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Test panel Somfy Indoor Camera: what do our readers think of this camera? – Insurance for Pets


In recent weeks, three readers of Smarthome Magazine have started working with their family members on the Somfy Indoor Camera. What do they think of this smart camera? What are the most important plus and minus points? And would they recommend this camera? We list the most important conclusions from their personally written reviews.

Somfy Indoor Camera

The Somfy Indoor Camera is a compact indoor camera, equipped with various useful features to protect your home in a smart way. The camera can be installed within a few minutes and communicates directly with the Somfy Protect app on your smartphone.

The Indoor Camera is equipped with HD display with night vision so that you can always see clearly what is going on in the house, even at night. The camera also has a motion sensor. As soon as a movement is detected, the camera immediately starts recording and you will receive a notification on your smartphone. You can set the camera to ignore pets. Recorded videos can be downloaded for free or stored in your Dropbox account.

The camera is equipped with a viewing angle of 130 degrees, allowing you to view an entire space. You can also zoom in up to four times and talk to someone standing in front of the camera. Privacy has also been considered because as soon as you get home yourself, the camera lens disappears behind a slider. Finally, the Indoor Camera from Somfy can be integrated with other systems through support for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and Apple HomeKit.

Three different families

Together with Somfy, Smarthome Magazine and FWD have offered three families the opportunity to test the Somfy Indoor Camera at home. They were allowed to use the camera extensively for a period of four weeks. The results have now been received and below you can read the most important conclusions per family.

Introduction of families

Who are the families who have tested the Somfy Indoor Camera?

Family 1 (family Slaats)

We are a family of 3 people, male (31), female (31) and son (3). We live in a village in a quiet neighborhood. There are no pets in our family, but there is a second son attendance. That is also a reason that we wanted to test the Somfy Indoor Camera. I (Ruud) are a baker by profession and therefore always work at night. To offer our family some safety, we wanted to test this camera. It is always on at night, but also during the day when we leave home. My wife has also installed the app so that the camera also responds to her when she comes home or when she leaves.

Family 2 (family Janson)

Security, it seems to be an issue everywhere nowadays. Safety on the street, safety at home and digital safety. Similarly at our home, another family of 3: Leonie, Marc, our 2 year old son and a small one coming. From the moment we knew that number two is coming, you start thinking in terms of solutions. Where should the little one go, how are we going to arrange it and how do we do it with baby monitors? Where we took a baby monitor via radio frequency at number one for safety reasons, I now wanted to look a little further. So I moved my search area to IP cameras. Preferably one that I can connect to Home Assistant and can disconnect from the internet. When I saw the opportunity to test the Somfy Indoor Camera for Smarthome Magazine, I volunteered for this reason.

Family 3 (Deetman family)

Our family consists of myself, Coenraad, and my wife Annelie, 27 and 24 years old and now a little girl named Liesa. We do not have any pets. Because of the arrival of Liesa we wanted to have camera view in both the baby room and the living room. This stylish camera fits perfectly with our interior and will also be approved by my wife. I have done my house with a Domoticz system, running on a Raspberry Pi, which can also be controlled by Apple HomeKit and Siri. For some time I have been looking for a camera with the right functionalities that can also be connected with HomeKit and also looks stylish.

General impression and installation

The first impression of the camera upon arrival is very important. What do the families think of the installation, assembly and design of this camera?

Family 1 (family Slaats)

The camera is a nice little device that you can place in many places in your home. He does not stand out among the plant pots or in the bookcase. The camera can be moved in height and low on the holder to determine the ideal angle. The camera has a wide angle lens to get a wide view. Installing the camera is very easy and fast via the Protect app from Somfy. This tells exactly what to do when installing and installing the Somfy Indoor Camera.

Family 2 (family Janson)

The camera comes in a stylish box, with an adapter, cable (micro-usb) and a foot attached. This foot can be attached magnetically to the camera. If you want to hang the camera, you can order a mounting kit for this for around 30 euros. The camera looks stylish and does not look out of place in your house. The housing is made of plastic and generally feels sturdy. However, the privacy hatch of the camera feels a lot less robust and you have to be careful how you handle the camera when moving. The cable is 1.5 meters long. You have to take this into account when thinking of a location for the camera.

Family 3 (Deetman family)

The installation was effortless. In addition to the Somfy Indoor Camera, the box contains two parts, namely a long white mini USB cable and a 5V power adapter for the camera. The camera base is equipped with a magnetic base that places the round shape flat on a surface. Thanks to the magnetic attachment, it is easy to adjust the camera slightly forwards and backwards to the space that you want to have in view. With the Quick user manual in which you can easily follow all the steps, you have connected the camera to your wifi network within five minutes and have it visible in the Somfy Protect app.

Functionality

The ease of use is of course an important part of a smart camera. Which functions are most used by families and is the app user-friendly? And why does the camera fit perfectly into daily life?

Family 1 (family Slaats)

The camera can be used in various ways. There is a calendar in the app that allows you to set the times and days that the camera must be activated or deactivated. It is also possible to work with GPS so that the camera knows when you leave home or when you arrive again. The camera activates itself when I leave the house and starts filming after 30 seconds. An advantage of the Somfy Indoor Camera is that the camera has a slider on the front that closes itself in front of the lens when the camera is not activated. This is a great feature for our privacy. The Somfy Protect app is also clear and easy to operate.

Family 2 (family Janson)

Where the camera can distinguish itself from other cameras is the privacy aspect. When the camera is not active, the shutter automatically slides in front of the lens. This was definitely a plus for the girlfriend of the camera, because it gives you certainty that nobody can watch when the camera is not being used.

Where can a manufacturer distinguish itself? This can be done on the functionality of the camera, or on ease of use and functionality in the accompanying app. Somfy has clearly focused on offering easy-to-operate total solutions for home security. The Somfy Protect app is easy to use and has enough settings to control the camera. You can, for example, set the motion sensitivity and the surveillance area of ​​the camera. But the most important function for us was to set the time periods in which the motion detection is active and of course to view the images from the camera. Setting the time slots is fairly simple.

Family 3 (Deetman family)

An extra good feature is the slider that slides in front of the lens when people are present. This guarantees optimum privacy. This is great for visitors who may be very fond of their privacy. The option to let the slider work automatically goes via the GPS location of the phone on which the app is installed. It is possible to add several family members on this app. On the other hand, the app can be manually clicked on « activate privacy » and the slider for the lens will also drop.

The motion detection function is very good. There must really be a good movement before something is passed on. This can also be adjusted in three different sensitivities. I would like this to have been more sensitive for the baby. When you leave the house, you will be asked if you want to switch on motion detection in order to optimally monitor your house, after which the slider slides in front of the lens again when you return home. Downside is that this is also asked while there is someone in the house who also uses the app. The app should not ask the question.

Quality

Of course we want to know everything about the quality of the camera. How is the image quality? How good are the notifications? What were the pros and cons? And what is the added value of the camera in the specific situation?

Family 1 (family Slaats)

The video display is of high quality, everything can be seen perfectly on both photos and videos. And both during the day and during the night there is sufficient detail visible to see what happens and who is in the house. It is also possible to watch the app live and to be able to zoom in and zoom out with your fingers. The quality of the image may decrease, but you zoom in on the phone and not with the lens of the camera.

A downside of the Somfy Protect app was that if I wanted to set the sound as an alarm, that I had to do this via the app settings of my phone and that it was not possible to be able to set this in the Somfy app itself. I figured this out myself and also took a while to find out.

Family 2 (family Janson)

The bedroom has sufficient range in itself, but this turned out not to be enough to stream the images in FHD quality. Only when we placed the camera in the living room could we make good use of it. The images from the camera are good, but the white balance in daylight is not optimal. If someone is in full sunlight, his or her face is not clearly visible. Furthermore, the set time slots worked very well. For example, the privacy mode entered before we came down in the morning and went out again when we went to bed. The camera is really made for monitoring your property, although you have to be careful which emergency number you set in combination with the sensitivity of the system.

Family 3 (Deetman family)

The camera is equipped with three video quality modes, the middle (HD) of which is best for speed and sharpness. Full HD is very slow on your WiFi network and is far behind reality. At night, infrared LEDs support the camera with excellent visibility for spaces such as your living room. Everything is easy to distinguish in the space, even if it is pitch dark. Sound is picked up loud and clear by the microphone that is built into the camera and everything is easy to understand via the app. It is also possible to talk back. This is unfortunately quite fast and cannot be adjusted in terms of volume. Video material is stored in the cloud, but if you want to keep it for a long time you have to pay for it. Unfortunately, you cannot save videos locally, for example on a NAS.

Smarthome integration

The Somfy Indoor Camera can be used in combination with other platforms or devices, which is useful for automating the camera with the rest of your smart devices. Think of Apple HomeKit, voice control or another platform. How did the families do this and how did you like it?

Family 1 (family Slaats)

We have not used functions such as Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant or IFTTT.

Family 2 (family Janson)

The part that I was really looking forward to was testing the camera with a smart home system. I myself have Home Assistant running and for the test I still have a Google Home Mini, so I could test these two systems. The integration of the camera with Home Assistant is via the Somfy Open Api plugin. When the camera is integrated, you get the status of the camera and motion detection at your disposal. I had hoped that I could reach the images via an rtsp / ONVIF protocol so that I could see them directly via Home Assistant. With that I could close the camera off the internet. However, this was not the case, so I left it at a number of automations with motion reports.

I also wanted to see what options I had to combine the camera with Google Home and use it via the app, or by voice control. In the Somfy app you can link the devices to an Alexa, HomeKit or Nest account. Since your Nest account is not a Google Home, you have limited options. The main purpose of the coupling is to have the Nest thermostat switch on automatically when it is present. However, I could not test this, since I do not have a Nest thermostat. Also the solution that was offered online, to connect the Somfy camera via Google Assistant itself, did not help. Here the command « talk to Somfy » must be given, after which you must be able to link it. For me, however, only the search results were given where I got that command, and not the action to link the camera to Google Assistant.

Somfy response: With regard to Google Assistant, the Somfy Indoor Camera is only compatible with IFTTT. This has to do with a language restriction. The « Talk to Somfy » command can only be used at this time if your smartphone’s language settings are in English, French or German. In this way the app is also installed automatically in that language. Somfy expects to integrate the Dutch language into Google Assistant soon.

Family 3 (Deetman family)

Because we have a Domoticz home automation system running on a Raspberry Pi that can also be controlled via Apple HomeKit via Homebridge, I registered the camera in Apple HomeKit. As we are used to from Apple, this went effortlessly within a few minutes. There is a QR code on the box of the camera, scan it with the iPhone to add it in HomeKit and within a few seconds you can find the camera in Apple’s Home app. You can also start actions when the Camera detects Motion, which is ideal.

Conclusion

After four weeks of intensive use, all three families come to a conclusion. What is their opinion about the Somfy Indoor Camera? And would they recommend this smart camera?

Family 1 (family Slaats)

The camera is recommended for anyone who wants to have it a bit safer at home. A friend of mine also purchased the camera in our test period, after I told you about it. A plus is that the camera closes itself upon arrival or if it is set in advance via the agenda. A downside is that if you want to set the alarm that this should go outside of the Somfy app. I give the product four stars. If the alarm could be set via the app, I would have given it five.

Family 2 (family Janson)

The Somfy camera is a good camera if you are looking for an easy total solution with which you want to protect your entire house and you have not eaten too much cheese from « smarthoming ». The camera is easy to install and the use of the app is easy.

If you want something more, I would still look further. The camera is quite pricey (from 125 euros) and if you want to hang the camera, you’ll have to spend a few more tens for a wall mount. In addition, the camera in combination with Home Assistant is not recommended. The information that you have at your disposal is fairly brief and not an extension of what you already get from the app. You can taste everything that Somfy actually prefers to buy the entire Protect package (central, door and window sensors, indoor siren, motion detector and keyfobs). We give the Somfy Indoor Camera three out of five stars, but our search for a good camera, with rtsp / ONTIF, continues as normal.

Family 3 (Deetman family)

The camera looks stylish and when the slider in front of the lens is not immediately visible in the room. The function with that slider appeals to us most in terms of privacy. The app is easy to use and is well-arranged. The smarthome integration is a big plus because you can give the camera even more substance in existing systems. Some minuses are the delay when full HD option is selected in image quality, the request to activate the alarm while someone is still at home and the lack of the possibility to store video material on a NAS for example. We give the product four stars.

Full reviews and more information

After more than a month of testing, we can say that the three families are moderately positive to very positive about the Somfy Indoor Camera, but that the camera does not satisfy all wishes of everyone. Do you want to know if the camera meets your needs? More information about this smart camera can be found on the Somfy website. Also read the full reviews of the families who have tested the Somfy Indoor Camera;

Family Slaats
Janson family
Deetman family