How To Choose The Right Surveillance Camera System

Surveillance Cameras come in all shapes and size and how to use them and connect them can be hard thing to understand. Factors to consider when considering buy a surveillance camera are described in this article.


General things to ask yourself:

  • Should I buy Wireless or Wired surveillance cameras? Wireless is much easier to install than wired.
  • How many cameras should you buy? Using too many cameras will be expensive, not enough will only give me limited coverage.
  • Should I use Indoor or Outdoor type cameras?
  • Does my application require recording of the surveillance activity? If not, the cost can be reduced because a DVD recorder will not be necessary.
  • Does my surveillance system require that I can monitor over the Internet when away from my business.

Now we’ll describe the different types of surveillance cameras and systems that will be helpful to determine which one to purchase.

  • Hidden Cameras: These types of cameras are for indoor use only and come in a variety of different kinds of ordinary looking objects. For instance a small hidden camera are embedded in everyday objects like an Alarm Clock, Air Freshener, Fan, CO2 Detector or Mirror. They usually installed in one room and used to catch any activity in the room installed. Most of them use a 12-hour rechargeable battery pack with no wires or cords to plug in. Most all of these type of cameras are wireless but some come wired. To view or record the activity a 2.4 GHz Receiver attaches to your TV or VRC or DVR, which takes only a few minutes.
  • Surveillance Camera Systems: For business type applications you make want a bundled system that includes all the components need to watch you business when you are there or way from it. Your business may need 4, 8 or 16 cameras also referred to as channels. For instance a small but location may need 8 cameras or as many as 16. They can be wireless or wired. If you are looking for an easy installation choose wireless, that way no messy wires to deal with.
  • A 4 Channel Wireless Complete System is also perfect for a small business. A wireless surveillance camera system will allow you to install 4 wireless cameras to digitally record all the activity in your business. These types of systems come with a DVR with full networking capability and use a GeoVision DVR card, which allows you to view live video on the Internet. Designed for indoor use only, this video recording system is perfect for smaller areas. You now have the flexibility to leave and still record activity and store for later viewing. Many businesses when they catch thief in their business have a panic button they press and have the proof stored if needing to prove in it in court.
  • Personal Home Surveillance Camera System: For this there is a 4 Channel Wireless VISEC Surveillance System that is perfect for monitoring 4 rooms in your house. The cameras that come with type of system work in day or night. These high quality digital CCD chips will automatically switches from color to black & white in low light conditions. This type of a system requires a ‘quad’. A quad is an accessory to your surveillance system that splits a video monitor into 4 screens. Without a quad you would only be able view one camera at a time. This type of a system comes with a GrabBee II. It allows wireless or hidden cameras to connect your camera(s) to your computer. The GrabBee II is the bridge between the wireless or hidden camera and your computer. This device converts analog video signal to digital through your USB port.
  • For Simple Personal Use: There is a camera called the Cyber Eye. This infrared B/W digital surveillance camera takes pictures automatically whenever someone moves in front of it and then digitally stores the pictures within the micro-camera. You can then extract the images later on just by plugging the camera into your TV/VCR to either view or record. This type of camera is great for catching someone lurking around your house. It’s so small and compact you can even put it in your car and aim it out the window. This personal surveillance camera works by changes in the picture and not motion. Pictures can be even taken through glass and the wireless surveillance camera will still work like a charm. The pictures are taken at 1-60 second intervals (UP TO 680 pictures). Pictures will even have the time and date stamp added to each picture.
  • Outdoor Surveillance Cameras: Dome cameras are used in many places including retail stores, restaurants, casinos and apartment buildings. You can even see them at your local McDonalds. Dome cameras are simply board cameras built into a dome housing. In addition to these surveillance cameras being weatherproof, many of these type of dome surveillance cameras are vandal-proof dome and built with protective casing that can withstand the whack of a carpenters hammer or other brute force means to disable it. Dome Surveillance Cameras are usually wired and can be connected to a Digital DVR to record all activities.
  • Surveillance Camera Recording – One of the most important pieces of a surveillance system is the surveillance video recorder. Whether you have one, four or sixteen cameras you have to take what those cameras see and store that video for reference or possible evidence. Obviously DVR system can record much longer that VCR tapes with is really old style technology. Generally these recorders come in 4, 8 and 16 channel models. Channels refer to amount of cameras that can be attached for recording. Some units are small, some large and have different features. One of the best DVR portable surveillance camera recorders perfect for body worn & covert applications and fits easily into a purse, pocket or backpack is the DVR-9800. This recorder can record 40 hours of video and about 910 hours of audio.

This article gives you the basics on what to look for when shopping for a surveillance camera either for personal or business use. In a future article, we will discuss instructions on how to connect and set up the most common type of surveillance camera systems.

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