It’s no secret – video surveillance systems can be quite expensive. If you’re serious about protecting your home’s security (and have the budget to do so), it’s possible to spend upwards of $1,000 for a high-quality, reliable video surveillance camera. If you have surveillance cameras that are separate from a monitored security system, it’s easy to spend upwards of $3,500 on a 3-camera, fully interactive video surveillance system for your home.
If you’re looking to be more frugal, there are several options available to you. While the less expensive cameras may not have the expansive features of high-tier security cameras, they can still be used as an effective way to monitor your home’s security. Here are four of the least expensive, best-selling cameras that currently have good ratings by consumers.
Note – Prices are subject to change. All prices are from bestselling camera systems on Amazon.com.
Logitech WiLife Digital Video Security–Indoor Master System and Camera
Rating: 3/5 Stars
This camera is different from other security cameras because it comes with “command center” software, which gives the system the ability to send you email and cell phone alerts. The software also allows you to remotely view the video footage from your cell phone, PDA or PC. Though the range of this camera is somewhat limited (it only comes with a 10-foot Ethernet camera cable, you will have to purchase your own cable for longer distances), the software can handle up to five different cameras. Though this system only comes with one camera, you can purchase extra cameras: around $185 for indoor cameras, and $175 for outdoor cameras. (NOTE: A common customer complaint was that the outdoor cameras only last a few months, so you may be better off having outward-facing indoor cameras on your windows instead.)
Q-See QSC48030 High Resolution Weatherproof CCD Camera w/80ft of Night Vision (Color)
Rating: 4/5 Stars
This outdoor color video camera contains a 1/3″ Sony image sensor, which is able to record 480TV lines of resolution. Because the camera is equipped with 36 infrared LED lights, it is able to see up to 80 feet away in dark conditions (night vision is in black-and-white). The weatherproof design allows it to be installed outdoors, such as over entry points or on the outdoor corners of your house. With a 60 foot included cable, there is some flexibility as to where you install this camera. It does not come with any included software, and will need to be integrated with a device (such as a home computer) for good video surveillance.
Defender STEALTH1 Covert MPEG4 DVR Recording System with Built-in Color Pinhole Surveillance Camera Hidden in a Motion Sensor
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The unique feature of this camera is that the camera component is concealed within a motion detector. It is able to record up to 45 days of footage, storing this video on its 2GB SD card. Since the system is battery-operated (and stores video footage internally), there is no need for any connected cables. The video records in MPEG-4 format, which is able to be played on most computers. With “Auto-Resume” recording, the system begins capturing video footage as soon as it is turned on. Many customers gave this camera positive reviews, mostly due to its effectiveness as a “nanny cam” or for checking in on their children’s activities when they aren’t able to be at home.
SVAT CV31 Hi-Res Outdoor CCD Security Camera w/Long Range Night Vision
Rating: 4/5 Stars
This surveillance camera does not come with any extra software, or a base control system. However, it does contain many features that seem to work well for most customers. It has 24 infrared LED lights, which can see up to 45 feet away even in dark conditions. The resolution of the camera is able to produce 420TV lines, which is good resolution for its price range. The night vision on the camera automatically activates as soon as it gets dark, making day/night surveillance much easier. The one-wire connection system is different from some other cameras, which may require a power cord as well as a video cable (the included wire for this camera is 60ft long). Overall, this camera has pretty good reviews on many retail websites.