The Best Indoor HomeKit Cameras
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Being security conscious and having dealt with break-ins in the past I definitely see the value in having security cameras monitoring the inside of my home. At the same time, I’m vary wary of the privacy implications of connected cameras potentially being hacked and spying on my family.
Apple provided a very effective solution to this when they introduced HomeKit Secure Video (HSV). It takes the risk out of indoor cameras by placing all the processing on your local home hub, encrypting everything with local keys before it’s sent to the cloud, and not requiring the cameras themselves to be connected to the internet.
As such, when looking at the best HomeKit cameras, it’s a no-brainer that they must support this feature, otherwise at best you’ll be limited to live view only, and at worst your security and privacy is at higher risk.
I’ve reviewed every indoor camera currently on the market that supports HSV, and I’ve found the best overall to be the Logitech Circle View in terms of features, design, and performance.
You may not need everything it has to offer though, so I’ve also broken out some additional options for other price points and feature preferences. I’ll explain why I’ve chosen each, and the potential downsides to consider before buying.
Software capabilities are not a differentiator here as they are provided by HomeKit, you can read about those in my HomeKit Secure Video guide.
Best Indoor HomeKit Camera Overall
What I Like
First is the inclusion of an ambient light sensor that can be used in automations as a trigger or condition. I find ambient light to be a useful sensor for lighting automations, you can make things considerably smarter than simple motion or time based rules, and this negates the need to buy a separate sensor for the purpose.
Second, it’s actually outdoor rated. While this is an indoor focused review, this rating means it can tolerate some more extreme conditions in locations that might otherwise reduce the lifespan of a purely indoor camera. A garage for example, arguably an indoor location where devices can be exposed to extremes of humidity or cold.
I have one in my garage for this purpose, and the 180 degree lens is actually useful in this scenario as it allows coverage of the whole garage from the center, avoiding too much obstruction of the view by the cars.
Finally, the design is, in my opinion, the slickest of the batch. It’s compact and solid, with good material choices and a clear but unobtrusive activity light at the top. The mount swivels and tilts at the back of the camera, which actually makes it super easy to orient however you want without the need for ungainly stalks and ball joints.
A 180 degree lens sounds simply better, but it’s not always the case. A wider viewing angle means any given part of the image has less pixels, so it can be hardware to make out details. These are good for placements against a wall where you want to cover an area, but if you can position the camera in a corner, you’d be better off with a narrower field of view.
It’s worth noting that while the camera is outdoor rated, it’s powered by a USB cable that is hard wired to the camera. That’s simply to avoid needing to water proof a USB port, but it also means you need a USB power brick at the other end, and these are not weather typically proof. Pure outdoor usage, then, is a bit tricky.
The garage placement I described above is a good compromise as you can use the garage door motor outlet for power that’s under cover without having to try and weatherproof a power brick, or run a cable inside somehow.
Best Value Indoor HomeKit Camera
What I Like
Aqara has a growing range of ZigBee based smart home devices that use their own smart home platform. It’s not bad in itself, but their ZigBee hub’s also have full support for HomeKit and bring that entire range of products right along with it. In general those products are affordable and perform well, and the Aqara G2H (see full review) is no exception.
You may balk at needing a hub for a HomeKit camera, but don’t worry. With this one, the camera is the hub. It connects to WiFi itself, and supports WPA3 security, but also acts as a ZigBee hub for other Aqara products. It’s a great way to expand into those without needing a dedicated hub, which is a real value add.
It’s also a pure HomeKit device, in that you don’t need to use the Aqara app to set it up. You will need the app to configure certain features such as image flip (if you mount if upside down) and the software masking to exclude privacy areas from being recorded. However, the Aqara app allows you to run it in ‘HomeKit mode’ where it doesn’t require an account to be created.
Those are nice features, but you’ll also get the option to use a Micro SD card for local recording as well, and a pretty funky, compact magnetic mount that extends from the bottom of the camera allowing for very flexible positioning. An adhesive pad and screw mount are also provided for more conventional situations.
Aqara also has the newer Camera Hub G3 which supports the same HomeKit features as the G2H. It sports a higher 2K resolution and pan/tilt/zoom functionality, but these are not available in HomeKit, so you’d be spending more for features you can’t use. As such, I’ve recommended the G2H as the better value option. You can, of course, use the extra features through the Aqara app and still use HomeKit as well if you want to use both systems.
The major call outs I have for the G2H are night vision and audio pickup. Both are perfectly acceptable for typical rooms, but in larger spaces they’ll be stretched for range when compared to the Logitech Circle View, or even the Eufy Indoor Cam below.
Best Night Vision Indoor HomeKit Camera
What I Like
If you’re on a budget, this is hard to go past. The eufy Indoor Cam 2K (see my full review) is an incredible little camera for a bargain price, with a 2K camera, and phenomenal night vision performance.
It’s quite small, smaller than the Eve Cam, and has easy positioning thanks to a simple ball joint at the top of the stalk. You do have some tilt limits with that though, but probably nothing too concerning.
The 125 degree camera makes it good for corner placement, and while you won’t benefit enormously from the 2K resolution in HomeKit, it does definitely make things sharper than the 1080p models.
It’s been a great performer for me, both reliable and fast to activate. A slight difference from other HSV cameras is the use of the status light to also show motion detection. All HSV cameras have a status light that show blue for standby and red for streaming, this one also flashes it red when motion is detected like a normal motion sensor.
It’s not a pure HomeKit camera. That means you’ll still need the eufy app, and an account to get set up, along with the inherent security risks that come with that. That’s an annoyance when they other two options above don’t need that. It also means that neat features like the onboard MicroSD card recording, and two-way talk are limited to the eufy app. It’s odd given HomeKit supports two-way talk, and both the other models in this list have it.
While the night vision is awesome, it’s delivered by an array of 8 IR LEDs which can be a bit disconcerting in the dark. My kids weren’t too happy with it, at least. There is also a noticeable click when it switches between night vision and normal color mode.
Alternative Indoor HomeKit Camera
What I Like
Eve devices are consistently good performers in my HomeKit setup, and they have excellent support behind them too. I’ve included this one is a somewhat odd category, Best Corner Model, to address the concern I have with the Logitech Circle View's use of a 180 degree wide angle lens. That simply isn’t ideal for all indoor situations.
The Eve Cam (see my full review) has a more typical 150 degree camera which means you’ll get more resolution on parts of the image when zooming in, so it’s a better fit for corner placements while delivering the same image quality.
To help with this is the magnetic base, which can be useful for secure mounting without the need to drill holes. I have metal door frames in the house, and it attaches nicely to the top of the frame. You could also use it on metal cabinets or the side of a fridge to get good viewing angles. If you need to mount it elsewhere, it comes with a metal disc that can be attached with a single screw, so you’re covered either way.
The Eve Cam’s night vision is decent, but it’s not as good as the Circle View. It’s also harder to angle the way you want in some situations due to the design of the mounting stalk. It can twist, and can tilt up and down, but that joint is closer to the base which can be a problem if you don’t have a lot of clearance. The square base can also look odd if you have to twist and tilt to get the image straight as I tried to do, but that’s more of an aesthetic gripe.
It’s a good camera, but it’s pricey compared to other offerings that have more features. For that you do get some peace of mind from Eve’s excellent customer support and known product quality.
The Wrap Up
When looking for the best HomeKit cameras now, I consider it a necessity to support HomeKit Secure Video. While good cameras exist that can be used in HomeKit without this, they can’t be considered the best without the privacy, security, and integration benefits HSV provides.
From those that do have this support, the clear winner is the Logitech Circle View. It’s a great design, with solid build quality, rock solid performance, and nice value added features to put it over the top.
It’s not necessarily the best for corner placements with it’s 180 degree camera, so for those situations I like the Eve Cam. It’s a solid pure HomeKit camera with great support, and has the added bonus of magnetic mounting to reduce the need to drill holes.
Finally, for the budget conscious, the Aqara G2H Camera Hub offers a reliable, feature packed camera at a bargain price. No third party cloud is required, and it acts as a ZigBee hub for Aqara’s extensive range of other HomeKit compatible accessories.