Best Motion Sensor Security Cameras

Whether it’s raccoons in the garbage or that pesky package thief, motion sensor cameras catch it all. We looked at the top brands to find the best one for your home.
Best overall
Reolink Argus Pro
Reolink Argus Pro
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Indoor and outdoor use
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Local and cloud storage
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy installation
Best for night vision
Amcrest camera
Amcrest 2K 3MP
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Night vision up to 98 ft.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No subscription required
  • Icon Pros  Light
    2K video resolution
Best for indoor
Vivint Ping Indoor Camera
Vivint Ping
  • Icon Pros  Light
    155-degree field of vision
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Professional installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Set recording schedules

Reolink Argus Pro: Motion detection inside and out

Motion detection is common in security cameras, some just do it better than others. All the cameras in our lineup have HD resolution, sharp night vision, or easy installation. We also made sure to find cameras that notify you when they catch any action.

The Reolink Argus Pro is a versatile indoor/outdoor security camera with local and cloud storage. And, with a 130-degree field of vision and night vision up to 33 feet, you’re bound to catch the important moments night or day. The Amcrest 2K 3MP and the Vivint Ping also have their share of standout features. The Amcrest has the best resolution and night vision of any camera on our lineup while Vivint’s Ping has a 155-degree field of vision.

Our picks: Motion sensor security cameras

Best Overall Best for Night Vision Best Indoor Camera

Reolink Argus Pro

Amcrest 2K 3MP

Vivint Ping

Ring Floodlight

Blink

Resolution

1080p

2K

1080p

1080p

720p

Field of Vision

130 degrees

100 degrees

155 degrees

140 degrees

110 degrees

Two-Way AudioIcon Yes  LightIcon No  LightIcon Yes  LightIcon Yes  LightIcon No  Light
Indoor or Outdoor

Both

Both

Indoor

Outdoor

Indoor

Price

Data effective 05/15/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.



Reviews: Motion sensor cameras

Reolink Argus Pro: Best overall

Our top pick, the Argus Pro can catch 130 degrees of your home in 1080p HD resolution and send it straight to your smartphone. With local and cloud storage, it’s easy to look through past footage. This camera can take SD cards up to 64 GB (about the same as your smartphone).

Though its night vision isn’t as impressive as the Amcrest’s, this Reolink model can see up to 33 feet in the dark. And for under $100, this is a great starter motion sensor camera that can go almost anywhere.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Indoor or outdoor camera
Pro Bullet Local and cloud storage
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Under $100 price tag
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Below-average night vision
Con Bullet Solar-powered battery costs extra

Amcrest 2K 3MP: Best for nightvision

Best for nightvision

Most motion sensor security cameras on the market come with sharp 1080p HD resolution. But Amcrest 2K 3MP does even better. The 2304 x 1296 pixel (also known as 2K) resolution on this camera provides about the same quality you’d see in the cinema but scaled for a smaller screen. Pair that with 12 infrared LED bulbs that provide almost 100 feet of night vision and you’ll be able to keep an eye on anything, day or night.

Our only complaint about this camera is a lack of two-way audio and its installation process. You don’t need to be a master craftsman to set up this motion sensor camera, but it helps to have experience with power tools.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Advanced night vision
Pro Bullet Cinema-quality video resolution
Pro Bullet Inside or outside use
Pro Bullet Under $100 price tag
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No two-way audio
Con Bullet Complex installation

Vivint Ping: Best for indoor

Best for indoor

The Vivint Ping can catch 155-degrees of action wherever you place it. You can see all of the kids’ playroom, your front entryway, the kitchen, or several rooms at once when placed in the right spot. With its call feature, anyone at home can contact your smartphone or tablet directly from the camera. Whether it’s the kids getting home from school or the plumber with a question, you’re only a touch away.

The biggest drawback is that the Ping camera is available only with a Vivint system. That’s great news if you already use Vivint or have been shopping for a new home security system.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Indoor or outdoor camera
Pro Bullet Local and cloud storage
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Under $100 price tag
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Below-average night vision
Con Bullet Solar-powered battery costs extra

More motion sensor cameras worth a look

There are so many good motion sensor security cameras out there that we couldn’t pick just three. These cameras may not be top dog, but they have some features worth sharing with anyone looking for a motion sensor security camera.

Ring Floodlight

Ring Floodlight

Motion sensor floodlights are practical and easy to install, but it’s nice to know what’s setting off that light in the middle of the night. The Ring Floodlight camera pairs powerful floodlights with a motion sensor camera. Installation is similar to traditional floodlights, but it includes an app that lets you see what the camera sees.

The camera can see 140 degrees in a sharp 1080p HD resolution. It also has a blaring 110 dB alarm (imagine an electric saw, but louder) to ward off intruders. Like the Amcrest 2K 3MP, you can set designated zones for the camera to watch more carefully. Points of interest like the entrance to your garage or the backyard can be the focus of the Ring’s attention.

Blink

Blink is like the secret agent of motion sensor cameras. It’s subtle and can blend in almost anywhere. It runs on batteries so you can place it anywhere in the house you want. You only need to plug in its Wi-Fi hub to send live footage to your phone or tablet.

While its resolution isn’t the sharpest, Blink has an impressive motion sensor that can catch even small animals walking by. You can arm or disarm this camera like a security system, so you can choose when you want motion alerts. Plus, at under $70, you can buy multiple cameras for your home for the same price as a single camera from competitors.

Things to consider before buying a motion sensor camera

When it comes to motion sensor cameras, location is key. You’ll want to find a spot that will catch relevant motion like people coming in and out. If you’re looking for an outdoor motion camera, consider one that can target specific zones so you won’t get a notification for every car that passes by your home.

Memory and storage are also worth considering. Cameras like the Argus Pro and Amcrest 2K 3MP have SD slots and access to a cloud service. There are other cameras, like the Ring Floodlight, that require a monthly fee to watch past footage. Access to your camera’s footage can be crucial, especially if it captures a home invasion or other illegal activity.

FAQs

There are several ways cameras or motion detectors can track motion. The most common methods use ultrasonic and passive infrared (PIR) technology that tracks heat and light to sense passing objects and people. Learn more about how motion detectors work.

It depends on the state you live in and the camera you use. In all 50 states, it’s legal to capture footage with a hidden camera as long as it doesn’t record sound. The legality of recording audio with footage changes from state to state. If you film with audio illegally, the footage you capture may not hold up in court, or it could lead to a lawsuit against you. Be sure to check your state’s laws before using a hidden camera with sound in your home.

Hackers have been able to access users’ online accounts, speak through nanny cams, and watch the footage.1 Thankfully, there are measures you can take to prevent this. All the cameras we selected on this lineup have encrypted feeds, but you can beef up security by adding two-way authentication and complex passwords.

How we picked the best motion sensor cameras 

At SafeWise, we’ve done a fair share of research on motion sensors, cameras, and other home security systems. We paired our previous research with customer reviews and videos to find out what people want in a motion sensor camera. Once we established specs like resolution, motion trigger alerts, and night vision as priorities, we pitted top-selling cameras on the market against each other. Learn more about our research and testing process from our full methodology.

Related pages on SafeWise


Sources

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.