If you’ve ever opened a catalog of surveillance cameras with dozens of options, illustrations, and technical specifications, you may have been tempted to shut it down and leave the decision to purchase your security system for another day.

The wide range of security camera systems on the market can be frustrating, making it difficult to decide which system would best suit your home or business. We’ve simplified some of the basics of surveillance cameras to shed light on ten factors to consider before investing in a security camera system.

1. Cheap is Expensive

Try to buy the best security camera systems that your budget allows. It will always be wiser to invest in a scalable and good quality system that allows you to add more cameras later. Not to mention that you may lose the recorded video of some important event.

2. Check the Warranty

Some small retailers selling generic cameras can only offer a one-month warranty at best, so you could lose your investment if the camera fails after that period. A reputable security company will sell only high-quality surveillance cameras with a minimum one year warranty and offer professional installation service as well as excellent pre and post-sales advice

3. Familiarize Yourself with the Basic Capabilities of the Camera

When choosing security camera systems, it is important to take into account the size of the lens (in millimeters), the angle of view (in degrees), the memory for data storage, and the intelligent detection functions. For every millimeter of lens size, the rule is that this is the distance in meters that the camera will be able to see your subject (focal length). The gradation in millimeters (mm) will determine the field of view and shorten the focal length as the angle widens.

For example, a lens with a viewing angle of 4 mm or 60 degrees will effectively identify a human target at a distance of up to 4 meters. Still, it will not have enough horizontal apertures to see what is happening across the scene. As the specification in millimetres (mm) of the lens increases, the field of view to the left and right will decrease, while the range in which objects or people can be identified will increase.

4. Decide If You Want Wired or Wireless Cameras

Wired security camera systems offer a wide variety of cameras and, more importantly, higher video quality than wireless cameras. Wireless cameras are somewhat misleading in that they need to be connected to power at the same location where the camera is located. They also need an unobstructed line of sight, which can sometimes be inconvenient.

5. Reliability and Video Quality are the Main Reasons Why We Recommend Choosing a Wired Camera

Wired cameras connect to power at the location where the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is located using only one cable (Siamese RG-59 Video / Power Coax), which runs from the DVR to each camera. You can install cameras up to a distance of almost 250m (800ft) using this particular type of cable. If you need to extend it more than 250m (800ft), you should use a CAT5 cable with a balun and/or amplifier.

  • If you use wired cameras, you will be guaranteed a useful life and a much higher quality.
  • Obstacles are not a problem for wired cameras. With this in mind, occasionally you may come across an odd location that does or does not need a wireless camera. In this case, you can plug the transmitter into the back of the DVR.

Always choose high-resolution cameras that you know will have a higher quality than many other cameras on the market. Cameras with 480 lines or more (high resolution compared to a normal resolution that 380 or 420 line cameras have) are good value for money. Also, there are now super high-resolution cameras, which have more than 500 lines of resolution.