It seems like only yesterday I was starting my office security camera upgrade but in fact it’s been nearly 2 years. So, with the two year anniversary of being introduced to Ubiquiti’s line up of cams, I’m back with another article. This time I’m going to write a review of the UniFi G4 Pro.
Why the G4 Pro then? Well I’m currently rocking a bunch of Unifi Cameras in my office, but I had one area that wasn’t covered by my existing cameras. The car park was something I overlooked, but one that needed securing, in comes the UniFi G4 Pro.
The G4 Pro is a full 4K camera that should be perfect for the job, it will be used to cover quite a large area and distance. The resolution you get from 4K will allow me to interrogate the footage or still images and spot finer details should the need arise.
So is it any good? Let’s get into the review and find out.
UniFi G4 Pro Review
We’ll dive right into my first impressions and then take a look at how it performs at it’s primary function, video recording.
I mentioned in my G4 Instant review that the customer service was great and it still is. UniFi support are quick to get back to you with the answers to any questions you have about any of their gear.
The package arrived from the courier a few days after ordering direct from the UniFi website, which is super quick. The outer packaging was a mail bag and didn’t offer any additional protection to the UniFi box inside. Fear not though, it didn’t arrive damaged.
The white branded rectangular box looks great and is made with high quality cardboard, it’s really thick and offers lots of protection whilst in the back of a delivery truck.
Lifting the lid off of the box reminds me of an Apple product, it’s been designed to open slowly to enhance the unboxing experience, which I have to say is a delight.
My first view of the G4 Pro I’m greeted with a super clean, extremely well designed camera, it simply looks fantastic.
Overall my first impressions have left me feeling really excited to find out just how good the G4 Pro is. So, let me take everything out of the box and we’ll take a look at the build quality.
Build Quality & Features
I’m expecting nothing short of gold standard from the G4 Pro. All other cameras I’ve reviewed in their line up so far have been pretty much perfect, let’s hope that consistency extends to this one.
First things first, I have to comment on how solid this thing feels, it’s got some real heft to it that’s for sure. Weighing in at a whopping 700g it’s five and a half times heavier than the G4 Instant, which to be honest, is expected.
It’s heavy because it’s got a lot of tech crammed into the body of the camera. It features 3x Optical Zoom, a bunch of Infrared LED’s and aluminium mounting hardware.
The main body of the camera is created using first-rate polycarbonate and should stand up to most things life throws at it. Because this camera cost me nearly £400, I’m not going to perform my usual tests.
I can’t afford to buy another if my drop test damages it, but rest assured it does feel solid. I did do ‘the scratch test’, though. I grabbed a sharp letter opener and ran it quite firmly down the body of the camera, it left a feint line, but at a distance of a meter I could no longer tell it was there.
At the business end of the camera is the main lens, it’s huge. A feature I think is superb is the blue ring light at the front of the camera. Designed to be noticed, a person will spot the blue light out the corner of their eye and immediately look directly into the cameras lens, which could help to identify a person should the need arise.
The other end of the camera is where you’ll find the mounting hardware and POE port. It’s really rather simple to mount the G4 Pro. Remember, it is POE only so you’ll need a single cable run for data and power.
Once you’ve got your Ethernet cable installed the mounting process is fairly simple, I managed it without reading the instructions. But, if you need a helping hand the included instructions are easy to read and super informative.
You’ll need a few hand tools to get the installation just right, including; a drill, screwdriver, drill bit and small hammer.
The camera has been given an IP67 rating. This rating is pretty much the best and highest level of protection available to enclosed electrical products against dust and water.
An IP67 rating gives 100% protection against things like dust, debris and dirt and giving it up to 30 minutes protection against being submerged in one meter of water.
Overall then, the build quality is exceptional; as I expected to be honest, the reason I’ve invested so much time and money into the UniFi Protect eco system is because things are built to exceptionally high standards and simply work well.
Let’s move on now and take a look at how good the cameras video quality performs and if it’s functional aswell as being stylish.
Right off the bat, I’ll go ahead and say it. The image quality on the G4 Pro is superb. It records at a whopping 4k at 50fps. This will give buttery smooth video playback and extremely clear footage.
Now, there is a draw back to that though. My CloudKey Gen2 Plus only has 1tb of storage, setting it at the highest framerate will indeed cause me to fill up my hard drive and not be able to store as much footage, at the minute I have around 25 days of footage available.
To improve this storage conundrum you can set the frame rate lower. UniFi themselves advise to do this. Yes, setting it to the highest available framerate will give super smooth footage but it’s also noticeably lower quality than having it set at 24 FPS.
UniFi reduce the quality on higher frame rate video captures, likely due to the compression algorithm that they use, basically to save space.
Once I’d plugged the POE cable into the camera and clicked adopt in the UniFi Protect App it was set up pretty much right away, within seconds.
I let the camera record the car park for a few hours and then went and scrubbed through the footage. One thing I noticed is that scrubbing through footage on any UniFi camera is really really fast and I have no idea how they do it! Even WIFI cameras such as the G3 or G4 instant load footage with the same vigour.
Speaking of footage, it’s very, very good. Even when positioned to look outside through a window at night. If you have a similar set-up to this, you can also disable the Infra Red LED’s as the ambient lighting from street lights is enough for it to capture good footage. And, if the lighting at night outside is good enough it’s even better than the IR LEDs help cature.
Colours are true to life and the optical zoom in live view is a great additional feature that I was able to use to Zoom in onto registration number plates on cars.
It’s the first full 4K camera I’ve owned and honestly, I’m blown away at the image quality.
Another thing I love on this camera is the viewing angle, I’m able to see the entire car park which is a huge plus point.
The camera is also able to process Smart Detection’s, this allows the camera to be able to identify people or objects and notify you of the fact somebody or something has just arrived.
I think I made the right choice when opting for the G4 Pro, the other option was a UniFi G4 Bullet but it doesn’t have optical zoom.
Overall then, the video performance is great and is perfect for my needs. Before you go ahead and buy this camera consider your needs. Do you want a single camera for a specific use? Or do you want an easy to use ecosystem of cameras that you can add additional ones to easily in the future?
If it’s the latter, this camera is for you.
Summary & Verdict
For the security conscious person who wants a top quality CCTV camera that’ll plug into an existing eco system in seconds, the G4 Pro is for you. I do think it’s over priced and for that reason it doesn’t get the top marks.
They are two or three times the price of an equivalent brand in the UK, you’re paying as much because you are really investing in the overall UniFi ecosystem, which I don’t mind. But, if you’re on a super tight budget, that may be a deal breaker.
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CodeWithMike is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com
The Unifi G4 Pro Camera used to write our review was paid for by us.