How to choose the right security camera?

Choosing the right security cameras is a decision that businesses of all sizes and from all industries face. Making the right choice can have more profound benefits. Below are 11 tips to select the best security camera step by step.

1. IP Camera vs. Analog HD Camera

IP Camera delivers better picture quality and higher detailed images than Analog HD camera even made from same image sensor and record at same resolution. IP camera is your best choice.

2. H.265 vs. H.264 Compression

H. 265 is the new video compression standard after H. 264. Compared with the existing video coding standard H. 264, H.265 keeps some of the original technologies, while improving some relevant techniques. H.265 adopts the advanced techniques to improve the bit-stream, promote the coding quality, and create a better relationship between time delay and algorithm complexity, to achieve best optimizations as far as possible. H.265 has better compression performance and lower bandwidth utilization ratio.

3. Protocol

Even most IP cameras support ONVIF protocol but ONVIF protocol is not an efficient protocol. In large scale surveillance system, for example, more than 64ch or 32ch, if all cameras use ONVIF protocol, you will suffer the low performance of whole system. Private protocol is best choice for large professional surveillance project.

4. Wired vs. Wireless Camera

Wireless cameras are susceptible to interference from other wireless devices such as cordless phones, wireless internet devices etc. Also, wireless cameras do require a power cord so they aren't completely wireless. Wireless camera is not recommended for professional surveillance system. Even for home user, wired PoE camera is the best choice for outdoor mount.

5. Choose Camera Resolution - Cost Consideration

How much image clarity and detail do you require? If you want more clarity and details, go higher resolution. Options are 1MP (1280x720 pixel), 2MP (1920x1080), 3MP (2048x1536), 4MP (2560x1440), 5MP (2592x1944), 4k (3840x2160), 12MP (4000x3000). If you have budget but still want to cover more area, please go to next step to choose wider angle lens.

6. Determine Coverage Area and Target Distance and select Camera Focal Length

Firstly, determine how wide of an area needs to be covered - this is called the field of view. Secondly, determine the target distance in feet. The target distance is the distance that the subject is expected to be from the camera.
Thirdly, calculate the best focal length for each security camera. There is a tradeoff between field of view and magnification. Get more coverage and lose more details.

7. Indoor or outdoor? (Starlight camera vs. Night vision Camera with IR Light)

While most modern cameras can be used both indoor and outdoor, it’s important to consider the cost and effects. Starlight cameras use natural infrared light to produce crystal clear image both day and night thus eliminate the problems usually generated by IR cameras, such as fogging image at night, limited night vision distance, image quality become worse along with the time going due to the IR light attenuation. Starlight camera is your best choice for outdoor use. No need IR Light but better than IR light. For indoor installation, normal IR light camera is your best choice because the natural infrared light is zero at indoor environment, normal cameras can save money and get save effects. ILDVR IP camera models ending with letter “R” such as INC-M0B06R are starlight camera.

8. What type of camera fit your needs

The right security camera depends on the specific environment that the camera will be placed in, the desired visibility of the camera and the desired aesthetics. Here are 5 common styles of security cameras: Bullet Camera: cylindrical shaped cameras that are usually sealed in a weatherproof housing and can be used indoors or outdoors. Most bullet cameras build with 3-axil bracket and easy to mount no matter wall mount and ceiling mount. Dome Camera: Dome cameras are usually mounted on ceilings to look nice and blend in with the surroundings. Most dome cameras are fitted with vandalism proof lexan plastic domes to prevent damage. Dome cameras come in both indoor and outdoor weatherproof versions. Box Camera: The advantage of these cameras is that they can be equipped with a variety of variable focal length lenses to be used to achieve the desired coverage area and magnification of details. PTZ Camera: PTZ cameras work best for larger areas given their large range of view and ability to zoom in on particular activity. PTZ cameras can be panned left or right, tilted up or down, zoomed in or out to follow the action. Auto-track PTZ cameras use built- in intelligent video analysis algorithm to follow and monitor a particular moving object automatically. It is your best choice for low-traffic environment surveillance. Covert Camera: These discreet cameras can be hidden almost anywhere. Popular choices include security cameras made to look like a smoke detector. Most of these cameras have a pinhole lens and will only operate in daylight.

9. Is audio important?

Integrating audio into a surveillance system makes it possible to watch and hear things as they happen. PoE IP cameras are easy to attach microphone.

10. What are the lighting conditions? Super WDR camera is suitable for viewing of wide light differences in the scene

Mixed shadow and bright light in the same scene is very challenging for normal security cameras. Standard CMOS image sensor has had difficulty getting clear images to be seen in light and dark areas simultaneously. For example, if you need to place a camera indoors and need to watch an area that has a normal amount of indoor light, but has a large window in its background that has direct sunlight then cameras with Wide Dynamic Range technology will let you capture both the indoor images and the images from the outdoors. But be well notice that most IP cameras claimed with WDR function is only digital WDR which effects is much worse than Super WDR. Super WDR is also called optical WDR or hardware WDR, means the WDR function is built in the image sensor. Digital WDR rely on the chip, the effects varies a lot. ILDVR IP camera models ending with letter “V” such as INC-M30B06V are true supper WDR camera.

11. Monitor rapid motion objects?

High frame rate (60/50fps) cameras have double number of the frames you have available over conventional IP cameras (30/25fps). There is a perception in CCTV, that analog video provides smoother motion than IP cameras, this is because analog NTSC/PAL video at 30/25 frames per second, is actually 50 ‘fields’ per second interlaced, rather than 30/25 individual frames. Capturing video at 60/50fps provides the same smoothness as NTSC/PAL, but with double the detail in each frame plus the higher resolution of HD or full HD. Benefits: Smooth motion video and double the chance of detection. Typical usage: In casinos there is a lot of rapid motion, so double the number of frames means double the chance to spot attempts of fraud. In traffic monitoring environments combining high frame rate with high shutter speed can give an operator a greater chance to spot details like vehicle number plates.

ILDVR IP camera models ending with letter “U” such as INC-M20B07U are high frame rate camera.