EZVIZ C8W Pro: a security camera that looks the right way?

The EZVIZ C8W Pro is an outdoor pan-tilt "PTZ" smart home camera for less money than many immobile ones

EZVIZ C8W Pro review
(Image: © Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Evzis C8W Pro is a value for money camera with a sting in the tail in the form of Ezviz’s cloud service subscription. On the plus side there is a MicroSD card slot so you can sidestep that and, though it could be easier to navigate, the app is not short of features.

Pros

  • +

    Wide coverage from a single location

  • +

    Person & vehicle tracking with on-device AI

  • +

    Accessibly priced

  • +

    Built in light for color night vision

  • +

    Alexa, Google & IFTTT functions

  • +

    Installation screws and extension cable supplied

Cons

  • -

    App can be confusing

  • -

    Ezviz’s storage plans are not cheap

  • -

    No face or parcel recognition

  • -

    Lacks a sentry mode

  • -

    No official ingress protection

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Protecting your home with a smart home camera which affords you remote access has grown in popularity, but most cameras are fixed in a single direction. The Ezviz C8W Pro can pan and tilt to a direction of choice, or follow subjects using on board AI. That’s a nice option for someone who doesn’t want to install too many devices but likes to check over a wider area, since the image isn’t overly distorted like a very wide angle lens.

The C8W Pro is not Ezviz’s first pan-and-tilt camera; this model actually addresses some issues with its cheaper predecessor the C8C. As well as boosted resolution, this version builds the antenna inside the body which looks better, and includes a MicroSD card slot for those keen to side-step the cost of cloud subscription, and an LED for color night vision. 

EZVIZ C8W Pro: Specifications

EZVIZ C8W Pro: what's in the box (Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)
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Video resolution: 2560 × 1440 (2K)

Video format: H.264 / H.265

Connection: WiFi 2.4GHz b/g/n

Night Vision: Mono or Color (lit by floodlight)

Field of view: 340˚ Rotation / 80˚ Tilt

Motion sensor: 10 

Temperature limits: -30 to 60 ˚C (-22 to 140 ˚F) 

Dimensions: 112 x 171 x 156 mm (main body)

Weight: 605g

Weatherproof: Not stated

Key features

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

The C8W Pro is a powered pan-and-tilt WiFi or Ethernet security camera which has AI human and vehicle tracking. That means the camera can turn to follow subjects it identifies as well as being re-positioned remotely using an on-screen joystick. That feature is part of the iOS or Android app – which also lets you create pre-set positions, talk to anyone nearby using the microphone and speaker, or just activate a siren.

The camera offers traditional black-and-white IR night vision and color night vision from a built in LED floodlight. It also has a speaker and microphone for two-way talk. The camera can also create a 360˚ picture which can be used to create a tap-to-turn screen. 

Finally for those wishing to side-step a subscription fee for cloud storage, the camera has a MicroSD card (opens in new tab) slot for local storage.

Build and handling

EZVIZ C8W Pro review

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

The CW8 Pro has an immensely practical feel. It doesn’t have the luxurious packaging of some products, and is made of plastics – including the bracket – but it feels functional. The included drill template is appreciated too, and the bracket can be mounted to a surface above it or to a wall behind it, and has handy cable channels. Although the camera has WiFi, the dangling cable has both Ethernet and barrel power connectors. If you opt for wireless, the kit includes a power adapter and an extension lead, and the cable is conveniently narrow for installing on walls. 

Once plugged in and connected to WiFi (a painless process, we should add), the camera can be controlled via the Ezviz app (which will also give you 7 days to sample Ezviz’s CloudPlay service). The very wide pan is impressive (though risks the lens getting caught looking at walls); the camera itself has a 105˚ (diagonal) field of view.

Performance

Video samples from the EZVIZ C8W Pro at night

Image quality is good – not least because the system can reach up to 30fps. The camera offers three choices of image “Definition” – Full HD, Hi-Def and Standard – though the recorded sound was very dubious. Nonetheless the speaker is loud enough for two-way-talk to work, if not beautifully. The lights were effective for a few meters, covering a small front garden for color night vision. Black and white IR night vision has no issue extending that to around 30m (98ft), and the automatic switching seems to choose wisely.

The app provides plenty of options, including nice features like pre-setting positions and creating a 360˚ Picture to act as a tap-to-turn tool. They are not terribly well organised though, and at times the live view panning tool was a little slow to respond. 

There is also no ‘sentry’ mode, in which the camera keeps looking around from place to place. Instead if person tracking is enabled, the camera would follow people who walked into view, before returning to the previous position. That said, when recording clips, this makes a lot of sense, but it’d be nice to have the option. 

The AI, though it can only identify humans and vehicles, is on-board so works even if you choose not to use Ezviz’s slightly subscription service ‘CloudPlay’. There is an extensive event history, as the camera is more sensitive than some.  (Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

EZVIZ C8W Pro: Verdict

The C8W Pro is a bit of a mixed bag. We were surprised by the quality of the video, and by some handy features like the high-speed review of overnight video. It’s also fast, albeit a little jerky, with AI tracking (it turns more slowly under manual control).  

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

The app offers a lot of functionality but could stand to be a lot tidier. Some titles turn out to be buttons; while the bottom menu bar extends beyond the screen, none of which amounts to an ideal user experience.

The cheapest cloud service is £3.99 or £2.99 a month for a 3-day history. This is more than Google, Ring and others (and a lot more than Apple HomeKit). Reviewing events isn’t as easy as it could be – animated thumbnails would be a nice addition – but they can be downloaded. Another concern is the lack of a formal ingress protection standard, though it is described as “Weatherproof.”

Concerns aside, the camera is reasonably priced and, using the MicroSD card, can be very cost effective without the cloud. If you’re not looking for a slick user experience, it might be worth a look. 

Read more:

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With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones (opens in new tab), The Smart Smart Home Handbook (opens in new tab), 101 Tips for DSLR Video (opens in new tab) and The Drone Pilot's Handbook (opens in new tab)