I can't believe how difficult looking for a camera has been. I've been looking for weeks and still can't make up my mind. On one hand I feel my needs are pretty modest, yet on the other hand I can't seem to find the "right" solution for me.
All I need is a single camera to monitor our lobby when we're closed. The lights are all on a motion detector, so they'll come on when anyone is in the field of view. So low light is not a concern.
I would prefer 1280 x 1024 but would settle for 640 x 480. I would definitely say image quality is very important, but I also need to be mindful of the costs. It doesn't need to be WiFi, my router is right on the other side of the wall so Enet 10/100 would be fine.
Here's where I really run into problems, the recording. I'm having a hard time getting a clear explanation of the recording features of many cameras on the manufacturer's websites. I would like the camera to have some capacity to record directly onto a SD card. I really don't want to have to rely on some website/software to do the recording.
There is no dedicated computer to monitor the camera, only to configure it. We're an all Mac shop, but I have Vista via Parallels to do the setup. Would prefer a more Mac friendly setup, but could work around that.
Once the camera is positioned there is not a big need for PTZ, but it would be nice. I definitely need something I can monitor via a web browser Internet and the iPhone. Notifying me of motion, heat, etc. is not necessary.
As far as my budget, if I found the perfect solution I'd go up to $400, but would prefer to be around half that. But I also know you have to pay to get what you want, and since this is the one and only camera we're going to buy I'm willing to invest in it too.
I just installed a Visonic alarm system and this is the final piece needed to complete our security system. Hopefully you will have some good buying advice.