the female hand presses a button doorbell with camera and intercom picture

5 Tips on Choosing a Doorbell Camera

One of the great advantages of smart home technology is knowing what’s happening on your property at all times. The main accessory for that kind of security is a doorbell camera.

Home automation using smart technology allows householders to gain complete control of their environment, from security and lighting to heating and cooling and much more. You can use a timer for your lights, air conditioning system and oven so that appliances start and stop working when you want them to.

A key factor in smart home automation is security. This goes to a whole new level when you are able to control your security system from your smartphone or other devices, even when you’re not home. As a part of that boosted security system, you’ll want a doorbell camera.

What is a Doorbell Camera?

A doorbell camera (aka camera or video doorbell) is a security camera that attaches to your front door with your doorbell. In most cases, it will replace your existing doorbell.

Essentially, it allows you to see who has come to your door and communicate with them through your smartphone or tablet, even when you’re not at home. Doorbell cameras send a notification to your nominated device, allowing you to respond through an app on your phone or tablet.

The camera is mounted near your front door and is connected to your home’s Wi-Fi. It features a motion sensor which detects movement and notifies you whenever someone comes to your front door, even if they don’t ring the doorbell.

Footage from the doorbell camera can be viewed live, or it can be recorded and stored so it can be viewed later.

How do you choose a suitable doorbell camera? Let’s take a look at five of the most important features to consider when shopping for a doorbell camera.

1. What Resolution Do You Need?

A doorbell camera isn’t much good if it delivers a blurry mess. You want to be able to recognise friends and family when they come to the door. On the other hand, you also want to have an accurate picture of a potential burglar.

There are three resolution categories on the market – standard definition, high definition and ultra-high definition (UHD). The best idea is to opt for a UHD camera so that you’re getting the best resolution and the camera is doing its job.

Camera resolution is measured in megapixels (mp). The width and height of a camera’s resolution are measured in pixels (p), and when these are multiplied the result is in megapixels. UHD is regarded as 3840p wide x 2160p high, which is 8.3mp.

2. Do Cameras Need Motion Detection?

Doorbell cameras are usually equipped with motion detection, and this is a highly recommended feature. This way the camera will start recording and you will be notified when someone comes to your door, even before they ring the doorbell.

While your camera should be able to pick up motion from the street, you can set it up so that it only notifies you if motion is detected at your door.

3. Seeing in the Dark

Make sure you choose a doorbell camera with night vision. That way you can see what’s going on even when your porch light is off.

Most doorbell cameras come with infrared night vision, which delivers black and white footage. Night vision cameras which film in colour are available but they’re a more expensive option.

4. Choose Your Power Source

Doorbell cameras can either be hard-wired into your electricity or battery powered. Battery-powered doorbell cameras are ideal for renters who may want to take the device with them when they leave.

Battery-powered models are easy to install and use, as long as you don’t mind changing batteries periodically. But experts recommend installing a hard-wired model as they’re more reliable and you won’t lose your connection.

5. What About Weather Resistance?

A doorbell camera is an outside feature and therefore has to withstand the extremes of Australia’s weather.

Make sure you choose a camera which is durable enough to stand up to sweltering heat, humidity, winter’s chill, wind, rain and temperature fluctuations. Check the camera’s specifications, which should indicate what temperatures it can tolerate.

Benefits of Having a Doorbell Camera

When you’re weighing up the pros and cons of buying a doorbell camera, consider some of the following benefits of upgrading your front door security.

  • Convenience – Whether you’ve just started eating dinner, you’re in the bathroom or perhaps not even at home, answering the door from wherever you are is clearly convenient.
  • Safety – When vulnerable people are home alone or a stranger is at your door late at night, a doorbell camera offers an extra level of security and safety.
  • Notifications – Doorbell cameras send notifications to your smart device whenever someone comes to your front door, whether or not they ring the doorbell. That can be helpful in a number of ways (e.g. you can see when the kids have arrived home from school).
  • Prevent package theft – Many people shop online these days, so packages are often being left on doorsteps. You can be alerted when a package has been delivered and the presence of a doorbell camera is likely to deter a package thief. It can even send out a warning signal to scare off potential thieves.

To Sum It Up

If you’re planning to automate your home with smart technology, a doorbell camera is a natural addition to your security system. Even if you’re not interested in the other benefits of home automation, a doorbell camera makes sense for your own peace of mind.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

Published: 2022-11-04

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