Welcome to our little series on home security camera system and DVR selection. We find that many homeowners out searching for quality security systems for their home are often very interested in simply understanding what they’re after a little better than they understand it right now. There’s no way to find a quality security camera or surveillance system until you understand what each of the specifications and elements of the devices allows you to do. While we aren’t really a comprehensive explanation or even a very technical one we definitely hope to help you feel more familiar with what you are looking at as you scour the world of security systems looking for the right pieces for your home.
Security Cameras and You
Let’s start this discussion with what a security camera really means for you as a homeowner.
Security cameras serve an interesting set of purposes. Where your physical security (i.e. your doors and deadbolts) are meant to actually physically keep the burglars from entering your home, it’s the job of the surveillance system to prevent a thief from attacking and in the case of an event to capture enough information that you can catch the crook. If you don’t have a camera with the right lens, focal length, resolution or capabilities you’ll be handicapped in your ability to catch the thief. For this reason it is important that you search through security cameras until you find what you’re looking for.
Outdoor or Indoor
Are you looking for quality security surveillance to happen outside or inside or BOTH? Most cameras vary in their placement or the place that they are meant to be installed and functioning. Most of the time Bullet cameras are intended to be used outside, dome cameras are meant to be used inside or occasionally outside, and hidden cameras are meant to be used inside. These cameras are fairly easy to identify (except for the hidden ones, which are supposed to be difficult to see anyway.) Just remember that outdoor cameras need to be sealed so that weather can’t erode or short circuit your system and indoor cameras can even be 360 cameras.
Most people these days think that everything you need in a quality image has to do with HD resolution. While they wouldn’t be completely wrong there is so much more to a great image than just the number of pixels included. A good camera is going to have the flexibility to be durable on the roof, but easy to install at any distance. This is possible when you use a focal length that can be manipulated from a distance. Sometimes these lenses are called PTZ or pan, tilt and zoom, you can actually manipulate these cameras while they are running or AFTER their footage has been saved. It is important to at least get a varifocal lens that you can change to cover the right amount of your property.
It is also important that the camera have the ability to switch into infra-red lighting so the camera can continue to record in low lighting. And finally, for those homeowners that want to see their home through a camera while they’re away, there is a remote access feature that will allow you to use it as your eyes into the home. These cameras often possess what is known as motion activation meaning they can identify movement without any help from you and then TELL YOU when there is something afoot. You can cancel false alarms and pay attention to real problems and handle everything from your phone.
As you consider the cameras that your going to buy think about these very basic guidelines for security cameras! Also take into consideration which DVR you’re going to need—which you’ll find in the next article.