My Impressions of the Eve Outdoor Cam

Crosspost Reviews
The Eve Outdoor Cam works well on almost any external surface (Image from EveHome.com)

Nothing is more important that keeping you and your family safe. That is why having an extra set of eyes watching the outside of your home at all times is a security measure everyone should consider.

What is Eve Outdoor Cam?

The Eve outdoor Cam is a floodlight, a security camera and a two-way intercom system all in one package. Below are the specs:

  • Full HD Video Camera with a 157 deg field of view
  • Infrared motion detection
  • Dimmable Flood Light with light boost
  • IP55 certified (outdoor weather-proofing)
  • Three-axis camera angle adjustment (set at install)
  • Two-way communication with built-in microphone and speaker
  • Apple HomeKit and HomeKit Secure Video compatible
Features of the Eve Outdoor Cam (Image from EveHome.com)

Eve Outdoor Cam was the first HomeKit enabled outdoor security camera that uses HomeKit Secure Video. Why is this a big deal? The biggest cost of a security camera isn’t the hardware, rather it is the ongoing monthly or annual fees associated with storing the video files generated by the camera. Security cameras have very little value if you can’t go back and look at past videos and in order to do that you have to store video as it is being collected somewhere. Most security cameras choose to lock you into a cloud video storage service associated with the company that built the hardware. But what if you already pay for large amounts of secure cloud storage? Why not just use that storage instead of buying yet more storage you don’t really need. That is why using Eve Outdoor Cam with HomeKit Secure Video is such an attractive option. Not only do you get to use cloud storage you are already paying for but you also get the security of using Apple’s cloud storage (and at least up until this point it has proven to be rather secure).

How Have I Been Using the Eve Outdoor Cam?

I now own three of these cameras and have them installed outside my house. I bought the first camera almost 6-months before I bought the final two units because I wanted to give it a good trial run before I bought the additional cameras I needed to cover the most vulnerable entry points into our house. Everybody is going to have their own reasons for getting security cameras. For me it was about making sure my family was safe. My wife and I work from home quite a bit and our kids are older but still living at home. But because of our crazy ever-changing schedules the occupancy of our house changes drastically from day to day and hour to hour. So I wanted a way to not only make sure we were safe while at home but that we also had an extra set of eyes on our house while all of us were away.

The two-way audio makes it easy to interact with someone outside your home whether you are home or not (Image from EveHome.com)

The real selling point for me with these cameras is their integration with Apple HomeKit. For one thing, I am able to configure my AppleTV so that any time any one of the cameras either records a clip or detects motion (or a specific type of motion) it will display a picture in picture window in the corner of the screen with a thumbnail image from the camera that detected the motion. You can then with a single button press on the AppleTV remote switch to full screen of the live view from that camera. So if you are watching TV at night this is a great way to be notified if something is going on outside your house.

That brings up the topic of motion sensitivity and motion detection zones, both of which can be adjusted with the Eve Outdoor Cam. So if you have trees or bushes or maybe a flag that flaps in the wind near your camera you can make adjustments to the motion sensitivity and or the zones within the camera’s field of view to exclude thing you don’t want the camera to alert you about and recorded footage of. For example, maybe your camera is pointed in such a way that it get part of the street in front of your house. You may not want to record every car or person that comes down your street (unless they come down your driveway). You can simply setup the Eve Outdoor Cam so that it ignores motions within certain zones so you don’t get a bunch of notifications you don’t want. This is also a key feature if your camera points towards a neighbor’s house. It allows you to respect their privacy and not record anything that happens on their property while also allowing you to still monitor things in the immediate area of your house on your side of the property line.

The image on the left is an example of some daytime images where deer triggered my motion sensors. The image on the right is of a fox and is an example of the night vision quality of the camera. Note that the flood light is not on in this image, it is completely dark (Images from Skip Owens)

For right now I have it setup for all 3 cameras to only notify me of motion if I am NOT at home. Between our dog and having the notification pop up on the AppleTV I really don’t need any more notifications during the day while I am home. I am still in the process of setting up the automations with the cameras for while we sleep at night, but I intend to have an automation that will wake me up in the middle of the night if motion is detected. We do have a lot of animals (deer and fox) but I can configure the motion zones in such a way that they pretty much have to come right up next to the house to trigger the motion detection so I don’t think I will be getting a lot of false alarms waking me up in the middle of the night once I do get these automations running.

Verdict

I’m really impressed with the Eve Outdoor Cam. What sold me on the camera was its integration with HomeKit Secure Video but the camera quality, night vision, two-way audio, and overall automation capabilities is what really sealed the deal for me.

There is one glaring problem I have had with the Eve Outdoor Cam and that is the installation. There is a step in the installation process (page 14 of the instruction booklet) where you are instructed to pass the cable through the cable inlet. At this point in the process the camera is mostly assembled onto the mount on the surface you are installing it on so you don’t have much room to manipulate the electrical cable behind the camera. That cable is also extremely stiff and short. It is essentially impossible to manipulate this cable in such a way to successfully get the cable routed through cable inlet in the mounting base. So what we had to do is route the cable while the camera was still unassembled and on the ground and then install the entire assembly (mounting cover, mounting ring and camera) all at once (which takes a lot of hands in a very small amount of space). It works, but it requires a lot of cussing (don’t install this around little ears). But once you do manage to get the camera installed it’s an amazing product. If you are prepared for this one installation challenge going in I think you will be very happy overall with this security camera.

Pros:

  • Compatible with HomeKit Secure Video (saves a lot of money in the long run)
  • Full HD Video with a very large field of view
  • Very bright flood light with light boost
  • Clear two-way audio
  • HomeKit automation friendly

Cons:

  • Expensive (purchase of the hardware, but lack of a need for a storage plan offsets this)
  • Difficult to install

The Eve Outdoor Cam is available for purchase now for $249.95 from Amazon.

As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small commission on qualified purchases.

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