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Various Types of Security Cameras and Allied Devices for Home Video Surveillance

Selection of an intelligent video security surveillance system is very difficult for common men who are new to it. When you get into exploring options in terms of home security, there are plenty of manufacturers and countless models available, you can also check security camera system reviews, which will help you to choose the best.

In olden times, there were two types only as a fixed camera and PTZ camera. If you want to use a camera which follows people movement, you use PTZ, otherwise a normal camera. However, now things are a lot more complicated as there are many verities and features available in terms of security cameras.

Home Video Surveillance

Various types of security camera housing options are:

  • Outdoor
  • Bullet
  • Dome
  • Discreet

Different variants of features available in security cameras now are:

  • Autofocus
  • Day & Night
  • Varifocal
  • Infrared
  • Remote Zoom
  • Wireless
  • IP cameras
  • Thermal Image sensing to name a few.

We can call the time now as the golden age of cameras. The modern cameras are highly featured in the basics itself, but difficult to understand the features in terms of making the best choice for your requirements. In this guide, we will try to outline the variations and applications of popular camera types.

Choosing a good security camera

First let’s review the basic types of cameras as:

  1. Fixed security camera

This is the one most popular used by home security installers across the globe. This is fixed at a position to capture the images from the best possible angle. With only very few moving parts, fixed cameras are believed to be more reliable than the PTZ variants.

  1. PTZ camera

PTZ cameras are remotely positional, which have the ability to tilt, pan, and zoom on a particular subject. PTZ cameras are typically wrapped inside a case consisting of gears and motors which will let the camera to move. The higher end PTZ cameras will have a better range of zoom, up to 32 times or so. Higher zoom range will help if you need to cover a larger area, but this is always not needed in case of home security.

PTZ cameras are capable of following an object or a person through its coverage area, but these cameras have a few disadvantages too. A good PTZ camera can be deployed to patrol an area, but the most effective results from it may be when the camera is controlled manually.

  1. 360-degree camera

Apart from the above two basic types, the third one now is a virtual PTZ or otherwise called 360-degree camera. This is actually a number of high resolution fixed cameras mounted into a single housing, which is in the shape of a dome. The images from various cameras a combined and you can also zoom in any particular portion.

As the images are continuously recorded, the camera can face to all directions, which makes it an excellent forensic tool. The major challenge in using the 360-degree camera for home video monitoring is that only a few rooms may allow the unobstructed field view to all directions. A basic fixed camera can also be paired with an add-on lens to get a 120-degree or 140-degree view, so many of the spaces may be better served by these types of Security Camera Systems Philadelphia.

Considering the right housing for the camera

Once after choosing the most appropriate type of camera for your purpose, the next move is to choose the best type of housing. Mounting of a PTZ camera is more or less limited to outdoor and indoor. These are mostly dome type cameras for a limited number of applications. The typical outdoor cameras are more weather resistant and include blowers and heaters too.

Dome type housings are specially designed to hide the orientation of the camera. This is a need in many of the security camera applications, which can better deter chances of a violation. When someone cannot assume which way the camera points to, they think it is a point in all directions and tracking them. So, a dome camera which covers the door at the dead end of a hallway is assumed as covering the total hallway.


Named for its sleek and cylindrical design, the cameras resemble a bullet. With very small and unitized design and with a combined camera-housing, such cameras really show its direction of vision and also offer better picture quality. The front portion of the housing is very close to the lens of the camera, which cuts down the reflections and it is also easier to clean.

Discreet housings

Sometimes, the need may be to hide the camera in full by using a discreet housing. The cameras may look like something else, i.e., a smoke detector or motion sensor. However, these may have pinhole lens or type of flush mount lenses. The discreet housing may be mounted to the ceiling or wall. These are actually not mean to be deterrents; however, preferred by the architects who are looking for aesthetic perfection of the space.

All sorts of housings may be resistant to vandalism and also weather resistant. By ensuring better image capturing and quality, these housings are designed to withstand any unfriendly weather and adverse environmental conditions.

Camera features

The next aspect to look while choosing a surveillance camera is its various features based on your application.

  • Resolution

Resolution is the primary consideration with a wide range of options available. Resolution is usually denoted in millions of pixels/megapixels. Higher the resolution is, more storage space is required, so it is better to play balanced in this aspect. For example, the primary analog camera used for video surveillance may feature 1/4 megapixels whereas a high-end HDTV screen is of 2 megapixels. The movie theatre projections you see are 4K with 8.8 megapixels resolution.

  • Low light performance

Now, cameras are with day & night capabilities. There is automatic switch over to low-light resolution. There are also cameras featuring infrared illuminators as a light source, ending up in better images during dark hours. However, the resolution may not be good for low-light performance.

Along with the above, you should also check the lens features and advanced options like wireless signal transmission, thermal imaging, ultra-high resolution, explosion proof bases, etc. Even though the proliferation of options may make your selection of security camera a bit difficult, with the above knowledge, you can shortlist the best in comparing a few good options.

After working as digital marketing consultant for 4 years Deepak decided to leave and start his own Business. To know more about Deepak, find him on Facebook, LinkedIn now.


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