CCTV Surveillance SystemCCTV security system is essential for any type of business or public organization. Therefore it’s vital to select the right CCTV camera for the right location and application. There are lots of CCTV cameras to choose from on the market today, with many different features and options, resulting in a confusing array of various types, styles, and configurations. But which is best for your intended business security application
The 8 Different Types Of CCTV Cameras:
Dome CCTV CameraDome CCTV Cameras are most commonly used for indoor security and surveillance applications. Dome cameras get their name from the dome-shaped housing in which they sit. These housings are designed to make the CCTV cameras unobtrusive… not covert or hidden. Typical applications are retail, where the camera is designed to be unobtrusive, but visible. The “dome” shape makes it difficult to tell the direction that these cameras are facing, and thus are ideal for deterring criminals. The “bad guys” will know the facility is being watched and customers will feel at ease knowing the facility is being protected. Units that allow the camera to pan/tilt/zoom and spin quickly within the housing are often referred to as “speed domes.” Speed Dome CCTV cameras give the surveillance operator the ability to move the camera. There are cameras that have automated pan/tilt/zoom functionality where the camera is moving on a timed basis. These are used to cover a wide area with only one camera, or to avoid poor light conditions at certain times of day.
Bullet CCTV CameraBullet CCTV Cameras have a long, cylindrical, and tapered shape, similar to that of a “rifle bullet”, often used in applications that require long distance viewing. The camera is not typically designed to have pan/tilt/zoom control but instead to capture images from a fixed location, pointing at a particular area. A bullet CCTV camera is a wall-mount or ceiling-mounted unit that is typically designed for indoor use, but can also be used for some outdoor applications. Many bullet cameras can also be waterproof by being installed inside protective casings, which protect against dust, dirt, rain, hail and other harmful elements.
C-Mount CCTV CameraC-mount CCTV cameras have detachable lenses to fit different applications. Standard CCTV camera lenses can only cover distances of between 35 and 40ft, therefore with C-mount CCTV cameras, it is possible to use special lenses, which can cover distances greater than 40ft.
Day/Night CCTV CameraThe day/night CCTV cameras have the distinct advantage of operating in both normal and poorly-lit environments. These cameras do not have Infrared illuminators because they can capture clear video images in varying light conditions and in the dark. The camera is ideal for outdoor surveillance applications, where Infrared CCTV cameras cannot function optimally. These CCTV cameras are primarily used in outdoor applications and they can have a wide dynamic range to function in glare, direct sunlight, reflections and strong back light 24/7.
Infrared/Night Vision CCTV CameraThese night-vision CCTV cameras have the ability to see images in pitch black conditions using Infrared LEDs and are ideal in outside conditions where lighting is poor to zero.
Network/IP CCTV CameraThese cameras, both hardwired and wireless, transmit images over the Internet, often compressing the bandwidth so as not to overwhelm the web. IP cameras are easier to install than analog cameras because they do not require a separate cable run or power boost to send images over a longer distance.
Wireless CCTV CameraNot all wireless cameras are IP-based. Some wireless cameras can use alternative modes of wireless transmission. But no matter what the transmission method, the primary benefit to these units is still the same: extreme flexibility in installation.
High-Definition HD CCTV CameraUltra high-definition cameras are often relegated to niche markets, such as casinos and banks. These give the operators the ability to zoom in with extreme clarity (to look at a poker player who might have something up their sleeve). Beyond this list, there are many other types of CCTV cameras, but most of those are more related to the application in which the unit will be used vs. the type of camera.
Components of a CCTV Video Surveillance System
There’s a lot that goes into a typical CCTV video surveillance system. While the cameras get most of the attention in the beginning, you also have other concerns, such as viewing, recording, and archiving the video footage, and the equipment required for carrying out those tasks. Here’s a look at the basic components of a typical CCTV system.
Security cameras are the starting point for most CCTV video surveillance systems. There are endless possibilities when choosing CCTV cameras and lenses – everything from fixed models designed for monitoring very specific locations, to day/night cameras, and powerful PTZ domes for patrolling large areas.
In a traditional CCTV security camera setup, operators view footage from a central location on a monitor very much like a TV, but with higher lines of resolution for better picture quality. Monitors can be dedicated (meaning they display video from a single camera), or call-up (meaning operators can access multiple cameras at the same time).
With an analog system, coaxial cable is required for transmitting video footage from the CCTV security cameras. This is one of the drawbacks of analog CCTV video surveillance, as the cable can be expensive and difficult to install, especially for larger camera networks, and those were cameras must be positioned in difficult locations.
Most modern CCTV video surveillance systems incorporate DVRs (digital video recorders) which enable operators to reap some of the benefits of a network-based surveillance setup. DVRs convert the analog footage to digital, which helps to extend storage capacity, makes it much easier to search archived footage, and also allows users to stream video over a network for remote viewing from multiple locations.
CCTV Security Camera Types:
Fixed CCTV surveillance cameras:
Fixed security cameras point in a single direction, which makes them perfect for monitoring very specific areas of interest. They’re also preferred for applications where it’s beneficial to install cameras in clearly visible locations. For this reason, fixed CCTV surveillance cameras are quite effective not only for capturing footage of suspicious activity, but also for deterring criminals and vandals from carrying out their acts in the first place. The direction of the camera is set during installation. Many security cameras also accept interchangeable lenses and housings, so you have the flexibility to meet a wide variety of surveillance needs.
PTZ cameras are ideal for wide-area surveillance. They give operators the ability to remotely control pan, tilt, and zoom functions to follow activity and to zoom in for detailed monitoring. This is an area where analog CCTV security cameras fall behind their IP camera counterparts. With IP cameras, the pan/tilt/zoom functions are controlled manually or automatically and delivered over a single network cable, while analog cameras require additional wiring to perform similar functionality.