Your Source for Security Cameras & Other Security Equipment

security cameras

Low-Light Security Cameras

There’s something to be said about low-light security cameras. Because lighting conditions in different environments are not always ideal for surveillance, low-light security cameras enable us to capture respectable footage in these situations. And with new technology, the quality of low-light camera images has vastly improved.

But before you invest in low-light security cameras for your home or business, here are some important facts and tips to know to make the most of your security systems.
Here’s some important information in order to make the most of your security systems.

First and foremost, you should know the related terms you may come across:

  • Low-Light
  • Day/Night
  • Starlight
  • SenseUp
  • Night Vision
  • Light Finder
  • Light Toucher
  • Dark Finder
  • Light Catcher
  • Thermal Imaging

All of these terms refer to the same classification of surveillance cameras. And while some of these terms are trademarked by manufacturers, the most commonly used terms for these cameras are “low-light” and “day/night.”

How It Works
Despite the sometimes confusing terminology, the basic components remain the same for all low-light cameras: a lens and sensor and some level of image processing. And to be clear, low-light cameras are different than thermal cameras (which track heat rather than motion or images) or cameras with IR illuminators.

A majority of low-light cameras use an IR cut filter, which is a mechanical filter that sits between the lens and the sensor (CMOS chip). The name is derived from its ability to “cut out” or filter out IR illumination during the day to improve color quality. At night, as available light diminishes, it slides out of the way to allow more light to get the sensor, thus improving low-light video quality. In order to help the video quality, it is also captured in black and white. In most cameras the filter is mechanically driven by an algorithm, however, some cameras allow manual control.

Optics
Because nearly all the cameras contain IR cut filters, it comes down to the lens and the processing to set these items apart from one another. The lens transmits light to the sensor and then the data on the sensor is processed by a processor. The variance among cameras is often in the optics. You want to be sure that both the lens and the sensor are of great quality, otherwise the potential for stellar images will be wasted.

Processing
Aside from the optics, processing is an important factor in determining the best low-light camera for you. Most manufacturers employ the same OEM processor yet make their own adjustments to them. The ability to control the tuning of an image is crucial as the tuning of an image during daylight will likely not hold up at night or in complete darkness.

Pay close attention to image toning, noise suppression, and the ability to maintain color and contrast in low light as these often differentiate one camera from another.

Lux
Typical IR cameras will capture images between 1 lux and 0.1 lux, however, the latest technologies can allow .01 lux to 0.00001 lux. This means that what would have been a completely black image a few years ago now looks like a near-daytime picture thanks to new low- and ultralow-light sensors.

While this achievement is impressive, in reality, there will rarely be any situations where there is complete darkness. Some ambient light will likely be present, whether it is from street lamps, the moon, or even the stars.

Spec Sheets Vs. Live Demo
As discussed, the impressive low-light sensitivity and lux will likely be included in the spec sheets, along with other important features. However, these spec sheets often represent technical specifications as opposed to actual performance.

Instead of simply relying on spec sheets, try to find a manufacturer or company that will provide you with a live demo and comparisons. This will give you a better idea of the low-light camera’s performance and whether or not it lives up to your requirements. In addition, third party reviews can give you more insight as well.

Resolution
Just because a camera boasts a high megapixel count does not necessarily mean it will produce a better low-light image. With higher resolution and higher megapixels, each pixel becomes a smaller percentage of that sensor. For example, image the sensor has a fixed size, yet the resolution is doubled. The pixels are smaller, thus, the sensor for each pixel is also smaller, increasing the amount of sensitivity needed to maintain the same level of quality.

Lens Speed
The speed of the lens is important and investing in a fast lens and better optics is crucial. The lens determines what information reaches the sensor, and, because of this, you get what you pay for when it comes to lenses and optics.

Positioning & Distance
Proper positioning of your security cameras is critical. Focus on what you want to capture and the level of detail you need when choosing the location of your cameras.

Position surveillance cameras so that the common range of motion is moving across the field of view rather than having common movement coming toward the camera. Also, avoid bright light pointing directly at the lens – this can cause flare or “fog” on the image.

Consider the field of view in terms of distance. The level of detail from the camera is highly dictated by how close the camera is and how much it’s zoomed in.

And when it comes to distance, you want the right combination of lens and camera that factors in the distance from the area you are trying to monitor. If you need to detect motion from long distances, your best bet would be to switch to thermal cameras. Activity will be detected, however, it will be harder to determine whether it is a person or an animal.

Share your own knowledge of low-light surveillance cameras with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. To shop our selection of quality CCTV surveillance systems and security cameras, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!

Artificial Intelligence For Video Surveillance

There’s no denying that video surveillance technology has come a long way over the years. From grainy videos in its early stages to the quality software and clarity today, video surveillance continues to make great strides and advancements.

History
The goal of security cameras and surveillance systems is to capture, detect, and deter any unlawful behavior in and around homes, businesses, and public areas. Before, installing a security camera system was a costly and laborious job, involving lots of wires and cables running throughout the building. As technology progressed, security cameras became more accessible and affordable, allowing more users the opportunity to invest in their security. Now there are numerous DIY solutions that make it easy for homeowners to install and set up on their own security systems.

For businesses, implementing a team of people to actively monitor security cameras at all times was once the only option. Now, much of the monitoring aspect of security and surveillance systems can be automated. Rather than having the mundane task of watching numerous monitors, security cameras now have the ability to detect any suspicious or abnormal behaviors and will alert a security officer as necessary.

While we have seen the security industry flourish over the years, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our technology will continue to advance and amaze us in ways we never thought possible.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) in video surveillance enables the “smart” features we now see with security cameras. In general, security cameras enable us to monitor situations in real-time or go back to review previous footage. With the integration of AI technology, not only can we monitor in real-time, but potential issues can be identified before they become real problems.

With the emergence of video analytics, footage can be analyzed immediately to identify any abnormal activity or threats early on. This technology helps the software ‘learn’ what is normal in order to identify unusual behavior and is meant to make up for human error, rather than replace human monitoring all together.

While it was always a goal to integrate AI and video surveillance, the technology, from a hardware standpoint, was not ready. One of the issues that needed to be addressed was decreasing the power demand to a level low enough that would allow the technology to be embedded into the cameras.

As more cameras emerge with new AI technologies and processes, we will begin to see more advanced features including crowd density monitoring, facial recognition, stereoscopic vision, and behavior analysis.

Behavior analysis in particular is what a lot of tech companies are focusing on. By implementing a technology that can identify and recognize precursor patterns associated with crimes and other bad behavior, we may be able to greatly improve public safety and security.

A great example comes from the West Japan Railway, where it was found that 60% of people hit by trains in Japan were intoxicated. They have now installed security cameras that can automatically search for and detect signs of intoxication. Sleeping on benches, stumbling, falling, or standing motionless for long periods of time are behaviors that are recognized by the AI system. Human attendees are then notified and sent to check on the person.

Of course, a conversation about video surveillance always includes concerns about privacy. No one wants to feel like they are constantly being monitored, but developers insist that these systems know when to stop collecting information and monitoring. As these technologies continue to develop, you may soon be able to “teach” your system when to record and in which situations recording should halt.

Although it is still in its early stages, AI technology and video surveillance is heading in a positive and exciting direction. Mass adoption may still be a ways to go, but it’s great to see AI being applied in a new setting.

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence and the video surveillance industry? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Browse our selection of security cameras and equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com. To learn more about our installation services or to request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294.

Choosing A Business Security System

Often times, businesses don’t realize the importance of security camera systems until it’s too late. Rather than installing them prior to opening, they tend to invest in them after a burglary or incident occurs. This may happen because businesses believe that they cannot afford it, or they think the task is too overwhelming and complicated. Luckily, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you choose the best security camera system for your business.

Before you shop, it would benefit you to really take some time to evaluate what you want and need when it comes to a security system.

  • Choose equipment that is appropriate for your space
    Your environment will likely dictate the type of security system you need. For example, if you are renting your space, you will likely need to avoid equipment that interferes with walls and the structure of the building. Workplaces or offices with more rooms versus open spaces may require more cameras.
  • Understand your goals and your contract
    Aside from your workspace, you will want to know the supposed trajectory of your business. If your plan is to grow or even relocate, be sure that your contract with a security provider allows for add-ons, moves, or even change your plans. If you want to maintain your small business, a smaller, simple security system should suffice. And always remember to read before you sign.
  • How many cameras?
    Next, figure out how many cameras you will really need. You can determine which areas need to be monitored on your own, paying attention to high traffic areas or areas that house important equipment and supplies. Or you can consult with a professional to determine how many cameras you will need for your security system.
  • Camera Types
    Aside from how many you need, you should understand the different types of cameras and features that are available to you. Do you need something discreet or a more flexible camera type? Bullet and dome cameras can be relatively inconspicuous while PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras allow better range for wide, open spaces. Features are important, too, especially if you need around-the-clock surveillance. Choosing a camera with night vision/infrared LED lights will allow you to view overnight footage, while motion sensors can aid in saving power and storage by only recording when triggered.
  • Additional sensors
    You can secure your property further by installing additional sensors such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide sensors and flooding sensors. These are optional, but can help to keep yourself and your staff safe so they are worth considering.
  • Alerts
    Setting up alerts can help enhance your security system by notifying you when unusual activity is detected. For example, you can set up alerts for when activity is detected when your store is closed and empty. These types of alerts may not be necessary if you have a cleaning crew or employees who work after hours. Decide which alerts would best benefit your company, and who will receive these alerts.
  • Mobile features
    These days, the ability to access various things from your mobile phone is a must, and your security system is no exception. If you feel so inclined, choose a system that offers remote monitoring and access to your account.
  • Reputation and quality
    Before committing to a security system and/or professional installer, you should do some research, read reviews, or even ask for references. You want to be sure that you will get the services and quality that you deserve.

For information on our CCTV security and surveillance equipment, site surveys, and installation services, please call 1-888-203-6294 or visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest, too!

Networked Devices

It used to be common to see security guards monitoring public areas such as parking lots or building entrances, but, these days, the prevalence of security cameras is growing. Our means of surveillance is transitioning from human surveillance to networked devices. While some areas have added security cameras to complement their guards, others rely on comprehensive security systems.

There are numerous reasons why network security cameras are becoming more widespread. Aside from the covert nature of security cameras, technology allows us to do more with fewer risks. Rather than potentially putting a person’s life in danger, you can monitor your surveillance feed remotely and be aware of what is going on in various places. This will enable you to react in a timely manner and as safely as possible.

Some may oppose the implementation of security cameras for fear of an invasion of privacy, but they fail to acknowledge that other platforms that are seen as more acceptable can pose a threat. For example, loyalty programs often track and record your purchasing history and can be linked to your image through facial recognition technology. And think about how ads are becoming more tailored to the viewer’s interests. Common things like mobile phones, social media, credit cards, and more can offer data and insight about a person.

In comparison, surveillance cameras would simply be used to monitor public areas to improve safety. When crimes occur, footage can provide evidence, as well as paint the picture of events leading up to the incident.

Mass CCTV coverage has been achieved in cities like London and Melbourne. In some British cities, traffic light operation has been used to prevent criminals from escaping by car. This shows that networked devices can work together to increase safety and security.

There are obvious risks and benefits when it comes to networked devices and data collection. What are your thoughts on the use of connected devices and the Internet of Things in terms of security and surveillance? Do you think more cities will follow London and Melbourne’s lead and adopt a mass surveillance system? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Vine, and Pinterest.

For a great selection of security cameras, CCTV surveillance equipment, and more, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. To inquire about a site survey or our installation services, please call 1-888-203-6294.

Happy Thanksgiving From Your Friends At SecurityCamExpert.com!

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, we would like to take a moment to remind you how thankful we are for you and your continued support. Your safety and security matters to us and we are happy to provide you with top notch products and customer service you deserve. From all of us at SecurityCamExpert.com, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

As a reminder, we will be closed on Thursday, November 26, 2015 and Friday, November 27, 2015 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Our normal business hours will resume on Monday, November 30, 2015. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding.

We hope you all enjoy a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Tips On Purchasing Security Cameras

There are plenty of security camera options out there today, from formal, elaborate security camera systems to simple, more straightforward DIY options. The latter seems to be a more affordable approach for home owners or pet owners who want a better sense of security. However, before investing in a DIY system, it is wise to understand your needs and the differences between devices.

Webcam vs. Security cam

While webcams can offer some security features and a live video feed, usually accessible from your phone or device, they fall short if your focus is safety and security. Some products do provide customizable alerts for when something happens (ex. motion detection alerts), however, others do not. Therefore, unless your eyes are glued to your live feed, you won’t know if something is happening.

If you’re simply concerned about checking in on a pet while you’re away, webcams are likely better suited for you. The security features of webcams can be great as a supplement, but if you want to secure your home or property, it may be best to invest in professional security cameras.

Video Quality

If you’re considering live streaming or need quality recorded footage, HD may be the way to go. HD resolution can either be 720p or 1080p, however, your WiFi connection can dictate which is better for you. If you have less than stellar WiFi connection, the HD video can consume a hefty amount of bandwidth, resulting in significant lag times.

Alternatives to HD include VGA, standard definition, and 640×480 cameras, which are typically less expensive and require less bandwidth. Unfortunately, video quality isn’t as clear, but if you only need a general video or photo of the area you’re monitoring, they are a smart option.

Location

Most DIY options come with a simple base that can be placed on any level surface. Others also offer magnetic bases for mounting on refrigerators, file cabinets, or other magnetic surfaces.

Some options require power adapters, which means you’ll have to consider outlet locations or employ extension cords depending on where you place your camera. Most new options are battery powered, making it easier to move around from location to location. Some products even boast their abilities to be used indoors and outdoors as well.

Also, it is important to consider that these devices usually operate on WiFi, which means choosing a location with strong WiFi signal is key. An unstable WiFi connection may interfere with your camera’s performance.

Cloud vs. Local Storage

When it comes to storage, you can either choose to store your footage in the cloud, usually for an extra fee, or locally on a micro SD card. While you may pay a bit more for cloud storage, you will also benefit from added features which may include facial recognition or third party integration.

Do you have any insight to share with your peers? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest.

For a comprehensive collection of various security cameras, CCTV camera packages, surveillance equipment, and more, visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com or give us a call 1-888-203-6294.

Surveillance Cameras Cut Crime Rates

When residents voice concerns about safety, it’s important for authorities to listen and take action. In Rancho Cordova, that’s exactly what they did. Public surveillance has been put into place to help curb crime rates and keep residents safe.

Authorities have implemented a public surveillance system which seems to be working and well liked by most residents. There are warning signs and surveillance cameras that are clearly visible in public areas, with more to come. Being so transparent with the surveillance allows these measures to positively influence people’s behavior. Knowing you are being watched often persuades people to be on their best behavior, abiding by rules and regulations to avoid any negative consequences.

But the key to the success of this public surveillance program is keeping a close watch on live feeds in real time. This allows authorities to become proactive, possibly preventing incidents from occurring, rather than reacting after the crime has occurred. In Rancho Cordova, the live feed is available to the police stations as well as officers in their vehicles. Live monitoring also allows for better reaction times, as officers can gauge the severity of situations and prioritize accordingly.

While some residents have raised privacy concerns, authorities assure them that these cameras are installed in public arenas, not in areas where there’s an expectation of privacy.

Does your neighborhood or city implement a similar system? Have you noticed a difference in your safety and crime rates? Share your experiences and opinions with us. Find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

For your own security and surveillance needs, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294. We carry a wide selection of security cameras, CCTV camera packages, surveillance equipment, and provide services such as installation, site surveys, technical support and more.

The First Self-Powered Camera

We are all too familiar with that panicked feeling you get when your mobile phone battery is in the red zone with no charger in sight, when our car batteries die at the most inopportune times and places, or when there is an unexpected power outage or blackout. We rely heavily on power sources for many things. But why not get our power and energy from what we already have and allow our devices to power themselves?

A team led by computer science professor Shree K. Nayar at Columbia University realized that an image sensor of a camera is capable of more. With lots of time, thought, and careful execution came the first self-powered camera. Running on its own power, this camera can produce an image each second, indefinitely.

Basically, how this works is that the image sensor not only works to capture the image, but at the same time generates power with the available light source. More technically, the photodiode measures the incidence light level to capture the picture and then converts that into electrical energy to continually power the camera.

Albeit, the image sensor produces a mere 30×40 pixels, but the amazing part is that as long as there is a light source, this camera can continue recording forever (ideally). When the camera is not in use, it can power other devices, like a watch or a phone. It can even take advantage of rechargeable batteries’ harvesting ability.

It is still in the early stages, but as this technology develops, it can change the way we power our security cameras and other devices. What are your thoughts on this topic? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

For the best security cameras, CCTV camera packages, and equipment at affordable prices, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call us at 1-888-203-6294. We’re always happy to help.

Public Surveillance and Security Cameras

Security cameras can put your worries at ease. You can actively monitor what’s going on at your home or property whether you’re there or not. You can even store your recordings for later review. Thanks to new innovations, some security cameras can use facial recognition and motion sensors to alert you when something suspicious is going on. If these security cameras can make you feel safe at home, why not extend this protection to the public arena?

It is met with some hesitation, but public video surveillance can be a great help when crimes occur, and even in prevention of crimes. Studies have shown that when people know that they are being watched, they tend to modify their behavior to what is acceptable. Because surveillance cameras can produce evidence, criminals will likely be deterred from acting on their impulses. In areas with high crime rates, installation of public surveillance cameras could possibly help crime rates drop.

If a crime has occurred, public security cameras could provide crucial evidence to verify witness accounts and identify the wanted suspects. Some law enforcement have even set up private security camera registries for their local areas. These registries are voluntary and can help keep your neighborhood safe. Your private security camera footage could assist authorities is capturing a potentially dangerous person.

While security cameras are not the answer in eliminating crime or stopping crimes all together, they can play a very vital and important role. The use of public surveillance or even a registry of private security cameras for law enforcement has already proven itself. Countless crimes have been solved, partly in thanks to surveillance footage helping to identify the suspect and providing evidence and important details of the crimes.

Is there a public surveillance system or a private security camera registry in your city? Do you find that these have succeeded in making your city a safer place? Share your thoughts on public surveillance with us! You’ll find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you have any questions or are looking for security cameras and installation, please call us at 1-888-203-6294. You can also visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com, where you’ll find more information about our products, services, and us. We’re happy to help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

Police Surveillance Devices Help Keep The Community Safe

Safety, on all levels, is a major concern. With recent events across the world, now more than ever do we need increased security measures. We should become more vigilant to protect ourselves from possible threats or danger. As our technology continues to improve, law enforcement agencies are taking advantage and utilizing these security devices to keep the people safe.

With advanced license plate readers, high definition security cameras, drones and wide area surveillance, officers are able to do their jobs more efficiently. These devices allow them to better identify and apprehend criminals, resulting in safer communities.

License Plate Readers

License plate readers are often mounted on police cars, allowing officers to monitor drivers for safety. Because these license plate readers are more advanced than before, they can parse through the many plates that zoom by and cross reference them to a criminal database. It makes it easier to find wanted suspects, stolen vehicles, aids in amber alerts, and more. By enabling our officers to capture these criminals, we work toward building safe streets and communities.

High Definition (Facial Recognition)

Security cameras with high definition are becoming more common, and some are even equipped with facial recognition technology. This is obviously helpful in the sense that suspects can be more easily identified when attempting to elude law enforcement. These cameras can also pick up on suspicious activities and alert law enforcement accordingly. For our safety, it is better to be proactive than reactive.

Drones & Wide Area Surveillance

Drones have gained popularity in the commercial arena, however, they can serve an extremely beneficial purpose for security and law enforcement. Much like helicopters can offer an aerial view, drones work the same way, but because of their small size and advanced features, they can better track a suspect, making it harder for him or her to evade police. Wide-area surveillance offers a bigger picture, recording all movement within a given area for hours. When crimes are reported, footage can be reviewed to verify details and stories.

As these devices start to become more widely used in law enforcement, do you think crimes rates will begin to noticeably decline? We would love to hear from you. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

SecurityCamExpert.com values your safety and security. That’s why when you shop with us, you can count on high quality security cameras and equipment. Shop our stock online or order over the phone at 1-888-203-6294. Our friendly staff is always happy to assist you.

Recent Comments