For good reason, smart video doorbells have become a popular addition to many houses. These devices provide significant home security and convenience benefits, and they replace a device that many households already have, so installing one isn’t difficult.
Apartment residents, on the other hand, may be left out because building restrictions prohibit doorbells from being set outside their door, or because they are tenants.
Peephole cameras come into play in these scenarios. These devices fit straight into your front door’s existing peephole, making them extremely simple to install and, in many cases, requiring no drilling or fasteners that would cause harm to the property.
TYPES OF PEEPHOLE CAMERA
Peephole cameras can be designed in a variety of ways, but there are three crucial elements to consider when choosing the right one for your needs.
Video recording or stills?
A door peephole camera usually has a built-in screen on the inside of the front door to replace the traditional peephole viewer, however not all of these devices record videos. Some people merely record stills, while others don’t record anything at all.
If you only want a better way to see who’s outside, the latter may suffice, but if you want to utilize a device like a door peephole security camera to increase overall house security, you’ll need video recording, preferably with a motion sensor to trigger it.
Battery life is one of the main advantages of not using video recording. The still models will last far longer on a charge, so they may be a better choice if you don’t need to capture videos.
I have yet to come across a peephole camera that supports HDR, which implies that video quality will never be optimal when a person is standing in front of a bright light source such as a streetlight or the afternoon sun.
Peephole or doorbell?
The external design of the door peephole camera is another significant difference. This can be constructed to look like a standard peephole, or it can have wider housing to accommodate a doorbell.
The doorbell is convenient, but it makes the camera more visible and depending on your apartment scenario, you may need to keep it more hidden.
Keep in mind that peephole-only devices typically lack night vision because it necessitates additional gear in addition to the camera. As a result, they’re effectively a digital door viewer, and you’ll need outdoor lighting to see anything at night, just like a traditional peephole.
How Does a Peephole Camera Work?
To be honest, a peephole camera is nothing more than a high-resolution smartphone camera without the smartphone. This is the outcome of ongoing digital camera shrinking, as well as increased resolution and quality to match this miniaturization. There isn’t much to them, and there doesn’t have to be.
Your typical peephole camera will include a camera and possibly some bespoke lenses that will replace your door’s whole peephole system. There will be a very small control board, as well as a power source and, most likely, some form of the display screen.
This display screen is typically installed over the peephole on the inside of your door, where you used to peer through the glass. These are usually high-resolution LCD displays, similar to the high-resolution displays used in tablets and smartphones.
Data from these devices can frequently be configured to be saved to a cloud server, email, a local hard disc, and other locations.
Best Peephole Cameras of 2022
Brinno SHC500 Peephole Camera
Digitsea digital doorbell peephole door camera
Sonew Digital LCD 120 Degree Peephole Viewer
Digitharbor Digital Door Peephole
Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Door Bell
TFT LCD 3.5″ Screen Digital Peephole Security Camera
This security peephole camera from Brinno produces clear photographs of the person standing at your front door, rather than a tiny fish-eye view. It comes with a high-resolution digital camera that allows you to record guests.
With its broader field of view and sophisticated lens, it efficiently avoids the fish-eye effect and aids in the identification of visitors. Installation is simple and inexpensive, unlike standard home security systems. Furthermore, you will receive a high-resolution imaging system.
Data is saved in a log, which can be viewed to see photos and video recordings. Because the photographs and videos are time-stamped with the visitor’s arrival at your home, you can quickly organize and trace them.
You may save or replay these videos with a single button press. The data can be saved on a microSD card with a capacity of up to 32GB.
In low-light situations, the peephole camera allows you to get an excellent look at the person on the other side of the door. Even if it’s pitch black outside, you can see them.
The camera does not require any permanent installation, which eliminates the need for complicated wiring. As a result, you may quickly install it in your apartment or dorm room, and you can take it with you if you move.
Unique characteristics of the Digitsea digital doorbell peephole door camera include an automatic picture and video, LCD screen night vision, and widescreen. This device is straightforward to use and configure, according to its owners, making it excellent for elders. The camera requires four AA batteries, which are not included in the initial packaging and must be purchased separately.
The LCD screen is large enough to view recorded video from a distance, according to users. Although some users complain that the camera’s night vision isn’t up to par, others consider it to be the best digital peephole viewer in its price range.
In general, this camera performs admirably for average users. At all times of the day, they have a clear wide vision. While some units have issues with their night vision, this isn’t the case with all of them.
A gorgeous ultra-thin design distinguishes the Digital LCD 120 Degree Peephole Viewer. Despite being inserted inside peepholes and appearing as simple peepholes, its unusual design allows it to remain concealed. The device allows users to keep an eye on the premises of your door 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Its simple design makes it easy to use for both youngsters and seniors. The camera performs best in bright light. Overall, it’s an excellent machine with good camera quality, especially considering its affordable price. If you don’t require night vision and are willing to purchase rechargeable batteries, this is the camera for you.
Digitharbor has been at the center of much dispute in the camera field when it comes to disguised front door cameras. But what has sparked even more controversy than binge-watching a Netflix original? Digitharbor, on the other hand, sells low-cost peepholes that are actually rather well-made — a win-win situation for any buyer.
Aside from the drama, what makes the Digitharbor such a fantastic buy?
When someone rings your doorbell, the device will automatically take a photo of them. This is a useful feature that allows you to see who is at your door even if you aren’t at home.
There’s also no need to be concerned about the sun. We’ve all gone to look through our peepholes and been met by a dazzling white light instead of a face. To battle adverse weather conditions, the Digitharbor is equipped with a variety of light settings.
Simply modify the contrast settings on the camera – light, medium, or high – and you’ll be able to see well regardless of the weather. Infrared lighting also enables night vision on your camera, ensuring that shady criminals cannot outsmart you by taking advantage of the darkness.
The device is straightforward to set up, especially because it includes equipment to make your life easier. There are no rechargeable batteries here, once again. The ones that come with the Digitharbor, on the other hand, are extremely powerful and will last you at least 6 months. As a result, you won’t have to spend all of your spare cash on new batteries every few weeks.
Although this door peephole camera wifi unit lacks motion sensors, it does provide a useful feature that helps to compensate for this. If you feel someone is acting strangely around your home, you may use the remote to click a button and have the camera begin capturing footage immediately, which can be used as evidence against that individual.
Another good alternative is the Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Door Bell, which is less expensive than the previous model. You’ll note after purchasing this edition that the camera only has the most basic functionality, making it more or less a normal peephole camera recorder.
A 720p camera recorder is included with this best peephole camera. The video quality isn’t great, but it’ll give you a good notion of who’s at your door. Furthermore, the camera offers a 110-degree vertical vision, allowing you to see up to 15 feet away from your entrance.
The night vision, which is fuzzy and has more black than white, was a disappointment to us. Nonetheless, for a cheap price range, it’s a solid alternative.
In addition, the device has a motion detection system. It provides you a notification on your phone/tablet/PC when it detects motion or if your doorbell is pressed.
If you want a video of the visitor, all you have to do is hit a single button on your phone, and you’ll have an on-demand video and audio of the visitor. This peephole camera recorder, like other top peephole camera recorders, offers a 2-way communication technology that allows you to communicate and hear the person standing outside your door.
Last but not least, the device works with Alexa. The Alexa lights and announces the alert once it is connected. You can also use Echo Show or Echo Spot to talk, see, and hear.
The Digital Peephole Security Camera with TFT LCD 3.5′′ Screen is an amazing security solution for any home. It’s set up to automatically take pictures of anyone who knocks on your door and stores the image for later use. The camera can record clear photos at night and during the day using HD color sense and a 120-degree lens.
At the same time, the camera has a 3.5′′ TFT LCD screen with a huge display. The camera contains four infrared led lights that come on automatically when the camera detects darkness, enhancing your home protection.
The digital peephole camera for flats is simple to install and fits nicely into existing peepholes thanks to its intuitive design. As a result, you’ll never need to drill any additional holes in your door. The camera also comes with four batteries, allowing you to record without having to pay a monthly fee.
Buying Guide: What to Look for When Buying a Peephole Camera
You’ve read through all of our reviews and are still undecided. It’s not surprising, given that all of the peepholes we’ve discussed so far are excellent security devices.
Here are the characteristics to look for in a peephole security camera to help you limit your options. Then you can choose the one with the most features that you require for your own home.
A motion sensor for a digital peephole is quite useful, but it’s not for everyone! If you live in an apartment building, the last thing you want is a peephole that continuously sends you notifications when your neighbors pass by. The same may be said for a house with a front door that is close to the sidewalk. Your motion sensor will constantly activate, filling your memory card with pointless recordings of folks walking their dogs.
People who have no business skulking up your driveway and looking into your windows will be caught by motion sensors if your door is set back from the pavement. If possible, get a peephole with a motion sensor that you can modify.
In the long run, peepholes with rechargeable batteries will save you money. In addition, they are significantly more environmentally beneficial to use. Keep in mind that you’ll need to charge your batteries at some point, so having a spare pair charged is preferable to be stuck with an unusable gadget.
If you’re buying a peephole that uses regular batteries, do some research on battery life before you buy. The ones on this list have an average battery life of 6 months, but other peepholes’ batteries may deplete considerably more quickly, requiring you to replace them on a regular basis.
A peephole should ideally be powered by mains electricity. True, it will be more difficult to set up, but it will be well worth it. Not only will you never have to worry about batteries, but because there is no power pack, these peepholes are smaller and less noticeable to criminals. In the event of a power outage, though, your peephole will not function, which is something to consider.
Camera Angle and Quality
It’s all well and good to have a peephole, but if the camera angle is bad, you may only get half a head. Which isn’t going to make it easy to figure out who’s ringing your doorbell. A camera lens of at least 120 degrees is ideal; lesser angles may work in some cases, but if someone is acting strangely and attempting to hide their face from view, the wider the camera, the better the possibility of getting a nice photo.
The quality of the camera is obviously crucial as well. You don’t need it to be crystal clear so that you can see every single pimple or pore on their face, but you also don’t want to end up with a jumbled mess. Aim for a high-quality camera that will allow you to easily recognize people. This is especially crucial if you need to submit a video to the cops, who may wish to utilize facial recognition software or release a screenshot to the public for identification.
You’ll want a peephole that comes with its own app that allows you to watch your camera from anywhere if you want it to be the easiest to use. This implies that if you’re going out for the night or on vacation, you can monitor your house for suspicious behavior and even report it to the authorities – even if you’re thousands of miles away!
You don’t want your video peephole to be a hassle to install, therefore the last thing you want is one that is. You’re more than likely to become frustrated, lose pieces, and eventually despise your peephole before it’s even installed on your door.
If the prospect of putting together IKEA furniture gives you the creeps, you’ll want to look into the installation process for a digital peephole before you buy one.
If you have your heart set on one but think it’s too difficult for your DIY talents, check out YouTube installation tips. These installation videos may make the task seem a lot easier than the instructions advise.
If that fails, you’re bound to have a family member or acquaintance who knows how to use a drill. Bring them over and offer them pizza as payment. Think about it: you’ll be able to watch the delivery guy through your new peephole!
Memory and Video Capture
Because they are merely low-tech digital versions of peepholes, not all peephole cameras can record videos. They’ll allow you to see who’s on the other side of the door without having to approach it. Memory cards are used to save videos on cameras that record them. Many of these cameras rewrite existing videos to make room for new ones in order to keep recording.
Another significant feature of these peephole cameras is the two-way audio. You can chat to the visitor at your door using this communication technology even if you are not at home.
It is made feasible by the device’s employment of a microphone and a speaker. The guest won’t be able to know if you’re home or not because they can’t see you.
Common Questions About the Best Peephole Cameras
How Do I Install a Peephole Camera?
You probably don’t want to spend all day installing your new security peephole camera, so look for those that are simple to set up. Many cameras may simply replace the doorbell without requiring a hole to be drilled in the front door.
Manufacturers usually include video tutorials or user manuals that walk you through the installation process step by step. Some of these cameras also come with an indoor panel that can be easily fixed on the wall.
How do you record a peephole?
There are several types of peephole cameras on the market, each with its own method of recording video. Some cameras don’t even have recording capabilities, instead of relying on live-streaming to show people what’s going on outside their door.
The greatest digital peephole cameras, on the other hand, have multiple ways of detecting someone’s entrance. Some cameras begin filming when someone knocks on the door, while others begin recording when the doorbell is pressed. Advanced peephole cameras include strong sensors that can detect motion without the need for knocks or doorbell presses.
How does the ring peephole camera work?
The powerful motion-detecting characteristics of the Ring peephole camera allow it to function. When the camera senses activity outside, the sensors are triggered, and the camera begins recording. You can receive fast notifications on your phone whenever someone knocks on your door with the system’s clever doorbell.
When comparing the best peephole cameras, consider which features are most important to you. It’s a lot easier to choose the greatest camera for yourself if you know what kind of camera you require.
Many cameras come with a plethora of technological functions, while others are more “low-tech.” The greatest digital door viewer for you may be the one that is within your budget. However, it is advisable to choose solutions that provide the most features for the least amount of money.