1. Y-Cam Bullet HD- ~$450 (on sale)
Y-Cam Bullet Info (non HD version)
Y-Cam’s Bullet HD doesn’t come cheap, but it’s packed with some pretty incredible features, showing how far IP camera technology has come in that it’s affordable for consumers at all. Most impressive, the Bullet HD captures 720p video at 30 frames per second. There’s nothing like seeing your neighbor’s dog poop on your lawn in 30 fps hi-def, right? It also has H.264 compression and AAC audio for efficient image processing, and direct audio/video connections to all your iDevices.
Of course, this is about outdoor network cameras, so I should mention that the Bullet HD is completely weatherproof with shielded cables to ensure smooth operations in all weathers. IR night vision is another key feature for any outdoor network camera, and the Bullet HD has an infrared cut filter to produce as to not sacrifice any daytime color. The camera has all the standard features too — wifi, motion detection, microSD recording, PC/Mac compatible, and more.
Overall, if you’ve got $450-$550 in the budget for a new network camera, the Bullet HD is a great purchase. Whether you want merely to discover the critter guilty of eating your expensive and lovely flower bowls at your vacation home, or catch teenagers spray-painting vulgar objects on your business sign, the Bullet HD will let you see it all in great color and high definition. And with Sensr.net, you’ll be able to shame those punks, immortalizing their vile crimes on the interwebs, archived forever and ever! If you’re feeling vindictive, I guess. Otherwise you could just take pride in knowing who(or what)dunit.
2. Panasonic BL-C140A – ~$175
If you don’t want to shell out quite as much cash, the Panasonic BL-C140A is available for a more affordable $175, and still has many good features. It’s outdoor ready, splash proof, and equipped to handle low temperatures. It has most of the standard features — motion detection, night vision, etc. It also has a 10x zoom! The image quality isn’t bad, either — though it’s certainly not high definition. There are a few other unfortunate cons with this camera:
- The POE adapter doesn’t work with standard POE switches. You may find yourself still using the power block. Boo.
- It’s a pain to setup on anything but Windows.
- It’s not fully “weatherproof” – just splash proof. It needs to be under an eve, or something that keeps it from being completely exposed. (Or you can check out our guide on how to create a cheap network camera enclosure.)
- The night vision isn’t great, but it works.
That said, the Panasonic BL-C140A is still a bargain for an outdoor network camera. If night vision is of extreme importance but you’re on a budget, you can always get the BL-C140A and pair it with a higher quality IR illuminator.
3. Foscam FI8905W – ~$100
Foscam’s FI8905W is the most affordable of the bunch, available for almost any budget at around $100. Unlike the Panasonic, this camera isn’t just splash proof; it’s fully waterproof. The FI8905W is also loaded with night vision up to 30 meters (about 98 feet), wifi, and motion detection. Frankly, it’s pretty impressive that a waterproof, wifi, and night vision equipped IP camera is available for such a low price.
The images may not be hi-def, but hey, it’s $100. And if you’re looking to increase the video quality, a few Amazon reviews say you can upgrade the FI8905W’s lens for a pretty low price. Still, the FI8905W is great for something like a traffic cam or an over-the-front-door camera to watch for deliveries, but not so effective for serious home/business surveillance.
Have fun, and get your outdoor network cameras setup on Sensr.net!