IMOU Bullet 2E isn’t the first camera from IMOU I own. Previously, I cloned myself in a setup guide for IMOU Ranger IQ (AmazonUK, AmazonUS), now I have an opportunity to check the weatherproof (and possibly NOT bulletproof IMOU Bullet 2E IP(AmazonUK) camera. My first impressions? It’s much bigger than I have expected from the promotional pictures.
IMOU Bullet 2E
Just judging by the looks, (be nice don’t do that to humans and books) it looks like IMOU Bullet 2E can take a fair bit of weather and human abuse. It’s bulky, has some weight to it and it is designed to be used outdoors. The WiFi antennas give the IMOU Bullet 2E a robot head look, but the camera can actually operate via Ethernet as well,
with an option to supply the power over PoE or included charger (I’m actually not sure on that as the PoE option is not on the website right now, but I doubt I’d be taking the information out of the thin air). A nice feature for anyone using the camera in a more remote destination is the ability to set the IMOU Bullet 2E as an AP point and connect to the camera directly.
As this is a reputable page, let’s do the specification first before we start talking about interesting things. IMOU Bullet 2E comes with the following specification that you should care about:
- 1080p resolution with H265
- Human detection
- WiFi 2.4GHz/Ethernet/PoE
- NightVision & Spotlight
Now that we have this out of the way let’s talk about the interesting bits. The mounting plate is sturdy and with correct installation you would struggle to break the camera off its intended position. The IP67 rating means that the camera can take whatever the rain UK can produce and the spotlight is bright enough to illuminate the front entry.
What leaves me confused is the location and accessibility of the (easily accessible) reset button. I get that the camera will likely be placed out of human’s reach, but “easily accessible reset” is not a design feature I’d like to advertise on a security equipment.
The SD card slot is mounted in a pocket secured from prying hands with 2 screws and a cap. You can thankfully remove the rubberised extender for the reset button and make it less accessible (a screwdriver will be required to reset the camera).
Armed with 1/2.8”2MP(1920 x 1080) sensor the camera does alright job at capturing the details even in dark environments. The image could be slightly softer, but overall it does the great job. Faces become recognisable from the distance of about 7-10m so make sure not to fit the camera too high. The biggest weakness is probably the dynamic range. The camera can overexpose a little when pointing at areas partially covered in shade.
Full sunshine shortcomings are compensated with stellar night performance. There are 2 modes to pick from – the typical infrared and coloured night vision. I have to say that the level of details in the coloured mode (thanks to the LED Spotlight) is great and the image looks pretty good. Just note, that the camera will give away it’s position. It’s something you probably want to consider if you planning on more concealed use of CCTV.
A single 32GB SD card should cover around 48h. This will depend on the quality of the recording in settings so make sure you pick that to avoid disappointment.
The audio is pretty decent as well, capturing the noise from outside. There is no speaker for 2 way comms, but this is not a camera that tries to fill all the use cases. I didn’t really have any loud events to test the camera further but you can hear me talking to the camera in the video and extrapolate from that.
The app is pretty straight forward. The interface is nice and clean and easy to navigate. The main preview gives a good stream in SD and HD with the ability to zoom and pan with the touch input.
The main menu enables basic functions like toggling the sound or recording the footage directly to your phone. There are spotlight controls as well, but for some reason, the light blinks when enabled rather than stays on. It meant to work as “go away I’m watching you” light, rather than illumination, but it would be nice to have it as a regular toggle. Don’t worry, if you set your camera into Colour Night Mode – the light will stay on without driving anyone mad by blinking.
The timeline management could improve as well as navigating to motion events require finesse (it’s best to zoom in on the timeline first). You can easily switch between the cloud and the local SD card.
Unfortunately the files that camera stores on SD card are proprietary and I had hard time reading these on the Windows machine. The extension files are and you will have to Google something that can preview these for you.
Feature that everyone will appreciate is the custom area for movement detection. This is the option you need to remove dancing in the wind trees and stop it from triggering your motion alerts. It’s very handy and easy to use. Use touchscreen interface to select squares on the grid that will respond to motion events.
Off the shelf, IMOU provides Google Home and Alexa skills to enable video preview on supported devices. I had tested this with my Alexa Touch (review) and I’m pleased to say it works as expected, but there is a latency of about 10 sec. As IMOU Bullet 2E doesn’t come with speakers built-in, it’s not a big issue – there will be no 2-way conversations. Just remember that the stream is lagging 10 seconds behind.
RTSP made… not easy
The entire product page mentions NVR compatibility once, without giving you much information about the hookup. It’s a shame. I understand the desire to drive the traffic to their paid cloud service (7-day trial included), but from the consumer’s point of view, having a choice is always better.
Long story short, the NVR works vis ONVIF, but the setup is messy (not documented). To make it work (I verified the stream with VLC) Depending on your client, you will need to provide the URL stream. The IMOU Bullet 2E uses 554 and 37777 ports to output the stream.
To get the safety code, navigate to your camera options in the IMOU app and you will find barcode in the general camera information with a safety code listed. This it the password to use the RTSP stream from the camera.
To troubleshoot and manage the camera you can use the manufacturer software from this page. There is a configuration tool and NVR SmartPSS software that you can try with the camera.
Browse all Imou IP cameras and security devices in the following online stores:
The product page should make the RTSP more visible as this option will attract more customers. The quality of the video is great, the night performance is pretty outstanding with the only downside being a lack of support for the 5GHz WiFI band. Priced at around £55 at the time of the writing, it’s a really good choice to set up your own CCTV network even in the harshest of the British wethers! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in this Reddit thread.
🆓📈 – See the transparency note for details.