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Best Cheap Security Cameras Under $50

You don’t have to pay a small fortune for the peace of mind that comes with a security camera. We found the top five cheap security cameras you can trust under $50.
Written by | Updated June 11, 2020
Top pick
Wyze Cam Pan product imageWyze Cam Pan
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Scans entire rooms
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Scans entire rooms
DVR add-on pick
ZOSI 1080pZOSI 1080P CCTV Camera
  • Cheapest of the cheap
  • Reliable inside and outdoors
  • Cheapest of the cheap
  • Reliable inside and outdoors
Outdoor pick
SV3C Outdoor Wi-Fi CameraSV3C Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera
  • Night vision up to 67 ft.
  • Two-way audio
  • Night vision up to 67 ft.
  • Two-way audio

Bottom line: Make a Wyze choice

Home security cameras aren’t reserved for people who can drop a wad of cash on a fancy surveillance system. If you want to add a security camera, but have a budget to stick to, we think that the Wyze Cam Pan is the one to beat.

While most cheap security cameras sacrifice features like smart home compatibility and cloud storage to push the price lower, Wyze delivers an unexpectedly solid experience that rivals the best home security cameras at any price.

Compare cheap security cameras

Price*
Frame rate
Field of view
Night vision
Two-way communication
Pan and tilt motors
MicroSD
Cloud storage
Smart home capability
Top pick
DVR add-on pick
Outdoor pick
Cloud storage pick
Night vision pick
Wyze Cam Pan ZOSI 1080P SV3C 1080p Wi-Fi YI Dome Camera Wansview Q5
Wyze Cam Pan product image ZOSI 1080p SV3C Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera YI Dome Security Camera Wansview Q5
$37.98 $18.99 $54.99 $33.99 $45.99
15 FPS at 1080p Depends on DVR 15 FPS at 1080p 20 FPS at 1080p 15 FPS at 1080p
120º 90º 70º 112º 105º
Up to 30 ft. Up to 80 ft. Up to 67 ft. Up to 10 ft. Up to 16 ft.

Yes
X
No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
X
No
X
No

Yes

Yes

Yes
X
No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

With compatible DVR
X
No

Yes

Yes
Amazon Alexa,
Google Assistant
With compatible DVR None Amazon Alexa,
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon
Read review Read review Read review Read review Read review

*Amazon.com list price as of 06/11/2020 at 1:00 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Our approach

SafeWise tests, researches, and compares products based on the factors that matter most to the people who want to use them. We get our hands on products, fall into rabbit holes of research, look up customer reviews, contact customer service, and more.

Learn more about our rankings and reviews process on our methodology page.

Best cheap security camera reviews

Wyze Cam Pan: Top pick

Top pick
Wyze Cam Pan product image

Wyze Cam Pan

It’s hard to believe that you can get a smart Wi-Fi camera for less than $40. But the Wyze Cam Pan delivers—and it’s a staff favorite. We like that this camera includes free rolling cloud storage as well as local storage via a microSD card slot so you have multiple options to save your videos.

You’ll love the clear night vision images, built-in speaker for two-way audio, and smart motion tracking that follows movement from start to finish. And if you’ve got a little tyke that likes to sing themselves to sleep, you can check in remotely for a sweet serenade every night.

The Wyze Cam Pan is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, making it one of the best cheap cameras for the smart home.

For an in-depth look at this camera, check out our Wyze Cam review.

More cheap security from Wyze

If you want to upgrade your home security on the cheap, Wyze has a full suite of products to protect your home. The Wyze Sense Starter Kit ($47.96) helps you guard doors and windows, but also comes with a motion sensor. You can also add extra security with a Wyze Bulb ($12.29), and the Wyze Plug ($19.97 for a 2-pack).

Plus, you can now get the Wyze Lock, which is one of the cheapest smart locks on the market at just $107.98.

Pros

  • Free rolling cloud storage
  • Voice control with Amazon Alexa
  • 360° pan and scan
  • Motion and sound detection
  • Longer power cord

Cons

  • No auto-reboot function
  • Some network security concerns
  • Hit-and-miss motion alerts

Wyze cam donations

To help support small businesses in its home state of Washington during the coronavirus pandemic, Wyze is giving away free security cameras. We think Wyze’s choice to support its local community is a noteworthy example of companies stepping up during this trying time. If you live in Washington state and run a small business, head over to Wyze's website to fill out an application.

ZOSI 1080P CCTV Camera: DVR add-on pick

DVR add-on pick
ZOSI 1080p

Zosi 1080p

This is a four-in-one security camera from ZOSI. You can use it inside and outdoors thanks to a durable design that’s weather- and vandal-resistant. It’s also compatible with four different video outputs, though you need to buy a DVR for it to work. At night, this camera can see up to 80 feet using infrared LEDs so you can spot problems way out in the yard.

This ZOSI security camera looks like what you expect from a security camera, which should scare away burglars who are on the prowl. And you can find plenty of videos online from customers who caught thieves in the act thanks to this versatile, cheap camera.

Pros

  • Weather-resistant design
  • 80 ft. night vision
  • Vandal-proof construction
  • Compatibility with other ZOSI cameras

Cons

  • No motion tracking
  • No mobile pan or tilt
  • No two-way audio
  • Must purchase a separate DVR to use

SV3C Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera: Outdoor pick

Outdoor pick
SV3C Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera

SV3C Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera

This outdoor IP camera lets you protect your home and property without breaking the bank.

The SV3C provides smart motion detection, high-resolution images, and one of the broadest night vision ranges of any camera on our list (up to 67 feet). And at around $55 a piece (though we admit this is slightly higher than $50 after a recent price change), you can afford to place a few around your property.

We also like that this unit works with third-party security camera software like iSpy, Blue Iris, and IP Camera Viewer. Additionally, it supports all video recorders that use the ONVIF technology standard, making it a great addition to existing camera systems.

Pros

  • Long night vision range
  • Smart motion detection
  • Compatibility with third-party security software
  • Two-way audio

Cons

  • No smart home compatibility
  • Difficult adjustment of recording settings

YI Dome Camera: Cloud storage pick

Cloud storage pick
yi dome camera

YI Dome Cam

The YI Dome Camera makes it easy to stay on top of everything in your home when you have to be away. And you can wave goodbye to blind spots because the YI Dome Camera features a bidirectional rotation range that captures panoramic scenes.

Best of all, you can store all those sweeping images for free on the YI Cloud with convenient video bookmarks. While this camera is slightly cheaper than our top pick, the Wyze Cam Pan, its night vision reaches only one-third as far. Still, it’s an excellent option because of its free unlimited cloud storage.

Pros

  • Unlimited rolling YI Cloud storage
  • Motion tracking
  • Video bookmarks
  • Compatibility with other YI devices
  • Noise reduction

Cons

  • App privacy concerns
  • Some firmware issues
  • No motion alert zone settings

Wansview Q5: Night vision pick

Night vision pick
Wansview Q5

Wansview Q5

This affordable Wansview Q5 security camera delivers a lot for under $50. You get 1080p HD resolution, a 320° pan range, and 4x digital zoom.

Plus, with two-way communication, this is a great solution if you want to check in on little humans or fur babies. And customers love how crisp the images are—even at night. But that awesome night vision only extends up to 16 feet, which is much shorter than the range on any of our top three picks.

Pros

  • iOS and Android mobile app
  • Smart pan and tilt function
  • Quick setup
  • Broad field of view
  • Excellent night vision clarity

Cons

  • Limited night vision range
  • Glitchy Android app

More brands we considered

Blink Mini

Amazon-owned Blink just released the Blink Mini for around $35. While we haven’t tested this camera yet, our first impressions are that it’s an attractive little camera that almost rivals Wyze.

Unfortunately, it requires a paid subscription for cloud storage or an additional accessory for microSD video storage. We’ll see if our tune changes after testing.

Read our Blink cameras review to learn more about this brand.

Alfred smartphone app

While not strictly a security camera, the Alfred app is one way to get a security camera for free. Simply put this app on an old smartphone from your junk drawer and you have an instant security camera (you might want a Mini Tripod Stand first). The app gives you most of the features you expect from a security camera like motion detection, live video streaming, and two-way communication.

It can’t really do night vision since most smartphones don’t have the right tech, particularly the infrared LEDs. Still, Alfred is worth considering as a temporary or permanent security camera option.

Final word

It’s fine and good to want an affordable home security camera solution, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality for a few extra bucks in your wallet. Some of the best security cameras are still affordable. For example, we chose the Wyze Cam Pan for our top pick because it’s an insanely cheap camera despite coming with a mobile app, cloud storage, and excellent smart home compatibility.

Cheap security cameras FAQ

What should I look for when buying a cheap security camera?

When you’re buying cheap it helps to know in advance the features that you’re looking for. That helps you weed out cameras that don’t deliver right away.

Here are some questions to help you figure out what you want (and need) in a cheap security camera.

  • Are you using your camera inside or outside?
  • Do you need a camera with special talents like motion sensors or pet-friendly features?
  • Do you want to install more than one security camera?
  • Do you want a camera to deter burglars?
  • Do you want a security camera so you can check in on people and pets when you’re not at home?
  • Is a mobile app important to you?
  • Do you want motion-activated alerts sent to your phone or email?
  • Do you want to be able to listen in and talk through the camera?
  • Are you interested in a camera that you can move around, or do you want to install it in a permanent location?
  • Are you more interested in wireless cameras, or are you okay with a power cord?
  • Is storing and saving video footage important to you? If so, do you want to use cloud storage or do you prefer an SD card?
  • Do you want to watch a live video feed?
  • Are smart home features and compatibility important to you?

How do I find trustworthy security camera brands?

Start with brands that you may already be familiar with, or ask trusted friends and family for recommendations.

Then research expert reviews and customer ratings to see what people are saying about the camera after they’ve used it for a while. Finding high quality at low prices can be a challenge, but it’s a lot easier when you have help knowing which brands deliver.

Are there hidden costs behind cheap security cameras?

The purchase price posted for one camera may not be the whole story. Some security cameras are part of a bigger system and require extra equipment to function. Extras can be a base station, a microSD card, playback DVR, or cloud storage subscription.

Take time to read the fine print and root out any extra costs before deciding which cheap security camera is right for you.

Disclaimer

*Amazon.com list price as of 06/11/2020 at 1:00 p.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more

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