Watch Everything, All The Time: Yeskamo Wireless CCTV Floodlight Camera System Review
Zero set up, floodlights on the cameras, and an included touchscreen monitor make this a budget-friendly small CCTV system for those looking for simplicity. It's let down by a terrible app and underpowered Wi-Fi though.
Setting up a CCTV system can be hard, and you want to monitor the feeds all the time, you’re liable to pay more for professional Network Video Recorders with an HDMI out. The Yeskamo Wireless CCTV system costs less than $250 for two cameras, and includes a 7″ touchscreen to watch on. With zero set up required, the cameras uniquely have a floodlight built-in to act as a deterrent too.
Join us as we take a closer look, and at the end of this review, we have a complete set to give away to one lucky reader. Keep reading to find out how to win, and be sure to check out the video for some bonus entries in the competition.
What’s in the Box?
- 7″ touchscreen base unit.
- Two 1080p floodlight security cameras.
- Three power adaptors: two 12v for the cameras, one 5v for the monitor.
- Mounting bits, and two mini screwdrivers.
- Quickstart guide and warning stickers.
The only thing not included is a microSD card for storing footage. Files are small, so even a small one should be fine, but this is an essential extra to buy.
The cameras are a bullet design, and the only option for mounting them is using three screws. You can’t simply place these on top of a desk or cupboard, they will actually need to be mounted. This is in contrast to the EufyCam E , which came with a couple of mounting options, as well as a rubber foot enabling it to be placed safely on a table top or shelf.
The cameras appear to be a generic model used across the Yeskamo range, and they include an Ethernet port. This isn’t used for connecting to the touchscreen monitor, and it isn’t clear from the manual if these can be repurposed elsewhere. Nor should you unscrew the microSD slot on the cameras themselves. The footage is instead stored on the touchscreen’s microSD. It’s not elegant to have an unused port lying around, but reducing the number of product variations is how costs are kept low.
On the front of the cameras, you’ll find 8 superbright LEDs. While these aren’t comparable to your average halogen floodlight, they are still quite bright and more than capable of lighting up a small area. They’ll do the job to let any intruder aware they’re being watched, for sure.
The 7″ touchscreen monitor includes a kickstand and two antennas. You’ll find a USB port, DC in, microSD slot, and power switch. The power switch actually does nothing when the unit is plugged into the adaptor.
Instead, you have the option of running the touchscreen off battery power, at which point the switch is functional. You’ll need to use two 18650 batteries if you wish to use this feature, which aren’t supplied. It’s nice to have this option, but I’d be worried about a potential loss of Wi-Fi transmission power when running off batteries.
Range Limitations and Zero Setup
The Yeskamo CCTV touchscreen acts as its own Wi-Fi router for the included cameras. They’re already paired out of the box, so all you need to do is mount them and plug in the power. They’ll then appear on your home screen. By default, you’ll get a piercing alarm from the cameras when they detect motion, so you may wish to mute that or set up a schedule immediately.
Thanks to a domed PIR sensor, motion detection is reliable. These only activate when a warm body enters the field of view. Like any alarm system, they can be fooled if you move slowly enough, and the manual provides tips on how to angle them for greatest effect.
Unfortunately, even outdoors with a relatively clear line of sight, I had serious issues with range and connectivity. With the touchscreen sitting on our windowsill, and the camera mounted no more than 20 meters away on the front of the garage, the base station reported a single bar of reception. That was with only a double-glazed window in between. Visuals were delayed a few seconds, sometimes freezing completely, though the talkback features were instant. We placed another camera around the back of garage—another 4 meters away, and through a brick wall or two. This worked intermittently, with zero bars. Nothing was recorded from it. Moving the base station to my office downstairs resulted in a complete loss of reception to both cameras.
Despite zero set up, figuring out where to place the cameras in order to get best (or any reception) will take you a long time. If you’re going to use them internally, and have only drywall or wooden house, you may have better results.
Adding your Wi-Fi details to the Yeskamo monitor will enable you to use the Yeskamo mobile app to live view and see past recordings. But I’d suggest you not bother. The one redeeming feature of the app is that you’re not required to register just to view your camera feeds, unlike some manufacturers which force you into using a verified account before you’re even allowed in.
Adding your system is simple enough. Everything was autodetected and within minutes we could remotely view the screen and tap through for a fullscreen HD image. But that’s about all you can do. Curiously, the app present pan and tilt controls, despite the cameras not supporting that. You can’t adjust schedules or any other settings.
But more importantly, the interface for view past events is just atrocious. Even when it wasn’t buggy and hanging, trying to scroll through the timeline to find a vague red line that supposedly indicates an event wasn’t easy. And when I did find one, I kept getting random errors. There’s no way to just jump back or forward to the next event, and there’s no generic list view of all recorded events (which you can get on the monitor).
It’s so bad. But do you really need it? You’re buying the Yeskamo system because you want the simple touchscreen, not a fancy mobile app.
As you can see from the screen captures below, the video quality isn’t fantastic, but nor is it terrible. Night mode fared worse, with a grainy image. This may have been the fault of bad reception to the base station, but I couldn’t place it any closer, so this reflects real-world output.
I should note that I had a difficult time trying to get the recorded footage into Final Cut Pro for inclusion in the video review. The microSD is formatted in a non-standard way, and was unreadable by my Mac. Not a problem, the system provides a USB export function precisely for that purpose, so you can just plug in a thumb drive. The drive will need to be formatted as FAT, not FAT32.
Once I got that sorted and successfully exported a few clips, I found Final Cut couldn’t use any of the files anyway. They played fine in VLC, so clearly there was something there. I ended up having to use an online tool to convert them to something readable, and even then, some of the files I exported failed to convert.
Should You Buy the Yeskamo Floodlight Security Camera System?
The Yeskamo Wireless CCTV isn’t going to be the all-in-one solution for everyone, given the range limitations and unintuitive app. But if you only have a very small area to cover and want the floodlight deterrent, as well as the ability to watch those feeds when you’re at your desk, then yes, it is worth considering. The zero setup is nice, and it’s a very budget-friendly price point at less than $250 for two cameras and monitor.
It’s always better to deter a potential thief than have to deal with the aftermath.
Grabbing the footage if something does happen is easy using the monitor’s touchscreen features, and you can copy it straight to a USB stick. I’ve criticized the app, but in reality, it’s much easy to work directly on this touchscreen than the intermediate steps a mobile app would require. So yes, the app is terrible, but really, you don’t need it.
For anyone with a larger property, or internal brick and stone walls, don’t bother. The Wi-Fi signal from the monitor proved to be underpowered in my testing, despite the presence of external antennas. If you were hoping to offload a camera system to its own private Wi-Fi network because your home Wi-Fi is spotty anyway, this won’t fare any better. Fix your own Wi-Fi first, then invest in a camera system that runs directly off that.