Surveillance / Video Camera Uses
There are many varieties of video cameras and many methods to wire & view them. Your selection of camera will be based on the reason you are getting a surveillance system.
|Hidden||Plainly Visible||Low Light||Infrared||Black & White||Color||Low Res||High Res||Indoor||Outdoor||Internet Connected||Recorder|
|Secure a home while you are away||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Secure a home while you are home||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Keep an eye on the children||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Spy on a baby sitter||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Protect a small business||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Catch a vandal||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
- Secure a home: This is the scenario for your typical alarm system. A monitoring company is alerted to a break in and dispatches police to check on your home.
Adding a surveillance system doesn't do much to prevent theft except to deter thieves with a visible camera, which means the cameras should be outside and operate in low or no light.
Cameras should be positioned to cover all doorways and possibly the street / driveway in an attempt to catch a license plate. Interior cameras might not deter thieves but they might help in identifying them.
If the camera is to be used to identify a thief then a low end camera cannot be used.
The connector on the camera isn't critical if you are simply recording the video. Just get a system what works with a video recorder. A computer connected or internet based camera will allow you to watch your home from anywhere in the world.
Exterior cameras can also be used to see who is at the front door, letting you know if you want to bother answering it.
- Keep an eye on children: A couple of cameras can cover a backyard area or one camera in an indoor room. Camera quality isn't much of an issue here. Low light is only needed if you are going to watch a sleeping baby or if you let the children play outside at night.
Otherwise, cheap color cameras should work fine. If you are not sure where the kids might play, a single portable wireless camera might be the best bet. There is also no need to record video or view it remotely.
- Spy on a the baby sitter: Here you will want a hidden indoor camera. Quality isn't critical, but you will want to be able to record the video and possibly watch live video from work over the internet.
There are several types of hidden video cameras (books, teddy bears...) that are well known. Your best bet might be getting a simple tiny camera, and placing it where the wires won't be visible.
- Protect a small business: If you are looking to protect a business then you should seek the help of a professional. You should also contact your insurance company to see what is required or how a surveillance system can affect your insurance rates.
Otherwise, securing a business is the same as securing a home. You will want high quality visible (and maybe additional hidden) cameras with digital recording with the recording device well hidden or in a location that cannot be accessed by a thief.
- Deter vandalism / Catch a vandal: To deter a vandal, you simply need a visible camera. Technically, the camera doesn't even need to work. Companies sell fake dome cameras for this purpose. A dark black dome should be used so that the vandal doesn't know what direction the "camera" is facing, so you don't need as many cameras.
Catching a vandal requires a high quality low light or infrared (assuming vandalism occurs at night) camera. You will want the camera hidden and setup to record at all times.