I have covered a lot of home surveillance technology over the years. One of the best advancements in this technology has been the introduction of object detection. Cameras are able to identify the difference between a randomly moving object, people, vehicles and sometimes even faces, pets and packages.
For an outdoor camera, I find this feature absolutely essential. The older style of general motion detection used to trigger an insane number of alerts due to shadows, rain or leaves and bushes blowing around in the wind.
The quality of the object detection varies between brands, and I am not 100% sure how each brand does things, but I think some cameras do the processing onboard while others offload it a server.
For this post, I am focussing on wired POE cameras. I will do separate posts of battery-powered cameras
So, what are the best options when installing a new POE camera?
It depends on your NVR / Storage
All my recommendations for these POE cameras are based on the built-in functionality of the camera itself and the NVRs that the company produces. Many of them have microSD slots, and the motion-triggered events can be recorded to them instead of an NVR.
However, if you have a DIY network video recording running Blue Iris or other software, you will bypass the smart functionality of these cameras and have the NVR application handle everything. For Blue Iris, they have Smart Sentry AI, which is a paid service, or there is also DeepStack AI.
I have not used DeepStack AI, but it appears to offer superb performance and includes face detection. I used Smart Sentry AI, which sends a single image to a server for processing and the overall performance was excellent for my needs.
From my experience, this method of person detection provides the best performance. However, the cost of running an NVR/server needs to be factored in, especially with rising electricity costs.
|Reolink 4K PoE Security Camera with Human/Vehicle Detection,...||£114.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Reolink 4K PoE CCTV Security Camera Outdoor with Smart...||£74.99||Buy on Amazon|
All the wired POE cameras Reolink have launched in the past couple of years feature person detection and vehicle detection. They release so many cameras it is there are probably too many to list, but any camera that ends in “A” has this feature. This includes:
The leading number indicates the resolution, either 5MP, 8MP or 12MP.
All the cameras are affordable, so I personally don’t see the need to use the 5MP option unless you are on a really tight budget.
I also wouldn’t get a camera without a spotlight. None of the Reolink cameras does native colour night time recordings, they need the spotlight to provide this. The ones without a spotlight record in B&W, the footage is perfectly good quality, but you don’t get the same sort of detail as colour provides.
With cameras without a spotlight and 5MP ruled out that leaves:
Out of those, the main things to consider are the viewing angles and the overall dimensions of the unit.
I’d use the RLC-823a for all my cameras if it wasn’t for the fact it is absolutely gigantic (and also quite expensive).
The RLC-811A is probably my favourite all-around camera, but even that is physically quite large. This model benefits from 8MP, a spotlight, 5x optical zoom and good viewing angles when zoomed out.
- ULTRA-WIDE COVERAGE IN 4MP HD: Combining two Lens...
- SMART HUMAN/VEHICLE DETECTION: This PoE camera can...
- INSTANT ALERTS & REMOTE ACCESS: This PoE IP camera...
- ALL-ROUND INTRUDER DETERRENCE: Once this PoE...
An alternative option would be the Reolink Duo. This basically has two cameras built-in pointing at different angles. Each camera is only 5MP, but you get a massive 150-degree viewing angle.
Hikvision, Ezviz & Other brands
Hikvision doesn’t technically sell to the consumer, but the cameras are reasonably easy to get hold of, you may need to jump through a few hoops, though.
From my experience, these provide much better image quality than Reolink, and the ColorVu camera delivers bright colour images any time of day. The downside is that they cost much more. There are also Darkfighter branded cameras, these provide B&W night footage but can provide clear images in exceptionally dark scenarios.
As for object detection, you want an AcuSense branded camera.
The cheapest ColorVu AcuSense camera I can find is the Hikvision DS-2CD2087G2-LU 8MP mini bullet for around £170.
|ANKNE NC800 4K PoE CCTV Security Camera Outdoor, 8MP IP...||£289.99||Buy on Amazon|
|ANNKE NC800 4K/8MP POE Security Camera, Ultra HD Turret...||£289.99||Buy on Amazon|
Annke is either a subbrand of Hikvision or uses white-label Hikvision hardware, which is the same difference as far as the end-user is concerned. They have a lot of attractively priced cameras, and I have been impressed when I have reviewed them before
I think the N branded cameras are the models with AI human detection, these are not very cheap, but they should be good quality. The Annke NC800 is the perhaps the best option for £189/199 depending on dome or bullet. It is an 8MP camera, colour night vision, and has human/person detection. The lens is also 2.8mm so you have a wide viewing angle.
- 8 x 4K SMART ACTIVE DETERRENCE CAMERAS - Each...
- COLOUR NIGHT VISION – Equipped with infrared...
- LOREX HOME APP COMPATIBLE – Monitor your home or...
- SMART MOTION DETECTION - Each camera comes...
I haven’t reviewed any Lorex hardware, but they have a large 8-camera system that’s worth considering. The cameras have spotlights built-in for colour night vision, and the system has full person/vehicle detection. The included NVR has built-in POE ports, so it should be relatively easy to set up.
Last update on 2022-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API