The benefits of power over ethernet (PoE) cameras over traditional cameras are numerous. From the ease and convenience of installation compared to having to use power cables, to the reliability of a centralised security system that can continue to be powered in a power failure.
In this guide, we’ll share the different types of PoE camera and our recommended brands to choose. At the end, we’ll also delve in to the details of PoE if you’re still unsure about it.
Types Of PoE Cameras
So now you should have a simple understanding of what PoE cameras are. They are security cameras that don’t need to be connected to a power source but are powered by Ethernet cables connected to another device like a computer or even a router.
Now, let’s take a look at the different types of PoE cameras.
Bullet cameras are named after their shape, as they have a long cylindrical body that resembles a bullet shell. The benefit of bullet cameras is that they are easy to install – you only need to mount them to the wall. The lens has a more extended range. The disadvantage is that they point in one direction at a time, so it is easy to dodge their line of sight.
Again, these cameras got their name from their shape, which looks like an inverted dome. They are a bit difficult to install as they can only be fixed to the ceiling. But their main benefit is that they cover a wider angle of vision, and it’s not possible to determine which direction they are aiming. This makes it harder to beat their line of sight.
Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras
Unlike the above two cameras, which are named after their shape, a PTZ camera is named after its three functions:
- Pan: left to right rotating movement that provides 360o coverage.
- Tilt: up and down movement that provides vertical coverage.
- Zoom: able to zoom in and focus on a specific area for a clear picture.
Their benefit is that they cover large areas effectively, making them perfect for spacious parking lots and big compounds. The disadvantage is similar to that of bullet cameras – they aim at one direction at a time, so intruders can dodge their line of sight.
Since the growth of video doorbells as extra home security, PoE video doorbells have now launched on the market and can usually be hooked up via the same cables and using the same power sourcing equipment (PSE).
Best PoE Cameras by Type
Best Bullet PoE Cameras
Bullet-style PoE cameras are the most popular type and easy to install.
These are our top recommended bullet-style PoE cameras:
- Best Overall: Amcrest UltraHD PoE Camera
- Runner Up: Reolink PoE Bullet Camera
- With 4K: ANNKE C800 Camera
Below are full reviews of these cameras with the pros and cons of each.
Amcrest UltraHD PoE Camera
The Amcrest UltraHD camera has a hexagonal design and can easily be installed with its 3-point wall mount. Apart from its sleek design, it is equipped with a 5-megapixel lens with 2592 x 1944p resolution. It has an angular range of 104 degrees to cover a wide area, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
It’s equipped with 18 IR LEDs and Omnivision OS05 image sensor to record clear videos even in low light environments such as night time or dark rooms.
The PoE camera consists of motion sensors, which can be manually set to detect motion in specific areas. Amcrest View app connects the camera remotely to a phone or computer, so you can receive notifications whenever the motion sensors detect movement in the regions specified.
There is a companion app that connects the camera output to your phone allowing you to view live footage anytime, the user interface of the Amcrest app is among the best. The multi-view feature even allows you to view footage from up to 16 cameras at the same time.
Amcrest Cloud backs up videos in the cloud storage. You can set a time for an automatic backup of videos to the cloud storage. However, you need to purchase the subscription for Amcrest Cloud separately.
Reolink PoE Bullet Camera
The Reolink PoE camera is our runner up for bullet-style PoE cameras. It is a 1. 5-megapixel camera with 2560 x 1920 video resolution. It is equipped with a 4x optical zoom lens with an autofocus feature to zoom in on faraway objects or areas. It has a viewing angle up to 90o. The camera is also equipped with 24 IR LEDs for excellent night vision
The camera comes in an IP66 housing that protects it from external elements and harsh weather. It can be connected to your phone with the Reolink app. Like the Amcrest device above, Reolink also have an app that allows you to stream footage directly to your phone.
The presence of motion sensors provides you with email alerts and notifications on the phone. It comes with a Micro SD card slot for built-in storage.
ANNKE C800 Camera
ANNKE C800 is a durable PoE bullet camera with plenty of features. One of the key benefits is the ability to capture 4K UltraHD videos with an 8-megapixel camera, providing you with a resolution of 3840 x 2160. It is also equipped with EXIR LEDs to facilitate excellent night vision up to 100 ft. You can also zoom in to distant objects without compromising the video quality
IP67 weatherproof housing makes the camera durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions like dust, wind, rain, and heavy storm. It can be connected and controlled from mobile with its own app but one of the disadvantages is that there is no local or cloud storage option so you’ll need a reliable network video recorder (NVR) to store the footage.
The camera is equipped with motion sensors that can be set to detect motion and send alerts for particular areas and specific times. It is programmed to save disc space when storing videos, thanks to its H.265 video compression format.
Best Dome PoE Cameras
If you’re looking for a Dome-style POE camera, these are our top recommendations:
We’ve put together a full review of these cameras below to help you choose.
Reolink 4K Camera
The Reolink dome camera has a sturdy build with a small and compact size for easy installation. It delivers 4K UltraHD quality with 8-megapixel and 3840 x 2160 video resolution. The PoE camera has a built-in mic that also records audio. It has a range of 270 ft. with a CAT 5 cable and a range of 330 ft. with CAT 6 cable.
The camera also features 18 IR LEDs that provide clear visibility up to 100 ft. at night and in low light areas.
It’s perfect as an outdoor camera thanks to it’s IP66 housing for protection from dust and bad weather. It can be connected to your phone with the Reolink app, so you can view live and playback footage remotely.
It also features customizable motion sensors, which you can program to detect movement at specific times and areas. However, one limitation of the camera is that it only works with Reolink’s network video recorder (NVR). Third-party NVRs are not compatible.
Amcrest Dome Camera
The Amcrest dome camera is similar to their bullet camera, which we reviewed above, with the main difference being the bullet vs. dome design. It is a 5-megapixel PoE camera with a video resolution of 2592 x 1944 2 and a viewing angle of 96o.
The camera supports pan and tilt motion, but that must be done manually with no auto-movement. Apart from the usual IP67 housing, it also features IK10 impact resistance to protect it from vandalism.
The camera has both the option to use your NVR or has an SD card slot supporting up to 128 GB Micro SD. Unlike the Reolink before, this one can use third party NVRs too. It back up videos to Amcrest Cloud storage (cloud subscription must be purchased separately) automatically and supports vision up to 98 ft.
Best PoE Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras
Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras give far more flexibility than the previous types.
Here are the best PTZ power over ethernet cameras currently available in the UK:
We’ve compiled a little more information about each of these PoE cameras below:
Reolink PTZ Camera
If you want a security camera covering a broader range of vision, then Reolink is the right choice. It is a 5-megapixel power over ethernet camera and provides a video resolution of 2560 x 1920 video resolution
The camera supports 4x optical zoom with autofocusing that captures distant areas in high quality. It is equipped with six array LEDs bright enough to provide up to 190 ft. of night vision. It supports 360o pan movement and 90o tilt movement providing all-around coverage of the area surrounding the camera
Reolink PTZ camera has reset pathways for the pan and tilt movements to cover different areas strategically. It features a slot that supports up to 64 GB Micro SD card
The camera is weatherproof and waterproof with an IP66 housing. Like most other PoE cameras on this list, it is also equipped with motion sensors to detect movement and send alerts to your phone or email
As with the other Reolink cameras shared earlier, this one has full app functionality for remote viewing too.
H.View PTZ Camera
H.View PTZ camera is a compact and versatile camera that provides multiple functionalities for a reasonable price. It is a 5-megapixel camera with a video resolution of 2592 x 1944. It also supports 5x optical zoom with an autofocus lens.
The camera is equipped with IR LEDs for nighttime visibility for up to 98 ft. It features 355o pan movement and 75o tilt movement for wide coverage. It also supports pan and tilt movement to follow specific paths during surveillance. The camera is also equipped with motio sensors with auto alerts.
H.265 video compression saves the video footage in a smaller size without compromising the video quality. The camera is easy to install and can be mounted on walls or on the ceiling. It can also be connected to a phone with the app or to a computer with a PC client and allows up to 64 users to view the footage at once.
What Is Power Over Ethernet?
All electrical devices need a power supply, and they get it from power cables connected to an AC outlet. But getting power supply from AC outlets requires that the device is placed near the outlet. PoE technology helps you overcome this limitation. It transfers power through an Ethernet cable connected to another device instead of a power cable plugged into an outlet.
The benefits of PoE are:
- A single cable can perform a double function – transmit data and power, this makes installation much cheaper.
- It’s safer as the voltage is much lower and doesn’t transmit power unless everything is hooked up properly.
- Your security cameras can continue functioning when the main power is out, this is why they are often used in professional security setups.
If you need more details about POE, this explainer video covers everything you’ll need to know:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Better To Install PoE Cameras?
PoE cameras are better because of the added benefits. A single Ethernet cable can handle both data transfer and power supply from the camera, so installation is pretty easier. And you don’t have to worry about power outlets so that you can install these cameras anywhere.
What Is The Difference Between CAT 5 And CAT 6 Cables?
Without getting into many technical details, the main thing you need to know is that CAT 6 cables are more advanced than CAT 5. The numbers itself should hint that CAT 5 cable is an older model; CAT 6 cables offer faster data transfer and are better at preventing interference from other cables, also known as crosstalk.
Of course, CAT 5 is cheaper and will cost you less, but not by a huge margin. You should always go for CAT 6 cables even if it costs a few bucks more as they function a lot better than CAT 5.
How Far Can You Run A PoE Camera?
PoE cameras can run as far as 100 meters (approximately 330 feet) from the power sourcing equipment (PSE) that sends the power down the ethernet cable. If you need to place the camera farther, you need to add another PoE switch between the camera that will in turn be connected to your router.