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Tips for Choosing the Right Security Camera

Help for Choosing the Right Bullet Camera

Bullet cameras are very popular for their size and versatility. Things to consider when buying a bullet camera are the resolution of the sensor, size of lens (e.g. 6mm, 8mm) provided, whether it has a color image, black and white or both and its weatherproof rating if used outdoors. Obviously the higher the resolution of the camera the better the image quality but that should not be your only consideration. The size of the lens must also be considered. It will determine your field of view or viewing angle which can greatly affect the overall image you see.

  • Generally for nearby surveillance of 20 feet to 30 feet a 3.6mm to 4.3mm lens is good. This will give you a wide view of the area and facial recognition out to about 25 feet. This doesn't mean you can't see people or objects much further away they'll just appear smaller and harder to see clearly. If you need to see facial detail at a further distance of 35 to 50 feet away you would probably want to go with a 6mm or 8mm lens. However as you increase the size of the lens, for example choosing a 6mm lens instead of the 3.6mm you will loose some field of view but gain greater detail of the object. So you need to decide what it is you want to see and how far away you need to see details clearly. Often times this means using two cameras instead of one but the benefit is actually having clear evidence when something does happen.
     
  • Use our Lens Field of View calculator for help on determining the size lens you need.
     
  • Adequate lighting can be an issue with these small cylinder cameras since they do not have infrared illumination. In general if you have a very low light situation a camera with a black and white image produces a better picture. Lux rating is used in CCTV applications to classify how well a camera sees in low light and the smaller the number the better. A camera with a rating of 1 or .1 lux will need some light source at night to see well. With a .05 lux or better rating the camera can produce a useable image in low light but not so low that you would have a real problem reading a newspaper. There are some color cameras that employ a sense-up technique that slows the shutter speed and can produce images in much darker environments. One such bullet camera is our EW230NUWX camera. Another camera that can see quite well in very low light is our HL230EX however it is strictly a black and white image
     
  • Not all cameras are equal when it comes to weatherproofing. The IP Code (or International Protection Rating) is a rating of how well a device is protected from the elements. Not all cameras state their IP rating but IP65 is considered good for most outdoor weather conditions. If your camera will be exposed to some severe weather conditions you should probably choose a camera with an IP66 rating or higher.

 

Tips for Choosing the Right Infrared Security Camera

When shopping for an outdoor security camera or infrared camera things you want to consider are the resolution of the camera sensor, size of lens (e.g. 6mm, 8mm) provided and the infrared distance. Obviously the higher the resolution of the camera the better the image quality but that should not be your only consideration. The size of the lens will determine your field of view or viewing angle. While the number and size of the LEDs along with the lens will determine how far you can see in complete darkness.

  • IR distance ratings are the maximum distance an object can be illuminated, but as with any light source the closer you get to its maximum range the less light will reach the object. So if you want to be able to see someone 50 feet away you'll be better off selecting a camera with a rating 65 feet or more.
     
  • Not all cameras are equal when it comes to weatherproofing. The IP Code (or International Protection Rating) is a rating of how well a device is protected from the elements. Not all cameras state their IP rating but IP65 is considered good for most outdoor weather conditions. If your camera will be exposed to some severe weather conditions you should probably choose a camera with an IP66 rating or higher.
     
  • Generally for nearby surveillance of 20 feet to 30 feet a 3.6mm to 4.3mm lens is good. This will give you a wide view of the area and facial recognition out to about 25 feet. This doesn't mean you can't see people or objects much further away they'll just appear smaller and harder to see clearly. If you need to see facial detail at a further distance of 35 to 50 feet away you would probably want to go with a 6mm or 8mm lens. Some surveillance cameras are equipped with a vari-focal lens which allows you to manually increase or decrease the lens size to suit your need. Keep in mind that the larger the lens size for any given distance the more detail you will see but your field of view will be smaller. So you may find that you need more than one camera, one for an overall wide angle view and another in sensitive areas with a larger lens for more detail.
     
  • Use our Lens Field of View calculator for help on determining the size lens you need.