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SD Card Security Camera: Best Buying Guide

SD card security camera

Are you looking for SD card security cameras that save motion footage locally instead of uploading it to a cloud server? If so, you may be interested in indoor security cameras with an SD card or outdoor security cameras featuring an SD card slot for offline footage storage.

In this post, we will explore their features and advantages. And, you could learn some helpful tips along the way.

What is an SD Card Security Camera?

A security camera with an SD card, also known as CCTV with memory card, is a surveillance device with a slot for an SD card. It captures video footage and stores it directly onto the SD card. SD cards for these cameras offer a local storage solution for recorded content. The SD card setup provides a convenient way to review footage without relying on internet connectivity or cloud services.

Why Choose Security Camera with SD Card Recording?

A camera with SD card slot offers a cost-effective alternative to the subscription-based cloud storage.

For example, one user on Reddit puts it, “we don’t want to pay $200+ a year for a cloud-based subscription service even though those look like simple setups.”

SD cards help save motion footage locally in a remote area or place with limited or no internet. Just like one user said, “looking for a camera to place at an old garage shop, no wifi there so it would have to record to an SD card when motion is triggered”.

Outdoor CCTV with SD Card

Many security cameras with local storage (built-in SD cards, SD card slot or USB backup) are popular with consumers who are looking for a video monitoring solution in remote locations or isolated areas with limited or no WiFi, say, like a farm, shed, ranch, boat or summer home.

Security cameras with SD card (slot), especially battery-operated security cameras like Reolink Argus 3 Pro, also appeal to people who opt for motion recording locally instead of cloud-based or monthly subscription-based service.

Besides, SD card recording makes video footage safer from snooping and keeps the footage offline. Also, setting up the security camera to record to a sd card is pretty easy, just as the video shows below.

Types of Cameras with SD Cards

An SD card in security cameras acts like a dedicated recorder, storing daily video footage. CCTV cameras that record onto SD cards come in various types. Below are a few examples:

Outdoor Security Camera with SD Card Recorder

An outdoor cam with SD card recorder is designed specifically for monitoring and recording activities in outdoor environments. These cameras are equipped with features that make them resilient to various weather conditions, ensuring reliable performance in rain, snow, or intense sunlight.

These SD card outdoor camera often include night vision capabilities, infrared sensors, and durable housing to withstand outdoor elements. This combination of features makes them ideal for monitoring the exterior of homes, businesses, or any outdoor space where security surveillance is essential.

For example, the Reolink RLC-811A is an PoE outdoor security camera with an SD card slot and solid metallic body (rated as IP66 waterproof). It doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee or mandatory cloud-based service. The local storage security camera could work independently and record movements to the SD card.

Reolink RLC-811A

4K Smart PoE Camera with 5 Spotlights

4K 8MP Ultra HD Day & Night, Person/Vehicle Alerts, 5X Optical Zoom, Two-Way Audio, Built-in Siren, Color Night Vision, Live View Anywhere.

Users could connect this wired camera to the Reolink PoE NVR for continuous recording, configure it upload footage to an FTP server, or record videos to NAS like Synology surveillance station.

Wireless Battery Camera with SD Card

Battery-powered SD card camera proves to be exceptionally effective in locations where accessing an electrical outlet is challenging. The same is true for solar- powered security camera.

In situations where both power supply and internet access are scarce, the integration of solar-powered security cameras with SD card slots becomes particularly valuable. This innovative combination not only harnesses the benefits of battery-powered cameras but also leverages solar energy for sustainable and uninterrupted operation. The SD card serves as a reliable local storage option, ensuring that recorded footage is readily available without the need for constant internet connectivity.

For example, the Reolink Go PT Ultra can be your best option for non-WiFi SD card camera. This model is a rechargeable battery-powered 4G-LTE outdoor wireless security camera with a Micro SD card slot for motion-activated recordings local storage with or without WiFi or internet.

Reolink Go PT Ultra

4K 8MP Wire-Free 4G LTE PT Battery Camera

4K 8MP; Smart Detection; 355° Pan & 140° Tilt; Battery/Solar Powered; Color Night Vision; Smart Real-Time Alert.

Reolink Go PT ultra works extraordinarily well in places with difficult access to WiFi/network and an electrical outlet, places like the warehouse, construction sites, farms, docks, RV, trailers, cabins, log houses, front door, driveway, inside a car, vacation home, farm, boat, RV, ranch, remote locations and etc.

If you don't want to use 3G/4G cellular data, you can check some WiFi security cameras that record to SD card. For example, the Reolink Argus 3 Ultra is a 4K battery-powered WiFi security camera. Boasting wireless functionality, this camera ensures hassle-free installation and flexibility in placement. Its advanced features extend beyond high-definition resolution, offering expansive coverage, reliable motion detection, and seamless integration with smart home platform. Most importantly, it supports local storage with microSD card up to 128 GB.

Reolink Argus 3 Ultra

4K 8MP Standalone Wire-Free Camera

4K 8MP; Smart Detection; 5/2.4GHz Dual-Band WiFi; Battery/Solar Powered; Color Night Vision; Alerts Without Subscription.

Standalone Indoor Camera with SD Cards

Standalone camera refers to a surveillance device that operates independently without the need for additional components or external systems. Unlike networked cameras that may rely on a central server or cloud-based services, indoor cameras like this support are self-contained units designed for simplicity and ease of use.

Reolink E1 Pro is wireless standalone camera that supports up to 128GB local storage. It is incredibly easy to set up and use, even for the elderly. It can also rotate to change pointing angles (355° pan/105° tilt) to take an easy sweep of the room or premise with a tap on the apps.

Best Pick
Reolink E1 Pro

Wireless Motion Activated Indoor Camera

This motion spy camera could be easily blind in with your home decorations, with pan and tilt functions for wider coverage.
Take a look

How to Choose a SD Card for CCTV

There are two factors you should take into account when choosing the best SD card for security cameras: speed class (types) & capacity.

Make sure you choose the right type of micro SD card, or right speed class (a number indicates minimum write speed) for local storage security cameras, say, Class 10,6,4, and 2. The higher the number it is, the faster it can write.

Class 4 or higher SD card like Samsung 64GB memory card and SanDisk Ultra 64GB micro SD card is commonly used in high-definition video recordings, for example, these SD cards are compatible with Reolink cameras.

Besides, make sure the capacity of SD card fits your CCTV or IP security cameras. Many IP cameras' SD card slot don’t support 64GB or 32GB SD card. Another important heads-up is to make sure you get the right size SD card for the card slot.

Helpful Tips about Security Cameras that Record to SD Card

No doubt, it’s much easier and simple to store and save motion-triggered recordings and video footage in memory SD card locally.

However, troubles will lurk if you are leaving your security cameras in a plain sight without backing up any forensic video evidence whatsoever.

Therefore, regular checking footage or transferring older videos to a computer or uploading to FTP server is helpful to retain useful footage without being taken away or overwritten by new files.


1. How Long Can SD Card Security Cameras Record Motions?

It largely depends on these key factors, such as the micro SD card capacity, bit rate (or Bitrate), frame per second (FPS), and resolution. For example, a security camera with 256GB SD (built-in or insert later) could record up to 72-hour-long motion videos. It's important to note that almost all micro SD card used in security camera record in a loop and will overwrite old files when it's full.

2. How Can I View Footage Saved on SD Card?

You can view the footage via the manufacturer's app or SD card recorder. Some surveillance cameras with SD card onboard allows users to review footage stored in micro SD card right on the apps, and download too, for instance, Reolink security cameras with SD card, like Reolink Argus 3 Pro. Of course, to do so, both the camera and your Smartphone are connected to the network. Some, on the other hand, can be viewed when being taken out and read it on a computer via an SD card reader.

4. What to Do When the Micro SD Card Security Camera is Not Working

Every now and then, it happens. The memory card won’t record motion; your security camera can’t recognize or format the SD card, or the camera stops reading the memory card.

First of all, make sure the SD card is properly inserted. Make sure the camera’s setting is okay. Try replacing the old SD card with a new one, if possible. Format SD card if your security camera stops reading SD card.

Just a heads-up, the available storage of micro SD card could possibly shrink after formatting through apps, as to boost the overall read-write efficiency.


Whether securing your home, monitoring a remote location, or simply desiring a system that puts you in control of your surveillance data, security cameras with SD card support offer a user-friendly and efficient solution.

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