There are many types of security cameras available. Each type of camera has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Some cameras are better for outdoors, some for indoors. Some cameras are better for warehouses and some for homes. In this article we will explain the different types of surveillance cameras available and talk you through where they are best used.
Dome Security Cameras
Dome security cameras get their name from the way they look. The camera is housed in a dome-like cover. They are designed to be unobtrusive. Whilst they aren’t invisible or covert they can tend to go unnoticed. These are most often used in retail and business settings whereby the owner wants people to know they are being monitored but without the cameras sticking out like a sore thumb.
One of the advantages of a dome security camera is its shape. To an onlooker, at a distance, it looks like the camera could be facing any direction. It’s only when you get up close and inspect the unit can you see where the camera is pointing.
Some dome cameras come with a frosted or mirrored cover. This means that no matter how close you get, you will not be able to see the direction the security camera is facing.
Another advantage of a dome security camera is that it is vandal resistant. The compact and static nature of the design gives the camera extra resistance against any attempts to disable the camera through brute force. As the cameras are fixed directly to the wall or ceiling without a mount, it’s incredibly difficult to knock it off.
When it comes to disadvantages of this type of camera there are a few to mention.
They are not suitable if you are trying to communicate to would be burglars that the property has security cameras installed as they are discreet.
The design of the camera makes them less weatherproof compared to other types of cameras. Whilst the front of the camera is compact, the back is often not due to the wiring. Dust and water could potentially seep through the back of the casing. When working out where to place these cameras – ideally, put them below an overhang so they are somewhat shielded from the elements.
Bullet Security Cameras
Next up – bullet cameras. These security cameras also get their name from the way the look. Their long, rectangular shape makes them look like a bullet. The camera is housed within a rectangular casing. These are more traditional security cameras have been around for a while.
Bullet cameras can only point in one direction. To anyone looking at the camera, it’s obvious as to which direction the security camera is pointing. This could give intruders the ability to map out where your security coverage is leading them to areas which you have potentially overlooked in your security camera set up.
However, bullet security cameras are very adaptable and have a place in nearly every security camera system installation. They can be placed both indoors and outdoors as the majority are weather proof. In fact, most bullet cameras are better weather proofed compared to dome cameras.
Also, because the manufacturer is not limited in the amount of space they have to place with then designing the camera, they will also come with very useful features such as day/night mode and infrared.
Bullet cameras are very easy install. They have a mount which needs to be attached to the wall and, for wired cameras, a wire to run out of the camera. However, being easy to install also means they are easy to disable and can be knocked out of place with a rock or stick.
Finally, in the main, you will find that bullet security cameras are cheaper than other types. It’s definitely worth including a few bullet cameras into your installation to bring the overall price down.
Pan-tilt-zoom security cameras
Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras look similar to a dome camera but they have some key difference.
Firstly, as the name suggests they can pan and zoom without needing to manually adjust the camera. Controlled either via a security terminal, smartphone app or programmed to operate in an automated fashion – these types of cameras can spin round, changing their field of vision as well as zoom in.
The pan gives the camera the ability to move its field of vision horizontally. The tilt gives the camera the ability to move vertically. The zoom gives it the ability to zoom into a specific area.
These features give the camera some obvious benefits over dome or bullets. Firstly, you can use one camera to cover an area where previously you may have needed a few. As the camera has the ability to cover a 360 field of view it can cover multiple areas.
Secondly, for big warehouses, you can use one PTZ camera on a railing that will give it ability to move around the outskirts of the property.
Hidden security cameras
Hidden cameras are also known by a number of names: discreet security cameras, spy cameras and, more recently nanny cams.
This type of security camera is designed so that it is undetectable. Often they are hidden inside another object like a clock, smoke alarm or a teddy bear. Infact, the objects in which you can hide a spy camera are endless.
These cameras have become very popular in households where a nanny is looking after children. This gives the parents the ability to ensure that their nanny is not abusing their children.
In work settings businesses tend to use these cameras if regular theft from the premises is ongoing. By using a hidden security camera the thief will be unaware that the area is being recorded. This gives the business the upper hand because all the evidence will be recorded when the thief strikes next.
In terms of benefits – Being hidden and undetectable is the obvious one. If you have a scenario in which you don’t want anyone to know you are recording the area than a discreet camera is ideal.
When it comes to disadvantages – the camera’s size makes it very difficult for manufacturers to build high spec devices. Sometimes you may be sacrificing on the quality of the image in order to maintain the hidden nature of the camera.
Whilst high specification spy cameras do exist, be prepared to pay a lot for them!
All in one home security cameras
All in one home security devices are new on the market. These cameras are fitted inside a multi functional hub that do more than just capture footage. The Canary all in one home security device is a great example of this new type of security camera.
Common features include:
- The ability to both see and hear what is going on in a particular area
- Wide angle viewing ranges
- 1080p footage
- extremely loud alarms that will sound should the device detect anything
- Monitors air quality and temperature
- Paired with a smartphone to send notifications
These devices have become especially popular in the home environment. However, they are not suitable for outdoor use.
They are best used in homes that want a security system but don’t want to pay out for a fully blown surveillance system as well as installation.