Outdoor Security Camera Scorecard: Lights, Alarms, and More

Smart outdoor security cameras add an extra layer of security to your home. These cameras connect to your home Wi-Fi network and can be controlled with an app on your phone. These often include built-in floodlights and alarms so you can double down on security features in one device. Some also have advanced features such as facial recognition.

With all the different cameras on the market, choosing the right one can be confusing. We took a look at some notable cameras to see how their features stack up against each other, and tinker models that are perfect for watching all your outdoor shows this summer – plus when you’re away or Do not be, protect your home. outside.

If you are looking for a camera inside the house that respects your privacy, check out our other scorecards.

What are we looking for?

There are two different categories that we have focused on. We saw features that are directly related to the camera. If a camera is not producing clear, quality video, it is not worth buying. This category includes how well the camera stands up to external elements, as an external camera is useless without weatherproofing. Next, we investigated “extra” features that usually don’t affect video quality but still add extra security to your home. Here is a breakdown of each feature.

Field of view

Field of view refers to how much the camera can “see” through its lens. Of course, when it comes to security, the more your camera sees, the better it is. Typically, most security cameras have approximately 100- to 160-degree view. The higher the number, the more the camera can see. A good rule is to look for a camera that has at least 140 degrees of view. Should be sufficient to cover the entirety of outdoor spaces from edge to edge.

night vision

One of the main reasons is why someone wants an outdoor camera for nighttime protection, so it makes sense that these cameras should have the ability to be seen at night. Some have a built-in feature that allows them to record at night, while others rely on their spotlight to illuminate an area so the camera can record. Most cameras record in color, but there are also some that use black-and-white video.


Adding a spotlight is a smart option. These lights are activated by speed or manually activating the app. You can add light to your outdoor camera when needed, or the light can scare away a potential intruder trying to sneak into your home and alert you that someone is on your property.


Supplying a spotlight, a mermaid is another feature that can be used to alert you to danger and scare potential criminals. For this to be effective, however, it needs to be done out loud. About 100 decibels (dB) is ideal because it is loud enough to wake you up.

Check area

False alarms are annoying and a waste of time. Most security cameras have a feature that allows you to select via the app where you want to monitor your camera. For example, you can make sure that the camera is focused on your yard and not the street behind your house. In this scenario, the camera will only detect and alert you to an activity that does not care about each car you drive.

Facial recognition

This is not a common feature for external cameras, but it can be useful. Originally, A.I. In the camera, the faces of those people are frequently visited in your home. When the feature is turned on, the camera avoids sending motion detection notifications when the familiar face is detected.

Operating temperature range

As a general rule, all external cameras are waterproof and dustproof (often noted by an IP65 rating on the packaging). When it comes to weatherproofing, you also need to ensure that a camera can handle the most extreme temperatures encountered in your area. Most cameras can withstand temperatures between -4 and 122 ° F (-20 and 50 ° C).

Two sided audio

While this feature is common on many indoor and doorbell cameras, it is also featured on many outdoor cameras. Two-way audio allows you to listen to someone who is in your backyard and lets you talk to them using the camera’s built-in microphone and speakers. If you are saying that you have a barbecue in your backyard, then this facility can be handy. If you are in the kitchen, you can ask your guests in the backyard if they want anything from the fridge while you are there. It can also be used to notify intruders whom you are calling the police.

How things shaped

In this latest update, we take some of the most popular outdoor cameras and stack them against some new competition in space. The three most popular cameras are the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight, Google Nest Cam Outdoor IQ, and Ring Spotlight Cam. Meanwhile, the new kids on the block are the EZVIZ C3X, EufyCam 2 Pro, Vivint Smart Outdoor Camera Pro, Netatmo Outdoor Camera with Siren and Wyze Cam Outdoor. They run the gamut in terms of features, specs and price points, so there is a camera for everyone.

When it comes to covering the most space, the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight eclipses the area with its wide 160-degree field. In contrast, the EZVIZ C3X, the Netmeto Outdoor Camera with Sirens, and the Vivint Outdoor Smart Outdoor Camera Pro are narrow areas of thought, meaning you’ll need to be more mindful of their placement as they won’t cover much ground . Thankfully, however, the rest is near that sweet spot of 140 degrees.

Arlo Pro 3 Flood Light at White House
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight

If you are into multifunctionality like we are, then a mermaid and flood light are important. Most of the cameras we looked at were exceptions to the Google Nest Cam Outdoor IQ and the Vis Cam Outdoor. These two characteristics are valuable when it comes to preventing crime. The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is especially blinding, as is NetMamo – so they stop people in their tracks when the light is on them. Sirens are also useful when it comes to attracting attention. In fact, the Ring Spotlight Cam rings at a boisterous 108 decibels, while the Nettamo Outdoor Camera is not far behind at 105dB.

All cameras provide night vision and two-way audio, which are synonymous with today’s outdoor security cameras. When it comes to advanced features like zones and facial recognition, our scorecard has only two that they have – the Google Nest Cam Outdoor IQ and the EufyCam 2 Pro. Google’s implementation is notable because Nest Cam Outdoor IQ can be programmed to turn on or off when it detects specific faces.

Which should you buy?

First and foremost, our scorecard does not have a single external security camera that hits all the marks. All three are near Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight, EufyCam 2 Pro, And Ring spotlight cam. All three are fantastic when it comes to keeping an eye on your home, but they all hold their own unique strengths. For example, the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight delivers the best resolution and an indiscriminate Floodlight. The EufyCam 2 Pro is the most important of the three, but the purchase comes with two cameras instead of just one. And finally, if you are already investing in the ring ecosystem, the Ring’s Spotlight Cam is a great addition. As with many things though, pricing can affect a purchase.

If there is no cost problem, Google Nest Cam Outdoor I.Q. And Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro has advanced security features that increase privacy. For example take Sentry Mode on Vivint’s camera, which will activate the red ring light around the camera whenever someone is around for too long. Google’s Nest Cam Outdoor IQ has impeccable vision, crisp detail for its 4K sensor, and smart to recognize familiar faces.

Handheld Visa Cam Outdoor
John Velasco /

At the other end of the spectrum, the budget options are – A. EZVIZ C3X And Visa Cam Outdoor. The former color takes advantage of a dual-camera setup to improve night vision. EVVIZ C3X also provides local storage and customized voice alerts to greet people. As the new Vise camera, it is full of neat features that you won’t find in an outdoor camera. In fact, it is quite versatile because it works anywhere (even indoors). What makes it unique is its ability to record video to a microSD card, which is in an impressive $ 50 package.

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