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TP-Link - Tapo Pan-Tilt Indoor 2K Wi-Fi Security Plug-In Camera with Privacy Control and Smart Motion Tracking - White

Model:Tapo TC73
SKU:6559023
Your price for this item is $49.99
The previous price was $69.99
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Tapo Pan-Tilt Camera
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1
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Reviews

Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 52 reviews

Rating by feature

  • Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars

  • Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars

  • Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars

94%would recommend to a friend

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The vast majority of our reviews come from verified purchases. Reviews from customers may include My Best Buy members, employees, and Tech Insider Network members (as tagged). Select reviewers may receive discounted products, promotional considerations or entries into drawings for honest, helpful reviews.

  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Love these cameras

    This is the best security cameras i ever owned, i bought 7 now. The A.I. feature is precise. Clear viewing.

    Posted by Lebby

  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Tapo TC73 PTZ smart / AI capable camera

    The Tapo TC73 camera is a recent addition (August 2023) to the TP-Link company’s several divisions across a stable of fine products. The Archer line includes computer routers, accessories, computer networking devices, etc. The Tapo name applies to many items including this camera, home sensors, robotic vacuums, etc. The Kasa division includes some overlap, and has products including lighting, light switches, plugs, video doorbells, and some cameras. PTZ is shorthand for Pan Tilt and Zoom, which this camera is very skilled at. From a single vantage point in a room, on the top shelf of a bookcase for example, you can see the full vista of the room, including, if you wish, automated scanning from one corner to the other. This is controlled via the app, if you need to check on one aspect while away from home, you can focus in on one area. The camera was very easy to install, and the enclosed instructions were only a couple of pages long. A separate enclosure outlined the steps to add the camera as an accessory on the Apple Home app. I was excited to see a camera that would work with Apple HomeKit, making connection with the iPhone easier and one fewer apps to have to switch between, while we wait for Matter to be more robustly enabled. This versatility comes at a cost, due to restrictions imposed by Apple to be "allowed" in the Home app. This makes control of the camera via the Home app a weaker sibling. The capacities of the camera are greatly diminished when you run the camera via the Apple Home app (see the chart below). Notably the Pan and Tilt controls do not comply with Apple’s Home restrictions, so are deactivated in the Home app. There is a privacy feature, where the camera can be remotely turned on/off in the Tapo app. But if using the Home app, the privacy feature requires you to be physically present to push a small button on the front of the camera. This will toggle the privacy feature on and off. A solution to deal with the multiple features available ONLY in the Tapo app is to install both the Tapo app AND the Home app on your device, which I did for this review. You could use the Tapo app when the need arises, with the Home Apple app being the daily view. Then the option of resorting to the Tapo app when you need higher resolution, pan-tilt capacity, night mode on/off and sensitivity adjustments, etc. The Tapo app was quite intuitive and easily maneuvered, so I spent most of my time there. One of the recent advances in the Apple Home app is the addition of Home Kit Secure Video. This requires a iCloud+ subscription and a Home Hub (a HomePod or AppleTV of a recent generation). Alas, according to the Apple web page on cameras that support HKSV, TP Link and Tado are NOT on the list. There was not a date given on that Web page, to know how current the list was (this is a fairly newly released camera), but not TP-Link devices or Tapo cameras were on the list. The list had a © 2023 footer as the only date given. The application of Artificial Intelligence algorithms comes into play with the camera's ability to filter what situations you choose to be notified of. This can be easily turned off/on via the Tapo app: motion, noise (including identifying dog barking or cat meowing), baby crying, glass breaking, pet detection, vehicle detection, or even camera tampering detection. There is a "Patrol" mode which will scan back and forth horizontally, with the start and stop points set from the app, pausing for an adjustable length of time at each of the endpoints. To preserve longevity of the life of the motor, you can set a schedule for the times you wish the Patrol Mode to be active. And zones can be blocked from view for privacy concerns. Similarly you can set up your own activity zones so that you only receive alerts that matter to you, and you don’t get alerted for motion that doesn’t matter (curtains moving in the breeze, an oscillating fan’s motion, etc.). Firmware updates can be set to automatically download and install via the Tapo app. Indeed, the camera was shipped with the original Firmware and was easily updated to version 1.0.5, which was released 7 October 2023 (I’m writing this on 21 October). Audio recording and a speaker allows for conversation with the room in which the camera is placed. This can be adjusted or muted via the Tapo app; alas, adjusting the mic/speaker is NOT available if running the camera with the Apple Home app. Camera resolution is limited to 1080P in the Apple Home app, but higher in the Tapo app. The camera has 2K QHD resolution. The camera includes HDR technology and 1.7× more pixels than 1080p. Individual camera shots and video sequences are tagged with a date and time stamp. Night vision has a “Starlight Vision” capacity with a large f1.6 aperture camera for superior low light vision. Two photos below of our messy basement with the lights on, and then with lights off, only a bit of light from the small window at 5:00 PM in New Hampshire. The clarity of the night vision is pretty astounding. The camera feed can be stored on a microSD card up to 512 GB, or on a subscription service from TP Link. I had a bit of a problem finding where the SD slot was. The instructions did not fully elaborate. What you need to do is manually rotate the camera straight up, which then reveals the SD slot. This is seen on the first photo below, with the camera lens and the blue LED looking towards the ceiling. Depending on your embrace of the smart home, and your investment already in cameras, you might already have your fill of subscription services from other providers, One more monthly fee might not be in the cards. If the thief chooses to take the camera, the SD card goes with it, making the cloud storage a much secure method of storage. In summary, this is a camera that is very capable, with a lot of flexibility, easy installation and controls, and storage of video either via a cloud subscription or a local micro SD card. It is compact, but not tiny. It is powered with a small power brick, but no internal battery to continue surveillance or recording if the power is out or it becomes unplugged. Other TP-link cameras do have a battery feature, notably outdoor cameras where access to a electric power source might be distant or vulnerable to vandal cutting of power to the camera. This is designed for indoor use, with a low temperature threshold of 32º F. If HomeKit Secure Video is important to you, this may not be camera for you. Searching the TP-Link web page, I could find no mention of any of their several cameras featuring that capacity.

    Posted by Josenieve

  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Cost Effective Indoor AI Camera

    BACKGROUND: I currently have an assortment of different vendor’s cameras setup for varying purposes. A door-cam, a pair of outdoor security cameras dedicated to my alarm system, and now this indoor camera. Each has their own unique set of features, assets, and liabilities. (The greatest drawback with my hodge-podge arrangement is not sharing a single application, therefore I would not recommend my setup.) Nevertheless, this review will be solely based on the merits of the TC-Link / Tapo TC73 AI Camera. MOUNTING: There are few mounting options; upright, upside down on a ceiling, or non-stationary. Essentially, I do not intent to permanently mount, but will primarily use in my home “repair shop” room when I am local (I need a way to monitor this room, keeping my grandsons out). Or relocate this camera to my garage when I am out of town. Basically, I consider this my dedicated “floater” camera. INSTALLATION: The TC73 camera is simple to setup and use with the Android application when following the instructions. And playing/testing out each feature was somewhat intuitive. A lot of options available here, with some being AI based, but the defaults meet my requirements for my intended use. STORAGE & MONITOR: I do not intend to use Cloud storage through a paid subscription, so I am utilizing a MicroSD card for storage which is an excellent feature. Being notified when someone enters my “repair shop” is the intended goal, and the TC73 has functioned without fail. Plus, I am able to download videos or pictures and save them from the Android App to my phone, and works just fine without glitches. 2K 4MP & STARLIGHT: Excellent color video at 2K with minimum lighting available. 4MP pictures are great too, and the night IR is very detailed. I must admit, much better than my outdoor security cameras. But I was not a fan of the night color viewing option due to a lack of detail and would rather use the B&W night IR mode. PRIVACY: Accessing the “privacy” option couldn’t be easier. Either the front camera privacy button, or the application privacy ICON, will activate the camera pointing down into it base. When not needing to be alerted, this is a very quick method to turn off the camera. SMART TRACKING: I did demo this feature and played around with the pan and tilt options along with the patrol features. Nice to have those capabilities for monitoring your children, pets, whatever. But personally, I’ll leave them off at the moment. Recognize that if you are tying to keep this camera somewhat discreetly hidden from intruders (a different application vs. home members), then its tilting head up/down, along with its motorized side to side movements, will absolutely give it away. Think “Hey look at me over here!”. PC WEB APP: The one negative for my use is that there is not Tapo or T-Link dedicated PC web application for remote PC online viewings. Per Tapo online information: “The Tapo camera supports the RTSP protocol, so it can work with third-party NVR or NAS devices that also support the RTSP protocol.” But quite honestly, that can be a pain to setup, and just about impossible for a non-IT savvy user. Now I was able to use VLC Media to stream a local connection (on the same network) after modifying my ATT router firewall with the TC73 IP address for RTSP. But there is more involved to establish connectivity when I am on a different network (out of town). And quiet frankly, I can get by just fine with the Android app for one camera. Now if you are an Apple Home Kit user, then I believe viewing videos remotely should be a breeze. But attempting to add to my existi