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Home security cameras are available in bullet or dome design, and you will likely choose between the two when shopping for the components of your surveillance system. As the terms imply, the dome camera has the rounded or egg-shaped top that looks like a dome, while the bullet camera are shaped like rifle bullets, or sometimes, protrude outwards in the manner of a gun barrel.
Other than the difference in appearance, bullet and dome cameras can have similar features and functionalities, though there are some slight differences that make end users choose one over the other.
The physical design of the bullet camera that comes ,with a mounting handle make it much easier to install because all you have to do is choose the spot on the wall, ceiling, or roof to which you will attach it. The mounting handle or arms are usually provided with screws that secure the camera in place. Mounting and pointing the bullet camera towards the direction that you want is easily done. On the other hand, dome cameras are likewise easy to mount but you have to locate an appropriate mounting place that will give the best angle of view for the area that you want to monitor.
To see how much difference there is between the dome and bullet cameras, taking a look at the different aspect of the installation and goals of the security system will provide a better comparison.
Dome and bullet cameras are appropriate for installation indoors or outdoors. You can select either design for indoor or outdoor use because both have models with the appropriate IP (Ingress Protection) ratings that suit your requirements, including the higher ratings that are suitable for outdoors and can withstand harsh weather conditions and environmental abuse. However, many prefer dome cameras for indoor security monitoring while outdoors, there is a prevalence of the bullet type.
Dome cameras are preferred for indoor installations because the camera designs can blend perfectly with the décor, architecture, and light fixtures, which help to conceal the camera. Covert security system installations favor the use of dome cameras since these are harder to spot and the dome camera housing hides the direction to which the camera is pointing.
The protruding shape of the bullet camera makes concealment difficult. Security professionals sometimes use these cameras deliberately in some areas to make it obvious that a security camera is in place because they believe it discourages vandalism, theft, and other illegal activities that the camera can record. The same can be said for bullet cameras installed indoors in prominent locations. The purpose is to make people aware that all activities in the area are recorded and can be reviewed as necessary. And because bullet cameras can accommodate longer lenses, the range of coverage is longer, making it more appropriate for outdoor surveillance.
Camera Range and Angle of Vision
The range covered by home security cameras depend on built-in features like the type of sensor chip, resolution, Auto Gain Control, Back Light Compensation, and the type of lens. Because of its design, bullet cameras can be equipped with larger and longer lenses compared with dome cameras. Thus, bullet cameras have a wider range of application, from the wide-angle expanse covered by small lenses, to the narrow-angle but sharper images provided by larger lenses, including longer range of coverage. Bullet cameras are typically equipped with the smaller lenses that the size of the dome can accommodate, though there are some exceptions where you will find dome cameras with large lenses too. What this means is that when it comes to range and angle of vision, either camera design are available in appropriate models that will meet your requirements. You can also find dome cameras in the market with an extensive range.
Security cameras are equipped with infrared LEDs to ensure the availability of light at any time of the day and under any weather condition. Thus, whether you select a dome or a bullet camera, the light function is the same. During the daylight hours and when there is sufficient lighting, the cameras use the common lenses. However, when the camera senses lack of light in its field of view, it automatically uses the infrared LEDS to provide sufficient lighting.
When it comes to durability, the focus is really on the camera housing and its capability to withstand abuse from the environment and from deliberate physical attacks. People who do not want their activities monitored or recorded often subject surveillance cameras to direct physical abuse. To withstand these physical attacks, the camera housing is reinforced or vandal-proofed.
Dome cameras are judged to have housings that are more durable than bullet cameras, even when both claim being vandal proof. The protruding design of bullet cameras are easier subjected to abuse when compared with the vandal proof domes with durable enclosures.
Video surveillance cameras require protection against environmental conditions that can affect the functioning of the lens and the electrical circuitry that the camera contains. Thus, security cameras have the IP ratings based on the degree of protection against dust and liquid ingress into the housing. The IP rating is a two-digit number, with the first digit referring to dust protection while the second refers to protection against liquid or moisture. Higher IP ratings mean that the camera is protected against the ingress of dust particles that can cloud the lens, and by liquid or moisture due to heavy rains, snow, sprinklers, and water hoses.
Both bullet and dome cameras are available in vandal proof models, as well as in a combination of IP ratings that will suit your requirements.
As far as the cost is concerned, bullet and dome cameras are priced competitively. The bullet cameras cost a little less since they come with only the camera itself and the mount, while the dome cameras come with the housing and extra parts. However, there are some exceptions since there are some more expensive domes, as there are bullets that are less expensive.
As far as functionality is concerned, both bullet and dome cameras have similar features and capabilities. The choice of home security cameras, whether bullet or dome, is based on the preferences of the end user and the availability of the appropriate models that will meet the security goals.