Imou Cruiser 2MP review: the outdoor PTZ camera that looks down on us

Our opinion on the Imou Cruiser outdoor camera

Imou Cruiser surveillance camera

1080P PTZ Surveillance Camera WiFi Outdoor IP Camera Waterproof 360 ° with Night Vision Color Human Detection AI 2x LED Spotlight and Two-Way Audio Siren Compatible with Alexa (2MP Cruiser)

Price on: July 5, 2022 22 h 22 min

Imou, which belongs to Dahua Technology, offers many models of cameras intended for indoors or outdoors as we have seen recently with the camera Imou Bullet 2E. Today, the brand returns with a new wired outdoor model: the Imou Cruiser 2MP camera. Let's see what she offers for 110 €.

Imou Cruiser 2MP: a 360 ° outdoor camera

Unboxing

The Imou Cruiser 2MP camera is presented in packaging with an orange background, emblematic color of the brand, obviously with a visual of the product and its main characteristics: the color night vision, the image FHD 1080p, smart tracking, IP66 or the possibility of having a vision 360° et inclined at 90 °. It is therefore a motorized and intelligent outdoor camera.

On the back, the functionalities of the 16 pictograms are shown on the side. On the other side, compatibility with voice assistants Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant is clearly displayed as well as compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The opening is done by the upper part. Inside, two large blocks of foam effectively wedge the camera.

An outdoor camera

La nouvelle Imou Cruiser 2MP measures 11cm in diameter x 16cm high without taking into account the impasto of the two antennas and weighs 636 grams. Designed in two parts to allow 360 ° rotations, the white plastic base also supports the two antennas MIMO Wi-Fi which will amplify and improve the transmission of the WiFi signal, if you use this connectivity since it is also possible to connect it by Ethernet.

The lower part contains the entire technical area. A black plastic shell ensures 360 ° rotation and encircles a 90 ° tilting sphere which includes in addition to the central lens:

  • A haut : the operation indicator LED. Depending on the color it indicates:
    • Extinct : device out of order, restart after reset
    • Red Fixed : priming, faulty operation of the device
    • Blinking red : network connection failure
    • Blinking green : ready for network connection
    • Steady green : normal running
    • Green and red alternately flashing: firmware update
  • To the left and to the right : 2 LED spotlight lamps.
  • Below : the Infra-Red LED.
  • Below : the microphone for two-way audio.

By tilting the ball down, we discover the button reset it will suffice to hold down for 10 seconds to reset the camera. The button is positioned on the slot access cover for the Micro SD card (up to 256GB, not included) which can be inserted for local storage.

Get a Phillips screwdriver (big enough) or open the cover.

On the back, the loudspeaker to be heard by who is in front of the lens, but it will also broadcast the alarm, the volume of which is announced at 110dB.

The Imoi Cruiser 2MP camera clips from above to its mounting bracket. There are three notches on either side and a Δ as a marker that faces the open or closed padlock placed on the base. At the back, a notch allows the cable to be passed. You are on the right the QR Code of the camera that will be used for pairing.

Mise en Place

The particularity of this camera is that it can be installed in three different ways :

  • Fixed to a ceiling using the three pre-drilled threads
  • Fixed to a mur using the four holes already drilled
  • Fixed to a post, a gutter using the four elongated 1.2 cm holes. However, it will be necessary to provide collars accordingly, they are not provided.

Le Δ is to be placed opposite the open padlock then a rotation towards the closed padlock firmly ensures its maintenance. A large notch is provided for the passage of the double Ethernet cable and power supply.

Other accessories:

  • Un set of 4 screws and 4 wall plugs.
  • Le power supply unit with DC plug. The length of the cord is 3 meters.
  • A set of waterproof protection for the Ethernet cable.
  • Le start guide quick and safety instructions.
  • Un drill guide for the installation and a sticker reminding that the camera only supports the 2.4GHz network and the email address if necessary: [email protected] It's always nice to see the marks indicating a contact link.

Information

  • Brand : Imou
  • Model : Cruiser 2MP
  • Size : 13.84 cm x 12.17 cm x 25.4 cm (antennas deployed)
  • Weight : 636 grams
  • Origin : China
  • Color : White
  • Resolution : 2MP or 1080P HD
  • antennas : double MIMO type
  • Lenses (mm) : 3.6 and 6 mm
  • Protection sign : IP66
  • Alert notification : Yes 
  • Video compression format : H.265
  • Maximum distance night vision : 30m in color
  • Mermaid : yes 110 dB.
  • Food :
    • Input: 100 - 240V 50 / 60Hz Max 0.3A
    • Ouput: 12V 1A
  • Angle of vision
    • rotation: 355 °
    • pivot: 90 °
  • Connectivity :
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 / b / g
    • Ethernet
  • Audio bi : Yes
  • Operating temperature : -30 - 60 °
  • Warehousing : on Micro SD card up to 256 GB possible (not included), cloud on subscription or NVR
  • Zoom : digital 16x

The materials are very correct and the finishes flawless on this big camera, it must be admitted, it is the most impressive that has passed in our lab. Let's see its features without further ado.

Installation and use of the Imou Cruiser 2MP camera

Imou has developed his own in-house application Imou Life for the support of its cameras. It is therefore necessary to install it from one of the blinds compatible with your smartphone Android ou iOS.

If you are new to Imou Life, we invite you to refer to our Imou Bullet 2E camera test to discover the application.

TO READ :
Imou Bullet 2E test: an outdoor camera for Alexa or Google Home

Camera installation

Plug in the camera before continuing. The operation indicator LED will flash red then green to indicate that it is in pairing mode. The camera will rotate, it is better to hold it in your hand, or at least not to put it on the edge of a table.

From the home page:

  • Click on the "+" top right
  • Select one of the two addition methods offered: by QR Code or manually. We opt for the first solution.
  • Place the QR Code to about ten centimeter and scan it with your smartphone. When that is good, a jingle is sounded and the camera is instantly displayed.
  • Select your 2.4GHz network and enter your login details,
  • In 15 seconds, the camera is paired and the operation indicator LED turns solid green.

As you can see, if you already have the Imou skill installed, the camera instantly goes back to the app. Alexa. Select a mode of use, domestic, factory etc… and here it takes place on the home page. If you have another branded camera like the Bullet 2E you can switch streams from one to the other.

 

From this home page, it is possible by clicking on " Play »Display multiple cameras simultaneously. A click on the image switches to this stream with its own functions. So if you click on the image corresponding to that of the Bullet 2E, the functions which it does not have disappear.

The small refers to the management of the Firmware for which there may be an update to be carried out. The latest version is 201818.

Le nuage it offers cloud storage

The two points open a dialog box which allows:

  • Message settings : you set the reception to receive notifications with photo and it must be said that it is very practical even if the image is small, we can immediately see if a situation is abnormal. It is of course advisable to activate it. You can also activate the sending of a notification in case of offline device.
  • All Videos : allows access to what has been stored on SD card or in the cloud
  • Device sharing : you can invite a third party to access the video streams
  • Device detail : refers to the Camera Parameter section that we are going to see.

Note that at the top, " Smart scene »Offers three types of shortcuts: Home, Arrived and Away that you can rename and replace the icon with another one from the gallery (15 are available). Convenient, you can quickly execute an action such as a device command or do not disturb mode using the three buttons

Let's click on the live video of the Cruiser.

While some functions are common to all cameras, others are really innovative! And that we like what is new.

Let's see the picture first:

The flow is displayed along with the time stamp. They cannot be deleted.

The two squares with the arrow on the right of the image allow an overlay of the flow on a home page of the smartphone and that's great! Without taking up a full page of it, you can keep an eye on what's going on. For us this is a real plus.  A click on the broadcast opens a slightly larger image without opening the application but offering the basic functions. A double click displays the multi screen if you have cameras compatible with this display mode, you can have up to 4 cameras on the home page!

Below the image, the following functions are available, from left to right:

  • II Pause the broadcast of the live stream.
  • ■ Allows you to follow up to 4 simultaneous streams. To add another Imou camera: click on the “+” of an empty box, select the one to add to the multiplex among those offered in the list below. You can thus switch from one to the other, with its own specificities. The selection does not stay saved from this broadcast mode but you have it as a reminder by clicking on PLAY from the home page where all cameras (up to 4) are registered. However, you can delete a stream without waiting to close multiple mode by keeping your finger on it and dragging it into the trash can. Practical, this management allows you to switch from one to the other quickly without going back to the home page.
  • SD / HD The quality of the stream is already excellent in SD as shown in the photos below and frankly we have not seen any difference except of course for a bitrate less greedy in SD than in HD.
  • The loudspeaker to listen to the sounds surrounding the camera. It is good.
  • □ Switches the display to landscape mode. You get the same thing by rocking the smartphone directly if automatic rotation is allowed.

In night mode, you can see that the picture is excellent regardless of the display mode you choose. You can clearly see the insects passing in front of the lens.

By tilting the smartphone in landscape mode the image is perfect.

In the middle part "View history" opens recordings stored either on Micro-SD card (up to 256 GB, not included) or in the cloud. Once a storage has been determined, a schedule is displayed to access the history of detections.

The prices for cloud storage are as follows:

  • 3 days:
    • 1.89 € renewable monthly
    • 18.99 € annually
    • 1.99 € for a month not renewed
  • 7 days :

    • 2.79 € renewable monthly
    • 27.59 € annually
    • 2.99 € for a month not renewed
  • 30 days :
    • 6.49 € renewable monthly
    • 63.49 € annually
    • 6.99 € for a month not renewed
The prices are not not prohibitive and can be taken punctually which can be an interesting solution in the case of an absence of a few days. In addition, in most cases, cloud storage of 3 to 7 days is more than enough, especially since you can always download the images to keep them.

On the lower part:

  • Instant : for a photo capture. The file is stored in " Local files", Section: gallery, of the application accessible via the" menu " Profile » from the home page. Or if you prefer, via the gallery of your smartphone.
  • Speak :… .To talk to who is near the camera. It is necessary that the smartphone is at a good distance from the camera otherwise feedback is assured. Note that activating the microphone deactivates the speaker. It will therefore be necessary to play with your thumb for an ongoing conversation.
  • Save : You can record video clips at your own initiative. They are stored in the local files heading: video.
  • Map : this is one, if not THE main function of this outdoor camera: to be able to perform a motorized rotation horizontal at 355 ° ou 90 ° vertical since smartphone like what we already know with some indoor cameras like the small camera Tapo C200 or the SpotCam Eva2. Motorized Attention does not mean that you only need to press one of the arrows for the camera to move continuously. No, the movement is done by pressing in successive strokes in the desired direction.
  • Mermaid : in an emergency, manual activation of the siren is possible. It is triggered for a period of 30 seconds but can be interrupted before the deadline. Decibel level at 1 meter distance, it is between 70 and 73 dB and count 79 max while being against. We do not arrive at 110dB as announced on the Imou site. The mermaid itself is not the most strident but looks like a flight of ducks. If the number of decibels may seem low, the fact remains that at a distance of 25 meters it is heard perfectly.
  • Light Spot : activate the flashing of the 2 projectors on either side of the lens for 30 seconds.

On the upper right-hand banner:

  • Le Ø with arrow allows either the sharing of the camera, or to create a widget of direct access to the live stream of this camera.
  • La toothed wheel opens access to the various camera settings (some of which are accessible from the home page, as notifications):
    • Thus, in addition to access to classic information by clicking on the camera image or you can change his name, you can especially retrieve the QR Code label if needed and store it on your smartphone or even better on your computer what we advise you to do.
    • Detection : this is where the settings are to be made. Determine if you want:
      • Motion detection and / or than human form. The choice of the second option will be preferred if you have a pet that is likely to pass in front of the goal without stopping, unless you want to monitor its comings and goings.
      • Smart tracking. If the function is activated, the camera will perform the necessary rotations to keep the detected movement in its viewing angle. But as soon as it leaves its field of vision, after a few seconds it resumes its initial placement.
      • Detection program : to plan the days and times when the camera is automatically activated.
      • Sensitivity to movement : the choice goes from 1 minimum to 5 maximum. By default the camera is on 3 and we must admit it is very good on this median parameter.
  • General activity area : A very large number of tiles make it possible to refine the areas to be masked for a detection as well as possible. And it is very practical this refinement. You can thus rule out what is not in the detection field but this will not obscure the consultation of the entire surface for the live stream or seeing someone pass. It's just the alert that is not transmitted. Very practical and above all very fast the “inverted” adjustment of the detection or non-detection zones by clicking on the center box. Active areas are in orange.
  • Alarm tone : it is simply the triggering of the siren during a movement detection.
  • The storage sections inform you about the chosen method. If you opt for the SD card, when it is full, the new writing overwrites the oldest ones. A definition of the video quality between HD or SD is possible just like programming.
  • Light Spot : activated, upon detection, the two projectors start flashing. Practical it can be considered as a silent but visual alarm.
  • Night vision mode : A selection of the sensitivity of the light sensor between 1 and 5 is possible and 4 programs are available:
    • Intelligent night vision: IR at night and activate color vision when motion is detected.
    • Full-color night vision: spotlights automatically turn on at nightfall.
    • Infrared night vision: black and white vision.
    • Flawless Color Night Vision: Finding the best possible picture without the use of projectors or IR light.
  • Audio recording : you can turn it off. In this case, the live stream and recordings will have no sound.
  • HDR : activate the function to improve the video quality in cases of strong contrasts, for example if the camera is installed against the light.
  • Plus : in this section you have access to the possibility of flip the image 180 ° in case of ceiling installation.

The different nocturnal visions

Intelligent night vision

If the image is black and white during night vision, the flow changes to color thanks to the 2 LED projectors which light up and remain fixed.

Brilliant color night vision

The 2 spotlight LEDs are permanently on.

 

Infrared vision (IR)

The image is black and white even with detection.

 

Flawless color night vision

Here no light source emanates from the camera. The only light that appears is that of the garland when the camera is outside. Indoors it is a little different, even if the room is in total darkness, IR vision is possible.

With Amazon Alexa

As seen previously, when the skill Imou is activated and the associated accounts, the camera is instantly recognized by Alexa. It appears in all devices and in its category: camera. The video stream is available in the application, but not the possibility of doing routines.

To view the stream on a speaker with a screen like Echo Show 8, just ask Alexa display the camera name. It is possible to zoom directly on the screen.

With Google Home

When the Imou add-on is installed the camera is quickly detected by Google Home. If you have not yet linked the two accounts, you can find the add-on by clicking on the "+" and “Configure a device” finally “Works with Google”. From then on returning to the home page of the application, the camera is displayed. It is not possible to use the camera in routines.

The live video stream is available on the screen of a Google Nest Hub and it must be said that the Imou Cruiser camera broadcasts its stream without buffering. The diffusion is here perfectly fluid. But zooming via the screen remains impossible.

In use, the Imou Cruiser camera offers many parameters. Alerts are instantaneous and notifications on smartphone, with photo, allow to have a very correct overview of the situation. The broadcast of the live stream does not suffer from any latency. Four choices of lighting settings are available, making it easy for everyone to find the right one for them. In short, the Imou application is great, it must be admitted.

In conclusion. With a very good quality video stream, the Imou cruiser camera is one of the best we have tested until there. For around 110 €, you have a camera with advanced functions, the simple installation and use, all in compliance with our very restrictive GDPR. What could be better ?

Until 31.12.21, enjoy a 20% discount on all products in the store Imou Direct on Amazon with the code below:

Simple user and novice fallen into the pot Alexa, this one fascinates me and thanks to the boys, Jean-Christophe and Alexien Modo, I learn a little more every day. Loving the different aspects ofAlexa, I turned to skills to share my discoveries with you.