Thursday, May 28, 2009

Video Surveillance - Part 2: The Cameras

Welcome Back. Last week we introduced you to CCTV and talked a little about DVR's. Today we will cover the basics on cameras and lenses. Choosing the right camera and lens for your installation can be one of, if not the most important aspect of your CCTV system. Do you want color? Black and White (B/W)? Does it need to be able to see at night? Dome? Bullet? Weatherproof? Wide angle? There's a huge list of things to consider when choosing your camera/lens combo.

Let's get right to it:
Dome -
Domes are a great all around camera. They can easily be mounted to the wall or ceiling and are very economically priced if your looking to keep the overall budget down. They are available in different colors so you can match it to the wall/ceiling your installing it on.

Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras allow you to move the camera for a complete 360 degree view, while also allowing you to zoom in and out. This can all be done remotely, but typically cost 4 to 5 times as much than a standard fixed camera. These are best used with on-site security that can monitor them 24 hours a day.


Box cameras are a popular choice due to their ease of use. Easy to mount, easy to aim and easy to maintain, they are among the most popular cameras for any CCTV system.
Looking for something a little smaller and less noticeable? Bullet cameras are a perfect fit, whether your looking to fit it in a tight area or just don't want it to be as noticeable as some of the other larger cameras.
Infrared -
IR cameras are a great idea if there's any chance you might have to see at night, or in low-light situations. The IR illuminators automatically turn on once the lighting is below sufficient and can see in complete darkness. This Security Camera is a very popular IR camera that is weatherproof and compact, ideal for outdoor installations.
Covert -
Need the cameras to be completely hidden? There is a full line of covert cameras that can fit any application you might have. Many popular covert cameras include;
- Smoke Detectors
- Clocks
- Radios
- Sunglasses
- Stuffed Animals
- Pens
- Cleaning Supplies
- And much more

Lenses -

A smaller lens value will show a shorter viewing distance and a wide field of view. A larger lens value will allow for a longer viewing distance but a narrower field of view. Here's a CCTV Lens Calculator that can help you figure out exactly what you need. All you need to know is the viewing distance and the size of the area you want to see.

Be sure to check back later this week and catch Part 3 of this Video Surveillance guide. We will be going over the best way to set up a system at a Retail location.