Types of CCTV Cameras – The Complete Guide
The 9 most popular types of CCTV cameras available are:
- Dome CCTV Cameras
- Bullet CCTV Cameras
- C-Mount CCTV Cameras
- PTZ Pan Tilt & Zoom Cameras
- Day/Night CCTV Cameras
- Infrared/night vision CCTV Cameras
- Network/IP CCTV Cameras
- Wireless CCTV Cameras
- High Definition (HD) CCTV Cameras
Are you wondering which CCTV camera to buy for your business premises? We’ve summarised the benefits of each of the different types of CCTV systems below. Use our expert guide to select a solution that is fit for purpose and provides the level of security you require, in order to your property and staff.
Dome CCTV Cameras
A dome CCTV camera gets its name from the dome-shaped casing that the camera sits in. Whilst these are relatively discreet CCTV cameras in appearance, this doesn’t stop them from deterring criminals. This is because the dome casing makes it really difficult for people to see which direction the camera is pointing. This creates an air of uncertainty for potential thieves or vandals approaching from all directions.
- Unobtrusive design means it’s easy to fit
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Vandal resistant dome means it is harder to interfere with the camera
- 360-degree rotation of the camera so you can cover all angles
This is the best type of CCTV camera for shops, restaurants, casinos, hotels and other hospitality businesses because the design allows you to monitor a wider angle at your premises. Many also consider this option to be the best indoor CCTV camera as it can be placed on a strategic point of the ceiling to cover all angles of the room without being intrusive in design.
Bullet CCTV Cameras
Bullet CCTV cameras have an iconic design that is highly visible. They are cylindrical in shape and are capable of observing long distances. Bullet cameras are most commonly placed outdoors so their casings are made resistant to water, dust and dirt.
- Highly visible so acts as a deterrent to criminals
- Resistant to dirt in challenging environments
- Provides surveillance over long distances
- Casing also protects against glare and rain
Bullet cameras can be used to good effect in a range of industries such as manufacturing, property management and farming. They not only record good quality pictures but also send out a message to passers-by that your premises is under surveillance. That’s why they have traditionally offered the best CCTV for outside operation.
C-Mount CCTV Cameras
C-Mount CCTV cameras are the ideal option for those who may wish to adapt the field of vision. They are equipped with detachable lenses that can be switched around to monitor varying distances. C-Mount cameras are typically bulky so, like bullet cameras, act as a visible deterrent to criminal activity.
- Special lenses can be fitted to the camera to extend its range beyond 40 feet
- Highly visible appearance that deters criminals
- Rugged camera casing can be added to protect the camera in cold environments
- Weatherproof housing makes it ideal for outdoor use
This is the ideal camera for observing a stretch of road on the approach to your premises. It is therefore popular in the utilities and logistics industries. Those operating in the food and manufacturing industries may also elect for this option, due to the camera’s reliability in extreme temperatures.
PTZ Pan Tilt & Zoom Cameras
With a PTZ (Pan Tilt & Zoom) camera, your security team can have complete control over what is recorded. At the touch of a button, the camera lens can pan left and right, tilt up and down or zoom in and out. It’s the ideal choice if you have a security guard who is monitoring a live video feed on site.
- Optical zoom on these cameras means you can focus closely in on subjects
- Pan and tilt feature provides 360 degree field of vision
- Image resolution is usually impeccable so facial features can be distinguished
- Security team have full control of recording and can react to live situations
This is the best CCTV camera for remote viewing. It is really popular in large retail environments and is regarded as the best CCTV for business premises that have a specific valuable object to protect. For example, a museum could program the camera to pan to a particular entry or exit point when it detects movement. So even when it is not being controlled remotely, the camera can cover a much larger area and do the same job of several static cameras.
Day/Night CCTV Cameras
These cameras have been built specifically to operate effectively, regardless of how well lit their environment is. During both daytime and night-time, they will record clear video images that will not be obscured by differing light conditions. This is achieved through their extra sensitive imaging chips.
- Clear recording in low light
- They usually record in both colour and black and white
- Can function despite glare, direct sunlight, reflections and poor lighting
- Casing protects the camera against the elements for outside surveillance
There are various CCTV camera types suited to outside use but the extra sensitive imaging of both day and night imaging modes makes this one camera type unique. It is therefore the ideal CCTV system for business premises that require around the clock CCTV monitoring in an outdoor environment with varying light conditions.
Infrared/Night Vision CCTV Cameras
As the name suggests, these cameras are designed to operate optimally in pitch black conditions. They achieve this by using infrared technology. Infrared models are more expensive than day/night cameras and those opting for this option usually do so because night recording is vital to the security of their business.
- Infrared LEDs allow clear recording even in pitch black environments
- An infrared cut filter activates in the daytime for clear images in lighter conditions
- Can capture images even in the presence of fog, dust or smoke
- Records colour imagery in the daytime and black and white at night
This is the best CCTV camera for night vision functionality. It’s therefore the ideal choice for those who need ultra-reliable recording in complete darkness. For example, banks, farms and manufacturing plants.
Network/IP CCTV Cameras
These cameras share live footage across the internet so images can be easily accessed from anywhere on the globe. The bandwidth of the video is compressed, in order to make the
online feed reliable. Archive footage is stored on network video recorders (NVRs) or on secure software for later access.
- Footage can be viewed online from anywhere in the world
- Easily accessible archive footage
- Easy setup as co axial cables and a computer station are not required
- Low maintenance
A network or IP CCTV camera is the ideal choice for business owners who are often away from site and on the move. Footage can be viewed from anywhere in the world, via a smart device such as a PC, laptop or mobile phone.
Wireless CCTV Cameras
Wireless CCTV cameras were created to minimise installation time. They also make the appearance of the camera much tidier, which may be an important factor for locations such as churches, museums or stately homes.
- Easier to install than your average CCTV system
- Discreet and tidy appearance and a less obtrusive fitting
- Images transmitted over the internet so can be viewed anywhere
- Secure storage and easy access of archive footage
If a spotless presentation is important in your industry, wireless CCTV cameras are a great security option. Their discreet appearance helps them to blend into the interior. What’s more, there is less set up and camera maintenance required, and footage is transferred via the internet for convenient access.
High Definition (HD) CCTV Cameras
HD CCTV cameras offer an unrivalled picture quality that delivers high clarity images. Depending on your budget, they can deliver resolutions of 720p, all the way up to 4K. Therefore, there’s no danger that the subject of recordings will ever appear grainy or distorted.
- High definition pictures capture subjects in perfect clarity
- Extra clarity can also be achieved with zoom function
- Available on most CCTV models such as domes and bullets
- Crystal clear imagery provides undeniable criminal identification
High definition cameras are particularly useful for use in environments where there is a high risk of theft. Businesses such as banks and casinos should opt for HD cameras, in order to ensure that visitors to their premises are captured in perfect clarity. The footage recorded will be able to provide undeniable identification in the event of a crime being committed.
Speak to our CCTV experts today
Our team of smart security consultants can provide a free, no obligation quotation for your CCTV requirements. They can also conduct a free site survey to advise on the right types of CCTV cameras for your business and how to conform with GDPR and CCTV regulations.