Archive for the ‘ Security Camera ’ Category

Best Medium To View Security Camera Footage

Monday, December 10th, 2012

best medium to view security footageIn recent years, technology has transformed how people review security camera footage. People can still review video surveillance tapes conventionally, by sitting down in front of a television. Mobile technology, however, has opened up the possibility of watching security tapes anywhere. In fact, with new technology, there is no need for tapes anymore. Everything can be stored digitally. Here is a look at the ways security footage can be stored and reviewed.

Conventional Mediums for Storing Security Footage

VHS Tapes

VHS tapes are the oldest medium that some people still use to store security footage. Many people actually prefer VHS tapes. They see these as the most economical way of storing video footage. The tapes themselves are extremely inexpensive and can be found at most technology stores. They can be watched via a television that is connected to a VCR or with a battery-powered VCR player. The easiest places to find a VCR player are garage sales, estate sales, flea markets and pawn shops. In these settings, VCRs rarely cost more than a few dollars.

VHS tapes have two disadvantages when they are compared to the other mediums used to store security footage. First, VHS tapes are bulky, and they do not have a lot of storage space. In some situations this is fine, because cameras can record over old tapes. Even a few VHS tapes take up space, though.

Most security systems that rely on VHS tapes keep the footage on-site. This is the second disadvantage of VHS tapes and VCRs. When used, this equipment is kept either in a safe or locked in a protective cage, whether it is a cabinet or actual cage. No matter how secure the protective barrier is, thieves and vandals can break it and steal or destroy the video evidence. Data systems that keep the video evidence off-site are much more secure, because their evidence cannot be destroyed during a burglary.


DVDs and DVD players can be used in pace of VHS tapes and VCR players. DVDs are even more readily available than VHS tapes, as is the equipment to play them. DVDs can be played on and DVD player, Blu-ray player, portable DVD player and nearly all computers. With the right software, it is easy to rip a security DVD into a file and email that file as an attachment. DVDs also are able to store more data than VHS tapes can.

DVD players, however, are not without disadvantages. First, the equipment needed to play DVDs costs more than a VCR player. Most businesses, however, can afford this additional cost or already have the necessary equipment. For most, the convenience of DVDs, when compared to VHS tapes, far outweighs the additional costs.

DVD-storage methods also suffer from the vulnerability of being on-site. In theory, the video feed could be sent to another location and then recorded on DVDs. Most systems that use this type of off-site storage, however, employ a different method of data storage.

Newer Mediums for Storing Security Footage

Hard Drives

Data can also be stored on hard drives. The upfront cost of a hard-drive storage system is much higher than that of a DVD system or, especially, a VHS system. After the initial investment, though, hard drive security footagebusiness owners do not need to purchase more tapes or DVDs.

Everything is stored on a hard drive or multiple hard drives. Once space is limited, old data is deleted. A new recording then uses that memory, until it becomes old.

Hard drives have several advantages over both VHS tapes and DVDs. First, video stored on a hard drive is already in a form that is easily shared, whether through email or on a thumb drive. VHS data and DVD video must first be transformed into a file. The lack of incurring costs is another major reason why people are willing to purchase a hard-drive video surveillance system. Third, this method is a green way of storing data, because it does not require VHS tapes or DVDs that will eventually be in a landfill.

People who rely on a hard drive need to understand that hard drives occasionally fail. This is rare, but it does happen. If a hard drive fails, then the business will need to purchase a new one. If a hard drive fails and has important video footage, it might be possible to recover the data. This can be expensive, though, and it cannot be guaranteed.

Hard drive security systems can either store the data on-site or off-site. If stored on-site in a local hard drive, then the system is susceptible to the same risks that the VHS and DVD systems are. A burglar could destroy the hard drive or steal it. If the hard drive is located off-site, then this is not a risk.

The Cloud

Cloud computing is an old concept, but it has been recently developed to a very practical level. When people store data in a company’s cloud, it is stored on that company’s servers. This is an easy way to store security footage off-site, so it cannot be destroyed or stolen during a robbery. It also is the easiest way to share the video footage and requires no space. In many cases, the data can be streamed directly onto any wireless device.

Cloud computing has many advantages, but business owners should understand how it works before they use it for security footage. Data stored in any cloud is just on another company’s computer. In most cases, these computers, or servers, are run by major corporations, such as Google, Apple and IBM. The computers are generally extremely stable, and there is usually a back-up system in place. If the company providing data storage folds, though, then their computers will be turned off and the security footage deleted. Therefore, it is important to use a reliable company for cloud computing,

Cloud storage comes with two other disadvantages. Many companies offer a little free storage, but this is not enough storage to save security footage videos. Companies will have to pay a small monthly fee to use the cloud storage. Also, there is a slight risk of someone hacking into the data. This risk is minimal, however, as long as the hosting company is well-known.

Transferring Mediums of Storage

Many older businesses have a VHS-based or DVD-based security system already in place. They would like to update their technology, but cannot justify the cost of installing all new equipment. For these companies, transferring data from VHS tapes or DVDs to a digital form can be a practical solution. The process is tedious, but it can provide significant savings.

Converting VHS Tapes to Digital Files

Converting VHS tapes to digital files requires a special piece of hardware, which reads DVDs and connects to a computer. Many electronic stores carry such a device, and VHS conversion hardware can be found online at competitive prices. Any hardware purchased should also come with software for creating the files.

When using this hardware, each VHS tape must be played from beginning to end. The process takes a long time, which is why many businesses outsource this to a local company. It would be impractical to convert all of a company’s VHS security tapes to digital files. If only one or two are needed for evidence in a court case, however, then this can be a practical solution.

Converting DVDs to Digital Files

Converting DVDs to digital files, which is known as ripping them, is much easier than the process of converting VHS tapes to digital files. Most computers have the technology needed to read and rip DVDs. Most computers also have a software program that will do this, but not all do. Those who do not have the necessary software can find a suitable program for free online.

Protecting Different Mediums of Security Footage

Protecting security data from on-site thieves is only one aspect of properly taking care of the video footage. Physical data must be protected against light and water, which can damage it. Digital data must be protected against hackers. This is done with encryption.

Encryption makes it difficult to illegally access digital data. It scrambles the data in a manner that only the encrypting program knows. It is then very difficult, although not impossible, for another program to crack the encryption. Meanwhile, the encrypting program can play the video without a problem. There are various levels of encryption, and all computers have encryption software already on them.

Technology has revolutionized how people store security data. With every advancement, video can be stored a little more securely. The biggest recent advancement in this field has been off-site data storage for security systems. Future mediums for video storage promise to be even better than the ones we have today. For now, though, there are good, digital ways to store security footage. Contact us today for more information.


Remote Surveillance For Your Security Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Monitoring Your Security Cameras from a Remote Location
If you have any pets, children or you are genuinely concerned about how secure your home will be when you are not around, you may want to consider investing in a remote monitoring system with the use of security cameras. Through your home computer, you will be able to reach this goal using the appropriate equipment and some time to help set your system up.

Directions for Setting Your IP Security Camera Up
1. Begin by connecting a wireless security camera into your computer. Make sure you follow the instructions as set forth by the manufacturer of the camera you purchased. An IP security camera comes in either a wired or a wireless model, but they may also be called a Web security camera.

2. Power your camera and computer on. You will need to ensure both the camera and computer is left on whenever you leave your home to ensure you can retrieve the images from a remote location.

3. Using the server address given by the manufacturer of the camera, login into their server. You will need either a cell phone or computer that has Internet access in order to achieve this.

4. Once you are logged onto the Internet, you will be able to watch whatever area of your home that the camera is monitoring all from your cell phone or computer.

Monitors for Your Web Cam
5. Using the instructions given to you by the manufacturer, connect your computer and Web cameras together.

6. Go through the process of setting your computer up for broadcasting live. In order to do this, you will first need to click on tools, then options, and finally live broadcast settings. To get the system to select a port for your device, you will need to choose o as the port. Choose the number of viewers you want to be able to access the feed at one time. Next, choose the profile that correlates to your specific type of connection to the Internet. Decide whether you want to send audio and video when viewing footage, as well as whether you want to begin the streaming process upon starting the system up.

7. Whenever you leave your home, you will want to make sure your Web camera and computer are powered on for the system to work.

8. Type the browser into your Web bar, which should also include the number of the port you are using from your cell phone or computer with Internet capabilities.

9. You are now set to watch live streaming on your remote device, regardless of where you are located.

The Basics of Monitoring Your Home Security System from a Remote Location
Thanks to modern technology, the process of monitoring your home had become extremely simple. For nothing more than a few hundred dollars, you will be able to purchase one of the wireless security systems that allow you to monitor everything through email, cell phone or computer. Some of the more advanced systems provide you with continual monitoring on the Internet from a professional security company.

Basic Equipment Needs
Your basic home security system will include remote sensors, a control panel, keypads, smoke detectors, an alarm, monitoring system and decals for your window. All of the components work to interact with each other through a radio frequency or hard-wired system. If you have a wireless system, you will be able to install it yourself and save a lot of money over having to install a hard-wired system in your home.

Control Panel for Your System
Your system’s control panel works as the main hub for the security system, regardless of whether it is wired or wireless. This panel helps to communicate via remote sensors located around your home. It sets the zones in the house, engages the alarm and sounds the siren. You have the option of programming the panel to call, email, and text or notify a professional monitoring company whenever the alarm is tripped. Placing keypads around your home in the main areas, such as on your garage or doors to enter into the home are excellent places to start.

Remote Sensors
Remote sensors are generally able to detect any movement. They often sit near a window or door. Motion sensors utilize infrared technology in order to detect the presence of body heat in the vicinity. Some sensors are able to differentiate between the presence of humans and pets. Certain sensors are able to turn the lights on inside of an empty room if you choose. Window and door sensors are composed of two separate parts a transmitter and a magnet. The two components are able to remain in contact through the magnet whenever the windows and doors are closed. If the alarm is triggered, that means that the contacts have become separated from each other.

Remote Monitoring
Depending on the type of system you have, your specific security needs and the budget you are working with, your remote monitoring options will vary. Remote monitoring may be as simple as a phone call from the control panel itself to your cell phone to let you know that the alarm has been triggered. Some of the systems are a reactive monitoring system, which means that they send you an email or text that requires you to perform an action as soon as you have received the alert.

More advanced security systems will connect with a professional service to monitor your home. They will receive the alerts and notify the authorities so you don’t have to worry about it. If your phone is not on or you have failed to check your email, you can rest assured that your home is safe and secure in your absence. Other types of security systems are connected through the Internet, which allows you to monitor the activity through a secure website and then choose the appropriate security system for your needs.

Choosing the Perfect System
As you go through and choose the perfect remote security system, you will want to consider whether your home is wired already for this type of service. Some homes will already have everything they need installed. All you will need to do is activate the services with a professional alarm company to monitor your home. Make sure to consider what you have to work with as a budget as well. Wired security systems are not always the best option when working with a limited budget.

Remember to consider what type of remote monitoring you really need for your home. If you are someone who has continual access to your smartphone, you may need nothing more than email or text alerts. If you are someone who spends an extensive amount of time at work, you might be better off with a solution that allows you to monitor your home online. Someone who travels a lot of the time will find it beneficial to hire someone who can monitor their home while they are away. Peace of mind is really what it all boils down to in the end.

Benefits of Remote Video Monitoring for Your Home
Not only is remote security cost effective, but also it is almost as if you have a security guard on patrol around the clock. Through a remote monitoring system, you will be able to enjoy enhanced levels of security while paying a fraction of the cost. Monitoring your assets on a continual basis has never been easier than it is right now.

Thanks to all of the technology in today’s society, remote monitoring provides you with the ability to manage all of your remote sites from one centralized location. If you have video surveillance in multiple locations around the country, you would only need one individual to monitor your video from a location off-site.

Video monitoring provides you with the assistance you need to help the local authorities to intervene with the appropriate measures in the shortest amount of time. If your staff is specifically trained to handle the remote monitoring, you will be able to relax in complete security almost 100 percent of the time. You will be able to eliminate any potential situations that pose a threat before it results in a loss of or damage to your property.

In an instance where you need evidence, you can use remote monitoring systems to help provide you with the quality level of audio and video recording that you need. Even though these recordings are not of evidential quality, you will be able to bring the perpetrator under the extent of the law. Due to all of the aforementioned benefits, you will have one of the most efficient and cost effective measures for protecting your stock, family and other valuable assets.

Remote surveillance systems help to capture pictures in your area of protection. Infrared motion detectors work to detect any potential movement within your vicinity. In the event there is an issue, the alarm will sound. Once the alarm is engaged, the system has a specific set of instructions for which to follow to help send the video into the computer at a remote location.

You have the opportunity to verify if the alarm was unnecessary or if there really is an intruder inside of your location. Even though you can work with a regular modem, it is better to have a high-speed connection in use. Remote security systems also work to send an email alert if there are any images recorded. It also creates a log that can launch another program whenever needed.

Modern security systems have ample amounts of features that are quite effective and useful. Many of the systems are able to support various ratios of compression and provide you with the ability to choose the ratio that best suits your needs. Plenty of systems allow you to make the area that you want monitored that much simpler. Contact us today to find out more about remote surveillance for your security cameras.


Best Choice For A Commercial Security Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

There is no way that anyone can tell a business owner what the best choice for a commercial security camera is, because there are so many variables. Come explore some of the available options with us and learn what considerations we feel are the most important.

Parking Lot Security

The best place to start determining the best choice for commercial security cameras is outside the business. Currently, only 17 percent of the crimes that happen in parking lots are captured on footage recorded by commercial security cameras. This is an alarming statistic, because many violent crimes occur in parking lots and the court system has found many business owners at least partially responsible for these crimes.

Installation of Commercial Security Cameras

Most parking lot cameras are installed in one of two places or both. Either they are installed on the roof of the building or they are installed on the same poles with lights. The security cameras on lights can be large, fixed cameras that are set to record all the time. They can also domed lights that record the action directly under them. The advantage of using these large stationary cameras is that the sight of them is often a deterrent to crime. Signs can also be posted to alerting people to the fact that these cameras are in use. In fact, in some locations, it is the law that these signs be posted.

How Many Commercial Security Cameras

When choosing these cameras, several factors need to be taken into consideration. The first question that should be asked is how many cameras the business needs. In most situations, the business will need more than one. A security camera should cover each area of your parking lot so make sure to figure this in your calculations or have a security expert look at the lot.


The second question that a business owner needs to ask is how the cameras will be protected from the weather. Many security cameras are not built to withstand wind, rain, snow, hail and other elements of the weather. It is important to provide adequate housing for the cameras to operate properly. It is also important to know at what temperatures your camera will no longer operate properly. Many security cameras do not operate well in extremely cold temperatures or in extremely hot temperatures. Also, make sure to note if the housing you are considering will cause fogging conditions in front of the camera.

Type of Commercial Security Cameras

The third question that a business owner needs to consider when looking for the best choice for a commercial security camera is the type of cameras. Some cameras will only record in daylight conditions, while other cameras have great day and night capabilities. Other cameras rely on infrared conditions to take the picture when absolutely no light is present.

Resolution of Commercial Security Cameras

The fourth question that a business owner needs to consider is the camera’s resolution. The more resolution that is available, the clearer the footage will be. The more resolution, the more details of the photo can be enlarged. For some business owners, a smaller resolution, which is cheaper, will be an adequate choice. For other businesses, it will be important to buy a camera with a larger resolution.

Monitoring Footage

The fifth consideration is how the recorded footage will be monitored. For some businesses, it will make sense to have a people on staff that is responsible for monitoring the security system at all times. For others, it will be more prudent to hire a monitoring system. Whichever choice is made, it is important to consider how long you want to keep the footage. Once the footage is erased, it is gone forever and with it the evidence that the footage provides.

Built-in Memory

The sixth consideration is rather you want the camera to store the footage on the camera as well as send it to a recording device. While cameras with built-in memory will generally be more expensive, the footage will be recorded even if something interferes with the signal. If the business owner decides to record at the camera, it is important to consider how large a memory card is needed in the camera.

Point/Tilt and Zoom

The most popular choices in parking lot cameras are fixed, but for some users, a point tilt and zoom camera makes a better choice. These cameras can be controlled from a remote location, and motion can be followed often providing better details.

Watching the Footage of a Commercial Security Camera

A last consideration is how the footage will be recorded and viewed. Many choices exist, but the most popular is with a stand-alone DVR unit. Other choices include viewing it on a computer monitor or on a smartphone.

Entrance Camera Considerations

After the business owner has made the right choices for the parking lot, then it is time to move to the entrance. Many of the same considerations exist when considering the best choice for a commercial security camera at the entrance to a building. Those choices include:
The type of camera
• Protection from Weather
• Type of Camera
• Camera’s Resolution
• Monitoring
• Storage of Footage
• Fixed or PTZ
• Viewing options

Point/Tilt and Zoom Entrance Commercial Security Cameras

For many business owners, the best type of camera to put at entrances is a high-resolution point tilt zoom cameras. These cameras can be panned to follow the action of a person leaving the store, which is especially useful in the case of a shoplifter. These cameras can also be tilted to see packages that are left at the door. These cameras can also be zoomed to see details of a scene better.

Commercial Security Cameras Inside the Business

After the business owner has decided the best choice for a commercial security camera on the outside of their business is, then it is time to move inside the business. Owners of businesses have more choices in cameras to be used inside their businesses. These cameras are useful for catching the action throughout the store.

Commercial Security Cameras on the Retail Sales Floor

Business owners can choose from many types of cameras on the retail sales floor. Like choosing the camera for the outside, no one can tell a business owner exactly what the best choice for a commercial security camera.

Type of Commercial Cameras

The first decision that needs to be made is the type of camera. When considering indoor cameras the business owner has more choices that may fit their needs than most customers choose in outdoor cameras.

Box Commercial Security Cameras

The first type of commercial security camera is the box camera. These lenses on these cameras can be changed to adjust to the changing needs of a business. These cameras can be wired or wireless giving the owner lots of flexibility. The large size of these cameras can act as a deterrent for crime. In certain circumstances, customers can view these cameras as intrusive.

Dome Commercial Security Cameras

The second type of commercial security camera is the dome camera. These cameras usually mount flat against the ceiling, making them hard to detect. Many dome cameras take footage that is a 360 degree image of what is occurring under the camera, which can be hard for some people to interpret.

Bullet Commercial Security Cameras

The bullet commercial security camera is another choice for use in areas where customers are located. These cameras are shaped like a tube of lipstick. They can be pointed in any direction allowing owners to catch the action in areas that they want to see the most. They are small so customers often see these cameras as unobtrusive.

Point Tilt and Zoom Commercial Security Cameras

Just like the point tilt and zoom camera at the entrance, it is relatively easy to catch specific action with these cameras. Therefore, a suspicious customer can be followed throughout the store without knowing that they are being watched. It is easy to zoom these cameras in to see the specifics of a situation.

Covert Commercial Security Cameras

These cameras can be hidden throughout a business and no one may even know that they are there. They can be hidden in plants, in clocks and in cash registers. Often, even the workers do not know where these cameras are hidden. The cameras locations can even be changed on a regular basis depending on situations within the store.

Warehouse and Backroom Security Cameras

Just like in the retail sales space, various cameras are useful in the backrooms and warehouses of commercial establishments. Choose the right camera for the right situation. Make sure that the cameras are located to catch the action in all areas of the warehouse and backroom. More than one camera may be necessary.

No one can tell you what the best choice for a commercial security camera is on the Internet, because there are too many variables. Make sure to inquire of a professional until you are satisfied with the answers. Many Internet sites have prompt email services and chats to help you make the best choice for a commercial security camera. This guide has given you answers on how to make the best choice for a commercial security camera. Contact us today to learn what your best choice is for a commercial security camera.


How To Track Moving Objects With A PTZ Camera Tracking

Written By:
Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Tracking Moving Objects with a PTZ Camera

PTZ cameras are some of the most powerful security cameras on the market today. These are video recording devices that can pan, tilt and zoom, hence their name PTZ cameras. Panning allows these cameras to move and survey a wide horizontal area, while tilting allows them to look up and down. Zooming refers to these cameras’ ability to focus in on a specific place within their field of view. These three features combine to create cameras that can monitor anything in their view, which is often 360 degrees.

Tracking someone or something with a PTZ camera takes some knowledge and experience. As with any product, some PTZ cameras are built to higher standards than others. They do not all track objects equally well. There are also two different ways to track with a camera: manually or automatically.

The first step to tracking moving objects or people with a PTZ camera is knowing the camera’s abilities and limitations. What a camera can and cannot do is determined by both the camera and computer linked to the camera. In most cases, a computer monitors a system of multiple security cameras.

Panning Ability

Conventional PTZ cameras are able to pan across an area. Anytime they find something worth investigating, they can zoom in on it and track it. Most of the PTZ cameras for sale today, though, can only focus on one area at a time. Although they might be able to look in any direction, they can only point in one direction at a time.

The best PTZ cameras on the market can look in multiple directions at once. These cameras can constantly survey 360 degrees around them. It is impossible for anyone to hide from these cameras, but they are more expensive than PTZ cameras that look only in one direction at a time. A constantly panning camera can be as effective as a fancy PTZ camera that has a 360 degree view, and the constantly panning one is usually much less expensive than the other.

Tilting Ability

PTZ cameras can be tilted up and down with small motors. This is also how they are moved to pan an area. Nearly all PTZ cameras can tilt to meet most businesses’ needs. Some cameras, however, are louder than others when tilting. This is becoming a minor issue as technology advances, but there still are some cameras on the market that have loud motors. These might be cheaper, and their noise might be a non-issue. For the most sophisticated PTZ cameras, though, business owners should look for silent panning and tilting abilities.

Zooming Ability

PTZ cameras use one of two methods to zoom, depending on whether they have an optical or digital zoom. These types of zooms are identical to those used in consumer cameras and camcorders. They have a direct impact on the resolution of a zoomed-in image, so understanding how a PTZ camera zooms in and out is important.

An optical zoom works by moving two lenses inside the camera either closer together or farther apart. As the lenses are moved, the camera is able to focus on different distances. Thus, a zoomed-in image from an optical lens is the actual image the camera saw. It will be clear, as long as the camera was clearly focused.

A digital zoom takes one broad picture of an area. A user then can zoom in using a computer. Initially it appears that the process is the same. If one zooms in a lot, however, the digital method of zooming becomes evident. All a digital zoom can do is blow up a section of its one broad photo or video. A computer increases the size of each pixel. Thus, when a digital zoom is highly zoomed in, it will become grainy and lose focus.

An optical zoom will technically provide a clearer picture than a digital zoom. Whether a business needs the ability of an optical zoom will depend on the area it is surveying and the items it wants to track. A high-quality optical lens can see hundreds of feet away, or it can focus in on very small details within a room. These lenses, however, can be expensive. Every business owner will have to decide if an expensive optical zoom is worth the cost.


Another important consideration is the reliability of PTZ cameras. After all, if a camera is broken, then it cannot track any movement or record any video, regardless of how good it is. Most cameras are generally reliable, but companies should check for reviews of a camera manufacturer. Companies with a long history in the industry and a good reputation are probably more reliable than those that just started making cameras last month. There are a few moving parts in PTZ cameras, which allow them to pan, tilt and, in some cases, zoom. The best manufacturers provide excellent warrantees for these moving parts. Recommendations from technicians can also be a valuable source of information about the reliability of a camera system.

Computer and Software

The final aspect of a PTZ camera security system that must be understood is the computer and software running it. There are several software programs on the market. In most cases, manufacturers will recommend a specific one, or they will at least list the security software programs that are compatible with their cameras. People having a security system installed should rely on the technicians and sales rep for advice on which software to use. The company providing the cameras should also be able to show people how to use the software.

PTZ security cameras must be able to focus in on an object and then pan and tilt quickly. They must be able to track someone who is running. In some scenarios, a PTZ camera must be able to follow a car driving at fairly high speeds. These cameras cannot suffer from a lagging computer.

The computer running the PTZ camera or the PTZ camera system must be powerful enough to quickly direct the camera or cameras. In a few cases, an office computer that is used daily for other tasks can also run a PTZ camera. Most of the time, however, a dedicated computer will be needed to operate the security system. Large companies might even need a dedicated server.

Since the computer should always be connected to the cameras, many businesses purchase a desktop computer. These are generally cheaper than laptop computers. Furthermore, the security computer should not be taken anywhere, so there is no need for a laptop computer. Computers used to control PTZ cameras are often easily accessible, since they need to be used by security personnel. The recording devices, however, should either be off-site or secured behind a lock.

There are a couple of other ways businesses can reduce the strain on a computer. They can:
•  Reduce the resolution of the images recorded
•  Reduce the number of camerasThese decrease either the image resolution or the area being surveyed, but they can speed up the connected PTZ cameras.

Manual Tracking

Manual tracking requires a person, who must be constantly monitoring the security cameras. This increases the operating costs of the security system, because someone must always be working as a security guard. The advantage of manual tracking is that the guard has complete control over what is being seen.

Automatic Tracking

Many PTZ cameras have automatic tracking. The cameras themselves are able to identify motion and zoom in on it. They are able to track whatever is moving throughout their field of view. A human is not required for any of this. With automatic tracking, no one must be paid to watch the cameras. If there is an intrusion, however, there will not be anyone to immediately investigate.

Automatic tracking can be combined with manual tracking. Large facilities often have dozens of cameras that must be watched, including many PTZ cameras. It is impossible for one person to monitor this many cameras, but he can focus his attention on a single camera that has been triggered by automatic tracking.

Remote Tracking

Almost any PTZ can be connected to the world-wide internet or a local intranet. This allows for remote tracking. Remote tracking is primarily used to outsource the monitoring of a security camera system. Many companies find it cheaper to outsource their security monitoring needs than to worry about the needs themselves.

Understanding how to track movement begins with understanding a camera’s pan, tilt and zoom abilities, as these directly influence how well it can track an object or person. Another important consideration is the reliability of the camera, since a broken camera cannot track anything. Finally, the software and computer system influence a camera’s effectiveness.

Once a person understands the components of a PTZ camera, he can decide what the best method of tracking is. Most cameras can be used manually, automatically or remotely. The best combination of these will depend on the cameras, the company’s security budget and the number of cameras. Contact us today to find out which PTZ camera is right for you.


What Is A Varifocal Security Camera?

Written By:
Monday, November 26th, 2012

What Is A Varifocal Security CameraWhat Is A Varifocal Security Camera?

One of the best values in security cameras are those equipped with a varifocal lens. These lenses come for a variety of camera styles with the two most popular choices being very-focal lenses on dome cameras and box cameras.

Varifocal Lenses Are Great For Businesses That Plan to Expand

These lenses are perfect in many situations. The first situation is a business that plans to expand to a new location someday. When a camera is equipped with a varifocal lens, then the business owner can easily move the camera to a new location. Adjusting the camera at the new location can easily be accomplished just by adjusting the focal length of the lens.

Varifocal Lenses Are Great For Homeowners On The Move

Many homeowners enjoy this benefit as the camera equipped with a varifocal lens can easily be packed up and moved to a new location. The homeowner may choose to move the camera when they move to a larger property or a smaller property and the lens can easily be adjusted to the new location.

Varifocal Lenses Provide Flexibility

The varifocal lens also makes a great choice for business owners and homeowners who may not be exactly sure what size of lens they need. With fixed distance lenses, the business owner or homeowner must guess at what length of lens that they need. If they guess wrong, then the whole unit must be returned if allowed or sold as a second hand camera costing both time and frustration.

Change Location Of Recording Without Anyone Knowing

These lenses are also super at changing what the camera is recording without having to change the camera position. Without moving the camera, it is possible to record many different situations. This is particularly useful in a commercial setting when you may want to watch one situation one day and another situation the next. The lens will also allow you to change the angle at which you see a situation.

Many people are familiar with the zoom feature of a digital camera and the varifocal lens on a security system works very similar to the lens on that camera. Just like having more zoom ability on a digital camera, the wider the range of objects this camera can be focused on, usually by turning a knob on the outside of the camera’s housing.

Dome Varifocal Security Cameras

Dome security cameras can be equipped with varifocal lenses for both indoor and outdoor use depending on the housing chosen. The most common varifocal lens on dome cameras is the 3.6 mm to 8 mm lens. Remember that the wider the range of numbers the more choices you have when using the camera. Cameras with a 3.6 mm to 8 mm lens have a maximum angle of viewing of 79.22 degrees and a minimum angle of viewing of 33.4 degrees. It is important to look at the distance that you want to install the dome security camera from where the action will likely occur. The smaller the millimeter number the closer the camera will need to be to the action, but the camera will have a wide area where it will What Is A Varifocal Security Camera record the action. The larger the millimeters number the smaller the area that the camera will record the action, but the action can be recorded from further away.

In order to determine the right focal length consider these facts. If you are watching a parking lot with a lower millimeter lens setting, then you will be able to see about six cars parked about 15 feet away. You will be able to see the make and model of the car, but very little else. If you use a camera with a higher millimeter lens, you will be able to see more details, such as car license plates and face details, but you will be able to see very little space.

Infrared Dome Security Camera with Varifocal Lenses

These cameras can be equipped with different types of operating systems. For example, many business owners and homeowners choose infrared security camera with varifocal lenses. These cameras offer the owner the ability to use the camera when no light is available. These cameras emit a small LED light that provides enough light for the camera to operate. It is important to look for a camera with IR power that matches the focal length, as the lights will only broadcast so far.

Day/Night Dome Security Cameras with Varifocal Lenses

Others choose day/night cameras with varifocal lenses. These cameras are equipped with special mirrors that collect any available light and use it to produce the footage. As more light is available, the camera will take colored pictures, but in low light situations, the pictures will have a green tint.

Daytime Dome Security Cameras with Varifocal Lenses

These cameras operate with the available light, so if there are no light these cameras will not operate. They are great in many situations where light is available all the time. An example would be inside a retail store where the lights are left on even at night.

Other Considerations When Buying Dome Security Cameras With Varifocal Lenses

Whichever dome security cameras with a varifocal lens the user chooses to buy, the buyer needs to think about other aspects. The buyer needs to think about how the footage will be viewed. There are several viewing options including a dedicated VCR, connecting it to a computer monitor or watching it on a smart phone. It is also important to consider who will monitor the footage. Some business owners will choose to monitor their own, some will assign a staff person to do this job and others will hire an outside company to do the monitoring.

Resolution on Dome Security Cameras with Varifocal Lenses

The buyer of a security system will want to consider the security systems resolution. This is measured in either TV lines or in megapixels. The higher the cameras resolution, the better the details that can be seen in the footage. The colors will also be truer to real life. A 1.2MP camera has 3.5 times the resolution of an analog camera in its largest format. Therefore most users find megapixels cameras the better buy.

Sensors on Dome Security Cameras with Varifocal Lenses

A very important consideration when buying a dome security camera with varifocal lens is the size of the sensor. The smaller the sensor, often called a CCD chip, the narrower the angle of view. Sensors in these cameras usually come in four different sizes, which are ¼ inch, 1/3 inch, ½ inch and 2/3 inch. If you choose a camera with a ¼ inch sensor then the maximum angle of the field of view is 57.77 degrees and the minimum field of view is 22.62 degrees. If you choose the 1/3 inch sensor, then the maximum angle of the field of view is 79.22 degrees and the minimum is 33.4 degrees. If you choose the half-inch sensor, then the maximum angle of the field of view is 95.63 degrees and the minimum field of view is 43.6 degrees. When you choose the largest sensor, the largest field of view is 113.22 degrees and the smallest field of view is 57.62 degrees.

What Is A Varifocal Security Camera Varifocal Lens Box Camera

Many homeowners and business owners prefer box cameras. These cameras are great because they deter many criminals because of the mere sight of the camera. The most common varifocal lens on the box camera is the 3millimeter to 15millimeter. This gives the user a wide range of angles to choose from when installing the camera inside or outside in protective housing. Just like with the dome cameras, varifocal lenses on box cameras smallest settings give the widest field of view with 15 millimeters giving the narrowest point of view.

Varifocal Lens Box Camera Sensors

It is important to consider the sensor when buying a varifocal lens box camera sensor. Again, like with the dome security camera the user generally has four choices. It is important to notice that the sensor controls the distance the camera can be placed from the target.

Varifocal Lens Bullet Camera

Bullet security cameras can also be equipped with varifocal lenses with the most common being 2.8 to 10mm. These cameras can also be equipped with the four different size sensors. It is important to consider the different combinations for this camera.


Most varifocal lenses cost about 20 to 30 percent more than a fixed lens camera, but consider the flexibility that is afforded with these lenses. One can move the camera to accommodate different situations. One can adjust the length of the lens to get the best picture. Furthermore, a person can buy cameras with different sensors to further expand their flexibility. Making sure that you buy the best camera for your money will assure that you are happy with the choice that you made.

The best process to use when choosing a camera is to choose the location that you want to put the camera in and then choose the style of camera that you want to install. Next, consider buying a camera with a varifocal lens. Then choose the size of sensor that is best for what you want to accomplish now and in the future. Finally, consider the resolution you want in the camera. All of these will factor into the price that you pay. Contact Security Camera King Today!