When it comes to protecting your business, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras can go a long way towards deterring theft and vandalism and helping you catch criminals who steal your assets or deface your property. This is true for several types of businesses including retail stores, office buildings and multifamily residential structures such as apartment buildings.
With so many options available, however, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs. While it’s best to have an expert help you find equipment that fits your requirements, here are three basic features you should look for in CCTV cameras.
1. High Resolution
Why is high resolution a key security camera feature? Your cameras’ resolution can mean the difference between grainy, blurry footage that obscures important events and distinct, high-quality images that let you clearly identify people in a scene. It’s a good idea to buy cameras with the highest resolution you can afford.
However, the resolution you should aim for will differ depending on whether you’re purchasing analog or digital devices. Analog cameras send their signals to a DVR, which converts them into digital images. The resolution range for an analog camera is between 450TVL (TV lines) to 700TVL (or up to 960H by 480W pixels).
You also need to take your DVR’s maximum resolution into consideration when purchasing this type of camera. The DVR will only digitize the images at its maximum resolution. Even though you may have a 700TVL camera, you’ll still end up with low-resolution images if your DVR can only record at 500TVL, for example. To get the highest quality picture, make sure your DVR is also high-resolution.
Digital cameras, on the other hand, format images within the camera itself and sends the data to the recording device. Technically, digital cameras don’t have an upper limit on their resolution. Rather, you’ll need to match the resolution to the amount of storage space available on your recording media.
Higher digital resolutions require more storage space. For example, if you want to record video at 1080p, digital storage device manufacturer San Disk recommends 128GB of storage space to hold between 640 and 1,920 minutes of video. It’s a good idea to sample different resolutions for digital cameras to find one that provides the most clarity for the least amount of storage space.
2. Day and Night Recording
If you will be recording on a 24-hour cycle, you should invest in cameras that can capture images during low-light situations. These cameras typically have built-in night vision or infrared lighting that provides the contrast the device needs to pick up clear images when it’s dark in the areas being recorded.
You have two options when purchasing CCTV cameras in this category. One is a standard daytime camera with a night setting that switches the recordings from color to black and white, which helps it record in low-light settings. These cameras are best used in areas where there will still be a small amount of light, such as from a nightlight, the moon or a motion-sensor light that comes on whenever movement is detected.
For areas that will be in complete darkness, it’s best to go with a camera that has infrared light. This light is typically installed inside the device and provides enough ambient illumination for the camera to pick up images.
3. Remote Access
A third feature you should look for in a camera is one that can be accessed remotely. In today’s app-riddled world, this typically means installing an app on your phone or tablet and controlling the camera and accessing video over a wireless connection. However, there are some cameras that let you view the video feed using a special website.
Regardless of how you connect to your CCTV cameras, having remote control over them lets you easily check in on your business whenever you want without putting yourself in harm’s way. It is particularly helpful when you travel or simply want to make sure employees are not goofing off whenever you leave the premises.
So, what type of camera should you purchase? Where should you place these cameras? What other issues should I be concerned about while increasing security for my company? At Integrated Access Security, we can help you choose the right solution for your security needs. Whether that be CCTV cameras, access control solutions or smart card readers. We are ready to assist you.