The Dropcam Pro is one of the most compact, easy to use, and polished wireless cameras on the market. Their greatest weakness is being an indoor-only product with no outdoor option. Over the past few years, other manufactures have created aftermarket enclosures to protect the Dropcam from the elements. But many of these products have come and gone, with very few worthy solutions available to the consumer. To fill this gap, the designers at Dropcases have engineered enclosures and various mounting solutions to protect your Dropcam from the great outdoors.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
Dropcase sent me two of their products:
- Anna – Black Premium Acrylic Dropcase Weatherproof Outdoor Case for Dropcam
- TIE – Black Ball Joint Wall Mount for Dropcases (I think it hilarious that Dropcases named this mount after the TIE fighters from Star Wars)
The Anna enclosure is made from a rigid plastic/acrylic with the thickness slightly thinner than a schedule 20 PVC pipe. There are magnets embedded in the main body of the enclosure and its backplate, meant to hold both temporarily together until it can be secured with the included bolts. An excellent additional feature, making installation much less cumbersome.
The Dropcam clicks into the center partition within the Dropcase. Once installed I was expecting it to be difficult to remove the Dropcam, but I found it surprisingly easy to pop out when needed, with neither worse for the wear.
The Dropcam Pro sits inside the DropCase securely and surprisingly close to the lens/front of the enclosure.
It is easier to set things up if the camera has the microUSB cable plugged into the power port before clicking the Dropcam into place. As I mentioned earlier, the backplate then magnetically snaps onto the back of the enclosure. The magnets hold the two together until the bolts can be installed, sandwiching everything closed. The USB cable comes out the bottom of the enclosure.
Here you can see, the Anna enclosure and TIE ball mount together. The arm/plate of the TIE mount is securely bolted to the back of the Dropcase enclosure. The adjustable mount is well made and looks like it will last the test of time in the elements. The TIE’s ball joint allows for 270° degrees of movement and can support up to 2kg / 4.4lbs of weight. The TIE’s bolt tightens down to hold everything at the desired angle.
The protective lens is clear and does not distort daytime images.
The lens does not impact nighttime imagery either. There is little to no glare from the Dropcam’s built in IR lights back into the camera. Best I can figure, this is accomplished by low reflective transparent material and how close the camera is to the lens.
Dropcases also produces white versions of their outdoor enclosure (Lisa) and TIE ball joint wall mount. Plus black and white versions of their Gooseneck mount (Franziska), Ball Joint with Suction Cup for Window Mounting (Amelie), and a soon to be released, wooden hidden birdhouse shaped outdoor enclosure.
(Man, we need to paint the house next year…) This is what the Dropcases Anna and TIE assembly looks like installed along our roofline. It definitely has a unique shape/look compared to other outdoor surveillance cameras. I have little doubt the enclosure is weatherproof, it has already survived several Seattle blustery winter rains. This setup is not inexpensive, the Anna outdoor enclosure and TIE mount are $50 each…so what you see here is half the cost of the Dropcam itself for a total cost of 300 bones. That said, the Dropcases outdoor solution is well designed and gets the job done.
Source: The samples for this review were provided by Dropcases. Please visit their site for more info.