NOTE: this post has been superseded by our newer post 10 Recommended IP Cameras 2015.
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.