WiFi Camera 101
What is a WiFi Camera?
You may be asking yourself what is a WiFi camera? Basically, it is a camera with WiFi abilities enabling you to connect to a wireless network without the use of cables. This comes in handy as you can save pictures to your laptop or home based computer as you take them. You can also download pictures, over the network and share them with friends and family. Additionally, you will be able to store images and entire albums without the need for USB cable or a memory card. Just like your computer or wireless enabled music player, a WiFi camera utilizes wireless networking to connect to your home or office network.
What else do I need?
Well, besides the camera itself you will need a wireless network or wireless hotspot. Some cameras come with access to T-Mobile or other hotspot services so it is a good idea to double check with the manufacturer specs before you buy. A good rule of thumb: if you use a laptop to wirelessly connect to the internet at the home or office then you have access to a wireless network.
What’s so great about a WiFi camera anyway?
In case you need more convincing, digital wifi cameras make taking and managing photographs much easier. They save you time, and they are really fun. Many cell phone users enjoy snapping pictures and sending them to friends or posting to social network sites on the go. The downside is that picture quality is usually not great. Imagine being able to do the same thing using your digital camera? Yep, now you can see the real advantage. Simply shoot and share or store your images online. Plus you can store many more pictures at higher quality than you can with a typical cell phone. Also, some cameras also allow you to shoot HD video as well.
Ok, sounds great. What is the downside of a WiFi Camera?
For starters, if you don’t have a wireless network or hotspot then the benefit of this type of camera is eliminated. You can setup a network at home quite easily, but be aware it is an added cost. An average router will set you back around $ 50 to $ 75. Also, these wireless cameras are still somewhat limited in the market. They haven’t caught on fully yet so there are not as many choices. Finally, compared to regular feature rich digital cameras, these WiFi models can lack some functionality.
Popular WiFi Camera Brands
No surprises here really…models include the Canon Powershot SD430, the Nikon Coolpix S610c, and the Panasonic Lummox DMC-TZ50S. Prices range from $ 150 on up to $ 400 again depending on options and camera capabilities.
Before you buy a WiFi enabled camera
Consider what your expectations are from a new digital camera. Are you looking for a great, easy to carry and handle camera with a solid range of features? Do you want the ability to transfer pictures without annoying wires or having to carry your laptop with you? If so, then a wireless camera is probably a great fit for you. Also, keep in mind that some cameras also have additional features such as GPS for geo-taging photos. Make a list of the items you can and can live without. That will help you decide on the best WiFi camera for your needs.