CCTV Camera Options and Styles [ A Complete Breakdown + Options]

When it comes to purchasing CCTV camera systems, you have an entire array of options, specifications, and additions you can add to really make your system top of the line or to really make your system stand out from the rest of the crowd.

This is how it goes with many electronic-based systems and goodies. CCTV camera systems are no different in this manner.

You have options and plenty of them. Some cameras are going to better for business use, and some camera systems are going to be better for residential use. In addition, CCTV Camera systems present other unique angles that you can take since they are so customizable.

You have different internet connections, storage options and even different options on what you want your physical cameras to look like. Additionally, the importance of understanding what each kind of camera can offer is essential to the buying process. It will save you time and money in the long run.

Depending on your needs, one style of CCTV cameras may fit your needs perfectly, but another style may be entirely useless for you. It all depends, and it’s essential to know your cameras before purchasing your new home or business CCTV system.

The knowledge and research up front are going to have you putting together the ultimate system and ideal security for your home and business.

The Confusing and Ever-Changing World of CCTV Equipment and Options

This makes CCTV cameras appeal not only to people looking for a strong deterrent to protect their families but to nearly all individuals. It’s a popular purchase and it’s growing every day.

Homes and assets make CCTV camera systems appealing to individuals who just have a strong case of keeping up with the jones on their neighborhood block and want to show off new shiny equipment and make sure that everyone is aware that they have recently purchased a new system.

This is how the world operates, and CCTV systems are growing in options, popularity, and functionality at alarming rates and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This is what makes the entire purchasing process so confusing and overwhelming for most consumers.

Companies and manufacturers continue to offer new technology and products almost daily; it seems which makes the chances of you knowing exactly what you want when you go to order your system slim to none.

Although the Style of Camera is Essential, Other Options Always Have to Be Considered as Well

If you follow many of our blogs, I think you know by now that I’m a big advocate of considering every angle of the CCTV purchase. The style is essential, and the camera type can offer some unique perks and advantages, but you need to consider all the other factors as well before deciding.

Where your cameras will be used and what exactly you are protecting are some beginning considerations. Additionally, installation and ease of use should always be factors in the back of your mind as well.

At the end of the day, getting the style you want is the first step, but from there, you still have work to do. Hopefully, this post will help you to get a few of these steps and research out of the way.

How Reading This Post Can Help Guide You Through the Purchase and Various Options with CCTV’s

That’s what this entire post is dedicated towards. I wanted to create and craft a quick guide breaking down the various styles of CCTV camera systems and shed some light on when these individual styles and options may make the most sense for you.

By the end of this post, you should be in a much better place to navigate the CCTV camera market and make a much more informed decision about which cameras you ultimately want to purchase.

Not to mention, this article should help to save you time, headaches and frustration moving forward. After all, CCTV cameras are one of those purchases that often end up upgraded or swapped later down the road when individuals come to a better understanding of what they are truly looking for out of a system.

So, without further ramble, let’s begin discussing the styles and camera options you will be presented with when purchasing your first CCTV camera system.

If this isn’t the first CCTV system you purchased, hopefully, you can still pull out a nugget or two of information to further your knowledge in the CCTV security camera world.

Let’s dive into the details.

A Breakdown of Styles and Options to Consider with Your CCTV Camera Purchase

Like I stated previously, the options you have when purchasing CCTV cameras are endless it seems. Each camera is likely going to serve a specific use that can benefit you at either your home, business or remote location. Some of these styles will cost varying amounts of money or eat into the budget.

On the other hand, the cameras that do cost a bit more are likely going to be offering many more perks and additional features that enhance the overall abilities you can gain from your CCTV system.

At the end of the day, it only comes down to preference and what you genuinely want or desire out of your CCTV system.

Here’s a look at all your options to consider before making any initial purchases.

Dome CCTV Cameras Functions and Uses

Dome cameras are one of the most popular cameras you can purchase. It’s been like this for quite some time. The first appealing feature that dome cameras offer is a concealed lens. This makes the individuals being monitored unaware at which direction the camera is facing.

In many circumstances, you will see Dome CCTV cameras being used inside of large department stores for loss prevention purposes but not always. Dome cameras are also one of the cameras on our list that offer the ability to use indoors or outdoors which surely a significant added benefit to consider.

Dome cameras originally were only popular for business use in the early stages but have quickly become one of the most popular options that you can consider for your residential needs as well. Again, for indoor or outdoor use.

Additional Features Offered with Dome CCTV Cameras

Many Dome cameras are also going to come chalked with a few other goodies and benefits. For starters, dome cameras will likely come standard with night vision. We all know that this is a must have with our security systems and one of the most likely times a criminal will strike on our properties.

Additionally, dome cameras are one of the most universally easy to install cameras on our entire list (outside of wireless cameras or doorbell cameras). This is one of the primary reasons you often see businesses deciding to implement dome cameras outside and inside of the establishment.

Well, easy to install plus the factor we discussed below. They can be a much stronger deterrent because individuals are more afraid to exercise criminal behavior without knowing if they are genuinely on camera or not.

This makes dome cameras extremely stealthy for loss prevention purposes or to combat against individuals who think they have mastered the camera layout within a business.

Simply rotate your dome camera to be facing or covering a different area to always to have your criminals and wrongdoers on their toes and likely to be caught red-handed performing undesirable actions.

Bullet CCTV Cameras Functions and Uses

Bullet CCTV cameras are another of one of the cameras on this list that seem to be rising to the top of the ranks in popularity at a fast-paced.

They aren’t nearly as physically appealing as a dome camera and tend to be much more noticeable by individuals entering a property but nonetheless, they still get the job done and continue to impress consumers and business establishments looking for added security.

Bullet cameras are the cameras you will often see that much longer with squared edges. Often, they will be in places such as bank drive-ups, but they also are commonly used on other businesses and even for residential use due to certain features that they are capable of offering.

While bullets cameras can be used indoors, you will typically see bullets cameras being used outdoors in most circumstances. This is because of the protective outer case that bullet cameras offer.

This makes them ideal to be weather resistant, tamper-proof and will stand up and maintain use during higher temperatures and frigidly cold weather.

Easy Installation and Additional Perks Offered with CCTV Bullet Cameras

This is another one of the CCTV cameras on the list that offers straightforward installation and will usually come with a simple universal mounting bracket.

All that would be required for installation would be drilling pilot holes in the area you are looking to mount and place the screws through the mount to secure your bullet camera in place.

Lastly, bullet cameras also offer some of the highest quality resolutions and often come standard with IR night vision just like the dome cameras we discussed previously would include.

It may not be the most physically appealing camera on the list, but it’s certainly a high quality, well-built option for your CCTV camera system.

Infrared Cameras or Thermal Imaging CCTV Cameras

Infrared and Thermal imaging cameras are advanced and offer significant boosted features compared to other CCTV camera options. In most circumstances, Infrared and thermal imaging CCTV cameras are going to be used to protect large businesses and essential infrastructures around the world.

Examples of this could include County Jails, Prisons, Airports, and other essential or high-security locations. This is mostly due to the high quality and stunning quality these CCTV cameras can deliver.

They are also the most advanced version of night vision CCTV cameras you can consider and can pick up movement on properties in the blackest of night and low lighting conditions.

Thermal imaging CCTV cameras also offer one of the longest ranges possible out of CCTV camera options and can capture high-quality video and images up to 300 meters away.

If you want to go big on your home CCTV system, this would be one of the highest quality options you could choose.

With High Quality, CCTV Cameras Comes the Highest Price Tags. A Fair Warning.

Be prepared, however, with the highest qualities also usually comes to the highest price tag. If budget isn’t a constraint, I’d spring for this kind of camera on your home or business. I’d love to install these on my home as well.

Unfortunately, I do fall into the group of individuals that plays the budget game with my CCTV system but maybe someday in the future I will upgrade and of course, keep all of you posted about the quality and results I’m able to achieve.

Varifocal CCTV Cameras

Varifocal CCTV cameras are going to strike a strong resemblance to your bullet cameras. They look nearly identical except varifocal CCTV cameras are going to be shorter usually and a bit boxier. Varifocal cameras have a unique ability in the fact that they can zoom in or out without distorting the quality of the footage.

With Varifocal CCTV cameras, the primary purpose is to ensure that you don’t have areas that are left uncovered wherever that may be. This could be on your home, business or other locations. It’s the ability to zoom back and then out allows you to cover more ground and thoroughly eliminate any dead zone issues.

Eliminate Dead Zones While Maintaining High-Quality Footage with Your Varifocal CCTV Camera.

Additionally, varifocal cameras offer the ability to capture high-quality video and images from long distances. Lastly, if the ability to achieve high-quality imaging up close or further out and dead zones aren’t entirely the problem you are experiencing, they aren’t necessarily the CCTV camera type to consider.

Outside of these abilities, they don’t offer anything unique or worth the additional budget money that you could easily use elsewhere to upgrade your system to something more powerful.

Network or IP CCTV Cameras

Network or IP CCTV cameras are designed primarily for individuals who prefer immediate access to their footage from any remote location at any time. The footage taken from Network or IP CCTV is going to be stored and shared over the internet.

The uses you can choose to function your Network or IP CCTV cameras are broad. Many individuals use Network or IP cameras for residential use and businesses are also beginning to implement these cameras due to the ease of use.

One of the biggest things to keep in mind about IP cameras is to ensure that you always have some form of security in place to prevent the footage from being hacked. IP cameras potentially offer the highest likelihood of your system being hacked which is more prevalent than you may believe.

However, when you factor in the ease of use, the price and the upgraded features you can purchase for these cameras, they are undoubtedly still a top pick, and it makes sense why they are growing in popularity.

The world loves the internet, so anything we connect and use within seconds is something likely to hit the ground running. Even in the world of CCTV camera systems.

Another big reason people enjoy using these Network and IP CCTV cameras are so popular is due to easy installation and the fact that nearly no cables are necessary for install. This can save time and headaches during the install process and money of course.

They are one of the top options you can consider for home or business currently but do have a few drawbacks as we covered before.

HD (High Definition CCTV Cameras)

High Definition CCTV cameras are rarely going to be used in your regular businesses or residential scenarios, but they could be if you don’t mind spending the additional money. High Definition CCTV cameras are going to offer the highest possible quality and resolution provided by CCTV cameras.

These cameras are usually going to be in establishments where safety is a significant concern or security is also of utmost importance. High definition CCTV cameras are also vital to be used in situations where the footage may need to be used as evidence in the future.

Example of the practical uses of High Definition CCTV cameras can include hospitals, banks, prisons, government buildings, and casinos. These establishments need higher security protocols and the ability to identify individuals with ease if the situation calls for such.

High definition CCTV cameras offer the ability to zoom at long distances without losing quality and can also enhance images once a zoom has taken place. This is something other models and options CCTV cameras just don’t currently offer, but I can see this being a part of all CCTV camera options in the future.

If you aren’t a part of one of the establishments we discussed previously, the chances of you needing one of these cameras for your home or business are rare, and it’s likely going to be a waste of your money, and you can lean on a different CCTV camera option.

Which CCTV Cameras Do We Recommend You Lean Towards During Your Purchase

Sometimes when considering which CCTV camera is going to be able to serve your needs best, it’s not always the kind of camera to consider.

Of course, this is an essential part of the purchasing decision, but it’s also essential that you are using the correct number of cameras, covering all property and achieving peace of mind out of your purchase.

In some situations, you can get away with lower end models but need a dozen of them to get the job done. In other situations, you can get the job done with 3 cameras, but you need higher-end options such as a bullet camera for zooming in on more significant properties.

The best thing you can do is to walk the property and think like the system. What needs coverage? Where are the entry points and what’s most important to you? Not to mention the fact that the budget also always needs to be a concern when purchasing a CCTV system.

Speaking to a professional about your needs is always recommended, but even more importantly, you should be doing your homework and research about your options and searching for the best deals before making any final decisions.

Other Advice and Tips Towards Purchasing CCTV Security Cameras

In addition to finding the perfect CCTV system to fit your needs, we have a few different keys that will help you to achieve the optimal results and to keep you happy. First and foremost, installation and your own abilities always need to be considered.

What do I mean by this? Well, if you are a handy person, you have more options on the cameras you can install without needing to pay additional money out of pocket to pay for the system.

If you’re not handy, you need to be factoring in your installation cost as well before allocating your entire budget towards the camera themselves.

In addition, you need to be considering other items such as indoor vs. outdoor use. If you are going to be installing cameras indoors, you don’t need certain features such as tamper proofing, weather resistance or resistance casings around the cameras.

However, if you plan to install all your CCTV cameras outdoors, you begin limiting your options to cameras that are weather resistant and can handle the hot weather, cold weather, and individuals tampering with the actual camera.

Depending on the location of the cameras, you also need to be considering other features such as frames per second, night vision technology and how you will physically store your footage from your CCTV Cameras.

Don’t Forget About Storage Considerations with The CCTV Cameras You Choose to Purchase

We have another blog post discussing storage options that you can see here. It’s a big part of the equation when purchasing your CCTV system. Storage can add cost to the purchase and part of the budget needs to be reserved for this reason.

Especially if you are planning on using storage options such as cloud storage or large capacity DVR, NVR or HVR technology. Some of these systems can get costly, and it’s essential that you have somewhere for this footage to go and remain safe.

If you can’t playback footage or use it when it’s needed the most, the cameras seem to be useless and not worth the purchase in the first place. At least that’s my take on the situation.

The last consideration we recommend is analyzing your needs carefully based on if you need the system for professional use or residential use.

Dome cameras are going to be great for both, but in general, individual styles of CCTV cameras are going to perform better than other for functions just like we have laid out in this post for you here today.

If you’re not catching on to our common trend yet, it’s simple. Your CCTV needs can’t be grouped or taken care of with just the style of the camera by itself.

Too many additional perks and options are available, and they can all take your system from incomplete to a Rockstar system protecting you from every angle.

That’s the entire name of the game and what you should be aiming for with CCTV systems. Don’t have any holes or gaps in your protection and you can add great peace of mind, rest easy at night and know that your business and homes are being protected in the best possible way.

Putting It All Together, Plenty of Options Are Available, Take the Time to Choose the Best For You

When it’s all said and done, the style of the CCTV camera you choose to purchase is significant. All styles certainly offer unique features and can enhance one area of your system compared to others.

Whether that’s your weather-resistant abilities or your ability to capture quality footage from long distances. Nonetheless, it’s a vital component of the entire purchase. However, if it were me, I’d always be looking to cover myself from every angle when purchasing CCTV equipment.

It’s too expensive and a tough situation when you aren’t happy with your initial purchase and find yourself going out and purchasing new equipment or swapping out components frequently.

It can be a hassle to keep changing the gear on your systems so take the time now to get it right, and you won’t have anything to worry about. Ultimately the choice is yours, and I’d love to hear your feedback on the topic.

What’s the best style of CCTV cameras in your opinion. What about the best options for business use? How about the best CCTV cameras for residential use? Be sure to drop a comment below.

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