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D-Link DCS-5222L review

Richard Easton
23 Apr 2015
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
130
inc VAT

The DCS-5222L has great pan-tilt-zoom controls, is reasonably priced and easy to use and has great image quality

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Specifications

Sensor: 1/4in CMOS, Viewing angle: Horizontal 70 degrees, Vertical 53 degrees, Diagonal 92 degrees, Video recording frame rates: All (up to 30fps), Night vision mode: Infrared LEDs, Size (HxWxD): 120x130x103mm, Weight: 340g, Warranty: One year RTB 

The DCS-5222L is a relatively large network camera. Its design is in part dictated by its pan and tilt capabilities, which mean you have more flexibility in terms of placement compared to a fixed-angle camera. A flush plate mount and articulating arm mount are included if you want to fix the camera to the wall.

The camera essentially consists of two parts: a flat white base that allows the upper assembly to rotate, and the lens which sits inside a black spherical enclosure that can tilt vertically. The lens is surrounded by four infrared LEDs to assist with the night vision mode. There’s a non-removable external antenna protruding from the side. The DCS-5222L’s size might make it trickier to hide out of the way than some of the smaller network cameras we've seen, but as a visual deterrent, there’s no mistaking it for a surveillance camera.

D-Link is known for its networking kit, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that it has applied some of this existing knowledge to its IP camera. The DCS-5222L integrates with the mydlink service, which is also used for remotely configuring other D-Link products such as its routers and NAS devices.

D-Link DCS-5222L front angle

You can set up the DCS-5222L using WPS, so you just have to press the WPS button on the camera and on your router to make them pair. If your router doesn’t support WPS pairing you’ll need to first connect the DCS-5222L through an Ethernet cable. You can then run the PC application or use the mydlink lite app on Android or iOS to set the camera up. You can then enter your home network's Wi-Fi details to use the camera wirelessly. As with the DCS-2332L, if you're using a D-Link router than supports mydlink and zero configuration, you can plug the camera in with an Ethernet cable first and it will grab the wireless settings automatically.

The mydlink lite app can also take care of firmware upgrades, and one was immediately available for our camera once we'd installed it. The upgrade process took a few minutes, during which time the camera wasn’t operational, so it’s a good idea to upgrade the firmware straight away.

The mydlink lite app doesn’t allow you full control over the camera's functions, such as configuring the motion detection. Instead, you’ll need to use the browser-based configuration on your PC. Here you can specify which areas to be used for motion detection by drawing trigger boxes over a live view from the camera. This makes it much easier to accurately set the motion trigger points, and you can also set multiple detection zones. The camera can send you notifications, either as a push notification to your smart device or as an email to your registered account.

The DCS-5222L doesn’t have any cloud storage support. Instead, recorded footage is saved to a microSD card, although one isn’t supplied with the camera. As there's no remote backup, there’s always the risk that a thief will simply remove the memory card if it’s within reach. You can set the camera to overwrite the oldest saved clip when the memory card becomes full. If you want a backup, you’ll need to set up a Network Video Recorder using a PC - D-Link provides its own free D-ViewCam software for Windows. You can also save footage to an FTP server or NAS.

D-Link DCS-5222L app

You can control the DCS-5222L remotely using either the mobile app or through your browser, allowing you to pan and tilt the lens to get a clearer view. You can either use on-screen directional controls or create a bounding box to aim the camera at different points. We found the camera to be highly responsive even when we were controlling it remotely. There was also only a very slight delay between what we saw from the live view and what was happening in reality. Continues on Page 2

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