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Security Cameras: Types, Housing & Features

Shopping for security camera systems may seem like a one-size-fits-all deal, but, unfortunately, it is not. Because there are a plethora of security camera types and surveillance features to be considered, it will take some time to decide. Evaluate your security needs, do some research and weigh your options. To make it easier, we will break down the different types, housing, and common features of security cameras.

Types
The following are the advantages and disadvantages of common security camera types.

  • Fixed – As the name suggests, fixed cameras are positioned to capture an image and are always pointing in the intended direction. Because these do no move, they are more reliable than PTZ cameras and can be optimized with different housing and features.
  • PTZ Cameras- PTZ stands for Pan, Tilt, and Zoom, thus, these cameras can be remotely positioned (thanks to specially designed motors and gears). These cameras may be set to automatically patrol an area, but they seem to be most effective when manually controlled.

For zoom capabilities, 32X is fairly common, although some higher end cameras may have a greater zoom range. While a greater zoom range is helpful when covering a large area, it is not always necessary.

However, there are some downfalls. Because PTZ cameras can adjust its viewing range, there are chances that they may miss something. Also, zoom decreases the size of the area being covered, and the camera can only be facing one direction at a time.

  • 360-Degree Cameras – Also known as virtual PTZ, the 360-degree camera utilizes several high resolution fixed cameras in a single housing (usually dome). The images are then stitched together and can be zoomed in on after recording (zoom capabilities depend on the cameras being used). Because this type of camera can face in all directions, it can be an effective forensic tool.

Unfortunately, these cameras are often oversold as a universal solution, despite the fact that very few rooms allow for an unobstructed view in all directions. In applications where this camera is necessary, it often does wonderfully. However, a standard fixed camera can be paired with a lens to give it a 120-degree to 140-degree view. Also, many rooms are better monitored with cameras in corners (which only require a 90-degree field of view).

Housing
Once you have chosen the camera type, housing will come into play.

  • Outdoor – Because of changing environmental elements, outdoor camera housing will be more weather resistant and include heaters and blowers.
  • Dome – These are designed to obscure the direction of the camera to outsiders. This is often the best deterrent, making it a high priority and often a default selection. Most people assume dome cameras cover the entire area, making a fixed dome camera covering a door entrance more effective.
  • Bullet – These are named for their sleek, cylindrical shape, often times resembling a bullet. This housing clearly shows the direction of the lens and generally provides a better picture. The front of the housing is close to the camera lens, decreasing reflections and making it easier to maintain. These act as deterrents as well, but are not as effective as ambiguous housing.
  • Discreet – These completely disguise the camera as something else, such as a smoke detector or motion sensor, or as nothing at all, with pinhole or flush mount lenses installed in a wall or ceiling. Because they are hidden, they are not designed to be deterrents. These are often favored by architects looking to achieve a certain aesthetic.

All types of housing can be made to be vandal resistant, which is a step up from weather resistant. These types of housings are most commonly dome shaped and are designed to withstand unfriendly environments while still providing a usable image.

Features
The selection of features for your security cameras will depend on the application and your individual needs.

  • Resolution – Resolution is measured in megapixels (millions of pixels) and is a major factor in picture and video quality. The higher the resolution, the more space required to store the images and processing power to manipulate it.

To demonstrate the differences in resolution, an old analog camera is about ¼ megapixel, an HDTV screen is just over 2 megapixels, and the highest resolution projected image in movie theaters (4K) is 8.8 megapixels.

While higher resolution cameras may be appealing, these do not respond as well as lower resolution cameras in low light situations. Thus, it is possible to buy more resolution than you need, unnecessarily increasing storage costs while decreasing performance.

  • Low Light – Cameras with day/night capabilities are able to automatically adjust modes in various lighting situations. With advanced technologies, these cameras are able to produce usable images in near total darkness.

There are also cameras with infrared illuminators, which provide their own light source to obtain better images in low light settings. As mentioned, in order to improve low light performance, you will need to sacrifice some resolution.

  • Lens Features – Varifocal lenses allow the installer to manually adjust the image magnification when installing the camera. However, many fixed cameras now come with remote zoom and focus (allowing the user to adjust the camera without physically going to the camera site), as well as auto-focus.
  • Advanced Options – Other options to consider include wireless signal transition, ultra-high resolution, thermal imaging, explosion proof housings and more.

No matter what the application, there’s likely a perfect security solution thanks to the comprehensive options available. And while the selection process may seem overwhelming, we are here to help. Feel free to browse our CCTV surveillance systems online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to speak with a representative.

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Indoor Security Tips

Security cameras placed outdoors allow you to monitor your property while acting as a deterrent for trespassing. But what happens if criminals proceed anyways?

Indoor security cameras will show you what happens when the intruders get in. Should theft or damage occur, you are left with video evidence of the crimes to assist in capturing the criminals.

For everyday use, indoor security cameras help to monitor daily activities, such as kids returning home from school, or checking in on pets while you’re at work.

While there are several benefits of indoor cameras, it may be difficult discerning the most effective places to install them. Here are some helpful tips for choosing the best locations for your indoor security cameras.

Statistics show that the most common entry points for burglars are through first-floor doors or windows, thus, your main entrances should be your top priorities. The front door, back door, garage door, and other first-floor exterior doors and windows should be equipped with some type of security (ex. locks). If possible, installing security cameras to cover all of these spots would be ideal.

  • One of the most common places for an indoor security camera is in a high traffic area that provides coverage for as many areas as possible. Try to find the right angle and placement for a camera that will give a bird’s eye view of the larger area. For example, the family room may have views of the kitchen, back door, garage door entrance, and possibly even the front door.
  • For larger homes or homes with a second or third story, additional security cameras may be necessary to sufficiently cover the interior of the home. Expansive one story homes may need multiple cameras to cover different rooms and entrances, while multiple story homes may need more cameras to cover each level.
  • If an extensive security camera system does not fit within your budget, choose key areas that are highly targeted by burglars and install cameras there. For example, the family room often houses expensive televisions and electronics. Or if you have a family safe, you can place a camera in that room for added security.
  • Once you have chosen the locations for your cameras, be sure to install them out of reach. Not only will this help to get a better view, but it will also help to prevent any damage of theft. If your security cameras are easily accessible, burglars may destroy them to eliminate evidence, or possibly steal them.

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For a great selection on indoor security cameras and more, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For more information on site surveys and our installation services, please call 888-203-6294.

Transit Security Camera Systems: Aiming To Keep You Safe

Transit stations receive lots of foot traffic, with people taking advantage of its low cost and convenience. Unfortunately, these public transportation systems are also highly targeted for graffiti, thefts, assaults, and terrorist attacks. In an effort to fight back, an influx of advanced security cameras and high quality equipment have arrived.

Upgrading security camera systems to the latest technology produces better response times, heightened image quality, and, consequently, better suspect identification. With these sophisticated features, rider and driver safety is better preserved, deterring crimes and catching suspects faster.

An upgrade to IP systems from analog systems provides better, high resolution pictures and a way to wirelessly archive footage. Reviewing footage is simplified, allowing easy tagging of potential evidence. Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology is helpful in the sense that separate power cables are unnecessary, consolidating functions and cutting costs.

Security cameras installed closest to the driver booth enable audio function with built-in microphones. With this, direct communication to and from command centers is permitted and more efficient responses to problematic events can be delivered. Vandal proof security cameras help to maintain function if physical tampering occurs.

Wide angle camera lenses help increase the viewing field while decreasing the number of security cameras needed. With wide angle camera lenses and proper placement, blind spots can be minimized. Overall cost of the security camera system will go down because of the reduction in security camera needs.

Infrared/night vision and thermal imaging proves extremely beneficial transit systems, subways especially. These features help to see in darkness and detect warmth. Used in search and rescue efforts, an unconscious person can be found via thermal cameras. In cases of shootings, the heat from a recently fired gun will help locate the weapon, if discarded at the scene.

An excellent monitoring system is vital to the overall security camera system, providing remote viewing of the live feed and giving local authorities to access footage as necessary.

Overall, the security camera systems for public transit stations will help clear any liability issues or potential attacks or abuse. This will help protect both workers and civilians alike, helping to catch suspects faster and possibly prevent crimes before they happen. As our technology continues to improve, crime rates should continue to drop.

To employ your own security camera systems within your home or business, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. Give us a call at 1-888-203-6294 to speak with a representative; we will gladly assist you.

How Much Do Home Security Surveillance Cameras Cost?

Shopping on a budget for a security camera system? It doesn’t have to be that hard. Let SecurityCamExpert.com help you find smart solutions without breaking the bank.

Our selection of security cameras includes a variety of different styles with varying specifications. We carry security cameras starting as low as $20-$60 and reaching up to $250-$400 depending on specifications. You can pay for better quality and features, or you can get good quality for a decent price. It all depends on how much you can or are willing to spend.

For the most basic security system solutions, you can opt for dummy cameras. Our dummy cameras don’t exceed $30 so you can build a pseudo security system for cheap. Check out this SecurityMan Dummy Indoor Camera, it has a convincing look for a reasonable price.

If you want a functioning security system, dome security cameras and bullet security cameras are common types and low in price. Ours range from $40-$175, all dependent upon picture resolution, special features like night vision or audio components. Still, a great camera can be found for a cost-effective price. Our box cameras hover around the same range, but also require a separate purchase of camera lenses, which can add to overall cost.

As we move up the price ladder, our specialty security cameras like HD-SDI, high resolution, network IP and PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) start around $100 and go up from there. It should be understood that you are paying more for performance and abilities. These cameras offer much better picture and allow you to better manipulate your viewing range. License plate capture cameras have magnificent zoom abilities along with solid resolution, so they can start north of $200.

While SecurityCamExpert.com offers individual security cameras, we also offer great packaged deals which can significantly assist those on a tight budget. Our camera packages include the basics: DVR (with & without hard drives), cameras, cables and power supplies. Our 4 camera packages range from $249 up to $549, while our 8 camera packages range from $329 up to $567. Our 16 camera packages range from $836-915, but we also offer wireless camera bundles that start as low as $139 and up. Our 4 camera IP/hybrid camera package starts at $399 and you can add more cameras or accessories from there. You can explore our packages options here.

Shop our inventory online and you’ll find security cameras or systems that fit within your budget. Would you rather get a quote based on your needs? Fill out our Free CCTV System Quote and work with our staff to create a security system within your means. Feel free to call us at 1-888-203-6294 with any questions you may have.

Optimal Features Of Dome Cameras

Dome security cameras have been in demand lately. This spike in sales and usage is most likely due to its compact design and cost-effective prices. But just because these cameras are affordable does not mean they skimp in the features department.

You can find dome cameras equipped with fantastic features for a reasonable price. PTZ (Pan, tilt, zoom) capabilities are common in dome cameras. This allows a single dome camera to reach a wide viewing range, possibly eliminating the need for multiple cameras in a given area. The zooming abilities can zero in on specific details which can be significant in identifying a culprit.

The inconspicuousness of the dome camera is often cited as a selling point. Truth is, nowadays, you know a dome camera when you see it. The tinted dome covering is a more optimal feature of the dome camera. While the actual camera is easy to spot, it is nearly impossible to tell which direction the lens is pointed. Furthermore, some dome cameras employ a tracking component, so a person could not suspect the camera is tracking his or her movements.

Due to varying light in different settings, dome cameras usually have infrared, low light or day/night vision to produce better pictures throughout the day and night. The IR irradiation distance depends on the camera so paying close attention to specifications is important.

Most dome cameras are vandal proof, adding built in security to your camera investment. If the environment permits, you may be able to install your dome camera out of reach to minimize the possibility of vandalism. However, in some areas, it is inevitable to place the dome camera on a wall or a low ceiling. The vandal proof, tinted dome then comes into play, protecting your camera from any possible damage or destruction from powerful blows.

Often referred to as the “eye in the sky,” dome cameras offer functionality in an appealing package. If you have any questions regarding dome cameras, please call us at 1-888-203-6294 and our staff will gladly assist you. You may also visit us at SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our inventory of dome cameras and more.

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