The problem with many outdoor security cameras is that they’re a pain to use; sure they may be wireless but you still have to power them from an electrical outlet. So it’s about time that ezviz’s Mini Trooper has come along to bring battery power to security cameras.
The Mini Trooper runs off of 4 CR123A batteries — easy enough to put them in and forget about them since they’ll power the camera for up to 9 months at a go — and no, that doesn’t alter its waterproofing against the elements. Designed to stand on its own or attached to a mount for going on a wall, the expected features of a much more expensive camera are in play, with night vision (up to 25’) and audio recording to accompany video as part of the mix. Don’t forget the ubiquitous iOS/Android app either — that’s how you take care of setups and get alerts, watch what the camera sees (in HD resolution), view photo “snapshots” and be reminded about battery life. Or for managing up to 6 cameras conveniently (cameras have a 116-degree wide angle lens so they see a pretty good amount of not just what’s in front of them).
But there’s two major things about the Mini Trooper that has to be addressed — the first being how to keep those batteries from being depleted unnecessarily. That’s done by the camera prioritizing its video as to moving objects in the forefront which has an infrared heat signature. The PIR sensor (passive infrared sensor) does the job. Helping this along is digital video noise suppression and an automated bitrate adjustment based on what’s needed at different times of day to get a good video image. With a range of up to 10 meters (at an angle of +/- 15 degrees), this prioritizes people and animals over inanimate objects that would otherwise trigger a camera uselessly, like falling leaves or swaying tree branches.
The second thing different about the Mini Trooper is that not everything is contained inside of it. It’s able to record video and photos to a microSD card (availability being up to 128GB), but the slot is in a base station that is safely plugged into a wall outlet inside, near the home network router if desirability is to have it plugged into a free Ethernet port, or free of encumbrances if using a Wi-Fi signal instead. The base station is used to help set up the camera, then functions as a transmission intermediary between the home network and the camera. Range between camera and base station is typically up to 300 feet, with adjustment of the base station’s two antennas aiding in this.
The Mini Trooper comes in a bundle that includes camera/base station plus batteries as well as a wall mount plate and other bits. This retails for $149.99. For an added camera, pay $109.99 retail. Considering all that the Mini Trooper does and how well it does it — which includes working through voice commands with Alexa and the Echo Show — these costs translate into a really, really good deal.