As you’re shopping for home security and glancing over home security camera reviews you’ve probably discovered the ultimate truth about technology these days—there are way too many options! In the world of home security cameras alone you’re going to find yourself over saturated with all the choices available to you. And the truth is this probably doesn’t feel helpful at all. We’ll try to simplify the options here by explaining what each of these things are and what might make them right for you.
Types of Cameras
- Bullet Cameras: These are small cameras, which are limited to a fixed lens and focal length, but can be fantastic for small spaces though they may not have a wide range of view.
- Dome Cameras: Most often dome cameras are mounted upon the ceiling, they contain a transparent dome over the small camera and lens, these can be tinted to obscure the camera’s angle. These are versatile cameras, not particularly aesthetically pleasing, but able to tilt, pan, and zoom. The dome is meant to protect the camera from weather or vandalism.
- IP Cameras and Wireless Cameras: Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are wireless and can deliver or receive information via a wireless network. Using Internet, or cellular waves wireless cameras make installation and positioning of these little cameras far easier than wired cameras. If you want remote access to your security system when you’re away from home then make sure you buy wireless or IP cameras.
- Hidden Cameras: Popularly known today as “Nanny Cams” these little cameras can be tucked away where they won’t be seen, even in plain site if they have been hidden in the form of another object. You might choose a hidden camera for aesthetics or inconspicuous surveillance.
These days you can even buy fake cameras, if you simply want to deter burglary without the cost of monitoring.
You can buy basically two types of lenses for your surveillance cameras, verifocal lenses and fixed lenses.
Fixed lenses are (is it obvious) unchangeable. If you have a fixed lens then you are going to deal with the field of view the way it is. This might be problematic if the field of view is too large a scope so the image is small and difficult to interpret, which would impact the placement options you have available to you. Still, they can be cheap to buy and simple to install. If you have a fixed lens and you want to change it’s field of view you can purchase a lens to put over the fixed lens.
Varifocal lenses are changeable and can be adjusted for placement where you want it with the field of view you’re hoping for. Varifocal lenses are the best option if you have that choice available to you.
Color Vs. Black and White
What kind of footage do you hope to receive? Should you even worry about getting color footage?
Black and white footage does have its benefits, you will get clearer images in low lighting and often black and white cameras are much cheaper. That said, these days nearly all color cameras are capable of switching to black and white in low lighting or even night vision. Which means getting your color footage during the light hours and night vision during dark hours will help you get the best surveillance possible.
When using analog video then make sure you’re looking for the highest TVL or TV lines of resolution possible. TVL really means the number of data points the camera is actually going to collect. If you can get somewhere between 480 to 700 TVL you’ll have a decent image quality.
If you need image quality in the dark because that’s your highest concern then consider infrared LED cameras. These cameras actually shed light—infrared light, mind you—into the darkness and the lens then can pick up that light as though bright as day.
Finally, your best option of all is going to be a digital camera! These collect so much information you cannot only tilt and pan during live footage, but you can zoom into footage after the fact!
Having narrowed down the playing field we hope you can select the elements that are important to you here in your camera options and then from there make choices between the options you’d rather decide between.