Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera is one of the easiest-to-use smartphone-compatible monitoring systems on the market, reviewers say. Users say audio and video quality is top-notch, and they like the two-way talk and fast setup. The camera's night vision is also outstanding, they say. But Dropcam wasn't designed as a baby monitor, and parents may miss extras such as a night-light, lullabies and remote pan and tilt. They also dislike the lag between image capture and streaming.
Good image, sound quality; some connection hiccups. Users connect to Dropcam Pro using a wireless network via their computer, Android or Apple device. Though Dropcam seems to suffer from far fewer technical issues than similar wireless monitoring systems, some users still report difficulty connecting to the camera, especially via lower-speed networks. Owners report a lag of up to 10 seconds between the image capture and stream -- a potential concern for parents who want to know immediately whether their baby is crying. Reviewers are complimentary of image and sound quality, and most say the camera's infrared night vision is clear.
Up and running in under a minute. Reviewers are pleasantly surprised at Dropcam Pro's simple setup, saying it lives up to its "60-second setup" billing. The smartphone apps are similarly easy to use, but some users warn that Dropcam won't work on older devices or operating systems. Caregivers can monitor continuously or set motion- and sound-based intelligent alerts. Though the camera offers a relatively wide 130-degree field of view, some reviewers still wish for remote pan and tilt. Dropcam does have remote digital zoom, however. The camera is powered via a USB cable fitted with an A/C adapter -- it does not have battery backup.
Recordings cost extra. Dropcam Pro allows you to access the monitor anywhere via cellular data networks or the Internet. Users can set the camera to turn on or off at specific times or based on their location. There is no charge for remote viewing, but users must buy subscription plans to record and save video. A two-way talk feature allows parents to talk to their babies from wherever they are. The camera is wired, and parents should be careful to place the cord out of baby's reach to reduce strangulation hazards. Dropcam comes with an aluminum base that can stand alone, but users can also use provided hardware to mount it on a wall.
1. Baby Bargains
"Baby Bargains" covers all manufacturers of baby monitors in depth. Authors Denise and Alan Fields consider performance, ease of use and the brand's track record to come up with their overall rating for each brand. Then they pick a few specific best-bet models. Reviews are comparative, thorough and unbiased.
Review: Around the House: Monitors, Diaper Pails, Safety & More, Denise and Alan Fields, Tenth Edition, 2013
2. The New York Times
Eaton lauds Dropcam Pro as easy to set up and use, giving particular praise for the clear digital zoom, infrared night vision and handy recording abilities. But there's no remote pan or tilt, and there's also a small lag. It's also hard to hear very quiet noises despite the quality sound, Eaton says.
Review: Keep an Eye on Children, or Other Valuables, Kit Eaton, Dec. 11, 2013
Dropcam Pro earns 4.1 out of 5 stars in nearly 500 reviews. Owners praise the easy setup and interface, and say video and sound quality is good. Some users complain of connection issues, while others dislike the video lag and subscription fee for recorded video.
Review: Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014
Kintner says she's had toaster ovens that were harder to use than the original Dropcam. She praises the quality video, night vision and zoom. She also likes the ability to review past footage and talk to baby. But she notes that Dropcam is pricey and has a short lag.
Review: Baby Monitors: Which One Is Right For You And Your Baby?, Kelcey Kintner, Nov. 23, 2013
This review praises Dropcam Pro's easy setup, wide viewing area and night vision. Sound quality and free Android and iOS apps win kudos too. But the subscription fee for Cloud video recording should be included in the upfront price, editors say.
Review: Baby Monitor Reviews, Top 5 Best Baby Monitors, Editors of ReviewMonkey.net, Not dated
6. New York Family
The original Dropcam is lauded for its quality video, night vision and zoom. The review also praises live streaming and parents' ability to make recordings with footage saved in the Cloud. It does not note any cons or compare the monitor to others.
Review: Quick Guide to the Best Baby Monitors on the Market, Stacey Gawronski, Nov. 5, 2013