What Are the Different Kinds of CCTV Cameras? [10 Great Options]

It wasn’t long ago that CCTV cameras didn’t offer so many different variations for possible camera types and hardware. It seems like a new version is being released almost monthly at this point.

Having all these options at the consumer’s fingertips can leave many of you reasonably confused at the differences and which cameras may be the most beneficial for you and your assets.

A question I’ve seen lately is simple but takes a fair amount of time to explain. What are the different kinds of CCTV cameras?

So, what are the different kinds of CCTV cameras? CCTV cameras come in many variations. You have dome cameras, bullet cameras, battery-powered cameras, solar-powered cameras, and infrared night vision cameras. You have roughly another 6 or seven additional CCTV camera options as well.

Understanding the differences between the cameras can help you understand what camera may be the best to fit your needs and budget. All the cameras we are going to discuss in this post have unique pros and cons that make them perform better in some areas but not as well in other areas of security.

Ultimately, if they can’t perform up to the highest level for your security needs, they shouldn’t be considered.

Some of them, are the total package and can offer anything and everything you would potentially want out of a CCTV security system. If you stick around for just a moment, I’m going to take the time to break down 10 of the CCTV camera options you have when purchasing new CCTV equipment.

I’ll give you the inside scoop on the differences and what benefits you may be able to get out of each variation. Let’s dive into them.

10 Excellent CCTV Camera Options to Consider

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Below is going to be 10 of the most common CCTV camera systems you will commonly see in the department stores or by using online manufactures. Other forms of security cameras do exist, but these are your primary 10 CCTV options you will see with the most frequency.

Dome CCTV Cameras

Dome CCTV cameras get their name purely because of the shape of the camera itself. Dome cameras are one of the most popular versions of CCTV cameras. Primarily for professional use and to use in discreet situations.

Some familiar places where you will frequently see dome cameras can include the following.

  • Indoors for Home Security Use
  • Casinos
  • Retail Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Large Department Stores

Dome cameras are known to be one of the more physically appealing forms of cameras. They blend nicely and don’t necessarily stand out like a sore thumb.

Also, when used in loss prevention type situations, dome cameras are beneficial because the shopper or person on the physical property has a difficult time knowing which direction the actual lens and camera is facing underneath the dome itself.

As far as features are concerned, dome CCTV cameras are much like all other cameras you can potentially purchase. The same recommendations apply that you will find in our other post such as this post here.

This post discusses the top features to look for in any CCTV camera system you opt to purchase.

Some common recommendations include features such as night vision and infrared technology. Outdoor proof or weather resistance and strong quality such as HD or 1080P just to name a few.

Bullet CCTV Cameras

Once again, we have a camera that is given its name solely because of the shape of the camera itself. No, it doesn’t shoot any real bullets.

Bullet cameras are typically longer cameras and tend to stick out more and are considered one of the less attractive options you can choose for your CCTV camera system.

Bullet cameras are also constrained and limited to a fixed focal point lens. This merely means that it can’t be adjusted. The focal point is set where’s it set the day you purchase it, and there isn’t much else you can do about it.

Bullet cameras have a big advantage when it comes to placement. Dome cameras are typically best when mounted high on ceilings and can cover large areas. Bullet cameras, on the other hand, can be installed almost anywhere. Roofs, walls, soffits or even under your facia or eve on the home.

Bullet cameras also cover less ground than a say a dome camera. However, they typically offer a wide variety of options for actual cameras you can choose and provide some of the best quality on this list compared to other camera options you can opt to purchase.

As always, it’s important to find a bullet camera that has all the features you desire to have and the features necessary to provide the optimal level of security for your home or other properties.

If the camera can’t serve as a strong deterrent, it really isn’t serving any purpose at all.

Day and Night CCTV Cameras

Once again. The name of this camera tells you just about everything you need to know about this camera. It’s capable of seeing and displaying quality video and images during day or night.

During the day, the camera will execute its functions using natural light, and at night, it has night vision or infrared capabilities to ensure it’s still capturing clear quality regardless of total darkness or not.

Personally, I believe this is a feature you need and can find with ease with any camera system you decide to purchase.

It’s not necessarily unique by any means and can easily be lumped together into all of the other categories of cameras listed during this post, but for now, we will keep it as a separate option to consider.

High-Definition HD CCTV Camera

High definition cameras are becoming the popular choice and the common feature that we look for in CCTV systems. The most significant difference between HD CCTV cameras? You guessed it. The video quality that they can portray back to the user.

Also, High-definition CCTV cameras typically come equipped with better FPS (frames per second) and also usually include other desirable features such as night vision using infrared technology.

Depending on the specific use you need for your CCTV cameras, I’d always aim for the higher quality, but some 720P cameras will undoubtedly get the job done for you if the quality isn’t a huge concern for you.

Wireless CCTV Cameras

Wireless CCTV cameras are also becoming a popular choice in today’s CCTV market, but you shouldn’t necessarily rush to purchase these cameras strictly due to being wireless.

First and foremost, wireless CCTV cameras do have more potential for connection problems and also have more probability of being hacked or tampered with.

Many homes and professional use security enthusiast prefer other options such as power over ethernet or a system that is hardwired due to reliable connections, enhanced security from hackers and a peace of mind feeling knowing that the cameras shouldn’t ever fail to display or work properly.

On the other hand, wireless CCTV cameras make for extremely easy self-installation and can be used in much different application or remote locations. You will have to weigh the actual uses you intend for your cameras and make the decision on which benefits make the most sense for you.

Network and IP CCTV Cameras

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A network and IP CCTV camera are a version of a CCTV camera that is capable of sending or receiving the data and images using the internet. These are also a version of CCTV cameras that require no NVR or DVR recording device to store any of the footage or data.

An internet connection is all you need to effectively use and reap the benefits of IP or Network CCTV camera systems.

A standard version of an IP camera that many of you would be familiar with would be your basic webcam. Connection options may vary. We will touch on this more on another camera on our list, but IP cameras typically connect using either Wi-Fi connections or 4g connections to send and receive data.

Battery Powered Cameras

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Battery powered cameras are going to often fall into the class of wireless security cameras. They require no hardwiring to a power source, and some even come with the additional ability to be used with solar power (we will cover solar-powered cameras in this post as well).

The upside of battery power cameras is much like the benefits of wireless CCTV cameras. They are easy to self-install and can be used virtually anywhere.

On the other hand, however, you have batteries life to be concerned with, and if the camera is out of juice, then you are essentially out of protection.

Often times, individuals will opt to use a battery camera in situations that require difficult to install areas with a lack of power sources or remote locations that also have a difficult time locating power sources.

An example could include exteriors of homes, large farm properties or even your boat storage dock, just to name a few. These are emerging as more and more popular options, and they come at very affordable prices.

Battery powered cameras also come with the ability to offer all the features that other CCTV cameras can provide such as video quality and night vision. For the enthusiast who doesn’t want anything but the best quality and reliability, they may not necessarily be your top choice.

They are, however, definitely not a bad choice by any means.

Cellular Network or 4G Cameras

Cellular network or 4G CCTV cameras are often referred to as 4G LTE CCTV camera/security cameras. They use a 4G mobile network to send and receive data and imaging and also use 4G mobile networks to communicate with users typically through a downloadable iOS mobile app or Android Mobile App.

These cameras can also be beneficial due to their lack of need for wi-fi and internet connection or a hardwired connection. This opens the doors to many more uses and locations where they can be used but also offers one of the least reliable connections.

Depending on the circumstances, there may be an excellent fit for the application and security that you are looking for, but it’s also possible, that a better option on this list can serve you better. If you aren’t quite sure, you should always speak to an expert.

Explain what you intend on using the camera for and where and see if this form of CCTV camera is the best fit for you and your protection needs.

Solar Powered CCTV Cameras

Solar powered CCTV cameras are one of the newest additions to our list and some of the most recent technology that has been released into the CCTV camera market. I personally think they are one of the coolest or most unique options on the list, but I’m also skeptical of the use and reliability.

ReoLink is one of the brands currently offering this CCTV camera option, and they advertise clearly that you can enjoy features such as not relying on the main power source, fully weather and temperature proof and can be used in the most remote location you can imagine.

Some individual use CCTV system such as these for uses that include but are not limited to the following.

  • Hunting Ground and Land
  • Large Rural Properties
  • Vacation Homes
  • Boat Docks and Other Remote Locations

Clearly, the name says it all. A problem you can run into is trying to get used out of these CCTV cameras in an area with lots of trees or cover that will block or deflect natural sunlight. These are going to work like any other solar powered piece of technology.

They need the sun to use this feature, and without it, you can render them virtually useless.

Depending on your situation and application of use, however, they could be the perfect match for you. If you do inquire about purchasing one of the solar powered CCTV camera CCTV systems, I highly recommend starting your shopping by looking at Reo Links version.

It seems to be one of the best available and is backed by glowing reviews and represented by a strong name in the industry.

PTZ CCTV Security Cameras

A PTZ CCTV security camera is a shortened abbreviation for Pan, tilt zoom (PTZ). Another common name that you will hear PTZ cameras go by would be “Robos”.  These are a form of CCTV cameras that can be controlled remotely using automated systems.

These cameras are also unique in their ability to move left, right, up, down and zoom.

PTZ cameras are much more mechanical and involved than other forms of CCTV cameras. They can be programmed to move on set schedules based on pre-determined needs, and the range is typically much greater with PTZ cameras often up to 360 degrees.

It’s a camera that can put an end to blind spots or having areas that can’t get security coverage. Another great feature of these cameras can include the ability even to zoom, pan or tilt after a video has been recorded.

Many law enforcement and high-security situations call for cameras such as PTZ cameras that can allow for enhanced images or video to be displayed after the recording has already taken place.

You may run into an issue with the quality being distorted when you perform these zoom functions, but overall, these are one of the more technical filled and complete package style of CCTV camera system you can opt to use or purchase.

Your Options Vary Greatly with CCTV Camera Systems

It’s pretty easy to see that the options vary significantly between the different kinds of CCTV cameras, but many of these cameras still have all of the same perks and features that you want to look for with any security system purchase.

Price also comes into play with these systems and the more capabilities and features you opt to include, the more you’re obviously going to spend.

Storage Needs Are A Separate Discussion

This post only covered the different forms of CCTV cameras. Sure, some are more compatible and frequently used using NVR and DVR based storage systems and some are used solely with an internet connection or cloud-based storage.

Storage for your footage is, however, a completely separate topic that you can begin researching by visiting our post here. You also want to choose a CCTV system that is somewhat interchangeable with its components.

You may want to upgrade or change equipment in the future so finding compatible systems that work with several forms of hardware and software can be advantageous for several reasons such as the ability to move equipment to a new home or purely to help reduce strain on your overall budget.

Putting It All Together, With Plenty of Options, It’s Important to Analyze Your Needs

At the end of the day, what you need and what will serve to protect your family, property, and assets the best is the choice you should make. Each of these cameras features unique positives and drawbacks, but all can certainly enhance your home security or professional security systems.

If you are still unclear about which cameras may serve your particular needs the best, you need to begin by speaking to a professional or doing some due diligence and research about which cameras will fit your specific application and needs the best.

What’re your recommendations for the best choice and kind of CCTV camera? Why do you believe one is superior compared to the rest? Be sure to drop a comment below.

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