D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera

D-Link have a strong history of offering quality, affordable Wi-Fi-based surveillance cameras. Their latest addition, the D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera, is a sleek and discreet offering packed with features.

Disclosure: D-Link provided Blog of Dad with the D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera for the purpose of review and ongoing use. Any thoughts expressed about D-Link products in this article are based on my own experiences. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.

D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera

10 out of 10
$99.95
D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera

D-Link have refined their pan & tilt Wi-Fi camera experience to include excellent features, while providing a cost-effective solution by removing features that may not be widely used, such as Ethernet support.
The 1080p Full HD image of the D-Link DCS-6500LH is pleasing in all light conditions,  thanks to IR night vision and auto switching, while the auto pan and tilt feature allows action to be tracked. The D-Link app is packed full of options, and Scenes enables even greater tailoring of the experience. The matte-black design is simple and unobtrusive, which makes the D-Link DCS-6500LH suitable for when you need a discreet surveillance option.

Value
10/10
Ease of Use
10/10
Image quality
9/10
Functionality
9/10

Pros

Easy to use

Great value

D-Link App

Good image in all light conditions

Discreet

Customisable

Pan & Tilt functions

Cons

No Ethernet connection option

2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection only


D-Link DCS-6500LH – First Impressions

As a long-time D-Link surveillance camera user, the most obvious thing that I noticed with the DCS-6500LH was the matt-black colour. Other D-Link cameras that I have used tend to stand out with black lens compartments in a white body. This new D-Link Wi-Fi camera on the other hand, is designed to be subtle and blend in to nooks, bookshelves or corners of rooms.

The other thing that I immediately noticed is that the D-Link DCS-6500LH is light – especially when compared to the D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera with similar functions.

The D-Link DCS-6500LH is also cheaper, and a quick inspection shows where some of those cost savings have been made. There is no Ethernet port, for example, and the mounting system is a simplified screw-based system (the same as can be found on camera tripod mounts). There is no dedicated bracket included, so if you want to mount this upside down (from a ceiling, for example), a small amount of extra hardware will be required.

A different motorised mechanism has also been used, which may also account for some weight loss. This one has a slightly reduced pan range of 340 degrees – just shy of a full rotation.

For my mind, these are sensible changes to make. For the vast majority of users, these will make absolutely no difference to the overall experience with the D-Link DCS-6500LH surveillance camera. Most users would be looking to take advantage of the ease of a Wi-Fi connection with this type of camera, and I’d be willing to bet that a fair number of them end up placed discreetly on top of furniture rather than wall or ceiling mounted. Meanwhile, the D-Link quality and functionality has been retained where it most matters, resulting in an affordable, but capable camera.

As is usual on D-Link Wi-Fi cameras, a Micro SD card slot is available for local recording of surveillance footage. While D-Link do offer subscription-based cloud storage plans, it is great to see users provided with a choice of how they use their purchase.


D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera – Key Hardware Specifications

The D-Link DCS-6500LH offers Full HD, 1080p viewing and recording through a 2 Megapixel sensor. An F2.1 aperture allows for bright, clear pictures during daylight conditions,  while IR LED night vision enables you to see up to five metres, even in total darkness.

Video is encoded in the H.264 format, meaning it is easy to use and play back on a wide range of devices.

The D-Link DCS-6500LH doesn’t offer the widest view on the market at 100°, but the automatic and/or manually controlled pan (total 340°) and tilt (total 90°) functions mean that it can capture any action with ease.

Wi-Fi connectivity is restricted to the 2.4 GHz band, which shouldn’t be an issue for most people running modern multi-band routers or mesh systems. It is worth double-checking, however, that your setup supports this. WPA3 security protocols provide peace of mind and help to keep footage secure.


D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera – Software

I am a big fan of D-Link’s Android apps. In my experience they do a great job of supporting beginners, while at the same time packing plenty of features for customisation and a great user experience.

As I am an existing D-Link user, I already had an account, so connecting to the D-Link DCS-6500 was simply a matter of clicking on “Add Device” and following the prompts. For new users, setting up the D-Link app for the first time is a simple task.

D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera

As I have come to expect, the app provided a simple series of prompts to add the new D-Link Camera to my existing setup. Within minutes I was complete.

Upon pairing, a firmware update was immediately prompted. This took a few minutes and worked flawlessly. From there the D-Link DCS-6500 was up and running.

The D-Link app offers a wealth of customisation options to get the D-Link DCS-6500 working as you want. Options include setting the camera to auto-track movement, creating a panorama for “point and go” to quickly focus on a specific part of the room, setting an “auto home” point for the camera to automatically return to after tracking some action, storage options, microphone options, night vision options, control options and the ability to invert the image (so that footage from ceiling-mounted cameras appears the right way up). There is also the option to turn off the status LED, which provides an extra element of discretion to the setup.


Scenes, Automations and Schedules

D-Link’s Scenes, Automations, and/or Schedules make using the D-Link DCS-6500 easy.

Scenes provides three simple settings – home, away and sleep. Each of these can be configured to turn the camera on or off, as well as to trigger an automation rule.

D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera

Automations are rules that can be assigned to the camera when events happen. Events can be visual, in the form of either motion detection, or audio-based, and can be fine-tuned in how they trigger. This can be handy if you are using the D-Link DCS-6500 to monitor pets while you are at work, or even children while they are playing or resting in another room. Audio alerts could also potentially alert you to an event off camera, such as a broken window or forced door.

Finally, the D-Link DCS-6500 can be set to turn on and off to a schedule. You can select specific times for both operation and the implementation of automations.


D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera – Use

The 1080p camera of the D-Link DCS-6500LH provided a clear picture during my testing in a moderately lit room. I noticed a slight delay of under a second when viewing footage through my phone while on the same Wi-Fi network, and between 1.5 and about 4 seconds when viewing on my phone over a cellular network. This is close enough to real-time for my liking and good enough to know what is happening as it is happening. Different conditions will always play a part in any network-based home security setup, so these results may vary.

The automatic pan and tilt of the D-Link DCS-6500LH worked really well. It responded almost immediately to my movements and kept an eye on the action as I moved about the room. The only time that the camera lost track was when I was moving particularly fast. Even then, the initial movement registered by the camera was enough to generate a push notification through the D-Link app. Manual control can then be used to find the issue.

D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera

There was a slight hum from the motor of the D-Link DCS-6500LH as it tracked movement around the room. It wasn’t overly noisy, but in a silent room that small amount of noise could alert someone to the presence of the otherwise discreet D-Link DCS-6500LH. In an environment with any kind of background noise, I’m not sure I would notice the camera noise at all.

Night vision was as good as I have come to expect from D-Link, with a clear black & white image generated. The D-Link DCS-6500LH automatically switches between night vision and standard image. Even during the day, when the room became overly darkened by passing clouds (with no internal lights on), the camera switched to the night vision view. This is great, as all of the vision generated by the D-Link DCS-6500LH was of usable quality. That is definitely something I want in a surveillance camera!


D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera – Final Thoughts

D-Link have refined their pan & tilt Wi-Fi camera experience to include excellent features, while providing a cost-effective solution by removing features that may not be widely used, such as Ethernet support. The 1080p Full HD image of the D-Link DCS-6500LH is pleasing in all light conditions, thanks to IR night vision and auto switching, while the auto pan and tilt feature allows action to be tracked. The D-Link app is packed full of options, and Scenes enables even greater tailoring of the experience. The matte-black design is simple and unobtrusive, which makes the D-Link DCS-6500LH suitable for when you need a discreet surveillance option.

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