CCTV Camera Buying Guide

CCTV Camera Buying Guide

Closed Circuit Television, better known as CCTV, is an excellent video surveillance approach to secure any business or residential parameter. While they may not offer direct security of any kind, they are a great way to deter crime and catch criminals.

A basic CCTV system comprises many parts, including cameras, cables, a video recorder (DVR or NCR), a hard drive for storage, and a display unit.

We will focus on just CCTV cameras for this article.

Modern-day CCTV cameras are so good that they can do more than just capture footage. An assortment of technologies accompanies them, including wireless connectivity, infrared (IR) night vision, motion sensors, 360-degree views, and more.

With so many options and features, it can get confusing to decide which CCTV camera is best for your business or residential needs.

Today, we will discuss some main types and features of CCTV cameras in our CCTV camera buying guide to help you choose suitable ones for your home or business.

However, CCTV cameras are a crucial security element, and you should always seek advice from professionals like Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida before you opt for them.

That being said, let’s get on with our guide.

CCTV Camera Buying Guide

When it comes to CCTV cameras, you have many types, but the main ones are as follows, and you will want to pick suitable ones for your business or home.

·       Dome Cameras

Dome cameras are named for their dome shape and are one of the most common CCTV cameras. You have probably seen these in stores, homes, and other indoor areas. Its dome shape is ideal for confusing onlookers as to where exactly the camera is pointed.

It also gives ample flexibility to adjust the focus distance for precise positioning. Most modern dome cameras come with built-in infrared LED light, which is the technology that enables night vision. This offers high-quality video surveillance day and night.

The dome shape encases the camera in a durable cover, preventing damage or vandalism, making them ideal for use in exposed, outdoor areas. However, the protective dome sometimes produces glare effects in harsh lighting, which isn’t ideal.

·       Bullet Cameras

These are the CCTV cameras most commonly seen in movies because they look scary and emphasize surveillance. Most likely because they have a cylindrical shape that makes them look like a bullet shell. They are commonly used for indoor security concealment in the form of mini bullet cameras or \outdoor security, durable fixtures, and as crime deterrents in the form of large bullet cameras.

These typically have a large motorized variable-focus or fixed lens, which is ideal for monitoring a wider field of view. What’s more is that their built-in infrared LED is stronger than most other CCTV cameras, which means you get extremely accurate footage day and night, or in almost any lighting condition.

A mini bullet camera is a great solution for hidden indoor video surveillance because it is small enough to hide in something like a big book or stuffed animal. In contrast, large variants are easy to spot, making them excellent crime deterrents outdoors.

·       Turret Cameras

Turret cameras are named for their turret-style construction, which lets you point the camera lens in any direction. There is typically built-in IR night vision, which is great for video surveillance in complete darkness.

The lack of a dome-shaped shell means that these CCTV cameras do not suffer any glare effects. Moreover, the unique 3-axis construction makes it easier to adjust turret cameras than other options. These are typically used indoors and outdoors in CCTV systems for both homes and businesses.

·       Fisheye Camera

Fisheye cameras are named for their “fisheye,” 360-degree, ultra-wide-angle lens that captures everything in its surrounding. The footage is a wide panoramic view and looks like the circular, warped image you see through a peephole.

The extremely wide image can typically provide a full 360-degree view that enables you to capture a wide area without any blind spots. These CCTV cameras typically come with a wide range of extra features, including HD resolution, night vision, 3D noise reduction, and more.

These cameras offer a discrete view, which is also vandal-resistant due to its near flat, convex design covered with protective glass. These fisheye cameras are typically used in the CCTV systems of airports, parking lots, hospitals, manufacturing floors, hotels, and other business and commercial sites.

Which CCTV Camera to Choose?

The mentioned options are all great, but you must pick one that serves your video surveillance needs.

As mentioned, dome cameras are the most popular option, and they are great for homes and commercial spaces. Their anti-damage and destruction-proof glass dome make them safe from vandalism and easy to hide. While there are many other features to consider, these are ideal for indoor and outdoor use.

Bullet cameras are a great deterrent and typically come with advanced camera features. They are perfect for a large, dark area like a factory,  warehouse, or parking lot. They offer more comprehensive monitoring and deliver clear video footage, often with excellent night vision.

Turret cameras are quickly taking over the market, especially for indoor use. They offer high-quality video surveillance, but without the glare effects of dome cameras. Most importantly, their easy adjustment makes them eclipse dome and bullet cameras.

The 360-degree view of fisheye cameras makes them ideal for several areas. They can be used in places where you would typically need multiple CCTV cameras to cover different directions, like a factory floor or parking lot. Minimizing CCTV cameras means fewer wires, less power consumption, lower expenses, and generally lesser need for extra infrastructure.

Features to Consider

Of course, CCTV cameras come with many features, and you may want to consider some of these.

·       Night Vision

Whether infrared (IR) for pitch-black areas or wide dynamic range for dark areas, consider night vision for nighttime security.

·       Motion Sensors

While motion sensors are a separate piece of tech, modern CCTV cameras come with built-in motion sensors. You may want to consider this feature for power savings, alarms, or discreet alerts, especially for business use.

·       Wireless Connectivity

Whether IP-based (Internet Protocol) CCTV cameras are connected to the Internet or non-IP ones connected wirelessly, you may want to consider wireless connectivity for easy installation and flexibility.

·       Camera Features

While most modern CCTV cameras have high resolutions, you may want to consider higher resolutions, wider dynamic range, or your CCTV camera lens zooming capabilities. Bullet cameras, for instance, typically have better camera features like zoom, HD resolution, etc.


Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of CCTV cameras. The mentioned ones are the most common types. Depending on your needs, you may need multiple CCTV cameras for comprehensive home or business video surveillance and security.

We highly recommend consulting the expert professionals at Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida, for the best advice for your camera and CCTV system needs.

If you want to learn more about buying CCTV cameras or want the best professionals in Florida to help you set up your home or business CCTV system, Contact Us Today.



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