Security cameras come in many different types, which make it difficult to determine which type would best serve your needs. Some are designed with one specific purpose in mind, like LPR Cameras. Others apply to more general situations, like the familiar dome cameras you often see in ceilings. Today we’re going to educate you on the different types of surveillance cameras so that you can decide which type would work best for you.
IP or Analog Technology?
IP Network based cameras for security purposes are more popular these days since prices have begun to come down. The video quality on IP cameras is a whole lot better than what analog technology can provide. With IP you will have advanced control features via mobile devices, high-resolution images and easier options for storage. However, the cost of an IP system will still be more than what you would pay for a top-of-the-line analog system.
Shapes & Sizes
There are a variety of shapes and sizes (form factor) that surveillance cameras come in. Each one brings something different to the table. This information will help narrow down your options.
- Dome Cameras
Dome cameras are likely the most commonly used form factor today, often seen being used in commercial security applications. They are mounted at the base and the camera can be pointed in any direction. Because the casings are often blacked out it is difficult to see exactly where the lens is pointing.
- Bullet Cameras
Bullet cameras are installed on a mounting base and set up to point in one specific direction. It is easy for anyone to see where the camera is pointing. Bullet cameras are typically better than an IR dome if you want a night-vision camera because they can be made with more, very powerful infrared LEDs in the housing.
- Fisheye Cameras
Fisheye security cameras are quite thin, but can cover a wide area. They have become more popular in the IP revolution because they provide much higher resolution and have a lot more capabilities. With these cameras, you get 360º coverage plus the software that controls them dramatically reduces the fisheye effect. You can get enormous coverage with just one camera.
- Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) Cameras
PTZ surveillance cameras usually come in a dome shape. The software and servomotors enable you to pan the area, tilt the camera and zoom the lens to focus in on a single target anywhere in the surveillance camera’s line of vision.
If you intend to use your camera at night to record video, you definitely want an infrared camera. But, if you need your camera for low light conditions, consider installing a wide-dynamic-range (WDR) camera or an extremely low light camera (low LUX), as these might work just fine.
Vandal Resistant Cameras / Outdoor Rated Cameras
These two are not always the same, however, if you have a camera that’s vandal resistant it will be outdoor-rated. These usually come in a dome shape, although many vandal resistant outdoor cameras being used are bullet shaped.
Wired or Wireless Technology?
Due to quality and reliability, most of the camera surveillance systems are wired. Wireless systems have gone down in price and can be reliable. But, if you want a top-quality wireless security system that covers a lot of areas, it will need a lot more engineering. For it to work well, the equipment is going to cost you more than a comparable wired system.