Review - TOP-201 Super Mini 720P HD IP-Cam (The Cheapest IP Cam So Far !!)

Discussion in 'IP Cameras' started by lojix, Dec 13, 2014.

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  1. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    Many thanks! It's looking like I'll need to install and use their CMS and Device Manager software. Generally I try to avoid installing/running ANY extra software from any of the camera guys (paranoid, I guess :) ).
     
  2. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    Good news and bad news. :) Finally got ActiveX installed, so I could log in and configure the camera. Nice image for less than $20! (I did not install Device Manager or CMS.) I reset the fixed IP and assigned a new port number, and was able to get BI to recognize it and stream the video. BUT, now I cannot login to the camera. ?! Everytime I try (with the new password I had assigned) I get a "Login timeout" message. Meanwhile, BI is streaming the image with no problem. Interestingly, the data in the "path" window of BI seems to suggest a new password has been assigned:

    /user=admin_password=h3njhZa2_channel=1_stream=0.sdp?real_stream

    In other words, my assigned password, which is also entered in the password box is NOT "h3njhZa2". Even if try to login as admin/h3njhZa2 I still get the "Login timeout" message.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. Many thanks!
     
  3. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    Don, many thanks. I unzipped and placed the folder on the desktop of the PC from which BI runs and I access the camera using IE w/ActiveX. When I double-click on "ResetTool.exe" I get this error message:

    C:\Users\Cameras-NVR\Desktop\ResetTop-201\ResetTool.exe
    The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log or use the command-line sxstrace.exe tool for more detail.
     
  4. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    Thanks to your earlier detailed posts, I had the presence of mind to capture that information before configuring the camera. According to the camera properties window it is a "system V4.02.R12.00006510.10010.1407". It would not allow highlighting/copying (which I usually do to avoid typos) so I copied this manually but rechecked the alphanumeric characters carefully. As for my attempt to execute this, the system is headless so I am accessing it and doing this using LogMeIn Pro, and it is Windows 7 64b.
     
  5. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    I had several "Administrative Events" with this detail:

    + System
    - Provider
    [ Name] SideBySide
    - EventID 33
    [ Qualifiers] 49409
    Level 2
    Task 0
    Keywords 0x80000000000000
    - TimeCreated
    [ SystemTime] 2015-02-14T23:55:12.000000000Z
    EventRecordID 5746
    Channel Application
    Computer Cameras-NVR
    Security
    - EventData
    Microsoft.VC80.MFC,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",version="8.0.50727.762"
    C:\Users\Cameras-NVR\Desktop\ResetTool.exe
     
  6. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    Perfect! You are a lifesaver! I now understand what you meant by running this "locally". Did it from another PC on my LAN and it worked like a charm. I redid all my settings and all is well. It registers in BI perfectly.

    At the price of these cameras it is hard to complain with a straight face, but they really need to get past the need for IE with ActiveX.

    Many thanks again!
     
  7. wildbill999

    wildbill999 n3wb

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  8. wildbill999

    wildbill999 n3wb

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    Thank you for that update it is very useful.
    I am looking for cheaper options also as I need a IP cam at 720p (or better) that is not loaded with any IR illuminators.

    Take care,
    Bill
     
  9. madmas

    madmas n3wb

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    Hi to all!

    Dear TheUberOverLord,is it possible to get a snapshot from this camera by URL link? Now the firmware version of my IP camera is V4.02.R12.00006510.10010.1407, build date is 2014-08-04 15:34:07.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  10. madmas

    madmas n3wb

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  11. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    Not sure if you managed getting a hold of the firmware Adam86, but I uploaded it a while back, see here: http://www.ipcamtalk.com/showthread...P-Cam-So-Far-!!)&p=15571&viewfull=1#post15571

    Nice!
    I wonder if the demand grows whether they'll be more accommodating.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2015
  12. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    Could this be done through the Dev/SDK tools available for the chipset?
    (something i'm new to, and keen wrap my mind around)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2015
  13. madmas

    madmas n3wb

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    Thank you for your hard work. Let's hope that the manufacturer will hear their clients.
     
  14. NetWorker

    NetWorker BIT Beta Team

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    Just received my TOP-201 today (30 business day later..) and I'm having difficulty finding it on the network.

    The "IP Search" feature in CMS turns up nothing and by default the IP is supposed to be 192.168.1.10 is what is says on the back. Not sure if I have a lemon or this thing is more of challenge than I thought.

    Can someone help me get it up and running? I've downloaded the manual and docs and followed them but not getting far.
     
  15. alastairstevenson

    alastairstevenson Known around here

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    For ONVIF-compatible cameras - such as the TOP-201, the Windows open-source tool 'ONVIF Device Manager' from sourceforge.net does a pretty good job of finding what's on your LAN. As well as providing loads of useful info on the cameras and NVRs.
     
  16. zeoclang

    zeoclang Young grasshopper

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    Is there a PoE version of this camera?
     
  17. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    There is 'the long and short' answer, so I'll aim for the middle and hope for the bullseye!

    There's a range of module boards that are built on the Hi3518x chipset which are used in the variants of this camera.
    This is the board that came in the specific model I purchased in this review:

    [​IMG]
    I have indicated the pins that are assigned to POE.

    Basically, the board DOES support POE, but most likely to keep cost down it has not been utilized. Which is still great news if you're willing to open up the cam and connect it up!

    The range of module board configurations built on top of the four versions of the Hi3518 chipset, come with various interface terminals. Some allowing more peripheral connection than others. The board in the TOP-201 is not as 'optioned' compared to some others available. I recently purchased another variation of this camera which has this board below.

    [​IMG]

    ...as you can see, it offers a fair bit more in the way of adaptability. I was happy with this one because I want to hook a mic up to it for added audio stream.

    Further to the POE question, there is a few versions I have come across with POE connection, ready connected for sale.

    [​IMG]

    http://epsee.en.alibaba.com/product..._security_poe_pinhole_ip_camera_peephole.html

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/1-3-Megapixel-Onvif-Poe-Mini_1571409526.html

    Above are just two of the models available that are POE ready. Many more variations of module boards with different combinations of pre-built peripherals can easily be found, leaving a lot to the imagination depending on desired use and finding the right price... have a look at the source below:

    http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale...220173911&SearchText=Hi3518+ip+camera+module+

    Cheers!
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2015
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  18. Marc

    Marc n3wb

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    Just want to say thanks for your work and info.
    Bought a 1080p camera, http://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=14186881008&spm=a1z09.2.9.42.NicY0r&_u=m1in819pda48 and tried to get snapshots from it.
    Read this site, arrived at the assumption that it does not have built in support (until I ask them, they are on Chinese New Year vacation), and by looking further found that u can use avconv or ffmpeg.
    To get a snapshot (can replace "avconv" with "ffmpeg") ;
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]avconv-irtsp://192.168.1.10:554//user=admin_password=_channel=1_stream=0.sdp-vframes 1 -r 1 -s 640x360 pic.jpg
    (exclude "-s 640x360" and u get original picture size.
    Tested on Ubuntu 14.10.[/FONT]
     
  19. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    You're very welcome Marc
    and thanks for sharing the info, I'll try it out! ...madmas and TheUberOverLord will be pleased.

    Cheers!
     
  20. IRONSIDE

    IRONSIDE n3wb

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    I purchase one of these because it is the first hd pinhole cam I have seen that is an IP camera. I noticed you mentioned software on the enclosed disk and mine did not install either, and you mentioned your setup on you network with two subnets. I have a similar setup. May I enquire the url of the software you used to find the cam on your network.
    Second is this really on 192.168.1.10
    I was not able to find the cam typing this in directly, may have been the subnet I was accessing it from?
    Would you share what you did to find and configure the TOP-201 cam on your network, The would be a great help as the documentation is in chinese and I am not having very much luck getting this to work.
    Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    Oh by the way an outstanding review on this product.
     
  21. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    Hi IRONSIDE,
    I recorded a short video going through the basic setup and uploaded it to Youtube. Check the source at the following post:

    http://www.ipcamtalk.com/showthread.php?1812-Review-TOP-201-Super-Mini-720P-HD-IP-Cam-(The-Cheapest-IP-Cam-So-Far-!!)&p=17539&viewfull=1#post17539

    You're very welcome! ...let us know how you go after the previous suggestions and if you're still having any trouble with it :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2015
  22. NetWorker

    NetWorker BIT Beta Team

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    Well looks like the power supply was the culprit. It's a 12V DC 1 Amp DC power supply but the connector was not seated properly.

    To make sure it's working properly I also used the CMS software (thanks for the link) and it found the camera right away. Now that I know it's working, should I upgrade the firmware to the latest and greatest? I will follow the in depth post you made about it if you recommend doing it. Thanks for taking the time to write that up!

    Great info! I'm not a fan of the software so far and for a basic task like this, seems like the perfect utility to have in the arsenal. Plus I'm not sure what other "goodies" come with a CMS installation that I might not have asked for.
     
  23. alastairstevenson

    alastairstevenson Known around here

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    Agreed, ODM deserves its place in the toolkit. Tells you things you need that the manufacturer doesn't bother to.
    Another smart piece of Russian software...
     
  24. harrijs

    harrijs Young grasshopper

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    Something else that I would suggest is that you block outbound traffic from this camera to the internet at your firewall. I don't have a capture available now, but when I put this thing on my network it was pretty chatty outbound. I just made a rule to deny outbound traffic and left it at that, but it is something to think about when connecting devices to your networks.
     
  25. klasipca

    klasipca Banned

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    I stumbled on this thread. The cam for $19 looks great, but just wonder what would be good uses for it. Also, I see bunch of variations of this cam and having hard time to decide on which one to get. I prefer to have all features (either poe or wifi and ideally varifocal), but if it uses different firmware or older chipset I would rather not.

    Original, 720p ($18)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...a-1-0-Megapixel-66966/713545_32259244980.html

    720p, wifi, mic ($43) <- Not sure what chipset it uses, but seems like the best deal
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free...curity-system-audio-home-door/2029403787.html

    720p, ir ($65)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free...1-3-Mega-pixel-Hd-Mini-Hidden/1529023252.html

    720p, wifi, ir ($56)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-...P-Hidden-Mini-IR-Wireless-Ip/32218734989.html

    1080p, varifocal (55
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1080...-varifocal-zoom-lens-With-P2P/2021156569.html

    1080p, ir ($84)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Tiny...-Vision-2-1Megapixel-1080P-Hd/2025254570.html

    1080p poe, ir ($92)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...MEGAPIXEL-10Pcs-940nm/1034208_1706672769.html

    720p, wireless ($44)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-...Lens-H-264-Onvif-Indoor-MINI/32237418619.html

    Advertising Sony IMX122 sensor. Similar design, but pinhole option only:

    1080p, microphone ($80) (
    )
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...-2-Megapixel-Pinhole/1034208_32276081190.html


    1080p, wifi, poe? ($100)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...rld-Smallest-Wireless/412419_32238088046.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2015
  26. alastairstevenson

    alastairstevenson Known around here

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  27. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    I also have one of these, plus one of the fixed lens types. My plan is to use them for indoor locations where the space is very small and/or where I do not want the camera to be easily seen. They seem perfect for that, plus they are so cheap and have excellent images.
     
  28. msantic

    msantic n3wb

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  29. harrijs

    harrijs Young grasshopper

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    I don't think I will ever use this because of the horrible WDR I am getting from it. The attached image is in a basement and is completely blown out by the exterior light coming in the windows. I initially thought I would use it in an interior application somewhere in the house, maybe hidden on a bookshelf. The WDR performance I am seeing with the camera almost makes that worthless as light transitions throughout the day.

    It is a decent picture for the ~$25 I have in it, but the picture color issues, WDR issues, and the necessity to use that awful software to manage the device lead me to believe the additional $60-80 for a 3MP Hik bullet will work better in almost every situation.

    They are a neat novelty, but that is about it. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone unless they just wanted something to tinker with for a weekend.



    [​IMG]
     

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  30. klasipca

    klasipca Banned

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    Thank you for your input, saved me a few bucks from an impulse buy :)


    I'll wait for next gen of these. I agree though, Hiks for $80 are just better value and more usable. They even offer tiny cam option, although 8x the price of this one.