Chapter in this post:
The manufacturer Imou once again sent me a new surveillance camera for a test. I had it almost exactly a year ago Imou Bullet 2E tried and the Imou Knight 4K (Manufacturer site) is a worthy successor with a significantly higher resolution.
As with the Bullet 2E, the manufacturer gave me the Imou Knight 4K for free for testing. Of course, you can still look forward to an unbiased test report with some critical comments. And I can already reveal that with the Imou Knight 4K not everything is as great as the resolution.
But before we get to the critical points, let's just start at the beginning and start with the technical data of the camera.
Unfortunately, surveillance cameras have a lot of data that should be mentioned in order to be able to distinguish them from other models. I have therefore put together a longer list for you here and included a comparison graphic below, which compares the Imou Knight 4K with three other outdoor cameras from Imou.
Here are the specs:
And here is the promised overview of the four Imou outdoor cameras:
The Imou Knight comes with mounting material, a power supply unit and of course the camera itself. However, it is advisable to order a micro SD card for operation so that the recordings can also be saved locally.
But don't worry, you don't always have to fumble the SD card out of the camera to view the recordings. This works very conveniently via WLAN via the App. According to Imou, the Knight camera can work with SD cards up to 256GB. I've only plugged in 128GB and even that capacity will probably easily last for months.
Due to the IP66 classification, the Imou Knight can be classified as an outdoor surveillance camera without hesitation. It is also protected against strong splashing water due to the construction and the supplied connector seal. Only the power supply itself has to be installed somewhere where no rain can get.
A cable for the network connection is also installed directly on the camera. Of course, you don't need this for operation, but if you want to use it to connect the camera to a WLAN access point, then of course you have to unscrew the connector seal here as well.
At this point I would like to say a few words about the look of the Imou Knight. The camera itself is white and looks elegant and unobtrusive. Due to the built-in floodlight, which is basically a row of LEDs around the camera, the camera still looks quite bulky and cannot be compared with the small cameras that many providers offer for indoor use.
So if you are looking for an indoor camera and can do without an LED floodlight, you may be looking for a smaller model.
If I had to say what makes the Imou Knight special, I would name the following points as strengths:
Likewise, I also have a few things I could criticize:
I would like to repeat what I briefly mentioned above with regard to the disadvantages, as I find this point very negative for the overall assessment of the camera. I brought the camera into the office today and wanted to copy all the recordings on my hard drive to the Mac. Since I didn't manage to export the recordings via the app, all I can do is remove the SD card from the Imou Knight and plug it into my Mac. But what I got there as a message really disappointed me:
The attached medium could not be read by this computer.
It is therefore not possible to access the recordings from my Mac because the Imou Knight cooks its own soup when using the SD card in relation to the file system. And yes, I am sure that there is no technical defect here, because I have tried it on two Macs and also with internal and external SD card readers.
I cannot understand the manufacturer's decision: If you format the SD card so that it is illegible for normal computers, then you should at least make sure that you install a function in the app that allows you to import films and pictures into the photos app or export to iPhone or Mac. I can only describe the current condition as poor.
Update: Even before the article went online, I looked through the screenshots from the app again. There I find the note "Download SD card recordings" in the features of the "Imou Protect Basic" subscription package for EUR 2,69 per month. Serious? Do I actually have to take out a subscription to be able to download the recordings on my SD card in my camera? It's kind of... dubious and greedy, isn't it?
Because I was so shocked by the SD card thing, I wrote an email to Imou and confronted them with my criticism. The answer came back that they were happy that I was writing my opinion to them openly and that they would work on the points I mentioned.
Of course, this can mean anything or anything, but I think it would be smart for the marketing department to listen to user feedback and not hide essential functions, such as exporting the image material, behind a subscription barrier.
I don't think you have to explain to anyone how to use a surveillance camera. For example, I occasionally use one to record wildlife in the garden at night. But of course the "normal" use case is that you want to monitor what is happening at the house entrance or on the property.
Anyone who has already had a surveillance camera will know that areas on the image that are used to trigger the recording are usually marked in the app. The camera only saves a video snippet if movement is detected in this area. If something happens outside of this area, the movement is ignored.
However, the Imou Knight 4K throws a new element into the ring here, because with the Imou app you can now also draw lines in the camera image and the app then only triggers a recording if an "object" crosses this line. You can even specify whether the direction in which the line was crossed should also be evaluated.
For example, you can monitor if someone goes out through the garden gate, but people who come in are ignored. Of course, you can set the rules yourself by creating the lines and directions in the app.
I have already mentioned the not quite perfect German localization of the app. But it's not nearly as annoying as a few other things I found out when using it on the iPhone:
I have to say that it's really hard for me to judge here. The camera makes really impressively good videos with a very high resolution. I've never seen that with any other camera I've had in my hands.
The recognition is also really good, because it correctly recognized me as a “person” in the garden, even though I was walking around behind a tree 20 meters away. The software has to do something. Our chickens and cats were always correctly classified as "Pet" and the videos were marked accordingly in the overview.
The high price alone and the somewhat half-baked app would make me hesitate to buy it. What Imou is doing with the subscription, however, I find dubious. How to charge monthly for downloading recordings from SD card? And not only that - apparently the SD card is specially formatted in a strange format so that the normal user cannot easily read it via the computer. That's a bit cheeky.
I would give the camera a grade of 1 and the app a grade of 4 if I, as a camera teacher, had something to report. The camera definitely has compelling hardware, but the app lags behind.
If you want to take a look at the Imou Knight 4K, you can find the camera via the following shops or via the Idealo price comparison:
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.