At least a few times a week we get a call that normally goes like this:
Customer: I love the cameras in daytime, but at night I can’t see anything at all.
Tech Support: Are you able to send a screenshot for me to take a look at?
Customer: Sure. *Sends photo*
Tech Support: It looks like there’s a bit too much of the wall in your frame. I’d recommend moving the camera to the left just a bit to get rid of the reflection from the wall.
Customer calls the next day to tell me that just getting the wall or other reflective surface out of frame cleared up their issue. I should mention that these calls aren’t ever a bother. We completely understand that this isn’t something that the majority of people would even consider to be the cause of an issue.
A majority of newer CCTV cameras use Smart-IR, or some variant. Essentially it’s an adaptive IR that will adjust the focus of the IR to either foreground or overall image. If you have someone walking up to an older camera in IR mode, there was a chance that the image could be blown out from the over-saturation of light. Smart-IR solves this by adapting the intensity depending on what’s in the frame of the camera, and where it is.
In our first example we have a fairly balanced image. There are a few things in the foreground that are a bit more reflective, but it’s not disrupting the image too much.
In this next image, I’ve inserted a piece of paper into the frame. You can see that it’s beginning to affect the image, and the way the camera is picking it up.
Here I’ve placed the paper even further in frame, and now the entire background is pitch black. Granted, this is really a bit of a silly demonstration. So let’s go to something more practical.
Here we have a camera mounted in a pretty normal position. There’s a bit of the wall in the frame, but nothing that’s really causing the image to be affected. Let’s move the camera a bit to the right and see how the image changes.
I do know that this is an extreme example, but this is exactly how reflective surfaces can affect your CCTV cameras in IR mode. Flooding the foreground with light, and basically removing the background.
As stated in a previous entry, it’s always good to plan your system layout before you start drilling and running cables. Consider where you’re mounting your cameras, and make sure that there aren’t going to be any obstacles you need to plan around. Gutters, soffits, light-colored walls, etc… If you have any of those in frame, adjust your camera and you’ll most likely be in good shape. If you’re still having issues, you’re always welcome to give us a call. If you’re in the market for some new security cameras with Smart-IR, we have a wide selection. Just let us know what your needs are.
What are IP or Ingress Protection Ratings for Security Cameras?
IP ratings for security cameras (as well as many other electronics) are used to define levels of Ingress Protection, or the level of effectiveness against intrusion from foreign bodies such as dust, water, moisture, tools and hardware. These ratings are based on IEC standard 60529, also referred to as International Protection Marking (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989). The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as ‘Waterproof’ or ‘Weatherproof’. This information is important when choosing a security camera for a specific application.
Considering environmental conditions and how they may affect the operation and longevity of a Security Camera can be an important part of planning any Security Camera installation. Although CCTV Cameras come in many form factors such as Bullet or Dome, etc. the protection ratings are meant to provide consistency over many variations. Both a Bullet camera and, for instance, a PTZ Camera can have the same IP Rating.
What do the numbers mean?
The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first number indicates the degree of protection of a camera or enclosure from foreign bodies. The second defines the protection level that the camera from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion, etc.). We have included a chart below that explains the significance and variation of each number. Together, the numbers define the Ingress Protection Rating for that camera.
As an example, a CCTV Camera that has a rating of IP67 would be Dust Proof (6) and able to be submerged for short periods of time (7). Most outdoor rated Security Cameras will fall under the following three ratings: IP65, IP66 and IP67, respectively. It is important to note here, that although a Security Camera may be rated as weatherproof, the cable connections are generally NOT weatherproof. Several methods are available for making sure your CCTV connections are protected from weather including dielectric grease, junction boxes or gang boxes, or running the cable inside of the wall away from the elements. The best technology is even better when coupled with the best practices.
If you have any questions about your CCTV Project, we are always happy to help. It is our privilege to help you plan your installation, and help you get the most out of your Security Cameras. Just call us toll-free at 877-880-7728!
There’s a gap in your coverage, and you’re not sure how to close it. The building you’re in is just a bit too far to get a clear image of the front of the parking lot from where you sit. You have a couple of choices at this point. You can just put up a normal camera and hope for the best, or you could get a variable focus camera, allowing you to get just that little bit closer and get the image you need. Understanding Specialty CCTV Cameras and Applications, and how to utilize them in your CCTV arsenal is one of the keys to a successful CCTV system. Let’s go over some of the more popular cameras and see what they have to offer.
1. The Variable Focus Camera (Vari-Focal)
Dome or Bullet Style Camera Options
Most widely available in 2.8 to 12mm focal lengths, so should fit most needs
Allows user to focus on what’s important in the image, and set themselves
Once the focal length is set, it’s set until the end of time. It’s not going anywhere.
Can be a little finicky when trying to set
May need a helper to get things focused properly, since it has to be done at the camera (Except for Motorized Zoom with UTC)
Cash Register Coverage
Long Driveways for Home Users
Anywhere that a tighter image is needed
There’s a reason I mentioned the Variable Focus or Vari-focal first. These are versatile cameras that will allow the end-user to get a nice, close image, without having to purchase an expensive box camera and lens. If you need to see an entry gate that is 70 feet away from the camera, the Vari-Focal Camera allows you to Zoom into that area and therefore use the highest resolution of the camera. With a standard fixed lens, your image may include the entry gate but also a significant area to the right and left of it. The gate will seem farther away and image quality of that area is greatly reduced. The Vari-Focal lens also gives the option to adjust the image if the user wants a wider angle in the future. Available in domes and bullets, they are easy to fit into any system configuration. You can also get a motorized zoom, Vari-focal camera, which cuts down on install time as they will auto focus the image for you. Just zoom in or out to the focal length you want and let it do it’s thing! The Camera will automatically get the perfectly focused image.
Mounting these cameras above or near a cash register is a really great way to keep track of employee movement when it comes to your business. With the current resolutions, you can even tell what denomination the bills are most of the time. Pictured is the STOIC, STH-B3271W Vari-Focal Bullet with 240 Feet of Night Vision.See it HERE!
Many have software that allows for de-warping of the image
Some have two-way audio
If you’re looking for detail, this may fall short. Panoramic Security Cameras are really meant for a good overview rather than being a pin-point solution. That’s really the only con for these, though.
Small or large stores
The Panoramic camera is relatively new in the CCTV industry. Being able to cover a large area with a single camera is great for people with a smaller budget but can be great in supplementing any existing system. In the case of a large warehouse, three of these cameras can cover the vast majority of the interior. Adding fixed cameras to that, you can have a 7 or 8 camera solution that will cover an entire warehouse efficiently and can save money in the process. These Cameras are also great for covering a four-way hallway. Mount the camera on the ceiling, in the center, and you can see in all four directions.
Covering a parking lot is similar. Mounted horizontally, the camera’s view is 180 degrees. This can easily cover 18 parking spots at a distance of only 30 feet, with just one camera. A single camera for overview supplemented with pin-point cameras would make for easy parking lot coverage. Not to mention inexpensive.
3. Starvis Low-Light Cameras
Ultra Low-Light images in color
Available in domes and bullets
Amazing for ambient lighting, like restaurants and bars.
Stays in color… it bears repeating
None, to be honest. Maybe I can come up with some nit-picky thing… Nope.
Anywhere that needs a color picture with a low-light environment
Perfect for bars, cafes, restaurants, pool halls, etc…
We’ve done a previous post on the Starvis Back-Illuminated sensor and a few of the cameras that use them. It’s one of the few camera sensors that we always show off in our live demos. The difference in light sensitivity is pretty dramatic, which is why it’s always on our list. The applications for this one are pretty endless.
(Image on the left is without Starvis, on the right with Starvis. Two similar cameras side by side, same lighting conditions)
It’s a great sensor to begin with, but adding the low-light ability just puts it on another level. Let’s say you run a bar or have a client with a dimly lit restaurant and you or your client would prefer not to have to look at a black and white image all the time. When there’s very little light and IR sensors come on, the image tends to get a bit blown out. It’s dark enough for the IR to kick on, but still too bright for the IR to really be effective. With a Starvis equipped security camera, you’ll get a great image without having it get blown out, and still be able to accurately describe an individual should the need arise.
Be everywhere all the time. Okay, not really… but you do have complete control of the camera. Pan, tilt, and zoom from the DVR.
Programmable sentry mode means that you can set your own waypoints for the PTZ to track.
Available with motion tracking
Usually a minimum of 18x optical zoom available, some are up to 36x
These cameras can get relatively expensive. Some even like cheap, used car expensive. Most aren’t, however, and will pay for themselves in the right application.
They’re a bit large, so make sure that you’re okay with people being able to see them. (Generally not a problem with commercial applications).
Can be a huge “Hit Me First” sign for vandals. Not a great idea to mount a PTZ at ground level.
Large areas that need wide, pin-point coverage.
Any application that demands on-the-fly control of a camera
Great for warehouses, malls, shopping centers, etc…
Usually for larger scale surveillance, but can be used for a home setting
Active surveillance such as panning and zooming in to a license plate, or face.
Simply put, the PTZ camera is a wonderful option for any setting which needs a wide range of options, and needs it to be variable at a moment’s notice. Not only that, but playing around with these cameras is just cool. It’s amazing to just pan around and zoom in on things. Sounds kind of dorky, but it’s true. That aside, they’re wonderful for large-scale surveillance. Shopping centers, warehouses, large properties, even home applications. Keep in mind that while these cameras are coming down in price, the feature-heavy models are still quite expensive. The higher end models are up into the 4k (resolution, not price) range. They’re also starting to develop features like crowd recognition, facial recognition, abandoned bag detection, etc… these are features that are available now, but aren’t really quite there enough for the mass market. A good, entry level PTZ will start a just a few hundred dollars and go up from there.
There are other specialty security camera types that are not on this list, but these are the most common and useful that we’ve found. If you have any questions about these cameras, or have a question about your specific security application, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!
How does the Manual Zoom Work on CCTV Cameras? It’s pretty straight forward but requires a bit of practice to get it just right! As you probably know, most Security Cameras are Fixed Lens cameras with no zoom features. It can help immensely in a CCTV Installation to have at least some cameras with a Vari-Focal Zoom or (Variable Focus) lens. There are both Manual Zoom, and Motorized Zoom Security cameras available but the Manual type will be covered here. Manual Zoom Security Cameras are cameras that have to be zoomed in and out, as well as focused manually, when installed. They are not designed to be used like a PTZ or Motorized Zoom camera. These cameras feature the option of what FOV or Field of View you will need for each camera. The picture then stays in that setting once installed. That way, you are not stuck with a fixed wide angle when you may need one of your cameras to zoom in to your entry gate, etc. We have included below, some best practices, suggestions and instructions for using Manual Zoom, Vari-Focal, CCTV Cameras.
Best Practice: If no hand held test monitor is available, try hooking up the Manual Zoom CCTV Camera to your Recording Device and/or CCTV Monitor BEFORE running the cable. You can also use a test cable if you have a spare or if you have already run the cable. This will allow you to play with the Zoom and Focus options on the camera and even get the camera pre-set for the angle and view you want (FOV) before mounting. Once the Security Camera is mounted and in place, it is much more difficult to get the fine adjustments, unless you have a Hand Held Test Monitor like the ones found here:
* Warning: Do not force the zoom or focus screws as they can break and you will not be able to adjust them at all. If they are hard to turn, they are probably at the end of their respective turning ranges.
Find the zoom and focus screws located on the bottom side of the camera. While watching the monitor, use your allen wrench to slowly turn the zoom adjustment. You will notice that the picture begins to zoom in or out (depending on which way you turn the screw). As it zooms, it will blur as the focus needs to be adjusted to the new zoom level.
Now take the ‘Focus’ screw and turn it slowly one way or the other until the picture is in focus again. This can be repeated until you get the image you desire.
The Zoom and Focus adjustments on CCTV Cameras are frequently slightly off from each other. In other words, if you zoom all the way back (as wide angle as possible) you may not be able to focus the camera. In this case, back off the angle a bit until you can fine focus. Your FOV (Field of View) will still be at the widest angle of the camera. This may also hold true for the narrowest FOV as well.
The Focus adjustment is extremely sensitive and only needs very slight adjustment when fine focusing. If you turn it too much you may miss the mark. It’s OK though, just turn back slightly.
It is always better to start with a focused camera, them zoom a little (in or out) focus, then zoom in or out a little more, fine focus, etc. Doing this incrementally will make it easier to find the focus.
There are a variety of Manual Zoom and Focus controls on CCTV Cameras but the general rules listed above, apply in almost all cases.
We hope this was helpful and informative. Please feel free to comment or contact us with additional questions. We are always ready to assist! Toll-Free 877-880-7728
We Love to Talk to People About Security Cameras!!
Dome style Security Cameras are a large segment of the CCTV, Surveillance Camera Market. Due to their flexibility and popularity,Vandal Proof Domes are a commonly used form factor. Although they are popular for good reason, there are also some issues and/or drawbacks that could affect performance, Image Quality and Night Vision Images. We will attempt to address some of the more common ones below.
Dome Camera too close to reflecting surface
Mounting an IR dome camera underneath an eave or overhang, without enough vertical clearance between the dome and the eave, may cause the IR LEDs to reflect off of the bottom of the eave and bounce back into the lens, ruining the shot. This same effect can be duplicated in a variety of mounting scenarios. Keep the angle of projection of the IR’s in mind when mounting your security camera. Bounce back from objects too close to the IR is extremely common.
Scratches on Dome Camera Outer Cover May be hard to detect
We performed many test’s with Vandal IR Dome Cameras to see how anything from minor scratches to more significantly visible ones impacted images during day and night. A variety of CCTV dome cameras were tested with light and heavy fingerprints, dust and dirt as well. To the eye, some of these issues were not very noticeable unless carefully inspecting the camera and could easily go overlooked in the field. Even slight smudges, dust, or scratches had significant negative impact on image quality at night with IR on, reducing details and blurring portions of the FOV (Field of View), even if these issues were not present during the day, or visible on the dome camera cover itself. Very little force was required to scratch the polycarbonate dome. Never let the dome cover dangle against the wall during installation. It may sound obvious, but is a problem that we run into too often.
Fingerprints on the inside or outside of Dome Cameras Cover
Again, these may be very difficult to actually detect but will cause significant issues. Fingerprints can get on the inside of the dome camera cover during installation just as easily as the outside. Make sure the inside of the dome cover is clean before re installing. After placement, angle of view and focus is set, a final cleaning should be done before closing the cover.
Placement of Black O-Ring around lens is not correctly seated or off center
When reinstalling the dome camera cover, make sure the O-Ring that surrounds the actual lens is placed so that it keeps any IR from bleeding through. This will cause a glaring effect on the image. The ring should be snug against the dome cover all the way around. This is the inner ring that surrounds the lens.
Dust or Dirt, etc, on Dome Camera Cover
Sounds like we are beating a dead horse but, dirt builds up on the dome cover but is barely visible to the naked eye. This may happen a little bit at a time. The image will still be great in the daytime but as soon as the IR’s kick on you will see a plethora of issues. Be careful cleaning the cover as well. Use a scratch free cloth or you will do more damage than good.
Shooting IR Camera through glass is not optimal
Rather than ‘Not Optimal’ we should probably say ‘Inoperable’. IR LED’s will bounce back when going through glass. IR Cameras that are observing an external (outside) area should be installed outside. Installing the camera indoors and shooting through a window will not work. Alternatively, we have seen people put IR Night Vision Security Cameras into housings with glass covers. Same principle applies. Do not do this.
Use a Scratch Free cloth to clean your CCTV Dome Camera
Cleaning your dome with a rough or dirty rag may do more harm than good. The poly dome cover will scratch easily and should be cleaned gently with the appropriate material. I think we may have already mentioned this but it is worth repeating.
Wrong Camera Selection
In many areas, a problem can be solved by switching to a Bullet style Security Camera. ‘Turret’ Style Dome Cameras are another option. Some areas are not optimal to the profile of a Dome style Security Camera. Check with your Dealer or Distributor for options. IR Dome Security Cameras are extremely popular due to ease of installation and rugged form but may not be the best choice for all CCTV Camera applications.
Whatever your questions or concerns, we are happy to help! Give us a call anytime! Toll Free 877-880-7728
Many of us have had that feeling. Getting a new CCTV system home, getting everything unpacked, going over the setup instructions, running cable… you get the idea. You get everything installed, get your security cameras set just right, and then you go to look at what you’ve accomplished. It looks stunning. And why wouldn’t it? You’ve worked so hard. You’ve taken every aspect into consideration. Fabulous.
But you’ve now asked your significant other to go walk around outside, so you can see some movement on your system. That’s half the fun, right? They go off on their walk and… you can’t see them for several minutes. What? Oh, there they are. Now they’re gone again…. No matter, though. Right? At least you’ve got all the entrances covered. Other than the side door they’ve just come in through. No matter. It’s okay.
That night, you take what seems like the 50th look at your gorgeous CCTV system, but this time… something’s wrong. These cameras are supposed to be great at night! WHAT GIVES?! You paid a lot of money for this security system, and it took just about all weekend (with help, by the way) to get the thing installed. Now you have four out of ten security cameras that look horrible at night. Why on earth are they so blown out and gross looking?
Here’s the thing. Many people who are doing they installs on their own don’t have a good plan going into it. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind if you decide to forgo having someone install your system for you.
Have a layout plan before you start running cables. Even before you start looking at CCTV systems, you should have a good plan as far as your surveillance layout. You need to know which areas of your property you want to cover, which are key areas, and also have a good idea of how to accomplish your goal. Why plan this before you look for systems? Well, maybe you have a need for more than just a box system. One instance that we’ve seen first-hand here at Ellipse Security is a client needed to keep a close eye on a dock that was about 100 yards from their house. A fixed camera wasn’t going to do this for them, so they needed a variable focus camera for this task. The same client had a need for longer range IR than normal kit cameras could provide. A STOiC variable focus camera, and a few long-range IR cameras came to the rescue. Added to their kit cameras, they made this system something that was perfect for their needs.
Honestly assess your needs. I really don’t know anyone who doesn’t want a fleet of PTZ cameras. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re one of those guys who gets to play around with the surveillance system for the city of London? This author can sincerely tell you that he would love to. That being said, not only would this be overkill for the majority of smaller systems, but having that many PTZ cameras is pretty cost prohibitive for most of us. There’s also the flip side of that coin. Everyone wants a deal. Again, we’re all in good company here. But the rock-bottom kit system may not be what your situation needs. We’re not saying that you need to spend thousands on a system for it to work for you. We literally work with just about any budget, and can tailor a system for your needs, but it needs to be seen as an investment, as well. Give us a call for a free consultation. It’s not just a slogan; we really do love talking to people about security cameras.
Now you have a good idea of the equipment you’ll need to cover the areas you need covered, you’ve picked the perfect system, gotten the layout perfect… but that camera just looks horrible at night. What?! Despite our best planning, we can’t escape physics. What do I mean by that? Well, during the day, cameras don’t have to deal with IR (infrared). It’s what makes seeing at night possible for CCTV cameras. It’s great, but also comes with a small drawback that needs to be planned for. That infrared light is going to reflect off of certain surfaces. Leaves, concrete, light colored walls, etc… Before you blame the camera, check to see if there’s any IR reflecting back into the camera off of any of the surfaces in your camera’s field of view. Debris, scratches or smudges on a Dome Style Security Camera are also a common culprit! Could be any of the above examples, so you may need to inspect and adjust your camera, or even trim some trees to eliminate this as an issue. Seems like kind of a pain, but we can assure you that the picture quality will drastically improve, so it’s well worth it. Try to include this in your planning and it will save you some trouble later in your install.
One last thing to consider is whether you’d like to be able to monitor your CCTV system when you’re away from home or the office. If so, we’d be happy to help with this. Pretty much all CCTV systems these days have an app for viewing remotely. This can really be a great asset for home or business owners. Setting up alerts for movement, motion detection, etc… One thing, however, is that you need to plan a good, secure password for your system. Yeah, “Password1” is really easy to remember, but it’s… not good. At all. Pretty much every default password from every major manufacturer is available online. Leaving the default password on your DVR or NVR is like leaving your door wide open, with your collection of Rolex watches just inside, and a sign out front saying “Come on in!”. Anyone can log into your CCTV system and see your cameras. Live. Or worse. Check out our previous post called “Security for your Security” for more information on passwords and why you need a good one.
Let me end by saying that this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are going to be issues that may crop up. You may have a camera in your line-up that just doesn’t work for you. You may not have thought about bullet vs dome cameras. Maybe you need more storage space for your recording device. These are all things that we can assist with. With just a few minutes of consultation, we can maximize every dollar you invest, and make sure you get what you need out of your CCTV System! Give us a chance to show you why we love talking to people about security cameras. As stated above, it’s not just a catchy slogan (especially for a tech nerd like myself).
We’ve all seen the numerous ‘Systems in a Box’ in all of the Big Box Stores like Sam’s Club and Home Depot, as well as the Large Consumer Electronics Shops such as Best Buy. While they seem like a great deal, there are several factors that any Business Owner should be aware of before purchasing one of these systems to protect their assets. For less than you would think, you could get a fully customized, better security camera system by calling Ellipse Security Distributors.
Every business operation is very different. When you factor in the number of employees, lighting conditions, management structure (on site, etc.) you have an incredibly diverse set of applications. By calling Ellipse Security before you decide on which system is best, you can insure that you know what options are available to help you run your business and still stay within the budget. We will customize a scalable security camera system that can grow with your business and still be in budget!
Here are the issues that will leave you feeling short changed with a Big Box Store System (BBS):
Limited Hard Drive (Storage) Space
With most security cameras offering higher and higher resolutions and megapixel images, recording space can be used up very quickly, leaving you with an inadequate amount of recording time. Most BBS systems come with 1TB or 2TB Hard Drives which is not sufficient especially when you are using 10-16 cameras, or your business is open for more than 10 hours a day.
One Size Fits All, Won’t Fit All
BBS Systems generally come with cameras that are all the same or very similar. The camera that you use over your cash register and the camera you use to cover your parking lot would normally be very different, right? Some business applications require longer night vision or audio surveillance. The Camera cable lengths are all generally 60 foot with BBS Systems. This can obviously be a drawback. Most Security Camera Systems for business require longer or custom length CCTV Cables.
No Support or Limited Support
Many of the systems sold in these Big Box Stores are lacking in technical support if they have any at all. Try calling the store? Nope, they know absolutely nothing about your system. Many of the tech support numbers have astronomically long hold times, that make you wait forever just for the privilege of speaking to someone who still does not understand your question.
Most of the BBS Systems focus on price point rather than quality. The failure rate of cameras on some of these systems can be down-right frustrating AND expensive if you are paying someone to install them. The Warranty may cover the camera, but certainly will not pay for having to take down the bad camera initially and then re-installing the replacement later on. That money you thought you saved? Poof! Gone.
Firmware Upgrades are Rare
The majority of these systems are not supported beyond the initial sale. There are no firmware upgrades or bug fixes, etc. With technology changing rapidly, you may get a system that was rushed to market and has a glitch. Sadly, there is almost never a fix for that with BBS Systems.
Possibly the most insidious issue on the list. A business owner who has made the mistake of buying a BBS system that has proprietary cameras will find out later there are no replacement cameras or cables available for their system, or, if available, they are extremely expensive. We have had many people call us searching for the non-existent replacement camera for a proprietary system that is no longer supported. Look for a Security Camera System that is NOT proprietary.
If there are (8) Dome Cameras and (8) 60 Foot cables in the box, that is what you will pay for. Even if you need (6) Domes (2) Bullets and (4) 150 foot cables. They are a Big Box Store, its about moving SKU’s., not about service. If you purchase from a company like Ellipse Security, you can get exactly what you need. Mix and match, switch out cables, we’re on it!
At Ellipse Security, we can customize a reliable, scalable system that works for you. By investing just a bit more, we can save you money and headaches in the future, as well as providing a system that works for YOUR Business. You can also talk to us about applications that many people don’t think of such as: Employee Training, Vendor Theft, Customer Service and more! For more information about what CCTV Cameras can do for your business, see our article: Why CCTV Cameras?
With advances in CCTV technology, there come some challenges. If you purchased a home or business system more than a couple of years ago, you may have to consider compatibility when thinking about an upgrade. This may seem daunting, but in fact, might be a little easier than you think. Many of the security DVRs that we offer are actually backwards compatible, for the most part. This may not be the case if you’re using an older CAT5 system (don’t worry, there’s a solution for this as well!), but if your aging system uses BNC cable, we’ve got you covered! STOiC, TruView, Watchman, and Samsung are compatible with your existing cameras. So, what does this mean for the consumer? In a word, choice. In a few more words, choice, and an affordable way to upgrade your system in stages. You’re able to upgrade your DVR now, keeping your existing cameras, and over time upgrade cameras to get the full potential out of your CCTV system.
Something else to keep in mind is that if you’re using a system that is utilizing BNC cables, you won’t have to run new cable. This can keep costs way down, and turn it from a job needing a contrator, to something that can be done by many people on their own.
So, what about those who aren’t ready to upgrade their whole system? Yep, there’s a solution there, too! We offer one of the few security cameras on the market that is specifically designed to be a replacement for older SD Analog systems. Not only that, with its 4-in-1 capability, it’ll upgrade with you when you’re ready. The STH-B7300W is a wonderfully rounded camera. Capable of 720p in AHD, TVI, and CVI, as well as CVBS (SD Analog), this can replace everything from Samsung’s SDC-5340 and SDC-7340, to Night Owl, LOREX, and even Samsung’s SDC-8440. What’s better than that? Well… STOiC’s two-year warranty is pretty great, too.
Well… given my long-winded introduction, let’s get to the whole point of this entry. Below I’ve compiled a small compatibility chart. This will be updated from time to time, so check back periodically. One more bit of information for you to think about: the STOiC cameras that we offer are compatible with most systems. Not just the STH-B7300W, but all of our STOiC cameras. When you order, just let us know which system you have (or, using the handy chart below, just let us know which video type your DVR uses). We’ll take care of the rest for you!
DVR COMPATIBILITY CHART
STOiC – AHD+
TruView – TVI (5MP DVRs will support TVI, as well as AHD up to 1080p; 2MP DVRs will support TVI, as well as AHD up to 720p)
Watchman – AHD
Samsung – AHD
LOREX – CVI
Swan – TVI (Proprietary)
Q-See – TVI
Annke – AHD
Nightowl – AHD
Bolide – AHD
Speco – TVI
Super Circuits – TVI
Now, let me finish by saying that if you have any CCTV needs that need to be addressed, just let us know. We offer free consultations on system building, free technical support for any product purchased through us, AND you’re able to talk to a real person. If you’re an integrator or installer, we’d LOVE to hear from you. Give us an opportunity to show you why we love talking to people about security cameras!
Why do all these security cameras look so different? Of course there are different types of security cameras for different types of applications. Generally, some form factors are better in certain areas although sometimes it is just customer preference on which CCTV Camera is chosen. Aesthetics can come into play in offices, residential homes and Public Spaces but performance will usually take precedence when it comes right down to it. Certain features work better on certain types of cameras, such as night vision on Bullet Style CCTV Cameras. Below, we attempt to give you an overall general understanding of the common form factors available in Security Cameras.
Bullet: Bullet Style Cameras are used in many Outdoor applications. These Security Cameras allow for more significant IR illumination due to their form factor. They are easy to mount just about anywhere with the assistance of the swivel brackets and can be mounted from the top or bottom. Most Cameras sold by Ellipse include a “through-the-cable” bracket that allows the cable to disappear into the wall so it cannot be cut by vandals or thieves. Bullet Cameras are the second most popular next to Domes and have an extremely large variety of forms for almost any application. Great for Home, Commercial, Warehouses, Gas Stations, Parking Lots, Farms, and more!
Bullet Style Cameras can come in a variety of designs.
Dome: Security Dome Style cameras come in a variety of shapes and forms and can be used indoors or outdoors as well. Domes are generally a better choice for indoor applications due to their form factor. It is generally more difficult to get long IR (night vision) ranges from dome cameras so if you need to see far away in the dark you should look for a great IR Bullet Camera. However, Security Dome cameras are the most deployed Security Camera Style. Dome Cameras can be Vandal Resistant and also ‘Turret Style’ Domes are very popular for the ease at which they can be installed. Dome Cameras are great for Offices, Homes, Indoor, Small Rooms, Low Ceilings, Schools, Colleges, Hallways, Gas Stations, Warehouses and MORE!
Vandal Dome Security Camera
‘Turret’ Style Dome, also referred to as an ‘Eyeball’ Dome Camera
PTZ: PTZ stands for PAN, TILT, ZOOM. These cameras are great for live monitoring and can be moved automatically through DVR or NVR protocols (Like RS485 or Pelco-D). This allows covering a large area when using the PTZ and live viewing. PTZ style cameras are great for Commercial, Large Buildings, Casinos, Poker Rooms, Parking Lots, Large wide areas, and more!
‘PTZ’ Style Security Camera
Covert: Covert cameras come in an almost endless variety of forms. Covert cameras are designed for inconspicuous, ‘spy’ or covert surveillance. They can be extremely small like the STH-CPBC Color Pinhole Board camera or disguised as something else like the STOiC STH-CWPC which looks like a wall electrical plate. These cameras can be hard wired or wireless and even contain tiny DVR’s. These ‘Self Contained’ DVR Cameras are also referred to as Spy or Nanny Cameras.
Covert Camera inside a Smoke Detector
Covert Camera behind a Wall Plate Blank
Wireless: Wireless or WIFI Cameras are a growing segment of the DIY and residential market. Of course, there are several applications for Wireless or Wifi Security Cameras as you might imagine. Wireless technology is getting better and better in both the residential and commercial markets. Wireless Security Cameras are convenient and easily installed. However, they are not nearly as reliable as Hard Wired cameras due to signal issues such as strength and interference. However, sometimes they are a necessity. In general, wireless cameras are used in residential applications out of convenience and in Commercial Applications out of necessity. When considering Wireless Security Cameras, it may be best to consult an expert. Some ‘Wireless Systems’ have wireless video but the cameras still need power. Completely wireless systems employ current battery technology to power the cameras wirelessly as well. Although this makes installation as easy as climbing a ladder, there are many drawbacks. Batteries cannot provide enough power for significant night vision. Also, batteries will need to be changed when they lose their charge (which, of course requires a trip back up that ladder).
Wireless Security Camera
Fully Wireless Battery Operated Camera
For larger commercial applications, and certain industrial installations, there are also Explosion Protected Cameras, Thermal Cameras and many others.
Certainly these Security Camera types can be broken down even further, but this should give you a general idea about which way to go. Of course, you can mix and match many cameras on the same system as long as they are all compatible technology. For our Technology Compatibility Guide: Click Here.
Still not sure which camera or system is best for you? Call Us!