Amcrest Cameras Reviewed
Amcrest is a security company that both manufactures and distributes a wide array of products such as GPS trackers, baby monitors, and indoor and outdoor cameras.
The company manufactures a variety of home security products with advanced features like motion detection and two-way talk at an affordable price. Amcrest just added a new doorbell camera and the Amcrest cloud storage system to put it more in line with other DIY company offerings, too.
The ideal customer for an Amcrest camera is someone comfortable with a DIY setup and who does not need professional monitoring. Setup tends to be more involved with some of the Amcrest camera options, but our SecurityNerd was able to complete installation without hiring a pro and was impressed with the 24/7 customer service chat and troubleshooting on the Amcrest website.
Although the Amcrest View Pro app and setup isn’t the most intuitive we’ve ever seen, you’ll be able to set up your Amcrest camera exactly the way you want it to. You can customize everything from frame rate, resolution, sensitivity and motion detection zones within the app. Whether you’re working with a simple indoor camera for your living room, or a full surveillance system with DVR or NVR, Amcrest allows you to make it your own.
You won’t have to worry about signing any contracts if you go with an Amcrest camera. You’ll pay for the equipment up front, and the only cost after that is if you decide to upgrade to an Amcrest cloud plan.
When it comes to DIY camera systems, Amcrest is on par with similar companies. It is highly affordable to outfit your home with these cameras, but it’s also a great mix of value and performance.
If you’re used to surveillance cameras that are plug and play, you may find some of the Amcrest products to be more difficult to set up. The regular Wi-Fi products are more simple to get up and running and we recommend going with one of the Wi-Fi options if you are not comfortable with the more complicated set up required with the other options.
Although you can get push alerts to your phone when cameras detect motion, you’ll have to be comfortable monitoring your own system because Amcrest does not offer any professional monitoring options. Customer service representatives did tell our Security Nerd that if you find a security company that will integrate Amcrest cameras into its system, they can be used with the other company’s professional monitoring.
Although the IP cameras have Alexa integration, you won’t find many third-party integrations with Amcrest. The company does have a line of Smart Home cameras, but there are no extras you may be used to seeing like smart lights, thermostats or plugs.
Amcrest Camera Features
Here are some of the features Amcrest offers that stood out to our SecurityNerd.
- Weatherproof: The outdoor cameras are sturdy, and can stand up to some rough weather. Our Security Nerd’s outdoor model lasted through a hurricane with no problems.
- Pan/tilt/zoom: Amcrest camera models make it easy to pan, tilt and zoom within the app, so you won’t have trouble seeing what’s going on in your house or in your yard.
- Moneyback guarantee: Amcrest offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee, which is pretty generous considering you don’t even have to sign a contract.
- HD video: Amcrest offers anywhere from 1080p to Ultra 4k resolution, making sure you won’t be dealing with any grainy video.
- Night vision: Amcrest camera options provide customers with some amazing night vision features that beat many competitors. Many of the cameras have 100 ft. night vision, while a few of the outdoor models have over 300 ft. night vision capabilities.
- Two-way talk: Depending on the Amcrest camera model, you can have two-way talk to be able to communicate with whoever is on the other side of the camera. Many of the cameras have a built-in microphone, at the very least allowing you to speak to the person on the other side.
- Motion detection: Amcrest models allow customers to get push notifications when the camera detects motion. It can also record that motion event and store it in the app, SD card or cloud service.
- Smart alerts: You can get alerts within the Amcrest View Pro app and sent to your phone based on your preferences.
- Amcrest App: This might be one of the most customizable apps on the market, with a ton of different options to create a unique experience for the user. Our Security Nerd has not experienced any lagging with the Amcrest app, but every now and then it might take a few tries to connect, depending on cell service.
- Amcrest cloud storage: This is a new option by Amcrest where you can store more video within the cloud to have for a longer period of time without a DVR or NVR.
- Local storage: Amcrest camera options provide customers with the option to use an SD card in the camera to store video. Our Security Nerd chose that option because it keeps enough video without having to pay an extra fee.
- 24/7 live streaming and motion recording: The camera feed is always live within the Amcrest View Pro app, and it also records any motion it detects. You can just toggle between camera feeds and choose the area where motion was recorded and view it within the timeline on the Amcrest app.
- Activity zones: Certain Amcrest camera models allow you to create customized activity zones, which means you can tell the camera where you want motion alerts, and where you don’t. So if there’s a lot of activity on a road in front of your home and you don’t like constant alerts, you can program your camera to ignore it.
- Video sharing: The Amcrest View Pro app makes it pretty simple to share video clips. Whether it’s something cute your pet did, or video you need to share with the neighborhood, it’s easy to get the video sent from the app.
- Facial recognition: It’s important to note only one of the Amcrest cameras has the facial recognition feature, and that is the baby monitor with facial recognition. Otherwise, the cameras cannot tell the difference between a person and an object.
- Alexa compatible: Only the IP cameras are compatible with Alexa. They are not currently compatible with any other smart home systems that aren’t made by Amcrest.
Just as Amcrest offers a wide variety of home security cameras, the installation process can vary widely as well. An Amcrest wifi camera is about as simple as it gets, requiring a very minimal amount of effort and DIY know-how. It’s as simple as connecting your new camera to the Amcrest app, scanning a QR code and connecting to your home wifi. Amcrest camera options come with instructions, but if you have additional questions, there are a number of ways to troubleshoot on the Amcrest site. In addition, there is some amazing customer service, including 24/7 chat.
Amcrest definitely has plenty of cameras that either require someone very comfortable with DIY projects, or perhaps even finding a professional to help install.
For example, our SecurityNerd chose a PoE Amcrest camera, which required drilling and a more complicated setup. While our Security Nerd was comfortable doing the installation herself, there are definitely customers who would want to have a professional installer come out to make sure everything is working properly. The DVR and NVR options also get more complicated, so it’s important to know if you want the most user-friendly installation, you should go with the wifi versions that won’t require any drilling with installation.
Amcrest Camera Pricing
Amcrest offers many different types of security cameras, from motorized outdoor cameras to bullet options and even baby monitors and drones. Below is a price range of the Amcrest camera options based on the type of camera you want.
Wifi Amcrest Cameras: $49.99-$369.99
The lower end of the cost spectrum here will get you a nice wireless indoor camera with 1080p video, or a Nanny Cam option with AI human detection. There’s even a new camera doorbell option with two-way talk. You can also purchase an Amcrest camera for as much as $369.99, which will get you a weatherproof outdoor model with 328 ft. night vision and 25x zoom. There are plenty of options for everyone’s budget.
PoE Cameras: $54.99-$379.99
The company’s power over ethernet options provide a more stable connection, and can give customers the option of a higher quality resolution. It requires a more in-depth setup, but you can choose anything from bullet cameras to vandal-proof dome options with both indoor and outdoor models.
Camera systems with NVR: $269.00-$3129.99
Depending upon the type of camera you purchase, an NVR can be an ideal way to store and record video. Amcrest offers several packages with multiple cameras included with an NVR, starting in a budget range under $300, all the way up to a system that could be used for an office space for over $3,000.
Camera systems with DVR: $239.00-$1359.99
The type of recording system you choose is based upon the camera you purchase. But Amcrest makes it easier for customers, offering up indoor and outdoor packages ranging from under $300 to a little over $1,000.
Home Automation Options
Amcrest definitely could use some growth in the home automation area. The only third-party integration offered is Alexa capability with IP cameras only. Other than that, customers can choose from Amcrest’s line of “Smart Home” products. It includes a video doorbell, along with Amcrest cameras with smart home features like automatic motion recording.
As for other smart home features like smart lights, smart locks and environmental monitoring, Amcrest does not offer anything along those lines, and a customer service representative told our Security Nerd there are no third-party integrations aside from Alexa.
Security Plans & System
Although there is no professional monitoring with Amcrest cameras, the company tells our Security Nerd that there is an option to utilize the cameras with other professional monitoring companies if the cameras integrate. However, Amcrest does not have a partnership with any company to actually provide the monitoring.
Amcrest has just rolled out a continuous or motion recording Amcrest cloud subscription. It can definitely get pricey if you have a host of cameras you want to utilize the cloud with. The Amcrest cloud cannot be used with the DVR or NVR camera systems. Prices are as follows:
Motion Recording options:
- 7 day- $6 per camera/month
- 14 day- $10 per camera /month
- 30 day- $15 per camera /month
- 60 day- $23 per camera /month
- 90 day- $27.50 per camera /month
Continuous recording options:
- 7 day- $9 per camera/month
- 14 day- $15 per camera /month
- 30 day- $20 per camera /month
- 60 day- $27.50 per camera /month
- 90 day- $35.00 per camera /month
The bottom line on Amcrest
When it comes to high-quality cameras with a ton of features, Amcrest is a solid option for customers who want a crisp picture, customizable options and don’t mind a more in-depth setup. While this may not be the best choice for customers with highly-integrated smart home ecosystems, Amcrest offers enough options for the budget conscious, or even homeowners who need 16-channel systems to cover a larger house.
Perhaps the best part of Amcrest camera options is the number of choices for the customer. From a baby monitor with AI technology, to a weather-proof outdoor camera with over 300 ft. night vision, our Security Nerd thinks there’s something for every budget and every household. If you’re not sure which camera is for you, try out Amcrest’s customer service chat for quick answers.
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About the Author
Erin is a freelance video producer and writer based out of Florida. She works with major retail companies and digital startups as a brand storyteller. When Erin's not writing, you can catch her scuba diving and spending time with her dog (not at the same time).