Ubiquiti $79 Flex IP Camera Tested

By Rob Kilpatrick, Published Dec 07, 2018, 09:14am EST

U.S. Manufacturer Ubiquiti has released a 1080p, integrated IR IP camera, selling it directly for $79, making this one of the least expensive IP cameras available.

We bought and tested the Flex vs the Axis Companion Mini L, Hanwha LND-6011R, and Hikvision Value Express cameras.

tested

Inside we examine:

  • Full light performance
  • Dark IR performance in <1lx
  • Integrated IR coverage
  • WDR performance
  • Installation pros and cons
  • Camera setup options
  • Bandwidth consumption
  • Physical features

*******

** *** ******* *** Ubiquiti **** ****** ***** quality ********* **** ******** to ********, ******, *** Axis *** **** *********, offering ******* ******* ** full ***** *** **** scenarios. ************, *** ** coverage *** ******* ** performance ** *** ****** and **** ******, ************ the ***** *** ******* the **** ******** ******. The **** ****** *** have **** *** ********* though:

  • ******** *** ***********:*** *** *** ******* as **** ** ******'* L ****** ****** ** Axis ********* **** * due ** ************ ** the ******* *******, ******** it *** ******* ******** better **** *** ********* Value ******* ******.
  • ****** ********* *** ****** Pulled *** ****** ***** or ******* *** ** Aim:*** ** *** ******* ease ** ******* *** no *** ** ******** secure ** *** ****** mount, *** ****** ** susceptible ** ***** ******* out ** *** ** just ****** ****** *** of *** *****.
  • ****** ********* **** ***** Cameras ******:********* *** ******** ****** in * **** ***** scene *** ****** ** higher **** *** **** highest ****** ** * dark ***** ***** **.
  • ** ***** *******:*** **** ****** **** not ******* *** ***** Protocol, *********** **** ***** parties ** **** ********* through ** **** ****** when *** ****** ** in ********** ****.

*******

*** ******** ** **** Camera *** ** ***** online ** *********** ********** $** ***. **** is **** ********* **** the ********** ***-**** ********* of *** ********** ****, Hikvision, *** ****** **** we ******.

Physical ********

*** ******** ** **** camera *** * ****** form ****** **** **** provides ***-**** ******, ***** it ** ****** ****** to ***, ******* **** be **** ** ******** pressure ***** ** ***** the ****. ***** ** an ******** ** *** physical *************** ** *** Flex ******.

Standalone/Unifi ***** ******** *****

*** **** ****** ******** multiple **** *** *****, including * *** ********* to ****** ******* ** be ******* ** * unifi ***** ********** ** just *** ** ** standalone ****, ***** ******** an **** ****** *** authentication.

managed-by-unifi-video-controller-or-used-in-standalone-mode

************

********** *** ****** **** for *** **** *** are **** **** ***** cameras ** ******* ** hardware **** *** **** to *******. ***** *** mount ** *********, *** camera ******* ** ** and *** **** ** aimed. *** ***** ***** shows *** ************ *********** between *** **** ****** and *** ********* ***** Express ******.

Full ***** ***** *******

** * **** ***** evenly *** *****, *** Flex ****** ********* ******* similar ** *** ***** models ******.

similar subject and chart details

** ***** *** ********, facial ******* *** ***** details *** ****** **** other ******* ****** *** similar ******* *** ***** be ********.

softer image similar subject and chart details

Dark ***** *******

** * **** ***** with ** ** , at ***** ***** *** flex ****** ******** ******* or ****** ******* **** all ***** ******* ****** due ** *** ************ the *******. **** **** the ********* ****** *** not **** ***** ***** IR, ******* *** ****** of *** ***** ** be ***********.

similar or better ir subject and chart details

******* ****, ** ~**' distance/38 ***, *** ******* details *** ******* ** the ********* ***** ******* camera *** ****** **** the ****** *** ** Hanhwa * ****** ******* out *** ******** ****.

flex camera similar ir facial details better ir chart details

IR ****** ** **** ** ***** ** ****

*** **** *** ******* illuminated *** ******* ** the ****** ** *** field ** **** ******* overexposure *** *** *** completely ********** *** ***** field ** ****, **** is ******* ** *** LND-6011R *** ****** *********** than *** ********* ***** Express.

ir dimmer at edge

Below ******* **** ******* ***** ***********

******* ** * **** dynamic ***** *****, *** varied **** *,***+ *** outside ** **** ~*** inside *** *********.

wdr test field of view

** **** ***** *** top ********** **** *** Axis ********* *** **** L *** *** ****** LND-6011R, ******** ******* ** the ******* *** ***** both ******* *** ****** with ** **** *** variance. *** ******** **** camera *** ** ******* performer, ******** **** ******* details ** *** ******* compared ** *** *** performers *** ** ************. Finally, *** ********* ***** Express ****** *** *** worst ********* *** ** overexposure ******* ** ****** details ** *** ******* to ** **** *** washing *** *** *****.

below average wdr performance better than value express

Higher ***** *********

** * *** *****, the **** ******'* ********* was **** ******** ****** than ***** *******, ** night *** ********* ****** significantly ****** **** ***** cameras.

bandwidth comparison

Versions ****

*** ********* ******** **** used ** **** ****** during *******.

  • ******** ** **** ******: UVC.v4.4.8.67.M_e4488fa.180911.1127
  • ****** ***-*****: *.********
  • ********* ***-*****: **.*.* ***** 180627
  • **** ********* *** **** L: *.**.*

Country ** ******

*** ******** **** ****** was **** ** *****.

Comments (25)

This is an interesting camera. I like Ubiquiti products (particularly Unifi), but it's been hard for me to take them as a serious video surveillance manufacturer. But Ubiquiti will probably overachieve like they usually do.

The lack of ONVIF is a little concerning. I doubt that many VMS's will have drivers for this camera, so you're probably stuck with Unifi Protect Controller. For me, that puts it into the range of cheap add-on that you could pitch to somebody that you're already doing a wireless network for.

Has anybody had good results with Unifi Protect systems?

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For the longest time I have abstained from considering Ubiquiti to be in my lineup.  After this, I may finally give in.  Really like the price and the form factor.  Of course the test is great by IPVM too.  Ubiquiti has gone through weird things and I always viewed them as some Shenzhen type of manufacturer.

 

No more...

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Between all the supply issues and how propriety the systems are I have zero interest. 

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"No ONVIF Support: The Flex camera does not support the ONVIF Protocol.'

 

Is there RTSP Streaming?

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Yeah, the camera can be put into standalone mode to enable the RTSP stream. I edited the summary to make that more clear.

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Thanks Rob! I really appreciate the swift interaction with everyone @ IPVM, Manufacturers tech support should follow your example :)

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I always avoid deploying any UBNT products until at least a year of involuntary beta-testing by end users. This does look like an interesting product tho. But it's hard to understand why esp. a wireless company wouldn't be a lot more careful with excessive bandwidth consumption - hope they fix that in a subsequent firmware release.

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If it had ONVIF the slammers could sell an IP Camera license that costs more than the camera itself. Just think if ISCSI, NFS or Fibre Channel had licenses to connect your data to a storage device. You could just build a ton of LUNS and make out like a bandit.

I like this camera from Ubiquiti and for $79 it works fine for me. Easy deployment for technicians, simple system for customers to understand. It is added to the sell list.

Someone mentioned supply issues, I take it that the camera is new and the demand output was higher than the supply input. I like that it is proprietary rather than investing time into making your product work with everyone else's junk. Access control may be coming soon.

IPVM Question: Did you have the audio on or off during your bandwidth tests? 

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Someone mentioned supply issues, I take it that the camera is new and the demand output was higher than the supply input. I like that it is proprietary rather than investing time into making your product work with everyone else's junk. Access control may be coming soon.

 

UBNT has issues supply issues with all their hardware not just cameras.  You may go to order products and find out they are back ordered for months. 

Unfortunately, access control is coming for UBNT. I can't wait to hear the complaints from a customer with broken doors who A) have to go to a forum for support B) can't order replacement hardware. 

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So instead of embracing a company with their version of security products you rather just sit around and wait for other people to complain? Is that not what you are doing right now? and you are in a forum right now doing that very same thing?

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It's no secret that UBNT has supply issues with all there products.    

 

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Michael,

While I have seen this to be true with some distributors, it is not always the case with others. It seems like there are some "favored" distributors that always seem to have stock. 

Brian 

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Mind sharing the "favored" distributors you have for UBNT?  

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IPVM Question: Did you have the audio on or off during your bandwidth tests?

U4, Audio was off when bandwidth was tested.

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Why not just play nice and add ONVIF and get tons more sales volume? A head scratcher for sure.
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definetely, someone needs to speak some sense into their CCTV product manager

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I think they already succeeded the volume they were looking for. Perhaps this will encourage them to incorporate ONVIF? If it was my choice I would leave ONVIF out of the equation. Plenty more to choose from.

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Were you able to find out the manufacturer/model of the DSP as well as the image sensor for this camera?  Was the web interface limited to IE as usual or is it available to other browsers?  Were you able to test it at all with Mac access?  Do they have an included CMS software package for PC/Mac?  What is the name of their Google Play and iStore apps?

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Were you able to find out the manufacturer/model of the DSP as well as the image sensor for this camera?

Camera is using an Ambarella chip, seen here:

Was the web interface limited to IE as usual or is it available to other browsers? 

No, it is not limited to IE, most of this test I was using chrome to access the web interface.

Were you able to test it at all with Mac access?

I was not able to test with Mac access.

Do they have an included CMS software package for PC/Mac?

You can use the Ubiquiti Camera Management Software to manage the camera, record video, etc..

What is the name of their Google Play and iStore apps?

Unifi Protect

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Slightly incorrect on the above.  Ubiquiti has 2 video software products - Unifi Video and Unifi Protect. 

Unifi Video can be installed on Windows, Linux, or pre-installed on their NVR.  This works with the Unifi Video app.

Protect NVR software is exclusively available on the Cloud Key Gen2 Plus (at least for now) and works with the Protect app. 

The Protect app will not work with the Unifi Video software.

The cameras are compatible with either system.

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You are correct Nicholas, we have that outlined in our Ubiquiti UniFi Protect Report.

As you noted, the cameras work with both Unifi Video and Protect, but the applications are not cross-platform compatible.

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Vivotek used to Oem for them

I really wonder if this is made in the USA

Either way it looks pretty limiting

 

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A few points worthwhile mentioning.

This report doesn't state where the camera is manufactured. The fact its a US company is pretty well irrelevant to where it's actually made. Strangely when I asked Ubiquiti the same questions - they declined to respond.

To add to the notable omission of ONVIF capability I had some disappointing responses to my compliance questions placed with Ubiquiti:

1. The camera is not rated to any impact resilience - such as IK10

2. The camera is not environmentally rated to IP66, despite claiming it's suitable for external use.

3. The camera has no NEMA rating either.

Compliance and testing is an expensive part of any product development - but I guess that if you don't think its important or relevant - then simply ignoring it can save a few $'s.

It seems that in entering the race to the bottom - Ubiquiti have missed a few key points that pretty well make it non-compliant with virtually every tender that crosses my desk.

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This report doesn't state where the camera is manufactured. The fact its a US company is pretty well irrelevant to where it's actually made. Strangely when I asked Ubiquiti the same questions - they declined to respond.

The Ubiquiti Flex camera was made in China, I updated the report with this information.

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Thanks Rob 

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