Consumer Electronics, Gadgets & Accessories

EZVIZ CB8 2K test – swiveling video surveillance for outdoor use

The EZVIZ CB8 is part of a broad range of solutions for surveillance technology, smart home and cloud storage from the Hangzhou-based Chinese manufacturer EZVIZ.

At the time of testing, it is one of several pan-and-tilt outdoor cameras from this manufacturer, which are technically similar. The CB8 supports microSD cards with a capacity of up to 256 GB, swivels and tilts, records videos with a resolution of up to 2304 by 1296 pixels – or 2K – and has a generous 10400 mAh battery, which is said to last up to 210 days under certain circumstances.

Other features include color night vision, intelligent person detection and tracking, 2-way audio, and high security through video encryption and multiple authentication.

We present these and many more of the advertised features of the EZVIZ CB8 in this article, and also highlight for you the extent to which they were true during our test.

Technical Features

Model CS-CB8 (3MP) product page
Camera
Image sensor 1/2.8″ 3-megapixel CMOS sensor with progressive scan
Minimum illumination 0.01 lux @ (F1.6, AGC ON), 0 lux with IR (data is from EZVIZ labs)
Shutter speed Self-adaptive aperture
Lens 4mm @ F1.6 Viewing Angle: 100°(Diagonal), 83°(Horizontal), 44°(Vertical)
PT angle Pan: 340°, Tilt: 65°
Day & Night IR cut filter with automatic switching
DNR 3D DNR
Night vision Up to 15 m / 49 ft
Video & Audio
Max. Resolution 2304 × 1296
Frame Rate 15fps. Self-adjustment during network transmission
Video compression H.265 / H.264
Video Bit Rate Ultra-HD; HD; Standard. Adaptive bit rate.
Audio Bit Rate Self-Adaptive
Max. Bitrate 1.5 Mbps
Network
Wi-Fi Standard IEEE802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
Frequency range 2.4 GHz ~ 2.4835 GHz
Channel bandwidth Supports 20 MHz
Security 64 /128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
Transfer rate 11b: 11Mbps, 11g: 54Mbps, 11n: 150Mbps
Wi-Fi pairing AP pairing
Log EZVIZ cloud proprietary protocol
Interface protocol EZVIZ cloud proprietary protocol
Minimum network requirements 4 Mbps
Function
detection Smart Human Motion Detection
Two-way conversation Support
General function Anti-flicker, heart beat, password protection, watermark
Space
Local storage Supports microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Cloud storage Supports EZVIZ CloudPlay storage (subscription required)
General
Operating conditions -20 °C to 50 °C (-4 °F to 122 °F ), humidity 95% or less (non-condensing)
IP Grade Weatherproof design
Power supply DC 5V / 2A (adapter must be purchased separately)
Power consumption Max. 10W
Battery capacity 10400 mAh
Product dimensions 183 × 116 × 166 mm (7.20 × 4.57 × 6.52 inch)
Packaging dimensions 216 × 145 × 203 mm (8.50 × 5.71 × 7.99 inch)
Weight Net: 803 g (28.32 oz) With packaging: 1060 g (37.39 oz)
Price € 179.99 *

Packaging and scope of delivery

  • 1x CB8 2K camera
  • 1x USB cable
  • 1x drilling template
  • 1x Screw Set (4x screws & 4x dowels)
  • 1x Quick Installation Guide
  • 1x Quick Installation Guide
  • 2x Regulatory Information

Solar panel or power supply are optional and must be purchased.

Design and finish of the EZVIZ CB8

  • Waterproof design includes on/off switch and USB port
  • Mounts to wall or ceiling with four screws
  • Micro SD card slot and reset button centrally located in camera body

The design of the EZVIZ CB8 is similar to the common setup for outdoor swiveling surveillance cameras, which are usually mounted on house walls. The camera is vertically movable housed in a spherical case, which in turn is horizontally movable attached to an elongated arm.

EZVIZ CB8 case lying on its side
The case of the EZVIZ CB8 lying on its side

The mounting base, arm, and rotating ball are made entirely of matte white plastic, while the camera is colored glossy black. All visible parts appear to be of high quality workmanship and offer little surface for dirt to attack. The CB8 is claimed to be waterproof, but we do not find an IP rating.

The camera arm slides into the mounting base where it mechanically locks into place. It can be detached from the mounting base with a spring-loaded lever, for example to charge the camera or change the micro SD card. Strictly speaking, this simple detachment of the camera from its location also facilitates its theft, so it should be mounted at a sufficient height, 3 meters is recommended in the manual.

The camera is rotatable around two axes, 340 degrees in horizontal and 65 degrees in vertical direction. The motor works extremely quietly here, but is also rather sluggish. We need about 15 seconds for a full horizontal rotation.

Micro SD card slot and reset button

EZVIZ CB8 front
Front of the EZVIZ CB8 with SD card slot and reset button

The micro SD card slot is exactly centered in the black camera body and is covered by a waterproof bezel held in place by two screws. When we wanted to insert a micro-SD card, the screws could only be loosened with a lot of force the first time.
The slot bezel also houses the reset button for the camera, which restarts the camera after a 4-second push and resets it to the factory state. It remains to be seen whether such a switch should be located in a freely accessible position. In any case, the camera would not be easy to reach under normal circumstances.

USB port and on/off switch

The camera’s power button and micro USB port, as well as the speaker, are located on the bottom of the camera arm, on the side away from the weather. Both the bezel of the USB port, which acts as a power connector, and the camera’s on/off button are rubberized, so presumably splash-proof.

As a contrast to the round camera body, all edges of the camera arm are beveled. Visually, the EZVIZ CB8 is designed with both soft and hard shapes. To us, it makes a modern and unobtrusively simple impression.

Mounting and setup

The attachment of the mounting base of the CB8

  • Easy attachment thanks to drilling template

Attaching the mounting base to a house wall is relatively simple thanks to the four screws provided. To facilitate the 4 necessary drillings, a drilling template is included in the package. Dowels are also included for substrates such as cement and plaster. The mounting base can also be mounted hanging from the ceiling. For both scenarios, a quick start guide is included in the package.

Once the base is attached, the camera arm can be slid into the rail of the base until the whole thing clicks into place. Before that, however, the camera should be loaded, fitted with an mSD card and ready to set up so that you don’t have to climb the ladder every time.

The initial setup of the EZVIZ CB8

  • An EZVIZ account is required to set up the camera.
  • Security through email verification, 2-factor authentication and device password

For the initial setup of the CB8, we first take a look at the included quick start guide. This refers to the detailed manual, which we find in German in the support section of the manufacturer’s website and download as a PDF.

We start the camera by pressing the on/off button for 2 seconds and are then loudly greeted by an English voice. The camera rotates once in all directions. It also confirmed some of the steps with a high volume during the setup, which can apparently only be changed later in the settings.

Now, to add the camera to our Wi-Fi network, we need the EZVIZ app for our smartphone. Since we use an Android phone, we download the 130 MB app via the Google Playstore. Download and installation take a few minutes.

Create an EZVIZ account

After installation, we first need to create an EZVIZ account, either name and email address or name and phone number are required here. We also need to accept terms of service and privacy policy, but these are shown to us only in English.

EZVIZ account registration
EZVIZ account registration

Via verification code to the previously provided email address, the registration is completed. Subsequently, we are still recommended to set up two-factor authentication by phone and also later we are reminded regularly, which we find appropriate given the increased security.

Add a device to the app

EZVIZ App Add Device
EZVIZ App Add Device

We can now add a device to our freshly installed app. During this process, we need the WLAN data. The CB8 must be turned on (initialized), the blue status LED must be blinking.

Add EZVIZ App Device
Add EZVIZ App Device

In addition, the app requires the phone’s location service to be enabled and permission to access the camera, which can be used to read the QR code on our CB8.

EZVIZ App Add Device
EZVIZ App Add Device

Like the serial number or “device AP”, the QR code serves as a unique identifier for the device, making setup easier. We now give the CB8 another simple name and change the device’s own password, which can also be found on the device sticker.

The camera is now ready to be set up. We can still set the operating mode and the detection sensitivity. We leave the former set to “energy saving”. The detection sensitivity can be adjusted continuously between 1 and 100, but is not specified in meters. The manual mentions a detection range between 2 and 10 meters, which can be used as a rough guide. Whether a sufficient sensitivity was set, can be tried out with a debug mode.

Set up memory

EZVIZ CB8 CloudPlay trial
EZVIZ CloudPlay trial

Last but not least, as you would expect from other apps, an advertisement for the free trial of the manufacturer’s own cloud service “EZVIZ Cloudplay” appears, but it is optional and would take over the function of the micro SD card if you want it to.

We still insert our 64 GB micro SD card during operation, but then restart the app, otherwise the card is not yet shown as recognized. The card must first be formatted via the device settings in the app before the first use.

EZVIZ App

  • Pretty well designed app with lots of settings
  • Some functions could be better named

The EZVIZ app has been rated hundreds of thousands of times on Google Play at the time of testing and has been downloaded more than 10 million times. In the reviews, as with most apps, there are also negative reviews, the answers of the support make on us the impression that is actually cared here.

To say it right up front, we don’t necessarily expect an app with such a large number of functions and setting options, which is also intended for many different devices and device classes, to be completely intuitive to use and 100% clearly laid out. Thus, we also found that the EZVIZ app still needed optimization in some places during the test and would have wished for a more precise wording for one or the other setting and function. Overall, however, it is neatly structured and offers good access to the EZVIZ CB8’s functions.

Naming of some functions ambiguous

It would be important to know, for example, that the CB8 works largely independently of the EZVIZ app and cloud. The app is of course required to retrieve the live image and recordings, receive notifications, such as in the event of an alarm, and other functions and settings. However, based on these settings, especially the operating mode, the CB8 independently records video material, stores it on the inserted mSD card and reacts with the set acoustic and/or visual alarms.

Even if you turn off app-side notifications, i.e. set the device from “armed” to “disarmed”, the CB8 will continue to record video according to the operating mode (e.g. High Power) and play device-side notifications (alarms) upon detection. The only way to stop the camera from detecting and recording video is to use the “Extreme Power Saving” operating mode, which is the sleep mode where live view can still be used. This, we found, is a not very intuitive principle of the system, which at first seems like a mistake and should be communicated more aptly.

Features of the EZVIZ CB8

  • The functions of the EZVIZ CB8 are numerous and can be customized according to one’s needs

The assembly and setup is complete, and we are rudimentarily familiar with the app. We would now like to get the camera to help burglars flee or record fleeing pets and duly notify us of all this.

We first activate the email notification, which can be found somewhat hidden in the general settings and can be activated individually for each device.
For recording videos, an mSD card must of course be installed or a cloud subscription must be taken out, otherwise only the live view can be used.

Operating Modes

  • The various operating modes directly affect the battery life
  • The advertised 210-day battery life might be difficult to achieve

The camera’s operating mode determines in what length (Energy Saving/High Performance) or whether videos should be recorded at all (Extremely Power Saving). We use the default setting of “Energy Saving”, which shortens the video length and thus saves energy.

EZVIZ CB8 Select Operating Mode
Select Operating Mode

As already described in the “EZVIZ App” section, the “Extreme Power Saving” mode is the only one that turns off camera detection and video recording, and puts it into sleep mode.

Battery Life of EZVIZ CB8

In the “save power” mode, we used 15% of the battery capacity during our test after about a week, which is around 1500mAh. This consumption would mean a runtime of 46 days. In real-life conditions, the consumption can be lower, but it can also be higher depending on how often the camera records videos and its other functions are used.
A maximum battery runtime of 210 days is advertised on the package, but it is made clear elsewhere that this value was created under standardized laboratory conditions. However, it is not stated what exactly these looked like and which operating mode was used for this.

We did not find it very comprehensible whether we successfully turned the CB8 off via switch or not when the audio messages were disabled due to a lack of feedback. The app also did not always show the camera as “Offline” immediately. It took a few minutes until the offline status was correctly recognized and displayed.

Intelligent detection

  • The intelligent person detection works well in the test and should reduce false alarms
  • PIR (passive infrared sensor) detection detects body temperature of humans and animals

The CB8 provides two intelligent methods of detection: the “PIR infrared detection” and the “human body detection”. Always activated is also the basic detection, which, however, is not described in detail. One of the two intelligent methods is always active, and which of the two we used fortunately did not matter, at least in our test. The detection of our movement or presence worked very reliably overall, even in the dark.

EZVIZ CB8 Intelligent Detection Select
Intelligent Detection Select

The difference between the two lies in how they work and can become relevant in certain application scenarios: PIR (passive infrared) detects living beings based on body heat, but can also be fooled by similar temperatures on other objects. We could not find any precise information about the functionality of “human body detection” in the sparse manual. Which method suits the current scenario best, you ultimately have to find out yourself by trying it out.

Configure detection

Both methods can be set with the detection sensitivity for a certain distance; for a room, for example, a low sensitivity of 10 was already enough for us. Likewise, a detection area can be defined for both, which reliably excluded a certain image area from detection during our test.

Reliability of detection

Moving objects and light changes, such as flashlight shine, leave the camera cold in our test using both detection methods. However, as soon as a human enters the picture, the camera almost always detects this reliably and sounds the alarm.
Whether this behavior can also be a disadvantage in certain situations, we cannot assess at this point. In any case, this reduces the number of unwanted detections.

Notifications

  • The CB8 can send out visual and audible alarms when detected
  • But it can also remain almost completely unnoticeable

If the detection works reliably, it’s time for the necessary reaction: an alarm is needed or, in other words, a “device-side notification”. The CB8 can make itself audible in various ways with warning sounds, rather quiet, extremely loud and everything in between. For this purpose, the user’s own audio files can also be recorded via the app and transmitted to the camera.
Visually, the built-in LED lamp can be made to flash, which can dazzle and irritate people, especially in the dark.

If you want to keep unwanted visitors in the proverbial dark about the camera’s presence, any sign of life from the camera can also be turned off, including the status LED, but not the two infrared LEDs, which are still visible as two red dots in the dark. Also, switching the camera from day to night mode for the first time causes a short click. However, any motor noises (such as manual or automatic people tracking) are virtually inaudible.

App-side notifications

If you enable app-side notifications, events from the camera become visible in the library based on a configurable interval and schedule, and can also be issued in the form of push notifications. App-side notifications can be turned on and off all at once with the shield icon in the app’s device overview, which arms or disarms all associated devices. Only armed devices will receive notifications from the app.

Devices can also be armed or disarmed individually. This principle is not necessarily easy to understand, because in one place it talks about arming and disarming and in another place about “Enabled” and “Disabled”. In the deeper device settings, exactly the same function is again called “Receive device message”, which finally makes the confusion perfect.

Creating schedules for notifications

Schedules can be created for notifications, just like for other functions. However, creating schedules seems to be implemented in a rudimentary way so far. For example, instead of conveniently creating two time periods for day (8am to 8pm) and night (8pm to 8am), we had to awkwardly split night into two time periods: from 8:01pm to 11:59pm and from 0:00am to 7:59am, otherwise we received error messages.

Image and audio quality of the CB8

  • The 2k resolution delivers a high level of detail, but also requires a very good WLAN connection
  • Microphone and speakers have rather mediocre audio quality
  • 2-way communication with low delay

Overall, we are satisfied with the image quality of the EZVIZ CB8. Depending on the strength of the WLAN signal, the app will recommend choosing a lower resolution. Available settings are Hi-Def, Full-HD and Ultra-HD, each representing a widescreen (16:9) resolution of 1280×720, 1920×1080 and 2304×1296 pixels, respectively, or “2K”, always at a non-changeable frame rate of 15 FPS.

EZVIZ CB8 App Select Resolution
Select Resolution

As with all digital raster graphics, the higher the resolution, the more detail you will see later, especially when zooming in, but the more space the video data will take up. The higher resolution may rarely be relevant, for example, if it makes it easier to identify the faces of people being filmed.

We do not find any information about how long we can write video data with the respective resolution onto our micro-SD card until previous data is overwritten. The CB8 stores videos in the H.265 codec, which EZVIZ says is more space-efficient than its predecessor.

EZVIZ CB8 comparison of the 3 resolutions
Comparison of the 3 resolutions Ultra-HD, Full-HD and Hi-Def

For nighttime, the CB8 has two display methods for the viewer: the black and white infrared view has the main advantage that the camera is hardly noticeable while shooting in the dark. It also provides detailed footage in near-total darkness, but only with limited visibility. The two IR LEDs are also visible as red dots in the dark.

The camera is also advertised with the so-called colored night vision. Here behind hides two warm-white LED lamps, which become active when detected and illuminate the scene for the colored video recording.

Speaker and microphone

The audio recorded by the camera microphone is not of high quality, but sufficient to understand spoken and ambient sounds.

Original recording

CB8 speaker playback quality

CB8 microphone recording quality

The audio quality of the built-in speaker can be well described with one word: shrill. High volumes are no problem here, but they also sound correspondingly overdriven.
The transmission of one’s own voice or “2-way communication”, which can be added during the live view, is accordingly not high-quality, but perfectly sufficient for this purpose, for example a conversation with the delivery service at the front door.

Person tracking

  • Person tracking mostly good, but camera follows only slowly and gradually

Not only can the CB8 be manually moved in two directions in live view, it can also automatically follow a person using intelligent detection. This can be helpful in certain situations to keep a person in the picture longer and record them.
Once a person has been captured, the camera follows them step by step with short pauses. Since it is not able to turn very quickly and smoothly, and the detection probably also fails occasionally, the tracking often stopped relatively quickly in our test. It worked a bit better with the PIR instead of the human detection method.
The camera does not go back to the initial position after the movement.

Monthly cost, EZVIZ CloudPlay Storage

  • When using a micro SD card, there is no subsequent cost for data storage
  • A subscription for “EZVIZ CloudPlay Storage” costs from 2.99€ per month

Since using the CB8 and the EZVIZ app does not require an active subscription, there are no additional costs apart from the price of the camera itself and the eventual micro SD card.

Those who do not want to use a micro SD card or prefer the advantages of a cloud service can subscribe to the manufacturer’s “EZVIZ CloudPlay Storage” service for recording videos. The price for this depends on how many devices are operated with it and how long the recorded data should remain available. For a single camera and 3-day data storage, the monthly cost of the service is €2.99 (as of September 2022). Before purchasing, one can first take advantage of the offer of a 30-day trial subscription with 7-day data storage via the app, which can be restarted with each new device purchase.

Both storage methods have advantages and disadvantages. Apart from the monthly costs, data is only recorded and sent to the cloud service when there is a stable WLAN connection. This disadvantage does not exist with local storage.
With local storage, the data is in turn irretrievably lost if the camera or memory card is damaged or stolen, which cannot happen with cloud storage.

Security of the EZVIZ CB8

  • High app security through password, 2-factor authentication and fingerprint
  • The CB8 also has its own device password

Both camera and app have various features to enhance security.

For privacy, for example, videos from the camera to the optional cloud service are only transmitted in encrypted form. The app also has 2-factor authentication and fingerprint login in addition to the password prompt. The user is prompted to change the factory password while setting up the device, which makes it much more difficult for third parties to access the camera with password lists stolen from the manufacturer, for example.

If the camera is physically accessible by third parties, it is theoretically possible to disable the device by pressing the openly accessible switches on the case, either via the reset button or the on/off switch. However, both are unlikely to be possible in most situations and would lead to an alarm beforehand.

If the camera was stolen and recorded videos are on the inserted SD card, it can be removed and the videos on it can be played or copied without further ado.

Conclusion

The CB8 is a reliable surveillance camera with numerous features and capabilities. Its weaknesses were manageable in testing and virtually did not affect its reliability. It delivered flawless video footage in high resolution day and night. The intelligent detection methods avoid false alarms, the motor is slow but also whisper-quiet, and the device and app are secure thanks to password protection, video encryption, and 2-factor authentication.

The EZVIZ app is mostly intuitive to use and clearly laid out, apart from the one or other unfortunately named function; we did not encounter any unacceptable software or design errors here. There are many options to customize the app and the associated devices according to one’s own requirements.

The purchase price for the CB8 of just under 180€ at the time of testing (currently € 179.99 *) is set higher than some comparable competitor products, but thanks to the micro SD card slot for cards up to 256 GB, the CB8 can be used without monthly follow-up costs. An additional subscription for the manufacturer’s own cloud service is available for a comparatively low €3 per month (as of September 2022).

EZVIZ CB8 Test: Gold Award

EZVIZ CB8

Workmanship
Hardware
Software
Performance
Value for money

90/100

The CB8 is a swiveling wireless outdoor surveillance camera with a long-lasting battery and features such as infrared night vision, intelligent motion detection, 2-way audio and people tracking. Thanks to the SD card slot, there is no additional cost for external storage services during operation. The app and camera can be largely customized to suit your own requirements.

EZVIZ CB8 2K price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The EZVIZ CB8 is part of a broad range of solutions for surveillance technology, smart home and cloud storage from the Hangzhou-based Chinese manufacturer EZVIZ. At the time of testing, it is one of several pan-and-tilt outdoor cameras from this manufacturer, which are technically similar. The CB8 supports microSD cards with a capacity of up … (Weiterlesen...)

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