Choosing the Best IP Camera

Choosing the Best IP Camera

There are many manufacturers and vendors of IP cameras, but the buyer shoulders the greatest burden getting the best one. An IP camera is a digital camera, operating under the principles of Internet Protocol networks other than using the analog electric signals.

It is for this reason that the IP cameras are also referred to network cameras hence revolutionizing the world of CCTV.

IP cameras operate independently, using a built-in minicomputer, allowing the gadgets to function in either centralized or decentralized mode, or both, where the camera is powerful enough.

The good thing is that most modern IP cameras can work comfortably in both modes, allowing for the easy access to the device using any networking device, for example, a smartphone or even on LAN.

Understand the Variety of IP Cameras

It is important for one to understand the various categories of IP cameras. They include;

  • Bullet Cameras- The camera is characterized by their cylindrical shape, commonly referred as CCTV cameras. Although they are not vandal-resistant, bullet cameras offer flexibility in installation positions and adjustments.
  • Dome Cameras- One of the most vandal resistant cameras in the market, they are mostly used in commercial settings. They are also weatherproof and can offer a three-axis adjustment.
  • Turret-Style Cameras- They are more discrete compared to dome cameras and are more vandal resistant.
  • Indoor Cube Cameras- Designed for indoor use only. They can be installed at the corner of the ceiling or placed on flat surfaces. Most of them come with microphones and speakers, making them a great gadget to monitor indoor activities.

Area of Coverage

The surroundings of the home or compound need to be factored in when selecting an IP camera. You have to check the interest areas, the distance between the cameras and area of interest so as to choose the best type of camera.

Focal Length Capability and Resolutions

Each camera has its maximum zoom capability, defined by the focal lengths of the device. The focal length also determines the Field of View, for example, in long streets; you may need a camera with a narrow field of view.

Parts of your compound, for instance, the backyard, you need a camera offering a wide field of view. Look at the following;

  • Fixed Focus Cameras- The camera has a single focal length, hence a fixed field of view.
  • Manual Variable Focus Cameras- The devices have a range of the focal lens, usually from 2.8mm to 12mm. To change the area of focus, you only need to adjust the lens.
  • Pan-Tilt-Zoom- The pan-tilt-zoom camera is motorized in all axes of motion it makes. It makes a brief view of the area of focus under an automatic tour set up.
  • HDTV, standard resolution cameras or Megapixel Cameras- Thanks to their high angle lens, these cameras offer on of the best high-resolution video coverage in different application areas.

Overt or Covert Surveillance

It helps in selecting the type of camera for your compound. They also determine the housing or mounts used on a camera, to achieve a non-discreet or safe installation.

Type of Open Interface and Application Software

IP cameras heavily rely on network videos with an open interface which enables a better integration possibility with other systems. A selection of useful application and management software allows for simple ways of installing the gadget, as well as provide room for future security upgrades.

A good vendor offers a full product line of network video products and accessories to meet the security needs presently and in the future. Buyers must enjoy innovations, support, updates and product path for the long term.

Environment and Time of Surveillance

  • Indoor or outdoor environment- Here, examine the light sensitivity and lighting requirements of the device. For outdoor environments, use of day and night cameras with proper light sensitivity or with specialized light such as infrared lamps.
  • Day or Night Surveillance- Cameras utilizing infrared illuminator can see through the darkness using images sensors, and the infrared is invisible to human beings, making it an ideal light source for cameras. Also, consider the housing or casing of the camera, especially if the camera is to be placed outdoors or in conditions that require protection from dust, humidity or vandalism.

Last but not least, the cost of the camera must be factored in. However, you get what you pay for, since the more fundamental features the gadget has, the pricier it is.

It is advisable to take the time to research the various products and a find a reliable vendor to help you with your security needs. The best value option in an IP camera, is, however, not based on its overall cost.

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