An Introduction to Security Cameras
There are many different types of security cameras out there and if you are new to the security and surveillance system world, it can be a little confusing. When determining what the best cameras are for you, it is important to understand their functions. For example, certain cameras may look nice but they might not offer the features you need. Some cameras can be controlled remotely and others cannot, some are able to pan and tilt while others are more discreet. To help you determine which security camera best fits your needs, we have compiled a short introduction for the major camera types we offer.
Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera- These cameras can be adjusted quickly, change direction, zoom and even lock in on a person or object and follow it. They can spin around and angle up and down to capture multiple angles. A motorized interior mount is what allows these cameras to move. The cameras can be controlled remotely from a PC or smartphone. Users can pre-program movement or control it moment by moment. These are often recommended for users who need to monitor a large area like a warehouse. PTZ cameras are available in multiple technologies including Analog, CVI, TVI, SDI and IP.
Dome Camera- Like the name suggests these cameras are dome shaped and are available in both indoor and outdoor models. Most of these cameras are vandal-proof and water resistant which makes them durable and long lasting. While these cameras are not considered to be “hidden cameras,” the tinted dome around the camera means that people can’t tell if the camera is pointing at them which can be a useful tool in catching theft. Many models even come with night vision and long range capabilities. This style is very popular and available across multiple technologies.
Bullet Camera- Also sometimes referred to as a lipstick camera, these cameras are cylindrical shaped. There are models for both indoor and outdoor use. This style of camera may provide options for a varifocal lens but they are not typically pan/tilt/zoom capable. These cameras are discrete due to their small size and work great for filming a fixed location.
Box Camera- These are simple, box shaped cameras. Like bullet cameras, they have fixed and varifocal lens options and are not pan/tilt/zoom capable. Box cameras work with an industry standard C/CS mount and can be used both indoors and outdoors. The most common use for these cameras is to monitor traffic and traffic lights. They are larger than bullet cameras and not very discreet but can deter crime simply by being visible to potential criminals.
Fisheye Camera- These cameras are flat and discreet with a 360 wide lens that captures a panoramic image. These are often used overhead ceiling or wall mounted applications where 360 full monitoring is needed. While they are small and discreet they are still able to capture up to a 360 degree range. The fisheye lens will monitor all angles of a room. The wide lens is also known to distort images but with fisheye dewarping software this can be easily fixed.
LPR- License Plate Recognition cameras are surveillance cameras that are equipped with software that uses optical character recognition to read license plates. This can be a very useful tool for monitoring parking lots, gated entrances and traffic. For the best results we recommend using LPR cameras with infrared night vision so that clear images can be captured even in low light conditions. Also, while these cameras are available in Analog models, we recommend using high definition security cameras to make it easier to read license plate numbers and capture clear video.
Hidden Cameras-Also known as spy cameras or nanny cams. These discreet surveillance cameras are often hidden inside everyday items such as clocks or power outlets. They are especially effective for monitoring behavior of employees, nannies and pets without them knowing.We offer many different styles and options, some record footage onto an internal SD card while others would need to be connected to a DVR to record. There are hidden camera options in analog, CVI and IP technologies although typically the smaller or more hidden a camera is the lower the resolution will be.
All of our products come with FREE lifetime technical support by phone, email or chat. Our technicians are here to help with whatever questions you might have. We can help guide you through the step-by-step process of building the best surveillance system with tips on the best cameras, recorders and accessories for your needs and budget. Our team will make sure you have everything you need for the most affordable cost. When building your security system there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- - How many cameras will you need ?
- - Where will the cameras be placed ?
- - What technology will work best for me: IP (uses CAT5 cable) or HD Analog (uses COAX cable) ?
- - What viewing angles do you need for coverage of areas you want to view ?
- - Will the cameras be indoor, outdoor or both ?
- - How far will you need to see with night vision, if any ?
- - How much cable will you need ?
- - How many days of recording do you want your DVR to store ?
- - Do you want to be able to view surveillance footage remotely ?
- - What style of cameras do you want: bullet or dome ?
Do you really need higher megapixels cameras?
The video surveillance industry is continuing to expand into higher resolution territory with new 8mp 4K IP Cameras and 4K ultra HD systems. As the industry moves further away from traditional analog you may be wondering if it’s time for you to upgrade your camera to higher megapixel resolutions. It may not be an immediate necessity for everyone to upgrade but surveillance cameras are going to continue to increase in MP so staying ahead of the game would be a good choice.
With the higher megapixel security cameras you are getting a greater resolution which means greater coverage and fewer cameras are needed to survey a given area. Basically, the better resolution of the cameras, the less you need. With a 3 or 4 megapixel camera you are able to identify objects at greater distances. Also you can use a wide angle overview with multiple focal points as opposed to the single focal point you get with low resolution cameras.
To get detailed images for facial recognition you need at least a 2mp surveillance camera. This means that high resolution cameras are especially critical in applications where identification is key such as banks, city surveillance and retail. If your needs include facial recognition for security and license plate reading then we recommend the highest resolution cameras possible.
While higher resolution cameras are more expensive, they typically require less cabling and they cover a larger area which will save you money in the long run. IP HD security cameras require only one cable and connect over an existing network so installation is a breeze. In the end megapixel cameras will save you money and installation time. When it comes to the safety and security of your home or business you don’t want to sacrifice quality.
Designing a unique surveillance system for your home or business is as easy as clicking your mouse with our new Custom Kit Builder. With intuitive prompts that guide you along the way, you are in control of your camera styles, NVR or DVR size, power accessories and hard drive space. Still have questions, give us a call, our expert technicians are here to help. Your brand new system is only a few clicks away.