Security Tips for The Average Joe

Considerations for Buying a CCTV Camera

There are several important factors for consideration when you buy a new CCTV camera, most of which are related to the basic hardware components; thus, understanding such components and their influence on the CCTV camera’s performance is an integral to any shopper.

Lens

The lens is what collects the light that will be used by the sensor. Everything you see or is recorded on the DVR passes through the lens. Since the lens controls focus, it will dictate the maximum distance you will be able to, for example, recognize a face. In lots of cases, using a better lens is more useful than using a higher output resolution, given that input dictates output, and lens dictates input. Also consider purchasing a zoom lens, which can really come in handy when’re analyzing video recordings that could contain critical information.
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Sensor
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There are two very important things to look into when it comes to a CCTV camera’s sensor: type and size. Typically, CCTV sensors would be CMOS or CCD. CMOS is not as expensive as CCD and consumes less power too; however, as it is less sensitive, the quality of images it produces is lower as well. In terms of size, the bigger the sensor, the more light it can process, leading to a better quality image. There are two common sizes CCTV camera sensors are sold in today – 1/4 inch (3.2 mm by 2.4 mm) and 1/3 inch (4.8 mm by 3.6 mm).

Output Resolution

The number of horizontal lines of TV resolution CCTV cameras can output – also known as their TVL – is one common specification for these devices. Some experts say this should be at least 420TVL, but this is not true for all cases. A high resolution may be good to have, but considering that the output depends on the input, any extra resolution is wasted if the lens and sensor could not match the output resolution, which is dependent on the DSP. What actually really counts is that there is enough resolution that will clearly display any image the camera produces.

Types

> Bullet

Bullet cameras are cylindrical in shape and are usually used in environments in which discretion is important, but it is unnecessary to install the camera permanently in a protective dome. They are just great for service areas as well as shops where the staff should be monitored.

> Dome

A CCTV dome camera is the ideal choice for surveillance because it doesn’t only protect itself from vandals, but it also offers a degree of security because it’s usually impossible to tell where the device is pointed.

> IR Day/Night

Although obvious in appearance, these IR day/night cameras can provide 24-hour outdoor coverage under any lighting condition. In the day, they produce color images; at night, they convert to black and white for infrared viewing. It won’t be that simple indeed, buying the right CCTV camera. But this information can sure give you a great jumpstart.