Many people want to invest in a surveillance system, but getting started can be an issue. When looking at different security cameras, there can be a whole list of complicated camera specifications. For a beginner, these camera specifications can be difficult to understand and as a result, they may just give up on buying a surveillance system. But choosing the right security camera doesn’t have to be a daunting task anymore. In this guide, we will break down all of the main camera specifications and their meanings.
Basic Camera Specifications
- Camera Type: This refers to what type of design the camera has. This camera is a dome, but there are many other designs that exist, like bullet, eyeball, PTZ, etc. The type of camera you choose depends on where you want to place them and what look you’re going for.
- Resolution: This is essentially the video quality. Having a higher resolution means that the recorded images will be more clear and high-definition, but they do require more bandwidth and storage.
- Durability: This tells you how well the camera will hold up in different environments and situations. Outdoor cameras will be more durable than indoor cameras because they are designed to withstand harsh weather. Some cameras can also be vandal-proof or vandal-resistant.
- Camera Signal: The signal refers to how analog video is transmitted. In this case, TVI transmits high definition video over a coaxial cable.
- Sensor: The image sensor is responsible for capturing the images and videos from your camera. CMOS tends to display images in high resolution and excellent color while still being cost-effective as compared to CCD.
- Lens Type: The lens type determines what your camera can capture. Varifocal lenses can be adjusted by zoom and angle, as opposed to fixed lenses which are non-adjustable.
- Camera Illumination: This shows how well your camera can pick up video in the dark and it is measured with LUX ratings. Having a lower LUX rating means that the camera requires less light and is able to capture footage in darkness. 0 LUX when IR ON means that this camera can record in complete darkness, but requires the use of infrared (IR) LEDs.
- Night Vision: This tells you whether or not the camera can be used at night or in the dark. In order for the camera to record in the dark, it needs to use infrared light which cannot be detected by the human eye.
- IR LED: As stated before, night vision cameras use IR LEDs in order to record in the dark. This number tells you how many IR units the camera has.
- Infrared Distance: This tells you the distance that the IR lights will be able to illuminate in darkness.
- Power Supply: As the name implies, this is how the camera is powered. 12VDC tends to be extremely stable.
- Power Consumption: When choosing a camera, it’s also important to look at how much energy it will take up. This way, you can manage energy costs and make sure your facility has the capacity to handle the camera.
- IP Rating: Any electronic device has an IP rating or IP code. Each number tells you what the device is protected from. This dome camera in particular has an IP rating of IP-54. The 5 means that it is protected from dust but is not completely dust tight. However, it is protected from solid objects. The second digit, 4, means that it is protected from water splashes from any angle.
Other Camera Specs
- Frame Rate: Expressed as fps (frames per second). This is how many frames that are captured every second. It determines how much movement is captured by the camera. A higher frame rate will capture rapid and fluid motion.
- Shutter Speed: Also called exposure time, this is how long each frame is exposed for. A higher shutter speed will record clear footage while a lower one will cause images to be blurry.
- Wide Dynamic Range (WDR): Sometimes, parts of security footage can be too dark while other parts are overexposed. Cameras with WDR are able to balance the differences in lighting to show one clear image.
- Digital Noise Reduction (DNR): Despite the name, this is not related to audio. Instead, DNR is the camera’s ability to filter out image noise which could cause footage to appear grainy. 2D DNR is best suited for lower resolution cameras but 3D DNR tends to give the best results overall.
- Video Compression: This is the camera’s ability to compress video files into smaller formats for more storage. H.264 is the standard but H.265 produces better quality images while keeping files as small as possible.
There can be other camera specifications included on a product, but these are the most common specs. Camera shopping can be a chore because there’s so many things to look at, but hopefully we made things easier by breaking down each spec. Now, you can be confident while choosing the right camera and get exactly what you want without the complications.