When it comes to securing your house or business, there are many different types of CCTV security cameras to choose from. There is a range of CCTV security camera types on the market that suit different situations or premises and that selecting the proper camera for the right application is really crucial.
Each type of CCTV camera has a certain purpose with its pros and cons. Which camera should you choose to watch your kids, your pets, your nanny, or your family?
What’s the best type of CCTV security camera for outdoor and indoor installation? In this article, we will talk about different types of CCTV security cameras, their features, their perks, and which one is more suitable for your CCTV project.
The CCTV cameras listed in this article can be network IP cameras or HD analog cameras. These are different technologies and don’t necessarily constitute different types of CCTV cameras.
A type of CCTV security camera is more related to its shape, purpose, and capacity. When we say bullet camera, it can be an IP camera, analog camera, or HD analog camera.
The types of CCTV security cameras
- Dome CCTV security camera
- Bullet CCTV security camera
- PTZ Pan Tilt & Zoom CCTV security camera
- C-Mount CCTV security camera
- Day/Night CCTV security camera
- Dark Fighter Night CCTV security camera
- Wireless CCTV security camera
- Spy CCTV security camera
- Thermal Image CCTV security camera
1. Dome CCTV security camera
A dome CCTV security camera gets its name from the dome-shaped casing that the camera sits in. The shape of the camera makes it difficult for onlookers to tell which way the camera is facing, which is a strong piece of design, deterring criminals by creating an air of uncertainty. They’ll look at the camera and they can’t be sure which way the camera is pointing.
Typically the dome-style security cameras are mounted on ceilings, thus making them an indoor camera, but they can be used outside if needed and mounted on a wall.
Most of the dome cameras are weatherproof, have night vision and motion sensing technology. These types of cameras tend to be more resilient toward tampering and vandalism.
Main benefits of dome CCTV cameras:
- Easy to install and fit
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- 360-degree rotation of the camera so you point in any direction
- Resilient toward tampering and vandalism
- People can’t tell which way the camera is pointing at
Dome CCTV security cameras are recommended to be used in stores, shops, restaurants, hotels, factories, building halls, inside houses because the design makes the camera less intrusive and offers wider viewing angles. Many installers also consider this camera the best option for indoor installations.
2. Bullet CCTV security camera
Bullet CCTV cameras have a long cylindrical shape, giving them their name and a distinctive look. This look is recognizable to nearly everyone and thus acts as a deterrent to unwanted individuals.
If security cameras are visible, the hope is criminals and intruders go elsewhere instead. This comes with a downside, bullet cameras are more prone to vandalism because of their obvious look.
Installed within protective casings, the bullet CCTV cameras are shielded against dust, dirt, and other natural elements. The cameras can easily be mounted with a mounting bracket, and come fitted with either fixed or varifocal lenses depending on the requirements of their intended application.
Main benefits of bullet CCTV cameras:
- Highly visible means it acts as a deterrent
- More resistant against elements (rain, dust)
- Compact size aids installation
Bullet CCTV security cameras are usually used in any outdoor installation (factories, manufacturing industries, buildings, etc). These styles of cameras not only record high-quality pictures but also send out a clear message that the premises are under surveillance. That’s why they have traditionally been the best CCTV option for outdoor monitoring.
3. PTZ Pan Tilt & Zoom CCTV security camera
PTZ cameras, short for pan-tilt-zoom, allow the camera to be moved left or right (panning), up and down (tilting), and even allow the lens to be zoomed closer or farther. The advantage of PTZ cameras is that only one is necessary to monitor a certain space, as opposed to several individual fixed cameras.
The PTZ CCTV cameras come with preset capabilities so that a user can easily aim the camera towards whatever location they would like, as well as zoom in and out.
These cameras are better used in situations where a surveillance specialist is there operating the security systems.
Main benefits of PTZ cameras:
- Optical zoom, usually 25x up to 36x
- Pan and tilt feature provides 360-degree field of vision
- Long-distance IR vision
- Surveillance teams can react to live situations
These PTZ CCTV security cameras are very popular in large retail environments and are regarded as the best solution for business premises that employ live monitoring guards. Even without staff, the camera can be programmed to cover a much larger area and do the same job as several static cameras.
4. C-Mount CCTV security camera
C-Mount CCTV cameras can use detachable lenses to suit different purposes. Typically, a regular CCTV camera can see up to 35 feet, however, if you need surveillance beyond this distance, a C-Mount camera with a special lens can see in a long distance.
C-Mount cameras are typically bulky so, like bullet cameras, act as a visible deterrent to criminal activity.
Main benefits of C-Mount CCTV cameras:
- Special lenses can be fitted to the camera to extend its range beyond 40 feet
- A highly visible appearance that deters criminals
- Rugged camera casing can be added to protect the camera in cold environments
- Weatherproof housing makes it ideal for outdoor use
5. Day/Night CCTV security camera
Capable of operating in both normal and poorly lit environments, these cameras benefit from not requiring built-in infrared illuminators as they can capture clear video images in the dark thanks to their extra sensitive imaging chips.
For this reason, these cameras are ideal for outdoor surveillance applications in which regular IR cameras are unable to function optimally.
Main benefits of Day/Night CCTV cameras:
- Clear recording in low light conditions
- Record in both color and black & white
- They function properly despite direct sunlight, reflections, and poor lighting
- Well protected against the elements
6. Dark Fighter Night CCTV security camera
As the name suggests, these CCTV cameras are designed to operate optimally in pitch black conditions. They achieve this by using infrared technology and a powerful built-in algorithm.
These special night vision cameras are equipped with ½ inch CMOS progressive scan sensors which allow the device to pick up high-quality images and don’t require an extra light source – which makes the perfect nighttime security surveillance camera.
Main benefits Dark Fighter Night CCTV cameras:
- Can be used pitch-black environments
- True cut filter that provides clear images in the daytime and nighttime
- Smart features: line crossing, audio, and face detection
- Can capture images even in the presence of fog, dust or smoke
7. Wireless CCTV security camera
Wireless CCTV cameras were created to minimize installation time and to install the camera in places where running a wire is difficult (the camera still needs to be powered through). They connect wireless to the network and you can record the footage on NVRs or local computers. These cameras come in various shapes: bullet, dome, mini dome, etc.
Main benefits of Wireless CCTV cameras:
- Easier to install than a regular camera
- Looks tidier
- Their discreet appearance helps them to blend into the interior
8. Spy CCTV security camera
These types of cameras allow for discreet placement which means you can capture good footage of theft and criminal damage. Often they’re all spy cameras and come in small sizes which makes them easier to hide and blend in the interior. Check a few suggestions for spy cameras in this article.
While regular CCTV cameras are a great deterrent for the outside of your home, you may need spy hidden cameras inside your home to capture the identities of intruders should the worst happen.
Strategically, installing hidden cameras outside your home to cover the visible security cameras is also a great idea in case intruders try to attack the regular outdoor CCTV cameras. Note that these spy and hidden camera recommendations are not for illegal or unethical purposes.
Main benefits of Spy CCTV cameras:
- Easy to hide
- Can be disguised in various objects
- Effective for indoor use
9. Thermal Image CCTV security camera
Designed for everyday use, in the toughest industrial environments, these cameras come with infrared sensors to help you monitor the well-being of your employees. Thermal image cameras can see over long distances, up to 300 meters away.
Main benefits of Thermal CCTV cameras:
- Measures body temperature
- Good in low-light
- Thermal radiation passes through visual barriers
What to look for in a CCTV security camera?
Deciding which surveillance cameras will work best in a particular environment is easiest when the advantages and disadvantages of each camera are known. When comparing camera types and prices, keep the following these three factors in mind.
Image clarity and quality. Your cameras need to produce clear images. Cheaper options might be the right choice if high-resolution footage isn’t an important factor for a user. Similarly, if clarity is necessary, many cameras are fitted with HD capabilities and night vision.
Field of vision. The area being monitored will likely be one of the easiest ways to determine which camera will best suit that environment. A narrow or wide field of vision is one of the first questions a user should consider. Usually, installers go for wide-angle cameras so they can cover more space.
Usage. Will the camera be used indoors or outdoors? Should it act as a visual deterrent or be discreet? What are the needed capabilities due to the area’s light conditions? Will it be exposed to the elements?