After years of not much news around HomeKit cameras, it seems like we’re getting new cameras regularly now, and it’s great to see the products begin to finally mature. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing the new eufy Security 2K Indoor Cam Pan and Tilt camera. I also have been testing the eufy Security 2K Indoor Cam and recommend you check out Chance Miller’s review of the product as well to decide which one is best for you.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
eufy (owned by Anker) has become one of my favorite HomeKit manufacturers in a short time. I am using four of their outdoor cameras as well as their doorbell. Check out my full review of their outdoor cameras and my review of the new eufyCam 2 Pro to see more about their smart home products.
Low-cost HomeKit camera
While the outdoor eufyCam products are relatively expensive to get started with, their new indoor cameras are priced extremely low. For not much more than a Wyze camera, you’re getting a HomeKit Secure Video compatible camera that doesn’t require a base station and can record to a micro SD card as well.
So what does the indoor cam from eufy offer feature-wise? In a tiny form factor, you get a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi camera with night vision, local recording options, HomeKit Secure Video, pan and tilt (inside the eufy app), 2k resolution (Home app is 1080p only, and a two-way microphone). The camera can rotate 360 degrees horizontally and 96-degrees vertically. The field of view for the eufy pan and tilt camera is 125-degrees as well.
HomeKit vs non HomeKit
There are several features of the eufy pan and tilt that are not available when using HomeKit. Activity zones and AI detection (person, pets, etc.) are disabled when the camera is connected to HomeKit. It’s not as simple as using the Home app for one feature and the eufy app for another, but rather the features are greyed out, and the app clearly states to enable them, you must remove the camera from the HomeKit. The pet command function is only removed when using HomeKit, but this is an extension of the activity zones function. This function would command the pet to stop entering an area based on an activity zone. While these features are nice, I’d rather have the camera in HomeKit to use HomeKit Secure Video to end encrypted storage.
Wrap-up on eufy Pan and Tilt camera
At under $50, you really can’t beat the price point of this camera if you want a low-cost HomeKit camera. Other products are easily over $100 with a similar feature set. While HomeKit support (with Secure Video) wasn’t available at launch earlier this spring, it’s now available through a free firmware upgrade.
One of the features I appreciate about these eufy cameras is the micro SD slot. I have six total cameras from eufy, so I am over the five camera limit for HomeKit Secure Video. One of the things I realized as I was setting up the eufy pan and tit and the eufy indoor camera is that you can add more cameras to HomeKit, but can’t enable recording.
My strategy here is to have all of my cameras in HomeKit for automations, but I have a micro SD card in the eufy indoor cam for recording. Since that camera is in a low traffic area, I am okay not having it recording to HomeKit since I am still recording it locally. I would prefer Apple to raise the limit for 2 TB iCloud customers, but this workaround is useable for now. Even if you don’t allow recording, you can eufy the camera’s motion sensor to kick off HomeKit automations for turning on lights, managing the temperature, etc.
Overall, eufy has a winner here with their indoor camera lineup. It’s not made out of the same materials as something like Netatmo. Still, for a low cost, high-quality indoor camera with HomeKit Secure Video, you can’t go wrong with either the eufy Pan and Tilt or the eufy indoor camera.
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