Do Motion Sensors Have a Camera (and Can They Record?)

Wonder if your motion sensor could record? The two-in-one feature for motion sensors would be an excellent opportunity to save bucks as well as keep yourself secured. But is that possible? Let’s talk about it.

Do Motion Sensors Have a Camera?

Motion sensors can have a camera and record if the sensor is tripped. Though these cameras only record when there’s a change in motion or the sensor picks something up. Otherwise, no recording will be relayed to the DVR/NVR.

Several motion sensor models also provide integrations with external camera systems. This way, you can utilize an existing camera to toggle recording if the motion sensor detects something. Not only does this help you save up on storage but the recording doesn’t need hours of skipping to get to the evidence of any unusual activity.

Additionally, motion sensors with a camera can help troubleshoot installation problems.

If you’ve installed or plan on installing a motion sensor for the first time, it can be frustrating. The sensitivity, the sources which might trigger the sensor, and the behavior of the sensor need tweaking. Once you’ve done all three, the sensor is ready to pick up the right signals.

Luckily, if the motion sensor’s camera works – it’d be much easier to see what caused the alarm to trigger. The recording of the sensor camera would be sent to the NVR/DVR just as any other usual security camera system. If the model supports cloud-based storage, check in with your storage provider.

How Do Motion Sensor Cameras Work?

Motion sensor cameras, depending on the type of the sensor, pick up signals from objects in proximity and raise alarms. A microwave or infrared sensor would only toggle the camera to record if there’s substantial movement or change in motion near the sensor. 

Video recordings are just pictures (frames) being scrolled at a fixed speed. Taking it one step further, the sensor picks a frame from the video and then continues a search to see if there’s change in the two frames. If both are the same, there’s much less movement. If the two continue to change, the sensor would toggle the camera to start recording and start detecting movements.

Motion detector cameras also allow users to modify its sensitivity. Let’s say your sensitivity is set to 80 percent right now. This way, change which accumulates to 80 percent or more, is likely to trigger the motion sensor camera to record. However, this is fairly sensitive and prone to pick up signals from objects other than humans.

You’d have to test the sensor camera’s sensitivity and see what works for you. If you’ve mounted the camera at a remote location, it might not trigger as much. If not, you should switch it to a moderate sensitivity recorder so at least it only picks up people.  

Frequently Asked Questions on Motion Sensors Having a Camera!

Now that our discussion is nearing an end; let’s move on to a short FAQ section. We’ve got questions from our peers in the home security community on motion sensors, security cameras, and more. Here you go:

Can motion sensors record?

Motion sensors equipped with a camera can record if a change in motion is detected. For the camera to toggle recording, the motion sensor needs to pick up heat signals or microwave reflections from objects. This way, the sensor only records when necessary and saves space.
If your motion sensor doesn’t have an in-built camera, you can use your existing video surveillance system. Most cameras integrate well with sensors to allow motion-based detections. If you’re interested in recording and not just the live feed, this option can be an excellent choice.

What is motion detection recording?

Motion detection recording in security cameras allows them to record if there is movement in the frames. Two sequential frames are checked to see if there’s a difference between the two. If there is a difference, motion detectors kick off and the camera begins to record.
If a DVR is connected to your motion detector, you can customize the recordings to your taste. Setting up the sensitivity, the trigger area, and the field of view requires rigorous testing. Based on the three, the motion detection recording can be handy in case of an investigation.

How is motion detected?

Most motion sensors are passive infrared collectors which await heat signals to record. If an object close to the sensor emits such waves, motion is detected and the motion sensor triggers. However, some sensors also use sequential checks or a microwave-based proximity check to trigger.
Motion sensors also use other technologies such as ultrasonic waves and vibrations. However, these are uncommon and not quite as effective as PIR, microwave, or a mix of the two.
Lastly, motion isn’t detected through hard objects. Most of these waves fail to pass through those objects and the sensor doesn’t pick up any changes. Make sure to mount the sensor strategically such that it covers all ‘choke’ or key points of the house.

Final Words

Folks, motion sensors are great on their own. But pairing them with a security camera or going for a modern model would be your best bet at surveillance. It’s cost-effective to buy one device, it boosts your home’s security, and there’s less maintenance of two individual devices.

If you don’t prefer motion sensors that have a camera or a recording feature, pick a non-camera model. Alarm-based detections are still quite effective as well.