Imou Bullet 2E in the test: a smart WLAN surveillance camera for outdoor use

In the test - the Imou Bullet 2E IP surveillance camera

Imou offers different models of security cameras. The actual Imou Bullet 2E is a cheap successor to the Imou New Bullet. Imou made the Bullet 2E available to me for a review, but it doesn't affect my reporting on the product.

The Imou Bullet 2E is an outdoor surveillance camera, which has to be supplied with power from a power supply unit. It is IP67 certified and works both via a LAN cable and via WiFi. When using WiFi, no extra hub is required for the camera, as is the case with some other manufacturers. Details about the Imou Bullet 2E can now be found in my review.

The Imou Bullet 2E is a handy surveillance camera that is suitable for outdoor use. From person recognition to notifications on mobile phones and night vision, the Imou offers everything you would expect from a security camera (photos: Sir Apfelot).

The Imou Bullet 2E is a handy surveillance camera that is suitable for outdoor use. From person recognition to notifications on mobile phones and night vision, the Imou offers everything you would expect from a security camera (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Competition: Imou Bullet 2E to be won

I would like to raffle off the Imou IP camera in one of the next issues of the newsletter. If you feel like taking part, it's best to wear mine Newsletter one and within the next two to four weeks the details of the raffle can be found in the newsletter, which is always out on Friday.

Technical data of the Imou Bullet 2E

In order to get a picture of the camera, the technical data are not entirely unimportant. Therefore, I am briefly listing what the Imou security camera has to offer.

Camera

  • 1 / 2.8 ”Megapixel Progressive CMOS
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080px (2MP)
  • Night vision: up to 30m away
  • Lens: 2,8mm (fixed focal length)
  • also available with: 3,6mm and 6mm
  • Field of view:
    • 2,8mm: 102 ° (H), 54 ° (V), 120 ° (D)
    • 3.6mm: 89 ° (H), 46 ° (V), 108 ° (D)
    • 6mm: 53 ° (H), 30 ° (V), 60 ° (D)

Audio and video

  • Video compression: H.265 / H.264
  • up to 25/30 fps
  • 16x digital zoom
  • built-in microphone
The Imou Bullet 2E has some practical functions, which can already be found on the package.

The Imou Bullet 2E has some practical functions, which can already be found on the package.

What's in the box

  • Camera
  • Quick start guide
  • Power Supplies
  • Fixing screws (drilling template)
  • waterproof connection for the cable

General

  • Power supply: 12 V
  • Consumption: <5, W
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 147,7 74,2 x x 74,2mm
  • Weight: 280g
  • IP protection class: IP67
  • Slot for memory card: Micro SD up to 256 GB
  • Network: 100Mbps Ethernet connection
  • Wifi: 2,4 GHz (no 5,8 GHz)
  • ONVIF support: yes
  • Motion detection: yes
  • Recognition of people: yes
  • Price: approx. 50 to 60 euros (Amazon)
The resolution of the photos (here a night shot) is 1920 x 1080 pixels - as is the case with the video recordings.

The resolution of the photos (here a night shot) is 1920 x 1080 pixels - as is the case with the video recordings.

Bullet 2E models with 2MP and 4MP

If you look around on the Imou website, you will come across the following camera comparison with the external cameras, which puts the Imou Bullet 2E, the Bullet 2, the Bullet 2S and the Cruiser next to each other. In principle, the Bullet 2E would have to be subdivided, since the model is available with both 2 megapixel resolution (Full-HD video) and 4 megapixel resolution (4K). In my test, however, I used the "smaller" 2MP model.

The Imou outdoor cameras in comparison side by side - the Bullet 2E, however, has a 2MP and a 4MP model.

The Imou outdoor cameras in comparison side by side - the Bullet 2E, however, has a 2MP and a 4MP model.

Four camera modes available

With four different modes to choose from, you can decide which is best for the purpose. There are the following options to choose from:

  • Color without additional lighting
  • Night vision without additional lighting
  • Night vision with infrared LED lighting
  • Color indulgence with LED spotlights

In the last two modes, the camera triggers the lighting as soon as it detects movement. I personally prefer the lighting by infrared LEDs, which are much less noticeable than the bright, white LEDs that are required for color recording.

The Imou camera comes with an optional cloud function and supports microSD cards up to 256 GB. The app is called Imou life and you will immediately receive a push notification on your smartphone when the camera detects movement or a person. As already mentioned, you can view saved videos or photos directly in the app or use the Imou cloud service (for a fee).

The scope of delivery of the Imou IP camera includes the mounting material and even a cable connection that is waterproof if you want to use the camera outdoors.

The scope of delivery of the Imou IP camera includes the mounting material and even a cable connection that is waterproof if you want to use the camera outdoors.

What actually is ONVIF?

The Imou Bullet 2E supports the ONVIF standard - but what exactly does that mean? ONVIF is an open standard for IP-based security products such as surveillance cameras. It enables these devices to communicate with each other and to be controlled via its interfaces.

The purpose of the ONVIF standard is to allow IP-based security products (surveillance cameras) from different manufacturers to work together by communicating over network cables or wireless signals.

Here you can see an unedited screenshot from the iPhone while the camera is streaming. I just reduced the resolution.

Here you can see an unedited screenshot from the iPhone while the camera is streaming. I just reduced the resolution.

The Imou Life app

You can connect to the camera in a few minutes using the Imou app. To start you load the Imou Life App from the App Store or the Google Play Store on his device.

After opening the app, you first have to create an account. It's free, but necessary. If you don't like an account requirement, you can look for another camera at this point.

If you have now created an account, click on "Add new device" with the plus symbol in the upper right corner of the app. The device can be added to the app very quickly using the QR code printed on the camera.

In the Imou Life app, alarm zones can of course also be defined, which the camera should evaluate when detecting motion. This means that false alarms can be switched off in frequently frequented areas.

In the Imou Life app, alarm zones can of course also be defined, which the camera should evaluate when detecting motion. This means that false alarms can be switched off in frequently frequented areas.

Next, mine selects his WiFi network and enter the password. The iPhone can now be connected to the camera via this connection.

For me, the iPhone indicated immediately after the connection that a new firmware update was available for the camera. This was recorded within a minute or two and we were ready to go.

Imou cloud or SD card as storage

If you have paired the Imou Bullet 2E in the app for the first time and set it up, you will receive a proposal to book the Imou Cloud. This allows the camera to send recordings directly to the cloud, where they are then stored for later viewing.

The cloud is chargeable, but you can use a 30-day test period (without specifying payment details) - that's what I did.

You can use Imou's IP surveillance camera without its cloud by inserting a microSD card into the screwed slot.

You can use Imou's IP surveillance camera without its cloud by inserting a microSD card into the screwed slot.

If you want to keep your distance from the cloud and prefer to save your recordings locally, you will find two screws on the underside of the Bullet 2E with which you can open the cover to an SD card slot.

Here I thought it was a shame that you can't open the slot without a tool. But I think there are two reasons for this:

  1. The seal against rainwater is certainly more reliable with a screw connection.
  2. In easily accessible areas, strangers cannot simply open the cover and steal the SD card.

So the “bug” may be more of a feature here.

The attachment of the Imou could be a bit more clever, because with the joint you can only swivel the camera vertically, but not sideways. Unfortunately, this restricts you a bit when it comes to alignment.

The attachment of the Imou could be a bit more clever, because with the joint you can only swivel the camera vertically, but not sideways. Unfortunately, this restricts you a bit when it comes to alignment.

Cloud storage pricing

As already mentioned, Imou's cloud storage is not free, it costs money. In my opinion, the prices that Imou are calling for are quite ok. But a bit difficult to understand at first glance.

There is an annual offer called "7 Days", which costs 27,59 euros. There is also a "3 Days" annual subscription, which again costs 18,99 euros. I haven't yet fully understood what those 7 or 3 days mean. It could be that the recordings are kept for 7 or 3 days or it could be that you have 7 or 3 days of recording time - i.e. 3 x 24 h = 72 hours. However, I type on the first variant, because somewhere in the app it said that the cloud storage is "unlimited".

For people who want to keep the recordings for longer than 7 days, there is also the "30 Days" subscription for 63,49 euros. As a rule, however, the cheaper 7 days should be sufficient.

Here you can see the prices for the iMou Cloud in the overview. They can be found directly in the app and you can also book the subscription there if you don't want to use an SD card.

Here you can see the prices for the iMou Cloud in the overview. They can be found directly in the app and you can also book the subscription there if you don't want to use an SD card.

Video quality and resolution of the Imou Bullet 2E

Let's come to a few technical details: The image quality for day and night shots. And here I have to say that the Imou Bullet 2E does a good job. Daily overview, the picture is clear, the colors are okay and the dynamic range is not bad either. With such surveillance cameras, however, you should always make sure that you do not have too bright and dark areas in the picture.

The Bullet 2E IP camera can be ordered with three different lenses. The focal lengths are all fixed and the lens cannot be changed. So you have to know what you want when you order.

The Bullet 2E IP camera can be ordered with three different lenses. The focal lengths are all fixed and the lens cannot be changed. So you have to know what you want when you order.

Better video recording of dark areas

For example, if I want to monitor a dark house entrance and a large part of the picture is a house wall lit by the sun, then the camera may adjust the exposure so that the house wall can be seen well, but the house entrance, which is actually interesting, is only a black spot is. In this case it is better to set the section so that you have more dark areas in the picture and thus the entrance to the house is also correctly exposed.

Night shots in black and white or color

For night shots, the Imou Bullet 2E gives you the choice of simply choosing a black and white image, in which infrared light-emitting diodes illuminate the scene, or whether you choose a color night shot. When motion is detected, two strong, white LEDs are switched on, which provide enough light that the camera can also capture colors in the recording.

In my test, I found the black and white photos somehow more pleasant to view than the night color photos. As you can see from the pictures, despite the lighting, we are still far from the quality that can be achieved during the day and the coloring of the pictures is actually unimportant to me. But here everyone has to see for themselves what they need for the recordings. I think it sure is nice to have the option that the shooting area can be properly lit.

This is a color night vision recording in which two bright, white LED spotlights illuminate the surroundings. You can see the colors, but the result is far from a daylight picture.

This is a color night vision recording in which two bright, white LED spotlights illuminate the surroundings. You can see the colors, but the result is far from a daylight picture.

 

This is a normal night shot that was only illuminated with infrared LEDs - virtually invisible to the neighbors.

This is a normal night shot that was only illuminated with infrared LEDs - virtually invisible to the neighbors.

Audio quality and transmission

It is important to know that although a microphone is built into the camera, it is not possible to output sound via the camera. So it has no built-in loudspeaker through which you could make yourself heard. The “feature” is unimportant to me, but I wanted to briefly mention it.

The quality of the audio transmission is - as we know it from such surveillance cameras - rather modest. The sound sounds tinny, but it's enough to hear whether a chicken is cackling or a person is talking. For me the sound is perfectly adequate, but I think the Bullet 2E is not the choice for people who want to record bird calls.

The left plug is for the power supply of the camera, while the RJ-45 connection can be used if you want to use the camera without wifi (photos: Sir Apfelot).

The left plug is for the power supply of the camera, while the RJ-45 connection can be used if you want to use the camera without wifi (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Viewing the recordings via the app

I can only give the app a thumbs up here. I've already had cameras where you had to click every day in the calendar view to see if there was a picture there.

In the Imou Life app, the days with recordings are marked with an orange badge, which also contains the number of recordings. It doesn't get any better than that.

Other features: geofencing and notifications

You can do a little more with the Bullet 2E, although I would only like to introduce geofencing here. This function allows alarm notifications to be sent only when you are outside the geofence. The idea is: When you're at home, the camera shouldn't keep you informed when someone is walking through the captured area.

Only when you are outside the specified area does the camera continue to send notifications about movements or detected people and recordings.

With the geofencing function, notifications can be automatically turned off when you are in a certain area.

With the geofencing function, notifications can be automatically turned off when you are in a certain area.

 

The Imou IP outdoor camera enables the monitoring of garden areas, house entrances, driveways, etc.

The Imou IP outdoor camera enables the monitoring of garden areas, house entrances, driveways, etc.

My conclusion on the Imou Bullet 2E

I only found two features that the Imou Bullet 2E does not have and that I know from other cameras:

  1. A possibility to make a voice announcement via the app, which then comes from the camera's loudspeaker. So far, however, I haven't had any practical application for this, which is why I can do without this feature.
  2. Adding the camera to the Home app on iPhone, iPad or Mac. This is simply because the Imou Bullet 2E is not compatible with HomeKit. For me as an Apple user that would of course have been nice.

Otherwise, the Bullet 2E has everything that can be expected of a good surveillance camera. The recording quality is great, the night vision thanks to the color night vision option is better than with many other cameras and the large selection of setting options leaves nothing to be desired.

I also find it very good that there is no need to use the cloud, but that you can simply save the recordings to an SD card. There are manufacturers who require a monthly or annual subscription, which is not the case with Imou.

At just under 60 euros (currently only 50 euros with a discount), the device is also in the lower price segment and certainly not a bad buy.

If you want to buy the Imou Bullet 2E, you will find it here on amazon or via the following product box:

10,00 EUR
Imou surveillance camera outside WLAN, 1080P WLAN IP camera with color night vision 30m, person recognition ...
  • ✅ 【Color night vision with intelligent headlights】 For the surveillance camera outside there is WLAN in the IMOU ...
  • ✅ 【Notification of alarms & active defense with light】 As soon as suspicious activity is detected, ...
  • ✅ 【People Detection & User Release】 This IP camera is compatible with the detection technology on the device ...

On all Imou products: Exclusive 20% deal for Sir Apfelot readers

Imou just wrote to me that they are granting a 20% discount on the regular price on all products if you use the coupon code "APFELOT20" when checking out on Amazon.de. This also makes the Bullet 2E tested here significantly cheaper. According to Imou, the 20% deal will continue until the end of 2021.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

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