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Looking for a standalone wifi security camera (no Internet required)

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Last Modified: 2019-09-25
I am looking for an inexpensive surveillance camera, with the following specifications:
- 1080p resolution
- SD memory storage capable
- Motion detect recording
- Small size and wall-mountable

^ that's the easy criteria. :)

Now, the challenge...
- The camera must work as a standalone, without an internet connection.
- I must be able to download recordings (stored in SD memory) to a cell phone, connected to its own WiFi.

I need this camera for a remote location, far from an internet connection. But it seems that every camera I have tested requires a connection to a WiFi AP and the Internet, and also requires online registration.

Any suggestions?
 
Thank you
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bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
one key feature that may differentiate the approach to choose - battery only, DC / battery support, and DC only.

what's your requirement about this?
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Commented:
Internet connection is only needed for cloud based storage.
Have you looked at a Any?
Depth of vision?
Dimentions of camera?

Commented:
I use this camera over WIFI and it records to a FOSCAM NVR.  I don't know of any WIFI cameras that would push recordings to a cell phone.  If you did find a camera that would push the video to a cell phone it would be limited as the video storage would be extremely small.  https://www.foscam.com/FI9900P.html
https://www.foscam.com/product/48.html
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Sorry, all.

I missed a few important criteria. :(

- It will be powered by AC (so 5VDC USB adapter to AC is fine - which is used by many).
- The one I am testing now won't even allow me to get past the setup without an Internet connection.
- The field of view should be a typical 140 degrees or so.
- It will record a scene that is about 20 ft away.
- Size... small is better.

Thanks, MLV CM, the camera really needs to be self-contained and store only to SD memory. If it's only recording on motion detection, it should be able to store a week or more of short videos.

Commented:
It has been my experience that motion detection on WIFI cameras is pretty sensitive and you will likely end up with many false triggers with sunlight, rain, and snow (all depending where you live).  Have you considered a cellular camera?  We have deployed many of Bushnell cellular trail cameras and powered some with an AC adapter so the batteries do not die.  The videos are stored on the SD card in high resolution and you will get video clips emailed to you.  The no longer sell the units we have experience with and a link to their new 4G camera i below.  There is a monthly fee with different plan choices.  It also has a tracking mode if the camera starts moving if someone takes the camera.
https://www.bushnell.com/products/trail-cameras/impulse/impulse-trail-camera/
Jackie Man IT Manager
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Commented:
You can use an obsolete Android phone which has a microSD card slot and install the app below to make it as a security camera with all features you want. Of course, you need to insert a SIM card and pay for the mobile Internet subscription.

Security Camera CZ
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cz.scamera.securitycamera&hl=en
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Sorry folks, I appreciate all your answers, but it's my fault for not being clear enough about my requirements. I think it would help a lot if I briefly explain my motive.

In my condo, we are experiencing some trouble with tenants dumping large items in our garbage room. Despite many signs and warning, the trouble has continued for years; costing us $1000's in removal cost. We hope to mitigate this expensive problem by installing a camera to record any future dumping. Because this is being installed in the concrete basement, we are far from the nearest AP. It also wouldn't be trivial to install an AP.

So... this is why we need a camera that can be set up near the ceiling and function as a stand-alone video recorder. The expectation is that the camera would record by motion detection, and will loop FIFO. When we discover another condo violation, we will download the video to a cell phone, by connecting via WiFi directly to the camera.

The problem is that every camera I tested insists on being registered over WiFi and does not appear to work unless it's connected to the Internet. I never expected to encounter such a ridiculous limitation.

Hopefully, this provides some needed context.

To restate my requirements:
- At least 720p (downgrading that requirement).
- Must be a fairly small footprint.
- Must be a single device and completely stand-alone. Must not require the Internet to capture motion detected video.
- Powered by AC.
- The field of view should be a typical 140 degrees or so.
- It will record a scene that is about 20 ft away.
- SD memory storage (at least 32GB).
- Wall mountable.

Thank you. :)

Commented:
A trail camera would give better results but most of them are designed to run on batteries.  The better trail cameras get very good battery.  You might get 8 months out of good batteries.  https://www.amazon.com/HOMCOM-Trigger-Activated-Waterproof-Wildlife/dp/B07H3NRMX2/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=trail+camera&qid=1557803335&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

【Full HD 1080P Video and 16MP Image】 – 16MP high-quality full color resolution, 1080P HD video with clear sound recording. Comes equipped with a 2.4" LCD color monitor, which is used for previewing photos and videos, camera targeting and browsing the menu for easy operation
【120° Wide and 940 Infrared Technology】– This game camera has 120° detection angle and 3 passive infrared sensors, which provides a wide sensor angle and improves the response speed of the camera. Besides, there is no bright flash when 940nm IR LEDs working, so the animal cannot be aware of trail cam. More natural behavior captured to offer you the best scene

【0.2S Trigger Speed and 65FT Trigger Distance】 – Once detecting the movements, the hunting camera could be triggered instantly in 0.2s. Longer distance up to 20m(65ft) increases this sensitivity, you are guaranteed to never miss any of the action

【IP66 Waterproof and Multipurpose】 – With IP66 water resistant case protects from moisture, dust, sand and dirt in any type of weather. So you can operate this camera indoor outdoor for wildlife hunting / home security / farm burglar etc

【Easy to Setup】 – Camera setup is familiar and easy to navigate. Click "Mode" to enter the menu, tap "Up" or "Down" to toggle settings, hit enter to highlight a setting, change the desired setting with the up or down arrow, and then hit enter to save that setting. Power it with 8* 1.5V AA batteries, insert a micro SD card(up to 32GB max, not included)
Jackie Man IT Manager
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Ooma Butterfleye Smart Security Camera with Battery Backup, 7 Days of Free Storage, and 16GB of Internal Storage, Indoor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0187GQNBS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_EJJ2CbBVCT27T

Read the link above and it should do what you want.

What you need is to do an initial setup with the mobile hotspot of your cell phone during the visit of your remote location.

Then, disconnect it from the wifi of your mobile hotspot and it will run on its own without the Internet.

You still need to go there in one or two months to look at the captured videos.
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Thank you, MLV CM.

Those small cube cameras are often quite unreliable over long-term use, but you led me in a different direction. Thank you!

Because I had no intention of hiding the camera, I didn't search for "hidden" "nanny" camera. But searching with those keywords is now showing me cameras that might fit my criteria. Like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PQK9LKJ

I am a little concerned that the quality might not be good enough. I will keep looking at all the options.

Commented:
Yes like I said the cube camera is low end.  There are trail cameras that will provide very good quality and stand alone.  I pasted a link and details.  There are many trail cameras and you get what you pay for.
Jackie Man IT Manager
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You can also try a Yi camera which is pretty cheap.

YI 1080p Home Camera, Indoor 2.4G IP Security Surveillance System with Night Vision for Home/Office/Baby/Nanny/Pet Monitor with iOS, Android App - Cloud Service Available https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CW4AR9K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_NcK2CbAGGYF09

Details of the usage is in the YouTube video below.

https://youtu.be/oKOBaf7KSZs
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
MLV CM,
Thank you. A trail cam will not work because they are too large. But if size wasn't the concern, yes, it would be a perfect solution.

Jackie Man,
Thank you, but unfortunately, the YI camera is just as inept as most of the other cameras that I have looked at or purchased and tested. Inexplicably, they all require a WiFi connection at some point. :(

To all,
I honestly cannot understand why it's so difficult to find a video camera that is truly independent from WiFi. It's not even a situation where no one wants that functionality. There are hundreds of people asked the same question as me. Even in the Youtube video for the YI camera, many asked a similar question.

My needs are rather simple:
- Powered via 5VDC USB via AC adapter. Typical type of power.
- Will record whenever motion is detected and store the video to SD memory.
- Never requires a WiFi / Internet connection to start or continuously operate.
- Remote viewing and setup can be accomplished through a cell phone via WiFi hotspot.
- Nice to have: some level of login security.
- Nice to have: ability to download video (from hotspot) - not just view.

This is not a ludicrous require considering this is exactly the characteristics supported by many trail cameras, hidden spy cameras (like the one I posted earlier, and car dash cams (like this one - which I own and highly recommend!)
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You seem to mix things a camera usually has a limited set of storage and was commonly used for live stream. the Motion detection/recording determinations were done by the PVT/DVR that would record and store the data for a longer duration because it has Terrabytes of data space while the camera's space is usually in the gigs.

Most people migrated towards access their stuff from anywhere which is where the cloud based became more prevelant and in higher demand. once the wifi and camera can run on batteries from longer duration because of lower power demand ,...

Look at the security/surveilance camera offering and see if you can get what you are looking for there.
Note the motion detection deals with comparison of the current image to the one taken a frame earlier to determine if there was a significant change.

How do you expect it to be powered, internall power source, battery, 5v dc source?
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Hi Arnold,

>How do you expect it to be powered, internall power source, battery, 5v dc source?

Typical power requirement (i.e. 5vdc via a AC to USB adapter). Power isn't the problem. Internet is the problem.

I am not sure why you seem to believe what I am asking for is difficult. There are no technical reasons why any camera must have WiFi, and in some cases Internet to operate.

I understand how motion detection works. I used to design imaging software for CCD cameras twenty years ago. I used to design software that could simultaneously track dozen of objects (blob analysis) and store only differential movement frames (b/c memory was very expensive).

Want evidence?
Here, I purchased this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Charger-Viewing-Detection-Undetectable/dp/B07P66KGWJ

This camera:
- Will record whenever motion is detected and store the video to SD memory.
- Never requires a WiFi / Internet connection to start or continuously operate.
- Remote viewing and setup can be accomplished through a cell phone via WiFi hotspot.

But, here are the problems:             :(
- Its video quality is relatively poor
- It has no security (login)
- Positioning the camera is very limited.

So if that little hidden camera can accomplish those features, there must be other cameras.

:)
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Have you considered using raspberypi and use opencv to build your own?
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Jackie Man IT Manager
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https://www.amazon.com/OUYAWEI-Protable-Camera-Detector-Detection/dp/B07M63VPRD

The one above makes use of wifi direct to connect; has a  8 megapixel CMOS and motion detection to record; can use 32gb microSD card and has a camera with 140 degree viewing angel and a max distance of 6 meter; and can be mounted on ceiling.
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Hi Arnold,
>Have you considered using raspberypi and use opencv to build your own?

Yes. Absolutely. But for this project, I don't have time. I needed to install it by the end of the month.

The Amazon camera you suggested suffers from all the same problems as the others. Poor quality and in this case, very unreliable (looking at the reviews).

Hi Jackie Man,
Thanks again. But I actually ordered this one. Again, it suffers from all the same problems of poor quality. :(

It's really strange that I cannot find a decent quality camera that is designed to be reliable with 24h usage. I am willing to spend over $100.

Thanks again. :)
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Commented:
Usually, those cameras might require the use of a NVR7000 on a windows system to pull data...  look at lts security for wifi cameras

http://www.ltsecurityinc.com/ip-camera/ip-wireless.html

See if http://www.ltsecurityinc.com/ip-camera/ip-wireless/ip-network-cube-camera-cmip8932-w.html
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Hi Arnold,
Thanks for the suggestion. I contacted this company last week. I have not heard back from them. :(

BTW, in the meantime, I have purchased another camera that meets almost every requirement, except... it isn't designed for continuous powered use. :(

But this little camera is so darn cool, I am going to keep it for other reasons:
https://www.amazon.com/BOBLOV-Cameras-Recording-Infrared-Teaching/dp/B07PJWQCGK/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=BOBLOV+1080P&qid=1559169234&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

- Doesn't need internet or WiFi.
- Supports private hotspot WiFi and broadcast quality to phone is excellent.
- Supports security.
... and everyone of my other points. Except, the instructions state that it can't be used while charging. :(

But check it out. Very impressive as a body cam.
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
broadcast quality to phone is excellent.

as per your test or experience?

the instructions state that it can't be used while charging. :(

if so how could you leave the camera there for monitoring the area for days and weeks? its built-in battery only supports 1-5 hours as per the product description.

BTW, how wide is the view angle of the camera?
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
>as per your test or experience?

I'm testing it now. It is very impressive, especially for the price.

>if so how could you leave the camera there for monitoring the area for days and weeks? its built-in battery only supports 1-5 hours as per the product description.

That is why it won't work as a solution - related to this EE question. Obviously, battery only operation is unacceptable. :(  I only mentioned it b/c some EE experts seem to imply that what I am looking isn't possible.
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
That is why it won't work as a solution

i am actually also looking for a similar solution, not for garbage room, but for a motorhome. therefore i do prefer a battery only camera, or at least an external battery can be used when the vehicle is parking there for weeks.
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
no one here ever recommended this camera?

https://www.amazon.com/Butterfleye-Security-Battery-Storage-Internal/dp/B07DZQHWNG

the black Butterfleye includes 32GB of onboard storage and its internal rechargeable battery may keep the camera running for two to four weeks. the camera does support WiFi but it can keep working without WiFi.
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

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Commented:
Thanks BBao.

This camera might work, but I only require one, not three. I will look at their website.
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
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Commented:
Logitech makes a few motion detection cameras that take a picture when motion is detected. Perhaps the lowest tech will work.. Put up a sign stating video recording in process and a dummy camera that is highly visible may act as a deterrent.
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
Thanks David,

But I do need a real camera.

I find it rather frustrating that it seems so difficult to find a stand-alone camera. It's not even a technological limitation, but rather, an software engineering design flaw to ignore certain use cases for no good reason.

I am sure there are many cottage and boat owners who would love to set up stand alone recording cameras in places where there is no Internet, but still want to download any recorded videos using their phone's WiFi.

> Put up a sign stating video recording in process and a dummy camera that is highly visible may act as a deterrent.

This is potentially a legally 'sticky' problem. If you tell people that they are being recorded, it may give some people a false sense of safety.
S ConnellyTechnical Writer

Author

Commented:
I just received a new camera, the ICAMI HD security dome camera 1080P.

https://www.amazon.com/ICAMI-Security-Wireless-Surveillance-Detection/dp/B06XCMT47N

I'm going to test it tonight.

Again, I did not choose this camera because it's inexpensive. I am willing to pay up to $180 for a camera that meets my requirements.