What to Consider When Buying CCTV Cameras


You need to consider the following things when buying a security camera:


Advantages of using an infrared (IR) security camera:

  • Infrared Cameras produce high resolution color video during the day. In low lux (light) or no light conditions they are the preferred camera type.
  • They are able to “illuminate the area” by automatically switching from color to black and white. The infrared illuminators turn on and allow you to see much cleared that the human eye in both low light and no light.
  • Whether being used indoor or outdoor, they provide a huge advantage in low light or no light situations.
  • They can be weatherproofed and can withstand hot and cold temperatures without any additional camera housing needed.
  • Indoor infrared cameras offer a clear video image in the light and in the dark.


Advantages of a dome camera:

  • Expect a clear color high resolution picture with the dome camera.
  • Most pan tilt zoom cameras are in a dome type housing as well.
  • Professional “box type” cameras are used both indoor and outdoor with a camera housing.


Advantages of a pro box camera:

  • Lenses can be changed on the pro box camera based on the viewing angle and zoom that is required.
  • Some Pro Box Cameras are called day / night cameras as they can switch from color during the day to black and white in the evening or in low lux (light conditions).
  • The lower the lux, the better the camera can see in complete darkness.
  • Infrared cameras are considered night vision cameras and have a 0 Lux rating. You might prefer a box camera if you do not need or want infrared and are more concerned with quality daytime video.


Benefits of a pan tilt zoom camera:

  • You can capture a license plate or zoom in on a face from far away.
  • You can also program them to do preset tours where you can have them monitor certain areas while you are away.
  • Airports, casinos, large department stores such as Target or Walmart are examples of places that use PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras).
  • Pan tilt zoom cameras are expensive, starting at $500 and up. The question is, “do you need a pan tilt zoom camera”, or can you use fixed cameras to get the desired solution?
  • Pan tilt zoom controllable cameras require one additional cable for operation. A CAT5 cable is needed in addition to the power/video RG-59 Siamese coax cable in order to control it live and over the internet. Simply run a CAT5 cable next to the RG-59 to control your pan tilt zoom camera.


Benefits of hidden cameras:

  • The main disadvantage is that hidden cameras do not have infrared capabilities which limit their performance in low light.
  • In addition, many hidden cameras are not weatherproof, so they take are not as useful as infrared bullet and dome cameras when being used outdoors.
  • Pharmacies, hallways of hotels, assisted living facilities, and homes are examples of some of the applications in which hidden cameras are used.







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