Swann Communications MicroCam II
- Very small, decent image quality
- Slightly expensive, suffers from interference
Decent performance and a diminutive size make the MicroCam II a winner
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Every man secretly wants to be James Bond. Let's face it, who wouldn't want cool gadgets, flash cars and even flashier women? Shame about the Martinis though, everyone knows only pansies drink them shaken. Anyone wanting to fulfill their 007 dream should look no further than Swann's MicroCam II. Okay, it isn't going to get you cars and women, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.
The MicroCam II is basically a very small camera. It's roughly cube shaped, each side being about 2cm long. Trailing from the camera is a short power cord. This can be connected using the included AC adapter, or for true portability, the included 9V battery attachment means no wires are needed at all. The battery powered option was our favourite as the camera really is very small and with no need for mains power, can be concealed almost anywhere. The camera does not have the ability to record images, instead containing a wireless transmitter. Using the included receiver it is then possible to watch streaming video on your television. Despite its diminutive frame, the MicroCam II also boasts a microphone meaning that audio can also be transmitted. The receiver is incredibly easy to set up, basically plug it in to the composite input on your TV and away you go.
We found the MicroCam II's image quality to be remarkably good for such a tiny camera. It is by no means outstanding, but the microscopic lens does the job perfectly well. Distant objects look a little blurry, but for use around the home this isn't a problem. The audio transmission also works well, with clearly audible sound. We managed to attain a decent range from the wireless receiver, well over 20m, without interference. However, this distance falls dramatically with the introduction of walls. We tried using the camera through a couple of walls and up a flight of stairs and were disappointed with the results. Picture quality isn't as adversely affected as the sound.
The obstructions created two horizontal bars of static on our television but this was a minor annoyance , as the image was still visible for the most part. The real problem was with reference to sound,as a crackling noise obscured most of the audio, making it virtually useless. We weren't sure if this was purely the obstruction caused by the walls or interference of another kind. In certain parts of our office we received so much interference we could barely make out the image on-screen. This was despite the camera being only 2m away from the receiver. If you plan on using the camera in areas full of wireless interference and electronic noise, this is worth bearing in mind.
As funny as it may seem, Swann don't actually market the camera as a spy accessory. We think they're missing an opportunity there. Swann seem to think it would be better used to check for leaves in your guttering. Doesn't quite have the same appeal as covert surveillance, does it? However you wish to use the camera, it is very easy to set up and offers a compact, portable frame. It is likely to suffer from mild interference, and perhaps is a little pricey, but is still a solid little purchase.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 2 Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro hybrid Ultrabook
- 3 Bose SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones
- 4 Apple iPhone 6 Plus: An in depth review
- 5 Medion Akoya P2214T (MD99430) hybrid laptop
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Kogan drops Agora 4G price, launches 4G+
- Sony to offer refunds over misleading PS Vita ads
- Grab a $49 Android tablet with your grocery shopping
- Wearable technology is more than displaying information: Jawbone
- Home Depot spent $43 million on data breach in just one quarter
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCTech Support | IT Services Firm - Ad hoc Projects - Echuca AreaVIC
- CCTech Support | IT Services Firm - Ad hoc Projects - Port Augusta / Whyalla AreaSA
- FTSEO Content ExecutiveVIC
- FTDigital Account ManagerNSW
- CCStrategic Partner ManagerNSW
- FTPartnership Manager - MediaNSW
- FTStudio Design ManagerVIC
- FTChief Information Officer - CSIROACT
- FTStudio Design ManagerVIC
- FTAccount ExecutiveNSW
- FTMarketing Solutions ManagerNSW
- FTProgram Manager - Integration & SolutionsNSW