Written on: 21/01/2013 by martin99 (29 reviews written)
I am very pleased with this camera. It performs well at night* and during the day. It is also excellent value. I do not believe that there’s another camera currently on the market offering this much for this kind of money.
My other camera, a Panasonic WV-NS202A, was far more expensive and is no longer available. SNC-EP521 is cheaper, better and has a much longer zoom. I also like the fact that the camera interface allows the shooting of instant movies (in .avi format) as well as stills. Movie shooting is impossible from the Panasonic interface. For movie shooting with this camera you will need dedicated software purchased separately. Whereas with SNC-EP521, in addition to the interface instant movie-shooting facility Sony supplies a copy of Realshot Manager Lite for more serious users, meaning that you can start sophisticated motion recording right away. Also, unlike the Panny, SNC-EP521 allows you to store movies on its SD card up to 32Gb capacity. Conversely, WV-NS202A does not allow you to do this and takes a mere 2Gb SD card that only captures stills.
SNC-EP521 was easy to install using the supplied ceiling bracket. I understand the camera can also be used sitting upright on a flat surface (because the image can be inverted). But I haven’t tried this yet and may not since I am happy with the current (orthodox) arrangement. Do be aware however that SNC-EP521 is quite heavy. Being robustly built with a comforting ‘industrial’ feel it weighs around twice as much as WV-NS202A and is much bulkier. So pay particular attention to the ability of any surface to support it and make sure you use M4 bolts rather than screws. Needless to say this is irrelevant if you plan on using the camera sitting upright on a flat surface, like a desktop.
Because SNC-EP521 requires more than twice the power of WV-NS202A (25 Watts as opposed to 12 Watts) you will need an HPoE power injector or switch. I use a PowerDSine 9001G rated at 30 Watts connected to an ordinary non-powered 100TX switch nearby. Alternatively the camera will accept 24 volts AC. In addition, I have to say that, although the panning, tilting and zooming controls on SNC-EP521 are not as smooth as on WV-NS202A, given all the superior features of SNC-EP521, this is hardly a deal-breaker.
So all in all I can highly recommend Sony's SNC-EP521. This is the PAL version of the model. The NTSC version is SNC-EP520.
* WV-NS202A might ‘just’ have the edge at night. But there’s not much in it. To my eyes SNC-EP521 is undoubtedly superior during the day. The 36x zoom and the clarity are quite awesome. Five stars plus from me.
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