Xiaomi Dafang 360° PTZ WLAN camera

XiaomiDafang

When Xiaomi introduced the Mijia Dafang WLAN camera in August last year, the enthusiasm was great, because for a price of about 25€ there is a lot of technology on offer. The camera has Full HD resolution, 360 degree panoramic view, memory card slot and is, in contrast to its predecessor Mijia Xiaofang, also intended for use outside China. When the numerous pre-orders arrived at the users in October, many were disillusioned. On the one hand the voice output for the installation is completely in Chinese, on the other hand the required Mi Home app was to a large extent incompletely translated. For this reason I decided not to do a test at this time. Meanwhile some months have passed and the app was almost completely translated into English. So the camera is worth a second look.

Specification

  • Video resolution: 1080p / 1920*1080 Pixel
  • Viewing angle: 120 degrees
  • Pivot table: 360 degrees horizontal / 93 degrees vertical
  • Frame rate: 15 fps
  • Night vision (6 IR LED)
  • Network: WLAN 802.11 b / g / n 2.4Ghz
  • Local memory: MicroSD card up to 32GB (optional)
  • 2-way audio system

An own USB power supply is required

The scope of delivery is clearly arranged. Beside the Xiaomi Dafang camera there is a Micro USB cable with 1.8m length, a Chinese operating manual and a USB power supply for Chinese sockets in the package. The wrong power supply can simply be replaced by a common “mobile phone charger” or a USB multiple charger. Once you have found the right power supply, the installation can begin.

Installation

To set up the camera you need the MiHome app which is available for free for IOS and Android in the corresponding appstores. To use the app you need a Mi-Account. You can either create a new account or import it from an already used Xiaomi app like MiFit or Amazfit. Since the camera is only intended for the Asian market, the region must first be changed to China in the settings. Now the Dafang can be added in the selection menu. To start the installation you have to press the setup button on the bottom side of the camera. The voice instructions of the camera are in Chinese, but within the app one is guided through an English menu. If this does not work the first time, further attempts are necessary. The following gallery shows the individual steps of the installation process.

Camera offers many features

The Xiaomi Dafang offers many features which can be controlled within the app. Besides the standard features like video streaming, photo and video recording, night mode and motion detection, the tracking function which lets the camera follow the detected object has to be emphasized. Furthermore, smoke and CO2 detection are rather unusual for a camera in this price segment. The following screenshots of the app show the further features and possibilities.

The recording quality can be convincing for a camera in this price segment, but the bit rate can lead to blurring or artifacts during fast movements and camera pans. The built-in MicroSD card slot allows motion detection recordings to be stored and retrieved locally on the camera. If motion is detected, a push notification is sent to the smartphone on request. The built-in 2-way audio also allows direct communication with the “intruder”. The connection to the device is established via the cloud and therefore delays or connection problems can occur due to the server location in China.

Conclusion

Who looks for a favorable camera around now and then at home after the right to look meets with the Xiaomi Mijia Dafang a good and above all favorable choice. Once the installation is done, the camera can be used very well. The Mijia Dafang runs, like most cheap devices of this kind, via a Chinese cloud server. This should be considered when choosing the location. If you want to cut some cables from the cloud, you can install an alternative firmware (Dafang Hack) with which it is possible to access the camera and the RTSP Steam locally.

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