CCTV Specs – How to Read a CCTV Spec Sheet 2

All of us who purchase products online understand the fear that we are choosing the wrong product and it will not work for us when we get it.  The best tool we can use to help us is the product spec sheet or data sheet.  In this blog I will show you what to look for and how to read and understand CCTV specs sheets.  That way you will be able to compare different cameras and discern between important specs and specs listed as filler.

How to Read a CCTV Spec Sheet

(Below, we’ve highlighted the key elements to look for)

CCTV Spec Sheet


Image Sensor

Image Sensor – This is the chip that the camera is based around and it is made by Sony.  1/3 is the most common type but there are other sizes.  Many companies will list this as a feature in of the camera but remember Sony is only the maker of the chip not the camera.

2 Columns means 2 Models

Two Columns means Two Models – Pal format is not used in the US, here we use NTSC.  Anytime a spec sheet is divided into columns like this it is because 2 or more models of camera are being described

Spec Sheet Resolution

Resolution – For Analog security cameras the resolution of the picture is measured by TV Lines.  The more TVL the better the picture.  For this camera the resolution changes when switched from B&W to color.  Here’s a post on the differences between Analog and IP camera resolutions.

Minimum Illumination

Illumination – Min Illumination is a measure of light needed to produce a picture.  The lower the LUX the less light needed (i.e. the better the picture will be in low light).

Spec Sheet - Lens

Lens – This is the Lens that comes with the camera.  The lower the mm the wider the angle of view. The higher the number the further the camera will be able to see but the field of view will be cut down. This camera has a vari-focal lens of 2.8-12 meaning the lens can be adjusted.  If it was a fixed lens the sheet would only list one number.

Spec Sheet - Power

Power – Always be sure to match your power supply with the power requirements for your specific camera.  This camera happens to be dual voltage but many are 12VDC or 24VAC only.

Infrared LED

Infrared LED – If the camera has IR LED’s this will describe how far the IR LED light will go.  What you can see at that distance is still determined by the lens of the camera.


  1. All of these artciles have saved me a lot of headaches.

  2. Usually your articles are really useful, but this one was not. For example, the image sensor section didn’t tell me anything about image sensors. Obviously I can tell that if it says “Sony,” that it came from Sony. How about talking about CCD size and how that affects picture quality. What do those ICX numbers mean? I could comment on every Description similarly, but I think you get my point.

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