Basics of Video Surveillance Systems
As previously mentioned, there are wide varieties of options you have with each surveillance system you choose. The options you are going to have to choose from are analog vs. IP based video surveillance, indoor vs. outdoor systems, the method of storage, and color or black and white, amongst others.
Dome cameras are typically mounted on your ceiling and are a discreet indoor surveillance solution, especially useful because intruders aren’t able to tell where the camera is pointed. Dome cameras are typically purchased to cover one wide area even though they many only point in one direction. The trespasser will not know where the camera is pointing and that sometimes is enough to deter theft.
Bullet cameras can be used indoor or outdoor. Bullet cameras are the most visible camera type and often installed under roofs and in corners of buildings.
Spy Camera is usually a very small camera that can be hidden almost anywhere. The quality and length of recording is typically not as full featured as dome and bullet cameras, but these solutions are particularly effective at monitoring activities discreetly without the suspect knowing.
Color Vs. Black & White
You have a great deal of flexibility with color and black and white. “Color only” systems are available, as are both color and black and white systems together. If you are monitoring an outdoor area, especially at night it may be beneficial to you to look for infrared or black and white cameras. Black and white cameras work much better in low light, and typically offer better resolution for less. Color is rarely necessary unless it is a specific instance for example, if you operate a gas station and need to determine which color car committed a crime.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
Generally cheaper than outdoor surveillance systems, indoor systems place emphasis on quality rather than construction. Outdoor cameras are made to brace the elements of Mother Nature. Outdoor solutions will typically need to cover a wider target distance, which may affect the pricing of your lens. Weatherproof cameras may even have options like weatherproof housing and wipers.
Your home or business will need to determine which camera lens it needs. This will be derived by determining the viewing distance and scope. A simple CCTV lens calculator is available here.