As far as camera functionality is concerned, bullet and dome cameras are extremely similar. So really what you’re looking for is what will fit best with your particular application and what your preferences are. Bullet cameras protrude outward, sort of like the barrel of a gun, where dome cameras have that circular “dome” shape. I’m sure you’ve seen both types of surveillance cameras as both are quite popular.
Below, I will go through some of the pros and cons of bullet and dome cameras, and although there are not many hard and fast rules, you can use them as guidelines to help assist you with your purchase. Some security integrators disagree with certain pros and cons of these two camera styles, and rightfully so, as there is no one type of camera for every application.If you read no further than this though, know that 9 out of 10 CCTV installers will agree that bullet cameras are better for most OUTDOOR applications and dome cameras are better for most INDOOR applications.
If you are looking for a long-range camera, you’ll probably want to go with a bullet camera, as the housing of the dome camera tends to limit the size of the lens. Typically, the longer the lens, the longer the range. Please keep in mind however that I say “typically”, as in the tendency is that bullet cameras see further. Some domes incorporate a lens with an extensive range, like this vandal proof dome from Veilux.
If you are looking for an indoor camera, dome cameras are far more common. They are less intrusive, and most people agree they are far more elegant and sleek, and will flow more seamlessly with the décor of the household or building.
Bullet cameras are great for outdoors because they are usually weatherproof (make sure you check the IP Ratings of the camera to discover its environmental protection). And, as mentioned above, they have a longer range, which is more necessary when viewing a parking lot or other large area.
Overt vs. Covert
If you are looking to discourage theft or vandalism, then a bullet camera might be the appropriate choice, as they are a bit more obvious and visible to passers-by. Dome cameras are more difficult to spot, so if you’re in need of something more covert in nature then go with a dome. Not only do they not stick out as much as bullets, but the dome housing will hide where the camera itself is pointing (the field of view), and therefore what you are capturing.
As far as the cost is concerned, bullet and dome cameras are fairly similar. That said, the bullet cameras can be a little more cost efficient since they come with only the camera itself and the mount, where the domes come with the housing and extra parts. This is merely a generality, as there are some more expensive domes, as there are bullets that are less expensive.
Bullets are usually easier to mount and install than domes, as they are point-and-shoot. Attach them to the wall and they are good to go. Dome cameras aren’t necessarily more difficult to mount, but are more likely to require dismounting to adjust the direction. This is something to keep in mind.
Dome cameras win the durability test by a landslide, at least the ones that are referred to as “vandal proof”. Vandal proof domes are housed in durable enclosures made to withstand anything from shaking to vandalism, which is something to consider if yours is an application where the camera is easily accessible, such as a low ceiling.
Conversely, bullet cameras can easily be damaged or knocked out of position with a rock or stick.
As mentioned above, dome cameras are more likely to fit with your current décor. The dome-shape makes them more elegant and less intrusive than bullets. The overall aesthetics make domes a popular surveillance solution.
Dome cameras also have a cleaner, more seamless look due to their ability to hide/protect the wiring, whereas bullets will often have wiring slightly exposed. Again, it is important to keep in mind, this is not true in ALL cases, as some bullets will not have exposed wiring and some domes will.
Here is a list of the types of Bullet and Dome Cameras we carry at 2MCCTV…