Video cameras come in many different styles, sizes, and with different features. They range from indoor cameras, to dummy cameras, to nightvision covert cameras, and full out surveillance systems. This quick guide will help you find the camera that’s right for your specific security needs.
Dome Cameras are the most popular types of cameras, widely used by museums, banks, and offices. They are harder to vandalize than most cameras because many offer a tamper resistant casing to protect the camera lens itself. When it is within reach, a regular camera can be moved to point at a different direction, blocked, or even broken. With the dome camera, it is protected against damage because if the camera is attacked, the dome will be damaged, not the camera itself. A dome camera also can’t be moved to point in another direction (since it is protected by the dome), and since the the direction the camera is pointing in is hidden, it can not be easily blocked. Dome cameras can also hold infrared cameras for nightvision capabilities and they are extremely easy to install in drop ceilings. The only bad side to the dome camera is that it is small and might not be able to fit a big lens, which is needed for long distance recording.
Box Cameras are made for mounting on walls or any vertical surface. Another advantage of getting a box camera is that unlike the dome camera, it can be used with a larger lens for long distance recording. The only thing you would have to worry about with a box camera is someone vandalizing it or moving the camera to point in another direction.
Infrared Cameras are used in low light conditions for recording in complete darkness. The little LED lights around the camera emit a light that is invisible to the human eye, but allows the cameras to record a clear image in the dark. The more LED lights the camera has, the further away the camera can record in darkness. A good rule to follow is that each LED light means the camera can see one foot away. Therefore, if a camera has 30 LED’s then it probably can see about 30 feet away. This rule does not apply to the Cat’s Eye LED, which is a newer and less commonly used version which uses larger LED lights (you would know the difference between the two just by the size of the LED lights). One thing to note about infrared cameras is that they have a limited life since they are illuminating light bulbs and do burn out over time.
Bullet Cameras are great for when you want the camera to be inconspicuous but not 100% covert. Due to their small size they can be set up almost anywhere, but should be out of reach of any would-be vandals since it can easily be moved or covered up. They are also used in well illuminated areas such as offices since they do not come with nightvision or infrared capabilities. Also should be used for shorter to middle distances since they are small and not made to use large lenses for long distance recording.
Covert Cameras are designed to be exactly what the name says: covert. They are made to look and function like a regular everyday object like a wall clock, fire alarm, or even a digital clock radio. They have plenty of uses ranging from home security, child monitoring, as a nanny cam, for recording important meetings, etc. Before installing a covert camera you should check your local laws since different states have different laws.
Wireless Cameras are used when connection to the digital video recorder is not practical or when you would like to wirelessly transmit video from one place to another. The benefit of a wireless camera is that you can set it up in one room and view and or record it in a completely different area. Ideal for sting operations or day-to-day surveillance, these cameras are portable, wireless, and easily set-up easily anywhere, anytime. Portable wireless cameras (such as the Wi–ViZion EX30) are also a good example of why having a wireless camera is a good idea. You can install the camera in a hard to reach place, and without any dangling wires, be able to see and record the video feed from anywhere.
Pan Tilt Cameras are the more expensive and useful cameras than the fixed cameras. As the name implies, these cameras allow you to wirelessly move the direction the camera is pointing and zoom in or out to get a better picture. They can also be programed to perform pre-defined tours and upon the event of an alarm the camera can swing to a specified location before continuing its tour. You can also override the pre-programed tour at anytime and take control of the camera.