Hobie Crase/CNET

In the new era of super cheap security cameras that work indoors and outdoors, specialty indoor cameras that cost over $30 are becoming a harder sell. But one feature that can define a indoor camera aside from the bland competitors, there’s the ability to roam – pan or tilt to capture the best possible picture of what’s going on in your home.

I’m a fan of pan and tilt cameras because they’re so flexible: you can use them as pet cameras, nanny cameras, cover multiple indoor rooms by positioning them in a corner, or cover an indoor and outdoor area by placing them on a window sill. In short, they are fantastic gadgets.

And I was excited to try Lorex’s $70 2K Panoramic Indoor Security Camera because it brought a few more benefits to that equation, including a privacy mode where the camera stows away in its housing, physically blocking the stream . But a few performance issues plague this pan-and-tilt camera, preventing it from outperforming the rest of the class.

Like

  • Great value
  • Free local storage
  • Great usability

Do not like

  • The following feature does not work well
  • No periodic scan

Good

Lorex’s pan-tilt camera is quick to install and easy to use. The app is simple and packs an impressive amount of information and control into an accessible user interface.

Much like other similar cameras, you can choose to manually control pan and tilt, guiding the Lorex’s eye around the room as you view the live feed. From the app, you can also adjust the resolution, use two-way talk, and change various other features, such as night vision and HDR.

When I tested the Lorex, everything worked as advertised: the stream is clear with little lag, two-way talk is fast and looks decent, and manually looking around the room with the camera’s pan and tilt functions is intuitive and really useful.

But most of this is not particularly revolutionary. In fact, you can get the same features from most Lorex competitors, sometimes at a lower price.

Lorex beats its competitors in a few key categories, however. Most important is its included local storage. While the Wyze Camera Pan v2 includes a slot for a microSD card, the Lorex includes a 64GB card when purchased, which means you get a ton of on-camera storage. Of course, you can get one of these cards for less than 10 dollarsbut I like the convenience and added value to the camera.

The other feature that I really like about Lorex is the privacy mode. Where some cameras slide a cover over the camera lens to achieve this, the Lorex simply tilts its lens into the camera body, obscuring its view. Many more affordable cameras don’t include a privacy mode at all, and I appreciated the ingenuity displayed at Lorex.

The bad

While the Lorex starts strong, it’s not perfect.

My favorite feature with cameras like this is the automatic pan and tilt to track people (or animals) entering or exiting the frame. This was the first problem I encountered with the Lorex. You can enable this feature, which is currently in beta, but a person walking through the frame at a moderate distance (eg 8ft from the camera) and at a normal walking pace is apparently too fast for the camera can follow her.

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The Lorex Pan-Tilt can cover a much larger area than most indoor cameras thanks to its motion features.

Hobie Crase/CNET

I tested the feature dozens of times, and each time I entered the frame, the camera turned to where I had entered – the opposite direction I was walking – and ignored that I was leaving the frame. frame a few moments later. Increasing the camera’s sensitivity helped the problem a bit, but it still wouldn’t follow my movement most of the time, unless I was walking much slower than was natural.

This feature can be useful for responding to movement right at the edge of a frame, but it certainly won’t follow the path of a subject in a room.

Also, you can’t set the camera to automatically cycle back and forth (or patrol) around a room, which defeats the point of having a panning camera in the first place.

These two shortcomings seriously limit the Lorex’s ability to compete with similar devices. The Wyze Cam Pan v2, for example, can both track a subject smoothly and efficiently around a room and also scan a room periodically.

The final issue with the Lorex Pan-Tilt is how motion zones work. Because the camera can move, drawn motion areas don’t work exactly like static cameras. While I haven’t seen any camera do a great job of creating areas of motion all over a panorama, this feels like a useless feature, given that the areas you want your camera to attend to probably change depending on the where the camera is pointing.

considering everything

The Lorex is a solid bet: you get a smart camera with crisp streaming and mobility that trumps most competitors, plus an included microSD card for local storage. This puts it easily within reach of one of the best affordable pan-tilt security cameras on the market: the Wyze Cam Pan v2.

What keeps it from toppling our favorite pan-and-tilt camera is performance. Since the camera can’t track motion consistently in a room – and can’t even scan a room periodically – much of the potential of the pan/tilt functions is wasted.

If you’re more interested in using the camera to manually check things out at home – and save them locally for later review – then the Lorex Pan-Tilt will be a solid choice. If you’re looking for a smart camera to automatically monitor movement around the house, you might want to look elsewhere.

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