Types Of Security Camera
There is a vast variety of security cameras to choose from, depending on your needs. They come in many sizes and shapes, and are built differently depending on intended location of use. To meet the wide range of security needs of users, security cameras can also differ broadly in terms of many features such as range of motion, light sensors, recording format, and wiring. Finally, you also need to consider the purpose of the camera – monitoring, deterrence or spying?
Shape and Size
The two most common types of security camera shapes are dome and bullet. Dome security cameras offer a wider field of vision, which can be 180 or even 360 degrees, and are easier to install. Bullet security cameras have a narrower field of view, typically 60 to 90 degrees, but offer superior resolution and less distorted images.
Location of Use
Indoor and outdoor camera models differ in many ways. Outdoor cameras need to be more rugged and withstand weather changes like rain, temperature changes, and dust. Also, you may want outdoor models to have a faster video speed, to capture fast moving vehicles. Outdoor cameras may also suffer the problem of insufficient light, so having infra-red capabilities will help.
Range of Motion
Most security cameras are fixed (immovable) but sometimes, motorized cameras can rotate to change the field of view according to changes in the environment. PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras can rotate on two axles and can be controlled remotely from a mobile device or an off-site computer if you want to manually scan an area or focus and zoom on specific areas for suspicious activity.
Security cameras can capture visible light or infra red light. To see better in the dark, whether indoors or outdoors, it is essential to use an infrared camera, or fix the camera with infrared LEDs. Security camera models also differ in terms of the way the light is captured – whether by CCD (charge-coupled device) or CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor). CMOS security cameras use less power but the quality of the images they capture may not be as good as CCD security cameras.
Security cameras can also be classified based on the way their images are recorded. PAL /NTSC cameras record videos in PAL format (Europe, China, India) or NTSC format (USA, Japan). This distinction, although arising since the days of analogue TVs, remains important even in the age of digital TVs and cameras, because of certain characteristics like refresh rates that differ for PAL/NTSC formats.
Almost all security cameras today are digital cameras, but we do also have hybrid cameras which allow for analog recording format.
Wired or Wireless
A traditional security camera needs two kinds of cables: one cable for power and one cable for transmitting data. Today, the term “wireless security camera” is commonly used to refer to wifi security cameras which transmit data wirelessly via wifi signals. Also, in the age of the internet, internet security cameras which store data on the internet are also popular. However, due to high power consumption, even wifi cameras normally need electrical wiring, so they may not be “perfectly wire-less”. Battery operated wifi cameras usually need huge batteries, like car batteries. You may also wish to consider the benefits of a wired system as well. Some cameras, ie POE (Power-over-Ethernet) cameras, can use one single cable for power as well as data transmission.
Purpose of Camera
Most security cameras are used for monitoring, but sometimes the real purpose is not monitoring, but deterrence. A clearly visible large outdoor security camera with some big CCTV signage nearby can be used as a strong deterrent against crime. If monitoring is not essential, or if there are budget constraints, consider using some dummy security cameras which look exactly like real cameras.
If your intention is not deterrence, but rather to catch thieves red-handed, then the purpose of camera is spying. We also have spy cameras which don’t look like cameras at all, but are cleverly disguised as common objects in the house, so that you can catch unsuspecting thieves in the act, such as door peephole cameras and smoke detector cameras.
Security cameras also differ in size. A camera with powerful optical zoom will definitely be bigger in size. A mini security camera can be small enough to fit in your pocket and is less obtrusive when installed on your premises, blending into your surroundings. An industrial-grade PTZ camera (pan-tilt-zoom camera) offers powerful surveillance capabilities but is bulky and will require more expertise to install.