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With the many types of security cameras available on today's market, choosing the right one for any specific application can often seem overwhelming. By learning a bit about the different types of cameras, their installation, and their features, it is possible to make informed decisions that suit the needs of any home, office, or business.
Take an in-depth look at security cameras, from image sensors, IP66 and night vision operation.
Indoor Security Cameras
Gone are the days of grainy black-and-white video and pixelated views. Today's security cameras provide images in high resolution and full color. Security cameras are different from their standard camcorder counterparts because they offer a wider field of view. There are several types of indoor cameras, and each one provides its own inherent set of benefits and limitations.
A traditional camera may be able to sweep from side to side or even up and down, but its range of view is still somewhat limited. This type of camera offers a good mix of vantage point and video quality. Conversely, a dome camera offers a full 360-degree vantage point. This saves time and money when it comes to purchase and installation, but the video quality is often not on par with other types of indoor cameras. Finally, if an application calls for focus on a fixed point like an entryway or cash register, there are even fixed lens cameras available to do just that. These offer the highest-quality video of all, but the viewing area is restricted.
Outdoor Security Cameras
Many homes and businesses also utilize outdoor security cameras. These allow users to see who is coming up the driveway and keep an eye on outbuildings or entryways. These are available in traditional, dome, and fixed lens styles just like indoor cameras, and there are some highly specialized outdoor cameras allowing a wide viewpoint with ample video quality.
Outdoor cameras come in weather-resistant, durable enclosures to protect them from ice, snow, wind, rain, and even hail. They accommodate a variety of different outdoor conditions, too. Features such as infrared night vision, wireless connectivity, and even motion detection are fantastic additions to outdoor cameras. This way, whether it is bright and sunny or dark and rainy on a moonless night, the camera still captures video.
Wireless cameras are the norm these days since they do not require any special hardwiring that can damage walls or electrical systems. They are available in both indoor and outdoor styles, and they come with a wide range of features. These usually work with Bluetooth or a similar technology to send a remote signal to a monitor. While this can certainly be a boon for anyone who wants quick and simple setup, there are some things to keep in mind.
Wireless technology is convenient and easy to use in most cases but when it comes to security cameras, this technology may not always be the best choice. Radio frequency waves can interfere with the picture quality and cause interruptions in the signals between the camera and its host. Things like cordless telephones, baby monitors, and even microwaves can become problematic. For this reason, it is important to install wireless security cameras as far from these devices as possible.
Adjustable Tilt and Pan Cameras
An adjustable security camera is the perfect answer for those who want the benefits of both a standard security camera and a fixed lens camera. These can sweep from side to side, but they can also zoom in on a single point when needed. In fact, many of the more sophisticated models will allow users to program the movement from a remote computer. Things such as the camera angle, the zoom level, and even the speed at which the camera moves are all accessible. What's more, when sitting at a monitor – even in a remote location – it is possible to control the camera in such a way that it follows an area of interest. These cameras give home and business owners more control over what their cameras capture.
Motion Detection Cameras
Many security cameras these days offer motion detection, but this comes in especially handy in outdoor cameras. The camera is fitted with a motion sensor, and it detects any sort of motion at all, it starts recording. There are certainly plenty of benefits associated with this technology, including freeing up hours of DVR storage space and saving battery life, when applicable.
Perhaps the best feature associated with a motion detection camera is the camera's ability to alert you whenever it detects something moving. While this may not always be ideal, it can certainly come in handy in some applications. For instance, if a family is sleeping and someone is lurking in the yard, the system itself can sound an alarm as soon as it senses the movement.
More Security Camera Features
The features offered by security camera manufacturers are seemingly endless. It is easy to overcome nearly any problem or scenario with the right set of features. For instance, vandal-proof cameras fit inside tough cases, and there are never any exposed wires for burglars to clip. While they are definitely more difficult to break or tamper with, they are not indestructible.
Bullet cameras are very small and are perfect for watching over small areas. They are difficult for vandals and thieves to see, too. For even better protection, some security cameras can be inserted into very small spaces – and even into everyday objects. These cameras are virtually undetectable by the human eye, but there are devices on the market designed to detect them.
Finally, for intermittent mobile surveillance, a pinhole camera is always a great choice. The lenses are small and reminiscent of a pinhole, and the cameras themselves often come with wireless video and battery operation. Wireless receivers convert the signal into video and send it to a computer, TV, or DVR. Although many of these systems come with multiple cameras, it is best to stick to only one or two. Otherwise, interference can garble the wireless signal and cause distorted or pixelated video.
Cameras with Surveillance Systems
These days, cameras often come in pre-bundled surveillance kits that can save time and money. These often include not only one or more cameras, but also DVRs and other sophisticated recording devices. With full surveillance systems, it is possible to connect several cameras to a single monitor and switch between feeds as desired. What's more, many of these systems will display all of the feeds simultaneously across one or more monitors. A DVR is an optional piece of equipment, and it records the feeds in a digital format for later playback, when necessary.
There are many applications for full surveillance systems, and this is particularly true in retail businesses where theft is a common concern. However, there are several home applications for full surveillance systems. Many families use these as "nanny cams" so they can keep an eye on activities in the home while they are at work or away, but the capabilities go far beyond this. In fact, when coupled with unique software, it is possible to remotely monitor a home, unlock doors for verified guests, control the climate in the home, and much, much more.
The best way to choose a security camera or surveillance system is to identify any areas that could pose a security or safety breach. Then, determine the necessary number of cameras, along with any specific features that are available. Choosing security cameras does not have to be a difficult process once the home or business owner understands all of the camera types and features available.