Posted on 7 June 2022
Arlo Essential Spotlight
As the name suggests, this camera has all the essentials that you would expect from a mid-range model. It therefore combines high recording quality with extensive functionalities.£ 129.99 on Amazon
The Essential Spotlight is Arlo’s basic model. It is based on full HD image capture at an angle of 130°. It has managed to make a good name for itself among mid-range models thanks to its excellent recording quality (audio and video), both day and night, its comprehensive and intuitive application and its easy installation. However, you will have to deal with its lack of power (71.7 dB) and a backup only on the Cloud, via a paying service. The latter is compulsory to take advantage of all the features (intelligent notifications, differentiated detection, creation of activity zones, emergency call).
Cameras come in all shapes and sizes.
Some cameras have a built-in microphone and speaker which allows a direct communication.
The quality of the recording has a direct impact on the detail that can be perceived in the image.
The angle of view and the range of your camera determine the area that the camera is able to protect.
Local storage is a low-cost solution to keep records.
The original setup should be as simple as possible.
Compactness and discretion are essential to ensure that your camera does not get noticed.
As your camera is installed outdoors, it should be weatherproof.
TP-Link Tapo C310
Thanks to this model, you can equip yourself while on a budget. Affordable yet competent, it provides sufficient protection for your home, especially if you place it towards your front door.£ 49.99 on Amazon
This model is an excellent alternative if you are on a budget. Its 3MP resolution promises a good image quality, both during the day and the night. The recordings are stored locally, so there are no additional costs. The whole is IP66 certified, has an alarm and human detection. Unfortunately, the viewing angle is limited to 104°, the design is not very discreet and the audio part is not very usable.
Arlo Pro 4
In addition to a European conformity and its viewing angles of up to 160°, this camera is characterised above all by its colour image, as well as its flash that improves the night vision.£ 219.99 on Amazon
This camera is designed for both indoor and outdoor use and is highly popular among users. Its 2K resolution allows it to deliver a quality image, during the day or the night, and its 160° range is most effective over a distance of 100 metres. Whether you choose to store it in the cloud or via USB, you will always have a device that is not only compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but also resistant to the elements. But that is not all, as this one especially features an HDR mode, as well as a flash, which its lower-end rivals lack.
Ring Stick Up Cam
This small camera is a good example of a relatively affordable but effective alternative. Thus, it offers a good price-quality ratio, in particular thanks to its recording quality.£ 123.99 on Amazon
The Stick Up Cam Plug-In is a small camera capable of filming in FHD at an angle of 150° and has many features such as infrared capture, detection zones and adjustable sensitivity. Its price-quality ratio is interesting for small budgets thanks to its high video quality, both during the day and the night. However, it has it flaws: the audio part could be perfectible and a local storage (cloud only, with a fee) is missing. It also benefits from an IPX5 certification. There is a battery-powered version as well, but it loses many features in the process.
|Our choice, Best mid-range||Best budget||Best high-end||Mid-range alternative|
|Arlo Essential Spotlight||TP-Link Tapo C310||Arlo Pro 4||Ring Stick Up Cam|
|As the name suggests, this camera has all the essentials that you would expect from a mid-range model. It therefore combines high recording quality with extensive functionalities.||Thanks to this model, you can equip yourself while on a budget. Affordable yet competent, it provides sufficient protection for your home, especially if you place it towards your front door.||In addition to a European conformity and its viewing angles of up to 160°, this camera is characterised above all by its colour image, as well as its flash that improves the night vision.||This small camera is a good example of a relatively affordable but effective alternative. Thus, it offers a good price-quality ratio, in particular thanks to its recording quality.|
|£ 129.99 on Amazon||£ 49.99 on Amazon||£ 219.99 on Amazon||£ 123.99 on Amazon|
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery (£179.99 upon publication): an alarm capable of ringing in your ears. This model differs from the lower end of the range thanks to the wide viewing angles it allows. In addition to raking a field over 140°C, it offers an IPX5 certification and an image quality of 1920 x 1080 pixels. You also get a cloud storage, a digital zoom, and an Alexa and IFTTT compatibility. But while all these features contribute in one way or another to the overall performance of the device, it is the presence of a 110dB alarm that makes it stand out.
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How to choose your outdoor security camera?
Over the years, outdoor security cameras have become a standard feature in almost every home. However, because they now offer more and more features, it is not always easy to know which model to choose.
In order to help you make a choice, we have listed some criteria to consider:
- Usage: while an outdoor camera is primarily a means of ensuring security, it can also be used to monitor a child playing in the garden or to identify visitors who ring the doorbell. On some models, you can also communicate with the built-in microphone and speaker.
- Image quality: you need to look at three things: the resolution of the video stream captured by the camera (HD, Full HD, 4K), the number of pixels in the sensor (the more the better) and the image quality in night or infrared mode. When the camera is used to monitor the surroundings of your home, it must be able to identify a possible intruder clearly and without distortion of the image.
- Range of the camera: depending on the area to be covered, you will look at the angle of view offered by the security camera. It must be able to capture a distance of several metres and avoid blind spots.
- Image storage: you can choose between local storage on a microSD card or online storage in the cloud. Note that some systems require a paid subscription for this feature.
- Setup: the security camera must also be easy to set up and use. While some are wireless, others are wired. In this case, it is important to check the length of the power cable so that it can be easily plugged into a socket.
- Design: a good security camera is compact and unobtrusive, without being recognisable at first glance. Therefore, you should also look at whether it has a bracket to attach it and/or a rotating function.
- Resistance: effective protection against the elements is a significant asset. Certification is based on the protection index, which is used to assess resistance to the elements. The IP rating is made up of two numbers: the first indicates the level of protection against solid particles such as sand and dust (from 0 to 6), and the second communicates the resistance to water (from 0 to 9).
NB: we would like to stress that a security camera is not a substitute for an alarm.
Translated by Aylin Akturk