Eve Outdoor Camera Review – MacRumors

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Eve back in May went out with the Eve Outdoor Floodlight camera, one of the only floodlight compatible HomeKit Secure Video cameras that are on the market. I’ve been testing the camera for several months now to get a feel for how it works and if it’s worth the investment.

Part of the reason this review took so long is that the Eve Camera has a few installation caveats that potential buyers should be aware of. This is a floodlight wall camera, so it should replace either an outdoor light or an existing similarly oriented camera, unless you are going to install a new electrical connection.

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My house has a lot of down-facing wide-angle lights/cameras just below my gutters, these are positioned to see a lot of the yard. The Eve camera cannot be tilted downward, so it cannot be installed in the downward orientation that is common for security cameras or floodlights. It should be in an upright position, like where you might put a doorbell camera. There are some tilt so you can adjust the angle, but not enough to replace something like a downward orientation Ring projector camera.

I ended up removing a Ring camera that was mounted on the wall near my back door, but found that the Eve camera had a smaller base than the Ring, so it didn’t fit the space. The base is also too small to fit in a typical outdoor junction box you might have for another light or camera, which is a problem if that’s the only setup you have. I ended up having to replace and repair some coatings to install the camera, and I’m still not sure if it’s waterproof. If you’re replacing an existing camera, be aware that there may be some extra work to get it to look right, and that’s probably going to be an issue for a lot of people.

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As for the installation, it is a camera that must be wired directly to a junction box. You can do it yourself, but you need some electrical wiring experience. I hired an electrician to install the camera, and he said it was pretty straightforward minus the basic sizing. Note that the Eve Outdoor Camera is limited to a 2.4 GHz WiFi connection, which seems outdated.

Once installed, turned on and connected to HomeKit, the Eve Outdoor Cam works like any other ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ camera. The video stream is viewed directly in the Home app, but can also be accessed through the Eve app. You need an iCloud+ subscription to use ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌. The cheapest $1 plan allows one camera, the $2.99/month plan allows five cameras, and the $9.99/month plan allows unlimited cameras, all plans also include iCloud storage and other ‌iCloud‌+ features.

standby outdoor camera quality
The Eve Outdoor Cam offers 1080p video and can record at night with Night Mode. The quality is reasonable and I can clearly see what’s going on in my yard, but 1080p isn’t enough to see detail clearly beyond 8-10 feet (I have this complaint about all my cameras ). During the day it’s not as sharp as my Ring cameras in areas with a lot of light and dark variation, but at night the stream is sharper with less noise than my other cameras.

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‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ has the advantage of being encrypted, giving you peace of mind that your video stream is not being viewed by anyone else. It can only be viewed on your own devices and the images are stored in ‌iCloud‌. Security comes with some sacrifices in usability, and I don’t think the Eve Outdoor Cam is as seamless to use as my Ring cameras, nor does it offer the same functionality and the same reliability.

There are times when the Eve Outdoor Cam fails to record, and this is an issue I haven’t been able to pinpoint. it goes better with iOS16, but it still happens. It records whenever motion is detected, and something else – it’s motion sensitive. “Motion” includes falling leaves, so it constantly triggers if I’m not using activity zones and limits notifications.

The Home app has plenty of customization options. You can have the camera record video only when you’re away and stream at other times, or it can record both when you’re away and when you’re home. It can also be disabled entirely from the Home app, and there are options to skip audio and delete all recordings.

Eve Outdoor Cam app settings
You can set selected recording times and choose to record all movements or only when people are detected. It also uses facial recognition and can tell you when specific people appear on the camera. There is no option for continuous recording and footage is stored when motion is detected.

Notifications are customizable, so you can choose to receive notifications at certain times, when motion is detected, when people are detected, or when a clip is recorded. The Eve Cam can detect people, animals, vehicles and package deliveries, providing personalized notifications. Rich notifications are supported, so you can see a preview of the feed, but one major con I have is that tapping any of them causes me to switch to the light in the app. Home app rather than my camera feed.

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The Eve Cam’s light turns on when motion is detected at night, and it was reliable in my testing, but there is a slight delay before it activates. It stays on for a short time after motion detection, then turns off automatically. There’s a microphone so you can talk to someone near the camera with two-way audio, but it doesn’t offer the same siren functionality available through other cameras like Ring.

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Recorded footage is stored in the app in a timeline and you can browse through each motion event. The app stores 10 days of footage and clips can be saved or deleted. Compared to the Ring app, I find the Home app to be buggy, slow, and difficult to navigate to find what I’m looking for. It’s just clunky in general, and that’s one of the main drawbacks of ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌. This is in no way Eve’s fault since Apple is designing the Home experience.

eve outdoor camera timeline
Eve allows viewing live camera footage in the Eve app, but all recordings are restricted to the Home app, so I rarely open the Eve app. It has a push-to-talk button, a light toggle, and volume controls for the microphone and speaker, but there’s nothing else that can be done in the Eve app.

I know the ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ cameras don’t have the privacy issues around other cameras like Amazon’s Ring devices, but the Home app just isn’t as easy or straightforward to use as the app Ring. I live in a neighborhood where my cameras are mostly used to spot local wildlife, so I have the advantage of not being overly concerned about Amazon’s privacy practices, which is why I prefer the Ring experience.

I’m having more issues with ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ both in terms of saving and accessing my saved footage, but the service still works quite well. As for the Eve Camera, I was largely satisfied with the performance, except for the installation process. I haven’t had any issues with motion detection or connectivity, and the recording issue I’m having is likely a Home app issue rather than an issue with the camera itself.

Conclusion

The Eve Outdoor Camera is one of the only HomeKit-enabled outdoor camera options that also has a light, so there’s not much to choose from if you’ve opted for the ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ ecosystem. Luckily, the Eve Outdoor Camera is quite decent.

The camera looks sleek on the wall and it doesn’t take up too much space for those looking for something unobtrusive, but potential buyers should be aware of installation issues and be prepared for headaches when installing. camera setup. It’s also limited to 1080p and it can struggle a bit with strong light and dark variation, but it comes with unparalleled privacy.

How to buy

The Eve outdoor camera can be purchased from Amazon.com for $250.


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