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MOBOTIX S14 Complete Set 3 Review

MOBOTIX S14 Sensor Lens Unit

My company’s lab received the MOBOTIX S14 Complete Set 3 the other day and I couldn’t have been more excited. It’s so much fun to play with new toys, isn’t it? The S14 is no exception. And really, only one word can describe this camera set. It was sexy. There are not too many other ways to put it.

Out-of-the-box First Layer

Brand New – First Layer: The tools and manual

Out-of-the-box Second Layer

Brand New – Second Layer: The Flexmount, sensor lenses, extension kits, and cables.

For nearly the past year we’ve been exposed to MOBOTIX’s unique little S14 Flexmount and sensor units. It’s a completely different kind of camera really. To see pictures of it on line is intriguing but almost hard to make out. The way the camera works is the actual camera components are in the Flexmount base unit and the lenses are connected via cables back to the Flexmount. The small lenses from MOBOTIX can be mounted flush with the wall or else an extension kit can angle them at degrees There are day lens and night lens, the sensors come in either black or white, but again, that’s all great on paper, but what is it really like? Well, please, let me tell you about it.

The first surprise is how solid the unit feels. It’s encased in IP65 housing so the camera and pieces are good for either indoor or outdoor use. The lens sensor units themselves were beautiful. They had a serious weight to them, not flimsy or delicate at all. Just in case, however, the Set 3 came with extra dome covers for the day sensor lens and night sensor lens. The unit lenses fit well in the palm of my hand, which is small. Once in the wall or ceiling it would be hard to pick out, unless you knew where to look.

I connected the lens to the camera with the included cables and laid it out across the length of our lab. The lab was first used as a conference room to have ample space for a speaker at the front and enough room to seat about 50 people, so it’s a large space to fill. The cables are each 6 feet long, so 12 feet of distance from lens sensor to lens sensor covered quite a bit of the room.

A rare look at VoIP Supply Labs and the length the S14 covers

A rare look at VoIP Supply Labs and the length the S14 covers

More so, as MOBOTIX has wide angle lens, it would be even better for covering an angled room or bend in a hallway. By installing 1 sensor on each side of the wall, the wide angle lens would be able to overlap some of the view in order to see everything that was happening which would be impossible to see with a traditional security camera.

The MOBOTIX S14 will automatically be detected by MOBOTIX’s free MxEasy software with an IP address, but since we were using it on the company’s network using a DHCP server, it was relatively easy to assign it an IP address. It should be said, I am NOT familiar with DHCP servers. Once that was all set up, the included manual was very easy to use; really helpful. It is indeed a book, but if you take a few minutes to skim the instructions, they’re very easy. The pictures help.

The MxEasy software immediately picked up the day sensor for the MOBOTIX S14. The wide angle panoramic view was excellent. The pictures included are of our lab, and as you can see, the panoramic view grabs a lot of it.

IMG_2711

The panoramic view via at the computer screen

original shot

Screenshot of panoramic view. The digital PTZ zoomed in on our IP phones with excellent detail for ePTZ.

Personal preference tends to turn me away from wide angle lenses, but I would buy this camera without a doubt. The sheer span of its coverage is excellent, the lenses and body are unobtrusive, and the solid feel of the camera itself just screams quality product. If you’re thinking of buying this camera, buy all means, go for it because I can’t see you regretting it.

I should probably mention, MOBOTIX is not for the faint of heart. If surveillance is sort of a whim that you want to go on to protect your house, business, car, so on and so forth, but you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to learning the technology, best keep searching. This product might be a little too intense for what you’re looking for. I would suggest a mini dome or wireless cube, preferably from D-Link or TRENDnet, who are wildly user friendly and easy to install, and they’ll take care of your motion detection triggers, email alerts, and video back-up.

If you are looking for something that is professional, will last for (quite literally) a decade, can be integrated with security systems, POS systems, fire systems, has onboard storage, is weatherproof and near-covert, this is the camera you want to go with. It’s a little pricey, but I have to say well worth it. If you’re not familiar with MOBOTIX products, it will take you a little bit of catching up to do, but the time is well spent. MOBOTIX users are fierce fans, and this S14 will convert several others to their side.

IMG_2710

MOBOTIX S14D

There you have it! First hand user experience; I loved it. Has anyone else used the S14? Are you a fan of MOBOTIX cameras? And if you have any questions, feel free to call my colleagues at VoIP Supply at 1.866.885.4853 and they will be happy to discuss the camera with you further.

Post Script: I don’t remember seeing any stains on the floor of the lab, but apparently the iPhone 5 camera picked one out.  Please excuse it in the first photo.

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