Add to compare

Best Outdoor IP Camera 2017 Recommendations

When I sat down to write my list of the best IP cameras last year, I wanted to bring you an easy to follow guide to the best technology in the home security market. That post took months of research but I wanted to give you the best advice on the Internet. This year I intend to do the same.

But boy oh boy, has it been tough! There are even more brands and models to choose from in 2017. But there is a flipside – we, the consumers, get even more choice, more features and better quality digital security cameras. So I hope through this year’s list, I will continue to help you make the right choices for your family and home.

Our top recommendations for outdoor security cameras are the Amcrest IP3M-9549E, Amcrest IP2M-844EB, the Hikvision DS-2CD2342WD-I and the Reolink RLC-423.

At the end of this post, you will also find my recommendations for specific purposes and thoughts on the other popular cameras and why they didn’t make the cut.

Best Outdoor IP Camera 2017 Recommendations List

So here’s a handy summary of all my outdoor IP camera recommendations for 2017, split by form factor:

Award Camera MegaPixels WiFi PoE Price
Best Outdoor Bullet IP Camera 2017
Best Value Amcrest Qcam IP3M952E 3MP

Check Amazon

Great Value Reolink RLC-410S 4MP

Check Amazon

Great Value Reolink RLC-410WS 4MP

Check Amazon

Enthusiast Choice Hikvision DS-2CD2042WD-I 4MP

Check Amazon

Enthusiast Choice Dahua DH-IPC-HFW4421S 4MP

Check Amazon

High-End Ubiquiti UniFi G3 2MP (1080p)

Check Amazon

High-End Vivotek IB8381 5MP

Check Amazon

Best New Entry Netatmo Presence 2MP (1080p)

Check Amazon

Award Camera Resolution WiFi PoE Price
Best Outdoor Dome IP Camera 2017
Best Value Amcrest IP2M-844EB 2MP (1080p)

Check Amazon

Great Value Amcrest IP3M-956EB 3MP

Check Amazon

Great Value Amcrest IP3M-956B 3MP

Check Amazon

Full-Featured Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IWS 4MP

Check Amazon

Enthusiast Choice Dahua IPC-HDBW4431R-ZS 4MP

Check Amazon

High-End Ubiquiti UniFi Video Camera G3 Dome 2MP (1080p)

Check Amazon

High-End Vivotek FD8181 5MP

Check Amazon

High-End 360°/180° Panoramic Axis 0515-001 5MP

Check Amazon

Award Camera Resolution WiFi PoE Price
Best Outdoor Mini Dome IP Camera 2017
Best Value Hikvision DS-2CD2342WD-I 4MP

Check Amazon

Great Value Dahua IPC-HDW4421EM-AS 4MP

Check Amazon

Full-Featured Hikvision DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS 4MP

Check Amazon

Camera Resolution WiFi PoE Price
Best Outdoor PTZ IP Camera 2017
Reolink RLC-423 4MP

Check Amazon

back to menu ↑

What to look for

The most important must-have features to look for in an outdoor security camera are:

  • Video Resolution – at least 1080p Full HD resolution (2MP) for increased chance of positive identification of faces.
  • Field of view – at least 90 degrees, depends on focal length of camera lens
  • Night vision – should at least have InfraRed LEDs for true night vision with true IR cut filter
  • Weather proofing – Expressed in IP ratings, the first digit is the solid ingress rating and the second digit is the water ingress rating (higher is better always). An X instead of a number indicates a product is unrated for that component. An IP weather-proof rating is preferable, IP66 is the standard for good security cameras.
  • Cloud reliance – Can the security camera function without an internet connection? Do you have to pay a monthly subscription for core features such as recording video clips, storing them, accessing them later on, for motion detection?

The nice-to-have features to consider are:

  • Wireless – Support for WiFi and/or Bluetooth if you have to install the camera in a spot you can’t run an ethernet cable to
  • Continuous Video Recording instead of just automatic event triggered or manual recording
  • Software features – Live view capability, Email alerts on motion detection, Push notifications to smartphone app ideal
  • Local storage – in the form of a microSD card slot, or internal flash storage
  • Motion detection method – PIR motion sensor is preferable to cut down on false alerts
  • Power source – Ethernet port preferable with PoE (Power over Ethernet) support, internal battery good for power backup purposes
  • Audio – Microphone built-in would be a nice to have
  • Advanced features:
    • Preferably API available for interfacing with home automation controllers
    • Preferably RTSP stream capable, ONVIF support ideal so that you can connect it to an NVR like the Amcrest which can support any ONVIF compatible camera.
back to menu ↑

Methodology

IP cameras come in all shapes and sizes. The most common way to categorise them is location – outdoor or indoor. Another common way of differentiating between them is by form-factor: bullet style, dome style or mini-dome. Your choice of camera will depend ultimately on a few factors such as the location of installation and how visible you want the camera to be.

If you feel overwhelmed by all the choices you need to make, it might be a good idea to read up on IP cameras in general and how to choose one. We wrote our in-depth IP camera buying guide for this reason – it contains all the frequently asked questions about IP security cameras.

We will split this camera round-up into outdoor/indoor camera and by form-factor. This was the format of our 2016 guide and was well-received, so let’s not break what obviously works eh!

back to menu ↑

Bullet style IP cameras

This is the natural choice for a home CCTV system because it is highly recognisable and thus a very visible deterrent. If a burglar or scumbag sees one of these, he knows its not worth risking jail time to break into your house. But do make sure that your bullet cameras are high up and out of reach of vandals, because a well-aimed missile can potentially knock it off target.

Best Value: Amcrest IP3M954E Bullet-style IP Camera


Features

  • 3MP CMOS image sensor
  • 81° Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR range
  • Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • ONVIF and RTSP protocols supported
  • IP67 weatherproof rating


Amcrest is no stranger to our best IP camera round-ups and is a brand that we wholeheartedly recommend. Amcrest cameras are usually priced between the Reolinks and Hikvision/Dahua. They have one key feature that lets me wholeheartedly recommend them – ONVIF compatibility which means you can add this camera to your ONVIF compliant NVR, regardless of which brand it is. It is interesting that all of Amcrest’s cameras also support ONVIF and RTSP, even though they don’t shout about it. In my opinion this is something that they can be proud of.

The lack of on-board local storage means you either need an NVR, a NAS or use the cloud account to record video clips. FTP is supported so you can set it up to save still images to an FTP server on motion detection. Since this camera supports ONVIF and RTSP, it is compatible with many 3rd party devices that also support these standards.

4 hours of free cloud storage comes free with every Amcrest camera, with more storage available on the purchase of a subscription. The camera does not need an Internet connection to be set up or for functioning normally.

This camera doesn’t have a PoE version.

PROS:
  • Good image quality and low light performance
  • Superb value
  • Email alerts for motion detection
  • Works with any 3rd party ONVIF-compliant device such as Synology and QNAP NAS

CONS:
  • Average field of view
  • No audio/alarm connections
  • No Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)
  • No advanced motion detection methods such as line crossing, intrusion detection
  • No SD card slot but can save video to a local network share
  • No built-in NVR enables standalone operation
  • No model that has both WiFi and PoE

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Great Value: Reolink RLC-410S & RLC-410WS


Features

  • 4MP CMOS image sensor
  • 80° Viewing Angle
  • Infrared LEDs for night vision with 30m range
  • 120dB WDR
  • Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE)- RLC-410S
  • Dual band WiFi with 2T2R MIMO antenna (802.11ac/b/g/n, 2.4 and 5.0 GHz)- RLC-410WS
  • ONVIF and RTSP protocols supported
  • IP66 weatherproof rating

Reolink is quickly becoming our new favourite for budget IP cameras. In fact, we chose the Reolink RLC-410WS as our best outdoor IP camera with a microphone. The 410S also has the on-board mic. Both the RLC-410S and the RLC-410WS have local storage in the form of an on-board SD card slot. The difference is that the 410S is PoE-only and 410WS is WiFi-only.

The camera can be easily ceiling mounted and comes with elbow joints as opposed to the ball and socket joint that Hikvision bullets use.

There is a true IR cut removable filter (ICR) to ensure excellent night time videos and faithful colour reproduction during the day. Noise reduction and backlight compensation are also available.

These cameras have a built-in NVR feature which is useful if you have a single camera or do not have a dedicated NVR. So you can set up the camera to do basic motion detection, and it will overwrite older videos automatically. Another interesting feature is an automatic reboot timer which will restart the computer at a time you determine.

The camera doesn’t support continuous recording to the on-board SD card, which is fine because its not something I recommend anyway. You will just end up wearing out the SD card soon. SD cards are best suited to motion detection clips being written.

PROS:
  • 4MP, good image quality
  • Decent viewing angle of 80° with the standard 4mm lens
  • Onboard storage and built-in NVR features
  • Email notifications and push alerts
  • Great value for money
  • Works with any 3rd party ONVIF-compliant device such as Synology and QNAP NAS

CONS:
  • No WDR
  • No audio/alarm connections
  • Ethernet connection needed for initial setup
  • Needs computer to be kept on for continuous recording feature
  • No built-in NVR facility like Hikvision and Dahua have
  • No model with both PoE and Wifi

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Enthusiast’s Choice: Hikvision DS-2CD2042FWD-I (Also re-branded as LTS, LaView, HDView, Q-See, Swann, Oco Pro, KT&C)


Features

  • 4MP CMOS image sensor
  • 83° Viewing Angle, 3-axis adjustment
  • 30m IR range
  • 120dB WDR
  • Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • ONVIF and RTSP protocols supported
  • IP66 weatherproof rating
  • Metal body construction

Hikvision is once again the most popular IP camera brand on VueVille.com, and its easy to see why. These guys make some very high quality cameras with full metal bodies, very good image quality, advanced motion detection algorithms and great prices. Have a look at our revised 2017 Hikvision product guide to learn more about their product range.

We have been using the 3MP predecessor of this IP camera, the DS-2CD2032F-IW and we have written about how impressed we have been. The 4MP Sony sensor with True Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) brings great daytime and night-time image quality. A full metallic body comes as standard. In addition to the 4mm lens, you can also go for a 6mm lens for a closer look at your scene. The superbly capable built-in NVR feature is great if you are aiming at a single-camera setup but bear in mind that there is no SD card slot, so you will need a network storage location if you want to record motion triggered recordings. It also does not have audio or alarm features.

See how you can set up motion detection alerts for any Hikvision camera.

PROS:
  • 4MP, excellent image quality
  • Superb value
  • True Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)
  • Advanced motion detection methods like line crossing, intrusion detection
  • Built-in NVR enables standalone operation – no NVR needed
  • Works with any 3rd party ONVIF-compliant device such as Synology and QNAP NAS

CONS:
  • No audio/alarm connections
  • No internal storage
  • No WiFi


Since Hikvision doesn’t support their cameras unless purchased through an authorised reseller, I recommend going through one. However, you can get the same camera re-branded by LTS(LT Security) on Amazon.

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Enthusiast’s Choice: Dahua DH-IPC-HFW4421S (Also re-branded as FLIR/Lorex/EYEsurv)

Features

  • 4MP CMOS sensor with 20fps
  • 84° Viewing Angle with 3.6mm lens
  • 2.8mm, 3.6mm and 6mm lens options
  • 30m IR range
  • 120dB WDR
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • IP67 weatherproof rating
  • Metal body construction

After Hikvision, my choice of IP camera manufacturer has typically been Dahua. Improving on the original 3MP Dahua IPC-HFW4300S, the IPC-HFW4421S has a 4 megapixel sensor. An interesting feature of these cameras is their ability to provide 3 separate video streams simultaneously, not 2 like most other cameras in this price range. A new feature is support for true 120dB WDR, so they are keeping up with Hikvision who has made WDR standard on all their 2-line camera models.

The Dahua DH-IPC-HFW4421S also has a few tricks like face detection, and abandoned/missing object detection which Hikvision or other brands don’t have.

Also consider the IPC-HFW5421E-Z which adds a 2.7-12mm varifocal lens, audio/alarm connections and an SD card slot.

PROS:
  • 4MP, good image quality
  • 120dB true WDR
  • Advanced motion detection like tripwire / intrusion detection
  • Smart features such as abandoned/missing item detection, Face detection and Audio detection

CONS:
  • No audio/alarm connections
  • No SD card slot

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

High-end: Ubiquiti Unifi G3


Features

  • 4MP CMOS sensor with HDR
  • 85° Viewing Angle with 3.6mm lens
  • InfraRed LED with IR-cut filter
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • Weather resistant

Read Amazon user reviews


Ubiquiti is one of those brands that its fans swear by but is largely unknown outside enthusiast circles, which is a crying shame. After transforming the enterprise WiFi market with its remarkably straight-forward management systems, Ubiquiti has started launching more affordable products for home users such as the Ubiquiti AC Lite. Their expertise lies in creating high performing WiFi and wired networks across large spaces and this is of great interest to home users who are tired of crappy WiFi from consumer grade hardware.

So what does one do after launching WiFi access points, PoE switches, and even WiFi modem routers such as the Amplifi HD Home Router? Of course, you step into the next thing home users are interested in these days – home security and surveillance. Thus the Unifi G3 line of security cameras was born!

The G3 looks the business with a distinctive Ubiquiti-like design made of injection-moulded polycarbonate and die-cast Aluminum. Its not all looks either, there is a 4MP sensor on board and an Ambarella S2L chipset with 512 Mb RAM. These are great specs and shows the quality that you get for the money. There are some unique features – the G3 line of cameras is the only one I have seen at this end of the market to feature HDR. There is also a useful IR range extender accessory which adds 25 metres to the night vision range. The camera can be powered by either 802.3af PoE or Ubiquiti’s proprietary 24V Passive PoE if you are already part of Ubiquiti’s ecosystem. On-board microphones are standard. Oh wait, what about WiFi? Nope no WiFi on offer here, strangely!

Naturally, you may want to record the video from the camera for posterity. That’s taken care of too – just get the Unifi NVR. This is the great pull of Ubiquiti products, they are like the Apple of enterprise-level WiFi. When you buy their stuff, you know its just going to work.

PROS:
  • Good image quality
  • Great choice if you have Ubiquiti equipmemt
  • IR range extender accessory

CONS:
  • No alarm connections
  • No specific weather rating
  • No SD card slot
  • No Wi-Fi

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

High-end: Vivotek IB8381

Features

  • 5MP CMOS sensor with WDR
  • P-Iris, Motorized varifocal lens with 67° Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • IP67 weatherproof rating
  • Metal body construction

Read Amazon user reviews

Vivotek is a high-quality Taiwanese brand with a dizzying range of products. I picked out this particular model because it is a high-end model with a ton of features such as 5MP videos, vari-focal lens, a P-iris, motorized focus, etc. One feature in particular is the camera’s full-duplex 2-way audio ability. Most cameras that can do 2-way audio are only half-duplex, they can send audio only in one direction at a time, like a walkie-talkie. So conversations over a half-duplex camera are like, well, using a walkie-talkie, not fun at all! But since this camera is full-duplex, you can use it like a real intercom.

Power over ethernet is supported and the camera enclosure is rated IP67, which is really as good as it gets.

PROS:
  • Superior image quality
  • Full duplex audio
  • SD card slot

CONS:
  • No alarm connections
  • Limited viewing angle

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Best New Entry: Netatmo Presence

Features

  • 2MP 1080p sensor
  • 100° Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR range
  • Wi-Fi
  • HXO (~IP67) weatherproof rating
  • On-board storage – SD Card

Read Amazon user reviews


Netatmo made a splash when they moved from weather stations into home security by launching the Netatmo Welcome, their first indoor security camera. They then followed it up with an outdoor camera, the Netatmo Presence. The standout feature of these cameras is their groundbreaking video analysis software which can detect people, animals and vehicles with startling accuracy.

While the Welcome has face recognition, the Presence has only face detection. Make sure you understand the distinction to avoid disappointment – recognition is recognising and putting the right name to the right person, whereas detection simply detects that a person is in the frame. The Presence has a feature that no other security camera has – a built-in floodlight in addition to its IR LEDs.

PROS:
  • Built-in floodlight in addition to IR LEDs is a great plus
  • People, animal and car detection works well
  • SD card slot reduces delays that the cloud suffers from

CONS:
  • No speaker or alarm connections
  • Doesn’t support ONVIF or RTSP, for direct HA integration

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table


back to menu ↑

Dome style cameras

When we think about CCTV, a dome style camera is what typically comes to mind. These cameras are designed to be both vandal-proof and a good deterrent to would-be thieves. Vandal resistance is indicated by the IK rating (eg. IK-08 or IK-10).

Best Value: Amcrest IP2M-844EB

Features

  • 2MP CMOS sensor
  • 93° Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • IP67 weatherproof rating
  • Metal body construction

Read Amazon user reviews

Amcrest cameras are available in the popular dome style as well. The IP2M-844EB is a model that is quickly gaining ground on Hikvision and Dahua. You get a lot of camera for your money, so we awarded it the “Best Value” dome camera title. The viewing angle is especially generous, and should easily cover a corner. Night vision is provided by 12 standard InfraRed LEDs controlled by a day/night sensor. Amcrest cameras have very good weather resistance and this trend is continued here with an IP67 rating.

This camera doesn’t have a WiFi version.

PROS:
  • Good image quality
  • Easy to use with clear setup process
  • Great value

CONS:
  • No audio support
  • Lacks advanced motion detection methods

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Great Value: Amcrest IP3M-956EB/IP3M-956B


Features

  • 3MP CMOS sensor
  • 81° Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) or WiFi models only
  • IP67 weatherproof rating
  • IK10 vandal-proof rating
  • Metal body construction

Read Amazon user reviews


Like most Amcrest models, the 956 comes in two variants. The IP3M-956EB is PoE only while the IP3M-956B has only WiFi. The B refers to the colour of the camera – B for black, W for white and S for silver. With 30 IR LEDs, this camera has powerful night vision to go with its sleek professional looks. There’s no doubt – Amcrest makes some fine cameras. This 3MP PoE camera also features IK10 vandal-resistance which is great if you plan to install the camera in an area that could see the camera taking some abuse. The camera does motion detection email alerts although to get push notifications, you need to buy the Pro version of the Amcrest app.
PROS:
  • Ambarella chipset gives great image quality
  • Easy to use with clear setup process
  • Decent value

CONS:
  • No audio support
  • Lacks advanced motion detection methods
  • Doesn’t have both Wi-Fi and PoE

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Full-Featured: Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS (Also re-branded as LTS, LaView, HDView, Q-See, Swann, Oco Pro, KT&C)

Features

  • 4MP CMOS sensor with true 120dB WDR
  • Max. 106° Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE), WiFi
  • IP66 weatherproof rating
  • IK08 vandal-proof
  • Metal body construction
  • Audio & Alarm connections
  • 128GB SD card slot


The predecessor of this camera was a 3MP model and was one of Hikvision’s most popular models ever. The current 4MP version maintains the same impressive feature set while providing a nice resolution bump from 3MP to 4MP. Brimming with features that are found only in higher end cameras, the DS-2CD2142FWD-IS is the obvious choice if you are not sure which features you need right now or in the future, or if you like to move cameras around the house at will!

PROS:
  • Extremely feature-filled camera
  • Supports both WiFi and PoE which is very rare in cameras from Amcrest and Reolink
  • Supports up to 128GB SD card for local storage and edge recording

CONS:
  • A bit difficult to install
  • Limited flexibility in adjusting once installed


Since Hikvision doesn’t support their cameras unless purchased through an authorised reseller, I recommend going through one. However, you can get the same camera re-branded by HDView on Amazon:

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Enthusiast Choice: Dahua IPC-HDBW4431R-ZS

Dahua IPC-HDBW4431R-ZS - VueVille.com

Features

  • 3MP CMOS sensor
  • 2.7 – 12mm motorized vari-focal lens, max 81° Viewing Angle
  • 50m IR range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • IP67 weatherproof rating
  • IK10 vandal-proof
  • Metal body construction


As the -ZS in the model name suggests this Dahua is a very flexible IP camera. The motorized lens lets you zoom in and out remotely. Most IP cameras that advertise a zoom feature only have a digital zoom. This means that all the camera does is blow up the image for you, which does not add extra information to the image – it just makes the image bigger. But an optical zoom like this Dahua’s actually changes the focal length to zoom in.

Where could this be of use? Well in some installation locations like a narrow alleyway, you may not need pan-tilt ability, but zooming in is of great use. This is then the perfect choice for such situations, you pay for only what you need while getting a very good 50 metres of InfraRed range.

PROS:
  • Motorized varifocal lens lets you optically zoom in and out, this is better than digital zoom
  • Excellent value
  • Supports up to 128GB SD card for local storage of recorded clips

CONS:
  • No audio support
  • No alarm connections

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

High-End: Ubiquiti UniFi G3 Dome

Features

  • 4MP CMOS sensor with HDR
  • 100.4° Max. Viewing Angle with 2.8mm lens
  • InfraRed LED with IR-cut filter
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • Weather resistant

Read Amazon user reviews


This dome camera is also from the G3 line of surveillance cameras. The features are very similar to the bullet version we saw earlier, except for the much wider viewing angle. This camera is also PoE only, and a WiFi option would have been great to have for those who prefer it.

PROS:
  • Good image quality
  • Allows you to keep your existing Ubiquiti devices

CONS:
  • Only 2MP resolution available
  • Doesn’t support Wi-Fi

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

High-End: Vivotek FD8181

Features

  • 5MP CMOS sensor with WDR
  • P-Iris, Motorized varifocal lens with 67° Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • IP67 weatherproof rating
  • Metal body construction

Read Amazon user reviews


The FD8181 is the dome equivalent of the Vivotek IB8381 bullet camera I described above. Using Smart Stream technology, it can reduce the bandwiith needed without affecting image quality in regions of interest.

PROS:
  • Superior image quality
  • Full duplex audio
  • SD card slot

CONS:
  • No alarm connections

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

High-End Panoramic IP Camera: Axis M3007-PV

Features

  • 5MP CMOS sensor with WDR
  • 360°/180° Panoramic Viewing Angle
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • IP42 weatherproof rating
  • VK08 vandal-proof rating

Read Amazon user reviews


Moving onto the premium end of the market, Axis is a Swedish IP camera manufacturer that prides itself on its top quality IP cameras. I picked this particular camera as it has something more and more people are asking me about – a 360°/180° panoramic IP camera. It has a very high pixel count of 5MP which together with the high-quality fish-eye lens produces clean images.

Another unique feature is the full duplex audio feature which is again found only on cameras in this price range.

PROS:
  • Superior image quality
  • Full duplex audio
  • SD card slot

CONS:
  • No alarm connections

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table


back to menu ↑

Turret or Mini-dome style cameras

Best Value: Hikvision DS-2CD2342WD-I (Also re-branded as LTS, LaView, HDView, Q-See, Swann, Oco Pro, KT&C)

Features

  • 4MP CMOS sensor with WDR
  • Max. 106° Panoramic Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR Range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • IP67 weatherproof rating

Read Amazon user reviews


Hikvision produces cameras of all the major types including the turret style. I like this design a lot because the camera looks more like a motio activated light than a high resolution IP camera! So its very discreet and this lets you put it in plain sight without being too prominent. The night vision is provided by an EXIR LED which is very bright and lasts much longer than the standard IR LED.

This is a no-frills camera without on-board storage or audio features, but is still great value for money. Its also extremely vandal resistant due to its small size.

PROS:
  • Very good image quality
  • Great value for money
  • Very easy to install with 3-axis adjustment

CONS:
  • No audio or alarm connections
  • No SD card slot for local storage
  • No Wi-Fi option


Since Hikvision doesn’t support their cameras unless purchased through an authorised reseller, I recommend going through one. However, you can get the same camera re-branded by LTS or KT&C on Amazon.

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Great Value: Dahua IPC-HDW4421EM-AS

Features

  • 4MP CMOS sensor with WDR
  • Max. 110° Panoramic Viewing Angle
  • 30m IR Range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • IP67 weatherproof rating
  • SD card slot on-board
  • Built-in mic

Read Amazon user reviews


This Dahua IPC-HDW4421EM-AS is very similar to the Hikvision above but has two crucial additional features: on-board storage in the form of an SD card slot and an on-board mic.
PROS:
  • Very good image quality
  • Good value for money
  • Its quite rare to find a turret with local storage and a mic onboard

CONS:
  • No alarm connections
  • No Wi-Fi option

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

Full-Featured: Hikvision DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS (Also re-branded as LTS, LaView, HDView, Q-See, Swann, Oco Pro, KT&C)

Features

  • 4MP CMOS sensor with true 120dB WDR
  • Max. 106° Panoramic Viewing Angle
  • 10m IR Range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Wi-Fi
  • IP67 weatherproof rating
  • IK08 vandalproof rating
  • SD card slot on-board
  • Built-in mic


I use the DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS as my front door camera because of its discreet size and wealth of features. I did a detailed review based on my experiences here:

Review: Hikvision DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS 4MP Mini-Dome IP Camera

For quite some now, I have been looking for an IP camera to watch my front door. I already have a Hikvision ...

7.8
PROS:
  • Excellent good image quality
  • Good value for money
  • A camera that has almost everything you could want

CONS:
  • Weak IR LEDs
  • WDR feature doesn’t work as expected

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

back to menu ↑

PTZ IP Cameras

Best Value: Reolink RLC-423

Features

  • 4MP CMOS sensor
  • 2.8-12mm motorized vari-focal lens
  • 36°-100° Viewing Angle
  • 60m IR Range
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE 802.3at)
  • IP66 weatherproof rating

Read Amazon user reviews

Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras are generally quite expensive and so I was very surprised to see the very affordably priced Reolink RLC-423. At this price, there must be a catch right? Well there isn’t, this PTZ camera is a well featured beginner PTZ model. No it doesn’t have an on-board SD card, alarm connections or WiFi but these are not dealbreakers for those who are considering PTZs.

PROS:
  • Very good image quality
  • Fast panning/slewing speed of up to 180°/second
  • Great value for money
  • 30 fps is available at 4MP resolution
  • There is an audio in socket

CONS:
  • No alarm connections
  • No SD card slot for local storage
  • No Wi-Fi option

View on Amazon

Back to comparison table

back to menu ↑

Best Outdoor IP Cameras for specific purposes

Best PoE Outdoor IP Camera with Mic and Speaker

D-Link DCS-2310L Outdoor Camera:

The DCS-2310L was my top PoE choice in our recent round-up of the best outdoor IP cameras with audio. It is a 720p camera with a PIR sensor and an IP65 weather-proof rating. The camera can work independent of the cloud and record continuous video as it has the required processing power and local storage.

The camera is also Home Automation and NVR friendly, with support for both the ONVIF and RTSP protocols.

The only downside is the low resolution of 720p. However this is the case with most non-enthusiast brands such as D-Link, Kuna, Toucan, and Ring

Best Battery-Powered Outdoor IP Camera

Ring Stick-Up Cam:

While I am not a fan of IP cameras powered by batteries alone, the Ring Stick-Up Cam is an exception. This ingenious camera can work both on AC power and off batteries. The built-in battery is a very generous 5200mAh and has enough juice to provide live streaming which is an absolute battery-killer. Attach the optional solar panel and you have a sustainable solution, in a stylish package which has night vision with a true IR-cut filter.

The downsides are those that are typical of a big brand IP camera – low resolution of 720p, no PoE, limited field of view, no local storage, and there’s no RTSP and ONVIF support.

Smallest Battery-Powered Outdoor IP Camera

Canary Flex: The Flex is a brand new indoor and outdoor security camera. Marketed as the ‘most versatile’ HD security camera, it actually has a 1080p FullHD sensor. I called it the smallest battery powered outdoor camera because it is just 4.35 in (110.5 mm) tall and 1.9 in (48.3 mm) wide. The viewing angle is very wide at 116° and the camera supports both dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth. The 6700 mAh battery has even more capacity than the Ring Stick-Up Cam’s 5200mAh.

What about smart features? This is a cloud based camera and this affords some interesting features such as presence detection and auto-away settings. Canary calls its cloud service a ‘membership’ but its one of the most generous ones around with 24-hour shared video history (4 devices) & unlimited data and downloads included for free. Upgrade to the paid membership to get 30 day video history.

Smallest Outdoor PoE IP Camera

Axis P1224-E Outdoor Pinhole Camera:

If you are looking for the smallest yet high quality PoE IP camera that is rated for outdoor use, you will struggle to find anything better than the Axis P1224-E Outdoor Pinhole Camera. The sensor unit is 20.0 mm (0.8 in) in diameter and is IP66 weather-proof. It is made of NEMA 4X-rated aluminium casing. 720p resolution is available with a very wide 145° horizontal viewing angle. H.264 and Motion JPEG are also supported.

The sensor unit is connected to the main electronics unit by an 8 metre (26 feet) cable. This makes it easy to position the sensor unit wherever you want even if its exposed to the elements.

The main unit has a polycarbonate casing and measures 104 mm (4.1 in) x 18 x 76 mm (3 in) x 31 mm (1.2 in). It has an SD card slot for local storage.

back to menu ↑

The ones that didn’t make the cut

Nest Outdoor Security Camera: I wrote a detailed review of the Nest outdoor Cam recently and I was not happy with it. The gist of it is that they have crippled the camera by forcing you to pay for a cloud service to make use of the great hardware. Nest seems to be the worst of the lot when it comes to exorbitant monthly fees – no, I just won’t stand for it, and neither should you.
Oco Pro: Why would I not recommend the Oco Pro? Because Oco Pro cameras are just re-branded Hikvisions. Why pay double the money just for the warranty from Oco, when you can get the same camera directly from Hikvision?
Netgear Arlo: I am not a fan of battery powered security cameras – I consider the very term to be an oxymoron. How reliable is something that relies only on batteries? Especially if they need to be in unfavourable conditions outdoors? I don’t want to tell my family that the reason we have no evidence of a break-in is because the batteries failed unexpectedly.
Blink XT Outdoor Wireless Camera: This is another brand new security camera and follows in the vein of the Arlo in being solely battery powered. However there seems to be no monthly fees, so at least you don’t pay anything after the initial purchase. Once it starts shipping and more details are known, I will update this review.
Blink-XT - VueVille.com
back to menu ↑

Conclusion

So what are you planning to build in 2017? Have I missed a camera that really ought to be on this list? Please leave a comment below – I love hearing from you!



A quick note: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and then purchase something from Amazon, I will receive affiliate income for referring you to Amazon. This goes towards the costs of hosting and running this website and does not affect you in any way. Thanks for your understanding!
Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove
1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Jean-Marc January 3, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Hi, Thanks for a great review and good advice. Now there’s important info not detailed in the survey: to identify CMOS sensor being used (Sony are the best, Omnivision poor quality from other reviews) and the supplier of hardware video encoding (TI being the worst). Having a high quality sensor and a high quality image processor are 2 prerequisites to get a great IP camera that performs well in night vision.

Leave a reply

Compare items
  • Compare IP Cameras (0)
Compare
0