Please note, if you click and buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

A PTZ camera is the obvious solution when you need to cover a wide area. However, regular PTZ cameras won’t always monitor 180 degrees in the same shot. For continuous 180-degree coverage, you need a different set of cameras.

These include cameras with a very wide-angle fixed focus lens, a camera with multiple image sensors, or a fisheye lens.

My top pick for the best 180-degree camera with a wide-angle fixed-focus lens is the Arlo 4K Spotlight Security Camera. This completely wire-free camera has 5GHz Wi-Fi support and local storage options.

My pick for a 180-degree with multiple sensors is the Hikvision 2MP Multi-Sensor Panoramic Security Camera. It’s weatherproof and uses four image sensors to stitch together a vivid 180-degree view.

For a 180-degree camera with a fisheye lens, the Axis 6MP Fisheye Security Camera. It’s IP66-rated and includes de-warping functions to improve the clarity of the final image.

The 11 Best 180-degree Outdoor Security Cameras (2024)

180° Wide Angle Fixed Lens Security Cameras

The ease of installation is the main selling point of 180-degree fixed lens cameras. Unlike multi-sensor panoramic cameras and fisheye lenses, these are usually more compact and include an easy-to-install bullet-type chassis.

On top of that, these cameras perform better in low light because the footage is not stitched together from multiple image sensors. Also, they are more feasible for homeowners because of their low cost for each standalone system.

Unfortunately, these cameras are not suitable for the commercial and industrial sectors because they need constant maintenance and can accumulate monthly fees for online subscription services, especially when dozens of cameras and systems are involved.

Top Pick
Ultra 2
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with AC Power option
  • Only camera in this group with 5GHz WiFi data
  • Only camera in this group with Integrated Alarm
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
BatteryAC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
IP Rating
Weather-resistant
Storage Options
microSDCloudUSB Flash Drive

Our top pick is the Arlo Ultra 2 Spotlight Camera. It is a battery-powered wireless camera with dual-band Wi-Fi and optional AC power.

The camera system includes a 1/2" image sensor with a fixed focus lens, and the 8MP sensor implies that the camera can record 4K footage at 3840x2160 resolution.

There are both infrared and spotlight-dependent full-color night vision, and the camera prioritizes cloud storage while offering MicroSD and USB local options as a backup. Therefore, almost all smart features such as object detection and remote viewing are locked behind a paywall.

Pros
  • High Resolution: 4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
  • Data Transmission: 2.4GHz WiFi, 5GHz WiFi
  • Integrated Siren / Alarm
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Storage Options: microSD, Cloud, USB Flash Drive
  • Power Options: Battery, AC Power
Cons
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No optical zoom
  • Low IP Rating: Weather-resistant
Runner Up
SWIFI-CAMW
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with Solar Panel option
  • Only camera in this group with eMMC support
  • Only camera in this group with Face Detection
Resolution
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
Power Options
BatterySolar Panel
Night Vision Type
Infrared
IP Rating
IP65
Storage Options
CloudeMMC

Our runner-up is the Swann SWIFI-CAMW, a budget-friendly alternative with wireless data transmission. The camera supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and includes a rechargeable battery and support for solar panels.

The fixed-focus lens and 2MP camera (recording at 1080p) may not be very impressive, but it is one of the few budget-friendly cameras with continuous 180-degree horizontal FOV.

Like many modern consumer-friendly security cameras, many smart features and app functions are locked behind a paywall. Also, the local storage option is limited to eMMC, which is used to complement the cloud storage during a network failure. Therefore, unlike a MicroSD card or USB flash drive, the user cannot retrieve the footage locally.

Pros
  • Power Options: Battery, Solar Panel
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Smart Integrations: Alexa, Google Assistant, Chromecast, Echo Show, Fire TV, Google Nest Hub
  • Storage Options: Cloud, eMMC
  • IP Rating: IP65
Cons
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No optical zoom
  • Relatively Low Resolution: 2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080

180° Multi-Sensor Security Cameras

Multi-sensor security cameras, (as the name suggests) utilize multiple narrow-angle lenses to create an unobstructed 180-degree horizontal field of view. In other words, it stitches the footage of each lens in real-time before exporting it.

The benefit of these types of camera arrays is that the exported frames contain more vivid details at high resolution compared to fisheye lenses and wide-angle fixed-focus lenses. You also don't have the distortion of a fisheye lens.

These cameras are more suited to commercial applications and are bulkier and more expensive than conventional bullet-type cameras.

Top Pick
DS-2CD6924G0-IHS
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with People Counting
  • Only camera in this group with IP67
  • Highest rated camera in this group with DC Power option
Resolution
2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

Our top pick is the Hikvision DS-2CD6924G0-IHS, a multi-sensor panoramic camera with PoE capabilities.

For maintaining a continuous 180-degree frame, this device utilizes a four-camera system. Each camera in this array includes a fixed focus lens that records footage at 2MP 1080p resolution. Therefore, the final result is 180-degrees of continuous coverage at a maximum 8MP resolution.

This multi-sensor camera works best with a compatible NVR. Nonetheless, it offers several alternatives such as MicroSD (256GB maximum capacity), NAS, and FTP. Also, there is support for ONVIF and RTSP.

The camera housing is primarily built from an aluminum alloy and includes an official IP67 weatherproof rating.

Pros
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: People Counting
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP
Cons
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No integrated microphone
  • Relatively Low Resolution: 2MP: 1080P / HD: 1920x1080
  • No optical zoom
  • No motorized tilt functionality
Runner Up
PNM-9031RV
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with 20MP: 6720x2240
  • Only camera in this group with Heat Map
Resolution
20MP: 6720x2240
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP66
Storage Options
microSDNVRFTP

The Hanwha PNM-9031RV is a multi-sensor camera with a dome-style chassis. The camera array has four cameras placed horizontally to cover a 192-degree FOV, and the system stitches the footage from these four cameras to export it at a maximum resolution of 6720x2240.

This camera system can process footage with True WDR and supports a maximum of 20fps for the H.264 and H.265 codecs. (For MJPEG, the maximum fps is only 15.) Unfortunately, the camera can only output a single stream via PoE.

There are slots for two 256GB MicroSD cards (for a total of 512GB) along with support for ONVIF and RTSP protocols.

Pros
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • IP Rating: IP66
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, FTP
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Heat Map
Cons
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No smart home integrations
  • No integrated microphone
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No optical zoom
  • No motorized tilt functionality
IMM12018-1EP
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with Vehicle Detection
  • Highest rated camera in this group with
  • Highest rated camera in this group with Object Detection
Resolution
2K: 2048x1536
Power Options
PoE
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP66
Storage Options
microSDNVRFTP

Pelco’s 12 MP Optera™ Multi-Sensor Panoramic IP Camera is an expensive feature-packed multi-sensor security camera and it uses PoE as the shared medium for power and data transmission.

Each camera in this four-camera array utilizes 1/3.2" CMOS sensors with fixed focus lenses. The maximum resolution of the stitched image is 2048x1536 (2K res), and this footage covers a continuous 180-degrees horizontally.

There is True WDR processing for the footage with a maximum supported framerate of 30fps. On top of that, this is one of the few panoramic security cameras that include starlight sensors for recording full-color night vision.

Pros
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, FTP
  • IP Rating: IP66
  • Power Options: PoE
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection, Object Detection
Cons
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No integrated microphone
  • No smart home integrations
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • Relatively Low Resolution: 2K: 2048x1536
  • No optical zoom
MS9390-HV
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with Integrated Microphone
  • Only camera in this group with Sound Detection
Resolution
8MP: 4512x1728
Power Options
PoE
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP66
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

The Vivotek MS9390-HV is a dome-style multi-sensor camera with PoE functionality. It has a dual-camera configuration with fixed-focus lenses that export 8MP(4512x1728) resolution stitched footage.

There is support for True WDR, and the camera system can export up to four simultaneous video streams, each with a different framerate and resolution. The maximum supported framerate is 30fps at the highest 4512x1728 resolution.

The system supports ONVIF (S, G, and T profiles) and RTSP protocols and includes MicroSD/SDHC/ SDXC support alongside NAS, FTP, and NVR.

The housing for the camera is water-resistant at IP66 and can endure temperatures ranging from -4F to 131F.

Pros
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Face Detection, Object Detection, Sound Detection
  • IP Rating: IP66
Cons
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No optical zoom
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No smart home integrations
  • No motorized tilt functionality

180° Fisheye Security Cameras

Security cameras with fisheye lenses are another alternative for recording 180-degree footage. The great thing about fisheye lenses is that they can compact the 180-degrees (or 360-degrees) footage in a circular frame, making it easier to monitor multiple artifacts in the frame. (These can be humans, vehicles, or objects.)

Unfortunately, this fisheye effect can also be a disadvantage because most object recognition algorithms and human vision are more familiar with the conventional rectilinear format.

Top Pick
M3057-PLVE
Awards
  • Highest rated camera in this group with PoE option
  • Highest rated camera in this group with PoE data
  • Highest rated camera in this group with
Resolution
6MP / Super HD: 3072x2048
Power Options
PoE
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP66
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

Our top pick is the AXIS M3057-PLVE Network Camera. This fisheye lens security camera uses PoE for power and data transmission with additional options for a MicroSD card, NAS, and FTP. (Also supports ONVIF and RTSP protocols.)

The maximum resolution of the exported footage is 6MP (3072x2048), and the fisheye lens allows for a complete 185-degree horizontal and vertical FOV. On top of that, the footage is processed using True WDR and supports a maximum framerate of 30fps for overview and dewarped footage at maximum resolution. (It can also export 1080p footage at 60fps.)

This fisheye lens camera has IP66 protection and includes an operating temperature range of -40F to 122F.

Pros
  • Power Options: PoE
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • High Resolution: 6MP / Super HD: 3072x2048
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • IP Rating: IP66
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP
Cons
  • No integrated microphone
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No optical zoom
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No smart / AI motion detection
Runner Up
IPC-EBW81242N-AS-S2
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with AC Power option
  • Highest rated camera in this group with DC Power option
  • Highest rated camera in this group with Integrated Microphone
Resolution
9MP: 3000x3000
Power Options
PoEDC PowerAC Power
Night Vision Type
Infrared
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

The Dahua 12 MP Network Fisheye Camera is an IP-based device with PoE for data transfer and optional DC/AC power.

The maximum resolution of the 9MP camera is 3000x3000 and covers 185-degrees horizontally and 180-degrees vertically.

Unfortunately, the system does not support True WDR. Instead, it relies on Digital WDR/HDR to improve the clarity and contrast of the footage. This system can export three separate streams, with the primary stream uploading 12MP (4000x3000) footage at 25fps.

The storage options include NVR, NAS, FTP, and MicroSD storage with 256GB onboard capacity. On top of that, it supports multiple interoperability protocols such as ONVIF, RTSP, CGI, and P2P.

Pros
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power, AC Power
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP
  • High Resolution: 9MP: 3000x3000
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection, Object Detection, People Counting
Cons
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No smart home integrations
  • No optical zoom
  • Does not have an integrated siren
DS-2CD63C5G0E-IVS
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with 12MP: 4000x3000
  • Highest rated camera in this group with IP67
Resolution
12MP: 4000x3000
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
Infrared
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

The HIKVISION DS-2CD63C5G0E-IVS is a high-end fisheye security camera. It is an IP-based device that relies on PoE for electrical power and data transmission. (Including the optional DC power option.)

The 12-megapixel camera allows the fisheye lens to record footage at a maximum resolution of 4000x3000. On top of that, the fisheye lens covers a complete 360-degree FOV that includes post-processing features allowing it to seamlessly dewarp the fisheye effect.

The camera system can transmit two separate video streams. The primary stream (that prioritizes image quality over accessibility) includes the maximum 4000×3000 resolution at 20fps, while the substream handles 20fps footage at

either 720p (720x720) or 480p (640x480) resolution. (For faster remote viewing.)

Also, this is one of the few cameras to include an official IK10 rating.

Pros
  • High Resolution: 12MP: 4000x3000
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared
Cons
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No optical zoom
  • No smart / AI motion detection
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No smart home integrations
HD119
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with Heat Map
Resolution
9MP: 3000x3000
Power Options
PoE
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVR

The AvertX 9MP IR 360° Dome Camera has a fisheye lens with 3000x3000 (9MP) maximum resolution and a fixed focus lens.

The camera can export two separate audio streams, with either of these having the maximum possible framerate of 20fps. Also, the system supports only H.264 and H.265 codecs and processes footage using Digital WDR, the software-based version of True WDR.

This IP-based system relies solely on PoE for power and data transmission. Therefore, you will always need a PoE switch or PoE compatible NVR for this fisheye camera to work. (Class 3 48v 15W medium power PoE.)

Pros
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection, People Counting, Heat Map
  • Power Options: PoE
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Integrated Microphone
Cons
  • No optical zoom
  • No smart home integrations
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • Does not have an integrated siren
H5A Fisheye Camera
Awards
  • Only camera in this group with Battery option
Resolution
2K: 2048x1536
Power Options
PoEDC PowerBattery
Night Vision Type
Infrared
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVR

The Avigilon H5A Fisheye Camera has a complete 360-degree FOV and records everything in a crystal clear 2K resolution of 2048x1536. The device is IP-based and includes a DC power receptacle on top of the existing class 3 PoE.

This camera records 2K footage at 2048x1536 resolution, and since it is a fisheye lens, the horizontal FOV is 360-degrees. The footage is processed using 120dB True WDR and compressed with H.264, H.265, or MJPEG codes. It exports three separate streams, each with a maximum framerate of 30fps.

Apart from NVR support, the device includes two MicroSD card slots. However, they need to be class 10 full HD-compatible cards.

Pros
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power, Battery
  • Integrated Microphone
Cons
  • No smart home integrations
  • No optical zoom
  • Relatively Low Resolution: 2K: 2048x1536
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No motorized tilt functionality

Decision Factors when Choosing a 180-Degree Outdoor Security Camera

Budget

As you’ve figured out by now, there are three options when it comes to continuous 180-degree horizontal FOV. (Wide-angle lenses, multi-sensor cameras, and fisheye lenses) Each type has its moments, but as a general-purpose 180-degree outdoor camera: any of these will do just fine. However, you don’t need to use a $1000 fisheye camera to monitor your backyard, especially when there are wide-angle cameras for less than $300. So make sure to consider your budget and the installation location. 

Power Options

Most multi-sensor and fisheye lens security cameras need PoE for transferring footage. Most of them include the optional DC power adapter, but a few rare devices only offer a PoE interface. Therefore, we highly recommend taking note of the available power options. Otherwise, you will have to acquire an NVR or PoE switch. (Which is not a bad investment if you hope to expand in the future.)

IP rating

The IP rating is crucial for outdoor security cameras because this will decide the security camera’s resistance to dust and water. We suggest making it a habit to check the IP rating of every camera you come across. We always recommend going for either an IP66 or IP67 rating for outdoor cameras.

Storage Options

Another reason why you might need to purchase an NVR (apart from providing PoE electrical power for the cameras) is storage. Most multi-sensor and fisheye lens security cameras store footage with higher resolutions and include a separate stream (most often with lower resolution and framerates) for remote viewing. So before deciding on a device, make sure to check the storage options. Local options such as MicroSD are more cost-effective, but you won’t have access to remote viewing without an NVR or cloud storage. 

Night Vision

This is an essential requirement for outdoor security cameras. Since all security cameras include infrared, make sure to check for the specs, such as the maximum IR distance and minimum illumination for color. (On average, 33ft range and 0.01lux.) Full-color night vision is better than infrared, but some cameras may not include it or perform poorly without external ambient lighting. (For more about security cameras with full-color night vision, check out our list of the top-ten starlight/low-light security cameras.)

Conclusion

Regular PTZ cameras won’t always provide the best 180-degree view. In that case, switching to a camera with a fixed wide-angle, multi-sensor, or fisheye lens is better.

My recommendation for a wide-angle fixed lens is the Arlo 4K Spotlight Security Camera. This device is suitable for home security as well and comes with an integrated alarm.

For a multi-sensor camera, I recommend the Hikvision 2MP Multi-Sensor Panoramic Security Camera. It’s a professional weatherproof camera that can record in infrared and full-color night vision.

Finally, for a fisheye camera, the Axis 6MP Fisheye Security Camera. This camera has IP66 weatherproofing and uses True WDR to improve the clarity of the footage.

Leave a Comment