A lot of people have good reasons to buy a door peephole camera. It does add quite a bit when it comes to security, and it enables you to have a good idea of who’s outside your door whenever someone is moving out there. When you add to that the fact that they’re pretty cheap nowadays, even some of the really good ones, you find that there’s basically no excuse for you not to get one.
So, when you’ve decided you want one, how do you choose which camera works best? Well, we’re here to help. We’ll kick things off with a short buyers’ guide, in which we’ll discuss what the most prominent features are on a motion activated peephole camera, and then we’ll take a look at three really good models you can choose from. Before moving on, you can also see our picks for best peephole cameras, packed with amazing features and great prices!
Field of view: 160 degrees
Display : 3.2 inches HD TFT
We’ll kick things off with this budget variant by fosa. It’s a fairly unknown brand, but the door peephole camera they have is a great option for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money, but would still appreciate the security.
The camera itself records video at 720p, which is excellent at this price. To add to that, the field of view is 160 degrees, and there is no significant image quality loss when you look at the edges of the image. It’s as good as a camera gets at this price point. Around the sensor itself, you will find IR LEDs that will brighten things up at night, a feature that we wouldn’t expect here.
Another thing we didn’t really expect is the 3.2” HD display. The images on it are extremely good, with high quality and quite a lot of sharpness and details, even when the light isn’t all that good. Motion detection works pretty good, and it will automatically take a photo or video if someone is moving outside your door.
In terms of storage, the camera relies on a memory card, which is not included. The maximum capacity is 32GB, which should be plenty of video before you need to empty it out. Battery life is pretty good thanks to the four AA batteries that it requires, and it should last you a good while. Note that to be able to fit it, you should have a door that’s between 40 and 110mm thick. If you do have one, this is one of the best door peephole camera options available. (1)
Battery Capacity: 1800mAh
Field of view: 165 degrees
Display : 2.8 inches HD TFT
Moving on, we’ve got something a bit more premium by Eques. Their Greeter Plus is an excellent option for people who don’t have a peephole, because it doesn’t require you to drill any holes in your door. If this sounds like something you could use, the Eques is a great pick for a door peephole camera.
Kicking things off with the camera, you get a lens with a 165 degree field of view. This is pretty impressive, and we wouldn’t expect something this wide at this price point. The downside, however, is that the resolution of the sensor is pretty low. Unless you’re going to be using this camera in extremely bright scenarios, there’s a pretty big chance of you not being able to distinguish details easily, which could be a problem. There is an IR LED, but it does a mediocre job, and considering the low resolution, it doesn’t do much to make the night time recordings highly detailed.
It does have the benefit of being wireless, however, and unlike other peephole cameras, this camera doesn’t require you to drill holes in your door if you don’t have a peephole. It’s practical, but for many the sacrifice that you have to make due to the low resolution is going to be a bit too much.
If, however, you don’t mind the lower resolution, you will get a camera with a rechargeable battery, which means you don’t have to swap out batteries all the time. It’s pretty simple to install, which adds to the benefits, and it does work pretty good during the daylight.
Field of view: 90 degrees
Display : 2.7″ LCD
And so, we arrive at our last recommendation. We saved the best peephole camera for last, but you should also know that the SHC1000 by Brinno will set you back quite a bit. If, however, you don’t have a problem with that, you’ll get a terrific camera that makes no compromises.
To begin with, even though there’s no official mention of resolution of the camera, the Brinno comes with some of the highest quality footage we’ve ever seen from a peephole camera. It has a very wide field of view, which means nothing will go unnoticed outside your front door.
Installation is pretty easy, and you also get something we have yet to see from any of the competitors – a knocking sensor and a knocker. Yes, that’s right, you can have a knocker on your camera, and as soon as someone knocks, the camera will start recording immediately. It will save everything on an SD card, and it will also add a time and date stamp to all the pictures, so if something happens, you know exactly when it happened.
Last but certainly not least, we must give a nod to the Brinno’s impressive battery life. This is a very efficient camera, and the batteries it uses will last you for around 1,800 triggers. This translates into roughly six months, which is quite impressive.
When you’re choosing a door peephole camera, the first thing you’ll want to note is the resolution. As the prices get a bit higher, you’ll find that you get a step up here, but the bare minimum you should accept is 720p. Anything below that and you’ll be getting grainy video with little detail, which will make it difficult to distinguish faces, for example. If you can get something a touch more expensive, a 1080p model is where you want to be. You’ll come across 4K, but that’s unnecessary in our opinion and you won’t see the benefits.
Next, you should consider the field of view. A peephole should show you what’s in front of your door and make the field of view bigger, so that’s what you should expect from a camera, too. We won’t get into degrees, but yes, you should definitely get one that’s as wide as possible.
Night time performance is the next thing you should pay attention to. People won’t only come to your door during the day, so you might want to invest in something that has infrared LEDs. Infrared LEDs are invisible to the human eye, but they do a great job of illuminating the scene for the camera’s sensor. If there isn’t too much light, it will make the entire image brighter and you’ll be able to discern details even in pitch black scenarios. This isn’t something that would be possible without an additional source of light.
Next, you should consider Wi-Fi. One thing most peepholes have in common is the fact that they come with a display assembly that you should fit to your door, on the inside. And while that’s a great way to see who’s at your door, Wi-Fi would allow the camera to connect to your home network and you’ll be able to use your smartphone as a display, without ever leaving the comfort of your couch.
If you need to run a coax cable to your door peephole camera, check our how to guide here.
Then we’ve got storage and loop recording. A vast majority of the peephole cameras come with a memory card slot, but you should note what’s the maximum size memory card that it accepts. And you should always note whether or not you have loop recording. Loop recording will basically overwrite the oldest footage in favor of the latest one, and you’ll always know what happened last. Without this, if you forget to empty the storage, you won’t have any room for new footage, which isn’t something you want.
Last but not least, consider the battery life. The battery should last at least as much as possible, and you should note whether you have batteries that are rechargeable (which very few cameras have) or they use AA/AAA batteries, which is the common solution. With that out of the way, let’s see our options.
Wrapping things up
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which one of the three above you choose. Each of them is excellent in its own regard, and your choice should depend on what you need, and how much you’re able to spend on a door peephole camera. If you can afford it, by all means go for the Brinno. But if you can’t, feel free to get one of the more budget-oriented models, they still perform pretty good and will do the job you get them for.
Here’s a guide on how to install a door peephole camera with all the information you might need.
(1) AA Bateries – https://uk.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=ideas-and-advice/aa-batteries-guide