This article is an Amcrest 4MP HD PoE Camera Review.
The model is IP4M-1046EW-AI, an outdoor camera with AI (Artificial Intelligence).
I've been testing the Amcrest camera for over a month, and now I want to share my opinion about the product to help you decide if it's right for you. So keep reading...
The picture below shows the camera installed outdoors for testing.
This model is above the average small smart cameras you find in the market.
It's a professional security camera designed to work in a harsh environment, handle different light conditions and weather variations.
Click the link below to check the price and availability.
Amcrest Nigth Color Camera Overview
The Amcrest Night Color is a 4MP security camera with a night color feature that allows for full-color video recording in complete darkness.
With a wide-angle lens (2.8mm), the camera has a 113º field of view and a 4MP CMOS sensor to capture crisp images up to 66 feet (20m) away.
Built to work outdoor, the camera is IP67 rated, which means it's ready to work under heavy rain and dusty areas.
Powered via a UTP cable, the camera can send digital video to a recorder (NVR) or a surveillance software such as Blue Iris or the Amcrest Surveillance Pro.
The camera uses the most modern video compressors H.264/H.265 and works with bidirectional audio and analytics such as face detection and People Counting.
The camera works with Alexa to display videos using voice commands.
I will talk about other camera features later in this article... Let's get started.
My first impression
I decided to work on this complete review because I had a good first impression of this camera; it's an excellent product with an interesting price.
This is a professional security camera that can work even with professional VMS software, so I'm pretty impressed with its features.
What is on the box
The Amcrest camera comes with everything necessary for the installation.
The box brings the camera, plastic anchors, installation screws, cable protectors, a user's quick guide, and a Torx wrench to adjust the camera position.
The Amcrest Camera details
The camera has a beautiful design, and it's pretty elegant.
In the front part, there's a lens and a spotlight to illuminate dark areas.
The camera bottom
In the camera's bottom, there's a reset button and a micro SD card slot.
There's a specific Torx wrench to open the camera hatch cover with a rubber band that keeps it hanging to avoid getting lost (pretty smart).
The Amcrest camera features
This camera has a lot of interesting and professional features.
Let's take a look at some of them...
The Amcrest camera captures images with 4MP resolution, which means you can set up the camera to record videos with 2688x 1520 pixels.
It has excellent quality, as you can see in the picture below.
This picture is a representation of the number of pixels the camera can capture.
It was reduced to be used in the article, but I uploaded the original one.
Nice, huh? This screenshot was taken at nighttime; let's talk about that...
This Amcrest camera works well with low light.
It's designed to show color even in dark conditions, so I put it to the test between 4 and 6 AM. (Yeah, I had to get up that early to test it out).
Take a look at the top right corner of the picture to check the time...
Yes, that's right, this screenshot was taken at 04:31 AM, and the quality is awesome considering how dark it is at this time in the morning.
I didn't play with the camera settings; it's using the default configuration!
Here are some other pictures of the camera in different locations....
The Amcrest camera is weatherproof to install outdoor and won't have any problem with rain. It's IP67 rated (which means it complies with the international standard).
IP67 means it's protected against water and dust. The protection is enough for outdoor installation.
For reference, see the picture below:
Most of the outdoor cameras out there are rated IP65 or IP66, so the Amcrest camera goes beyond the expectation 😉
The camera Spotlight
It's possible to turn a spotlight on to illuminate a dark area and still have color images; the feature is called Nightcolor vision.
There's an option to let the camera automatically control such a feature based on the environment illumination (if it gets too dark), or you can control it manually in the camera web interface.
It's possible to choose the light intensity.
I don't know why Amcrest named this light IR (which stands for Infra Red).
Infrared lights used on security cameras are not directly visible to humans but only by the cameras, so the way this was named sounds strange to me....
Here's a picture I took with the camera lights on.
Bi-directional (two-way) audio
The Amcrest camera has audio input/output to allow the connection of a RCA microphone and speaker so you can use the bi-directional audio communication to hear the sounds around the camera and speak to someone close to the camera.
The camera can send notifications via email.
See below an example of the email alert that I got in my mailbox.
The email alerts include the picture of the event (motion detection).
There is a lot of different options for email services.
I'm using Google (Gmail), and it's working pretty fine.
Backligth compensation (BLC)
Now it's time to show how a professional camera can handle light.
Let's start talking about the BLC (Backlight Compensation) feature.
You can use BLC to compensate for light contrast and show what matters.
The picture below shows a scenario with dark and bright areas.
The BLC mode is set to OFF.
It's possible to use BLC to "tell the camera" what the priority is...
The next picture shows the BLC mode ON with a square to select the area of interest which means the camera compensates to show what is there.
As you can see, the dark part of the image is gone, and the bright region is even more brilliant, and it's not possible to see what is out there.
That's OK. BLC supposes to work like that if you don't need to see the outdoors.
Just in case you need to see indoor and outdoor, you can use another feature called WDR available on the best (and more expensive cameras).
Fortunately, the Amcrest camera has such a feature; let's talk about it.
WDR (Wide Dynamic Range)
When the Wide Dynamic Range feature is enabled, the camera works with different exposures simultaneously to capture details on the dark and bright areas.
I will not talk about the technical details here; take a look at the results...
That's awesome, isn't it?
I bet you want a camera like this one, right ? 🙂
The camera also has other light compensation features such as HLC (High Light Compensation) to reduce the problems with strong lights such as spotlights.
Video Analitycs and Artificial Inteligence (AI)
The camera has some embedded AI such as Face Detection and People Counting.
I will be addressing those features in a new article that is coming soon...
SD Card Recording
You can use a micro SD card to record the videos.
I recommend you to buy a class 10 micro SD card to avoid problems.
Stick the card into the camera and use the web interface to turn on the recording
You can set the Post-Motion Recording Duration, which gives you extra footage after the event triggered the recording.
The camera allows you to record in the micro SD card and also in the cloud.
If something happens to your camera, you will have the footage in the cloud.
You can retrieve the video via a mobile app or computer.
The image below shows the Amcrest Cloud via a web browser.
This feature is also useful if somebody breaks the camera or take it away.
To enable the cloud recording is necessary just to follow a wizard and create an account. There are some basic plans you can choose to pay monthly, but the good part is that there's also a Free plan that allows you to watch live video.
The picture below shows the prices for cloud recording.
Amcrest Dual-stream feature
The camera allows the configuration of two different video streams.
You can have a high-resolution video stream and a second one with lower quality.
You can choose each one to use to save bandwidth.
The camera works better according to configuration and the resource available (bandwidth and storage).
When you choose the Sub Stream, the video quality is sacrificed to work better with the transmission over mobile devices using cellular data.
The Amcrest Camera integrates and works with Alexa.
This feature allows you to ask Alexa to display the video from the camera to the Amazon Fire Stick device.
You can just ask Alexa to display the image on a TV.
The video below shows my quick test with Alexa and the Amcrest camera...
And here we go with the camera on my TV using the Amazon Firestick 4K.
The integration is not working correctly with my Amazon Echo Show 8. I will try to figure out what's wrong, perhaps something related to resolution...
(I will update this article as soon as I have more info on that issue).
Meanwhile, I can keep using my TV with the Amazon Firestick.
The Pros and Cons of Amcrest camera
OK, it's time to talk about the pros and cons of the Amcrest camera.
Based on the tests I've done for this review, here are the results...
The camera has a menu that shows extra AI, such as the heatmap, but according to the Amcrest support team, this feature is not enabled on this camera and does suppose to work anyway.
I believe that can cause some confusion in people's minds since the feature shows up in the menu; we expect it is available for use.
The Amcrest Night Color 4MP is an excellent camera.
If you want a professional security camera, I suggest going for this one...
I hope this review can help you make up your mind and make the right decision.
Click the button below if you want to check the best price for this product.
I'm not an Amcrest employee, neither the company representative.
I received the product from Amcrest to evaluate and write a review about it, but I don't have any obligations to enforce the product advantages.
My opinion about the camera quality is based on my tests and analysis of the features, and I'm just giving the final verdict accordingly.
I do receive a small affiliate commission when people buy this product using the buttons available on this article, but there's no extra cost at all to the buyer.
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 18+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.