Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- 2 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 3 Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- 4 Dell G7 review: Growing pains
- 5 Nokia 8.1 review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
Latest News Articles
- D-Link locally launches Omna home surveillance hardware
- Ring expand local offering with new Stick Up Cam
- CES 2019: Arlo expand into the smart home, confirm Arlo Ultra pricing
- Arlo announces 4K HDR wire-free security camera system
- Navman introduces the MiVUE dash cam
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Huawei P30 Pro: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review
- Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?