From gas station to traffic cams, surveillance cameras are everywhere. Although capabilities vary from device to device, most security cameras, in general, allow you to monitor what’s going on through live-streamed or recorded video.
Additional smart features include motion-sensing alarms, notification dispatch (to a remote mobile device), two-way audio, and a few more intricate things.
I have seen a lot of cameras in the last few years including the likes of the WiFi IP cameras and the traditional analog cameras, and I think I know what is important to look out for. For example,
One of the first things that matters about a surveillance camera is its design. It should have a sleek, intricate, and attractive body for a corporate workplace, but at the same time, it should not stand out too much and make itself noticeable to the crowd.
Similarly, there are a lot more features to look out for while shopping for an office surveillance camera. Read on to know more.
#1. Low-light Surveillance
The lower the cam’s lux rating, the better it is for low light surveillance.
For total darkness surveillance, look for a WiFi IP camera with 0 lux rating. On the other hand, 0.01 to 0.001 lux should be enough for starlight surveillance.
#2. Motion and Audio Sensing
The importance of motion sensing in surveillance cameras cannot be well-stressed enough, especially if you want to record any suspicious activity in your workplace.
Rather than recording 24 hours a day, which can rapidly fill up your cloud or local storage drive, with the aid of the motion-sensing technology, you may pause your recording until something moves in your camera frame.
You may also choose to receive notifications on your computer or mobile device if something moves when it’s not expected to.
Contrary to motion sensing, audio sensing is considered more efficient because of the uncertainties associated with the motion-sensing technology (for e.g., even the harmless movements of a rat can trigger the alarm and ruin the purpose).
Audio sensing cameras can alert you with prompt notifications or video recording whenever audio (beyond a certain level of Decibel) is detected in the area around the cameras.
It may be difficult for you to route an outdoor ptz camera with hdmi output to its desired location depending on the length and the number of wires coming with it. Even wireless cams can create issues because they still require power; don’t they?
I would, therefore, advise you to go for the ones requiring as little wiring as possible.
Remember, pulling a single wire is always easier than pulling two. So plan accordingly.
#4. Field of View
The viewing angle (or the field of view) of a security camera is an important factor to consider when purchasing and installing surveillance cameras. The field of view can determine where you locate the cameras and exactly how much they can see at one, and the same time.
A surveillance camera with a narrow field of vision will capture less, but can also offer a greater detail of imagery compared to most other cameras lying in the same bracket. A wider viewing angle, on the other hand, will make the camera appear further away allowing you see more without having to rotate or reposition the camera.
Do you want the camera to get noticed or to go unnoticed?
Remember, sometimes, a camera that’s easy for people to see can be an absolute deterrent to your office security. Hence, it is advisable to go for a stealthier design to be covert in your surveillance tactics for good.
One of the most important features of a surveillance camera is the quality of its images.
For years, surveillance cameras lagged miles behind the recording resolutions found on conventional video cameras, producing poor, pixelated videos having a slow refresh rate. But now, this has gone through a complete revolution.
Most modern surveillance cams offer a minimum of 720p resolution. Some even go as high as 1080p producing crystal clear footage in low light. So always take this factor into consideration while going for a surveillance camera purchase.
#7. Resistance to water
Some security cameras are better than others at handling the rain. If you think your camera’s going to be exposed fully to the elements of nature, go for a camera with a waterproof rating of 65 at the very least.
Such cameras are better resistant to water and can handle the situation effectively well in comparison to the rest.
Going For The Perfect Placement: Where Should You Place Your Surveillance Camera?
One of the fundamental things to consider when choosing your surveillance camera is to plan how and where you are going to place your camera.
Do you plan to hide your security camera from plain view? Are you going wireless or wired for your surveillance? You need to answer these questions first. The following tips may also come in handy for your purpose:
- If you are taking the “covert” route, think of the things you can do to camouflage your camera.
You can also go for a mobile camera so it can be hidden well among other objects when the situation calls for the most.
- If you plan to go down the wired route, you should remember that you will need a direct access to a power supply; something capable of having a major impact on your placement options. Wireless cams, on the other hand, provide more flexibility.
- The size of the camera is a prominent factor for evaluation of security camera features. Smaller cameras are easier to hide while larger cameras (packed with advanced features) are increasingly noticeable to the public. Choose carefully.
A Final Word: How Much Should You Pay?
The factor of cost is entirely dependent on your video requirements and budget.
You will have plenty of low-end surveillance options in the market tailor-made for an economical budget. You may also go for those advanced versions acquiring all the security features that you can possibly get, but this would cost you.
Hence, I would advise you to do a thorough research, investigate reviews on Amazon and eBay, and then take the leap of faith on a security camera. After all, no pain, no gain.