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Best HomeKit camera: picking a camera for Apple’s home integration system

Best HomeKit camera
(Image credit: Eufy)

Looking for the best HomeKit camera to create an Apple-centric security set-up? This guide will tell you what to look out for, suggest the best models, and help you find them for the best deal.

HomeKit is Apple’s answer to Alexa or Google Assistant but the approach is distinctly different. Their goal is to provide a single consistent place you can control different brand’s products – the Home app – as opposed to lots of different apps. 

Not only is that really helpful in terms of allowing you to mix and match brands (especially in a world where new products arrive all the time), but it saves a lot of screen navigation. It also allows for cool integrations (the living room lights coming on when the garden camera senses motion, for example).

Apple also have a very definite approach to privacy which means to carry the ‘Works with HomeKit’ badge, devices shouldn’t use the cloud if they don’t need to (for example if you’re turning on the light from your couch, a remote server won’t know). 

That means the system needs a ‘hub,’ though which devices can communicate. This might be built into a device, for example an Apple TV or HomePod. It also means certain smart tech firms who’s owners do a lot with data (Ring, Nest) have been very slow to adopt the system, but plenty of options are emerging for those in the Apple ecosystem now.

HomeKit Secure Video

It’s important to state that HomeKit Secure Video, a newer feature, is not the same as ‘Works With HomeKit’. The former lets you access cameras and view live video, while the Secure Video service offers iCloud recording services and intelligent features.

Unlike a majority of competitors, which transmit video of your home to remote servers for AI analysis (from which person/animal/car detection takes place), Apple’s approach is to do the analysis on your in-home hub. Video is optionally encrypted and sent to the cloud for storage.

This is done with an existing iCloud account but (generously for a tech firm) doesn’t count against your data limit, instead there is a fixed time limit.

The best HomeKit cameras in 2021

(Image credit: Logitech)

1: Logitech Circle View

A premium camera built for HomeKit

Specifications
Supports HomeKit: Yes
Supports Secure Video: Yes
Camera resolution: 1080p
Field of view: 180 degrees
Power source: USB
Night vision: Yes, 4.5m (15ft)
2-way audio: Yes
Acts as hub?: No
Sensing abilities: Yes, in-home video analysis, end-to-end encryption
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous premium design+Adheres to Apple’s HomeKit privacy ideals+Logitech’s excellent TrueView video system
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively expensive camera-No other options from Logitech (at the moment)

With an IP64 rating the stylish Logitech circle can live inside or out; it won’t spoil the décor in either spot which is appreciated, though outdoors it’ll need to be sheltered under the eve. As well as the HomeKit encryption, privacy is built right into the design in the form of a simple hinge – it’s reassuring to be able to point the camera down at its own stand or press the physical button on the back. We also really appreciated the quality visible in the glass optics which makes this a great choice for a premium environment. The steady refinement of the Apple workflow means setup is painless, too, and in-home analysis can be accessed in the Apple app.

(Image credit: Aquara)

2: Aquara Camera Hub G2H

Specifications
Supports HomeKit: Yes
Supports Secure Video: Yes
Camera resolution: 1080P
Field of view: 140 degrees
Power source: 5W, 1A (USB)
Night vision: Yes
2-way audio: Yes
Acts as hub?: Yes, Zigbee
Sensing abilities: Facial recognition, activity zones,
Reasons to buy
+Works as a hub for Zigbee devices+Accessibly priced with generous feature set
Reasons to avoid
-Indoor camera only-Dome design not ideal for all positions

The Aquara makes a nice choice for those relatively new to the HomeKit game, since it provides a built-in Zigbee hub, side-stepping the need to invest in an Apple TV or HomePod Mini to reach certified products. It’s also a pleasingly subtle design so it doesn’t matter that it won’t be in the cupboard with the router, and it has the magnetic base we always appreciate (makes it easy to stick to the fridge). The camera also boasts local storage (MicroSD card

(Image credit: Netatmo)

3: Netamo Smart Video Doorbell

Proving it's not just Amazon’s Ring that can monitor your door

Specifications
Supports HomeKit: Yes
Supports Secure Video: No
Camera resolution: 1080P HDR
Field of view: Portrait format
Power source: Wired 8-24V, 230V
Night vision: Yes
2-way audio: Yes
Acts as hub?: No
Sensing abilities: Person detection
Reasons to buy
+Subscription free+Portrait format camera
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t support Secure Video-No wireless option available (though wired is better, once done).

There are certainly cheaper smart doorbells out there, but there is also much to be said for linking with HomeKit and neither of the big players (Google’s Nest or Amazon’s Ring) are cooperating for their own reasons. The Netamo’s higher price will also likely be offset not only by the good deal you’ll find via our links (sorry, couldn’t resist) but the fact this device stores video clips to an internal MicroSD rather than insisting you fork out for a monthly cloud subscription. We really appreciated the crisp HDR video which makes it easy to see people even in unforgiving light. Apple fans will appreciate that they can use their HomePods as chimes. Overall, as a wired system, this is a great project for a DIY fan.

(Image credit: Eufy)

4: Eufy Solo C24

A cheap indoor camera for Apple HomeKit live view

Specifications
Supports HomeKit: Yes
Supports Secure Video: No
Camera resolution: 2K
Field of view: 105 horizontal x 57 vertical
Power source: USB
Night vision:
2-way audio: Yes
Acts as hub?: No
Sensing abilities: Human, Pet, Crying
Reasons to buy
+Subscription free live view and 2-way chat+MicroSD, local, or cloud storage options
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t support Secure Video-AI services require Eufy subscription

Eufy is an established brand in the home security world and recent releases have started adding HomeKit compatibility to their range. The tiny C24 is a little indoor camera which won’t have a big impact on the wallet but will immediately add an extra live view into the Home app for Apple users as well as extending the options for dedicated users of the Eufy system. We appreciated the fact the camera didn’t tie customers into a contract, either, however since it doesn’t support Secure Video the detection features or storage will either require a storage card or signing up to Eufy’s cloud service (but not, to be clear, Eufy’s Homebase service, which it won’t work with, not that it’s needed if you have HomeKit).

(Image credit: Netatmo)

5: Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera NOC-S

The ultimate outdoor security camera for HomeKit

Specifications
Supports HomeKit: Yes
Supports Secure Video: No
Camera resolution: 1080p
Field of view: 100
Power source: Wired
Night vision: Yes + Floodlight
Acts as hub?: No
Sensing abilities: People, Animals, Cars, Alert zones,
Reasons to buy
+No subscription fees+Floodlight & siren+Good own-brand app+Supports MicroSD card recording
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t support Secure Video-Setup requires phone app & Bluetooth-Max 32GB MicroSD (Class 10) 

The Netatmo is an established product, not that you’d know it. It used to be called ‘Presence’ when launched in 2016, though obviously the firmware has changed a bit (support is always a good sign). The elegant aluminum housing will definitely survive a long time outside, even in high levels of UV rays. If you opt for it, it can contains a real 105db siren too – no 2-way chat and re-purposed audio speaker here. Thanks to the system’s ability to distinguish people from animals and cars at up to 20m (65ft), the siren need not be triggered for every movement; this is the way to turn neighbors into friends (your author is sad to report his neighbors have not invested in such a device).]

(Image credit: Netatmo)

6: Eufy eufyCam 2C Pro

Complete wireless HomeKit-compatible high-res CCTV system

Specifications
Supports HomeKit: Yes
Supports Secure Video: Yes
Camera resolution: 2K
Field of view: 135 degree
Power source: Battery in camera
Night vision: Yes + Floodlight
Acts as hub?: Hub unit provides storage
2-way audio: Yes
Sensing abilities: Human, face pattern, Animals, Cars, Detection zones
Reasons to buy
+No subscription fees+Large local storage in discrete unit+Premium Apple-esque styling+Expandable via Eufy’s range of cameras
Reasons to avoid
-Batteries need topping up more frequently than promised-Tweaking HomeKit settings up to 2K is a faff

Eufy’s system already achieves much of what you might hope for from a security system; it has secure on-site storage (a whopping 3TB encrypted at 256-bits), built in human detection, and an app capable of alerting you to live events and setting up detection zones. The idea of installing a complete system with premium cameras in one go – and with the simplicity of wireless cameras – is very tempting though and Eufy achieve it as well as seems possible at the moment. That is to say the tech and app are great, but unless the cameras aren’t activated at all the batteries do tend to need topping up closer to monthly than the 180 days suggested (color night view means activating that LED floodlight, though at least it is optional).  

Other useful buying guides: 

Best outdoor security cameras in 2021

Best indoor security cameras

Best PTZ camera

Best PoE cameras

Best pet cameras

The best doorbell cameras

The best body cameras for personal security

Adam Juniper

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook