Products Products

Guide to Selecting Security Camera

There are a lot of CCTV cameras on the market, they all look very similar and the terminology can be confusing. Selecting the wrong cameras will mean the cctv system is only good for observation with poor picture detail.

Before selecting a CCTV Security Camera to protect your home or business, take the following points in to consideration:

1. Type of camera

Most common cameras outdoor are the bullet, domes, PTZ and covert. There are others such as box cameras, spy cameras, vehicle and wildlife cameras.

Consider things such as:

Where will they be used indoor or outdoor? Outdoor cameras can be mounted internally but internal cameras cannot be used externally. External camera need to be weatherproof (suitable IP rating).

Do they need to be discreet or would visible be a better deterrent? Bullet cameras are more visible and a good deterrent whereas dome cameras can be more discreet . Dome cameras are also more vandal resistant and suitable for mounting lower down.

Types of Security Cameras
2. Resolution

The term resolution, defines the amount of image that a security camera is able to capture and is measured as number of pixels. The higher the number of pixels, the more image detail the camera will be able to capture. Higher number of pixels also helps with digital zoom without too much blurring of the image.

Security camera resolution is very important when it comes to the overall video quality of your camera system.

Resolutions of Security Cameras

See section on .... CCTV Camera terminology explained

3. Lens

It is very important to select a suitable lens on a cctv camera. Cameras with smaller focal length (for example, 3.6mm) have a larger field of view and are referred to as wide angle lenses. Lens with smaller focal lengths are good for covering large areas, however the level of detail in large area will be very poor.

For capturing more detail at distance (like gates etc), always select larger focal length cameras. Field of view will be greatly reduced but with greater detail at longer distances.

Selecting suitable lens for security camera
4. Image Sensor

The image sensor is the most important part of a good cctv security camera. Light (image) passes through the lens on to an image sensor (pixels). The quality of the image sensor will determine how well the image is reproduced inside the camera; such as, reproduction of colours, black & white tones, day & night etc.

Always consider a good quality image sensor; such as SONY, SONY Starvis, Panasonic, OmniVision

5. Night Vision (Infra-red)

Most cctv security cameras on the market have infrared (IR) technology that allows the capture of video at night (in total darkness). Infrared cameras are important for areas that are poorly lit at night. Each IR camera has a range on how far objects can be seen at night; this is called the illumination range. This is measured in meters. Always consider cameras with more IR than actual distance of the area being covered. CCTV Cameras with smart IR with auto adjust to avoid over exposure.

6. HD Technology

Over the past few years, camera technology has changed quite considerably. A HD CCTV camera with resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) is almost 5 times higher than standard analogue video (operating at 700TV Lines).

HD SDI - offers broadcast quality 1080P resolution. Can only be used with quality RG59 coaxial cable.

HD TVI - offers very good quality 1080P resolutions. Main advantage it can used with Pre-made leads, RG59 Coaxial cable and Cat5 Cabling.

AHD (Analogue HD) - offers very good quality 1080P resolutions. Main advantage it can used with Pre-made leads, RG59 Coaxial cable and Cat5 Cabling.

AHD, HD TVI and HD CVI are similar technologies.

7. WiFi, Wireless

The term "wireless" & "WiFi" are used to describe a system without cables. Remember with any wireless or WiFi cctv system, you will need to power each camera locally and consider transmission path for the signal (ie, line of sight).

A wireless camera will be an analogue camera (using pure radio transmission). HD cctv cameras will not work with this type of transmission.

The term "WiFi" is used in cctv to describe cameras that use a network. This also uses radio transmission but in a digital form. It is possible to use Wifi units to connect IP cameras and DVR for remote access. Talk to our technical sales or support team for advice.