Whether you’ve just began your search or you’ve become a self proclaimed security expert, choosing the right security camera for your home or business is one of the most important security decisions you’ll make. Regardless of how many cameras you install, remember security footage is only as good as it’s cameras. Choosing security cameras that don’t meet your specific needs can be frustrating and expensive. If you are in the market for security cameras, asking these five questions will help you begin your search.
1. What’s your desired outcome, catching perpetrators or just keeping an eye on things?
If you own a business, you may seek to combat theft, perhaps even using video surveillance to help law enforcement catch a perpetrator. In order to do so, you’ll need to ensure your camera not only has the appropriate resolution but also frame rate. These two items of consideration are ever evolving as technology improves.
2. How important is capturing audio?
Audio can be an integral part of your security system. It can make it possible to communicate with potential perpetrators, providing high-quality, 2-way audio. If this is important to you, check out the specifications of your security cameras. Look for answers to questions such as, what is the delay when using 2-way communication? How is the clarity of the audio? Will you be alerted you when the audio surpasses a certain threshold?
3. What are the lighting conditions?
It may seem, a simple question such as this should be accompanied with a simple solution. Unfortunately, lighting conditions couldn’t be more complex. It’s important to choose a security camera model that works with your lighting conditions. Is the area you’re securing outside or inside? Do you have direct or indirect light? How will the change of seasons affect your lighting? Are there any surfaces that could cause a reflection or back-lighting which could cause glare? Thankfully there are a multitude of options, as well as ever improving technologies, to choose from ensuring you capture quality footage in a variety of lighting conditions.
"Remember security footage
is only as good as it's cameras"
4. What size is the area you want to cover?
Use a blueprint or draw a floorplan to asses the number and types of cameras your space requires. Smaller areas may only require static cameras whereas a PTZ camera may work best for a larger area. Do you need the ability to zoom? Would a wide angle view work best in your space? What level of resolution do you require? Take your time and asses the needs of each space one-by-one. If you have a large space Even wide angle viewing cameras have quite impressive image quality. For instance, PTZ (pan, tilt, and zoom) cameras provide a large optical zoom for high-detail images while being able to survey a large area. For this type of camera to be effective, however, you must either have a live operator or set an automatic tour to control the movements.
5. How important is scalability?
Would you like the ability to add more cameras in the future? If future growth is important to you, be sure to have a network specialist help you choose the correct hardware. Hard-wired systems can be limited, unless customized to allow for expansion in the future. If you are looking for ease and affordability, consider IP (internet protocol) cameras. IP cameras connect over a wireless network and allow you to easily grow your security camera system without much legwork. Expanding this type of system is simple and there’s no wiring to change or update.
When it comes to comparing and choosing security cameras, we highly recommend consulting with an expert. As technology improves, these specifications and qualities are ever evolving. While one aspect of a security camera may meet your needs, another may not. Having an expert on your side to guide you through the process is key towards achieving comprehensive and long-term security.