10 Recommended IP Cameras

The IP camera market is changing rapidly, and while we do make some specific camera recommendations in our SecuritySpy Installation Manual, we are always coming across new noteworthy cameras, and there are simply too many to list in the manual. So we have put together our current 10 recommendations for network cameras in this blog post – the cameras described here are in no particular order (they are quite varied in terms of cost and feature set, which makes them difficult to rank in a “top 10″ list), however they are all cameras, due to their impressive collections of features, that we recommend to our customers. All the cameras featured here are capable of MPEG-4 and/or H.264 compression, which can be directly recorded by SecuritySpy for optimum quality and efficiency.

1 Dahua Technology IPC-HFW2100

Also sold by Q-See as their QCN7001B model, this is a simple, small outdoor bullet camera that ticks a lot of boxes. Its 1.3 MP sensor gives a nice high-resolution image, even in low light due to its good sensitivity and built-in infrared LEDs. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) makes for an easy installation, and at USD $160 it is outstanding value. It doesn’t have any audio capabilities though, so if you need that you’ll have to find an alternative, such as the Y-cam model below. For more pixels and a higher maximum frame rate (30fps compared to 15fps), check out this camera’s 2 MP big brother, the IPC-HFW3200S.

2. Y-cam Bullet HD

If you need an outdoor bullet camera with both audio and WiFi, then Y-cam is your best (and currently your only!) option. At USD $400 it’s more expensive than the above Dahua model, however it’s still good value considering the feature set. With a 1 MP sensor, good low-light sensitivity and built-in infrared illumination, this camera gives high-quality images both day and night. Y-cam also do a 2 MP model with a similar feature set: the Y-cam Bullet HD 1080.

3. Zavio F3110

There are plenty of indoor compact cameras on the market, but this one stands out from the crowd due to its nice feature set – PoE, Audio, Infrared – and competitive pricing at around USD $250. For hardly any more money, you can upgrade to the F3210 model, which features a higher 2 MP resolution.

4. Axis M1054

Axis is the heavyweight of the IP camera market: they’ve been around for decades, producing consistently high-quality products. As such, it’s difficult for us to pick one for special mention as they have so many worthy models! The M1054 is a great choice for an compact unobtrusive indoor camera with a great feature set. PoE, Audio and a visible-wavelength LED light (that can be controlled by SecuritySpy) make it useful and versatile, and the 1 MP sensor gives enough pixels for high-quality general usage. At USD $370, it’s a bit more expensive than similar models by other manufacturers, but you know when you buy an Axis camera that you are getting a top-quality product.

5. Axis M3005-V

If you’re looking for a simple small dome camera with great quality, choose this one. Housed in a compact vandal-resistant housing, this 2 MP camera is ideal for a shop or business situation, and at around USD $380 it’s very good value. It has PoE for easy installation.

6. Vivotek FD8162

This is another good 2 MP dome camera from another prolific IP camera manufacturer, Vivotek. At USD $520 it’s a bit more expensive than the Axis model above, however you do get night-vision and a built-in microphone. PoE also comes as standard.

7. Arecont Av1310

For sheer image quality, Arecont is difficult to beat. For USD $270, this camera will give you outstanding quality images in an indoor or outdoor situation (housed in a suitable outdoor housing). PoE makes for easy installation, however this camera doesn’t have much by way of other features. Arecont have a range of similar models with higher resolutions – up to an incredible 10 MP! A word of warning though: a PC (or emulator) is required for the initial IP setup of Arecont cameras (subsequently they can be configured using a Mac web browser).

8. 3S N1031

Although 3S is not a very widely-known brand, they have a great lineup of feature-rich high-quality cameras. At USD $220 for 3.1 MP, for sheer pixel-to-dollar ratio this camera is difficult to beat. With a wide-angled lens one of these cameras will do the job of multiple lower-resolution cameras, at a fraction of the price.

9. Sony SNC-ER580

At USD $2800, this camera is not cheap, but the feature set is outstanding. With a 2.1 MP sensor, good low-light sensitivity and a 30 FPS frame rate, this camera is ideal for demanding applications. What really puts this camera above the crowd though is the 360-degree pan, 210-degree tilt and 20x optical zoom.

10. TRENDnet TV-IP672PI

At the other end of the price spectrum at USD $180, this is a capable low-cost camera with pan and tilt features. Providing 1 MP images and with PoE, Audio, and Infrared LEDs built-in, this has an impressive feature set for such an inexpensive camera. There are four variants of this camera to choose from with various combinations of WiFi, PoE and night-vision.

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94 thoughts on “10 Recommended IP Cameras

  1. Trev says:

    What do you recommend for outdoor wireless cameras?

    • bensoftware says:

      Basically for a high-resolution camera that comes in a waterproof casing that also has WiFi, the two Y-cam cameras shown above are your only options. There are a few standard-resolution cameras that have both these features (such as the Agasio A602W or Foscam FI8904W) however the quality won’t be nearly as good, so I wouldn’t recommend them unless you don’t need very high quality for your particular purposes. Otherwise, the D-Link DCS-2332L comes with an outdoor housing so you could consider that, as the specifications are good for the price.

      • adit says:

        Aren’t the Y-CAM, Sharx and Trivision basically the same camera rebranded or are there any differences?

        • bensoftware says:

          I can’t say for sure but I think that you might very well be correct, at least for certain models.

          • jkm says:

            I ended up getting the trivision. They appear to be the same camera but you’re unfortunately paying for more than the camera.

            Trivision has no website. Their entire company exists over email somehow. That said, they are pretty good at responding quickly. But it’s not scaleable and I see this going badly for them.

            Secondly the cameras have no picture adjustment. So I have this crazy overexposed image coming in from under a carport, and I can’t fix brightness / contrast sensor controls on the camera, whereas most other manufacturers let you do this.

            So consider those things as well.

      • Kevin Groff says:

        What about the Foscam FI8906W? It appears to be HQ resolution?

        • bensoftware says:

          Hi Kevin – the FI8906W appears to be standard-definition (640×480) and JPEG-only. It’s cheap, has WiFi, and is waterproof, but it’s not nearly as high-spec as the cameras listed above.

    • Korey says:

      I use a Vivotek IP8336W outdoor WIFI 1MP camera with Security spy, it works very well.


  2. We use the Dahua Dome and IP and it is very good , clear and precise for our residential and business apps

  3. Sima says:

    I need a camera for a nursery/baby room. It cant be mounted on the ceiling since there’s no electrical. What would you recommend amongst all the not so cheap and cheap cameras that are out there?

    • bensoftware says:

      It’s difficult to know your exact requirements, but I presume you’ll need a small camera with audio and a good resolution. The Zavio F3110 and Axis M1054 mentioned above are good choices. Also possibly suitable are the Axis M1034-W, Grandstream GXV3615WP_HD, TP-LINK TL-SC3230/TL-SC3430, and Vivotek IP8132/IP8133/IP8133W. You can also search our full list of compatible cameras. Hope this helps!

  4. Randy says:

    Can you recommend a reliable outdoor wireless with IR and pan/tilt? I like the features of the Foscam F18919W, but it seems to have a chip defect that causes it to repeatedly reboot if the scene is too busy (e.g., snowing). I assume I’ll have to spend a little more to get something more dependable? The Y-cams you mentioned above look great but appear to be fixed (no pan/tilt) . THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Randy – there aren’t too many cameras with all those features. The best one would be the Toshiba IK-WB16A-W as it has a megapixel sensor. There are some other standard-resolution JPEG-only models which you can locate by doing a search of our list of supported cameras. I would suggest that if you can relax one of your requirements (e.g. you can connect the camera by wired ethernet rather than wirelessly, which would give you better performance and reliability anyway), then you will have many more cameras to choose from.

  5. Cameranoob says:


    After reading bunch of guides I came to thinking that cameras with CCD image sensors are ALWAYS better then cameras with CMOS image sensors. Is this correct? Because I lately been looking at cameras that claim to have FULL-HD 1080p recording capabilities that have CMOS image sensors, where CCD image sensor cameras only have up to 720p recording capability. I’m a bit confused can you help me.

    Thank you

    • bensoftware says:

      It used to be true that CCD sensors were always higher-quality than CMOS sensors (albeit with a much higher power usage), however this doesn’t seem to be the case any more. Nowadays you will often see high-end SLR cameras using CMOS sensors. I think for IP cameras, it’s best not to get bogged down in such technical details: look at sample images, read reviews, listen to recommendations etc.

  6. Neil says:

    I see from your hardware configuratior that the system requirements change dramatically when going from camera-encoded MPGE4 to DVR-encoded video. Do all these cameras do MPEG-4 encoding on them, allowing me to use the lesser system requirements purchase? Or how can we tell if it does the encoding on the camera or not?

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Neil, all the cameras mentioned on this blog post do MPEG-4 and/or H.264 encoding, allowing SecuritySpy to take advantage of efficient in-camera encoding of the video stream. In general, to find out if a particular camera supports this, check our list of compatible cameras – each camera is listed with the video encoding formats that it supports. If you want to use a camera that’s not on our list (e.g. and ONVIF-compatible camera that we haven’t listed yet), check the camera’s specifications for this information.

  7. Rick says:

    I recently purchased a Dahua IPC-HFW3200S but cannot seem to get an IP for this camera. Bonjour shows spurious “address” for the camera as “TZC3FV16600050″–is this a MAC number without the punctuation? In any case, attempting to open this webpage results in the error “Safari can’t open the page…” Is there another way to actually determine or force an IP? If not, I will have to return this camera.


    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Rick, that is not a MAC address number, and it’s in an unusual format for a Bonjour address name so I’m not sure what it is!

      The camera should automatically pick up an IP address from your router via DHCP, then you should be able to find it using our Network Device Finder app – does this work? This method has worked for all the Dahua cameras we have tested.

      • Rick says:

        Yes, I have used the Network Device Finder without success…no IP shows, and my Airport Utility shows no sign of the camera IP or MAC either. Don’t know what to make of this…I have been able to generate or locate IPs for Axis, Sharx, Vivotek, Panasonic, and Arecont cameras (after quite a bit of noodling sometimes) but nothing for this. Have you ever had success contacting the manufacturer product support?

        • bensoftware says:

          Hi Rick, this is a strange one. Try resetting the camera to factory default settings (there is usually a button for this). If there is definitely a DHCP server on your network (e.g. a router such as an Airport), the camera should automatically obtain an IP address from it. Check the user manual that came with the camera – does it suggest that the camera uses DHCP by default, or that it comes with a fixed IP address? If it’s the latter, you’ll have to follow the instructions under “Cameras with a fixed address by default” in our Installation Manual. Try (temporarily) setting your computer to some different subnets (e.g. try and, running Network Device Finder each time (after quitting and reloading it) to see if the camera shows up. If none of this works then I can only assume that the camera is faulty.

          • Larry says:

            I’ve just been setting up a new Dahua IPC-HFW4200S for use with SecuritySpy, and in case it’s helpful, the default IP of the camera was, and it was not set up for DHCP. To change these settings, I had to hook it up directly to a Windows PC, configure the IP of the PC to (so it’s on the same subnet) and then login to the web interface of the Dahua using the default userid / password of admin / admin. From there I was able to set the camera to use DHCP, and then successfully attach it to my LAN.


          • bensoftware says:

            Thanks for the information. It is indeed sometimes the case that cameras come with fixed IP addresses. In this case though you don’t need to use a Windows PC – you can give your Mac a temporary IP address on the same subnet in order to set up the camera, as described in our network camera setup instructions.

  8. Mpumzi Mququ says:

    Do you know anything about the following cameras in respect to quality and reletive to the 10 recommended ones?
    FI8906W, and

  9. Prasant says:


    Guys could you please help me to know kind of product in IP camera range which can capture a clear Audio and video quality from the minimum distance of 4-5ft.

    • bensoftware says:

      The above cameras that have audio capabilities are a safe bet. Also anything from Axis will be good.

      • Suresh Kumar says:

        AXIS cameras have systematic problem working with GMAIL and YAHOO SSL SMTP servers! Google it and you will see the problem being discussed all over the net. AXIS is what I was hoping to buy but now am very skeptical….I do not want to spend $500 or up and find out the SMTP has some gotcha’s – Can anybody recommend a camera (outdoor POE) that history has worked very well for movement and sending out email esp with GMAIL and YAHOO?

        • bensoftware says:

          I haven’t heard of these problems. SecuritySpy itself has no problems sending email via either of these services. So if you use SecuritySpy with any camera (including Axis), then you can get SecuritySpy to send you emails when motion is detected.

        • Allen Hallada says:

          I have 5 Axis cams setup to send email to iCloud services without any problems. I don’t see why it would be an issue if you were using SecuritySpy as your software, because it would be sent from SecuritySpy and not the camera.

          I prefer the dome 2-5MP cams from Axis like the M3005, M3006, and M3007 cams. Set up motion sensors on your light switches for $20 each and you have both a detractor and a light source for these really good MP cams to work.

  10. Ted says:

    Do recom. Cameras need NVR or DVR provide power for PoE?
    Thx for reply, Ted

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Ted, the device that provides power for PoE cameras is a PoE-enabled switch, for example a Netgear GS110TP. There are hundreds of similar devices by many manufacturers. You plug the NVR (e.g. the computer running SecuritySpy) and the cameras all into the switch.

  11. Laryenth Lancaster says:

    Help. Based on your ten recommended cameras, I purchased the Trendnet IP672PI. Security Spy cannot seem to find it on my network. Although your Device Finder app can detect it, double clicking on it opens Safari browser, but the page cannot be opened without a username and password!

    • bensoftware says:

      According to the camera’s user manual, the default username and password are both “admin”. This should gain you access to the camera’s settings via Safari.

      Using Safari, give your camera a fixed IP address on your network as per our setup instructions, and use this IP address to set up the camera in SecuritySpy.

  12. Barry sullivan says:

    I have a lake house that I would like to monitor dock and beech. I want a wireless outdoor ip camera. I would like the best clearest pics and be able to get easily on my I phone. I do not need any recording capability. What do you recommend ?

  13. Alex says:

    Hi, I would like to purchase a wifi capable IP camera for use as a baby monitor. I recently purchased a model similar to the Foscam F18918W but the audio quality was not good on the microphone. I am looking to spend within $200 dollars for this camera but it needs to be iphone/android compatible with descent audio that has little or no static, IR for night time, good angle of vision and tilt capability. What models would you recommend?

  14. Chuck says:

    I need to monitor a large 1+ acre property with a long driveway, house and other out buildings. Should I buy lots of cameras to monitor lots of specific areas or can I buy less cameras that have great resolution and then purchase great software that can allow a zoom from something that might be in the field of view but farther away from the camera when reviewing my images?

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Chuck, I think fewer high-resolution cameras are the way to go. Overall you will pay less and have less setup/wiring work. Search our list of supported cameras for outdoor cameras with at least 3 MP resolution, and make your choices from those. If you need any help choosing, let us know.

  15. AJenner says:

    I’ve been using a ucam247i for some time as a baby monitor camera and having got used to the whole ip camera business decided to go for a more all round home monitoring system with more cameras. I tried out the new home monitor system from Y-cam but found it too constrictive as you can’t use their cameras outside their own online system. I went back and got some more ucams instead and they work great with security spy plus you get the flexibility of using the cams how you want. Hope this helps others.

  16. Deividas says:


    what cameras would you recomend in -30 C conditions?(used outdoor during cold winter)

  17. RICK says:


  18. Ibby says:

    I have multi locations small retails. Need 1 camera each but need to record and review footage at home office. Sound and picture quality are low priority to reduce impacts on bandwidth. Currently i use dlink low end cams, but need to reset them so often.
    Any recommendations without complicated ip pinhole setting etc?

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi – it sounds like standard-resolution cameras that can send H.264 video would be suitable for your purposes. This will give low bandwidth while still useful video and audio. Something like a TRENDnet TV-IP672P would be suitable, and also has pan/tilt if you need it. It is 1MP resolution but you could set it to a lower resolution for your current usage, while having that high resolution available if you need it in the future. Alternatively a Y-cam Cube would do the job and has good night-vision. You can set up the cameras (using port forwarding in your router) to send video back to a central location where you use SecuritySpy to view/record the video from all the cameras.

  19. Craig Sande says:

    I presently use a Foscam FI8620 mounted on the wall next to a garage. The image is not that great and it doesn’t have IR for night vision. What would you suggest as an alternative which might have PTZ capabilities, IR, and higher resolution – 1MP minimum?

  20. craig harrower says:

    Do you have a list of recommended cameras that are available in the UK?

  21. Lee says:

    What would be a good POE IP camera for a small business? It would be mounted from ceiling so SD card on the camera would not be necessary.

  22. Reuben Mathias says:

    Hi, was just browsing the web for IP Cameras and I came across something called Provision ISR. Is that something that you would recommend for a small retail shop or business?

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Reuben, we currently don’t officially support any Provision-ISR cameras. Please check out our list of compatible cameras – I’d recommend you choose cameras from this list as you can then be sure that they are compatible with SecuritySpy. SecuritySpy does support ONVIF, so if you come across any ONVIF-compatible camera that’s not on our list then it’s highly likely to work. But to be sure of compatibility, the best thing is to stick to cameras on our list.

  23. Matt says:

    Do you like any of the DLink cameras like the HD Mini Bullet Outdoor IP Camera? I like the design and the size of it.

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Matt – I think you’re referring to the DCS-7010L? It does look like a nice camera with good specifications, however we have had a report that the H.264 video it produces crashes QuickTime (which is what SecuritySpy uses to decompress the incoming video from the camera), so I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. Fortunately though, it also supports sending MPEG-4 video which will give you good results and doesn’t suffer from this problem.

  24. Dan Boccabella says:

    I am looking for an recommendation for:

    Must Have
    IR with good Low Light Sensitivity

    Nice to have:
    RTSP support (for Roomie Remote Integration)
    Control 4 drivers
    Flush mount support (all pigtails fit into base and not require me to add a plastic box underneath since I am surface mounting on brick and cannot run anything through the wall)

    In looking at your list, it seemed like the Lilin IPR320ESX would be the closest fit.

    Seems like it will run me about $500/camera so didn’t know if there was another obvious choice to consider.

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Dan, our list of compatible cameras will help you out here as you can search it for a camera that fits your needs. The IPR320ESX looks like a nice camera, and if you search online you should be able to get it for a bit less than $500. Also has a look at the Dahua Technology IPC-HDB3200 – it’s around $250 and has all the features you mention.

      As for Control4 support, SecuritySpy will enable you to interface any camera on the list with Control4 using the SecuritySpy Extra Vegetables driver.

      • Dan Boccabella says:

        Thanks. I checked out the Dahua and the cheapest I see it for is $380 – is there a site you recommend for camera shopping other than just googling the model number?

        • bensoftware says:

          Hi Dan, we’re in the UK so the online stores we would recommend here would be different, However I can see that the Dahua IPC-HDB3200 is currently on sale for around $150 on Amazon (US).

  25. Jeff Kurkowski says:

    I’m wondering if this new GrandStream GXV3610 HD or FHD are compatible with Security Spy. I see several other similar Grandstream models, just wondering if you think this one will also be compatible.

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Jeff, we haven’t had a chance to test these particular camera models yet, which is why they aren’t yet on our list, however I would be extremely surprised if they didn’t work in SecuritySpy, either using the Grandstream profile or ONVIF profile. If you decide to go for one of these cameras please report back to confirm it works.

  26. hi,
    I’m using Y-cam Bullet HD, it’s giving me the best results in both vision day and night with good quality result in low light.

  27. Dam Boccabella says:

    It looks like the $150 one is the “C” non-IR version that won’t work. The cheapest IR POE Outdoor dome I see is HDBW3300 which runs $325. Do you think the DH-IPC-HFW4300S bullet (which has all the specs and runs $150) would work – it isn’t on your compatibility sheet.

  28. Dan Boccabella says:

    I did find the HDW-3200S for around $150. Gets mediocre reviews but I’ll order one and try it.

  29. Dimitry says:

    would you please consider updating this list in 2014?
    I think there are many other great IP cameras which are not present on this list. for example I usually use Axis Q1604 (http://www.axis.com/products/cam_q1604/) for indoor (good low light performnace) and RedLeaf RLC-BF2440 (http://redleafsecurity.net/product.php?product=RLC-BF2440) for outdoor places, which is far better than Y-Cam bullet on your list and it has a 2megapixel resolution.

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Dimitry, thanks for your comment, yes we will make a new list soon (probably one every year, as things change quickly!). The Axis Q1604 is a great camera, and the ReadLeaf bullet camera also looks very nice. The good thing about the Y-Cam bullet though is that it has a built-in microphone as well as WiFi – features that most outdoor bullet cameras do not have.

  30. Chris says:

    Hi guys!

    What do you think of the Trendnet TV-311PI Dome outdoor 3MP camera?

    Would this camera be a good & compatible camera to use with SecuritySpy? If so, would you use MPEG4 or H264 to configure it with SecuritySpy?

    Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.


    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Chris,

      Though we haven’t had direct experience with this camera, it looks like a nice camera with good specifications. As far as I can tell the camera doesn’t support MPEG-4, so you have the choice between JPEG (large file sizes but low CPU usage to decode and process) or H.264 (small file sizes but higher CPU usage), both of which will give you good results.

      Hope this helps!

  31. Rocky says:

    Hi Ben,

    This is an excellent blog, I am searching for outdoor security camera system for my home. After reading some of your advices it appears IP cameras would be ideal for me. Could you recommend me most reliable, simple to setup, 8 channel Dome video surveillance system? Please include DVR as well in your recommendation. I was interested in Pelco, Axis, Samsung, Speco, etc. Researching over the internet is very difficult, there are cameras from $30 to $500+ The DVR commutability with camera is also hard to figure out.

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Rocky, I think it’d would be helpful for you to read through our Installation Manual as this should answer most of your questions. Our software SecuritySpy runs on a Mac – for this purpose a Mac mini is ideal as it is small and relatively powerful. The installation manual contains some camera recommendations too. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  32. mehdi says:

    hi dears.
    i bought ipc dahua ir bullet 5200 series.it has got a audio in but i dont know how can i use it.i should join a microphone box or just simple microphone?in this case what about its power supply?i am using of POE switches,thanks alot

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi, typically cameras require a line-level audio input signal and therefore the microphone will need to be powered, normally with a 9v or 12v supply. Unfortunately I cannot seem to find any PoE splitter device that will take the PoE power, provide a 9v or 12v output, and then send the PoE power to the camera as well. This would seem to be a really useful device, but doesn’t seem to exist. Therefore I think you’re going to have to find another way to power the microphone. It may be worth contacting Dahua to ask this question, as they may have some recommendations.

  33. Allen Hallada says:

    Hey Ben great blog you started here and a nice line up of cams. I started out with the low cost cams under $150 and migrated up to using all Axis cams in the end. It seems that their software and support is what convinced me that they are the company I want to deal with. I plug them into SecuritySpy and they just work. Besides I know from early discussions through email that you are a strong supporter of this brand. I have the M3006-V and the M3007P cams right now for indoor use. I thought I would give the M1054 a shot this month. I have been really disappointed in this cam.

    The resolution is not that good, even when comparing to a Zmodo cam I have going next to it that cost $79. It has a grainy effect when you digitally zoom in on anything and you can see the grainy effect even at normal use during the day. I took two pics with each cam during daylight hours and you can barely recognize my face at 10 feet away. The Zmodo gave a very clear image of my face. As soon as it starts to lose light this Axis cam goes bad. So bad that it sends off the motion detectors in SecuritySpy. The Zmodo next to it stays clear and eventually converts to IR night vision which the Axis 1054 doesn’t have. Even my Axis M3007 which is next to it is still clear and not grainy in low light. I think I either have a bad sensor , or this cam never had a good one to start with.

    I’ve been eyeing down the Axis M3005 and the Zavio 2mp you mention above. It’s strange that Zavio only seems to have one distributor that I can find in the US. As far as the Zmodo cams, they work with SecuritySpy and they have some of the best resolution I’ve seen yet, especially given the low price point. You just have to work around their software to do any tweaking, but I was able to get it working on SecuritySpy with the Onvif protocol. Very clear day images, but I get some smearing from time to time during the day. Night time IR vision is really good again, but it attracts bugs in our area that sets off the motion sensor. I’m going back to high MP Axis cams coupled with motion sensor light switches inside and motion sensor lights on the outside.

    Keep up the great work here Ben. I appreciate all your hard work!


    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Allen,

      It’s great to get your feedback. It’s a pity you aren’t happy with the M1054 – it’s true that the low-light performance isn’t great, but the camera has other good features including PoE, a 1MP sensor and small physical size. As for the grainy effect when you digitally zoom – in our opinion digital zoom is next to useless in most circumstances, which is why we don’t support it in SecuritySpy.

      The Axis M3005-V is a great-value camera, but again not such good low-light performance, so maybe look for something else if this is important to you. Check out its sibling the M3006-V, which has better low-light performance as well as higher resolution, or the new Canon VB-S805D which also has good low-light performance and generally very good specifications for the price.

      All the best,

      • Allen Hallada says:

        Hey Ben,
        I did some tweaking on the Axis M1054 cam and it is much improved now. I set the exposure adjustment to noise and decreased the max gain and I’m no longer getting that grainy appearance in low light. The resolution is good, but not near as good as the Zmodo ZP-IBH13-W for 1/4th the price. The Zmodos also run at 25fps at 720p on wireless. Unfortunately these Zmodo cams are just buggy with 3rd party software and they give off little green color glitches from time to time. This sets off the motion detection. It’s reported around the internet when used with 3rd party software and people have tried many different video streams to try to get them to stop flickering. So their lens and sensor quality is there, but their software isn’t. Doesn’t happen with their own software, just with 3rd party software. Their tech support was supposed to email me back ASAP to see if we can work it out, but that was 5 days ago. Nuff said!

        I already have an Axis M3006-V installed above my front door. I’ve been pretty happy with this cam. The FPS is usually running under 10 on both the M3007P and M3006-V and many times around 5fps. Looks like it’s time for more processing power.

      • Allen Hallada says:

        Hey Ben,
        I’ve been messing around with the Axis M1054 this weekend and I think I found out the issue on the resolution. This camera has a fixed iris with no adjustable focus. It appears to be the only one in the M10 line up that Axis made without adjustable focus. It appears to be focused in at close range because within 3-5 feet the image is super clear but as the image get outs to 20 feet it starts to lose focus. For example when pointed outside my window the sidewalk near the camera is super clear but if you look at the trees near the sidewalk at about 30-40 feet they are blurred near the edges of the image just like you would expect with a fish eye type lens. Maybe they designed this camera for smaller areas inside and for close up shots of intruders etc.. I’m glad I caught this. I’m going to keep it in my home office. I’m also looking at the M5104 PTZ for outdoor.


        • bensoftware says:

          Hi Allen, this is interesting, thanks for the information. I don’t think this camera is designed to be used outside (or event pointed outside) in any case – the extremes of light levels would be too much for the primitive optical system. However is it at least possible to adjust the focus manually for more distant objects?

  34. Craig says:

    Hi Ben, I live in California and manage the sales for a 100 acre flower farm in Peru. There are so many cameras out there that I find myself a bit overwhelmed. Can you recommend a camera/system for me that would allow me to oversee the overall operation of the farm, but also rotate and zoom so I can inspect the health of individual plants/flowers? I’m looking for something that would allow for live or on demand streaming and remote control of the cameras. It would need to be pretty durable and reliable since I won’t be there to maintain or fix anything if it were to go wrong.

    Thank you in advance for the time and expertise you put into this blog! It’s a great resource for amateurs like me.


    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Craig,

      Apologies for the late reply, I’ve only just seen your post.

      I’m trying to imagine the setup you are proposing – is there a building where you want to mount the camera(s) to oversee the property, or do you imagine distributing the cameras (e.g. on poles) throughout the farm?

      In any case it sounds like you will need some outdoor cameras with good Pan/Tilt/Zoom features.

      The Axis P5414-E or P5415-E would be good choices, and very high-quality, though expensive. Canon has a couple of good options at a slightly lower price: the VB-H610VE and VB-M600VE.

      Another good option would be to have a look at Dahua – they have a number of suitable models, though these may be harder to find.

      Hope this helps!

  35. Hi Ben,
    The above mentioned IP cameras are all good but I personally prefer Sony. Sony is the best of all but yes its a bit costly. If you ask me for a good quality camera with low price then I will say Y-cam can be a good choice. Thanks

    • bensoftware says:

      Hi John, I agree, Sony cameras are very good. The only reason why they didn’t make it on this list is their cost. We’re planning a new “10 recommended network cameras” list soon with updated cameras and I’ll carefully review Sony’s lineup for that.

  36. S Gupta says:


    I am evaluating SecuritySpy. I have a “Dahua 1.3 Megapixel 720P ONVIF 3.6mm 1/3″ Aptina CMOS IP66 20m IR Bullet IP Camera: 12v PoE ICR H.264″ which I managed to setup yesterday. I love the SecuritySpy options and the motion capture triggers as expected during day time. However at night, in the IR mode, the motion capture becomes useless as it is constantly triggered. I’m using the “wait for 2 seconds” setting.

    Is there an alternate setting for SecuritySpy that I should be looking into to make the motion capture work during night/low light? Or a setting for the camera?


    • bensoftware says:

      Apologies for the late reply. We are currently making improvements to the motion detection algorithm that should resolve the issues that you are having. If you would like to participate in testing, please post a message on this forum post on the subject. In particular, it would be useful for us to obtain some of the false-positive captures so that we can use them to train our new algorithm, so if you can send these to us (details how in the forum post), this would be very useful.

  37. S Gupta says:


    I read through the posts again and someone mentioned the IR lights attracting bugs. It may be that is the case for us ‘cos when I preview the image, I do stuff darting around… but not sure if these are indeed bugs or camera noise. If the former, what is a workaround since we have a lot of foliage around the house?


    • bensoftware says:

      Hi – the solution to the bug problem is to employ a separate IR light that is a short distance from the camera, and turn the camera’s own built-in IR lighting off. As well as resolving the bug problem, this should give far superior lighting, as most IR lights provide much better lighting than built-in camera IR LEDs, primarily due to the limited physical space available in the camera itself. IR lights are inexpensive and can be obtained readily online (Amazon, eBay etc).

  38. Mart says:

    Hello Ben, I have heard good comments about Hikvision and I was wondering your opinion about their products. Thanks a bunch!


    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Mart, yes the Hikvision cameras are very nice. From being relatively new to the market, they now have a vast array of models, all of which appear to be high quality and sold at reasonable prices. Though we haven’t managed to test all of them, we haven’t yet come across one that isn’t compatible with SecuritySpy, as their interface seems to be very consistent across models.

  39. Al says:

    Hello Ben,

    Love your blog!

    I work for a performing arts center and currently we have a Canon VB-M40 camera to live stream what’s happening on each of our stages. The quality is not the best and I’m trying to use a Matrox Maevex decoder to pick up the stream (RTSP) and it’s not working. Since we’re a non-profit I don’t have an extensive budget to work with. Can you recommend a better camera to use in this environment.

    Thanks in advance,


    • bensoftware says:

      Hi Al,

      The Canon VB-M40 is actually a rather high-quality camera, with good low-light performance, decent resolution (1.3 MP) and very high-quality optics including a 20x optical zoom lens.

      Have you tried using this camera directly in SecuritySpy, connected over an ethernet network? The Matrox Maevex is for transmitting an HDMI signal over an IP network, so it won’t work with network cameras such as your Canon, which can itself transmit digital video over an IP network without any additional hardware.

      What do you feel is lacking in the camera – is the resolution not high enough? Is the low-light performance not good enough?


      • Al says:

        The resolution is actually pretty good. The video itself is very choppy, probably due to the low light situation. I haven’t tried it using SecuritySpy yet. Will it allow me to live stream to the monitors I have in our lobby. What we’re using this system for is to show a video loop of shows that are coming to the theater and then 10 minutes before the show we switch to the live feed of the stage. We’re using a service called SignageLive right now but I’d rather control all of this in-house. I inherited this system so forgive my lack of expertise. I’m an IT person not an AV person.

        • bensoftware says:

          HI Al, it may be the low-light situation. Check the camera’s settings: most have various settings for low-light mode. Some will increase the exposure time, which will reduce the frame rate and blur out any motion, so check for this and turn it off if it’s there (you will get a more grainy image but at least motion will be smooth).

          SecuritySpy will allow you to live-stream the camera to any monitor attached as a monitor on your Mac (or via AirPlay).

  40. Al says:

    Sorry, I forgot to add that the main problem with the current setup is the latency of the video. It’s very choppy, especially when there’s movement.

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