IMILAB C20 Review: A new motorized camera with automatic tracking for less than $25!

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Motorized camera with automatic tracking IMILAB C20.
Motorized camera with automatic tracking IMILAB C20.

Xiaomi has invested in all areas by creating partnerships with several brands in the production of devices for the connected home. Security cameras are not to be outdone, with once again design products and really very affordable, like this new IMILAB C20 camera. Very compact, motorized, it offers a 360° vision, and automatic tracking! All this for less than $25. I suggest you discover it in more detail.

Characteristics of the IMILAB C20

IMILAB C20 CARACTERISTICS

Unpacking the Imilab C20 camera

The IMILAB C20 camera comes in a very compact package, showing the small size of the camera.

The packaging is complete: of course the camera is included, along with a USB cable, a power supply, a mounting kit with screws and plugs, and instructions.

BOX
CONTENT OF THE BOX

360° Panoramic view

IMILAB C20 UP

The IMILAB C20 camera offers a panoramic view of 360 degrees thanks to the possibility to rotate in any direction. We have indeed here a small motorized camera. It also offers a vertical/horizontal viewing angle of 105°.

IMILAB C20 Rotation

Weight

As can be seen, it is quite compact in size (112 × 76 × 76 mm) with an equally light weight (211g).

Two way audio communication

The IMILAB C20 has a 2.0 Mpx CMOS sensor, which supports 1080p HD video recording and two-way audio communication. It also incorporates a night vision function using infrared lighting, for viewing even in complete darkness.

IMILAB C20 Two way call

The design is as simple as possible. Only the back shows a grid for the speaker, and the micro USB port for the power supply.

IMILAB C20 back

By slightly raising the lens, however, it is possible to reveal a hole for resetting, but above all a slot for inserting a micro SD.

It can fit anywhere in an interior

With its white color and sleek styling, IMILAB C20 will fit anywhere in an interior, without attracting attention once installed. Especially since it is possible to mount the camera on the wall or ceiling (or even under a shelf) to give it the best possible viewing angle. For this purpose a mounting kit is delivered, the camera can then be clipped on very easily.

IMILAB C20 Table

Using the IMILAB C20 camera

IMILAB C20 Official App

The IMILAB C20 camera can be used with the official mobile application IMILAB, available on Android and iOS. It should soon be able to be used with the MiHome application (some models are already supported, but not yet this one, apparently too recent).

IMILAB C20 AA

1.Seclect your country

Start by creating an account. Be sure to select your country at the top right. By default the setting is on China, and in this case you must enter a Chinese phone number. (I searched a little before understanding why it did not work). By selecting your country, you can create an account from an email address, simply.

3.Plug the camera and Add device

You plug the camera into an electrical outlet, then you ask to add a new device, via “Add Device”. The IMILAB C20 camera is automatically detected (probably via bluetooth).

IMILAB C20 plug

4.Wait until it connects

The app asks us to reset the camera and wait for it to say “waiting for connection”. In fact, out of the box, it is directly in this mode, I didn’t even need to reset it. We just inform the Wifi network and its key (in 2.4 GHz only). The camera connects automatically to the network. No QRcode to scan, nothing, it’s automatic! And therefore ultra simple! Immediately after, we get a live preview of the camera.

Controls

We find the usual controls for this type of equipment: switching the video in HD or SD depending on the quality of the connection, activation or not of the sound, photo shooting, video recording, and switching to full screen. Below, a directional pad allows you to rotate the camera 360 ° to see absolutely everything that happens. Note that the motorization is particularly quiet! In a child’s room as a baby monitor for example, you will not risk waking him up.

IMILAB C20 Z
Note:

Thanks to two-way audio, it is possible to communicate with people at a distance.

H.265/HEVC

Support for H.265 / High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) provides very good image quality while reducing memory consumption. You will notice a slight distortion due to the wide angle, but it is still quite acceptable, the goal here is mainly to be able to monitor a large area and not to make artistic photography.

App Settings

The application also gives access to many settings. You can rotate the image if the camera is mounted for example on the ceiling, and thus upside down, calibrate the motorization, activate or not the led, program the standby mode. But a particularly interesting option is also proposed here; Automatic tracking, by activating “Human tracking”. The operation is simple. If a human shape is recognized by the camera, it will follow it automatically. Contrary to fixed cameras, which lose track of an individual when he leaves the frame, the IMILAB C20 will follow him wherever he goes. The operation is impressive and works really well! With this function, in case of intrusion, the whole scene will be perfectly filmed.

IMILAB C20 KID
Note:

In the same way, in case of noise detection (broken glass, slammed door, etc.), it will be able to automatically orient itself towards the source of the noise!

TimeStramp

You can also activate the “timestamp” (to insert the date and time on the image), activate the lens correction (to soften the distortion of the wide angle), or activate event notifications. The detection can also be done on the movement, but also the detection of sound (siren that goes off, baby crying, etc.). You can then automatically receive a notification and a video on your smartphone to check what’s happening.

Conclusion

This small camera, although it looks very simple because of its sleek design, is nevertheless very complete! It offers everything you would expect from a surveillance camera: quality video, 360° vision thanks to the motorization, night vision, and alerts at the slightest event. But especially the automatic monitoring of the slightest human movement, probably a first on a camera at this price! I also particularly appreciated the ease of installation! And finally, the weighty argument: this camera costs less than $25. In short, if you are looking for a small, efficient and really affordable surveillance camera, go for it! The only reproach I can make? For the moment its lack of integration with external systems. But a compatibility with the Xiaomi eco-system, as well as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, should arrive soon (compatibility with voice assistants seems to be available only in English for the moment).

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