What to look for when buying an IP camera
Source: William Pao, a&s International
Needless to say, security cameras are more and more moving towards IP
, which carries various benefits. Before purchasing an IP camera
, several things need to be considered to get the most out of it.
According to a recent blog
by 2MCCTV, benefits of IP camera are manifold. “Primarily, having digital video makes reviewing footage easier. You are also able to view footage and receive alerts on mobile devices. They also tend to be able to record at higher resolutions than traditional analog,” it said. “Total system cost is typically lower and they can link with home automation networks and other devices. Additionally, using a PoE switch, they can send data and receive power through one cord, simplifying installation.”
Before purchasing, it’s important to choose the type of IP camera to be installed. The types available are summarized as follows.
According to the post, these cameras are useful because they provide a menacing appearance to criminals given there more traditional shape. “These tend to have the best performance out of all the type, however, they are also the most expensive. Box cameras are able to be placed in whatever style housing you choose, allowing them to be used in a multitude of conditions. They generally have the longest service life but require separate illumination for use in low light,” it said.
These are actually box cameras sealed inside their own housing, the post said. “They tend to be easier to install and larger lenses are able to be equipped to their bodies. These larger lenses allow bullet cameras to reach a longer range. These tend to be great for outdoor use and the design helps reduce glare,” it said.
According to the post, the dome camera
is a more discreet option, blending in with its surroundings better. “It also includes a rotating camera and wide angle, allowing a single unit to capture a greater area. Dome cameras are also vandal resistant and often come equipped with night vision. They are also great for indoor or outdoor use, depending on their weatherproof rating,” it said.
Finally, there is the turret camera which tends to have extended IR capabilities due to a single IR glass near the lens, as opposed to the traditional ring of LEDs. “They have a versatile mounting system and can be mounted vertically or horizontally. Turret cameras tend to offer no, or less, IR bounce as opposed to the other styles mentioned,” the post said.
The focal length is also important, and users can choose from the following: Fixed, whereby the camera has a fixed focal length, and adjusting the field of view can’t be done; varifocal, whereby the camera allows the user to adjust the zoom and angle of the lens, but this cannot be done remotely; and PTZ
, whereby the pan, tilt an zoom operation can all be done remotely.
The post also mentions other things the user might want to consider. “Do you want IR capabilities for capturing and viewing nighttime footage? If you know you’re going to be using a NVR, you may not be worried about having cameras with onboard storage, otherwise that may be something you want to consider. Now, if your cameras are going to be installed outside or in harsh environments, you will want to check the weatherproofing done to the camera, or use a special housing unit,” it said. “Finally, you need to decide whether you want a wireless or wired system. In most cases we recommend going with a wire connection because it offers improved reliability, especially in systems with multiple cameras.”