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10 Different Types of CCTV Camera

Updated on May 2, 2021
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Looking to explore a range of security methods taken by domestic, industrial and commercial industries.

CCTV Cameras
CCTV Cameras | Source

There is a whole range of different types of CCTV cameras to choose from whether it be for a domestic, industrial or commercial property, different CCTV cameras provide varying solutions for unique problems. Hence, that’s why you have a huge range of varying CCTV models that make it quite overwhelming to decide exactly which is the right one for you.

We discuss 10 of the most popular types of CCTV Cameras available:

  1. Dummy CCTV Cameras
  2. Wireless CCTV Cameras
  3. Hidden CCTV Cameras
  4. Dome CCTV Cameras
  5. High Definition 4K CCTV Cameras
  6. Analog CCTV Cameras
  7. Bullet CCTV Cameras
  8. Infra Red CCTV Cameras
  9. IP CCTV Cameras
  10. PTZ CCTV Camera

If you are wondering exactly which is the right CCTV camera to have installed on your business premises, we have broken down the aspects of each type of CCTV Camera in the guide below. You can use it as a guide to steer you in the right direction to offer the solution to your needs and purpose. Make sure you consult a safety expert and if you are doing it for insurance purposes, make sure that they qualify the requirements in order to keep your property, stock as well as personal safety.

1. Dummy CCTV

As you might have gathered from the name, a dummy CCTV is a fake and the cheapest option of the range. They don’t actually function as a camera itself but they are to act as a deterrent. They’re built solely to look like that they are in operation and hopefully the criminal catches eye of the camera, then thinks again before actually carrying out the crime. These days, the dummy CCTVs are of very high quality and it’s difficult to tell what separates the real thing from the fake one.

Of course, the downside is that it doesn’t actually function as a CCTV, so if the criminals do in fact carry out a crime and they either don’t care about the camera or didn’t notice it. You’re not going to have any footage that can actually be used.

Advantages

  • They are a cheap option if your sole purpose is for it to act as a deterrent.
  • They can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
  • Incredibly easy installation (compared to other CCTVs).

Disadvantages

  • It doesn’t actually record any footage.

Who should use one?

They are great for those who are in need of something and on a very thin budget and aren’t looking to protect anything that is overly valuable. This isn’t meant for most businesses and should be considered as an option where you know what you are getting essentially. You are buying the ‘look’ of a deterrent, not the actual deterrent itself.

2. Wireless CCTV Camera

Of course, when it comes to a wireless CCTV camera the main advantage that they have over most other CCTV cameras is the ‘lack of wire’. This makes them incredibly easy to install, plus you can obviously locate them pretty much anywhere you like. You aren’t restricted to CCTV cable installation or where the fuse box is. There is of course still a range that you must abide by. They also look a lot neater and more minimalist too, as they don’t have a cable sticking out of them.

Advantages

  • Easy installation, simply follows the instructions of the specific model.
  • Easy to fit, they aren’t restricted by where ‘wires have-to-go’.
  • Linked to the Wi-Fi, allowing you to view it remotely.
  • Specific features of the wireless CCTV allow you to carry out certain storage aspects.

Disadvantages

  • Wireless cameras can be susceptible to various forms of interference.
  • They can be limited in performance in apartment complexes.
  • Needs a constant wireless signal to produce security results.
  • Could be damaged in a power outage.

Who Should Use One?

Wireless CCTV is often the best choice for people who are looking to help improve their security around a location with low Wi-Fi usage. If wireless signals are coming from various properties around, it can wreak havoc with the system and make it much harder for your CCTV platform to work as it should do.

So long as you are based in an area where you have a relatively clear connection – such as your own detached home or your own private business – wireless CCTV can benefit you.

3. Hidden CCTV Camera

In some circumstances, the best kind of security will be a stealthy solution that you can use to help get security data you would never get if the camera was present. Hidden CCTV cameras are a great choice if you are looking for a camera solution that is well-hidden, and is likely to pick up the kind of imagery that you wouldn’t find if someone knew a camera was actually present in the first place.

Advantages

  • A hidden camera is excellent for on-the-fly capturing without others knowing.
  • They tend to be brilliant for catching bad behavior and theft at work.
  • Great for working out the hidden cause of problems that cannot be solved.
  • Easy to run and low profile, ensuring the image is never obscured.

Disadvantages

  • Moral issues come into play here – is it right to video people without them knowing?
  • Could be problematic to use recorded footage as evidence without acknowledgement.
  • If the camera has to be acknowledged, what’s the point in having it hidden?

Who Should Use One?

We would suggest that anyone who chooses to use such a solution should do so with the legality of its use in mind. It’s fine to use hidden CCTV to guard your private property; you don’t need to give criminals advance notice. Installing one in a workplace without telling staff, though, can be a murky grey area with regards to morality and legality.

So long as you let your staff know, though, it’s an excellent tool to have in the workplace as well as your home.

4. Dome CCTV Camera

Dome CCTV cameras are, as the name suggests, camera systems with a dome-like shape to them. This is important as the camera is encased in a solid, protective dome that can make it hard to be damaged or tampered with. This is a great way to ensure you have a camera that can pick up more footage than some would expect it to be capable of.

Advantages

  • Hard to tell what way this camera is facing, warding people from bad behavior.
  • Blends in with the surroundings with ease.
  • Resistant to vandalization and physical damage.
  • Wide angle allows for better all-round imagery than normal CCTV options.
  • Usually resistant to weather and will come with night vision.

Disadvantages

  • Smaller lens than other options, which can lead to limited viewing range.
  • Key features – like night vision or IFR – will cost you significantly more.

Who Should Use One?

We’d recommend that anyone who runs a property that is quite wide yet short in distance would benefit from using a dome CCTV option. They also work well when you need security tech that works in poor weather conditions, and/or with limited visibility.

5. High Definition & 4K CCTV Camera

Sometimes, you need to get the clearest image that you can to ensure you can get the right results. HD and 4K CCTV allows for the crispest, cleanest image that you are likely to get. This makes them brilliant for those who are looking for a solid CCTV option that leaves the viewer in no doubt as to what they have just seen.

Advantages

  • The crispest image that you are likely to get if you were to buy into CCTV.
  • Allows for easy identification of facial features, badges, tags, license plates etc.
  • The best quality of image makes it hard for someone to dispute the images on show.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive to install and to run.
  • Usually requires vast HDD footage to capture all of the content being filmed.
  • Often needs to wipe the HDD due to space overload, losing historic footage.

Who Should Use One?

HD cameras and 4K camera work best when you are limited to the amount of leeway you have in image quality. Spotting things like the name on a tag or the exact facial features of someone is very important. If you can afford crystal-clear imagery, go for HD/4K.

6. Analog CCTV Camera

Analog CCTV is a very popular choice for those who are looking for something creative, elegant, and very easy to use in the long-term. With the help of an analog CCTV camera, you can make the often confusing process of capturing shots so much easier. They are affordable, reliable, and have been around for a long time.

Advantages

  • Cheap, affordable, and simple to run – manages using a DVR.
  • Greater options for vendors and those who sell these particular services.
  • HD analog is possible; you aren’t always stuck with low level pixel quality.

Disadvantages

  • Frame rates are often limited per shot, which can make finding culprits tough.
  • Coverage levels are much more limited then they are with IP cameras.
  • A lack of encryption means they are typically easier to hack or overtake.

Who Should Use One?

We would recommend any home owner who is on a limited budget takes a look at getting analog CCTV. It’s cheaper to run and easier to manage, making it a popular choice for those with limited security budgets. Businesses and those who want fast-paced, high frames per second shots, though, should look elsewhere.

7. Bullet CCTV Camera

Bullet cameras have a very particular shape to them, and often tend to look like something akin to a tube of lipstick. They are arguably the most common form of CCTV camera out there, and leaves a clear, visible security system in place that should make an intruder think twice before entering.

Advantages

  • High range on the image, allowing for you to pick-up long distance perpetrators.
  • Weatherproof and usually comes with a strong cladding around the system.
  • Quick and easy to install, saving you time and money.
  • Suitable for use indoors and outdoors.

Disadvantages

  • Often limited in terms of the image quality that they can produce.
  • Lacks a sophisticated security platform, making hacking easier.

Who Should Use One?

If you are looking for a solid, all-purpose security system, go for a bullet CCTV installation. They are easy to get up and running, and tend to be far easier to control and use for you. For those who want a more robust and powerful security platform, though, you might find the lack of image sharpness, frame movement consistency, and anti-hacking support a bit of a letdown.

8. Infra Red CCTV Camera

When you need to make sure you can see every movement going outside, investing in an infra-red CCTV camera is the ideal solution to the issue. They tend to give you a very impressive solution for capturing movement during the night, picking up heat signals to ensure you can see anyone, or anything, moving along your premises as clear as day.

Advantages

  • Ideal for making up for a lack of visibility in conventional circumstances.
  • High quality design whilst being low profile, making them hard to spot.
  • Comes in both Dome and Bullet shapes, suitable for most homes.

Disadvantages

  • Sun glare could limit the opportunity to see during the day with this.
  • Limited angles for movement can be common with infrared systems.
  • More expensive to run and to manage the footage being recorded.

Who Should Use One?

If you live in a particularly cold location, or you have limited visibility, then infrared can be just what you are looking for. It helps you to illuminate movement of any person or animal moving around the perimeter of your property. While they tend to cost more than the average, they make up for it offering you a solid, robust, secure system that makes spotting movement in the dark or in poor visibility so much easier.

9. IP CCTV Camera

IP CCTV is the go-to choice for many professionals and home owners who want one of the best forms of security safety. With the help of IP CCTV, you are far more likely to get a camera that does the job you would have wanted – it’s crystal clear, accessible, and can be attached to numerous sensors.

Advantages

  • You can set up as many as four cameras in the one single setup.
  • Great for covering a large, wider area that allows for better security.
  • More affordable than they once were; no longer a massive cash drain.
  • Easier to install than some of the other options due to lack of cables.

Disadvantages

  • While affordable to run over time, they can be more expensive to buy at first.
  • Higher resolution imagery means paying for more storage space.
  • Can be a touch confusing to learn at first if you aren’t tech-savvy.

Who Should Use One?

If you are good with computing technology, then you should find that IP CCTV is the way to go. They tend to have quite confusing apps and interfaces, though, so if you are not particularly tech savvy then this should be avoided. IP CCTV offers the best system in general, but it’s going to be quite a learning curve: good for technologically minded homeowners and business owners.

10. PTZ CCTV Camera

PTZ CCTV has become very popular for many owners of businesses, particularly those in the industrial sector. Given that PTZs can have up to 36x zoom without distortion, they make a fine choice for pinpointing criminality. The challenge is working out if the system is the right choice for you from a financial and logistical perspective.

Advantages

  • Among the most robust and effective form of security system out there.
  • Utilizes high quality UIs to help you control the system with consummate ease.
  • High quality zooming allows for pinpoint accuracy when solving a dispute.
  • Can come with auto-tracking, which is brilliant for always catching the culprit.

Disadvantages

  • Can take some time and a lot of upfront cost to get installed if you go for PTZ.
  • Needs its own dedicated power source to deliver the best performance.
  • Can be confusing to try and run all of the PTZ cameras you have at once.
  • Requires learning to get used to zooming, adjusting, turning etc.

Who Should Use One?

From those who work within the shipping and industrial sector to home & business owners looking for elite security, PTZ is the ideal choice. If you are looking for a more simplistic and user-friendly option, though, you might find that PTZ is simply not the right choice for you.

Are there are any other types of CCTV camera that you feel we have missed out and should be included in the selection above? Let us know in the comments section below and we will be sure to add them. Of course, if you have any questions with regards to any of the varying CCTV camera types, let us know in the questions and answers section and we will be able to help you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Bradley Morrison

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