LG LW130W IP Camera – Closing the gap between IP and analogue on cost
We were lucky enough to review the new LG LW130W IP based CCTV camera recently. To us it looked like just another copy of the Axis Communications M1031-W but with the 720p resolution of the Axis M1054. The unit looked sturdy, we liked the round corners as opposed to the more sharp lines of the Axis offerings but it wasn’t until we plugged it in that we got a good feel of this camera’s worth.
The 720p image is stretched across a huge horizontal angle whilst whilst it was affected by some fish-eye effects, it was only a problem in the part of the image say 15% in from the edge. Compared to the Axis offerings, it had much wider angle and image clarity was impressive with beautiful colour reproduction, good contrast and sharp lines.
The interface into the LG camera was not as polished as that of the Axis communications offering, but for a company really only just getting good at IP cameras and comparing it to some of the interfaces from companies such as Acti, it wasnt bad at all. We used the LW130W’s ONVIF compliance to plug the camera into both Milestone XProtect Essential and Milestone XProtect Corporate and the stream came in easily. The image quality, frame rate and usability of the image was even better than what we saw in the web browser. The unit also has a PIR sensor to detecting movement in any light, we did not attempt to get events from this PIR into Milestone, but I’m sure it would not be a problem.
The other thing we were very impressed by was the brightness of the LED light built into the unit. Blindly bright and capable of easily lighting a small room it hurts your eyes to look at it.
The unit has support for a Micro-SD card, allowing for internal recording. This is a great feature, meaning you’re not having to put this camera into a Video Management System to record, you can setup your motion detection and other events within the camera to record to the internal camera. Once recorded, you can recall and playback, even export as desired. LG have released a new firmware now to further improve the internal recording, highlighting this as a key focus for this particular unit. In practice, the internal recording worked fine and recalling video was no problem. Not as nice to use as a VMS, but perfectly functional and operated as intended.
All in all, we will probably sell this camera around the $320 ex GST mark, which is really getting into competition with the analogue market. Really you are getting a WHOLE lot more camera and image quality than you would with a comparably priced analogue camera. Especially considering the unit can be set up as a self-contained security system with internal recording. The wider viewing angle and increased image quality can also lead to a reduction in camera count required to cover a particular area.
In summary, it was a very impressive offering from LG, we have seen some of their IP offerings a few years ago and were not very impressed.. If LG keep producing cameras of this value for money, we can imagine they will start making some significant inroads into the IP CCTV market. This camera is perfect for the small business and home markets and we may even find a place for it in some of our larger projects if they are price sensitive. Our only complaint was that the unit did not support Power over Ethernet (PoE) however when you think about it, its a perfectly logical step, this is a wireless camera, designed to be deployed using wireless, why would you need PoE support? That said, we would most likely cable the camera up and the lack of PoE may lessen the chance of its wide-spread usage due to the fact that we will need to find power close by. However, if LG made a 48v PoE to 5V splitter for the device (or we found another one suitable) then it would be great.