Choosing the right camera or system that is right for your needs and budget may seem a little daunting and confusing if you are unfamiliar with the technology. This Buyer’s Guide will help demystify the technical terms and it make it easy for you to select the product(s) that meet your requirements.
Mini DVR Cameras
Typically these cameras have different modes (Video, Photo or Audio), selected using a slide button and confirmed with differing light displays for each mode (check the manual for full details). Once charged (via USB) and switched on with the mode you want to use selected, the camera will be in ‘Standby’ mode and all you need to do is press one button to begin recording or to take a photo and the same button to stop. When in video or audio capture mode, the LED light(s) will slowly blink.
Go to mini DVR cameras to see our full range of wireless cameras.
Government regulations now allow licence-exempt systems that can transmit signals up to 100 metres in line of sight. This reduces to approximately 40 metres when used indoors. 2.4 GHz cameras and receivers are available with 4 selectable channels making multi-camera systems feasible. Even the small covert type of camera can be supplied with its own built-in transmitter.
Go to wireless spy cameras to see our full range of wireless cameras.
Wired cameras guarantee zero interference and can be positioned hundreds of metres away from the monitoring/recording equipment. Often with wired cameras you do not have to power the camera locally. Instead one cable will take both power and video signal back to the recording device.
Go to wired CCTV cameras to see our full range of wired cameras.
There are two common types of CCTV cameras, CMOS and CCD (see our Glossary).
Choosing the correct camera to operate in the ambient light conditions is possibly the most important specification to understand. Light levels are usually measured in Lux. This is a measure of the light energy arriving on an area 1m² of surface per second. . The lower the Lux, the better the camera will perform in low light conditions (e.g. a camera with 1 Lux or less can be used in low light conditions and one with 0 Lux can be used at night)
Very popular in domestic and small commercial CCTV applications, day / night cameras allow great quality, colour recording during daylight hours. When light levels drop below a certain level the camera's infrared LED's light up allowing the camera to continue recording good quality footage even in complete darkness (0 Lux). The distance the cameras will see at night is dependent on the strength of the LED's.
Go to Day / Night CCTV Cameras to see our full range of day / night infrared cameras.
Stand Alone DVRs
Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) record images onto a built-in hard drive from one or more cameras.
• all-in-one box for recording, multiplexing (record, view & playback simultaneously), alarms and motion detection
Go to Stand Alone DVRs to see our full range of DVRs.
If you already have a PC the purchase of a video capture card and accompanying software is a very cost effective method of providing a high specification digital system.
• remote viewing over the internet
Go to Video Capture Cards to see our full range of PC based CCTV systems.