door buzzer system with camera on building

There’s a good chance you’ve used a buzzer system when visiting a friend or family member’s apartment. Or maybe you’ve managed a building with a door buzzer. But are you familiar with a door buzzer system with a camera?

By adding a camera to a buzzer system, you empower tenants within the building to see video footage of who’s at the door or gate. Having this video component enhances security and improves the access experience at any property.

Read on to learn more about door buzzer systems with cameras, how they work, and how to choose the best one. We’ll also highlight a better alternative to this kind of entry system.

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What is a door buzzer system with a camera?

A door buzzer system with a camera is a building entry system that allows tenants to request property access by “buzzing” a tenant and enables tenants to see visitors before letting them in.

Door buzzer entry systems get their name from the buzzing sound they make when someone requests access. To request access, a visitor simply presses a button on a device installed at the property’s entrance. When a tenant hears the buzzing sound, they know they have a visitor. From there, they can talk to the visitor and/or open the door for them.

A door buzzer with a camera goes beyond the traditional buzzer system because it allows tenants to see live video of their visitors. The system’s camera is built into the entryway hardware, while tenants’ in-unit devices have screens to display the video footage. Having a buzzer system with a camera increases security by allowing residents to confirm a guest’s identity before letting them in.


Listen to a door buzzer sound:


How does a door buzzer system with a camera work?

Door buzzer systems with cameras operate similarly to traditional buzzer door systems. However, the main difference is that a system with a camera transmits video footage when a visitor buzzes a tenant.

Here’s how a door buzzer system with a camera works:

  1. First, a visitor ‘buzzes’ a tenant. The system will either have a tenant directory or a designated ‘call’ button for each tenant.
  2. Next, the tenant is alerted. When a visitor places a call, the system sends signals — usually via wiring — to the correct tenant’s in-unit device. This triggers a buzzing sound, alerting the tenant of their visitor. Simultaneously, the system’s camera turns on and begins transmitting video footage to the tenant’s device.
  3. Then, the tenant talks to their visitor and grants access. To talk to their visitor, the tenant may have to press or hold a ‘talk’ button. If they want to grant access, they press a ‘door open’ button.
  4. Finally, the system triggers the door release. Once a tenant pushes the ‘door open’ button, the system sends a signal to the door release device. This unlocks the door, enabling the visitor to enter.


Watch how ButterflyMX works:


Types of video door buzzer systems

Door buzzer systems with cameras can be used at many kinds of buildings.

There are two primary types of systems:

  1. Commercial
  2. Apartment


Commercial buzzers

A commercial door buzzer system with a camera is designed for businesses, offices, and other types of commercial buildings. It enables authorized tenants, building staff, and employees to freely come and go while providing a way for visitors and delivery carriers to request property access.

Commercial doorbell buzzer systems with cameras also enhance security because they allow tenants or front desk staff to visually confirm a visitor’s identity before letting them in. Commercial buildings and offices receive many visitors, from business associates to job applicants to employees’ friends and family. So, having an entry system with a camera allows tenants to make sure visitors are who they say they are.


using commercial door buzzer system


Apartment buzzers

An apartment buzzer is a common entry system found at multifamily buildings. Many apartments have a door entry buzzer so that residents can remotely open the door for their guests and delivery carriers. This adds convenience to apartments of all sizes, but especially to large, high-rise multifamily buildings. After all, what resident wants to trek down several flights just to open the door for their visitors?

Apartment door buzzer systems with a camera also solve a common problem at multifamily buildings: Unauthorized visitors buzzing every resident in hopes of gaining access. All too often, a visitor buzzes every resident until someone lets them in. This creates a huge security risk and could result in burglary, package theft, or other crimes.

But a door buzzer with a camera empowers residents to see who’s at the door before letting them in. Residents can visually confirm a visitor’s identity and deny access if they don’t recognize the visitor.


apartment buzzer


How to choose the best door buzzer system with a camera

If you’re looking to replace a buzzer system for a door or install one in a new development, there are a few features you should look for.

The best door buzzer system with a camera has the following features:


Door release button

When purchasing a door buzzer system, make sure you choose an intercom buzzer with door release button. Without a door release button, your tenants can communicate with visitors but can’t grant them property access.

If your system only provides a way for visitors to buzz a tenant and alert them of their arrival, then tenants still have to go physically open the door or gate for them. This is a major inconvenience that negatively impacts the resident experience.



Investing in a wireless door buzzer system means you’ll save money on installation and maintenance costs.

Think about it: Wired buzzer systems require wiring between the front entrance hardware and every device in the building. Laying all that wiring throughout your building is time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, if the system experiences a wiring issue, you’ll have to break down walls just to fix it.

So, avoid the hassle of wiring entirely by choosing a wireless buzzer system with a camera. Wireless door intercom buzzers operate over the internet, a cellular network, or radio frequencies.


wireless door buzzer system with camera installed on wall


Mobile app

Most door buzzer systems with cameras require you to install hardware in every apartment or office throughout the building. Tenants use these in-unit devices to talk to visitors and buzz them in.

But instead of spending time and money installing all that hardware, choose a video door buzzer system with a mobile app. That way, residents can use their smartphones in place of in-unit hardware. By simply downloading an app, residents have the power to open doors or gates and get live video of their visitors right from their phones.

In addition to those conveniences and the cost-savings, having a door buzzer with a mobile app also empowers residents to manage access from anywhere. So, tenants won’t have to be in their home or office to open the door for a guest.


A better alternative to a door buzzer system with camera

If you’re in the market for a door buzzer system with a camera, consider instead a better alternative: an IP video intercom. An IP intercom with a camera offers improved features and functionality compared to a door buzzer.

Here’s why you should choose a video intercom instead of a buzzer system:

  • Door buzzers don’t offer convenient guest access features. When a visitor needs building access, they only have one option: to buzz a tenant and hope for a response. But with an IP video intercom, authorized guests can use credentials like virtual keys and delivery passes to gain access.
  • Door buzzer systems can’t be managed remotely. Most buzzer entry systems aren’t cloud-based, which means property staff must go onsite to manually update the system. In contrast, IP intercoms offer cloud-based software, empowering staff to manage access from anywhere.
  • A door buzzer with a camera doesn’t offer two-way video. Unfortunately, most video door buzzers only allow tenants to see visitors — not the other way around. But with an IP video intercom, both parties can see each other during a video call.


video intercom alternative to a door buzzer system with camera



  • A door buzzer system with a camera is an entry system that allows visitors to communicate with tenants and request access while empowering tenants to see their visitors and grant them remote access.
  • Door buzzer systems with a camera are most commonly found at commercial buildings and apartments.
  • If you’re purchasing a door buzzer with a camera, look for one that is wireless, has a door release button, and pairs with a mobile app.
  • Instead of purchasing a door buzzer system, consider an IP video intercom instead.


ButterflyMX apartment buzzer

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Johanna Gruber

Based in Los Angeles, I enjoy learning and writing about the real estate industry, and exploring how proptech can help people live and work better.