Camera Recommendations

I’ve grown increasingly dissatisfied with Ring. They finally announced their local recording option… that requires yet another subscription and I must switch to their eero wifi. I’m done. The reliability has sucked, the support has sucked, they announce features that never happen, the API they promised never materialized, Amazon ruined this once promising product. Looking for recommendations. Here are my requirements:

Must offer doorbell, cameras, and floodlight cams.

Must be wifi based.

Must allow battery and solar power for cameras, floodlight + doorbell can be hard wired

Must allow local recording

Must have a way to access the recordings remotely

Doorbell must have a way to work with an existing chime (I was going to go with Eufy until I realized they don't support this)

What options do I have? The solar/battery power seems to be pretty uncommon.

I like Unifi Protect.

I don't want to be rude because I really do appreciate suggestions, but I'm really not looking to start a "what's your favorite camera?" thread. I'm hoping someone can help me find cameras that meet my needs. Unifi doesn't meet half of the requirements I listed so it's not really something I can use. To my knowledge Unifi doesn't offer battery or solar. They offer almost no wifi options. They do not sell floodlights. So it really won't work for me.

Price isn’t my concern. I don’t have power or Ethernet. Ring definitely isn’t the only option. I’ve found multiple. Just looking for recommendations. I’ll also add I’m not a huge UniFi fan. I own a bunch of their network stuff. I find it very unreliable.

I think it's too broad a brush - thats a criteria list I've never seen that's fillable. I go to SecCon each year and look at everything out there and can't recall any vendor that does all that! not to put to fine a point on it, but thats like asking for a hub that does everything...
I'd completely rethink you're approach. A solid solution that gives you all the flexibility you want is to build outward from a secCam server (like BlueIris) then you can pretty much pick the perfect camera to solve each need. It's more supportable, you'll get more mileage from your integration and you can toss out poor performers and replace without getting the 'throw it ALL through the window' feelings when something goes wrong. With a modular approach, you can improve areas without large expense and aggravation. In fairness, yes. I read your post carefully and I hear your not wanting this to be a 'who's my favorite' but still - I stand by my statement.

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I have the Wyze doorbell and too many Wyze cams according to my wife. Wasserstein makes a great floodlight for the v3 and outdoor camera. Just DO NOT get the one with the remote. I prefer their floodlights for the v3 because the image quality is much better. Night time vision on the v3 is spectacular.

(All Wyze cameras are WiFi. The outdoor camera base station is also WiFi and they talk to the outdoor cameras on a different network. The base station is required when using the outdoor camera. Each base station can handle 4 outdoor cameras. A base station comes bundled with one outdoor camera. Additional outdoor cameras are available.

YES and NOT BUT ..
(The Wyze outdoor cameras are battery powered and rechargeable. The doorbell is hardwired. Wasserstein makes a great floodlight that is hard wired)

(The cameras accept SD cards for local recording. Events are also stored in the cloud but are limited to 12 second clips. If you have a SD card in the camera, it is also stored locally. Recordings can be set for continuous (my preference) or just when an event is detected. The free cloud backup is handy if someone steals the camera but you will only see 12 seconds unless you subscribe to Cam Plus which stores the complete motion event. I have this for my Wyze doorbell which does not have a slot for a SD card. It is $1.99/month

(There is no web interface (YET) but the app is solid and is available for iOS and Android. I only have experience with iOS)

(4 out of 5 isn’t bad. The Wyze chime is about 3” square and has quite a repertoire but your original chime won’t work)

I am not employed by Wyze, nor do I receive any compensation, monetarily or otherwise.


Thanks! I guess the memory leak they confirmed in threat monitoring or the fact that DHCP was confirmed to stop working under high load is a “learning curve”

Thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately it’s a deal breaker. My wife has a customizable mp3 based doorbell she likes. If I tell her that has to go, then the project will definitely be a no go for me.

I hate to say it but Arlo.

They have a doorbell and it works with existing chimes or you can get one from them.

Their cameras have the ability to be powered by continuous power, batter, or solar

They can record locally with any of the base stations intended for the Arlo Pro 3 and up. You can access it remotely but you will need to setup port forwarding.

They have a floodlight camera that can be battery powered or by contious power as well.

They don't integrate directly though so you may need to use ST as a cloud aggregator with something line node-red using samsung automation studio. No camera system integrates directly with Hubitat though.

Let me know if you like this and have any questions. I actually do all of this except i dont own a floodlight camera.

One thing i would point out is the cameras do perform a little bit different based on if the are powered continuously or not. Basically just power hungry features are enabled.


Alto was one I was looking at. I’ll give it a closer look and see if I have any questions. Thanks!

I’ll also do some research to see if there is anyway to integrate with HE

I have been watching this thread as I am looking to change my doorbell and cameras. I have a Arlo cameras and a video doorbell and I had been fairly happy with them. The video doorbell I have had just over a year and a half and it now constantly triggers on motion. It had done this in the past and if I power cycled it it would stop, but not now. I am still using the Hub connect integration to tie the Arlo stuff into HE through the ST integration. I am afraid that will go away soon.

The system does have local storage. As mentioned you need remote access setup, I have a VPN. Also you can only view the local storage through their app, and through only one account. So if you want more than one person to have access you all have to use the same login to view the local storage. You get free 7 day cloud storage for up to 4 cameras. You can share the cloud storage with another account. I think, though that is only for the older Arlo cameras. I don't think they offer the free cloud storage for the newer 4K cameras. I am not 100% sure about that, but I know for sure they do not offer free cloud storage for the doorbell.

5 cameras

I thought it was 4, I will have to check that out, as I have a 5th camera I keep around as a spare that I never connected.

To the initial Unifi comments... Solar or battery is POSSIBLE, but DIY. I have the G3 Instant and it uses a USB-C plug for power (which I just put a power pack between the wall and it).

They DO have a floodlight (I have one) but it is PoE without integrated battery backup and expensive for what you get. It works very well and is bright... But I cannot really call it worth the money.

They do have a "doorbell" in the form of their Access devices.

All that said... I do not think they will meet your needs right now. Integration is still progressing (I am working real hard on that) but has come a fair ways.

As another possible Blink. Unfortunately another Amazon-owned company (for a while now). They have a hub with local storage, battery cameras with solar add-ons. Lots of aftermarket accessories. They have announced a doorbell coming soon. Integration is there for general control but not video/images (not much I can do about that until drivers can write files to the hub AND the dashboard supports rtsp). Their API exists but is not public (despite the pre-Amazon promise, have to love how company's only follow through on the parts they want). So if they changed it they can kill integration in a heartbeat. That said, their app is pretty simple and the 4 I have (indoor, outdoor, and mini varieties) work well.

I've seen how to do such a thing with battery, but I can't find something that would do solar -> battery -> USB-C

I should clarify I'm looking for a floodlight that has an integrated cam. I don't think they offer that, do they?

I didn't really think about Blink, but yeah, same fear. I had many conversations with the (former) CEO of Ring both pre/post Amazon. He continually assured me they were adding an API. Still nothing. In my opinion, Amazon is in control now and working on locking you into their ecosystem. As I mentioned, the finally added a local option and 24/7 option which they promised long ago. Turns out you must buy their new base station and switch to Eero wireless (also owned by Amazon) for it to work. So great, I can throw away all my expensive Unifi APs and try to get Eero to cover my yard after FINALLY getting all the signal strength on my UI devices setup properly for coverage. My gut says they'll kill Blink the same way. Honestly, I foresee them killing Blink and just merging with Ring over time.

I use Blink, and really like them. It crosses just about everything off on your list. I don't think Blink is going anywhere too soon, they just introduced new hardware this week so that's usually a good sign they are investing in it. It's actually kinda affordable compared to other systems so the market is a little broader. It also has integration with HE with custom driver and app, that works pretty darn good.

Oh...before that I had Ring, they took away all functionality without subscription and they are expensive, so now i just have the ring doorbell left to replace. I just need to get my hands on a Blink doorbell (which are only being sold in the US :frowning: currently.

The solar-battery-usb c is actually pretty easy depending on how big/ugly you can accept.

  • There are small solar panels that directly go to a USB Type C cable, but they lack a battery for night
  • There are the USB-providing solar panels meant for other outdoor products/cameras that include a battery and could work with an adapter
  • There are solar battery packs with USB (both regular and C ports, and the G3 Instant does not need C for the power rating)
  • There are larger "portable" arrays that often include USB ports (usually for camping)
  • There are solar charge controllers that include USB

For the floodlight, gotcha! No, I do not think they offer an integrated floodlight/camera, although you CAN directly link them via Unifi so that motion on x floodlight will trigger the specific camera and vice versa.

I really like my Blink cameras... I really worry about the Amazon control of them going forward. One reason I bought the new "local storage" hub for them. But even if they store the pictures locally they still need to be controlled via the cloud. Ugh.

On the doorbell - if that is the only deal-breaker, it seems there is probably a way to add a z-wave /zigbee/wifi relay to the chime then automate / integrate it with the doorbell.

That is correct. It is also only the older cameras up to the Arlo Pro 2. That means the Arlo Q, Arlo Wirefre, Arlo Pro, and Arlo Pro 2. Be careful if you think about using the free storage. They have recently released the new essential cameras and they don't use better specs then some of the older ones, but don't have the 7 day free storage. Many folks worked around that by creating multiple accounts and then just sharing from one to the other. The key with those older cameras is that now i don't think they are easily found, and their hubs don't allow easy access to locally recorded video if they allow local recording.

If you really do start with arlo look at getting the Arlo Pro Ultra kit for the most powerful hub. Then get whatever extra cameras to add to it. Something else to consider is that generally speaking a hub can only allow recording from 5 cameras at once. That may mean you want to get more then 1 hub if you will have more then 5 cameras.

The integration method I used for arlo can be found at this link.
Node Red with Smarthings using Samsung Automation Studio

The biggest advantage I see here for Arlo is that it is all first party supported from arlo. There are probably several ways to do what you want but Arlo can provide it all.

Arlo does provide some enhanced function with their cloud service. Basically it is effectively $3 a camera up to $10 when you go to unlimited cameras. That activates things like package detection, AI detection for notifications, Enhanced Action zones, and some E911 stuff. It will also augment your recording access to improve ease of access.

Not opposed to that, but not sure how I’d do that in a good way. How would the relay know the doorbell was pushed?