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The Different Types & Styles Of Security Cameras

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The Different Types And Styles Of Security Cameras

As discussed before, there are two main categories of security cameras: Analog and IP. They both can look the same, but the two differ in functionality (i.e., how they operate and transmit data). The different form factors that these cameras come in are typically the following: dome, bullet, box, vandal proof dome, and PTZ. Below we briefly describe each type, but keep in mind that each can be available as either Analog or IP. [To briefly recap, an Analog camera has to be physically connected to a DVR via a coaxial cable, whereas IP uses TCP/IP and Ethernet protocols; you can technically have these IP cameras connected to a network via Ethernet cable OR via wireless.]


Dome Camera





These are some of the most common types of cameras. You see them often in grocery stores and convenience stores. With this camera, for physical installation, all you need to do is screw it on wall, aim it in the direction of the area that you want to monitor, then screw the dome cap on. The reason why this type of camera is popular is because that, once installed, it can’t be tampered with; thieves can’t move the camera since the dome effectively protects it.


Bullet Camera

This camera is the second most common type of security camera seen in stores and businesses. It has a cigar like shape and is typically connected to a mounting frame. The physical installation for this type of camera is easy: just screw the mount on the wall and adjust the camera to the area you want to monitor. The only issue with this camera is that, since it has no dome for protection, it can be physically tampered with (i.e., moved by a burglar so the camera is no longer focusing on the area of interest that you intended).

Bullet cameras come in two different forms depending on the application: indoor or outdoor. Indoor bullet cameras are plain bullet cameras, but outdoor bullet cameras have a stronger outer build for weather protection (i.e. weather proof housing) as well as IR lights to see in low light conditions such as during the night.


Box Camera

These types of cameras are the least common. They are, as the name implies, box shaped. The most important thing to remember with this type of camera is that when you purchase a box camera, all you get is the box with the camera infrastructure; YOU DO NOT GET THE LENS OR THE MOUNT. The lens and camera mount must be purchased separately. The upside to this of course is that you can customize your camera to the specifications you desire (i.e. you can choose what type of lens you would like for your camera).


Vandal Proof Dome Camer

As the name implies, these cameras are monsters. They are made to withstand any and all kind of tampering. They are a step up from the normal dome cameras described above. These cameras are typically made with a hardened aluminum frame and a plexiglass dome. Having said this, it is crucial to remember that for this camera to be truly effective, it must be mounted properly. If it isn’t mounted properly, and if someone takes a bat to the camera, the camera itself won’t be physically damaged, but it could dismount from the wall and fall. So… mount this camera well and properly! 


PTZ Camera

While they aren’t the most common, PTZ cameras are the most popular in terms of what people initially think of when they hear “security camera”. They look like dome cameras, but the PTZ stands for “Pan” (left or right), “Tilt” (up or down), and “Zoom” (in or out), meaning that the camera can be controlled to pan, tilt, or zoom after installation. It is most often employed in the movies when there is a security camera scene where you see the screen/camera monitor zooming in and panning etc.

A word of warning with these cameras: IP PTZ cameras are great to use, but the Analog version is horrible. The reason for this is that, with Analog PTZ’s, in addition to a power and coax cable, you need controller cables. Controller wires control the cameras PTZ function. Because it uses a controller wire, it needs a protocol to communicate with the DVR. Thus, you need to ensure that the PTZ controller protocol MATCHES the protocol on your DVR. This is a tricky process, and for it is for this reason that, if you are interested in a PTZ camera, we only recommend the IP version, and strongly advise against the Analog version. By the way, the reason the IP version is ok is because they don’t require controller wires. All controls can be configured via the NVR.


Take Charge Security offers a wide variety of security camera styles. To browse and get familiar with what we offer, simply visit our surveillance system package collection. As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Yours in Security,

Dave & Mike

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