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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66 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.

      http://www.vivotek.com/web/product/ProductDetail.aspx?Model=IP8336W

  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:

    Hi,

    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.

    Thanks!

    • 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 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.1.1), 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 192.168.2.108, 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 192.168.2.1 (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.

            HTH.

          • 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:

    Hi
    Do you know anything about the following cameras in respect to quality and reletive to the 10 recommended ones?
    FI8906W, and
    FI8919

  9. Prasant says:

    Hi,

    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.

  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:

    Hi,

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

  17. RICK says:

    HI-
    I WAS WONDERING IF I CAN MIX & MATCH CAMERAS AND HOW WOULD I RECORD THE DIFFERENT CAMERAS. I AM LOOKING FOR A COMBO OF 3 OUTDOOR (2 REGULAR CAMS , 1 PTZ) THEN 5 INDOOR (1 FOR NURSERY, 1 PTZ , 3 TO COVER STRAIGHT SHOT WITH OVERLAP OK)

  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
    POE
    Outdoor
    IR with good Low Light Sensitivity
    1.2MP+

    Nice to have:
    2MP+
    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.

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