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CCTV Buyers’ Guide

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We often hear that people are apprehensive about buying a CCTV security system because of the purported costs involved. In truth, opting not to have CCTV protecting your home or business can end up being far more costly. CCTV should be viewed as an investment; without it, your premises face a greater risk of theft or damage, both of which often come with significant financial consequences. Fortunately, there are a plethora of CCTV cameras currently available on the market; the upside of which is that there’s bound to be a product for every property, requirement and price point, but the downside being that such a vast choice of options can leave buyers feeling overwhelmed. That’s where we step in.

This buyer’s guide is going to give you all the information and advice you need for answering "which CCTV camera should I buy?". We’ll be discussing the various types of CCTV and their features, along with advice and tips for domestic or commercial use, monitoring, maintenance and repairs.

Types of CCTV

There are many types of CCTV on the market, each packing a wealth of features that help them each to excel in particular environments or at certain tasks. To find the system most suitable to your needs, take a look through the following descriptions, features and benefits.

Dome CCTV camera

Dome camera

What is it?

The aptly named dome camera features a CCTV camera housed inside a robust glass dome. The dome camera is one of the most widely recognised CCTV cameras on this list due to its widespread use surveilling indoor commercial establishments. You’re very likely to have seen dome CCTV cameras in supermarkets, restaurants or offices.

What are its features and benefits?

  • The camera is housed inside tinted glass, making it difficult for observers to know whether or not the camera is pointed at them.
  • The dome shape of the camera enables a field of view of up to 120 degrees. This is great for scanning wide areas.
  • The lens is housed in robust glass, making it vandal-resistant.

Conclusion

Dome cameras are a good choice for all types of premises. The design is subtle but effective; it blends in with almost any interior and yet asserts its presence without revealing its direction of surveillance. Customers know that their actions are being monitored but don’t feel too intruded on. Any customers that attempt to damage the camera will likely fail thanks to its vandal-proof composition.

Day/night camera

What is it?

A day/night camera has unique lenses that allow it to capture clear footage in both sunlight and darkness. The latter is achieved through a series of infrared sensors housed within the camera.

What are its features and benefits?

  • Infrared sensors enable the camera to capture footage in the night.
  • The ability to catch footage in both ends of the light spectrum make it a versatile device.

Conclusion

Choose a day/night camera if you need to capture footage in various light settings but don’t require the camera to be capturing footage 24/7. This device will provide clear, quality images when you need them without using up electricity needlessly.

INfrared CCTV camera

Infrared camera

What is it?

An infrared CCTV camera detects light wavelengths invisible to the naked eye to capture movement in pitch-black conditions. You also may have heard these being referred to as night vision CCTV.

What are its features and benefits?

  • Infrared sensors enable the camera to capture footage in pitch-black conditions.
  • Generally less expensive than a day/night camera.

Conclusion

Choose an infrared camera if you wish to have surveillance during the night only. Infrared cameras are usually less costly than day/night cameras and are therefore the better option if you only need it to capture images in darkness. Infrared cameras are also more reliable for nighttime use than day/night cameras and will give you a more discernible image in the darkest of conditions.

IP camera

What is it?

An IP camera, also known as an Internet Protocol camera, is a CCTV camera proficient in the transfer of image data via the internet. These cameras allow you to view your CCTV feed from anywhere in the world.

What are its features and benefits?

  • IP CCTV cameras automatically compress images, making them suitable for internet transfer.
  • IP cameras require very little more than a network connection to transfer images.

Conclusion

Choose an IP camera for a high quality image and ease of installation.

Bullet camera

What is it?

Bullet CCTV cameras can be long, cylindrical and box shape cameras whose primary aim is to capture footage at far distances. The bullet camera’s name is derived from its bullet-like appearance.

What are its features and benefits?

  • They can capture footage from long ranges.
  • They can be weatherproofed and they work well in low light, making them great for both internal and external use.

Conclusion

Choose a bullet camera if you wish to capture footage from long distances.

C-mount camera (for Commercial use only)

What is it?

The C-mount CCTV camera is versatile, catering for various lens attachments. Though standard CCTV lenses operate up to 35-40ft, advanced lenses can be attached to this camera when needed.

What are its features and benefits?

  • The interchangeable lenses make it superb for capturing different types of footage at different distances.

Conclusion

Choose a C-mount camera when your surveillance requires flexibility.

PTZ camera

What is it?

PTZ stands for pan, tilt and zoom. Their design enables you to adjust the camera with all three of these movements.

What are its features and benefits?

  • The camera is able to capture a wide scope by moving and focusing in on certain areas.
  • The camera has great zoom capabilities.

Conclusion

Choose a PTZ security camera if you need to obtain surveillance of various precise areas at different points throughout the day.

HD camera

What is it?

HD cameras record in high definition, meaning the quality of the picture recorded will be much better than that of standard CCTV cameras.

What are its features and benefits?

  • The heightened resolution provides a greater level of detail, enabling you to identify more precise details.

Conclusion

Choose a HD camera if you need to identify people or objects. The heightened resolution will prevent mistaken identity by giving you a clearer image. This is beneficial for security teams or for surveilling potential crimes on commercial premises.

Commercial CCTV systems

Commercial vs Domestic CCTV

Commercial

  • Commercial CCTV will likely need to cover larger areas than domestic cameras. These cameras often employ a wide scope or are capable of viewing long distances.
  • Many commercial establishments demand a CCTV camera that records in HD. It's important for these businesses to be able to distinguish individuals from a large crowd. As this is a benefit not needed as much for domestic use.
  • Vandal-proof features, such as those found on the dome camera.

Domestic

  • Domestic CCTV cameras are primarily used to record outside. An outdoor security camera that possess weathering properties will be better suited for domestic use.
  • Your home is at its biggest threat from invasion when you aren’t around. An Internet-connected home CCTV is a good choice for domestic use, as they enable you to view the surveillance feed from wherever you are in the world.
  • Infrared cameras will be good for domestic use as much of the footage you’ll be seeking to capture will occur during the night. Many home security cameras will feature infrared capabilities.

Monitored CCTV Camera

Some CCTV cameras include round-the-clock surveillance by a 3rd party company. This option frees you from the hassle of having to review the footage yourself. Simply install your CCTV camera and a team of experts will monitor your feed 24/7 and instantly alert either you or the police of any immediate issues.

CCTV Maintenance & Repair

Over time, your CCTV camera may require maintenance or repairs. Failing to promptly resolve any issues may leave your home or business at risk.

What is maintenance?

Maintenance is the general upkeep of your CCTV camera, ensuring it stays in working condition before any problems emerge. The upkeep of your CCTV camera will generally fall under three categories:

  • Planned maintenance - this is a routine check up and service of your security system. Planned maintenance should occur periodically, with scheduled time frames advised by the manufacturer or installer of the CCTV.
  • User maintenance - this is maintenance you should apply yourself on a scheduled basis of a week or a month. This type of maintenance is much more basic than planned maintenance and shouldn’t require the assistance of a professional.
  • Service call maintenance - this is unscheduled maintenance and will be needed when an unforeseen issue occurs.

What are repairs?

You will need to have your CCTV system repaired after an issue has occurred. If the CCTV ceases to work correctly, we recommend having it fixed as soon as possible to reduce the risk to your home or business.

  • Look for a company that provides 24-hour emergency CCTV repair call-out services.
  • Opt for a CCTV supplier with skilled engineers capable of tackling an extensive list of issues.

These two tips will ensure that any emergency problems are rectified quickly, so you needn’t ever worry about reduced security.

Here at Lynx Security, we’re a CCTV company that provide only the highest standard of security installations for Kettering, Peterborough and Northampton. Our extensive range of CCTV services include CCTV installations, 24-hour monitoring and emergency round-the-clock repairs, meaning you’ll never be without full CCTV protection. The importance of CCTV can not be underestimated. For the best security cameras available, including CCTV cameras for your home, give our team a call and we’ll be happy to help you further.

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