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Netatmo review, problems, advice 2019


As with all similar products Netatmo uses a fixed wide angle lens. You think it's a good idea because it covers a large area but moving away from the camera people quickly become a small blob in the middle of the screen and can't be identified. So as a CCTV system it's pretty much useless. The whole idea of CCTV is you can identify the person who's caused problems.

We've taken some screen shots of a person at various distances from the camera.

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Person 1 metre from Netatmo camera

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Person 4 metres from Netatmo camera

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Person 8 metres from Netatmo camera

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Person 11 metres from Netatmo camera

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Person 14 metres from Netatmo camera

Overall we were not impressed with the image quality from Netatmo. You can see how the camera struggles with brighter areas outside. Compare the images from Netatmo with a camera from CCTV42

Netatmo 1 metre.jpg

Netatmo camera struggles with variation in brightness, you can't see outside the building

CCTV42 1 metre.jpg

The CCTV42 camera deals with brightness variation allowing you to see outside the building

In terms of detail capture the wide angle lens combined with generally poor image quality really shows as you move away from the camera. Netatmo reference "ultra-long detection up to 20m / 65ft" but the reality is much worse than that. We've taken the footage at 8 metres and compared it to a properly zoomed in CCTV42 camera.

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The Netatmo camera shows no detail at 8 metres distance

CCTV42 8 metres zoomed in.jpg

The CCTV42 camera allows clear identification at 8 metres distance

You need to be careful when assessing CCTV footage. If you know who someone is the brain fills in any gaps allowing you to identify them, but if it's an unknown person or you want to use the footage as evidence then it has to be clear. Even modest properties will need the CCTV system to cope with distances of 8 to 15 metres.

Installation of the Netatmo camera is quite exciting. There is a genuine chance of killing yourself because it uses mains 240 volt power rather than the usual 12 volts found in CCTV. We actually had to pay attention to what we were doing for a change. Running mains wiring around your home is probably a job best left to professionals and in some places it might be a legal requirement to do so. Check carefully before starting any work.

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As well as providing the camera with mains power it needs to be in wifi range of your router to work. We found the camera suffered from lots of lag - the time delay between something happening and seeing it on your phone or computer screen.

We found it quite difficult to get screen shots from the Netatmo camera. We couldn't find any way of quickly taking a snapshot on the computer. Netatmo seem to rely on downloading segments of video to your mobile phone but you need to be careful, phones don't have anything like as much storage capacity as a decent computer, a few GB as opposed to several TB

As with similar products the Netatmo camera is designed to record audio as well as video. The UK has very strict guidelines for recording audio so do your homework. Businesses in particular can face huge fines under GDPR rules.

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There was no time stamp on the Netatmo footage and that will present a problem if you need to use footage as evidence. In the UK it will normally be a requirement to have time stamped footage so we see it as one of the basic CCTV requirements.

As a credible CCTV solution we think Netatmo has too many shortcomings particularly if detail capture over 3m is required. There were some gimmicky features like being alerted to a person, a car or an animal as they walked past but if you can't identify who they are there seems little point. We would rather be able to clearly identify someone and then take a snapshot.

A final gripe was the use of high quality digital photographs passing themselves off as camera footage on the promotional material. It is very misleading.

Feel free to give us a call or email to discuss your particular needs. Our advice is free and we can email over a suggestion for best equipment and camera locations.