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If you own a car park or a business where you need to carefully monitor and record the cars that are entering or exiting the premises, installing a license plate recognition camera can be your best choice. Unlike other security cameras, LPR cameras are specifically designed to capture, record, and store license plate information in any outdoor environment.

Best License Plate Recognition (LPR) Security Cameras
9.3 2MP License Plate Recognition Camera - Smart IP PoE Motorized VF 2.8-12mm Lens Bullet for License Plate Capture, Exterior Compatible with Hikvision DS-2CD4A26FWD-IZS
Top PickCaptures in any lighting condition
9.1 HDView License Plate Camera, 4-in-1 (TVI/CVI/AHD/960H) Bullet Camera, 2.4MP Full HD 1080P Security Camera with IR Night Vision, Long Range 5-50mm Lens Surveillance Camera, WDR, HLC
Runner UpLPR camera with TVI video mode
9.0 DIGITAL WATCHDOG | DWC-MB44IALPR MEGAPIX 4 MEGAPIXEL License Plate Recognition Bullet IP Camera
PoE camera with high resolution and Cold Start function

How does an LRP camera work?

Security cameras designed with license plate recognition technology have different complex algorithms that have been developed specifically to capture and record number plates with high accuracy. These algorithms help the camera distinguish the license plate from other areas in its video capture and then read the characters on the license plate with precision. 

Once the camera captures the plate, optical character recognition (OCR) is used to identify and read the plate number. The data is then sent to a compatible NVR device or a cloud-based application.

What sets LPR technology aside is its capability of not only capturing and storing images and video footage but also converting the number plate into plain text. This data is then conveniently stored into a specialized database that acts as a management system and saves you time when browsing and searching for specific entries.

With advanced technical specifications, LPR cameras are the best solution when it comes to advanced security and surveillance for your business.

Best License Plate Recognition (LPR) Security Cameras

This LPR camera by Hikvision is suitable for outdoor environments with almost no sources of light. Designed to work in ultra-low lighting conditions, it is great for clear vehicle images and identifying license plate numbers in darkness. Thanks to its integrated SD card slot, you can store footage up to 128GB.

Top Features
  • Power Over Ethernet (PoE) means fewer installation cables.
  • Works in extremely low lighting conditions thanks to EXIR illuminators.
  • Motorized lens with optical zoom.

The camera also supports PoE, so there is no need for extra power cables for installation. However, to complete installation and setup you will need to connect your camera to a compatible NVR device with LPR software.

Camera specifications

The camera offers high resolution with 2MP photos and full HD 1080p 60fps videos. It also includes a 2.8-12mm motorized lens so you can have accurate control when zooming in and out. The viewing angle covers a zone of 113° – 33.8° so it gives a good perspective and view.

Runner Up
LPR camera with TVI video mode

With four different modes available, the LPR camera by HDView is suited for a variety of DVRs. By default, it has the TVI video mode enabled but you can easily switch to CVI, AHD, or 960H. This camera is only for license plate capture, not recognition.

Top Features
  • 2.4MP High-Definition camera
  • Long-range lens of 5-50mm.
  • Works in 4 modes – TVI, CVI, AHD, and 960H.

Installation and setup

To install the camera, simply mount it on the wall and then set the position of the lens towards the area you want to cover. You may also want to adjust the focus and zoom to make sure everything is captured properly. 

For a complete setup, a compatible DVR device with LPR software is required.

Camera specifications

The HDView license plate camera has an integrated 2.4MP camera and 1080p resolution. It is built with a long-range lens of 5-50mm allowing you to cover a bigger and wider area from the mounting point. You can also zoom in or out with much more accuracy. 

It also features IR night vision so you can rest assured it will capture plates even during the night.

PoE camera with high resolution and Cold Start function

Compared to other cameras listed, the Digital Watchdog camera has the highest resolution and produces 4MP high-definition images. This camera features a motorized lens with auto-focus and a 6-50mm range. IR night vision is also included.

Top Features
  • 4MP high-definition camera.
  • Captures license plates from vehicles in motion up to 50mph.
  • Works in extremely low temperatures; as low as -40 degrees.

Cold Start function

Equipped with an integrated heater, this camera is designed to be resistant to extreme weather conditions and is IP66 certified. The Cold Start function makes sure the camera works even if temperatures drop as low as -40 degrees. Very convenient for heavy winter areas. 

Car speed up to 50mph

Even with cars moving at a high speed of up to 50mph, the LPR camera by Digital Watchdog can capture clear images with up to 60’ capture range. It can easily recognize license plates in low light conditions as well. 


This camera requires compatible NVR devices with LPR software.

When connected to a compatible Speco NVR series recorder (which can be purchased separately), the LPR camera features a powerful Search and Match function. It acts as a management tool, providing you with clear analytics and monitoring capabilities.

Top Features
  • Includes a junction box and PoE.
  • Two-way audio support.
  • Built with Search and Match function.

The camera can easily be accessed with the Speco app on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. You can then adjust settings and monitor the surroundings from anywhere.

Camera specifications

The LPR camera by Speco captures license plates with a resolution of 2MP and at vehicle speeds up to 40mph. The motorized lens has a 7-22mm range. The integrated smart IR covers a range of up to 330 feet. 


With IP67 weather-resistant housing and junction box, this camera can be installed both outdoors and indoors. It uses PoE as a standard but you can also purchase a different power supply separately.

The IC real-time camera is designed to capture license plates at frame rates of up to 30fps. It identifies vehicles moving at up to 30mph and can read license plate information from a 50-foot distance.

Top Features
  • Includes a 1/3” Panasonic CMOS sensor.
  • 2MP motorized lens, 5-50mm range.
  • Clear black & white images for day and night.

The integrated black and white sensor captures clear images, whether it’s daytime or nighttime. The camera also features 30 IR LEDs. 

Camera specifications

It comes with a 2MP camera and varifocal motorized lens with a range of 5-50mm. It also includes a 1/3” Panasonic CMOS sensor, useful for both short- and long-range recognition. 


The IC Realtime license plate recognition bullet camera is easy to install and comes with an aluminum casing. Designed for outdoor environments, it can operate in less friendly weather conditions, where temperatures drop to 14°F  degrees. However, when it comes to weather conditions, it cannot win over the LPR camera by Digital Watchdog that is designed to operate even at -40°F degrees. 


This camera requires compatible NVR devices with LPR software.

The CCTV Camera Pros license plate recognition camera is the best choice if you need to capture license plate information at high-speeds of up to 65mph. This is a bonus point compared to the other cameras listed.

Top Features
  • Captures license plate information off vehicles moving at speeds up to 65mph.
  • Equipped with HD-TVI camera using coax cable.
  • 2MP resolution and 1080p high-definition video capturing.

It features different modes depending on traffic intensity – whether it’s used for parking lots, highways and roads, or entry gates – you can adjust it to meet your needs. 

Camera specifications

This camera has a 2MP resolution and captures video footage at 1080p thanks to the HD-TVI-type camera. With built-in IR, it works well in any lighting conditions. 

The 7-22mm varifocal lens allows you to accurately zoom in and out. It can also recognize plate numbers from  up to a 45-feet distance.


It is recommended to mount the camera at a distance of 45-feet from the point where the license plates will be captured. 


To use the CCTV LPR camera, an HD-TVI compliant surveillance DVR with LRP software is required.

Common Questions Relating to License Plate Recognition (LPR) Security Cameras

What is ANPR / LPR?

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) or License Plate Recognition (LPR) provides the technology to effectively identify, capture, and store license plate numbers off moving vehicles.

Can security cameras read license plates at night?

Regular security cameras lack the specialized parameters needed to deliver optimal images at night. With various factors such as moving speed, lighting conditions, and the type of lens – getting a clear license plate identification at night can be quite a challenge. Most security cameras are not properly equipped for this task. 

Theoretically, security cameras can capture license details at night, but it is highly recommended to go for a specialized LPR camera if you want clear and accurate results.

What is the best place to install an LPR?

Choosing the right location when installing an LPR camera is crucial if you want to get the best results. It is recommended to mount the camera in a place where cars move at a constant speed: for example the entry/exit gate of a parking lot. The height of the camera depends on how far the targeted object is. 

Another factor to consider is the recognition distance supported by an LPR camera, which is determined by the camera’s focal length. 
The installation angle should not exceed 30 degrees for both vertical and horizontal planes.

What is the difference between a regular security camera and a license plate security camera?

A license plate security camera is a specialized camera designed for the sole purpose of reading plate numbers in various, even critical conditions. Factors such as movement, lighting, and distance are key in the development of LPR cameras. 

Compared to a regular security camera, which is less performant, an LPR camera ensures an optimal license plate image in any given environment.

The Verdict

Before purchasing an LPR camera, make sure you carefully read the technical specifications to determine what is the best choice for you. 

Whether you need to capture number plates at high speeds, in extreme weather conditions, or pitch-black environments – there are plenty of good options on the market that you can choose from.

This LPR camera by Hikvision is suitable for outdoor environments with almost no sources of light. Designed to work in ultra-low lighting conditions, it is great for clear vehicle images and identifying license plate numbers in darkness. Thanks to its integrated SD card slot, you can store footage up to 128GB.

Top Features
  • Power Over Ethernet (PoE) means fewer installation cables.
  • Works in extremely low lighting conditions thanks to EXIR illuminators.
  • Motorized lens with optical zoom.


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