TLDR: Like the camera, hate the installation hardware

Coming out of the box, the G5 Turret looks nice. I like the form factor and how small it is compared to a bullet camera. This is definitely a good form factor for Ubiquiti, and I can see this being used in a lot of areas.

I decided to install it outside my front porch, to replace a G4 bullet that didn’t quite have the field of view I wanted. The camera would be under an eave, about 8 feet off the ground, facing north.

First problem: cheap screws. This is an outdoor rated camera, and I can see homeowners installing this in much the same way I am. Most people have aluminum flashing on their homes, and the screws that come with this are woefully insufficient.

They don’t fit a standard #2 Phillips Driver

See how little the #2 driver penetrates the screw? Now, compare this to a self-tapping screw I normally use to install outdoor items:

Notice how this screw has a WAYY better fit then the screw Ubiquiti used. This makes it far less likely to strip. Stripped screws make me swear a lot. Nobody needs to hear the swear words I make up when standing at the top of a ladder with a storm approaching trying to get this camera installed expeditiously. Use better screws.

Second problem: the installation ring. Someone made the smart move and allowed an access hatch for the camera’s cord so it can be mounted flush to a surface. Good move! The BAD part is this is on the piece that detaches from the camera. When you install it, you have to use one hand to hold circular piece to the side of your house, a second hand to hold the drill and put in the screw, and a third hand to hold the camera so it doesn’t bounce around.

I don’t have three hands…we don’t have that much radiation present here to cause that. I improvised by putting in one screw, then putting the camera cord in the slot, holding the ring against the house and then installing the other screws. Since I used self tapping screws, this isn’t a huge problem, but if you used the crappy screws provided…you would invent more swear words.

A better way to do this would be to have the slot on the camera body. That way, you can install the camera ring using your God-given two hands, then set down your drill and pop the camera on. Doesn’t require a third hand, and if you have a hard time with the screws, you don’t risk dropping the camera.

The other problem: the pre-built cord. This is a good and bad, depending on the use case:

  • If I was installing this in a new location, I like this cord because its long enough to push through a standard wall. I can then connect/disconnect the camera on the inside without messing with anything on the outside.
  • If I am installing this as a renovation, I DON’T like this. Look at the picture above: I already have a cord. Now I have to hide this extra long cord in the vinyl siding somewhere. Not quite swearing level, but still a pain.
  • Also, what if you have thick walls? I installed cameras on a church where I had to use a 36″ drill bit to get through the wall. This camera would require me to drill a wider hole to fit the ethernet connector. Might be a deal breaker.

I think overall you’re better off without the cord. Any installer worth their salt can make a short cord. Even better, replacing the cord with just a port (like every other Ubiquiti camera) makes it way easier to rotate the camera, which is a huge advantage over other camera form factors. In fact, if you cut the cord, you could leave the slot for the ethernet cord on the ring that detaches from the camera and install it pretty easily.

See that frown? That’s how I felt installing this camera.

Onto camera performance. It’s a bit of a mixed bag.

  • I like the wide angle! I can capture the walkup to my home very easily. In a plant or assembly line, this wide angle is perfect.
  • It was easy to adjust. Might want to say on the box/instructions that the blue LED marks the top of the camera.
  • Forego the Ubiquiti logos? Mine are sideways. Probably no way to keep them right side up unless you send Ubiquiti stickers.
  • The quality of the video recording is OK. There is a HUGE difference between 30 FPS and the 50 FPS from a G4 Pro. 30 FPS is good enough for most things though.
  • Microphone is OK, somewhat muted, but not a deal breaker.
  • The camera has a hard time detecting kids. I had my son drive his jeep around a bit to trigger the camera. I ended up turning on motion detections just to get it to trigger. If he was close to the camera it would pick him up as a person, but farther away and the camera couldn’t pick him up.

You can see the difference between a G4 Bullet, G4 Doorbell, G5 Turret and G4 Pro in the attached videos of my son. I also attached the standard “hand wave” videos for a G4 Bullet, G5 Turret, AI Bullet and G4 Pro, all about the same height and distance.

Overall, good camera with a lot of use cases, but the following would have to be addressed:

  • Recommend an ethernet port instead of the cord.
  • If you don’t remove the cord, put the slot for the ethernet on the camera itself, or some way to make it easier to mount on the side of a building.
  • Get better screws that are self-tapping, so you can drill into aluminum siding/flashing.
  • Figure out how to detect children better. Especially in residential or child care settings, this is a must.

Author: Ryan Haag