Swann Communications NightHawk 3

Swann Communications NightHawk 3
  • Swann Communications NightHawk 3
  • Swann Communications NightHawk 3
  • Swann Communications NightHawk 3
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Simple setup

Cons

  • No recording capabilities, poor colour reproduction

Bottom Line

The NightHawk 3 is a solid security investment. While we feel the lack of recording capabilities is a let down, the good quality images combined with an incredibly easy setup make it good value for money.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 399.00 (AUD)

The NightHawk 3 is another security camera system from Swann. This package comes with three wireless cameras, a receiver and remote control. We were a little disappointed that it came with no option to record video footage, but purely as a surveillance device it operated admirably, and should satisfy home or shop owners who are looking for a little extra piece of mind.

The NightHawk package is extremely simple to set up. Each camera has the option to run from either a nine volt battery or AC power. Battery life is rather limited though, and should only be used for emergencies (assuming one can have emergency surveillance situations). This is where setup ends; there aren't any switches to flick or software to install. As soon as the cameras are powered on they connect to the receiver and the whole process is automated, taking a lot of the headache out of what should be a fairly simple task.

Offering four different connection frequencies, the receiver is well specified to fit in, even in a modern household that already contains multiple wireless signals. It transmits over a now standard 2.4Ghz connection, and the signal was strong throughout testing.

When the unit was in direct line of site of the cameras, the image was perfect, with no skipping or stuttering. The further away we moved, and the more objects or walls between, resulted in some deterioration in quality. Despite this issue, with the cameras in another room about 20 metres away, the picture was still clear, and was more than adequate for basic security purposes. It wasn't until we moved the cameras about thirty or forty metres away that the picture began to degrade to a point almost unusable. For a regular sized house or shop the range of the NightHawk will be fine. As long as the receiver is centralised, users should be able to cover a few different rooms at once.

The receiver is connected to a display using standard a standard RCA connection. The image was, for most part, quite high quality. It outputs at a resolution of 628 x 582 and offers clear, sharp edges with good detail. The colour balance was a little inaccurate, but as this is a security device rather than an entertainment product, clarity is more important than colour. On a moderate size CRT television we had no problems identify passers-by or objects.

Also included in the package is night vision capabilities, hence the name NightHawk. These activate automatically when the scene becomes too dark. The picture wasn't quite as impressive here as in full light, with a distinct lack of clarity and a noticeable darkness that obscured many details. The NightHawk has a listed range of about five metres in this mode, and this was consistent with our testing. Any more than this and users will struggle to identify the image.

The included remote control is quite nifty. It allows users to switch between the cameras easily, as well as offering loop and lock functions. Loop will automatically cycle through each of the connected cameras, displaying each for a small amount of time before moving on, whereas lock will keep it on one channel. That's really all there is too the NightHawk 3's functionality, which was a little disappointing. For a more thorough security tool, we really think recording functionality needs to be built in, or at least PC connectivity needs to be offered with software to support it. Still, at this price point it is hard to complain too much.

The system itself is fairly plain looking. The receiver is a combination of grey and silver plastic, with a rotating antenna, and it looks like a standard wireless router. The cameras have a hefty, metal body, so they are tough enough to survive outdoor mounting. Do note though that they aren't waterproof. The cameras are clearly designed to be mounted, rather than placed. Although you can swivel them to face different angles, they don't balance very well, so we'd advise that they be mounted.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?