5 Tips on Buying a Night Vision Security Camera
Source: LS VISION
1. Decide Between a Color or Black and White Camera
The determining factor in choosing a black and white or?color security camera?is the light level in the surveillance environment. High-resolution color cameras often feature an infrared (IR) cutoff filter to provide integrated night vision. Color cameras are a good choice for use when there is sufficient light. While the resolution may be lower than an equivalently priced black and white camera, color cameras allow the user to identify a subject's hair, clothing, and car color and hue.
A Lux rating measures light intensity as perceived by the human eye. Most color security cameras feature a Lux rating between one and four, while black and white cameras feature Lux ratings much lower. Those who are looking for clear video footage should choose a color camera over a black and white model, because video footage from a color camera is typically easier to view than black and white images.
Black and white security cameras?intended for very poor lighting conditions may feature a Lux rating as low as 0.0003. Nighttime footage captured with a single light source is clearly visible and detailed enough to reveal identifying characteristics of the subject. Cameras with such a high-intensity Lux rating take footage with minimal video noise, often perceived as static, snow, or interference, resulting in a detailed image. Color cameras designed for poor lighting conditions are generally more complex and costly to manufacture than equivalent black and white cameras that produce a high-quality image under similar conditions. An important feature of night vision security cameras are?infrared sensorsthat provide additional versatility to a color camera when used in dark or low-lighting conditions.
2. Choose the System Connectivity Type
Depending on the recording conditions and environment, consumers should determine whether a wired or wireless system best meets their needs.?Wired cameras?are appropriate for indoor and outdoor use, and generally provide the highest image quality. These security cameras feature DIN or BNC connection ports for increased versatility; additional video extension cables connect the cameras to the recording and control unit.
Wired systems are well suited for expansive locations that may be too large for wireless system coverage. When used for night vision monitoring, these cameras include an infrared cutoff filter that produces accurate color imaging. Night vision cameras generally generate black and white images to produce optimal image clarity, contrast, and detail. Because of visible wires, these systems may be apparent to an intruder, who may attempt to stay clear of the cameras.
Wireless cameras?are simple to set up and are a budget-friendly way to create a security system. Security cameras that use digital wireless signals are not vulnerable to signal interference from other devices. Digital security cameras provide clear audio and video output for additional detail when acquiring and retaining security footage.
Wireless systems are well suited for locations covered completely by the signal, and most wireless systems require clear line of sight between the receiver and the transmitter. Tree branches or wildlife that impede the line-of-sight connection compromise the signal from an exterior system. Utilizing battery power, a wireless system has no visible wiring and is easier to conceal from intruders.
IP?(Internet protocol) network cameras?allow the user to connect the system utilizing a computer router. This connection method treats each security camera as a device controlled by the router. Many network security systems allow the user to control the cameras remotely via a smartphone or computer with an Internet connection. Many network cameras are capable of recording the video footage to a network video recorder or a computer using the appropriate software. Consumers can utilize systems that allow real-time monitoring of the scene, whether through a dedicated monitor, computer monitor, or a smartphone or tablet.
3. Consider an Outdoor or Indoor System
Both indoor and outdoor systems are effective at providing safety measures for the consumer, and the purpose of the system determines which is best. Whether installing the security camera installed outdoors to scare away potential predators or indoors to keep the family safe, each offers great protection to any home.
Outdoor?cameras?should be waterproof and dustproof to provide reliable operation in any kind of weather. Cameras mounted beneath an overhang provide additional protection against severe weather. An outdoor camera should have a protective rain hood and camera housing to keep rain, snow, and debris off the lens and to provide as clear an image as possible. Some commonly monitored exterior areas include fence lines, driveways, walkways, and entrances.
Indoor cameras?do not need to be weatherproof. Installing a surveillance camera in plain sight, with a visible recording indicator, discourages after-hours intruders from carrying out illegal activities. Others may choose to have the camera blend into the decor to hide the system from intruders.
Motion detection is a useful capability for outdoor surveillance systems, particularly when used at night. A function of the DVR's software, this capability scans the frame for any movement and provides a cue to begin recording. When correctly configured, this selective recording capability allows the user to optimize the DVR's storage capacity as well as the continuity of the footage.?Motion detection video systems?should be set to a moderate level of sensitivity so that normal motion such as a flag or objects moving in the breeze do not trigger the system.
4. Choose the Number of Cameras in a System
For a small business or home system, an exterior system consisting of two or four cameras provides sufficient coverage to protect against intrusion. Professionals advise installing sufficient interior cameras to provide full coverage for the monitored area. There should be no blind spots as the subject moves from one camera's field of view to another. The number of cameras in the system depends on the level of coverage, including perimeter, exterior, and interior surveillance. As with any piece of equipment, the number of cameras generally affects the level of investment in the system.
5. Decide Upon Light Sensitivity and Lux
The Lux rating determines a camera's ability to capture an image under a variety of lighting conditions. For example, a candle that is located one foot from any object casts 1-foot-candle of illumination on it; this is equivalent to 10-Lux.