Hunting for an outdoor motion activated camera? You have come to the right place! This post will help you find out the answers to the following questions:

What is the best outdoor motion activated spy camera on the market? How to choose between different types with similar motion detection function? What features to look for to make sure the motion activated mini spy camera could work well in outdoors? What is the cost-effective motion sensor spy camera solution for home? Where to buy a reliable outdoor motion sensitive camera? Where to place outdoor motion activated cameras to make it hidden in the outdoors?

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Introduce Two Types of Outdoor Motion Sensor Cameras

A motion activated camera refers to the one that could detect and record movements within its viewing field. Technically, you can find two types of outdoor motion sensor cameras on the market. The difference lies in the way they detect moving objects:

  • Software-based motion sensor cameras: This kind of motion activated spy cameras detects motion by comparing images and counting the number of different pixels. When there are pixel changes between successive frames, the software inside will count it as a motion event and trigger the motion alarms.
  • PIR sensor-based motion sensor cameras: This kind of motion activated hidden camera uses PIR movement sensor, also called PIR sensor, to detect motion events by comparing the previous temperature with the new state, which will emit different levels of infrared light. When a warm body like a burglar or intruder passes by, the change pulses can be detected and trigger the motion alert.
Motion activated cameras How does it work
Software motion sensor cameras Comparing images
PIR motion sensor cameras Comparing temperatures

PIR motion sensor hidden cameras are basically battery powered on the market. They will wake up and record once there is motion event, so that you could know what’s happening or what’s has happened even when you’re not there. The Reolink Argus is the one with industry leading motion detection performance.

Well, the software-based motion sensor cameras are mostly traditional IP cameras that you could normally see in the street, neighbors or households. With the software motion activated cameras, you can keep an eye on your property 24/7 via the motion sensor camera app and receive motion alerts instantly (almost in milliseconds).

Outdoor Motion Activated Cameras

How to Reduce False Alarms of Outdoor Motion Sensor Cameras

Whatever outdoor motion activated cameras you are looking for, the last thing you want to get is definitely the false alarm caused by the animals, trees, shade, etc. Here are some tips for you to get the most accurate motion alerts:

#1. For PIR outdoor motion activated cameras, the installation makes a huge difference. The motion detection will be more accurate if you put the motion sensor in the direction crossing the possible intruder instead of facing it, as the picture below shows.

PIR Motion Activated Cameras Installation Suggestion

#2. For software-based outdoor motion activated cameras, you may schedule your own motion detection mode. For example, you can define different motion sensitivity values for different periods of the day to best match the light conditions. Also, you are free to choose the specific motion detection area to make alarms more accurate.

Top Options for Outdoor Motion Activated Spy Cameras

Taking other features you may demand into consideration, there are several outdoor motion sensor security cameras you can opt for, like the motion activated spy cameras, outdoor motion sensor light with cameras, wireless motion sensor spy cameras, motion sensor hidden cameras with SD card, etc.

#1. Outdoor Motion Activated Spy Cameras

The outdoor motion activated spy cameras are effectively used in catching thieves, keeping an eye on your car, and providing evidence to confirm your suspicions, like whether your neighbors have dumped on your land.

While there are motion activated spy cameras of various types, the best solution to achieve your goals is definitely not the one that lowers your security levels. That’s to say, you should give no thought to the outdoor motion sensor light camera with 720p resolution, which is still popular in the market. They are practically useless when you need to identify detailed information, according to the PPF calculation.

And the best choice will be a professional outdoor motion sensor spy camera with accurate PIR motion detection and camouflage skin to fit in any outdoor environments, or a dark colored mini camera so that you can hide it very easily, both indoors and outdoors.

For more creative ideas to hide the outdoor motion sensor security cameras, check this post.

#2. Outdoor Motion Sensor Light with Camera

The outdoor motion sensor light with camera could be automatically lit up once the motion is detected, which could work as a deterrence to trespassers. And it seems to well satisfy your needs for monitoring outdoors without raising any attention.

However, there is some inconvenience with the outdoor motion sensor light camera you should know:

You will need to replace the fixture and retrofit the motion sensor light if you’re going to use a z-wave micro controller, which will be a huge task ahead. And the outdoor motion sensor light with camera is usually twice the price of a professional motion activated camera which can do much more than controlling the lights.

So why not try it in this way: set up a motion activated spy camera with outdoor motion sensor alarm. Take Reolink Argus as an example.This professional security camera can detect motion event accurately, record day and night, ring a siren alarm to threaten the intruders away, and send you notifications instantly with high quality images. And most importantly, it is easy to setup (in minutes) with an attractive price (under $100)!

With proper installation and camouflage skins, you may also hide it to avoid the burglars’ attention.

#3. Wireless Outdoor Motion Sensor Cameras

Wires are a dead giveaway to your outdoor motion activated spy camera, and the easiest fix would be a wireless motion sensor camera. Plus, it is super easy to install and configure. But remember that the wireless motion activated camera is not 100% wire free, and you still need one cable for power.

If you are going for the wireless outdoor motion sensor camera, here are some additional tips for you:

1. Make sure the WiFi is available in your installation place. (Check it with your smartphone.)

2. Choose the dual-band Wi-Fi security cameras, if possible, to avoid signal loss and interference.

3. Remember to change the initial password to reduce the risk of being hacked.

#4. Battery Operated Outdoor Motion Activated Cameras

Want to get rid of all the annoying wires, and hide the motion sensor camera wherever you want indoors and outdoors? The motion activated spy camera that runs on battery power is what you need.

Just put in the batteries, it will start working. Without wires restriction, you can place the motion activated camera at any place and move it to spy on another spot freely if you want. You can thereby save a lot of time and energy thanks to its super simple installation.

Bump: As I put it before, most battery powered outdoor motion sensor cameras, including the Reolink Argus, feature the accurate PIR motion detection. Actually, this kind of camera is born for motion detection – they will wake up and record once the motion event is detected to save battery life (Also check these bonus energy-saving tips to help you prolong battery life).

#5. Outdoor Motion Activated Security Cameras with SD Card

Worried about the privacy issues of cloud storage? Or you simply don’t want to pay the monthly fee for it? Either way, the outdoor motion activated spy camera with SD card would well settle your needs. Plus, it’s very handy and convenient.

However, the storage space might come as a blurry concept in your mind. Say, how long could a 16GB or 32GB SD card of the motion sensor camera record exactly?

Actually, it totally depends on your monitoring environment. Technically, a 16GB SD card can save up to 400 motion events before it got rewritten. Furthermore, you can figure out the exact recording hours through this simple calculation.

Note: Sometimes, a micro SD card is included with your motion sensor camera; other times, the camera only provide an SD card slot and you’re expected to buy your own. Remember to check this when you are shopping for an outdoor motion activated camera with SD card.

If you want to spy on things continuously or without Internet, choose an NVR as motion detection recorder which can offer you up to 3TB (or more) storage space.

#6. Outdoor Motion Sensor Cameras with Night Vision

Break-ins and stealing usually happen at night when people fall into deep sleep and even the watchdog doesn’t work. Just think about the burglars, intruders, thieves and drunken man hanging around the street.

It’s thereby important to get an outdoor motion sensor security camera with night vision.

With the night vision enabled motion activated spy camera, you will be alerted by the siren instantly when dangers occur, get clear video evidence to hand to the police, or even warn the intruders verbally with the 2 way audio enabled outdoor motion sensor camera.

How to judge whether a motion sensor camera has real & good night vision? A good and long range night vision camera with motion detector should record in high quality images just as clear as daytime, with at least 1080p resolution to provide enough details.

#7. Outdoor Motion Activated Cameras for Wildlife

So you are wildlife enthusiastic, and want to get a motion activated camera in hunting for the valuable movement of the hummingbirds? Or just want to figure out who secretly visited your house and left their footprint around?

In that case, an outdoor motion activated camera would be a great helper. It will start to record once an animal comes into the viewing field automatically. With an outdoor motion sensor camera hiding in place, you could just sit in your comfy room and get all interesting clips of the little things easily via your phone.

Helpful tips: If you want to mount the outdoor wildlife camera with push and motion detection in the real wild, then the battery powered motion activated camera, which has no wires at all, will save you tons of trouble. And some of them, including Reolink Argus, offer the strap to help you fix the camera stable on trees.

Reolink Argus with Security Strap

Many Reolink users have shared their sweet moments with their pets or the unexpected visitors. Check one of those sweet and interesting moments below.

Reolink Cameras Capture Birds

#8. Waterproof Motion Detection Cameras for Outdoors

For outdoor motion activated cameras, weatherproof is an important feature to consider if there is expected rain, snow or strong wind in your desired installation place.

A simple way to get rid of all your worries concerning the terrible weather is to get the motion activated cameras with IP65 or IP66 (What is IP66?) and above weatherproof rating.

Best Outdoor Motion Activated Cameras (Reviews & Videos Included)

Search for cheap motion sensor cameras? Here are some cost-efficient camera solutions to keep your home safe.

Reolink Argus: A 100% Wireless Outdoor & Indoor Motion Activated Camera

With smart PIR motion sensor, the outdoor motion activated spy camera could greatly reduce false alarms and you will only be alerted when real danger occurs;

With camouflage skins available, this mini spy motion activated camera could easily hide both indoors and outdoors, with more advanced security settings than the outdoor motion sensor light camera at much more affordable price;

With a built-in microphone, you can not only get the streaming video through the motion sensor camera app, but also warn the intruders verbally if they are caught sneaking around in the act.

* The outdoor motion activated camera Reolink Argus review from CNET: “Cute security cam braves the outdoors at a fair price.” (Click here to read the whole review.)

Reolink C1 Pro: A 1440p PoE Mini Motion Activated Spy Camera

This black colored motion activated spy camera could be easily blend in with your home decorations with pan and tilt function for wider coverage. With the bracket in the box, you can mount it both indoors and outdoors at your convenience.

*The mini spy motion activated camera got 8.4 points out of 10 in the review from Vueville: “It is ideal for discreet uses.” (Check the whole review here.)

RLK4-210WB4: A Wireless Outdoor Motion Activated Camera System

The RLK4-210WB4 provides you with 4 wireless motion sensor cameras with an NVR for 24/7 recording. The system detects moving objects automatically, with or without Internet, to protect your home and business effectively from burglars, intruders, and break-ins.

Check the video footage below from this wireless outdoor motion sensor camera system user’ feedback.

RLK8-410B4: A PoE Outdoor Motion Sensor Camera System

RLK8-410B4 PoE camera security system detects moving objects and triggers alerts when dangers occur. You will be informed through email and Reolink App, receive the sound warning through the buzzer in NVR, and save captured images & videos to an FTP server.

Check the video below from RLC-410, the one that RLK8-410B4 carries, to get a full view of this motion activated camera system.

Where to Buy Outdoor Motion Sensor Security Cameras

You can buy the best outdoor motion detection cameras on Amazon, Ebay, or Reolink official website directly. With free shipping and online technical support, you will have no trouble getting the cameras and service in different regions of the world, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc.

Where to Place Outdoor Motion Activated Spy Cameras

The outdoor motion activated cameras could be placed in plain sight to act as deterrence, like in the front door, the backyard and near the off-street windows. According to a report conducted by the University of North Carolina, about 60% of convicted burglars stated the presence of a security system influenced their decision.

Bonus: Check the top 3 places to place IP camera motion detection to secure your home here.

However, if you are looking for the outdoor motion activated spy cameras, and want to hide them without anyone’s suspicions, the above mentioned cameras could also easily meet your needs with camouflage skins and some secret installation places, like under the ceiling and eaves (with DIY housing would be better), in the bushes, etc.

Bonus: Check the top 4 tips for hiding your motion detection security cameras outdoors and indoors here.