Swann OutbackCam review

Versatile outdoor motion camera
Photo of Swann OutbackCam

Swann has built itself a deserved reputation for affordable home security systems – but while these are undoubtedly effective, you wouldn’t normally call them ‘fun’ products. However, Swann’s new OutbackCam is clearly designed with two functions in mind, one of which is entirely for entertainment.

This extremely clever bit of hardware is roughly the size of a large soap dish (120x90x45mm), weighs a comparatively lightweight 180g and is intended as an exterior camera and video recorder. Styled deliberately in unassuming grey and made of toughened plastic, the OutbackCam is built to withstand the harshest weather conditions, and is both anti-corrosive and waterproof.

Infra-red, video clips and clear images
At the front of the camera is a passive infra-red (PIR) motion sensor that works at distances of up to 10m and makes use of 15 infra-red LEDs to see in the dark. There’s also the 7.6mm fixed lens with a viewing angle of 55 degrees. Two locking clasps and a padlock socket on the side to keep your data secure, plus there’s a strap holder at the back which, when combined with the supplied strap, will enable you to secure the camera to a tree or fixed structure (or you can use the tripod mount in the base).

Inside are slots for four AA batteries, a USB port for transferring data, an SD card slot (a 2GB memory card is supplied) and a black text LCD screen which is used to programme still and movie recording. Still images can be captured singly or in batches of three, at high (1600×1200) or low (1024×768) resolution. The camera also shoots 15-second 640×480 video clips at 30fps.

You can also set a delay between shots of between five seconds and an hour which will ensure that images are captured only as often as you want. We tested it overnight in a garden full of cats with just a five second delay, and were extremely impressed with the quality of the results, which shifted from clear black and white night shots to crisp colour daytime photos.

Company: Swann

Website: http://www.swannsecurity.com/

Contact: Maplin on 0844 557 6000

  • Programmable record delay.
  • Only 15 second video clips.


Whether you want to use the Swann OutbackCam for home security, covert surveillance or for fun animal monitoring, it's extremely durable, provides several weeks of recording time and provides good quality imagery.