Posts Tagged ‘ ptz’



What is the Best Security Camera Type?

Written By:
Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Security cameras are made and used on a daily bases for a number of reasons. They can be used anywhere from gas stations to military personnel vehicles. Specifically, security cameras are used to view or record any person, place, or thing without being there in person. There are many different types and styles of cameras and they are all used in different settings. Learning about the different types of security cameras available can give you the upper hand when needed for a specific task or location. Deciding which is the best security camera for you will depend on your situation.

Types of Security Cameras

There are many types of security cameras in the security world today. They all fall into a few main categories including Analog, Network IP, and HD-CVI. Even though it might not sound like much, each side offers many different options and capabilities which can affect camera quality and your wallet. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type and overall get the job done.

Styles of Cameras

Cameras come in many different shapes and sizes and, depending on where you place them, can give you better understanding of what you will need.

Box Cameras

Box Security Camera

Box cameras are very customizable and offer many different lenses sizes. You can either have them mounted as is, or you can put them in a case called a box, hence the name. Box cameras are also capable of being mounted in extreme weather because some of their boxes have heaters and blowers built in. Most box cameras are dual voltage and have the capability to support alarms and strobes connected. Downsides are they are bulky and require more experience for setup and installation.

Bullet Cameras

800 TVL Bullet Security Camera

Bullets are also a great choice because they have a greater viewing angle then most other cameras. Bullets can also have larger range of different lenses built in so you can zoom in close on a shot or have a wider viewing angle. The downside is they are not vandal proof and very noticeable.

Dome Cameras

700 TVL Vandal Dome Security Camera

The most common camera used is the dome. Domes can be used in many different locations and can take a punch or two. Domes have wide viewing angles for greater versatility. They are also more discreet, when it comes to hiding your cameras, then when it comes to a bullet. They also can take a couple of hits because of their robust structure.

PTZ Cameras

700 TVL PTZ Security Camera

PTZ’s can give you more coverage than a conventional pre-positioned camera. P-T-Z (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras are made for you to control the camera so you can see what’s happening even if it moves out of your typical viewing area. Some PTZ’s can also track objects or people so you don’t have to move it yourself. Downside is that they can be pricy and bulky.

Hidden Cameras

Hidden Mirror Camera

Hidden cameras are made for you to know where they are but no other person will. They can be just about anything: clocks, smoke alarms, phones, mirrors, and many others. Disadvantages are they typically can’t see or record very well at night.

License Plate Cameras

License Plate Camera

License plate cameras are built to capture a license plate at high speeds. These cameras are used for highways, entry gates, business, parking garages, and more. They offer advanced technologies that allow you to focus on the license plate in light or dark conditions.

Thermal Cameras

Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal cameras are designed to allow you to see heat signatures in any light setting. This can help you distinguish differences between important and non-important things during motion detection. For example, branches blowing in the wind and a person walking. This may not give you the best image but it can trigger a separate camera to record the situation.

What is IR?

There are also other features that security cameras can have. Cameras can be indoor or outdoor depending on the camera. Some Cameras come with IR (Infrared Technology) that allows them to see at night. IR is a light that is invisible to us but is like a flood light for a camera. IR is usually built onto the cameras themselves, but can also be placed separately for cameras that have the capability to view the light. The style of camera can give you your best view and placement for anywhere they need to be.

What is IR

Analog Cameras

Analog cameras have been used for many years and have done its job very well. The way that it works is by the type of signal it sends to its receiving end. It sends an analog picture of what it views and it can either record by tape or by digitally converting it to record on a hard drive. The old way would be the tape, but now we have either a computer with a card that receives the signal and converts it to be stored on a hard drive or a standalone unit called a DVR that does the same thing, just without using your personal computer. DVRs are recommended because they can be hidden and require half the power (electrical and processor). Over the years, analog cameras have improved profusely by increasing frame rates and quality of resolution. The latest technology for analog cameras is called HD-CVI. This is an analog technology that allows you to record 720p-1080p resolution.

Network IP Cameras

Network IP Cameras are starting to become more affordable and practical for business and homes. Network IP cameras are cameras that function all on their own and don’t require any standalone unit to view and in some cases record. The way they work is through your new or existing network and is given a IP address (Internet Protocol) which allows it to be accessed through your network for viewing or recording purposes. Network IP cameras can be controlled also through a web based program for initial set-up and to adjust and control the camera like a PTZ. IP cameras are also usually in High Definition. They can record as high as 10MP (Megapixels) in resolution but average cameras record at 1080p. Megapixel is one million pixels in a specific image, so 2MP is similar to 1080p. The downside to using Network IP cameras is they run through your network to be viewed and/or recorded. This is a problem if you have a lot of cameras or if your cameras are recording in 1080p or above. Networks can only handle a set amount of send and receive data before bogging down. This drag increases when you are recording and viewing simultaneously inside your network and out. There are ways to overcome this problem by either getting a managed switch or making separate networks for specific amounts of cameras.

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Understanding PTZ cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Since there are a lot of Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras available, I will explain in this article on how to best choose the correct PTZ for your Security Camera Installation.

I will start by showing the different parts of a PTZ camera.

1. Parts of a PTZ camera

(a) Housing – Usually composed of an aluminum bell shaped cover (image 1) or some models have abs plastic housings (images 2,3)

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

aluminium ptz housing plasticdome,jpg plasticdome2,jpg

(b) Camera module
This is where the image CCD sensor, optical lens, and the motors that control Zoom and Focus are located.

Camera Module

(c) PTZ control board
The PTZ control board processes RS485 data  that converts it into mechanical movements.
PTZ Control Board

Note: On this particular PTZ control board it has dip switches (the red block with white switches). This allows you to change the protocol and ID of the camera. Some of our cameras are configured via the OSD (On Screen Display) menu.

(d) PTZ motors – are the small motors that allow the camera to perform up, down, left and right functions. Marked by the arrows are two step motors; the one to the top controls up and down movements and the one at the bottom controls left and right movements (Image 1).

Note: The motors used on a PTZ camera are known as step motors which use steps (teeth) that allow a more precise movement vs. standard electromagnetic motors that require higher RPM’S and torque. Below are the two animated examples of an electromagnetic motor (image 2) and step motor (image 3).

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

camera motors2 electric motor animation 1 StepperMotor1

(e) PTZ Pigtail – is the cable that comes out of the camera which allows you to connect power, video, network, audio and alarms.

The Standard size IPPTZ cameras have alarm, audio, analog BNC out and an RJ45 jack (image 1). Mini-IPPTZ do not have an analog out option.

Our analog PTZ cameras have rs485, ground, BNC analog out and DC power plug (image 2)

Image 1

Image 2

ipptz-connection ptz-analog

Note: RS485 is a simple protocol used for communication between two or more devices. The nature of RS-485 allows transmission of  PTZ data along side power or in electrically noisy environment with out interference. It has been tested to work at 1600 ft. on CAT6e cable.

2. Technologies

Currently our PTZ’s  come in three different technologies

1. Analog

2. IP

3. HD-CVI

(a) Camera cable run limitations and options to extend if necessary

Analog has a 1000 ft. Video and RS485 Range but can only be powered up to 150 ft. before voltage drop. Two ways you can counter the power limitation is by:

1. having power at the camera
2. Using a power supply with a higher amperage rating. An example of that would be if your camera is rated at 500 ma and your run is over 150 ft – use a 2-5 amp power supply. Although theoretically it should work we do not recommend exceeding the 150 ft. limit

IP has a 300 ft. limit due to standard networking limitation. Since power, video and RS485 can be run on a single CAT6e cable there is no way to increase the range without additional equipment. In the event you have to exceed the 300 ft limit you can use a POE injector that allows you to extend an additional 300 ft.

HD-CVI has 1600 ft. video and RS485 limit.  You can use CAT6e for both the RS485 and Video; for the video you will need video baluns to allow 1600 ft. range. The power has the same limitation as the analog cameras and will required local power or a higher rated 12v 2-5 amps depending on the camera requirements.

(b) Video quality and Resolutions

Analog – Our analog  cameras come with 700 TVL

IP – Range from  1.3 Mega Pixel, 2 Mega Pixel, and 3 Mega Pixel

HD-CVI – Currently only supports 1 Mega Pixel (720P)

(c) What are  differences between IP, analog + HD-CVI

1. An analog camera has to be physically connected into the DVR to record video and has a limitation of 1000ft.

An IP camera does not have to connect directly to an NVR, simply by configuring some the network you can access your camera anywhere in the world. Let say your camera is in California and your NVR ( Network Video Recorder) is in New York; you can actually record the video from that camera at your New York location. This type of setup is used frequently by government and cities to monitor remote cameras.

2. Both the IP and HD-CVI support HD resolution, 720P and 1080P, where as the analog only supports D1 resolution at 700 TVL

Note: The higher the resolution of a camera the larger the images. It allows for wider coverage areas and more details vs the analog resolution. Because the images are larger on higher resolutions its better suited to use the digital zoom to get a closer look at an object.

3. Mini and Standard size cameras

Two of the mayor differences between our mini and standard size PTZ cameras is the size of the housing and the optical lens capacities. The mini cameras are more aesthetically appealing in smaller homes and offices. The larger housings are better suited for larger homes and commercial applications.

Mini-PTZ

Standard Size PTZ

4. Camera modules

(a) The camera module houses what is called the CCD or CMOS board (image 1), lens and motors that allow fine adjustments of zoom + focus (image 2).

Image 1 – CCD OR CMOS board

Image 2 – PTZ lens with control motors

ccdboard ptz lens

(b) Image Sensor – captures light and converts it into a digital image that can be stored onto the DVR/NVR. Currently there are two different types of sensors, CCD and CMOS. There isn’t much difference as far as image quality but the CMOS sensors are known to handle brighter than normal scenarios extremely well. The CCD sensors were designed for IR applications where cut filters and automatic shutters are used. But in the past few years with advancement in technology, cameras now offer WDR or ( Wide Dynamic Range) and IR cut filters (Infrared Cut filters) which allows digital and mechanical adjustment for your specific setup. So it doesn’t matter if your using a CMOS or CCD your end results are of high quality.

CCD Sensor

CMOS Sensor

CCD cmos

(c) Optical lens – Allows for adjustment of zoom or focus. When you zoom in the lens moves closer to the image senor so the image becomes larger. When you zoom out the lens moves away from the image sensor which make the image small and results in a wider view.  When referring to 12x zoom on lets say our PTZ-LX700L12X mini it means it can zoom in 12 times the normal amount. Generally you can find out what the range on the lens is by multiplying the lens size by the times zoom. So in our PTZ-LX-700L12X you can multiply 5×12=60. Five being the lens size multiplied by zoom gives you maximum mm size of 60 mm. In this case this camera has a vari focal range of 5-60mm

Here is an example of our 23x PTZ camera, the approximate distance from the camera to the truck is 380ft.

6. Mounting options

PTZ cameras are designed to rotate a full 360 degree there for an arm (image 2), pendulum mount (image 3)or ceiling mount bracket (image 1) is used for mounting the cameras.

Ceiling mounts- A ceiling mounting is great for any application that requires a PTZ camera but with a low profile. The better half of the camera goes into any surface and has a clip mechanism to secure it. Only the dome will be visible for a aesthetically appealing look.

Arm mount- Are designed to mount a vertical plane or post. Generally this camera serves as a deterrence as it protrudes from where its mounted

Pendant mount- are designed to hang  from a horizontal surface such as ceiling, post.

 In ceiling mount   Arm mount  Pendant mount
plasticdome2,jpg 700tvl-12x-indoor-outdoor-pan-tilt-zoom-security-camera-59056big pr59195img4sma

7. Wiring PTZ cameras 

(a) Wiring RS485 for Analog PTZ cameras

There are two ways you can successfully wire PTZ cameras 1. Daisy chain  2. Star or direct connection

 Daisy Chain connection

  Star or Direct connection

multiple ptz connection daisy chain multiple ptz connection

Note: Recommended cable CAT6e but CAT5e works fine as well, Use a single pair ex: solid blue and white/ blue, use the solid blue as the positive and the white/blue as the negative.

The main difference between daisy chaining or direct connection is on a daisy chain the cameras rely on each other. So if one fails the ones that follow the failed camera will not work. On a direct connection the cable is ran directly from each camera to the controller or DVR; I normally splice in a 2-3 ft. cable to make it easier to connect. IF a camera fails none of the other cameras are affected and continue to operate as normal.

If you would like to learn more about our PTZ cameras check them out here.

**step motor and regular motor images borrowed from http://www.wikipedia.org/

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The Pros and cons of a PTZ Security Camera

Written By:
Friday, April 18th, 2014

When you are choosing a security camera for your home or business it helps to understand the different lens options that are available to you. Most common are the fixed lens, varifocal lens and the PTZ’s, otherwise known as the Pan, Tilt, Zoom cameras.

ptz-or-not

A fixed lens is just that, a non-adjustable lens. Typically they are a 3.6mm lens that gives a wide overview similar to what the human eye can see.

Then you have the Varifocal lens. Put simply this is a lens that can be manually zoomed and focused on a specific area. It’s important to realize that a varifocal camera is zoomed and focused at the time the camera is being setup.

Once you have positioned and zoomed your fixed lens or varifocal camera, that is the view that you will see from that point on when viewing the cameras or watching recorded video.

If you wanted to see a different view you would need to get up on your ladder and re-adjust the view, zoom or focus manually.

The PTZ
What you probably want is a fancy camera like you see in the movies. One with a cool joystick that will allow you to move the camera around and zoom in and out in real-time. That’s a PTZ or Pan, Tilt, Zoom camera.

TPK-65-Front-1024

Many PTZs can zoom in up to 36 times with optical zoom and can also digitally zoom after that. They also have the ability to be set on a tour or a pattern. That means you can set the camera on a predefined repeating cycle. You might want to have it look in one direction for 5 seconds than turn 60 degrees, zoom in and look in another direction for 10 seconds. The pattern options are fully customizable.

Some PTZ security cameras even have special features like Motion Tracking. This is where the camera will automatically detect movement, lock on to an object and track it.

So you might be asking yourself, why I would you ever not want a PTZ. It seems like they do it all. Well before you go out and buy all PTZ cameras here are a few things to think about.

Cost
The first thing you need to know is that PTZ’s are typically a lot more expensive than fixed or varifocal cameras. If you want to add IR (Night Vision) the cost jumps up even more.
A high quality varifocal with 100ft of IR like the (VD-EF700IR100L2812D-W) will run you around $159. Compare that to a good 36x PTZ with IR like the (PTZ-EL700IR300L36X) and you will spend about $1990.

Although it is possible to get a very nice 12x PTZ with no IR starting as low as $229. I highly recommend it the (PTZ-LX700L12X-E) from SecurityCameraKing.com

Installation
When you install a PTZ a couple of things need to be taken into consideration. First, most PTZs are larger than a typical security camera and require more power. It is usually recommended that PTZs have their own dedicated power source. Many come with a power supply but in some cases you may have to buy a separate one.

Most PTZs today are controlled via RS485. RS485 is a standard on most new DVRs but an extra set of wires may need to be run to control the Pan, Tilt and Zoom of the camera.
If you are installing an IP PTZ the power, video and control can all be done over a single CAT5 cable but a separate POE Power injector is recommended.

Control
In order to control your PTZ you will have to use the on-screen buttons or UI of your DVR, PSS Software, Web Interface or mobile App assuming they have that ability. If you want to use a Joystick you will probably have to purchase one separately.

Functionality
Here’s a scenario. Let’s say you are going to install an 8 camera system. You decide to buy 7 varifocal cameras and 1 PTZ.
Sounds like a good plan so far, right.

Now let’s say your system has been up and running for a while and you realize someone ran over your garden gnome.

gnome

So you go back and start looking at the recordings and realize the only camera that could have caught this is the PTZ.

You find the segment of the recording you’re looking for and wouldn’t you know it, just when the gnome was run over the PTZ was looking in the other direction! Trust me this happens a lot.

You might decide after this happens a few times to take the PTZ out of tour mode, but then you just have a very expensive fixed lens camera. Of course you do still have the ability to Pan, Tilt and Zoom via your DRV or a Joystick.

One other thing I have noticed. If you do decide to set your PTZ to a fixed view and the power goes out or the camera reboots there is no guarantee the lens will automatically go back the desired position. You may have to go back and point it there again.

Remember earlier when I spoke about Auto Tracking? There are a couple of things to keep in mind.
1. All PTZs do not have Auto Tracking Abilities.

2. Typically the camera will track the largest object in its view. If a car pulls up and 3 guys get out and run in different directions the camera will most likely follow the biggest guy.

3. If you want to use Auto Tracking then your PTZ can’t be in Tour Mode. The PTZ will not be able to detect motion and track an object if it is constantly moving because it’s in tour mode.

Conclusion
Although PTZ’s might seem like a great idea there are several things to consider before going out and spending a lot of time and money on something that is not necessarily going to be the best solution for you particular situation.

That being said I personally have a PTZ and couldn’t live without it. They definably have their place and are always a great addition to your security system but may not be the best choice as you only line of defense.

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How To Benefit From An Auto-tracking PTZ

Written By:
Monday, June 4th, 2012

How To Benefit From An Auto-tracking PTZSurveillance cameras have been in use for decades to deter crime and to capture video evidence to be used in the prosecution of crimes. However, criminals are aware of surveillance cameras and continually attempt to circumvent them, by various means. Taking advantage of human behavior is one way criminals avoid being filmed in a criminal act. Security guards and even homeowners cannot be everywhere at once. Therefore, many surveillance systems are unattended, in other words, the cameras videotape without the benefit of human analysis. The crimes and actions of others are being recorded and preserved, but the acts in some cases are only detected after the fact. However, new technology has once again caught up with the demand. New technology shows us how to benefit from an auto-tracking PTZ. PTZ is an acronym used to describe cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom.

Auto tracking is simply a camera’s ability to detect and focus on a particular object. Typically, the camera will have firmware installed that can be programmed to eliminate unnecessary recordings. You as an operator can program the camera to focus on and track objects of a particular size and shape such as humans, cars or even animals. Subsequently, you can eliminate any object based on size or shape. This is ideal when you want surveillance of foot traffic in or out of a building that is situated along a street because, you can program the camera not to record vehicles driving by.

How to Benefit From an Auto-Tracking PTZ

Less real time, monitoring is required when utilizing an auto-tracking camera. You can be assured the camera is capturing everything in its view that is considered relevant to the surveillance operation. Endless hours of editing have been eliminated, thus reducing labor costs. The cameras can be manually operated, as well, if the situation becomes fluid and additional coverage is required. Human operators can take over if the focus of the surveillance changes abruptly. Once the situation is under control, the camera will automatically go back to its programmed surveillance parameters.

Auto-tracking cameras eliminate the need for multiple cameras. Typically, when positioning cameras, security specialists take into account the range and angle of each camera. The specialists realize that while one camera is panning in one direction a dead spot can be created if another camera is not positioned to cover that area. To cover a large area would require multiple cameras. One auto-tracking camera can take the place of multiple cameras, while still providing the same coverage.

Traditional PTZ cameras, while highly effective, do have several weak points. Criminals, in some cases, can trick a motion-activated camera by tossing a ball or waving a branch to move the camera to a different field of view. Although flush mounted PTZ cameras are hard to avoid it can be accomplished with some effort. Auto tracking cameras can be programmed to ignore, small objects placed in their view. In other words, the camera cannot be tricked in moving its lens view to follow a ball or branch. It will however, begin tracking a human sized object, and will automatically focus its lens for the sharpest view, when properly programmed. Once a target has been acquired and the object meets the programmed parameters the camera will record and follow that object. Once a target is locked on, the camera can be programmed to send an alert to the operator, as well. Multiple auto tracking cameras with an alert capability can be monitored very effectively by one operator.

Traditional PTZ cameras many times have an alert system that notifies the operator when movement is detected. Subsequently, this leads to false triggers because, the camera cannot be programmed to ignore certain objects, such as swaying branches or blown debris. An operator once alerted must then monitor the cameras for the intrusion. This forces the operator to search for the cause of the alarm, taking up valuable time. Auto tracking cameras with programmable firmware only alert the operator when an object meets the pre-established requirements.

Where to locate An Auto-Tracking PTZ

In addition to its other features, many auto-tracking cameras can be programmed to ignore certain areas in its field of view. This ensures that the surveillance operation does not inadvertently record certain activities. For example, homeowners and businesses alike need to be aware that recording certain people or actions may be in violation of privacy laws. The cameras can be pre-set to avoid certain areas such as a neighbor’s home or property. Homeowners can position cameras to track an individual or vehicle as it enters their property. The auto focus can also capture license plate numbers if the cameras are used to monitor access in and out of a gated community. Businesses can use the cameras to monitor choke points in and out of their facility as well as loading docks, and parking lots. Access to most industrial complexes is in two stages. The first stage is where employees enter in their vehicles to park, and then they may be required to enter a screening area on foot. Cameras can be positioned to detect anyone enter the parking lot on foot while ignoring the vehicle traffic.

Complexes with a higher degree of security may have what is called a sally port. A sally port allows access from one side while securing total access by another barrier typically a fence. Once entered from one-side vehicles and individuals can be screened for any anomalies, before complete access is granted. Programmable cameras can be positioned to screen for such things as more than one person or vehicle entering at the same time. Certain model cameras also allow the operator to program distance, speed of an object, shape, level of zoom and size of the object. These features allow an operator to identify anything out of the ordinary, very quickly, without having to monitor multiple cameras. Humans carrying backpacks and even objects in their hands can trigger an alarm.

Secure areas in some cases do not allow objects to be carried in or out of the facility. In the past, each individual entering or leaving would need to be inspected by a security guard. Once the human size and shape is programmed, a briefcase or duffle bag or any object that interrupts that shape will trigger an alarm. This greatly increases efficiency and enhances the facility’s security. One security guard can now monitor multiple points where in the past each area required its own.

Auto-tracking cameras can estimate the size and distance of any object, which can greatly benefit homeowners. Owners can program their cameras to ignore small objects such as pets and alert the owners to the movement of their children. Perimeter cameras can ignore animals that enter the camera’s view and only focus on individuals and even vehicles. Ranchers can keep track of livestock without getting false triggers caused by smaller animals, as well. Several camera models are standalone systems that can be left in place for extended periods. The camera systems can communicate using cellular service to send emails and status updates. The cameras can be programmed to cover 360 degrees or only cover pre-established viewing angles.

Law enforcement has used surveillance cameras since the early 1970’s. The cameras main purpose when first introduced was to deter crime in public areas. The cameras also recorded criminals in the act, which aided in their identification and subsequent prosecution. With today’s technology, law enforcement can now conduct surveillance operations on a wider scale, while reducing the number of personnel needed. Certain so-called smart cameras can also identify individuals based on the color of their clothes, body size and many systems can be used in conjunction with facial recognition software, as well. Several models of auto-tracking cameras can be programmed to identify individuals in a crowd, and once identified, the camera will focus on and track the subject. These types of cameras can identify individuals even if they have attempted to disguise themselves. Studies have concluded that a person’s gait or style of walking is unique to them. This allows the cameras to identify individuals even when facial recognition is not feasible or possible.

How to Benefit From an Auto-Tracking PTZ If You Are a School or Day Care Center

Cameras that can be programmed to identify and focus on objects based on size and shape, are ideal for any institution that cares for children. Camera systems can be positioned to identify adult sized humans when they enter the premises. In this type of environment, it is recommended that you employ multiple cameras. One camera would be used to identify larger persons as they move about and another to keep track of the children. The cameras can also be used to monitor play areas, in particular outdoors. The perimeter of any playground is particularly important and there should be cameras positioned and programmed to alert the staff of anyone in the area. Auto-tracking cameras can be programmed to provide the size of an individual and the distance away, to help law enforcement, in any future investigation.

Schools can employ auto-tracking cameras to alert the staff about anyone entering the grounds and to help determine their size and if they may have a backpack on or are carrying an object in their hands. The camera’s parameters must be carefully programmed to prevent false alarms however. The cameras can also be set to ignore certain areas to maintain privacy. Keep in mind that blocking certain views may leave the institution vulnerable if becomes common knowledge. Once again, the perimeter is important when positioning security cameras. The cameras can be placed inside the building and even in individual rooms. The cameras can be used to alert staff about children wandering the hallways or of persons in areas that would normally be unoccupied.

Auto-tracking cameras will enhance any security protocol. The cameras can be used at night, as well as, in rooms without any light source at all. The systems can be wireless, or hardwired, and the number of cameras is determined by the equipment and security needs. Auto-tracking cameras can be used to enhance a current camera system without upgrading monitors or digital video.

Do not hesitate to ask any questions and contact us.

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Types of Dome Cameras

Written By:
Sunday, October 16th, 2011

There are so many type of dome cameras that it makes this category of digital video security camera incredibly versatile.  There are basically three types of security camera:  1. The box camera, a very popular and original security camera; 2. Bullet cameras, so called because of their shape; and, 3. Dome cameras, also named after their shape.

Generally, regardless of the type of dome camera, these cameras come with their own mount or the camera plate itself is mounted directly to the wall, ceiling, or other surface.

There are several ways of stating the types of dome cameras.  The types are basically arbitrary but there some common characteristics among cameras that allow us to place them in different categories (types) for the purpose of discussion.

First we can separate them into indoor and outdoor types.  Indoor dome cameras are made in such a way that they cannot withstand some of the rough treatment of constantly being outdoors.   Outdoor dome cameras on the other hand are designed to withstand weather and other natural elements such as dust and often have an IP rating.

An IP Rating or code is based on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) international standard 60529.  According to the standard, it “describes a system for classifying the degrees of protection provided by an enclosure.  IEC 60529 is NOT a ‘product standard’ and does not cover enclosure requirements other than the ‘degree of protection’ provided.  An IP rating is usually represented by two digits and may contain an additional optional letter.

An IP rating can be thought of as a more exact classification of the degree of protection offered from the security camera from intrusion by solid and/or liquid matter.  The rating is usually expressed as “IP 65” or “IP 65M.”  Generally speaking, the higher the IP rating the better protection that is afforded to the camera.

This term can be confusing when dealing with security cameras because some digital security cameras can be IP networked cameras, which has nothing to do with an IP rating.  For the benefit of clarity and distinction, an IP networked camera is a camera that can take advantage of Internet Protocol to transmit its video signals over a network or the internet.

This brings us to another type of dome camera, the IP (Internet Protocol) type camera.  These cameras connect, not necessarily to a DVR, but usually directly to the Internet which they use as a network.  Once connected to the Internet, IP dome cameras can be monitored anywhere in the world where there is a broadband Internet connection and this includes 3G and 4G smartphones as well.

In contrast, non-IP cameras normally connect to a Digital Video Recorder or DVR via a transmission cable such as coaxial cable RG59.  These cameras do not have a direct connection to the Internet although the DVRs they are connected to may have one.

Other types of dome cameras include InfraRed (IR) dome cameras.   These cameras normally contain an array of IR Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that allow the camera to “see” in complete darkness.  The LEDs work like a flood light for the sensor inside the camera however, human eyes cannot detect them; the infrared “light” waves are completely invisible to us.

Continuing with our types of dome cameras, there are also Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras or PTZ cameras.  These cameras can move left or right, up or down, and zoom in or out.  One PTZ camera can often replace the need for 2 or 3 or more stationary cameras.  These cameras often have a feature called automatic object tracking or object following.  They can detect motion and once detected, zoom in on and follow the object.  A good example of this is a PTZ with object tracking mounted in a parking lot.   It can follow people and/or cars as they enter/exit the parking lot.

Finally, there is one last category that we can use to classify the types of dome cameras.  These cameras are vandal proof dome security cameras.  Since most situations that include vandalism present themselves as such that the camera needs to be mounted very close to where the vandalism occurs, they are subject to abuse.  These cameras usually have tough body cases and Lexan windows to help with stand vandal attacks.

Security Camera King has a full line up of different types of dome cameras.  If you need more information you can contact our security experts by on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

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