Hot Tips for Buying CCTV Dome Cameras

Dome cameras have become the most popular security camera type for securing both the home and business.  Their ease of mounting, aesthetically pleasing looks, and total flexibility have made them the go to camera type in the surveillance industry.  The surveillance market place is drowned in all types of dome cameras that are manufactured all over the world.  Some dome cameras are made by huge name manufacturers in the CCTV industry, while some are no-name no-brand cheap knock offs  that are made specifically for the low price market.   For many consumers it may be a huge challenge to buy the right dome cameras for their application.  But if you know how to dig through the marketing, and you understand the things that are most important, choosing the right dome camera for your needs can be a simple task.

Here are some simple tips that can make buying dome cameras easy, while ensuring your surveillance application is a complete success:

•    Indoor or Outdoor Dome Cameras?
Dome cameras are manufactured for both indoor and outdoor applications.  An indoor dome camera will have a simple plastic housing, where an outdoor dome camera will have both a vandal proof and weatherproof outer housing.  The housing of an outdoor dome camera will ensure the camera is 100% protected from not only the weather, but also possible vandalism.  It is important to choose the camera that supports the environment it is installed in.  Many business owners will also install outdoor dome cameras inside their business.  This is very popular in businesses like movie theaters, restaurants, bars, night clubs, banks, and any other businesses where there is a huge amount of public traffic.

•    Varifocal or Fixed Lens Dome Cameras?
When choosing a dome camera you have an option to buy one with a Varifocal or Fixed Lens.  A fixed lens is a lens type that is fixed in place to a wide angled view.   There is no adjusting a fixed lens, what you see when you power the camera on is what you get.  A Varifocal lens come with a small dial on the lens, this dial allows you to adjust the focal length of the lens to best support the area you are trying to secure.   A Varifocal lens gives you much more flexibility when it comes to dialing in the cameras view, but a Varifocal lens does come with a cost.  Most Varifocal lens dome cameras are about 20% more expensive than their fixed lens counterpart.   Most professional installers will use a combination of both fixed and Varifocal lens cameras in an installation.  The fixed lens dome cameras are perfect for smaller areas, where the Varifocal type are better for securing areas that are wider and/or deeper in distance.

•    Non-Infrared or Infrared LED Dome Cameras?
Infrared LED’s are really the most popular feature on dome cameras.   Infrared LED’s are small lights surrounding the camera lens that assist the camera in seeing perfectly in total darkness.   The infrared LED’s are autosensing, which means that they autosense the amount of light in an area and activate when the camera senses there is not enough light in an area to adequately function.   Dome cameras are available with and without infrared LED’s, so you need to evaluate the amount of light you have in the area you are trying to secure, and choose the right camera to support the area.  Infrared dome cameras are popular in almost all outdoor installations.   Regardless of if you have light in an area or not, it may be safe to always have infrared LED’s just in case.

•    Does warranty and brand matter when buying dome cameras?
Most people view installing a security camera system as an investment.  If this is the case for you then the brand and warranty may be important to you.  Most brand named dome cameras will offer the strongest warranties.  Remember these are electronics and they do fail.  So having a brand name product that offers a strong warranty may be way to protect your investment.  Some camera manufacturers will warranty their security cameras up to 5 years, which may be something you value.  Your budget will surely drive the camera types you buy, most of the name brand camera on the market that offer the best warranties are a little more expensive, but like anything else you will always get what you pay for.

•    What else is important when buying dome cameras?
Many dome cameras have different features, different setting, and different resolutions.  It is always recommended to evaluate the cameras specifications and choose the camera that best supports your needs.   Research the cameras, educate yourself, compare cameras, and then buy!   Dome cameras could run from $35 to $400 depending on the quality, resolution, warranty, and brand name.  Besides the cameras, you will also need to buy a security DVR, CCTV monitor, BNC connectors, and CCTV cable.  Planning is always the best way to ensure success in a security camera installation.

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