Chapter in this post:
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.
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.
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.
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.
With four different modes to choose from, you can decide which is best for the purpose. There are the following options to choose from:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
So the “bug” may be more of a feature here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I only found two features that the Imou Bullet 2E does not have and that I know from other cameras:
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:
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.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de