The 10 Best DVR Cameras
This wiki has been updated 10 times since it was first published in May of 2019. Whether you're trying to add a measure of security to your business or you want to keep an eye on things at home, one of these DVR camera kits can get the job done. They offer useful features, like robust weatherproofing, and apps that allow for remote monitoring and motion detection alerts. We've ranked them here by their image quality, durability, and ease of installation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 08, 2021:
I’ve ended up replacing most of the options on this list, as I wanted to include actual cameras as standalone units, and not only those sold with a DVR box, as was previously the case, though I have kept a few systems or ‘kits’ if you want to call them, like the Zosi 8CH 1080P Security System and Smonet 16-Channel AHD from the previous update, both of which only offer 1080p, and also added the Annke S300, which comes with 1080p (2-megapixel) cameras but the DVR itself can support up to 5mp cameras. If you want to pair high-resolution cameras to a suitable DVR, then you may want to source the DVR separately, and I know for a fact that most of the DVRs I’ve added during the last update in our list of the best 16-channel DVRs will support resolutions higher than 1080p.
The rest of the options on this list are simply DVR cameras - or digital security cameras that use interfaces like HD-TVI, HD-CVI or AHD - either sold as single units, or in packs - like the Zosi 4-Pack and Wisenet SDC - and as such, will work with DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) – those are the ones with coax inputs. IP (Internet Protocol) cameras by contrast can upload video via the internet, and many are wireless, though can also be wired via ethernet cables. Some may also receive power over ethernet, instead of through a separate power cable. Seeing as a 5-megapixel camera costs barely more than a 2-mp one nowadays, I’ve centred this update around including higher-resolution models, though options on the market are somewhat limited. Most of the models on this list – with the exception of the Zosi 4-Pack and Tigersecu Super HD-TVI offer at least 5 megapixels, and the Lorex C861MB offers 4K (8mp).
May 15, 2019:
Putting together this list, our first criterion was grounded in resolution, with 1080 being an absolute must in this day and age. Beyond that, we took a close look at the difference between NVR and DVR systems, and ultimately decided that NVR systems, while comprised in part of the ability to record digital video, still didn't fit the category's parameters. Thus, all of our selections are wired via coaxial cable, and can not connect with their recording hubs via cat5 or cat6 cable, nor can they connect wirelessly.
From there, our criteria shifted to image quality, looking at things like sensor and lens size, megapixel count, and night vision capabilities to determine your best options. The Safevant model at number one is an excellent example of a product containing the best of all worlds: good cameras, a good app, and enough built-in memory to keep a majority of recent events on file. Whether users will prefer bullet or dome cameras is largely a matter of where and how they'll eventually be installed, but we tend to like bullet models because of their built-in hoods that can reduce lens flares from intense sunlight when set up outdoors.