Motion Detector Camera

A motion detector camera is a little different than standard cameras. Instead of recording all the time they only do so when they detect movement within specific area. Depending on what you need there are many different choices.

Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

Asking yourself a few basic questions when shopping around and planning will help you find the right motion detector camera for your needs with as little hassle as possible and without wasting any extra cash.

What is the purpose of the camera?

The most important question is function. What you will use your camera for will help to determine the type you need making it is easy to narrow down the options from there.  Will it be used for security? Just to keep an eye on the kids?

Will you be using it outdoors or in?

What you are using your camera for will help you to determine where you will be using it as well.  While outdoor motion detector cameras will need to be tough enough to deal with the weather ones used indoors don’t and for that reason are usually less expensive.


Motion Detector Camera

What features would you prefer or do you need?

Both the function and location of your camera plus your personal preferences will in turn influence any special features you may want or require. For example in certain spots using a wireless motion detector camera will be much more convenient. You might also want to consider whether or not you want or need to have your camera hidden from view, if you want it to record in color or black and white, HD, or if it needs to be able to record in the dark.

Keeping these questions in mind, we have compiled all the info. you need about each type for both indoors and out.

Inside Options:

Motion Detector Spy Cameras

One of the most popular uses of these types of cameras are to monitor people without them knowing.  These mini cameras are made to be either hidden in household objects or are already built into things that look like ordinary household items such as clocks, fire alarms, teddy bears, cups, or even an ordinary motion sensor.  Many of the lenses are so small and the cameras so cleverly hidden you could look right at one and have no idea you were being recorded. They are often used to keep an eye on nannies, maids, unsupervised workers, or even pet sitters and friends who may come to water your plants when you’re away.  For this reason you’ll often hear them referred to or advertised as nanny cams.

Motion Detector Camera

Of course most of the options available are wireless to help them from being discovered. This can make them a portable option that can be used in places like your car for example.  Some models are not only triggered by motion but can be activated by sound, vibration or at a certain time as well it depends on the model you choose. Most motion detector hidden cameras will record onto an SD card which can simply be played back on your computer.

Those that happen to be made to look like other devices that use an electrical cord will usually have wires as wells so they do not look suspicious. Instead of using SD cards they’ll sometimes record to a DVR for unlimited storage, a CCTV for live viewing, or give you the choice of which you want to use.

Motion Detector Security Cameras

The majority of full size cameras are not exclusively only triggered by motion sensors, but in fact are security cameras that have a motion sensor feature so you have the choice of whether you want to use it to record all the time or not.  Although for most people the motion sensor setting is the easiest way to go since there is no reason to record if nothing is happening.

Motion Detector Camera

Since models used inside don’t have to be weatherproof there is a more diversity in shape and design. For businesses that need an indoor security camera they often choose either a bullet style or dome type model similar to ones used outdoors and described in the “outside options,” section below.  These types of cameras not only get the job done but are used as a visual deterrent for thieves since they know they are being recorded immediately. In the home however cameras which are more unobtrusive and smooth looking are usually preferred.

One of the best parts of owning a motion detector video camera for the indoors is the wide variety of uses they have along with being able to be used for security of course.  Parents can use them to keep an eye on children and babies especially if they are on another floor of the home or in another room.

Those who have older children or teens can use them to know if their kids are sneaking out or playing video games late at night, or even make sure the elderly are doing okay.  Pet owners check to see whether the pooch has been sneaking onto the couch for a snooze when they have been at work.  The best part is you won’t have to watch hours of footage to find out any of these things.

Motion Detector Camera

Depending on the model you choose, where the camera records can vary. Some will save to an SD card, others to a DVR, and many IP cameras can save to the cloud and synced with your smart phone computer, and tablet for any motion detection updates.

Outside Options

Outdoor Motion Detector Security Cameras

Homes businesses often need to have surveillance not just inside but outside too. Not only does having one or more cameras help to deter crime since most criminals will move on to somewhere else if they see them, but if a theft or crime should occur you will have caught it all on camera.  They can also be used just for keeping an eye on the family pet or kids your kids in the yard.

Because cameras meant for the outdoors are specifically made to be weather and waterproof, they can be used outside even in rainy or snowy conditions but indoors as well. That is why you’ll often see them advertised as indoor/outdoor cameras.  However, indoor cameras should not be used outside.

Motion Detector Camera

Different from most cameras used inside the vast majority are either bullet style dome type.  Bullet style cameras are slender and cylindrical like the shape of a bullet usually with a sunshield on top to keep out glare from the sun’s rays. Dome type cameras are enclosed in a protected dome-shaped shell.  Which body type you choose is a matter of personal preference and if you want to disguise the point of view of your camera or not. With a bullet style camera the direction it is pointing is where it is recording, but with a dome type it is often not as obvious to someone who wants to know.  Also while bullet cameras are easier to adjust and usually cheaper yet dome type ones are more low-profile and more resistant to vandalism.

Just about all outdoor motion detector security cameras are actually standard type cameras that can record continuously but that have a special motion detection mode.  That means you have the option of having your camera only take video when there is movement or running all the time depending on your needs which of course can change, so it’s always good to have the choice.

Motion Detector Camera

For recording in the dark without using an external light source most use infrared LED’s.  And unlike in the past a huge number on the market today are actually wireless.  Outdoor wireless motion detector cameras can wirelessly send a signal to a receiver such as your TV and can be recorded by DVR. Wi-Fi or IP cameras can stream video and images with your internet network so you can watch on your computer, tablet or smart phone and can save to the cloud. Some manufacturers even include a free motion detector camera app so you can get alerts or emails on your phone when the motion sensor has been activated.

A Fake Security Camera With Motion Detector

A very inexpensive option which can’t actually record anything but is often times an extremely effective deterrent for the average criminal is a fake security camera.  A large number of these use motion detectors to help them look much more realistic. These dummy cameras are supposed to be visible to would-be thieves and troublemakers. When the motion sensor is activated the camera will have a red light that turns on to make it seem as if it is really recording and some even will start to pan back and forth. While this isn’t going to catch someone in the act of stealing it can prevent thefts from happening in the first place or even used together with real cameras to make it look like an area has even more working cameras watching over an area without spending too much money.

Motion Detector Light With Camera

A large number of people like to use motion detector lights outside of their homes which turn on when something enters the sensor’s field of view and illuminates their driveway, yard, or front walk. However, often times we do not know what that “something,” was.  Was it the local wildlife trying to look for snacks in your delicious garden or trash can or someone casing your home for a burglary? Unless you are glued to the window all night, have excellent vision, a great vantage point, and of course get lucky; you’ll have no idea. And that is not a good situation to be in.

Motion Detector Camera

A motion detector light with camera will eliminate any wonder as to what or who has entered your property.  Usually they can be set to take video or still pictures. Choosing one which shows a time and date stamp is a smart idea so that you will be aware of exactly what day and time the video or pictures were taken.  This can really come in handy if you unfortunately do have a problem and need to alert the police.

Because the lights are actually flood lights which use high powered bulbs to illuminate a large area you of course you get the double benefit of the lighting plus surveillance.  This combo is very convenient because your camera will still be in use during the day time hours, so twenty four hours total, and you get the lighting at night which can really be handy when walking to and from your car, from your house to street, when taking out the trash etc.  For businesses or homes in dimly light or not so safe neighborhoods, this can literally be a lifesaver.

Motion Detector Camera

The majority of these will be use an SD card that may or may not come with the unit to record and playback files. Some models also allow you to watch the view and listen to the audio from your camera on your TV via TV receiver. Other useful features include recordable audio functions to warn possible intruders verbally and a few can even rotate to follow detected motion using infrared sensors which is pretty cool.

When setting up your motion detector light with camera try to keep items which will set off the sensor when blown in the wind out of its range or trimmed if it is something like a tree branch for example.  And be sure to read the specifications for your model as each one will have a different ideal viewing angle, range, and detection distance which can influence where you mount it.

Motion Detector Camera

Wildlife Motion Detector Cameras

Also known as trail or game cams are yet another application but one which isn’t typically used for security.  Instead these are mainly used by hunters who want to know what animals are using a particular trail or bait sight and when.   This can save them hours and hours of wasting time in an unproductive spot or worse ending up going home empty handed at the end of the season.  Therefore they are normally used before the hunting season begins to scout out the best places to hunt, place blinds, tree stands, bait and find specific trophy animals.

Landowners also commonly use them to keep track of animal movements as a whole on their properties. They also could be used to take photos or videos of poachers or trespassers too.  These wildlife motion detector cameras can be just a great way to stealthily take photos and video of animals in their natural environment without disturbing them or have to wait out in the elements wearing camouflage waiting for hours if not days to snap a photo.  Many units have very high resolution and produce extremely clear shots even at night.

Motion Detector Camera

Normally game cams are attached to a tree using a special mounting kit with straps that wrap around the trunk of the tree.  The camera unit and motion detector sensors are housed in a rugged, weatherproof, camouflaged box.  When the sensors are triggered images or video is taken. With a lot of units you have the option of taking a burst of photos or recording video for a set amount of time.  The cameras work on long lasting lithium batteries and use an SD card for recording.

The best models have infrared flash technology so that they can take nighttime photos without game animals having any idea or being spooked.  Choosing one like this would be an intelligent choice if you were using it to keep an eye out for trespassers since you obviously would not want them to see a flash and come to inspect or damage your camera.  Fast trigger speed is also an important feature to look for since you don’t want to miss out on any potential images and like all motion detector cameras each one will have its own effective detection range and with these a flash range as well.
Motion Detector Camera

Regardless of what type you choose, a motion detector camera will save you an enormous amount of time. Just be sure to think about what it’s purpose will be, where you will use it, and what features you need or would like before purchasing. If you do shopping for one will be a breeze!

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