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Security Camera Options

Types of Security Cameras

By Carlos Hazbun | Monitoring | No Comments

Types of Security Cameras

The foundation for a multilayered security plan for your property starts with the camera selection. Whether you’re looking for mobile security cameras or a permanent installation, selecting the best camera for the application can make the difference between a blurry snapshot and a crystal-clear record of an incident.

Using the wrong security camera in the wrong location can leave your security strategy vulnerable. The images might not have high enough resolution to display the information you need, such as a clear identification of individuals. The camera may not have the field of view necessary to cover the site properly. And the wrong camera can make the monitoring company’s job harder.

How Many Security Cameras Do You Need?

A typical building installation will require several different types of cameras, depending on the size of the facility and the desired services. For example, an industrial warehouse would use a 180-degree camera high on the wall to capture a broad view of the facility. This set up captures overall activity in the building but doesn’t provide much detail for review. Eye-height cameras in strategic locations capture individual details, such as facial features and clothing, to identify people involved in an incident under review.

Requirements vary depending on the exposure and risks involved, as well as the size and scope of the location. A shopping mall will require a different camera layout than a warehouse, for example. A detailed consultation will determine the best mix of security cameras for your situation.

Here’s a look at the most common types of cameras and surveillance technology used for commercial security applications.

Fixed Box Camera

  • Traditional solution for perimeter monitoring
  • Common in retail, warehouses, auto dealerships
  • Lenses can be changed to suit the situation and environment
  • Usually more cost efficient
  • Provides visual reinforcement that the location is being monitored by security
Fixed Box Security Camera

Bullet Camera

  • The bullet-shaped housing contains camera and lens
  • Commonly found in banks and retail locations
  • Good for outdoor applications
  • Typically stationary to record footage in a fixed area
Bullet Security Camera

Dome Camera

  • Provides a visual deterrent
  • Often found in large retail locations and restaurants
  • With a 360-degree view, domes can cover four times the area of a box or bullet camera. The dome conceals the camera lens, so observers can’t tell where the camera is pointed
Dome Security Camera

Wide Angle Security Camera

  • Can cover nearly 180 degrees
  • Found big box retail locations, warehouses, parking lots, etc. for a wide-area overview
  • Used in conjunction with other cameras that provide detailed images
  • Can be mounted in vandal-proof housing
Wide Angle Security Camera

PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) Functions

  • Remote control function allows users to pan, tilt, and zoom the camera lens
  • Can be controlled by a remote operator or programmed to run pre-set patterns
  • Survey a wide area of interest
  • Zoom in on detail

Track objects/people in real time

PTZ Security Camera

Thermal/Night-Vision Camera

  • Use where lighting levels are low, usually in a large unlit space or for after-dark monitoring
  • Thermal imaging cameras are ideal for mobile security camera applications such as construction sites at night
  • Lower resolution makes identifying details more difficult, so these cameras are often used in conjunction with other types of cameras
  • Detect heat signatures through natural obstacles such as bushes and trees
  • Use for fire prevention/detection
Thermal Security Camera

License Plate Recognition Technology

  • Capture license plate numbers of vehicles entering and exiting a location
  • Used in high traffic areas such as auto dealerships, distribution centers, construction sites, and high-security facilities
  • Create white lists to admit only approved vehicles
License Plate Recognition Technology

Wired Cameras

  • Deliver highest best image quality
  • Require wiring
  • Not concealed, so use when you want to let potential intruders and thieves know that they are being monitored
Wired Security Camera

Network/IP-Connected Cameras

  • These cameras can be connected via cables or wirelessly – stream footage over the Internet via cables, Wi-Fi, or cellular air cards
  • Easier to install, especially in areas that would be difficult to connect with cables.
  • Files are compressed to reduce bandwidth demands
  • Video data can be stored in a network video recorder or locally on the camera
  • Cameras can be accessed remotely, and some models provide inputs and outputs, such as triggering a light or siren when someone walks into a secure location
  • Cameras can be equipped for one-way and two-way audio communication
Network IP-Connected Camera

Mobile Surveillance Units

  • An MSU can be equipped with just about any type of security camera to suit the location and needs of the customer.
  • Mobile security camera often used for temporary security such as a construction site
  • Data can be stored on-site or streamed via cellular air card

Most cameras can be mounted on the mobile security camera platform, ideal for construction sites and other temporary installations. Mobile platforms can be equipped with additional capabilities such as two-way audio, radar guidance, and thermal cameras. Self-contained, solar-powered platforms are available to provide coverage in remote areas, and also are great for places that require quiet or zero-pollution operations. Also, the mobile platforms can be repositioned as the construction site evolves.

Standard Solar Mobile Surveillance Unit

Which Security Camera is Best?

For the most effective digital security system, pair your camera system with virtual security officer service for remote monitoring of your property. The virtual security officer service can operate independently or in partnership with your on-site security team. Using the cameras, a remote virtual security officer will conduct tours of the premises at a pace much faster than an on-site security guard. The remote guard also responds quickly to alarms and can direct first responders to the appropriate location.

Virtual guard patrols can be set up at any location on your premises and on any schedule you desire. The virtual security officer escorts can be used to monitor the safety of people in the parking lot and serve as a virtual doorman to monitor a gated area or lobby. The guard can schedule virtual openings and closings at the beginning and end of worker shifts as well.

High-quality cameras paired with other sensors, such as motion detectors, make it possible for video verification of alarms. When the alarm sounds, a video clip is sent to the remote monitoring station where the incident is reviewed. This is useful for verifying threats at remote locations and in conditions, such as bad weather, that can generate false alarms. It can also help ensure a swift response to genuine threats.

Selecting the right camera technologies for the job depends on a number of factors such as lighting, monitoring, and the scope of the area and activities that will be covered. Our security consultants will determine the best mix of cameras and equipment to suit your situation.