Canary Pro Camera Review
This is the only camera we've ever tested with climate monitoring built-in.
Canary was founded in 2012 in New York City by experts in robotics, security, design, and software. They wanted to make a camera at the top of its class in terms of both technology and user experience. Previously, we’ve talked about the Canary Flex, their indoor/ outdoor camera, but today, we’re going to talk about the Canary Pro, previously called the Canary All-In-One, which is an indoor camera with environmental monitoring. Yes, you read that right. We’ll talk about the camera’s video, audio, and night vision quality, its smart platform integrations, and artificial intelligence features, as well as its value, convenience, and mobile app. Let’s get started with this Canary camera review!
While I’m impressed with the camera’s promise of 1080pHD video, the industry standard, what really gets me is the built-in climate monitoring. This is the first camera I’ve seen that has any environmental capabilities, so I’m pretty excited about that. I’m also not mad about the 90-decibel siren, desktop streaming, 30 days of cloud storage, and two-way audio- but we’ll see how these all work in practice.
My first thought in looking at the camera is the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The All-In-One definitely doesn’t look like your typical camera, making it a bit clandestine. I love the black matte combined with the glossy finish of the base, lens, and camera. I can also see an indicator light and microphone, speakers, and an LED light, cables for ethernet, micro-USB, and audio, along with vents at the top for measuring the home environment. Very cool so far, but let’s see if these features are up to snuff.
You know I’m not just going to trust what Canary’s website says about the All-In-One! Like every other camera, I’m going to put it through the necessary features test, starting…now!
Right away, I’m impressed with the video quality. Not only does it have the industry standard of 1080p HD, like I said before, but it also has the ability to zoom in three times, plus a 147-degree field of view, much wider than average. Across the board, the Canary All-In-One’s video quality matches and definitely exceeds industry standards.
I was impressed with the night vision, which is no surprise considering the camera has 12 infrared LED lights! I much prefer LED lights to bright white lights for my night vision because the person being recorded will be completely unaware of the camera. LED lights are not visible at night, unlike bright white lights which make it very clear that you are being recorded. I’ll take the inconspicuous option for my security camera’s night vision, thank you very much.
The good news? The Canary All-In-One offers two-way audio. The bad news? Note how I used the word “offers”. Two-way audio is not included with the camera, although it can be purchased with a monthly subscription package for $9.99 a month, which I’ll discuss more later. I’ll be generous and give the camera two thumbs up for audio, although I’m not thrilled that two-way audio isn’t included.
If you choose not to do a monthly membership, you’ll only receive one day of cloud storage. However, if you do a membership, you’ll get 30 days of free cloud storage, plus the ability to download videos from the Canary app directly to your camera roll. While I’m not thrilled at the storage options, I’m glad they do offer both cloud and local storage, and the pricing is reasonable. However, local storage is not included with the camera.
Smart Platform Integration
I’m pleased to say that the Canary All-In-One integrates with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. That means that you can tell Alexa to start recording, watch your footage through Chromecast, and a lot more awesome features.
Currently, the only artificial intelligence that the All-In-One has is person detection, meaning it can differentiate between people and other moving objects. This feature is, as of early February 2019, included with all of Canary’s cameras.
As Canary is one of the more modern camera companies around, it’s no surprise that the setup was so easy. Since I already had the Canary app downloaded from my Canary Flex, all I had to was follow the app’s step-by-step instructions to get the All-In-One up and running. The entire process, from taking the camera out of the box to viewing a livestream, only took about 15 minutes.
I think the camera is definitely worth its price, although it becomes a lot more valuable with the monthly subscription. I know, I know- I’ve been referencing this mysterious “monthly subscription” throughout this entire review, so next, I’m going to talk about what it entails.
A monthly membership with Canary will cost you either $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year for up to five devices. With the membership, you’ll receive:
- Full-length videos as opposed to video clips
- 30 days of cloud storage
- Safety button that will let you contact the police from your Canary app
- Unlimited video downloads
- Two-way audio
- Desktop streaming
- Advanced detection, which means automatic arming/ disarming your camera, smart notifications, and privacy mode
- Activity zone masking, which means that you can select activity for the camera to record so you receive fewer notifications
- An extended warranty of two years, an extra year over free access
- Incident support services, meaning that you’ll have a team of people to help you if you have a security issue
To me, the most important of these features are the two-way audio, person detection, and the safety button. At these prices, I think the paid membership is definitely worth your while.
I also want to talk a little about the camera’s Home Health Technology. Remember those vents at the top of the camera?
They can detect your air’s quality, humidity, and temperature, all visible through the Canary app. Pretty cool, right? That brings me to my next point…
Unlike other camera apps, I found the Canary app to be pretty user-friendly and not at all overwhelming. Through the Canary app, I can livestream footage, review my history, and receive notifications about my home. If I buy the membership, I can set up geofencing so my camera arms or disarms depending on my location. I can also turn on privacy mode, which turns my camera and mic completely off, or I can contact law enforcement using the safety button. Finally, I can use the app to monitor my indoor air quality, temperature, and humidity. Pretty smart for a camera.
I’m surprised to see the app’s low ratings- only 2.8 on the Google Play Store and 2.7 on the Apple store! It seems like a lot of the features of the paid subscription used to be free- I can see how that could be frustrating for customers who have been with the company for a while.
You’ve learned a lot about the Canary All-In-One, some of it good, some of it not-so-good, but let’s talk about how it compares to its competitors – the Nest Cam IQ Indoor Camera and the Amazon Cloud Cam.
Nest Cam IQ Indoor Camera
Who could forget the Nest Cam IQ Indoor Camera? As Google Nest’s latest creation, it has pretty similar strengths and weaknesses as the Canary All-In-One, so the difference is going to come down to the details. For video, it’s hard to call- both cameras have 1080p HD, and while the Nest Cam IQ can zoom nine more times than the All-In-One, it’s field of view is 17 degrees fewer at 130. The Nest Cam IQ wins for audio, as two-way audio is included with the camera. Shockingly, the Nest Cam IQ also has more infrared LED lights than the All-In-One at a whopping 16, so it wins for night vision as well.
Unfortunately, the Nest Cam IQ has no local storage options, and its cloud storage options are pretty pricey- while 30 days of cloud storage for the Canary costs $9.99, it would cost $30 with the Nest Cam IQ. Clearly, the All-In-One has super storage options, although neither camera is ideal in this respect.
Both cameras have awesome integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, no surprise as Google owns Nest. The Nest Cam IQ wins by a hair over the Canary All-In-One, however, for its integration with Philips-Hue lightbulbs. Like the All-In-One, the Nest includes person detection with its camera, but it takes it a step further offering “familiar face alerts” with its monthly subscription.
These are both great cameras and very convenient to set up, so the choice will really hinge on your personal preferences. To learn more, read our full review of the Nest Cam IQ.
Amazon Cloud Cam
Update: The Amazon Cloud Cam has been discontinued.
Finally, we’ll talk about the Amazon Cloud Cam, Amazon’s iteration of the indoor camera. It’s no surprise that it has 1080p HD video display, and it goes above and beyond with the ability to zoom in eight times. The field of view is a bit narrow, however, at 120 degrees.
The Canary All-In-One has superior night vision, with 12 infrared LED sensors as opposed to the Cloud Cam’s eight. However, the Amazon Cloud Cam wipes the floor when it comes to audio, with two-way audio included. Unfortunately, neither camera includes local storage, and both only offer 24 hours of free cloud storage. However, the Canary wins because of its low prices- only $9.99 for a month of cloud storage, compared to $20/month with the Cloud Cam. Also, the Canary has local storage available- if you buy the monthly membership, of course. And while the Canary All-In-One comes with person detection, you’ll have to buy a membership to get it on the Cloud Cam. In terms of smart platform integration, the Canary is my pick, as the Amazon Cloud Cam only integrates with the Amazon ecosystem.
Overall, I’d say the Canary All-In-One is a better value than the Amazon Cloud Cam, mainly due to its superior audio, night vision, storage options, and smart platform integrations.
Still haven’t found your perfect match? Read our review of the best home security cameras.
Clearly, the Canary All-In-One is a top of the line camera, with:
- 1080p HD video display
- A field of zoom of three times
- A field of view at 147 degrees
- Stellar night vision with 12 LED lights
- Two-way audio available
- Integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Person detection
- Convenient to set up
- Good value, especially with a monthly membership
- HomeHealth Technology
However, nothing’s perfect, and the Canary All-In-One is no exception. Its flaws include:
- Only one day of free cloud storage and no local storage included
- Poor app reviews
- Two-way audio only available for a monthly fee
Got more to say about the Canary All-In-One? Contact us and we’ll get back to you.
Is Canary a good security system?
Canary only makes security cameras, so you’ll probably need to buy motion, entry and glass break sensors elsewhere for full security coverage.
Can Canary record continuously?
The Canary cameras don’t record continuously. Rather, they only record when they detect motion or other activity.
How much is a Canary subscription?
A monthly membership with Canary will cost you either $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year for up to five devices.