Hardware Recommendations

The devices on this page have worked well for us, and we would recommend them to anyone looking to put together a camera system.

Camect can also automatically configure many other cameras, and with manual setup, Camect can use any camera that has a local video stream url.

Indoor Cameras:

All of the following cameras can be connected by a network cable or by wifi. Note, however, that all of them support only 2.4 GHz wifi (i.e. they don’t support 5 GHz networks).

Vstarcam C7824WIP (720p with pan/tilt)

 

This is a good starter camera at a good price (around $45 on Amazon, or about $35 on Aliexpress).

Vstarcam C24S (1080p with pan/tilt)

This is also a good starter camera, with the slight caveat that there is a little distortion of the picture near the edges. This distortion is typical of some cheaper 1080p cameras, but is also present in much worse form on the 1080p Nest camera.

This camera costs about $70 on Amazon, and about $60 on Aliexpress.

Amcrest IP2M-841 (1080p with pan/tilt)

 

At around $75 on Amazon, this camera costs a little more than the Vstarcam 24S, but is just as reliable, and does not suffer from the distortion problem. If you want a 1080p camera, this is a great choice.

Outdoor Cameras:

When installing outdoor cameras, you’ll need to figure out how to get both power and network connectivity to each one.

If you will be running cables to your outdoor cameras,  you should probably run POE (“power over ethernet”) cables, as a single cable will carry both power and network to your camera. If you already have power at your camera location, a wifi camera will work fine as long as you also have a good wifi signal and a good wifi router that can handle all of your video traffic.

The outdoor wifi models below can all also be connected to a wired network. We recommend that you first plug the camera into the wired network, set the wifi credentials via your Camect Home recorder, and then unplug the network and let the camera connect to wifi.

Many of our recommendations for outdoor cameras have resolutions higher than 1080p, mainly because we appreciate the additional detail available when looking at objects far away. All of these cameras can be configured to run at 1080p if you aren’t monitoring objects that are far away, or you want to save on disk space. (1080p resolution – aka “2M” – is 1920×1080, 3M is 2048×1536, and 4M is 2560×1440.)

All of our main outdoor camera recommendations happen to be bullet style cameras. One thing worth knowing about this body style is that over time a bullet camera is a little more likely to move than a turret style camera (such as the Hikvision camera mentioned below) whose  weight is more evenly distributed relative to the mount.  In our experience, camera movement has not turned out to be a problem that would require more than an adjustment every year or so.

Amcrest IP3M-954E (3M, POE, no wifi)

 

This is a reliable POE camera that makes a good default choice for many users. About $95 on Amazon.

Amcrest IP3M-943B (3M, 2.4 Ghz wifi)

 

A reliable wifi choice, costing about $120 on Amazon. If you have a router that can’t handle much traffic, consider running this at 1080p resolution (requires manual configuration of the camera) or get the IP2M-842 instead.

Amcrest IP2M-842 (1080p, 2.4 GHz wifi)

If you’re happy with 1080p resolution, save some money by getting this camera. It costs about $75 on Amazon. This camera has some bad reviews on Amazon, but those reviews are mostly from people who are unhappy with the app or the setup experience, rather than the camera itself.

Reolink RLC-410 (4M, POE, no wifi)

High resolution at a very reasonable price for a camera that you can buy on Amazon. (It costs about $65.) We noticed that this camera doesn’t do as well on busy networks as the Hikvision camera mentioned later, but it’s still a good choice for a high-resolution camera.

POE Hardware:

TRENDnet TPE-S44

If you’re putting together a POE network, you’ll need a POE switch to connect to the other end of the POE cables that run to your cameras. A POE switch is like a regular network switch, except that it puts out both power and network connectivity over the POE ports (which run to your cameras). Use one of the regular ports to connect the POE switch to the rest of your home network. It costs about $45 on Amazon.

Other Hardware, with Caveats:

Hikvision DS-2CD2345-I (4M, POE)

This POE camera is the best of all the outdoor cameras we’ve tried, and on Aliexpress you can get it at a very reasonable price of around $70. The image quality is very high, and at night the IR led is both discreet (compared to the ring of leds on other cameras) and very effective. Unfortunately, there are some significant caveats too:

  • Hikvision doesn’t sell directly to consumers in the US.  Most Hikvision cameras sold on Aliexpress and on Amazon are not intended for sale in the US, and Hikvision won’t honor the warranty on them. However, these cameras perform at levels comparable to cameras costing more than twice as much — so how much do you care about that warranty?
  • Don’t buy this camera unless you’re familiar with networking, because the camera comes preconfigured with a specific static ip address. You must be able to switch the camera to using dhcp or to using a static ip that’s appropriate for your network. If you’re adventurous, you might be able to get the Aliexpress store to switch your camera to dhcp before shipping it.
  • This camera has no reset switch. If you lose the username or password information for the camera, you need to request a reset code from Hikvision, and they are unlikely to be willing to provide it unless you bought directly from them.
  • The Chinese government has strong ties to Hikvision, including a large ownership stake. We are not aware of any way in which this has compromised their product, but you may wish to consider this information when making your buying decision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Resources

  • Read detailed reviews of these and other IP camera choices at VueVille.  (We like the site, but it is not  affiliated with Camect.)
  • Interested in some other model of IP camera?
    • Remember that the camera must have the ability to provide a local RTSP video stream in order to be used with Camect.
    • Ask questions in our forums.