It’s always wiser to invest in a good quality, small, entry level system that allows you to add more cameras later on. Reputable security companies, like ourselves, will offer a range of camera and recorder options from good brand names including Hikivision, Dahua and Samsung amongst the top brands. Another benefit of reputable brands is the confidence in their warranty offerings compared to small retailers’ unbranded cameras, which may only offer the required 1 year guarantee at best, and will rarely include the service of professional installation and an extended no-nonsense warranty period of up to 3 years.
If you consider what you can see with your own eyes, it is tricky to find a camera that will be able to mimic it. Advances in technology mean today’s cameras offer a range of angles, some even provide 360-degree vision and function under a range of lighting conditions.
Think about what you need to see on camera.
That will help you decide what type of camera and what different camera functions you need.
Do you want the camera to be able to see a vehicle outside the front driveway gate or a pedestrian ringing the bell?
It can seem confusing to understand the technicalities of choosing lens size and wide angle degree when selecting CCTV cameras.
For each millimetre of lens size, the rule of thumb is that this is how far away in meters the camera will be able to view its subject (focal length). The degree of a wide angle lens will determine the field of vision and shorten the focal length as the angle gets wider.
For example, a basic 60-degree wide angle, 4 mm lens will effectively identify a human target at up to 4 meters, but it will not have enough range to view the neighbour’s property to the left or right.
CCTV cameras can be attached to your home or business network through internet protocol (IP) to sound the alarm of a security breach and transmit data such as images to a security provider’s control centre via a broadband connection, such as wireless, GSM or ADSL.
The HD cameras will require more bandwidth and better internet connections and can be data hungry when accessing the feed on mobile devices, as well as require higher levels of memory storage to keep the better quality high resolution film which will mean bigger file sizes.
Analogue vs HD or IP?
Ultimately the quality of the image you require from your camera will help you decide whether to buy more affordable entry level analogue cameras or if you should go with high definition (HD) or IP cameras instead.
A basic analogue camera offers a low-resolution image while HD cameras can record crisp high-resolution images suitable for identifying numbers and characters. If you are going to need the recordings for legal or investigative purposes a higher resolution offers a far more enhanced picture which can be digitally zoomed into while retaining image quality. The benefit of zooming in is that this intelligence can be shared with police investigators and security companies. IP Cameras are also great for facial recognition and Licence Plate Recognition (LPR).
Knowing where to put cameras is very important as having the best cameras poorly positioned is as good as having no cameras at all. When considering this, think about the topography of your home. Ideally, covering the entire perimeter of the property with cameras will offer the security of an early warning system – if the camera has been connected to outdoor beams – and of being able to investigate security breaches without peering out a window.
As can be seen in this video above, CCTV cameras act as a good deterrent.
The robbers lift a driveway gate and enter the property, but as soon as they spot a CCTV camera they beat a hasty retreat.