Depending on the tech circle you're in, 360 cameras may either be the most superfluous fad or the coolest thing. I used to be in the former camp and my LG 360 Cam collected dust in a drawer for years, but over the past months, I've found a new appreciation for the product category. It's partly thanks to the number of cool "tiny planet" creators I follow on Instagram, but most importantly, it's because of a shift in my understanding of what a 360-degree camera can do.
If you think that these cams are only good for photospheres and VR, you're missing out. Read More
The dashcam market is pretty saturated these days, with products ranging in price from $9 (yes, $9) all the way up to $600 or so. As a result, it can be pretty difficult to even get started with your search without being blasted with options. In the ~$100 price range, we've already checked out Anker's Roav C1 Pro and C2 Pro, which we found to be solid offerings.
This time around, we're checking out a dashcam from one of Anker's direct competitors: RAVPower (which owns VAVA). VAVA's Dash Cam 2K can record higher-resolution video than most at this price point, but sacrifices some features to keep costs competitive. Read More
There is no shortage of portable 360-degree cameras. The most well-known in our circles is Samsung's Gear 360, but that only works with Samsung phones and iOS. Insta360's 'ONE' and 'Nano' cameras are also popular, though the latter only works with select iPhone models.
If price is no object, one of the leading devices in this category has been Ricoh's Theta V camera. It's tiny, but it packs a 4K sensor and the ability to record surround-sound audio (with a separate module). The camera's functionality can be extended by a variety of plug-ins, like one for streaming to YouTube or uploading media to Google Photos. Read More
As any introvert will tell you, the doorbell can be a source of great anxiety. If I'm not expecting someone, there are only so many reasons for the doorbell to ring. I don't want anything to do with most of those reasons, so it's highly desirable to know what's going on out there before I open the door. I've used various security cameras for this task, including most recently the Arlo Pro 2. None of them have come close to the speed and ease of use you get with the Nest Hello. Read More
It's getting easier to set up your own internet-connected home surveillance system, but that usually still means running cables to power all your fancy HD cameras. Arlo, which recently spun off from Netgear, offers an alternative. Its Arlo Pro line of cameras can keep tabs on your home without wires, and they last for months on a charge.
After wowing us with the original Arlo Pro, the Arlo Pro 2 ups the resolution and adds new features. At the same time, Arlo has finally rolled out its AI-enabled Arlo Smart system to compete with systems like Nest Aware. Can a wireless camera ever compete with wired, though? Read More
Nest started by making thermostats, but following a Google acquisition and some reshuffling, it makes plenty of other smart home products. Having devoured Dropcam, Nest is one of the leaders in home security cameras with products like the Nest Cam and smarter Cam IQ. It had a "regular" outdoor camera previously, but now you can get an outdoor version of the IQ. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor packs a 4K image sensor, a wide field-of-view, facial recognition, and incredibly sharp video. It's also one of the most robust outdoor cameras when it comes to tolerating cold weather. Read More
Everyone knows you should keep a spare tire in the trunk of your car, and possibly tools like jumper cables and scissor jacks. Dashcams can be just as helpful as those, but many American drivers never install one. This can be for many different reasons — most them are ugly, the driver thinks they don't need one, and so on. Read More
The cameras on smartphones are getting ridiculously good --- good to the point that most households don't even own standalone cameras anymore. But given the dimensions that phone cameras are restricted to, they're not as flexible as something like a mirrorless or DSLR with interchangeable lenses. That's where Moment comes in. The company offers a small collection of lenses that can be individually purchased and attached to its Photo Cases, which are available for a variety of phones.
Of course, this isn't the first time that someone has come up with the idea of attaching lenses to phones. There are loads of cheap solutions on Amazon, though none are as high-quality and cohesive. Read More
Logitech has been making webcams for many years, and a while back it turned its attention to the burgeoning home security market with the Logitech Circle camera. I thought that device was a surprisingly good value that competed well with established players like Netgear and Nest. There's a second generation camera now, and it improves on that first camera in almost every way. If you don't mind a few minor foibles, this could be the right camera to keep an eye on your humble abode. Read More
Netatmo's approach to security cameras is refreshing. In a market that's filled with companies limiting what you can do with the hardware you bought just in order to get you to sign up for a monthly subscription, Netatmo asks only that you purchase its camera. Video storage is free thanks to MicroSD card support as well as optional Dropbox and FTP uploads. Face recognition is free and gets better with time as it learns. A web app is provided so you can monitor everything from your computer, not just your phone. And privacy is respected because nothing other than a backup screenshot is sent to the Netatmo Cloud. Read More