BEST OUTDOOR SECURITY CAMERAS UK
It’s a dangerous world out there. These days, you need to do everything possible to keep your home secure. In this handy little guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know if you’re buying a outdoor security camera.
Reolink Security Camera
ieGeek Outdoor Security Camera
ANNKE C800 PoE IP Security Bullet Camera
Security Outdoor Camera
5MP WIFI outdoor camera
How Do Outdoor Security Cameras Work?
The most up-to-date wireless home security cameras transmit video data through a radio transmitter. The data is then collected and stored, either via cloud storage or a built-in device. Wired security cameras works in much the same way, except that the signal is sent to the storage device via wires instead of radio signals.
Infrared LEDs (or IR LEDs) detect the photons that escape an object or animal as it emits heat. These photons are then converted to electrons, which can then, in turn, be processed into visible images, even if the security camera or floodlight camera itself is surrounded by total darkness
Some outdoor cctv for home are small and designed to be hidden in inconspicuous places, while others are placed outside of the house, often with window stickers detailing their presence. This is supposed to act as a deterrent to would-be intruders.
Quality of the Footage
High quality video is an absolute must. It is possible that an arrest and conviction could be obtained from your footage, as well as lost items being tracked down and returned to you. However, this will only be the case only if the footage is clear enough to fully identify the culprits.
You will also want a security camera with a wide field of view (FOV), especially if it is covering a larger area with lots of hiding places (e.g. the back garden or driveway). The FOV is determined by the focal length of the camera lens and the size of the image sensor.
A security camera capable of capturing 80 degrees or more is usually considered to be a ‘wide angle’ security camera. The term ‘super-wide angle’ generally means that the camera can capture up to 180 degrees, while ultra-wide angle (usually IP or CCTV) can capture as much as 360 degrees. It goes without saying that the greater the FOV, the higher your chances are of capturing a suspect on film.
Two-way audio is also recommended. This enables you to receive and transmit audio through the security camera. On the fun side, two-way audio will allow you to interact with family pets on your breaks from work. On a more serious note, it will also be possible for you to deter burglars verbally before they trespass or enter the house.
What’s Better, 4K or 1080p?
All digital video files have set dimensions; these are named according to the number of pixels in the image. 1920 X 1080p (or simply ‘1080p’) tells us that the image is 1,920 pixels wide and 1,080 pixels high. This is also known as ‘high definition’ or ‘HD’ and provides a very good quality image.
The term ‘4K’ refers to a frame that is 4000 pixels wide (or greater). When dealing with this level of image quality (also known as ‘ultra HD’ or ‘UHD’), resolution is measured by width instead of height.
UHD contains almost 4 times the number of pixels as regular HD. Accordingly; UHD specializes in establishing ultra-fine detail that would be missed by even the best HD cameras.
On paper, then, 4K would seem the better choice. It is the superior technology, after all.
It should be noted that cost becomes a factor when it comes to data storage. However most home security cameras and spotlight cameras have a 7-day rolling overwrite of all footage stored.
How Does Motion Detection Work?
There are two main types of motion detector available for home security cameras.
The first, software-based motion detection, works by comparing pixel changes between successive frames. The system is activated when a significant amount of pixels is altered within the stationary image (indicating movement).
The second, PIR, seeks out body heat. So when the ambient infrared levels change (indicating the presence of a person or animal), the system springs into action.
Both types of camera do not record constantly. Instead, the ‘record’ function is only activated when movement is detected.
Is Motion Detection important?
Motion detectors constantly scan for movement, alerting you instantly if they capture any. Without this feature, you’d be constantly checking your video feed, which is impractical, not to mention boring!
False alarms can be a pain, however. Remember that a security camera doesn’t know the difference between a burglar and the family beagle – and will notify you of the presence of both with equal insistence. Annoyed by this, many users deactivate the motion sensors on their home security cameras, something that they can soon regret.
A better tactic by far is to set ‘motion detection zones’ within the home and ensure that they are kept clear when you aren’t at home.
Home security cameras with PIR sensors actively seek out body heat, meaning that they are less likely to be activated by slight, inconsequential movements and more likely to pick up a human presence in the home as a result.
Wired Cameras Vs. Wireless Cameras
Wired cameras are very reliable and supportive of larger systems. However, installation can be difficult and can take rather a long time. They are also vulnerable to power outages. However, wired security cameras are proven and effective as long-term security solutions.
Wireless cameras, on the other hand, are easier to set up and install. They can be easily removed as well, making them ideal for renters. On the negative side, they can be susceptible to radio interference (which happens when signals get crossed).
Wireless cameras are also dependent on a wireless signal (which, as we all know, is never 100% reliable) and they can still be vulnerable to power outages. In some cases, wireless security cameras can even be hacked. Additionally, wireless security cameras also tend to be smaller, which limits the amount they can view.
Installing a Camera
Most modern security systems are compatible with other smart products, especially phones, as this allows the user to receive alert messages whenever something aberrant is detected. Many systems are also compatible with light switches, pet food dispensers and doorbells, among other things.
The more ‘high-end’ systems even feature facial recognition software.
Lesser models, however, can suffer from bad app interfaces, poor video quality and shoddy overall build quality, so it really pays to shop around.
Compatibility with other home systems is important to some users, so we’ll take a look at a few examples over the next couple of sections.
Controlling your camera via an app can be an easy and efficient process, provided the app is well designed.
An app that alerts you to any motion or sound detected by the security camera is pretty much what you’re after, but other functions such as two-way-audio and the ability to instantly create and share images in real time can also be very useful.
Generally, the more customizable the app is, the more likely it will be to fit seamlessly into your life.
As a final point, if you are already using Alexa, Google or Apple smart home products, be sure to check that your camera and/or home security system are compatible with them.
Not everything fits everything else, and it would be a waste or time and money to blunder into the marketplace without double-checking this first.
Waterproof vs Weatherproof?
If you’re buying an outdoor security camera, it is important that your camera be weatherproof, both for heat waves and cold weather. Pretty much all outdoor technology (such as two-way-radios) is given an IP rating. This is a score from 1 – 6 (‘0’ or ‘X’ meaning none at all) that details just how hard wearing and waterproof your device actually is.
The first digit refers to how vulnerable the device is to intrusion (i.e. from dust, dirt or small objects.
An intrusion rating of 1, for example, simply means that you can hold it safely and that it is safe from objects greater than 50mm in diameter. A rating of 6, on the other hand, means that it is probably vacuum-sealed and therefore totally dust proof.
For second digit (or ‘moisture’) ratings, 1 tells us that the device is effectively protected against rain or condensation. 8, on the other hand, means that the device can be fully submerged in water, even at significant depths.
Data Storage of the Best Outdoor Security Cameras UK
Data storage is an important consideration when buying a home security camera.
Basically, there are two types of data storage. Internal, whereby the data is transferred to an SD card or external, where the data is saved to the cloud.
How much data your camera stores, as well as file size, are important factors. Storage space isn’t unlimited, after all.
The higher the image quality, the more space will be required to store the video. The more video is taken, the greater the amount of storage space required. So, if your camera stores a lot of high quality footage, it could end up costing you more money.
With some home security cameras, you can search through view 24+ hours of stored footage, whereas others only store footage once the camera is activated.
Cloud Storage Vs. Card Storage
there are two major ways to store security camera footage.
With cloud storage, the encrypted data is stored via the Internet and is accessible to you anytime you have access to the network.
With card storage, Footage, images and photos are stored on an SD card, depending on the size of the memory on the card and how often it is triggered, data can be stored for 7-10 days, with the first recorded data being overwritten when the storage is full.
One thing to keep in mind is to be absolutely sure that the cards will work with your particular security camera. The two main types of SD cards are SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) and SDXC (Secure Digital extended Capacity). SDHC cards have the capacity of between 4Gb and 32Gb, where SDXC cards have a capacity over 32Gb. Choosing the right card and capacity is vital if your not going to opt for cloud storage.
Make sure you purchase the right physical sized card for your camera, as they come in 3 different sizes:
- Standard SD cards: SD SDHC, SDXC – 32 x 24 x 2.1-1.4mm.
- MiniSD cards: miniSD, miniSDHC – 21.5 x 20 x 1.4mm.
- MicroSD cards: microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC – 15 x 11 x 1mm
A majority of home security cameras on the market use Micro SD cards, but check the instructions on your camera so that you purchase the correct camera.
Alternatively, online storage is efficient and usually safe. However, there are still security concerns. Data storage systems can be hacked, as can pretty much anything on the Internet if the hacker is clever and determined enough. To avoid this, you should go with a trusted, well known brand that employs up-to-date encryption technology. The biggest risk, perhaps surprisingly, is the user’s account, rather than the site itself being compromised through careless activity online. Create a strong password and update it regularly.
It is possible to get a limited amount of free online storage space, usually as part of an overall deal. For longer video history, greater storage space and a broader selection of supported cameras/systems, you may have to pay a monthly fee for storage.
As always, be sure to identify your specific wants and needs, find a product in your price range that suits you and then research it thoroughly before making your purchase.
Hopefully this guide is a good place to start. Stay safe!
Reolink Security Camera
ieGeek Outdoor Security Camera
ANNKE C800 PoE IP Security Bullet Camera
Security Outdoor Camera
5MP WIFI outdoor camera
Reolink 4MP Super-HD WiFi Security Camera
An array of highly desirable features (night vision, Super-HD, dual-band WiFi, audio recording and more), combined with a smart, functional design and an affordable price tag to create a very promising product, but is it as good as it’s cracked up to be? Read on to find out.
This product features 2560 x 1440p ‘Super HD’ resolution. The 4mm lens offers an 80-degree view, the entirety of which is captured in immaculate detail. The camera is also capable of capturing clear audio as well.
The image quality on offer here is outstanding. Although not quite as good as 4K, it is definitely a cut above any 1080p model out there. You might be forgiven for not expecting anything too great from a 4MP camera, but if you like being pleasantly surprised by technology that turns out to be more than the sum of its parts, this could be the camera for you.
The Reolink Super-HD camera also captures crystal clear footage when set to 1080p mode, with a video bitrate of 6144kbps. We found this to be the most efficient setting with which to use this camera, as it captures fluent, reliable footage quality with few, if any, problems.
On the downside, this camera is not to be considered especially ‘wide angle’. Many security cameras feature 110 degrees as a matter-of-course. This one, at 80-degrees, is still very good, but will not adequately serve the needs of those who specifically require a wide-angle camera. The FOV (80 degrees horizontal, 42 degrees vertical) is also not quite as good as it could be.
The camera itself is housed in a tough, durable outer casing that is weatherproof to IP66 standards (it can withstand quite a downpour) and can easily be used indoors or outside with minimal problems or fuss.
Installation is relatively straightforward, while the camera’s sleek, efficient design allows it to be set up in any number of places (e.g., garden gates, front doors, garages and even rooms inside the office or home).
The Reolink Super-HD security camera features 2.4/5GHz dual bands. It works stably and well when connected to a WiFi router, which also gives it greater network possibility. The WiFi working distance can be more than 50 metres (164 feet). However, you will need a strong, reliable Internet connection to really see any of these benefits.
The fact that this camera can work on 5G prevents any WiFi blocking, while the dual-band WiFi eliminates the need to rename channels for it and mitigates a lot of other minor headaches presented by earlier models.
One headache that isn’t eliminated, however, is the fact that this camera will occasionally delete its own WiFi settings. Quite why this happens is a mystery, but it’s a gremlin in the system that we could do without, quite frankly.
The camera also utilises HTML 5 as opposed to Flash Player, which makes it suitable for all browsers, so long as they are reasonably up to date. This is another nice feature that really adds to this camera’s already long list of good points and positive qualities.
The camera stores its data onto a MicroSD card (with a maximum option of 128GB), however this is not included with the camera and must be sourced separately. Any footage can be replayed by the Reolink app. Be warned, however, that all footage will be automatically overwritten whenever the memory becomes full.
If you have more than 4 cameras set up, we recommend making use of the PoE ‘wired’ settings, where footage can be stored on the Reolink NVR system for up to 24-hours.
If you have the app set up on your phone, the camera will notify you whenever the motion detector is set up. You can then view the disturbance via email either as a single still image or a 30-second video clip. It can also upload any footage taken in addition to recording and storing it.
For its part, the motion sensor is also highly customisable, which can help to cut down on false alerts. It does take a while to get the balance right, however. If the settings are too sensitive, you will be inundated with alerts (most of which will be nothing more than leaves rustling in the wind), while if they’re not sensitive enough, you won’t be alerted at all. However, once a true balance is achieved, the motion sensor works as well as any other we’ve used.
This is not to call it perfect, as this camera does have its own share of small, but noticeable let-downs. For starters, because it uses pixel changes as opposed to AI in order to recognise what’s in front of it, the camera functionally has no idea what it is looking at, meaning that it will not discern between a branch blown by an overzealous breeze, a stray pet, a car driving by the premises or a human intruder. This can get quite annoying.
Additionally, the push notifications are not instantaneous and could be a lot faster and more reliable. When they do arrive, they do not contain any sample images, which means that you need to manually access and check the email for what could simply be a false notification.
False alerts are not entirely avoidable, either. Certain areas (for example those containing pets) can be blocked off and set to not activate the camera at all, but even when you have got the settings ‘just right’, you will still be notified by things as innocuous as birds, bugs and branches triggering the camera. Even lights from passing cars can set it off.
The 18pcs IR lights provide decent night vision picture quality. In fact, even in the dead of night, this camera can see up to 30 metres (100ft) in front of it at all times. However, the night vision image quality fails to replicate the dazzling image quality of the daylight footage. It’s passable, but nothing too spectacular, which is a shame.
Another of this camera’s main drawbacks also occurs at night. When it rains at night, the infrared lights reflect brightly off of raindrops, constantly triggering the motion detection. This can actually be a real difficulty when you’re trying to sleep, and the camera keeps hijacking your phone to tell you that it’s raining outside! Again, a simple AI could be used to sort the difference between a raindrop and a human intruder, but this is not the case here, sadly.
ieGeek Outdoor Security Camera
With a sleek, contemporary design, an enviable array of features and some lovely picture quality, this is one camera that looks good in all possible ways. However, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t go in for a deeper dive, so here goes…
The ieGeek Outdoor Security Camera comes equipped with a 2mp, 110-degree wide-angle lens, as well as 36 LED bulbs, enabling night vision capabilities. Accordingly, it offers beautiful 1920 x 1080p HD footage. Even in the dark, it is purportedly able to film around 30 metres (98 feet) in front of it, which is certainly impressive.
The night vision is clear, and the image quality is very good, although the manufacturers may have been slightly optimistic with regard to their claims that the camera can film at night from a distance of 30 metres.
A lot depends on the availability of light present at the time of filming (streetlights, moonlight, etc), so your mileage may vary somewhat in this regard. For a more specific example, with the maximum bitrate enabled, the night vision is good enough to read the numbers on a car parked on a moonlit driveway but will be unable to see beyond the driveway itself.
The camera’s viewing angle is very good. When the camera is positioned correctly, it ably captures the entirety of the FOV before it. The picture quality can be switched from SD to HD, and both are more than adequate. However, the HD is definitely the better of the two options.
The outer housing is fashioned from a double-layered aluminium alloy that is lighter than some other cameras, but also very hard wearing. The camera is rated IP67, which is excellent. Accordingly, this device can function in temperatures as cold as minus 10 degrees or as hot as 55 degrees with no issues whatsoever. This camera is as close to weatherproof as this type of equipment gets and feels solid, compact and very well made overall.
The mounting has a multi-directional adjustment, which is the sort of thing we like to see, although we feel that it would benefit considerably from offering more adjustment along the horizontal plane. Additionally, a 3-metre-long cable eliminates the need for extension cables, which is another plus when it comes to installation.
The connectors, however, are a little too big. If you need to have the wires coming indoors, you will have to drill a 25mm hole in the wall in order to accommodate the modem connector. This isn’t as invasive as some other models we’ve seen, but it isn’t brilliant.
The motion detection is a bit ‘hit or miss’, quite honestly. Users are apparently given the option to designate up to 4 different ‘detection zones’ via PC Client HIP2P, as well as 1 on the Camhi or CamhiPro app.
Further options accessible via these apps include designating specific time periods for recording, customising the motion detection options, action logging and real-time alerts. It is also apparently possible to enable motion detection for only one half of the camera’s view.
In reality, the ‘detection zones’ function doesn’t work very well at all. No matter what ‘detection zones’ are set up, the camera will usually still activate in those areas. This is very disappointing – and you’re not wrong to expect better from a piece of technology that occupies such a serious role.
Elsewhere, the motion detection settings appear to run from one extreme to another. Despite having a customisable sensitivity setting of 1 – 100, it seems that the motion detection is always either far too sensitive or not nearly sensitive enough. This actively inhibits one of the key functions of the camera.
Use too sensitive a setting and you’ll be inundated with alerts for everything from rain to bushes blowing in the breeze, not sensitive enough and the camera could miss any number of significant events. Despite there being so many potential settings, only a low setting such as 12 (11 being not nearly sensitive enough, 13 being far too sensitive) is of any functional use to the user. Even then, the camera can (and will) be set off by movement as innocuous as bugs, rain and car headlights.
Returning to the ‘plus’ side, this camera uses excellent data encryption technology to ensure that footage cannot be accessed without the express permission of the user. It would be extremely difficult for an outside WiFi signal to hack this camera.
The system is also password protected. Users create a unique password for the camera, which may be changed at any time. Once logged in to the app, the system then allows the user to check any devices that are linked to it.
This camera will still record to its SD card (SD cards, sold separately, are supported up to 128GB) even if the camera loses its connection. This is a brilliant feature, marred only slightly by the fact that, due to the camera not being suited to a high position, it would be theoretically possible, if unlikely, for an intruder to steal the SD card from it.
ANNKE C800 PoE IP Security Bullet Camera
With a rounded, yet compact design, 4K ultra-HD visuals, advanced night vision and all the rest of the trimmings we like to see on a security camera, the ANNKE C800 definitely looks like a great choice for a private residence or a small business, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take a closer look.
This camera utilises a CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor. This is a type of sensor that consists of millions of pixel sensors containing photodetectors. These photodetectors react to light, creating a very sensitive and accurate system. When this is combined with an 8mp camera capable of capturing 3840 x 2160p images, the user can be assured that at least some aspects of this product will be absolutely first rate.
The very wide 90-degree FoV provided by this camera suffers from only a minimal ‘fish-eye’ effect. The picture quality is reasonably clear and can even be hand-adjusted for extra accuracy. The video isn’t as good as some other 8mp footage, but it certainly offers sharper images than a lot of its competition.
That being said, even with such brilliant specs, the default video is slightly blurry. Perhaps with some adjustment, this problem can be rectified, but it really doesn’t say good things about a 4K camera when the basic set-up has problems with image clarity.
The night vision is also not as good as it ought to be. Possibly because this is a 4K camera that features only a maximum of 12 fps (frames per second), moving objects captured at night can be very blurry, with a great deal of ‘ghosting’ taking place as well.
It would still be theoretically possible for an intruder to be identified from night-time footage taken by this camera, but there’s also a good chance that it simply wouldn’t happen because the image was too blurry for any positive ID to be made. The night vision will work to a distance of around 30 metres (100 ft), however.
Further compounding this camera’s problems is the fact that the motion detection doesn’t work very well from a distance (except in cases of large objects). Considering that this camera costs a bit more than many others on the market right now, this could be a lot better.
Returning to the positive side of things, the ANNKE C800 uses H.265 coding, which is fast, versatile and efficient and allows it to record more videos with high quality images. It also has a lot of feature support (as with all ANNKE cameras).
The audio recording quality also is very good, featuring a noise filtering mode that allows sounds such as people’s voices to come through very clearly.
The ANNKE C800 does not feature an SD card slot, instead relying on a TF card, which is available separately. The camera will accept a TF card up to 256GB. Users can also connect to an NVR system, which can provide 24/7 recording all year round. Disappointingly, this camera also does not come with a power supply unit or ethernet cable.
The outer casing, available only in white, is weatherproof to IP67 standards, which is very good indeed. It can withstand extremes of hot and cold, as well as rainfall, snow and dust blown by high winds. The casing will also resist corrosion – another fine feature, as well as most impacts such as being dropped or vandalised.
The mounting bracket is very well designed, with a single point of adjustment (simply unlock the large plastic nut, adjust the camera and you’ve changed your camera position). This is a clever, tool-free method of positioning the camera. It isn’t perhaps as secure as systems that involve grub screws and the like, but it’s a lot less tricky.
The camera offers remote access via smart motion alerts which are available after the user installs the free ANNKE app on their phone, tablet, desktop or other device. However, these trigger alerts cannot be viewed wirelessly on either iOS or Android devices.
Anything viewed via the app on these devices either struggles to work or simply won’t work at all. This severely hampers the camera’s usefulness for Apple or Android users.
Security Camera Wireless Outdoor
Looking like a cross between a minor ‘Star Wars’ droid and a reasonably formidable Pokémon, this camera certainly appears modern, well-designed and technologically up-to-date, but are appearances where these similarities end? Read on to find out.
This Topcony camera is battery-powered and thus is 100% wire-free. This makes installation an absolute doddle. The built-in 15000mAh rechargeable batteries will withstand around 4 months’ use apiece, or 8 months if the cameras are left on standby. This, therefore, is one battery-powered camera where the battery doesn’t feel detrimental to the overall setup.
After 2 weeks of use, the battery was still at full capacity. After 3 weeks of use, it showed ‘50%’ capacity. It still had capacity after 6 months without a re-charge, which is actually longer than it’s designed to be left without charging, so the battery really is brilliant.
Better still, this camera boasts a built-in charge indicator. When the battery levels slip below 20%, you’ll get push notifications on your phone telling you that it’s time for a re-charge. There are even features you can select that will conserve battery life (for example, one that cuts down on the amount of notifications the camera sends you).
The battery charges via an included USB charger cable, which is nice and convenient, with the only drawback being that the camera will need to be unhooked 3 – 4 times a year and fully re-charged.
Another thing that makes installation so easy is the presence of a clear and comprehensive instruction manual, which is illustrated with photographs that show you exactly how to connect the camera to the app. It also offers a vast amount of advice regarding the general set-up and positioning of the camera, as well as battery conservation, all of which is very helpful indeed.
The motion detector uses a PIR (passive infrared) detection system, as well as thermal detection. Once activated, it sends a notification to your phone within 2 – 5 seconds.
However, the motion detection could definitely be improved upon. It takes 3 – 4 seconds for the camera to activate, by which time, a faster-moving intruder (or even a false alert) may have passed the camera entirely, or else you may only see a small part of it/them in the footage.
The motion detector’s range is similarly quite low, only managing 4 – 5 metres in front of the camera. This greatly increases the chances of the above issue (namely a disturbance moving too briskly to be captured on camera) occurring. This issue also sorely limits the usefulness of the camera, rendering it practically useless for a reasonably sized garden or even a larger driveway.
The audio recording quality, on the other hand, is excellent. Any sound is picked up with great clarity. It works exceedingly well as a two-way communication system (e.g., talking to delivery people or warding off intruders).
This camera features a CMOS colour sensor and can produce full HD images (1920 x 1080p), which are clear and boast bright colours and lots of visual details. Both the SD and HD options are dazzling. The camera also makes use of a brilliant 130-degree wide-angle lens which allows it to see roughly 20 metres (65ft) in front of it during the daylight hours.
The night vision is similarly impressive, offering clear visuals even in severely diminished light.
The outer casing is robust and well-built, with an IP rating of 66. It can withstand harsh weather and temperatures of between minus 20 degrees and 50 degrees centigrade. The twin 4DB WiFi antennae that make the design so distinctive actually serve to prolong transmission distance, strengthen the camera’s anti-interference ability and boost the WiFi connection overall. It only supports 2.2GHz WiFi, however.
This WiFi boosting ability, together with a lack of cables, really frees the camera up to be installed in any number of possible places. This would be absolutely wonderful news, were it not for the lacklustre motion detection system, which, as we’ve discussed, actually limits where the camera can be placed.
This camera uses a MicroSD card (up to 128GB) but can also use cloud storage. The memory card is not included with the camera. Cloud storage is available for 7 days without charge and offers bank-level data encryption. It’s always nice to have a choice when it comes to storage, so we certainly appreciate this on every camera that offers it.
A big issue here is the difficulty in transferring data files directly from the MicroSD card. This is because they are saved as ‘.data’ files and must be converted to MP4 format in order to be viewed by most people (including the police).
The ‘CloudEdge’ app (compatible with Android and iOS mobile operating systems, but not desktops or laptops) generally works well and allows the user to remote-control the camera in real-time, as well as operate the speaker in order to communicate with people.
It is possible for multiple devices to access the app, allowing more than one family member the option to receive notifications and/or control the camera and speaker system. Footage can even be shared with multiple televisions.
5MP WIFI outdoor camera
This SVC3 outdoor camera has a fairly cool, unique design and boasts a number of desirable features, including a 5MP camera, two-way audio and a power adapter with 2.9-meter cable included with purchase. So how does it do when put to the test?
The 5MP camera reproduces 1920p x 2560p HD images. These are considerably better than standard HD (1920 x 1080p). In fact, the clarity of these images is truly dazzling. The night vision, accomplished via 3MPs with 36 infrared LEDs is equally superb, appearing almost as clear as daytime footage. It has a good range and FoV, too.
The camera can connect via either WiFi or ethernet cable. This is good, because the 5MP camera requires a lot of stable, reliable bandwidth in order to operate successfully.
When using the app on your phone, you can ‘pinch and zoom’ the images being recorded by the camera, even during a live view. This is a brilliant feature, as it allows the user to remotely check up on anything that seems suspicious.
The app is also very versatile and can be downloaded or used on a variety of platforms, including tablet, PC, laptop or phone (check compatibility before buying), by up to 6 people.
The live feed may be viewed from anywhere that has Internet access and it’s easy to download pictures and videos directly from it to your phone or device. You can also control the camera remotely, taking pictures and videos manually should you wish to.
The features of the app are very user-friendly and logically laid out, although the app itself may take a bit of getting used to.
To save videos to the camera, you’ll need an SD card (sold separately). Videos are encoded using the H.264 and H.265 formats.
Once the camera is activated, it alerts its user by setting off an alarm sound, which could definitely be a negative if you live or work in an area likely to produce a lot of false alerts.
The audio, also, is nice and smooth. This allows users to talk to delivery people, welcome guests and ward off intruders with minimal fuss. The audio recording picks up everything clearly and works really well.
The motion detection takes 3 actions whenever it is activated. Firstly, it sends push notifications to all connected devices. Secondly, it saves the footage to its SD card (if it has been equipped with one) and thirdly, it emails still pictures to your mailbox.
This is excellent, as there is no way that any footage can be accidentally lost or tampered with, although deleting unwanted footage is slightly more difficult as a result.
The motion detection is good and responds reasonably to being adjusted. Annoyingly, however, the camera can only record in 14-second intervals after being activated by a movement.
The camera’s aluminium casing is strongly built and appears to be highly durable, with an IP rating of 66 which allows it to withstand all-but the most extreme weather. This outer housing doesn’t feel breakable or flimsy in any way, which inspires extra confidence if the camera is being placed outside.
Elsewhere, the app is user-friendly and versatile, allowing easy remote operation of the camera and the ability to share between 6 people. This feature does not make it the most secure camera we’ve seen, but it does put more power in the hands of more people and greatly increases the chances that somebody will be on-hand to respond to an emergency if one is captured on camera at any point.
On the downside, the alarm has the potential to annoy neighbours, while the setup itself will require a lot of bandwidth, as well as perpetually great WiFi, which not every home has.
Nevertheless, this is definitely a good option for a simple setup, with far more benefits than drawbacks.
In summary, the Reolink 4MP Super-HD WiFi Security Camera is an excellent camera, even taking into account a few minor flaws and nagging annoyances. It connects well to the WiFi (although a strong signal is needed for this to be the case for everyone), produces great quality footage and is very well designed and built. A few extras such as some built-in AI and a better standard of night vision footage would be more than welcome, as would some extra storage options, but they aren’t deal-breakers, in our opinion.
This camera is perfectly serviceable for personal or professional use and, while not quite top-of-the-line, it is more-than appropriate for all but the most highly specialised uses. A very good product overall.
All told, the ieGeek Outdoor Security Camera offers great, full HD visuals, an affordable price tag, decent night vision and very good weather resistance. It is, however, summarily let down by poor motion detection, which ranges from extremely sensitive to all-but useless, with far-too-little space in-between, as well as a couple of manufacturer claims that are slightly too ‘creative with the truth’ for our liking.
Essentially, this is a good camera unfortunately saddled with a bad motion detector, which is something of a shame.
The ANNKE Security Bullet Camera is, we’re sorry to say, not a very good camera. It’s main selling point (image quality) is tricky to get right at the best of times and even then, features a lot of blurring. The night-vision mode is even worse for poor quality images and the motion detection, whilst OK, really could be a lot better.
In conclusion, the Security Camera Wireless Outdoor Camera is a mostly excellent camera brought down by a few nagging issues, most pressingly the sorely limited motion detection system. Pretty much everything else here, from the cool design, to the boosted WiFi connectivity, to the crystal-clear visuals, is first rate, but lingering problems with the motion detection demote this from being a great camera to merely a good one.
All things considered; the 5MP WIFI outdoor camera is an excellent camera. Though it cannot occupy the role of a full-blown security system, it does make for a very good deterrent. The picture quality is wonderful, the night vision is excellent and most of the technology it uses is bang up to date. The audio functions exceedingly well, offering clear, uninterrupted conversations with anybody close to the camera, while the in-built microphones capture everything else there is to capture.