How we pick our products
Surveillance cameras are now almost part of every household’s equipment. This is mainly because people generally have a high need for security, which can be satisfied by using surveillance systems. In an increasingly technology-driven world, it is now easily possible to monitor one’s belongings from anywhere and at any time.
However, in addition to providing a view of the yard, surveillance cameras can also serve as a baby monitor in the children’s room or a means of communication with visitors.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The Best Surveillance Camera: Our Choices
- 3 Buying and rating criteria for surveillance cameras
- 4 Guide: Frequently asked questions about surveillance cameras answered in detail
- 5 Conclusion
- In order to use surveillance cameras, it is essential to comply with legal requirements. For example, cameras must be visibly marked and may not film beyond their own property.
- Important purchase criteria are the power supply, the presence of a night vision function, the recording angle and range, the motion sensor, the storage location and the possibility of smart home connection.
- Surveillance systems are available in a wide range of price segments and scope. Low- to medium-priced variants are often sufficient for private purposes.
The Best Surveillance Camera: Our Choices
Buying and rating criteria for surveillance cameras
In order to find the perfect surveillance camera, we have listed some buying criteria that you should consider when buying:
To help you understand each point individually, we have explained them in a little more detail below.
Is there a power connection at the desired connection location? Or is it possible to lay extension cables there? If not, the choice will always be a wireless version. There are now a large number of battery-operated cameras, some of which are equipped with solar panels to extend the operating time.
To ensure that you get a usable image in an emergency situation, you should make sure that the surveillance camera has a night vision function. Depending on the reflectivity of the environment, very good black and white images can be obtained at night. However, if the chosen option does not have a light, alternatives such as special camera lights or general motion detectors can be added to the monitored area.
Shooting angle and range
Before purchasing and installing a surveillance camera, it is important to remember that the angle of coverage is usually between 90 and 110°, making it suitable for entrances and larger areas. If you want to view an entire room, you should go for a 360° camera (dome) or a fisheye camera on the ceiling.
Surveillance only makes sense if the collected data can be stored so that it can be accessed. There are three possibilities:
- External cloud storage: Data is stored on a company server
- Local storage: data is stored on the camera’s micro SD card
- External local storage: data is stored, for example, on an FTP server or NAS storage in the home
Which option is best depends on individual taste and the goal of the surveillance.
Motion sensors in surveillance cameras vary in sensitivity and sophistication. One problem with the sensors can be that objects are classified as a threat when they are not. This can be counteracted by using a camera where the sensitivity can be individually adjusted up to the point of alarm notification. New infrared sensors, for example, recognise heat of movement in addition to the image matching technology, so that the danger assessment is significantly improved.
Smart home connection
Do you live in a networked home? WLAN cameras are particularly suitable for connecting to the smart home system. However, it is important to ensure that the surveillance system is compatible with the devices used and the voice assistant.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about surveillance cameras answered in detail
Frequently asked questions on the subject of surveillance cameras come up, which we would like to answer for you in the following.
Who is a surveillance camera suitable for?
For private individuals, for example, it is suitable as an intercom system in the entrance or as a baby monitor in the children’s room, and for companies it can serve as a theft protection and deterrent. Cameras can also be used to protect railways and public facilities and places from vandalism and crime.
What types of surveillance cameras are there?
|Box camera||box-shaped body, flexible adaptation of camera function through separate availability of camera body and (interchangeable) lenses|
|Dome camera||all-rounder, extremely resistant to weather and violence (lens is under a dome)|
|Bullet camera||square to round body, lens not interchangeable|
|Cube camera||cube-shaped, small and therefore well camouflaged|
|4K camera||works with moving and distant objects, and changing light conditions|
|IP camera||signal transmission into a network, access to the camera can be made via the browser, in a system landscape second network is only necessary for video surveillance|
|PTZ camera||possible control of the camera for certain events, zoom and tracking in case of motion detection, usually used by ports, public places or authorities|
|Infrared camera||surveillance in complete darkness, no additional lighting required, not so good at long distances|
|Mini-camera||usually a circuit board with lens without housing, good camouflage through hidden installation in objects|
|Fisheye camera||creates a 360° panoramic image, high resolution at short range compared to dome or bullet camera|
However, many cameras available on the market are a combination of several of the above types. For example, you can buy an IP box camera with infrared LED lights, as “box camera” essentially means the body, while the other aspects refer to technical functions.
Is it difficult to install a surveillance camera?
When purchasing a surveillance camera, it should be well considered in advance what purpose it is to fulfil. Accordingly, it must, for example, either be suitable for outdoors or indoors, be equipped with or without a night vision function and have two-way audio or not. Once all the important buying criteria have been compiled, it is necessary to assess which model is best suited.
A surveillance system can be purchased by anyone. Especially since there are models in a wide variety of price ranges. It can offer you protection and a sense of security. However, do not neglect that there are legal regulations, the violation of which can be sanctioned. Your own protection should not exclude that of your fellow human beings.
Image source: Santana / unsplash