Amcrest and Lorex are both well-known security camera brands, catering to both consumers and businesses alike. Both brands utilize Dahua as their OEM so have similar specs across their range. That being said there are some notable differences worth discussing.
In this analysis, I examined a total of 52 security cameras, including 29 from Amcrest and 23 from Lorex, to provide you with essential information on their camera lineup. A comprehensive list of product codes can be found at the end of the article.
Best for Customized Security
Best for Comprehensive Kits
Best for Customized Security: Amcrest
I've picked Amcrest as “Best for Customized Security” as it offers people the flexibility and compatibility they need to create a tailored surveillance system.
With ONVIF compatibility, Amcrest cameras can easily integrate with other platforms, such as Blue Iris, without being confined to a specific package.
Amcrest cameras also tend to have better low-light visibility for enhanced night vision compared to Lorex. Despite their cameras having a similar price to Lorex, Amcrest cameras also feature True WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology, which provides a higher quality image than the HDR or Digital WDR found in Lorex cameras.
Additionally, Amcrest cameras come with alarm interfaces, a feature that is less common in Lorex products.
Best for Comprehensive Kits: Lorex
I've picked Lorex as “Best for Comprehensive Kits” as it's more of a one-stop shop than Amcrest. They have better mobile apps, making it simple to monitor and manage your security system from anywhere.
With a Lorex package or kit, you receive all the necessary components for a complete surveillance system, without the need to piece together individual elements.
Some Lorex cameras have Active Deterrence Technology, a feature that Amcrest lacks, which helps to prevent potential security breaches before they occur. With support for Google Assistant and Chromecast, Lorex offers seamless integration with popular smart home platforms, further differentiating it from Amcrest.
Financing options are also available for customers.
Founded in 2013, Amcrest offers a diverse range of security camera products, including NVR, DVR, PoE Cameras, Wi-Fi Cameras, Wire-Free Cameras, PTZ Cameras, and various camera packages.
Most Amcrest cameras utilize a wired data and power connection, but there are some wireless options available as well. For cloud subscriptions, Amcrest has optional plans for most of their models, allowing you the flexibility to choose based on your requirements.
All Amcrest cameras come with a standard 1-year warranty.
In contrast, Lorex, founded in 1991, primarily focuses on business users and provides a similar product range.
Similar to Amcrest, most Lorex cameras have wired data and power connections with a few wireless options. Notably, Lorex cameras do not have optional cloud subscription plans, so you'll need to rely on local storage for your footage.
The standard warranty for Lorex cameras is 1 year, similar to Amcrest.
Both brands manufacture their equipment through Dahua, while Amcrest’s key benefits lies in its ONVIF compatibility, allowing for integration with third-party devices and systems.
Lorex distinguishes itself with its 30-year history, financing options, and a well-regarded reputation among DIYers and installers.
When it comes to the mobile app experience, Amcrest's average app review score is 2.25/5, while Lorex scores slightly better with a 3.6/5. Also, Amcrest offers a cloud platform called the “Amcrest Smart Home Cloud,” which provides additional features such as cloud storage and AI notifications, whereas Lorex does not have a similar offering.
One downside of Amcrest is the multiple mobile apps with a not-so-stellar quality compared to the competition. Lorex, on the other hand, suffers from low interoperability, as they don't officially advertise support for third-party systems, even though some of their products do have ONVIF and RTSP support.
Price-wise, Amcrest has options for various budgets, starting as low as $34.99 up to $919.99. In comparison, Lorex's prices range from $39.99 to $1,199.99.
Power & Data
For power options, both brands offer cameras that can be powered by PoE (Power over Ethernet), DC power, and AC power. Some Lorex cameras, such as the U471AA-E model, can also be powered by batteries and solar panels, which can make them more versatile and eco-friendly.
When it comes to data transmission, Amcrest cameras primarily use PoE and 2.4GHz WiFi. Some Amcrest models also support 5GHz WiFi and coaxial cables for data transmission. On the other hand, Lorex cameras offer more variety in their data transmission options, integrating PoE, 2.4GHz WiFi, 5GHz WiFi, and coaxial cables across their different models.
In terms of data transmission range, Amcrest analog cameras, like the AMC4KBC28-W, can transmit data over long distances (up to 2,296 ft) through coaxial cables. Lorex cameras also offer long-range transmission such as in the E892ABW model, which has a 300 ft PoE transmission range.
IP and Analog
Another difference to consider is the type of data each camera handles. Both Amcrest and Lorex offer IP cameras, which transmit digital video data over the internet or computer networks. In addition to IP cameras, Amcrest also provides analog cameras supporting HD-CVI, HD-CVBS, HD-TVI, and HD-AHD formats, while Lorex has analog cameras compatible with HD-AHD, HD-TVI, HD-CVI, and HD-CVBS formats as well.
This means that both brands cater to a range of consumer needs, offering both modern IP cameras and analog cameras for those with existing coaxial cable infrastructure.
When it comes to video quality, many Amcrest models support continuous recording with max supported frame rates of around 30 frames per second (FPS). On the other hand, Lorex cameras offer a mix of continuous and motion-activated recording, with some models offering frame rates of 15 to 30 FPS.
Amcrest cameras utilize video coding formats such as H.265 and H.264, while Lorex uses a mix of H.265, H.264, and NTSC/PAL formats. H.265 is a newer and more efficient format than H.264, allowing for better video quality and reduced file sizes. NTSC/PAL formats are mainly used for analog cameras.
Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) is a feature that helps balance exposure in scenes with contrasting lighting conditions. Amcrest offers models with both true and digital WDR, ranging from 120 to 140 dB (IP4M-1046EW-AI). Lorex models typically have digital WDR.
Noise reduction is essential for producing clear, sharp images in various lighting conditions. Most Amcrest models feature 2D and 3D Digital Noise Reduction (DNR), while Lorex models primarily offer 3D DNR (such as the LNE9383). Both companies also provide advanced video features such as Back Light Compensation (BLC), High Light Compensation (HLC), white balance control, and gain control.
Multiple Video Streams
Amcrest and Lorex cameras can support multiple video streams, with Amcrest cameras supporting up to three streams. Offering multiple video streams allows for different users to access the camera simultaneously with separate settings.
Lastly, privacy masking is essential in safeguarding personal privacy. Amcrest models often include privacy masking as a standard feature, while it's available in select Lorex models as well.
Audio & Alarms
Starting with audio features, my research shows that the majority of both Amcrest and Lorex security cameras offer integrated microphones (like the AMC4KBC28-W and E893DD-E). This means that these cameras can deliver clear audio alongside video, providing a more detailed understanding of events taking place in your property.
Integrated microphones are especially useful in scenarios where communication between people captured on video might be important for security purposes.
Moving on to alarm systems, the presence of external alarm interfaces seems to be more common in Amcrest cameras compared to Lorex models. Having an alarm interface allows your camera to connect with other security devices, creating a centralized security system that can streamline monitoring and control efforts.
Some Amcrest cameras are equipped with sirens, while many Lorex models have built-in sirens as well. Integrated sirens can provide an additional layer of security by attracting attention and potentially scaring off burglars. It's important to note that the siren loudness varies across different models, with some of the Amcrest cameras reaching up to 110 decibels.
Two Way Audio
Another noteworthy feature to consider when comparing these two brands is two-way audio. This capability allows you to listen and talk through the camera, enhancing communication with people on your property or even potentially warding off intruders. Many Amcrest and Lorex models offer this feature.
Amcrest cameras tend to have onboard storage capacities ranging from 128GB to 512GB, with most models supporting 256GB microSD cards for local storage. In addition to microSD, Amcrest cameras are compatible with storage options like Network Video Recorders (NVR), Network Attached Storage (NAS), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and Cloud.
Notably, some Amcrest models require a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for storage, such as the AMC4KBC28-W and AMC4KDM28-B.
Regarding interoperability, many Amcrest cameras support popular protocols and third-party applications like Blue Iris, ONVIF, RTSP, and CGI. These systems allow for seamless integration with existing security infrastructures, making Amcrest cameras a versatile choice for users looking to expand or improve their home security.
On the other hand, Lorex cameras offer onboard storage capacities of 256GB, available with models like the W881AAD-E, W452ASDB-E, and F461AQD-E. Lorex storage options include microSD cards, NVR, DVR, NAS, FTP, and Wireless Hubs, with certain devices limited to specific storage means. For instance, the LNE9383 camera works with NAS and FTP, while the B451AJD-E camera is compatible with microSD and NVR.
Although Lorex cameras officially support fewer interoperability options than Amcrest, select models are compatible with ONVIF, RTSP, and CGI, as seen with the LNZ44P4BW, LNZ44P12B, and LNE9383. These industry-standard protocols ensure that Lorex cameras can integrate with many security systems and provide dependable surveillance solutions.
Camera Lens Specs
Amcrest offers a wide variety of models catering to different requirements. They have cameras with focal lengths ranging from 1.4mm to 4mm, providing comprehensive coverage of the area under surveillance.
Many Amcrest models come with a fixed focus lens, which allows for a constant focus and sharp image quality. Some models also offer a motorized lens for zooming capabilities. Amcrest cameras have a resolution spectrum from 2MP to 12MP (like the IP12M-F2380EW), giving you the option to choose the right resolution for your specific needs.
Field of View
When it comes to the field of view, Amcrest is not short on options either. Their cameras have a field of view range between 90 degrees to 180 degrees horizontally. This means you can get a solution for monitoring a narrow alley or a large room without any issues. Moreover, their image sensors range from sizes 1/3″ to 1/1.7″, which means that you can expect good quality images, especially in low light conditions.
Lorex, on the other hand, also offers a diverse selection of security camera models. With focal lengths ranging from 2.6mm to 5.3mm and both fixed focus and motorized lens options, Lorex cameras excel in covering various surveillance needs. Their camera resolutions are also competitive, offering models with resolutions from 2MP to 8MP (like the LNE9383).
Lorex cameras feature a horizontal field of view starting from around 54 degrees up to 164 degrees, providing a range of coverage suitable for various surveillance scenarios. Their image sensor sizes are predominantly 1/2.8″ or 1/3″, ensuring image clarity in different lighting environments.
Amcrest offers a wide selection of camera models with various night vision functionalities, the majority of which utilize Infrared and Full-Color technology via a low light sensor. Some models, such as the IP8M-TB2886EW-AI, IP8M-2496EW-V2, and A5TN28-W, also feature a spotlight to improve visibility in dark situations. The infrared distance for Amcrest cameras typically ranges between 32 feet and 328 feet, providing expansive coverage during nighttime hours.
Lorex cameras also come equipped with diverse night vision capabilities, including Infrared, Full Color technology via a low light sensor, and Full Color via a spotlight. Models like the W881AAD-E, W452ASDB-E, V261LCD-E, and U471AA-E even boast Active Deterrence Technology, which enhances security by discouraging intruders from attempting any breach. Lorex cameras have infrared coverage that spans from 27 feet up to 300 feet, depending on the model.
Minimum Illumination for Color
Minimum illumination for color is an essential factor to consider, as a lower value suggests improved functionality in low light situations. Throughout the Amcrest range, the minimum illumination values range from 0.005 to 0.0840, while Lorex models vary between 0.005 and 0.02. In most circumstances, Amcrest offers superior low-light color visibility.
When it comes to the number of Infrared LEDs, both Amcrest and Lorex cameras offer varying options. Some models have as few as 1 LED, while others boast up to 12 LEDs. The presence of more Infrared LEDs generally results in better visibility during nighttime hours.
In terms of smart integrations, Lorex appears to offer more options, supporting Alexa, Google Assistant, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Apple TV for certain models. Amcrest supports Alexa for some models but does not currently offer Google Assistant or Chromecast support. This means that if you prefer a security camera system that easily integrates with your existing smart home ecosystem, Lorex may have an edge.
Motion detection features are crucial for effective home security. Both Amcrest and Lorex offer configurable motion zones and motion sensitivity in many of their models, which allows users to focus the camera's attention on specific areas while reducing false alarms. Additionally, both brands provide motion alerts, with push notifications being the most common method.
When it comes to advanced detection features, Amcrest has a wide variety of options across its models, including person detection, vehicle detection, face detection, heat maps, and people counting (such as the IP12M-F2380EW). On the other hand, Lorex offers person detection, vehicle detection, animal detection, and object detection in some of its models (like the W881AAD-E).
Perimeter protection features in security cameras add an extra layer of security to your property. Amcrest offers robust perimeter protection options (like in the IP8M-MD180E-AI), including tripwire detection and intrusion detection in many models, with additional features like crowd gathering detection and region entrance/exit detection available in select models. Lorex, however, appears to have fewer models with these advanced features.
Finally, both Amcrest and Lorex provide other event triggers in some of their models. Amcrest models may include triggers such as abandoned objects, missing objects, video tampering, and storage anomalies. Lorex offers similar triggers like abandoned objects, missing objects, and video tampering in some models (such as the E893AB-E).
In terms of PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) capabilities, Amcrest offers a wider range of cameras that support PTZ features compared to Lorex cameras. The PTZ capabilities allow the camera to pan, tilt, and zoom, enabling more precise monitoring of the surroundings. Most Amcrest PTZ cameras offer an extensive range of pan and tilt angles, often providing 360° pan and 90° tilt coverage.
Zooming is a significant factor to consider when selecting a security camera. Both Amcrest and Lorex offer models with digital zoom and optical zoom capabilities. Digital zoom magnifies the image using software, while optical zoom uses a physical lens to magnify the image, providing better image quality. In my research, I found that Amcrest has more cameras with digital zoom, and many models also offer optical zoom (such as the IP2M-863EW-AI and the IP4M-1083EW-AI). Lorex cameras also have digital zoom capability, but only some models feature optical zoom (like the LZV2925SC).
When it comes to AI-based features like tracking and motion detection, both brands offer select models with these advanced capabilities. These features help ensure the security system is more efficient and effective by tracking and highlighting possible threats in real-time.
In terms of weather resistance, Amcrest offers a variety of models with high IP ratings, such as IP67 and IP66, ensuring that their cameras can withstand harsh weather conditions. Most Amcrest models are made from metal, heavy-duty metal, or aluminum, indicating that they are built to be durable and long-lasting. Amcrest also offers models designed specifically for indoor use, featuring plastic construction and weather-resistant ratings for indoor security options.
On the other hand, Lorex also offers models with high IP ratings (IP66 and IP67) for weather resistance, but you can find a few models with lower IP ratings such as IP65. Lorex's camera materials include metal, heavy-duty metal, aluminum alloy, and polycarbonate, providing strength and durability to their product lineup as well.
In terms of temperature resistance, Amcrest cameras generally have a wider operating temperature range, with most models capable of functioning within -40°F to 140°F (-40°C to 60°C). Lorex cameras offer similar temperature resistance, with some models even capable of functioning within -40°F to 158°F (-40°C to 70°C), ensuring that they can operate in extreme weather conditions.
As for camera weights, both Amcrest and Lorex offer lightweight and heavy-duty options. Amcrest camera weights range from 240g to 4,699g (which is the IP4M-1083EW-AI), while Lorex cameras range from 190g to 5,300g (LNZ81P25). Heavier cameras typically come with more advanced features and higher durability, while lighter cameras may be easier to install and may be more appropriate for indoor use.
Lastly, the maximum operating humidity for Amcrest cameras is generally around 95%, while Lorex cameras have a slightly lower operating humidity, ranging from 90% to 98%. This indicates that both brands can handle high levels of humidity in the environment.
Camera Models Included in my Research