Best CCTV Cameras for 2016
Find the best CCTV cameras for your home or small business in 2016.
Looking for a new IP camera or AHD CCTV surveillance kit for added security? Whether you’re looking for a single indoor home monitoring camera, or a fully fledged and expandable CCTV system, there are some great budget CCTV camera systems out there.
A few new faces promise to shake up the home CCV and home monitoring market in 2016. Big players are starting to ramp up production on ‘connected home’ devices, and we’re likely to see wireless cameras appearing in more UK homes.
That said, some firm favourites from Hikvision still excel if you’re building a PoE surveillance system from scratch. Just be wary of those CCTV systems making impossible feature-set claims at improbable prices.
Unfortunately, if you want the best CCTV cameras in 2016, you’re still going to have to fork our some cash. Keep an out for cameras which require extra subscription packages for remote access. These Cloud plans are good, but you will have to factor the cost into your budget.
And what’s the next great feature in 2016?
IP cameras with SIM slots could be the next big thing. With a 3G or 4G signal, a cheap mobile internet plan and potentially powered with solar cells alone, we’re looking at truly wire-free, constantly connected surveillance cameras in the near future.
Low-powered, wireless, battery-powered cameras keep cropping up too, although we’ve yet to see any that can replace a proper wired system.
Read on, and get some ideas for the best CCTV cameras to meet your security needs in 2016.
Best Budget All-in-One CCTV Camera Kits for 2016
Budget, all-in-one CCTV cameras with bundled DVRs continue to be popular in the UK.
If you’re looking to provide some surveillance coverage to a shop, home or garage, kits from the likes of Saance and Kare give you multiple cameras, near-HD quality and usually a DVR with an enclosed hard drive to store several weeks of footage.
Manufacturers in China are aggressively driving prices down on budget CCTV camera kits in 2016 by making the most of older analog CCTV technology. The camera streams might not be encoded as network traffic, yet AHD cameras can push 720p resolutions and give you enough detail for many security applications.
These Saance CCTV kits were consistent sellers last year, and 2016 looks likely to repeat this pattern. The cameras – count FOUR of them in the standard bundle – look the business, and are suitable for outdoor use. You get all the cabling needed to run these CCTV cameras back to the included 1TB DVR. For the price, there’s a lot of value packed into the Sannce CCTV.
A good budget alternative is to the Saance comes from Kare. Again, you might not have heard of the name, but this is another CCTV kit from China with all the cameras, storage and software you need to monitor four positions simultaneously.
You can get much better cameras than the Kare and Saance, and the interface for controlling the cameras is fairly basic. If you can get past the clunky interface and don’t need CCTV cameras with all the bells and whistles, CCTV camera kits like these are only going to offer more value as tech advances dribble down to the budget end of the CCTV market in 2016.
Best Wireless Outdoor CCTV cameras for 2016
What’s the best wireless outdoor CCTV camera for 2016?
Foscam continue to offer basic outdoor IP cams with onboard wifi. The FI9900P outdoor CCTV cameras give you 1080P resolution and wireless N protocol streaming, and packs in oodles of other features like SD card support. However the night-vision is pretty poor, and around the £100 mark puts you close to a decent Hikvision CCTV cameras as an alternative.
Netgear continue to push hard in 2016 with their Arlo camera range. Battery-powered, with a dedicated wireless hub, the Netgear Arlo comes with a neat range of magnetic mounting options, weatherproof shells to hide the cameras away and a solid Cloud storage bundle included in the price.
The price on those Netgear Arlos though – I’m putting it on my birthday list as you can build a dedicated outdoor CCTV camera system for not much more cash.
New boys on the block are Flir. Known for their portable thermal imaging cameras, Flir have created a portable, wireless CCTV camera system that can be mounted and used indoors or outdoors.
Flir CCTV cameras are waterproof, and can be clipped to wall-mounts. The onboard battery gives you 4hrs of recording which is OK if you’re popping out of the house.
Where the Flir will fit into the 24-7 surveillance that most people expect from a CCTV system in 2016 though is anyone’s guess.
Best Power-over-Ethernet / PoE CCTV Camera Kit for 2016
Want a nice, tidy cabling solution for your CCTV system?
Annke PoE camera kits were really popular last year, and continue to be so for 2016. Delivering 720P image resolution over a single standard Ethernet cable back to a dedicated NVR with Power-over-Ethernet support, Annke CCTV kits give you modern tech for a budget price.
Annke systems are all-in-one surveillance kits, so expansion options are limited, and you’re reliant on Annke’s firmware and software. However if you’ve got existing Ethernet points and cabling in your home or business, the Annke PoE CCTV kits are a great plug-and-play, tidy solution.
And Annke do an 8-channel, 8 camera bundle with a 2-year warranty, which will be enough to provide CCTV coverage to even a good-sized business or large home.
Zmodo are another name in the UK offering PoE IP camera kits. Essentially a custom-badged Chinese IP cam, Zmodo seem to be putting more effort in 2016 into their CCTV camera experience with better apps, better setup and streamlined NVR units managed entirely via a smartphone or desktop login.
If companies like Zmodo and Annke can take a leaf from Nest or Samsung’s book, we could see much improved user experiences on CCTV camera kits in 2016.
Best Bullet Camera for 2016
Moving on to bullet CCTV cameras for 2016 – what is the best buy for this year?
Just like 2015, Hikvision continue to offer the best bang for your buck if you want a dedicated bullet IP cam. You’ll need your PoE-compatible router and somewhere to point your stream, but the best buy is still the Hikvision DS-2CD2032 if you’re in the UK.
A quality lens and sensor recording at 3.0MP resolution, Hikvision software is solid and you have plenty of software options if you’re building an NVR or want to use an existing storage destination on your network.
We may see more cameras for Dahua in 2016. Dahua make good quality cameras, and they have bullet cams with 2MP resolutions or motorised zooms. They’re a little exotic in the UK – imports and specialised suppliers are starting to offer Dahua options, so keep an eye out.
Best Dome Camera for 2016
Little change in if you’re in the market for dome CCTV cameras in 2016.
However Hikvision is starting to push out 4MP IP cams at 2560×1440 pixel resolutions. Our top recommendation is a Hikvision DS-2CD2142FWD-IS which will deliver 1080p video and stills at this new higher resolution.
Do you need stills at this higher res? Perhaps not, but these newer IP cams are rated down to 0.01lux at night, and can handle a 128GB memory card onboard.
If you’re buying new, make sure to check these prices on the 4MP options as they can be the same prices as the 3MP versions.
Also remember the Hikvision has re-badged brethren, devices like the TRENDnet TV-IP311PI.
There’s also a fashion for turret dome cameras now, with lens and IR illumination sources separated to reduce image contamination. They look a little odd, yet turret cameras are nice and conspicuous and are much easier to pose and adjust. Turret cameras may be the balance between adjustability and vandal-proofing we need for CCTV cameras in 2016.
We’ve yet to see budget dome cameras with PoE and 1080p resolutions. If you’re buying in the UK, watch out for grey imports and Chinese branded Hikvision cameras, as it can be a hassle trying to flash the firmware.
Best Indoor IP Camera for 2016
Things are much more interesting for 2016 in the indoor IP camera market.
After the UK launch of the Nest Cam last year and the co-branded home automation devices from Nest, other manufacturers are leaping on the home monitoring bandwagon.
The Canary All-in-One is a home monitor in the truest sense, collecting temperature and humidity data with varying degrees of reliability. The Canary looks ideal for holiday homes and caravans, and will give you peace of mind when you’re away from a second property.
The Logi Circle is a essentially a Nest Cam in a round shell. And it’s rechargeable and wire-free too.
Like the Nest Cam and Canary, the Logitech are looking to make money from their Cloud recording services. If you can afford the monthly costs, Cloud recording for your IP cam makes sense for a single indoor camera. For a more resilient surveillance CCTV camera solution though, off-site video backups with on-site data storage is a much more robust solution.
Don’t fancy forking out £100+ for the big indoor cameras? The Annke Sparkle is a cheap and cheerful indoor wireless alternative – a decent camera for simple monitoring of the front door or a pet when you’re at work.
With manufacturers seeking to tie hardware in with CCTV camera cloud services in 2016, watch out for separate Cloud recording services like Mangocam and CamCloud. With a compatible camera, you can buy Cloud recording without being tied into a single manufacturer.
Do consider though – who do you trust with all this security footage of your personal home? Local storage for home surveillance is a better option for guaranteeing your privacy.
Best Baby Monitor
Need to keep an eye on the bairn upstairs?
The Nest Cam has really muscled in on the traditional baby monitor market. It offers 1080P live streams, Cloud recording, notifications and two-way audio, which ticks most boxes for parents. No home monitoring solution is ever going to satisfy all mums and dads, but the Nest Cam is a quality product, network environment permitting.
If you want to save a few quid, the Foscam C1 does a passable impression of a Nest Cam at a fraction of the price. The interface isn’t quite as snazzy, and setup is trickier compared to the app-fuelled goodness that is the Nest Cam. But a 720P stream, onboard SD backup and wifi to boot, makes the Foscam C1 a nice balance of cost and features for an indoor CCTV camera / baby monitor in 2016.
Will 2016 be they year dedicated baby monitors kick the bucket? With so many home monitor cameras offering much better feature-sets than some of these hobbled dedicated baby monitors from the likes of Vtech and Motorola, make sure you do your homework if you want to keep an eye on baby.