, and cameras are available for live viewing and playback.
Device setup is simple, as well, requiring users to scan a QR code using the mobile app, or scan the network/enter a serial number via the EZVIZ web interface, shown here:
For a more in depth overview of the specifics of EZVIZ's cloud features, app operation, and more, users should see our Hikvision Cloud Service Test.