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Nowadays, most brands are opting for cloud storage and smart home integration. Along with that, they're transitioning to a subscription-based model. These brands usually restrict core camera features behind a paywall. 

However, other brands will allow you to set up local security. These don't require a subscription. On top of that, they are generally more cost-effective in the long run. 

My top pick for an outdoor security camera without a monthly subscription is the Reolink RLC-812A Bullet Security Camera. It has an IP66 rating and includes a spotlight for full-color night vision.

My second pick is the GW Security 5MP Turret Security Camera. It's a solid mid-ranger with motion detection and a 100ft infrared range. 

However, please note that I’ve excluded video doorbells and floodlight cameras. They have their own respective lists.

The 10 Best Outdoor Security Cameras Without a Monthly Subscription (2024)

Top Pick
RLC-812A
Awards
  • Highest rated camera listed with DC Power option
  • Highest rated camera listed with PoE data
  • Highest rated camera listed with Integrated Microphone
Data Transmission
PoE
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
Full Color (via Spotlight)
IP Rating
IP66
Storage Options
microSDNVRFTP

Our top pick is the Reolink RLC-812A, a 4K spotlight PoE camera with no cloud subscription service.

This Reolink RLC-812A camera supports MicroSD cards (maximum capacity of 256GB), NVRs, and FTP servers. Along with that, it is compatible with the Synology app and works with interoperability protocols such as RTSP and P2P.

The Reolink camera can perform human and vehicle detection on its own. However, If you are setting up multiple cameras (with different models and brands), we highly recommend getting a Reolink-based NVR with AI functionality.

However, if you choose to configure the camera with an NVR, please note that you won’t be able to access smart features such as integration with Google Assistant and creating time-lapses.

Thankfully, since Reolink doesn’t offer a mandatory cloud subscription service, the app features are not limited in any way. You can use the app anytime to receive notifications, control the cameras, and access live and stored footage.

Pros
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Night Vision Support: Full Color (via Spotlight)
  • High Resolution: 4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection
  • Integrated Siren / Alarm
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, FTP
Cons
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No optical zoom
Runner Up
GW5091IP
Awards
  • Highest rated camera listed with Ethernet data
  • Highest rated camera listed with Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Data Transmission
PoEEthernet
Resolution
5MP: 2592x1944
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP66
Storage Options
NVRFTP

GW’s 5091 model is my second pick. It’s got decent specs and an IP66 rating, which makes it suitable for outdoor installations.

The device is a no-nonsense general-purpose security camera. It has a fixed turret-style lens and can record 2592x1944 footage at 15fps.

The camera doesn’t support cloud storage or a MicroSD card. Instead, you have to rely on an NVR or FTP server for it to work.

Since it’s not a standalone camera and the storage is localized, you don’t need to pay for a subscription.

Also, the camera supports PoE and has a 100ft maximum infrared range.

Pros
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • IP Rating: IP66
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection
  • Data Transmission: PoE, Ethernet
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Integrated Microphone
Cons
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No smart home integrations
  • No optical zoom
eufyCam 2 Pro
Awards
  • Only camera listed with Battery option
  • Only camera listed with Wireless Hub support
  • Only camera listed with Sound Detection
Data Transmission
2.4GHz WiFi
Resolution
2K / 3MP: 2304x1296
Power Options
Battery
Night Vision Type
Infrared
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
Wireless HubNASCloud

The EufyCam 2C Pro package includes a wireless hub and a choice of two, three or four add-on cameras.

For storage, the cameras directly transfer footage to the wireless hub. This device has a 16 GB eMMC storage with no MicroSD card support. The EufyCam wireless hub can maintain three months of footage from the cameras, and despite having an eMMC drive, you can easily retrieve footage using the Eufy Security Mobile App.

On top of that, there’s an optional cloud storage service with plans starting at $2.99/cam/month. This is an entirely optional feature and you won’t be losing any of the camera’s functionality if you decide not to enroll in this service.

The EufyCam 2C Pro package includes support for carrying out person, face, sound, and customizable motion zone detection. Along with that, the package is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit.

Pros
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Face Detection, Sound Detection
  • Integrated Siren / Alarm
  • Storage Options: Wireless Hub, NAS, Cloud
  • Power Options: Battery
  • IP Rating: IP67
Cons
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Relatively Low Resolution: 2K / 3MP: 2304x1296
  • No optical zoom
  • Cannot automatically pan
Data Transmission
PoEEthernet
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

This Hikvision camera is a more professional outdoor option. It’s IP67-rated for weatherproofing and comes with IK10 vandal resistance.

So, if you want to monitor an area where the weather and criminal activity are just as intense, this is the one for you.

Besides that, the camera has 120dB True WDR technology. It helps to improve the clarity of the background and foreground elements.

Also, the camera can record audio and carry out intelligent object detection. It includes human and vehicle detection for accurate alerts and event logs.

Pros
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Data Transmission: PoE, Ethernet
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection
Cons
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No optical zoom
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No smart home integrations
MTT8106-AISMD-DI-AD-S4-W
Awards
  • Only camera listed with HDD support
  • Only camera listed with Animal Detection
  • Highest rated camera listed with Motorized Pan Feature
Data Transmission
PoEEthernet
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTPHDD

This Montavue turret-camera is chock full of features. It’s an ideal setup if you prioritize customization and active deterrence.

In terms of outdoor capabilities, the device has an IP67-rated weatherproof enclosure. It can record in 120ft infrared. However, it also comes with a warm light for accurate motion-triggered recording.

For active deterrence, the camera has several features. These include the siren, two-way audio, and the signature strobe light.

Also, coupled with a compatible NVR, the camera can perform intelligent object detection. It can distinguish between animals, humans, and vehicles to filter events appropriately.

Pros
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Motorized Tilt Feature
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP, HDD
  • High Resolution: 4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
  • Integrated Siren / Alarm
Cons
  • No smart home integrations
  • No optical zoom
Data Transmission
PoE
Resolution
5MP: 2592x1944
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTPCloud

The Amcrest 5MP turret camera is a capable outdoor security camera with an optional cloud storage feature.

For local storage, the device supports 256GB maximum capacity MicroSD cards (card not included), NVR, NAS, and FTP. Other than that, you can also connect the cameras to your PC and interface via RTSP, CGI, and P2P.

Unfortunately, there is no mention of ONVIF compatibility, so if you were to set up an NVR, you will have to get an Amcrest-branded NVR.

Optional cloud storage plans start at $6 for motion-activated recording and include the ability to view and download footage from the cloud.

Intelligent object detection features include person and vehicle detection. On top of that, the camera also supports tripwire and intrusion detection.

Pros
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP, Cloud
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Spotlight)
Cons
  • No optical zoom
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No smart home integrations
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • Does not have an integrated siren
CAM-2PK-WNIP8LBU
Awards
  • Only camera listed with AC Power option
  • Only camera listed with DVR support
  • Only camera listed with Chromecast support
Data Transmission
2.4GHz WiFi
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
AC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
IP Rating
IP65
Storage Options
microSDNVRCloudDVR

Night Owl’s entry on this list includes two 4K spotlight cameras that offer an optional cloud storage subscription.

These two cameras include MicroSD card slots for local storage (128GB Maximum) along with support for compatible NVRs/DVRs (BTWN8 Series Wi-Fi NVR or BTD8 Series DVR). The optional cloud storage feature is useful for remote storage and backup, but it’s slightly more expensive than some of the other brands we’ve seen – as plans start at $10/month.

The smart motion detection features include person, vehicle, and face detection. Other than that, the camera can also perform motion detection based on customizable zones, with the ability to customize the motion sensitivity for each zone.

Also, the camera can easily integrate with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Pros
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection, Face Detection
  • Integrated Siren / Alarm
  • Data Transmission: 2.4GHz WiFi
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Spotlight)
  • Power Options: AC Power
  • Integrated Microphone
Cons
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No optical zoom
  • No motorized tilt functionality
Data Transmission
PoEEthernet
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNASFTP

The Axis P1468-LE is ready-made for home security as well as professional installations. It can record 4K footage at almost 50fps. It also has a 6.2 - 12.9 mm varifocal lens, which offers approximately 2x optical zoom.

The device is IP67-rated along with IK10 for impact resistance. The device can store footage to an NVR but also boasts MicroSD support for local storage.

This camera is arguably one of the better options for parking lots and highways. This is because it supports AXIS object analytics for improved object detection.

Pros
  • Motorized Tilt Feature
  • Motorized Pan Feature
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection
  • Data Transmission: PoE, Ethernet
  • Motorized Optical Zoom Lens
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
Cons
  • No smart home integrations
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No integrated microphone
N43BX82
Awards
  • Only camera listed with Object Detection
Data Transmission
PoE
Resolution
4MP: 2688x1520
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
InfraredFull Color (via Spotlight)
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASFTP

At the ninth spot, we’ve got the Dahua 4MP TiOC bullet-type camera. It is a solid Mid-ranger that supports a 256GB MicroSD card, with additional support for NVR, NAS, and FTP.

Although Dahua provides cloud storage functionality, this camera does not need an online subscription to carry out essential tasks. I.e., the built-in intelligent motion detection algorithms, such as human, vehicle, and miscellaneous object detection, are allowed to function freely; without requiring a monthly payment.

Also, the camera supports ONVIF, RTSP, CGI, and P2P technologies, and when coupled with an NVR, it can support line crossing and intrusion detection.

Pros
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection, Object Detection
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, FTP
  • Integrated Siren / Alarm
  • Night Vision Support: Infrared, Full Color (via Spotlight)
Cons
  • Cannot automatically pan
  • No smart home integrations
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No optical zoom
C800
Awards
  • Only camera listed with TF Card support
Data Transmission
PoE
Resolution
4K / Ultra HD / 8MP: 3840x2160
Power Options
PoEDC Power
Night Vision Type
Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
IP Rating
IP67
Storage Options
microSDNVRNASTF Card

The ANNKE C800 is a budget-friendly option with premium features for home security. For instance, the camera can record 4K-resolution footage with a 100ft IR range.

The device is ONVIF compatible. Therefore, you can link it up with third-party NVRs without any issues. However, if you don’t have an NVR, you can still get by with a MicroSD card with a 256GB maximum limit.

Also, the device is IP67-rated and won’t mind operating in slightly sub-zero temperatures (-22 °F to 140 °F).

Pros
  • Smart Motion Detection Features: Person Detection, Vehicle Detection
  • Data Transmission: PoE
  • Power Options: PoE, DC Power
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Night Vision Support: Full Color (via Low Light Sensor / Tech)
  • Storage Options: microSD, NVR, NAS, TF Card
Cons
  • No smart home integrations
  • Does not have an integrated siren
  • No motorized tilt functionality
  • No optical zoom
  • Cannot automatically pan

Decision Factors when Choosing an Outdoor Security Camera Without a Monthly Subscription

Optional Subscription

It’s always better to have a camera system with an optional cloud storage feature. Having the option to subscribe to a cloud storage service (without missing out on the intelligent features) is always a definite plus in our book. So if you have to decide between two cameras, one without an optional subscription and one with, it’s always better to go with the one that has the optional cloud service. 

Local Storage Options

When you are not going to rely on a cloud storage service, it is up to you to set up storage options for your cameras. Although there are devices that support a variety of local storage configurations (NVR, NAS, FTP, MicroSD), MicroSD cards and NVRs are what many consumers will be using. So make sure the camera of your choice has both of these storage options, not just one. We highly recommend setting your cameras up with a compatible NVR because most cameras are configured to interface with the app only when you connect them to the NVR or wireless hub. 

Intelligent Motion Detection

What’s great about most modern security cameras, which don’t rely on a monthly subscription, is that you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to get access to intelligent motion detection features such as human and vehicle detection. So whenever you are considering getting a strictly local-based security camera, make sure the camera (or its compatible NVR) has support for intelligent motion detection.

App Integration

Another thing to consider (when you’re going fully local with your security camera storage) is the features of the mobile apps. Despite having tons of desktop clients, web browsers, and NVR software to manage the cameras via PC or just a monitor and mouse, nothing beats getting notifications and controlling the cameras through your smartphone. Although most cameras on this list have dedicated mobile apps built for iOS and Android, you need to set them up properly with an NVR or wireless hub for the app to communicate and transfer data via Wi-Fi. (Using only the MicroSD card slot for storage will not allow your app to access footage remotely.)

Local Storage Capacity

When it comes to MicroSD cards and NVRs, you will be working with a limited amount of storage capacity, especially if you record footage 24/7 continuously. Before deciding on a camera, don’t forget to check the maximum supported capacity for MicroSD cards and the maximum capacity supported by the NVR. Some cards support a maximum of 128GB, while others support 256GB. Nonetheless, if you are using motion-activated recording, even a small capacity of 16GB-32GB will be enough to store a month’s worth of footage.

Common Questions and Answers

Can I playback footage stored in the MicroSD card via the corresponding mobile app ?

Generally speaking, yes you can playback footage stored on a MicroSD card. However, while relying solely on a MicroSD card is more cost-efficient, we highly suggest setting up an NVR or NAS so you have more than one storage medium.

NVR or MicroSD card, which is better ?

Both devices have their uses, and ideally, we recommend setting up both systems so you can use MicroSD as a backup solution. That said, we recommend an NVR over MicroSD cards if you are hoping to set up multiple cameras (more than 3-4) around your home or business. MicroSD cards might seem cheaper at first, but when you have to manage half a dozen of them, it becomes expensive and tedious. 

Do I get human and vehicle detection if I don’t pay for the monthly subscription ?

Some well-known brands (such as Ring and Nest) require the payment of a monthly subscription to access these features. Thankfully, it is not the case with the brands in our list above. Most of the cameras we’ve shown above provide access to human, vehicle, and other object detection algorithms without purchasing an online subscription.

Do I have to provide internet access to these cameras?

You don’t have to provide access to the internet, and these cameras can also work on a local Wi-Fi network. However, we suggest you provide internet access to these cameras and NVRs, just so they can interface with your smartphone app. Otherwise, you will be missing out on remote viewing, notifications, and many more.

Conclusion

Without a subscription, you will miss out on cloud storage and smart home features. That said, you can still maintain certain security cameras locally. 

These cameras make do with local storage options such as MicroSD cards and NVR support. Cloud storage is optional and you might have access to smart features depending on the brand.

My main recommendation for an outdoor security camera sans subscription is the Reolink RLC-812A Bullet Security Camera. It offers a spotlight and IP66-rated weatherproofing. Cloud storage is optional and you still get access to smart home integration. 

My runner-up pick is the GW Security 5MP Turret Security Camera. It’s an NDAA-compliant option with third-party support and 5MP 2592x1944 resolution.

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