Gadget: Swann OutbackCam

I’VE had problems with security camera gadgets in the past. Wireless wi-fi-based cameras such as the Eyespy247 seem like a great idea; no fiddling with wires or complex recording boxes and hassle-free recording to a PC or network drive.

However, in my experience wi-fi signals are not perfect and an inability to reliably record allowed my garage thief to escape scot free.

The Swann OutbackCam requires no cables or complex installation as it’s powered by 4 x AA batteries and records onto an included 4GB SD memory card. It’s housed in a weatherproof shell that clips apart like a diamond smuggler’s briefcase to reveal a monochrome LCD display for specifying modes and settings. There are a variety of modes to choose from including time lapse, motion detect, record delay and the camera can capture either 5 megapixel photos or short 15 second video clips.

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Although my night time back garden test revealed little more than a brief glimpse of a passing fox’s tail and next door’s moggie mole-hunting, I was impressed by the clarity of the active infrared night vision. Although I wouldn’t say that the 15 infrared LEDs quite had a range of 10 metres as claimed, they were bright enough to illuminate most of my average-sized garden.

The included 4GB memory card will hold at least 160 video clips or 16,000 photos and the batteries should last for at least a month of regular usage.

There’s a strap included for fixing the camera to more precarious locations and a padlock loop to prevent the evidence going missing.

Although it’s hardly the pinnacle of technology, it’s a hassle-free way of monitoring skullduggery wherever you may suspect it.

• Swann OutbackCam; £74 from, see for more information