CCTV camera Options: How to choose the best camera for you

Our megapixel and IP cameras are not just better quality, but they also have extra functionality such as zoom and replay at the touch of a button.

Our cameras are a minimum of 1080p full HD (High Definition).

There are a variety of important considerations when choosing the best CCTV camera for your needs. These include whether they are used internally or externally, the light level it will operate in and whether or not this is variable, the distance it needs to view, the range of required vision and whether or not it needs to be able to move around, zoom in etc in response to a controller or on a pre-determined pattern patrol.

Security cameras

Perhaps the most obvious application of CCTV is security, which means protection of assets, prevention of vandalism, maintenance of evidence etc.

There are specific options to choose if vandalism or potential attempts to disable the CCTV are a concern.

The quality level of the video images is of course very important also. In order for incident response, decision making and evidence to be effective, you need to be certain of what you are viewing. Huge advances have been made recently in this area, so if your cameras are more than a few years old, there could be major advantages to upgrading. If you are buying for the first time then you may well be pleasantly surprised by the quality of images, which is likely to be as good or better than your TV at home.

Surveillance cameras

There are a wide range of reasons that you might want to participate in surveillance. These can include security, but also ensuring staff safety, protection of remote workers, protecting your business from fraudulent insurance or compensation claims or generally the remote monitoring of your business operations for reasons of quality control or business intelligence. Different cameras will represent different levels of suitability for your needs, and we would love to advise you on these.

IP (Internet Protocol) cameras / network cameras

Currently these are our most widely recommended cameras due to the significant functionality that they bring and their ability to reliably deliver the highest quality megapixel images. See more on our IP network page.

HD megapixel CCTV cameras

All systems that we install now include cameras that are several megapixels.

This of course is a good reason to upgrade your existing system if you don’t have full HD quality.

With HD cameras, a key consideration simply is: How many megapixels? Our view on this is that megapixels are like a well-known cereal brand: You probably don’t need more than three!

The knock-on effect when images are exceptional quality is the storage capacity required for the video footage. We can help both with the type of equipment needed and the size and set-up or configuration so that you get all you need in terms of access to your CCTV and maintenance of evidence should this be required.

‘Wireless’ CCTV cameras

Wireless cameras are very good for situations in which they need to be easily redeployed. If this is something that is important for your use of CCTV then they are a great option. Whilst they are called wireless of course, and the device itself is not physically connected to a recorder, they do require a power source, so their deployability is not unlimited. They can connect to a network wirelessly or via a cable, depending on the circumstances.

PTZ cameras

A PTZ camera (meaning Pan, Tilt and Zoom) offers obvious benefits in terms of managing and controlling CCTV. They are particularly well suited to environments in which cameras are operator controlled. PTZ cameras are widely used across a range of surveillance applications.

If you are monitoring a dynamic environment then these may well be for you.

Night Vision cameras

This type of CCTV camera does exactly as it says. There are various options including infrared and white light versions available to allow cameras to see in total darkness or in monochrome mode or in full colour with white light assistance.

TVI and CVI and AHD cameras (Analogue High Definition)

There are various other ways of achieving high definition CCTV imagery. Transport Video Interface (TVI) and Composite Video Interface (CVI) and Analogue High Definition (AHD). They use a different type of cabling compared to our IP HD CCTV. If you have an older style network and other components that you want to keep then this would be a good instance in which TVI or AHD could be used.

A downside is that components are not always compatible e.g. some DVRs are suitable for some types of analogue HD cameras and not others.

Dome cameras

These cameras have their lens and housing all in one enclosure, in a distinct recognisable shape that is not easy to remove by vandals / intruders.

They are relatively discrete and good for applications that are in a fixed location with a fixed field of view. They do offer a good deal of flexibility though with the ability to spin 360 degrees, usually at high speed and come with autofocus. There are also IR (Infrared) versions.

Bullet cameras

These highly conspicuous cameras with very distinct body shape provide a particularly overt kind of surveillance. You may want to use this if a deterrent effect is desired and provided that the risk of vandalism can be controlled.

Often these cameras have a fully adjustable bracket which allows multiple mounting locations – on poles, ceilings, walls etc.

They are also well suited to extreme environments – extremes of temperature and marine applications. They have many applications both indoor and outdoor.