When putting together a comprehensive and effective CCTV surveillance system, it pays to invest in high-end and high-quality security cameras that perform well and will last years of heavy use. A safe, secure and effective surveillance system needs reliable components, and just any old camera won’t do. You need something with high resolution and clarity, excellent low-light performance and wide dynamic range, as well as robust, durable construction and reliable manufacturer support. You need the best security cameras for your budget.
It’s for these reasons that our picks for 2018’s best security cameras come from Lorex, Hikvision and Axis – all well-known and trusted security camera manufacturers. Keep reading to see how these brands stack up to each other, and why we feel they stand out so much from the rest.
Lorex: Performance On A Budget
Lorex cameras are neither the highest-end nor the most-capable and featured of security cameras, but they provide good performance at an excellent price. Their line of bullet cameras and PTZ cameras comes in 1080p, 2k and 4k resolutions, combined with optical zooms of up to 12x and digital zooms of up to 16x optical zoom; this creates clear, sharp, detailed images at long distances. They perform well in low-light, considering their cost, and many of them even come equipped with some form of digital noise reduction.
Where Lorex seems to fall a bit short, however, is in durability and longevity. They just aren’t built to the same standards of quality as other brands and aren’t known to last quite as long as higher-end brands, like Hikvision and Axis.
Hikvision: Excellent Mid-Range Security Cameras
While Lorex is good if you’re on a budget and don’t need much in the way of features, Hikvision is a much better choice when you want to look for mid-end security cameras that provide nearly high-end performance without the corresponding price tags. Like Lorex, they offer a full-range of cameras, from fixed bullet cameras to PTZ’s, with resolutions ranging from 1080P to 4k, and everywhere between.
One place where Hikvision has Lorex beat is in low-light performance. Hikvision cameras are capable of shooting color video in lighting situations as dark as .008 lux – while still shooting at up to 60 fps. Their higher-end models also come with IR vision, which allows them to capture useable footage in total darkness.
Hikvision cameras are also known for their durability and quality build. While perhaps not as strong as Axis cameras, for example, Hikvision cameras are generally IP-rated for waterproofness and dust-resistance to ensure they can withstand any weather or conditions thrown at them, and they have a reputation for lasting quite a long time.
Some Hikvision models even include onboard storage, up to as many as 128gb. This can be in the form of SD and MicroSD cards, SDHC and even SDXC cards. This is, of course, in addition to the ability to store surveillance footage on the network server or DVR, but provides for additional flexibility when it comes to storage options and can help cut down on the costs and infrastructure necessary for storing footage and can provide backup in emergencies.
The Best Security Cameras: Axis
Hikvision and Lorex make great security cameras when you’re on a budget and really don’t have much to spend, but when quality and reliability are your main priorities, you should be looking at Axis cameras. Axis the best security cameras that are high-end, durable pieces of hardware that outperform any others in virtually all lighting conditions and are built to last.
Reliability and Durability
Axis cameras are built to last and are widely known for their durability. Virtually all their cameras are waterproof, dustproof and shock-resistant, as can be expected from high-end security cameras of this caliber, and are built with the matching IP-ratings to go with them.
But technical specs and durable materials are only one part of the equation, and what really sets Axis cameras apart from the competition is the quality and consistency with which they are built. Axis cameras are known for their reliability, and when you need a camera system that works without fail for years on end, Axis is a dependable, reliable way to get one.
Excellent Low-light Performance
In addition to their reliability, Axis cameras are also known for their performance and reliability at recording video in low-light situations. Their high-end models make excellent use of wide dynamic range, with technologies such their Forensic WDR, which intelligently combines the lightest and darkest parts of the footage for a clear, visible image. This is paired with their Lightfinder, an advanced processing algorithm that enables their cameras to shoot color footage in low-light situation at .18 lux or lower – to create state-of-the-art, best-in-class low light video. So when recording surveillance footage in low-light matters, Axis is the way to go again.
Choosing The Right Security Cameras For You
As always, picking the right security camera for your surveillance system comes down to your own needs and those of your individual, physical security system. If you’re on a budget, you might be just fine sticking with Lorex and their reasonably-priced cameras. They won’t have all the features found on higher-end systems, but will offer clear, crisp HD images for a low-cost. Same with Hikvision – they might not offer the same kind of high-end features that something like Axis might, but they’ll otherwise perform fine for their price tag.
But, when it comes to getting the best security cameras, reliable performance you can count on, no matter the conditions or demands you’re recording in, there really is no better brand than Axis. They’ve got top-of-the-line quality and reliability, cameras of all resolutions, and the best low-light performance and image processing you will find. They’re expensive, yes, but generally worth the investment.