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A Review of Ten Popular Outdoor Security Camera Models

House with security camera outsideSecurity. We all worry about it and we all need it. Some of us choose to lock our doors and some of us keep a bat near our bedside. Others choose to get a guard dog, while some invest more heavily in their family’€™s safety.

If you are the type to invest your hard-earned money in order to get the best home security system, perhaps one of your best options is to purchase outdoor security cameras that will help keep an eye on your property and watch for intruders.

The Basic Components of a Home Security System

But, first, let’s back up a little. A home security system is made up of several components. Depending on the amount of security you desire and the finances you have to spend, there are several items you can select from including locks, gates, alarms, sensor equipment, motion detectors, and security cameras. Optional features might include watch dogs, panic rooms, glass-breaking detectors, and even closed-circuit television (CCTV) recorders. Whether you’re getting a security system for a business or home, one crucial component in most systems will be the outdoor security cameras. There are tons to choose from so we will go over some of the most popular options available today in our Best Outdoor Security Cameras article.

Why Do You Need An Outdoor Security Camera System?

Surveillance cameras work best when they are placed both inside and outside, around the perimeter of your property. Most top-of-the-line security cameras now incorporate wireless technology. The camera works to protect you and your belongings by sending a video signal to an outside recording device. If used correctly, security cameras can be incredibly helpful in solving a break-in or robbery, as they provide the police with a vital tool to catch the perpetrators who were responsible and can even help them retrieve stolen goods and return them to their rightful owner — you!

For added security, some indoor and outdoor security cameras are motion-activated. This allows them to run and record for much longer time periods since they only activate when movement trips their sensors. These activation mechanisms trigger an alarm system to help you catch the bad guys in the act, before too much harm is done to your property, or to you.

The Urban Institute’s (founded in 1968 by a commission of civic leaders appointed by President Johnson) Justice Policy Center ran a report on security camera statistics [PDF, 4 Pages, September 2011] that studied surveillance systems in three cities: Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago. The study revealed that actively monitored cameras reduced crime in a cost-effective manner.

Top 10 most Popular Outdoor Security Camera Reviews

Let’€™s take a look at ten different models of outdoor security cameras so you can decide which one best meets your needs. Please note that this list is in no particular ranking order, and there are other brands and models available. This is by no means an exhaustive list of outdoor security cameras, but it will give you a review of some top choices in indoor and outdoor security cameras*. To skip straight to a camera, click a link below.

  1. Swann SWDVK-825558-US
  2. Defender 21030 Sentinel
  3. SVAT VU301-C
  4. Lorex Day/Night Surveillance Camera CVC6941
  5. VideoSecu IRX36
  6. 8MP Brown Bushnell Trophy Cam
  7. Loftek Naja-6h
  8. Primos Truth Cam 35
  9. Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264
  10. Logitech’s 700e

1) Swann SWDVK-825558-US

SWANN SWDVKPrice: $550 ($68.75 per camera) View on Amazon


  • High resolution 600 TVL cameras
  • Night vision, up to 65 feet
  • Continuously records from 8 cameras for 15 days or more onto a 500GB hard drive
  • Watch live footage on 3G/4G enabled smartphones


  • Not wireless so you will have to run some cords.

2) Defender 21030 Sentinel

Defender 21030Price: $250 ($62.50 per camera) – View on Amazon


  • Access live footage from your smartphone.
  • Uses H.264 compression, which is the most advanced compression level available for a DVR system.
  • Record over 2 years of video footage on the 500GB hard drive at 600 TVL.


  • No web security so anyone can watch your footage.
  • Cords will need to be hidden during installation as this system is not wireless.

3) SVAT VU301-C

SVAT VU301-C Price: $30 (seems to vary from day to day) – View on Amazon


  • This is a CCD camera (420 TVL) that can be used to retrieve color images and can be used indoors or outdoors.
  • Equipped with 12 infrared LEDs and is capable of night-vision imagery of up to 15 feet.
  • Comes with a CDS sensor so it can sense changes in light levels, which should save on energy costs since night vision is only activated when it is dark.
  • This camera is equipped with an adjustable bracket that makes it ‘€œeasy to mount almost anywhere.’€
  • The SVAT camera is built with professional-grade housing and a sun shade to protect the equipment from rust, glare, or deterioration.


  • This camera is not wireless, but it does come with 60 feet of wiring.

4) Lorex CVC6941

(formerly Lorex high-resolution indoor/outdoor color night vision camera)

Lorex CVC6941Price: $55 – View on Amazon


  • 60 foot night vision
  • Can be used indoor and outdoor
  • 64 degree field of view with 420 TVL


  • Some buyers suggest placing the cameras under a roof edge so it is not in direct contact with rain/snow.

5) VideoSecu IRX36

VideoSecu IRX36Price: $280 – View on Amazon


  • This camera has a wide-view angle lens and 420 TVL.
  • The camera has been equipped with 30 infrared illuminators that enable it to record even in complete darkness.
  • Has an aluminum body suitable for indoor/outdoor placement.


  • The camera provides color images in bright light, but when the light level drops, it automatically switches to take black and white images.

6) 8MP Brown Bushnell Trophy Cam

8MP Brown Bushnell Trophy CamPrice: $139 – View on Amazon


  • This camera has the highest resolution of all the cameras we reviewed, with a capability of taking HD 1280×720 pixel videos for as long as 60 seconds, with accompanying audio.
  • This is a great camera solution for those hoping to keep watch over woods and other woodlands. Its 40-LED flash is low-glow black, making it invisible to game animals as well as humans (commonly used for hunting as well as home surveillance).
  • This camera is capable of filming images up to 45 feet away in the dark.
  • Has a passive infrared sensor with a 45’€™ day and night range that captures images with a 1-second trigger.
  • This security camera can take full-color 8-megapixel pictures, and it offers a feature called Field Scan Mode that uses time-lapse technology to take photographs at preset times to help track the movement of game animals.
  • The battery life of this camera is up to 1 year.
  • This camera has 32GB SD (secure digital) card compatibility.
  • The camera can be mounted on any object via an adjustable web belt and a socket.


    • This security camera is much more catered towards those who want to monitor game land rather than personal premises.

7) Loftek Naja-6h

Loftek Naja-6hPrice: $66 – View on Amazon


  • 1/3” HDIS CCD and 600 TVL
  • 300 foot range


  • LED issues have been reported by several users.

8) Primos Truth Cam 35

Primos Truth Cam 35Price: $81 – View on Amazon


  • Great for hunters designed specifically to monitor the woods, it comes pre-configured for that purpose.
  • This camera is equipped with 35 infrared LEDs, that should allow for good night vision.
  • This camera can be set for multi-picture bursts of 1 to 9 pictures per trigger activation.
  • This camera was designed to be hidden and comes in a thin casing.


  • The Loftek takes an image every 0.3 seconds when active. This is a little slower than the other hunting camera on this list (the Bushnell), as it takes 1.5 seconds for the Primos to motion activate and capture a picture from sleep mode.

9) Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264

Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GBPrice: $125 (~$31.25 per camera) – View on Amazon


  • 4 cameras with 60 foot of cable per camera (420 TVL)
  • Viewable with 3G smartphones and Internet
  • Motion detection recording


    • VGA cable and hard drive are not included with the equipment so be sure to order these (VGA cable is necessary).
    • Not wireless.

10) Logitech’s 700e

LogitechPrice: $665 – View on Amazon


  • The second highest definition camera reviewed with HD 720p and according to the manufacturers description, this high-definition is even possible at night.
  • This camera has a 130° wide-angle lens.
  • This camera has all of the motion-capture activation features of some of the other cameras on this list.
  • Users of this camera have the ability to view the security feed not only from their computer, but also on their Smartphone.


  • This camera is only compatible with Windows-based PCs for setup.

How Do You Decide Which Security Camera Is Best for You?

5 Tips for Assessing Outdoor Surveillance Camera Features

Surveillance cameras for outdoor and indoor installation come in a wide variety of models and offer many different features. Perhaps you are looking for only a basic recording device (e.g. “nanny cam”). Or you can select a motion-activated camera, wireless technology, rotation or outdoor models. There are a myriad of security camera options to choose from, and it can be difficult to sift through the technical jargon used to describe the features of each model. Not only does this require that you invest a lot of time and thought, but if you make the wrong decision for your situation, you can end up wasting quite a bit of money. While some of these facts about security cameras may seem obvious, others are less apparent:

1. Is it Designed for Outdoor Use?

The very first thing to find out about the camera is whether it is strictly an indoor model or if it works outdoors as well. Some cameras are susceptible to moisture and other outdoor elements and must be kept indoors, while other security cameras are designed specifically to withstand the cold, rain, heat and other harsh weather.

Be warned that many manufacturers try very hard to hide the fact that the camera they are selling you cannot function as an outdoor security camera. They will often write phrases like, ‘€œNot intended for exposure to rain or snow,’€ in small print. Be sure to read all the fine print if you are seeking an outdoor security camera.

2. Does it offer Night Vision?Surveillance Camera Warning Sign

Another option to consider is whether the camera is equipped with night vision capability. Many security cameras are equipped to operate in low light conditions, but if you want to ensure a clear picture even in the darkest of hours, you may want to invest in a security camera with night vision.

3. Is it Wireless?

If the camera is wireless, that means it does not need to be connected via wire to a recording device. These security cameras work much like a cordless phone or a wireless modem, allowing the images that are captured to be viewed remotely via a secure website.

4. Does it Plug In or Use Batteries?

Consider the power source. If the security camera is battery-powered, you will not need to plug it in, but you will need to regularly monitor and recharge or change the batteries.

5. How High-Res Do You Want Your Video Quality?

You will pay more for a higher resolution picture but it may not be necessary. Generally, you do not need HD to see enough about a break in to report the details on the burglar, the location of crime and what may have been stolen. But, if this is important to you to see every single detail, than you will want to spend the money to get a high-res solution.

By evaluating all of these factors prior to selecting a security camera, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and money.

Video: Bike Thief Caught on Camera

This video demonstrates surveillance footage from the Defender (#2 on our list) as it catches a thief red-handed as he is stealing a bike out of someone’s yard. This is not extremely high-res video but you can still get a lot of details to share with the police about the perpetrator. So while super high-res is nice to have, if the cost is prohibitive, do not worry too much. A lower priced, lower-resolution option will likely work just as well to help keep an eye on your property. In fact, one reviewer on Amazon said, “I have a friend who is a police officer take a look at the video quality (420 TVL) and he said if anything ever happened, the quality is good enough for law enforcement as well.


Can I Use My Recorded Surveillance Video in Court?

So you might be wondering, after you catch the intruder in the act, can you actually use your recorded video footage in court? I believe the laws vary by state, but in general, the video should be able to be used to aid law enforcement investigations if it meets these criteria:

  • The video is of a high enough resolution.
  • The video has a timestamp and is watermarked.
  • The video is stored in a way that does not compromise its integrity.
  • Only authorized parties have access to the footage.

Our research shows that in the event that your video is not admissible in court, as long as the resolution is high enough it can still be used by law-enforcement to create a sketch of the suspect, which can in turn be used to apprehend and potentially prosecute them.

Which Outdoor Security Camera Do You Use?

Which outdoor security camera do you love the most? Tell us the brand, the model number and don’t forget to share all the reasons you think your choice in outdoor security cameras is the best. We want to hear the bad stories too, because that is what shapes our reviews for you and all our readers. The good, the bad and the ugly are all crucial to our success in bringing readers like you the very best information to make the right decisions for each unique need and situation.

*All pricing and other info is based on data available during review update completed in May 2014. FYI – The Clover Electronics HDC518 CCD Super High-Resolution Indoor/Outdoor Color Camera with Night Vision camera was removed from our review in May 2014 due to newer, better models referenced above.


Our site's mission is to help consumers make more informed purchase decisions. This website accepts financial compensation from some of the companies mentioned which allows us to provide this free service to our readers. Compensation does not influence the rankings of products. More info on our disclosure page.

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About David DeMille
David comes to with several years of experience in the security industry. He's installed, troubleshooted, and reviewed security equipment and technology, and is passionate about sharing his research.
  • Unfortunately this forum is not open any longer, however I’d be happy to help where I can. What questions do you have?

  • Jezzer

    Hi, I’m new to all this security camera thing, but after a low level crime at my house I want to fit a security camera. I want to fit a ‘half round’ type under my porch. Thinking I can only get power to it but not an ethernet cable. Can anyone suggest a Wifi cable less version?

  • AmIJustAPessimistOrWhat?

    The review says “No web security so anyone can watch your footage” about one of the cameras. I am not sure whether you mean “this system has no web security features” or “in general the web is never secure”. If you mean the latter, I don’t think that it is a fair statement.

    Nowadays, online banking and online purchasing and sending of credit card numbers is everywhere. There is always some risk, but technology is always changing to try and stay ahead of the hacker crooks. The same is true of security systems while can be monitored online.

    There is a balance – because being able to see what is going on at your premise of interest increases your security and lessens false alarms.

    Ultimately, the market for security systems which can be remotely monitored will grow continuously larger and be taken more seriously until it is the biggest player.

    • Thanks for the feedback, we did not mean “in general the web is never secure” at all. We actively promote many online services that deal with personally information (security systems and identity theft services to name a few).

      In regards to the statement you highlighted, it was specific to the Defender 2 1030 camera “No web security so anyone can watch your footage”. Our understanding is that to view the camera remotely, you generate an IP Address and then anyone can view if they have the IP Address. Just something to be aware of. If you are concerned about your feed being public, a more secure solution is a camera that offers a web or mobile app that requires a secure login before viewing.

  • dbltapp

    You might want to check your price on the logitech 700e. That’s not even half the price.

    • Thanks for bringing this to our attention, we have updated the 700e to the current price on Amazon.

  • Marcos

    Wireless camera does NOT mean that you won’t still have a power cord (and lose your camera during a power out unless there’s a battery backup).

  • Lucy

    Can someone suggest a camera that has all of these features: is hidden, can record, has no wires, can be used outdoors, has a motion detector and has night vision?

    • Marcos

      I think every camera is going to have at least a power cord OR it would need batteries (which is not a good idea to use a battery operated camera).

  • Actuary962

    I am looking for a concealed camera system. I was hoping to find something that has a camera hidden in a door button or intercom bell. Preferably something that could broadcast to my phone, TV or computer (all 3 would be nice). Anyone ever come across anything like this?

  • J. Shill

    Do you recommend the Foscam home security cameras? I've been thinking of getting the Foscam FI8910W, but I'm not sure. It has received some good reviews.


    • Kristina

      Jay – we have not reviewed Foscam cameras yet, but I've added it to our list for future updates. Thanks!

  • Jessie

    I found my way onto this page while looking for security camera solutsions. I never even thought about using a Bushnell Trophy Cam as a security camera, that is an awesome idea. Thanks for including it in this list. Does anyone have any experience in using the trophy cam as a security camera?

    • Richard

      I don't know the answer but would love to. I, as you, found my way onto this page while looking for camera solutions.

  • Fantastic review of security camera models!! I've seen some of these models installed in various offices. In my office I've installed the 8MP brown Bushnell trophy cam with black LED night-vision HD video field scan camera". Really this security system is effective to monitor daily workouts in my office. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    To be honest, Lorex is a company which I have not heard of before. The above camera, which is model number CVC6993R, is something that could be a great solution for your personal needs.

    Finding such a camera can be a frustrating process. This is something which demands that a person actually does their research and then chooses wisely. Whether you are looking for a camera to use in your home or business, this could be a nice choice. I do not say this lightly, either. Most cameras are usually only suited to one application or another. This one has a lot of versatility.

    If you are looking for something that is truly high resolution, then you are finally in luck. In fact, a camera that claims to be high resolution usually is not! Or, their definition of high resolution is questionable. However, this one actually has 480 TV lines. This is certainly within the top 25 percent of all recorded video cameras. Personally, I have only seen a few that offer a higher resolution or clearer images. Additionally, this camera has an advanced color image sensor. This is responsible for creating and building the full color video.

    At this point, I would be remiss if I did not mention that there are some issues with the color rendering. My own personal experience is that the picture is good. However, sometimes the black and darker images can come out looking somewhat green on the video itself. To me this is not really a big issue. The main thing is to simply be aware of this issue. That way, if you should ever need to report anything to the police, you will understand that that green jacket your intruder is wearing is most likely actually black. For me, the night images came out fine and I am very pleased with what I have seen.

    Unlike many other cameras, this Lorex model uses a flat lens. This is the reason an image is produced which shows no curving at all and no image distortion. I really like this. So often, looking at the video created by a camera feels like you are looking through a fishbowl. In some case, the distortion is so bad that the image is very difficult to recognize. This is different. These images actually look good.

    There are also a number of LED lights on the camera. These are responsible for producing great pictures even at night. This feature is often known as night vision. Actually, I was also quite impressed with this feature. The pictures and videos produced even in the dead darkness of the wee hours of the morning are sharp, clear and very easy to identify. It is quite impressive.

    In the end, this camera is a perfect example of a balancing act. What is more important to you? I like the strong construction and the picture quality. On the other hand, there are also a number of disadvantages.

  • Anonymous

    I am not sure if I like the fact that this is a wired model. It certainly does not give you as many options as a wired and wireless camera. It does come with a 100 foot cable, so actually connecting the thing and positioning it where you wish is not really a problem. My concern is the simple fact that if you lose power, you lose your camera. I would certainly prefer an option which can also be used as a wireless system.

    I think that there might be a solution to this problem, but only if you really like the camera a lot. You could likely go out and find a type of battery for it. Then, you can rig the camera so that it has a battery backup. But, the downfall to this is that the camera was never intended to be dual featured like this. Will it work properly after making this modification? No way to tell. I do not think that I would be brave enough to do this on my own anyway. Also, you would have another problem of making sure that the batteries were always charged and in working condition. It would really funny if power actually did go out and then your back up battery system conked out because they were not charged.

    I also am a little concerned about price. I think it is a bit high. This camera is decent, but it is not top of the line. Certainly it should not be priced as if it were one of the best on the market right now. It will serve your needs, but you should be aware that you will probably be overpaying for this.

    It seems the company wants to charge based only on the advantages without concern for any of the negatives. This is a good camera, but I think the price is a bit high and the hassles of connecting to an existing system make this a better starter camera than an additional unit.

    The images are very clear and it can be used day or night. I like the fact that it can automatically switch between day and night visions. The resolution is one of the best that I have ever seen in a camera. Additionally, the price is exceptional. If you search a bit, it is quite possible to find a deal on this camera which is almost embarrassingly low. Given all of these facts, and despite my concerns, this is certainly an excellent camera to choose, no matter what type of application you might be using it for.

    Personally, if I was really thinking about buying this model I would take a wait and see approach. I would wait and see if it will go on sale. I have a strong opinion that this one will eventually be ripe for a price reduction. Otherwise, you may be able to find some on sites like eBay or a number electronic discounters or outlets.

  • Anonymous

    Also consider your level of technical expertise and mechanical ability. If you are someone who likes working with their hands and enjoys putting something together, then you may have more options than someone like me. Personally, I am not mechanically inclined so I never really intended to build or put together my makeshift system at all. On the other hand, you may be surprised to find out just how simple and easy to install some of these modern cameras really are. I have put in at least 20 different types of cameras all on my own. Some were a bit difficult, but most were surprisingly easy and simple. Usually the instructions were very clear. The times when it became difficult, I was able to jump online and check out some plans, instructions or even videos to guide me through the difficult parts. My point here is that you may actually surprise yourself with what you can do when you put your mind to it.

    This camera from Clover Electronics, the HDC518 CCD looks very sturdy. Indeed it is. The base and housing are chunky and even a bit imposing. It certainly looks like it could take a punch. This is important when consider the location of your camera. It is water and weatherproof as well. I believe that it would stand up fairly well to many types of vandalism. Also, having installed this in various locations both outside and inside my home, I am confident in saying that this particular model is very resilient. It will stand up to normal weather conditions. It will probably stand up to harsher conditions, as long as the do not reoccur on a consistent basis.

    There are 86 LED lights on this unit. This makes for an incredible picture in low light. In fact, the nighttime picture is pretty amazing. It is able of capturing images for up to 120 feet in low light and nighttime conditions. This is probably one of the real strengths of this camera. I really like the night vision capability. These extra LED lights (possibly) give the camera are really good and wide field of view. I am not sure as to how many degrees, but this is certainly in the top 25 percent of all the cameras which I have seen.

    As far as the normal (day light) picture, this camera has 560 lines of resolution. This also places it among the leaders. Actually, I cannot remember seeing too many other cameras with a higher resolution, unless we are talking about really high end solutions.

    One of the few things which I did not like about the HDC518 was connecting it to an existing system. This was actually quite a challenge. It took me a number of attempts and trials and even a call or two to some technical support people to get this all figured out. If you are looking to connect this to an existing system, be ready for a challenge. It is certainly an achievable goal, maybe not easy though.

  • Anonymous

    I actually installed one of these bad boys (I guess it could be a bad girl also, depending on your perspective) near my front door. I initially just wanted to get an overall impression of how it worked. My experience was generally pretty positive. The camera shows good detail to a range of about 25 feet or so. It can see beyond that, although it loses so clarity. You would not really be able to see the details of a face beyond this range. However, how far out do you really need to see, if the main goal is just to pick up who is at the front door, or who is coming up to the house? Personally, I was very satisfied at this level of performance.

    I will also say that I think this camera probably is a much better option to use at ground level. For my next test, I installed this near a second floor window at several different angles. Of course, seeing the window was fine. However, who would put such a camera on the second floor and then just simply aim it at the window? After all, if a criminal is desperate enough to try and get in through the second floor window, they will probably find a way to do it. But, then again, what kind of stupid criminal would bring a 20 foot ladder with them for this purpose? Or even try this method of entry, when they could do the same thing on the first floor?

    Who knows? Anyway, I digress…

    This camera does have some nice features. The 40 degree viewing angle is decent. It is not the best that I have seen in this regard, but most certainly not the worst. Actually, a 40 degree range and viewing angle probably places the camera slightly above average.

    The night vision feature is also very good. Personally, after having reviewed a number of these cameras, I now think that night vision of some type should really be a requirement. After all, if the camera cannot take an accurate and viewable picture after dark, what good is it? Do you really think that a burglar will come in broad daylight and leave their calling card? I think not! This model has 36 infrared LED lights that provide the night vision ability. I had no trouble seeing anything even in the dead of darkest night. Actually, the viewable range was at least as good at night as it was during the day. I could see faces very clearly up to about 25 feet.

    The night vision allows one to monitor an area 24 hours. The best part may be that it converts automatically. In other words, the camera itself will sense when the light is low and automatically switch to its night vision setting. This is pretty cool, especially since I would forget to change the setting if it was only done manually. In fact, I would not even consider purchasing a camera which only had a manual switch vision option.

  • Anonymous

    The 8MP Brown Bushnell Trophy Cam is one of the more unusual products I have run across. In my capacity as a camera and optics reviewer, researcher and blogger, I have seen quite a few cameras, and more than a few security cameras and systems. However, this product is more designed for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Actually, the idea is interesting to me. What someone would do with this is to place it in position on a tree or post (or some other stationary position) and then let it record.

    The idea here is that the camera will record the wildlife that passes by this position. This way, the hunter will have an accurate idea about whether or not this would be a good place to invest their time while waiting to bag that buck or some other type of animal. Personally, I am not a hunter, but I love the idea of working smarter rather than simply harder. This is a great tool to gather the intelligence that you need.

    I could also see a number of other uses for this camera. For example, a nature enthusiast could just use this to see all of the different animals and forms of wildlife that pass by. It could be an excellent way to study a particular area. It can even be used as a way to follow up on animals which have been tagged and are being tracked. It could also be a backup to some type of GPS or other animal tracking system.

    Set this camera up to trigger itself based on motion. Once it detects motion, it will begin taking photos and videos. You can even set this up on a time lapse option. This will allow the videos and photos to be taken every minute or up to once every 60 minutes. The date and time information is also recorded onto the images file and saved to a removable HD card (up to 32GB of memory).

    There are a lot of really good features with this camera. There is a 2.4 inch color display screen. I am not real excited about this, since if I were to use this camera, the best option is to take the SD card to a computer and watch the data on screen, rather than the camera display, which I think is a bit small.

    You can watch the data in full HD video. 1920 x 1080 pixels is pretty nice resolution. It is also equipped with LED sensors to provide full night vision. You will see the image captured whether in day or night. Additionally, the range on this camera is 36 feet. At least that is what the specs say. I would imagine that picture quality deteriorates fast after about 20 or 25 feet.

    The unit itself is weatherproof and should provide many hours of recording information. Since I have not tested this particular unit, I really cannot speak to how sturdy it is or whether it will stand up to severe weather.

  • Anonymous

    With the Defender SP301-C, the night vision is acceptable, but very basic. The camera has 12 Infrared LED lights, which allow you to see fairly clear images even in the dark. The downside is that these images are only viewable within about 15 feet. There are many, many other cameras with a much further range. On the other hand, how far do you really need to see? How would you determine someone is a threat until they get close to the home or business anyway? Is a burglar going to come strolling up with a crowbar or gun already brandished? This is not likely. Therefore, I personally take claims of a long range or field of vision with a grain of salt. So, 15 feet would probably be acceptable.

    Of course, the camera itself comes in housing which is weather resistant. This makes it very easy to use outside. I must say that after testing in the rough and tumble weather of New England, this model came through with flying colors.

    As with most models, you can display the data directly on your computer. I find it quite fascinating to spend time every day just looking through at my different cameras in order to see everything that is going on within my home. Actually, this is one of the biggest advantages of the modern systems. Being able to save huge amounts of data on a hard drive or even a back up drive system is excellent. It certainly beats the old days where we would pop in an old VHS tape and then it would loop over every week or so. If we were really creative, maybe we used a different tape for each day of the week. In this case, it took about 7 weeks to start looping over. I even know one business that used 31 tapes, one for each day of the month.

    Another big consideration is price. Actually the bigger concern here is value. Of course, we all like finding a deal. But a good deal on something that no one wants is no value at all. On the other hand, this is a solid camera. True, it does not have quite as many bells and whistles as some of the other higher end models. At the same time, it has all of the basic features, and is plenty powerful enough to be effective for most jobs. I think the Defender is certainly worth a look. This is one of the models that I use in my business; we consider it to be a real work horse.

    Once again, this is a classic example of the trade off you make between cost and value. The only way you will generally be able to get everything you want without any compromises is when you overpay. Then again, if you overpay, you have already made a trade off, right? Personally, I would prefer to keep my money and just focus on getting something adequate.


  • Anonymous

    The night time images show up to 50 feet. Many cameras will claim a certain distance or number of feet. I have found that these claims are usually pretty much off. For example, a camera that claims to show you up to 120 feet may technically show up to 120 feet. However, after a certain distance, the image starts to rapidly deteriorate in quality. Lorex has taken a different approach. Instead of claiming a maximum distance, they actually give a realistic one. So there 50 feet claim is not only accurate, it may even understate their abilities. I LOVE a company that over delivers on their promises!

    Even though I have not heard about Lorex before doing this particular research, it seems like a solid business to use. I would imagine that their customer support is also quite good. However, I have not had the opportunity to test this theory.

    An anti-glare mode is also provided with this camera. This allows for high performance, even under direct and bright sunlight. Ultimately, you can likely place this camera almost anywhere and expect it to perform well.

    One of the few things I did not like about this camera is the fact that it is a wired model. However, this is primarily a personal issue with me. It may not be applicable to your situation. One of my personal reasons for wanting a security camera as well as a whole security system is because I see potential serious problems in our society coming very soon. I believe that there may be riots and even potential chaos. Part of these problems could include the loss of power, maybe even for a significant amount of time. If power goes down, a wired security system does you no good.

    I would much rather explore other options. Choose a wireless system, or even choose something with a combination of both. One option that I have also considered is the use of a generator as a backup, or even several generators as a backup. The only problem with this is that generators have small gas tanks, and it will not be much fun having to go outside every few hours to fill your machine with gas. That is also assuming that you would be able to find gas at affordable prices at that point. Another solution is to have a generator connected right into your home power system. This is something I have looked into a little bit; it still suffers from most of the same flaws.

    Maybe I am a bit crazy, but this is just me.

    I suppose that ultimately the option which you choose comes down to your own personal criteria and goals. Maybe you are fine with having a wired system. Maybe you would prefer a wireless system (like me). In the end it probably does not matter. This Lorax camera is one of the better ones that I have seen.

  • Anonymous

    One other thought about the Logitech 700e and motion sensors before moving on…

    Since there is a motion sensor, you can set this up so that if there is any type of motion on your property, you will receive an alert. You can control where this alert goes. It could be sent to your cell phone as a text message, as an email, or even to another phone number or email.

    Watching my own home over the web is also really excellent. I love doing this, especially while I am away. I think you will find this pretty neat also. All you need is access to an internet connection and you can look at this from anywhere in the world.

    There are free mobile viewer applications. In other words, set up one of these and then you will be able to view your property directly on your phone, anytime you wish. This is something I just found out about and am anxious to try with mine. It works with iPhones, Android and Blackberry devices. Best of all, the apps are free.

    The night vision feature is great as well. Not only will you never again have any type of problem seeing what is happening in the dark, but this feature turns itself on automatically. You will be able to see perfectly clearly even in total darkness, thanks to the infrared illumination provided by this feature.

    Have you used other cameras or security systems before? If this is the case, you are likely familiar with false alarms and maybe even an overly sensitive motion detector. If a stray kitten, or grasshopper, can set off the motion detector, it may cause you a lot of headaches in the future. Thinking about these past experiences reminds me of a crazy car I once had. Every once in a while the horn would just decide to start screaming…usually at 3 or 4 in the morning! A motion detector that is overly sensitive is kind of like that.

    In this case, you have much more control over the types of motion detection you want to look for. Make this much more precise by indicated certain zones or areas in which to have the system scan for motion. You may specify up to 16 different zones or sections within the frame. This will most certainly reduce false alarms. Try this out by indicating doors and windows as your zones.

    I also really love the built in microphone feature. Not only does this camera record video (and motion alerts), you can also enable audio recording. To be fair, this is not quite as robust as I would like, but it still a great additional feature.

    The camera also comes with a full one year warranty. This includes both parts and labor.

    My overall impression with the Logitech 700e is that it is a very good camera and an excellent value for the money. The features include some really nice choices, and the video quality is decent.

  • Anonymous

    Since I am currently looking for a cool security camera, this article hit me at just the right time. After looking it over I decided to add the Logitech 700e Night Vision Alert Security Camera to my list of possibilities. Almost all of the reviews and information I was able to find on this model were very positive. Some were positively glowing and gushing love fests.

    This camera appears to have some really cool features and options. For starters it is weatherproof, since there is an outdoor add on that you can purchase with it. In other words, this is a multiple purpose camera, which can be installed inside your home or business, or outside to protect your perimeter.

    Another really cool feature is that when choose to purchase a camera through Logitech, it is easily able to be integrated into a complete system. I like this, since it gives me the option of adding to it over time and even picking and choosing the exact options that I like. This is also a great way for all you do it yourselfers out there to really customize a system the way you want it. For me, it is more of a way to proceed slowly, thoughtfully and carefully through the process of building my own system. To be honest, I am not even really sure that I want a full system. By the same token, I am quite glad I have the option of doing so.

    Buying a camera can be a confusing process for someone who is not very familiar with technology. I did not think that I would be able to install a camera, much less really operate and use it effectively. However, the 700e has really allowed me to surprise myself. I was able to install it rather easily. You can also connect this right to your computer.

    There is no need to run any additional wires or lines of any kind. The only thing you should do is connect it to computer. This makes viewing what your camera sees a piece of cake right on your own personal laptop of desktop computer. I am sure what the specific disk size and memory requirements are, but there is some software which will be installed in order to allow you to see everything. Do not worry, this is all plug and play stuff, so it will all happen basically automatically. Just follow the on screen instructions and you will golden. It is also a very quick installation and set up process.

    There is also the additional feature of being able to view what is happening over the web. I absolutely love this feature. It makes keeping tabs on what is going on a no brainer, even when I am traveling, which is becoming more and more frequent.

    I have my cameras set up to provide me with instant alerts via email and text message. This is really cool, especially in combination with the other features offered.

  • Anonymous

    I think this article has some great advice, however, I'd like to add a few things from my own experience.

    In my opinion, you should take a few things into consideration before you decide on the camera system you finally settle on. If you don't, you will waste time and money and you might even buy a camera you wind up chucking in like a year or two, so what's the point?

    So, the first decision you must make it what are you trying to accomplish by installing these cameras? If you are actually concerned about a break in or potential robbery, than you may look at more of a hard core system that includes some type of monitoring service. This way, if anything ever happens, the police and other proper authorities will be notified. This type of system is also actually much more affordable than many people realize. Of course, you will need to pay for the cameras themselves, which can be fairly expensive depending on the type of features and level of sophistication you are after. But that is a one time expense.

    Then, you will need to find a good monitoring type of service. This is an ongoing monthly expense. However, it will probably only be 20 to 50 dollars a month. Certainly this is a reasonable investment to help secure the safety of yourself and your family.

    Maybe your goal for using outdoor security system is just to use as a deterrent. In this case, you may even want to consider using dummy cameras outside. This has been done for years. However, I think that with the level of technology today, you should just go ahead and get the real deal. There is not that much price difference anyway. Well, unless you get cameras that actually look like they are dummy units! In that case, they would not scare anyone away, either!

    Another reason to consider such a system is just for looks. If you have a home in certain areas, NOT having some type of security system would look strange. For example, could anyone imagine buying a home in Beverly Hills that did not have outdoor cameras and an in-home security system? You would look very out of place without one.

  • Anonymous

    Good article.  Thanks.

    The introduction to what a home security system is seems a bit long.  I mean, chances are you have found this article because you wanted a review of home security cameras or were already looking to compare brands, so why would you need convincing that you should have a home security system in the first place?

    Beyond this, however, I certainly did appreciate the way the discussion of a home security system was carried out.  I never considered the fact that a home security system also includes such things as a panic room, watch dogs, and glass-breaking detectors, among other things.  I even liked that the simple act of locking the door or keeping a bat by the side of the bed are also security measures you might take to protect your home.  Because, realistically, I think everyone takes at least some precautions and therefore everyone has some form of home security system.

    Certainly a popular component of many home security systems these days is the surveillance camera, as is evidenced any time you look around at in most businesses or establishments.  Security cameras are there for your protection as well as that of everyone else, because the hard fact is, crimes do happen.  Having one in the home seems like a logical next step, should you be looking for the level of protection and security a home security camera will provide.

    I thought it was very interesting and informative about the new wireless security cameras that allow you to view footage from a secure site on the web.  This seems like some advanced-level system that I would have seen on a crime show or something, but it seems that this top-of-the line technology is now making it out to the general market.  The best feature of this, from my perspective, is that I could watch the footage from wherever I may be in the world– inside the home, at work, or on vacation– and be able to monitor how things are going at different locations around my home.  Plus, since the camera would only be activated under certain conditions, I do not need to waste time poring through blank footage of my yard, for example.  This is great news.

    I also liked the discussion of the technical differences between different types of camera, most of which was new to me.  Something interesting, however, is that the article shows how it may be a little older than expected by the discussion of cathode ray tubes.  This is important information, but I am not sure how relevant it is anymore considering that all televisions these days are digital.  That does not necessarily mean that surveillance cameras do not still operate these days using cathode ray tubes, so I am not sure.  Either way, it might be worth it to check into whether these recommended products are still on the market today or whether they are becoming obsolete.  There might also be some lingering compatibility issues to deal with.

  • Anonymous

    I would just like to say how much I have enjoyed reading through your site. It is refreshing to find quality home security advice such as yours readily available for people. I find it hard to believe that in these modern times that people overlook and take for granted the security of their homes! Home security is a serious business people. Ensure you are safe! Once again great blog, keep up the good work!