Everything you need to know to choose your next security cameras


Matt Klingbeil



An important part of selecting the right camera system for your organization is selecting the right cameras. There are a variety of camera types to choose from and it can be overwhelming trying to understand all the differences. The cameras you need can vary based on specific location and use case.


Determining your organization's camera needs

When choosing the cameras you want to deploy across your organization, there are some items that you will want to consider:

  • Resolution
  • Field of view
  • Wide Dynamic Range
  • Infrared and Night Vision
  • Zoom functionality
  • Durability
  • Ease of installation

Camera manufacturers will provide this information to buyers, but each organization will need to determine what they need.

Understanding camera capabilities

What is camera resolution?

Camera resolution is always a talked about item when choosing new cameras.

Camera resolution options can vary from 2MP to 5MP to 4K, with 4K being the highestresolution.

  • 2MP resolution is known as “full HD” and is suitable for general surveillanceapplications and provides clear images for most scenarios
  • 5MP cameras are commonly used in commercial and business environmentswhere high-quality video footage is required
  • 4K cameras are capable of capturing intricate details and are often used inhigh-end security systems and advanced video surveillance setups

What is field of view?

Field of view refers to the observable area that can be seen through your security camera. In other words, this is the viewing angle that you will be able to see video footage through.

What is Wide Dynamic Range?

Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) helps alleviate problems dealing with exposure to light. Cameras with WDR will help balance our brightness and darkness to improve image quality. WDR helps improve security in areas with particularly difficult lighting to make security more effective.

What is Infrared and Night Vision?

Infrared capabilities help measure light that is not fully visible and can work in both dark and light situations. One example includes being able to understand density of a particular area or understanding particular dangers for workers.

Night Vision capabilities will allow you to see more clearly in darker locations such as a parking lot at night or a dimly lit area. This helps you have visibility even in tricky situations.

What is zoom functionality?

Camera zoom functionality allows you to make objects, locations, people, vehicles, and other items closer or further away. Some cameras may have optical zoom or digital zoom capabilities. Optical zoom refers to the actual physical adjustment of the lens. Digital zoom is done remotely through software that allows you to zoom in or zoom out.

What is camera durability?

Another key element is determining how important camera durability is for your organization. If you are deploying cameras in very wet or cold conditions, then you should look for higher durability cameras that can withstand wide ranges of temperatures from well below subzero to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will also want to ensure that your cameras have an IP Rating that meets the needs of your organization. IP rating stands for Ingress Protection Rating, meaning how well a camera will be protected against dry elements like dust and wet elements like water.

Diving into different types of cameras

There are many types of cameras that you can choose for your organization. From simple security cameras to fisheye cameras and PTZ cameras, each will have pros and cons for you to determine as your think about your organization. Let’s look at the pros and cons of some of the most popular types of cameras.

What is a Dome Camera?

Dome cameras sit in a dome-shaped casing. They can be used both indoors and outdoors, providing high versatility for any organization. Dome cameras are used by many types of organizations including schools, hospitals, warehouses, manufacturers, retail stores, car washes, and more.

Pros of Dome Cameras

  • Discreet design
  • Nonobvious viewing angle
  • Vandal-resistant casing
  • Infrared and night vision

Cons of Dome Cameras

  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficult to adjust once installed

What is a Bullet Camera?

Bullet cameras have a cylindrical shape that look like a bullet. They are more pronounced than a dome camera and can provide more deterrence of criminal behavior as they are more visible. Bullet cameras can be used both indoors and outdoors. Bullet cameras are deployed across schools, libraries, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, gas stations, retail stores, and more.

Pros of Bullet Cameras

  • Long-range viewing available in models that have varifocal lenses
  • High durability, suitable for outdoor use
  • Ease of Install, flexible mounting options
  • Highly visible, ideal for deterrence

Cons of Bullet Cameras

  • Limited range of motion
  • Visible lens can be tampered with

What is a Turret Camera?

Turret cameras are sometimes called eyeball cameras because they have a ball and socket design that allows them freely move around. While turret cameras may look like dome cameras at first glance, they do not live in a casing meaning that they can focus in on specific objects rather than general areas, providing heightened security. Turret cameras are used across industries like retail, hospitals, property management, manufacturing, and warehouses.

Pros of Turret Cameras

  • Long-range viewing available in models that have varifocal lenses
  • High durability, suitable for outdoor use
  • Ease of install, flexible mounting options

Cons of Turret Cameras

  • Difficult to adjust once installed
  • Shorter range compared to certain bullet camera models

What is a Fisheye Camera?

Fisheye cameras provide 360-degree panoramic views of locations, which eliminates blindspots and increases security. Because of the wide angles from these panoramic views, images are usually warped and require dewarping software. Fisheye cameras improve security and are used in many industries including manufacturing, warehouses, retail stores, hospitals, and more.

Pros of Fisheye Cameras

  • 360-degree panoramic view, eliminating blindspots

Cons of Fisheye Cameras

  • Distorted edges due to wide-angle lens
  • Requires dewarping software for proper viewing

What is a Pan, Tilt, Zoom Camera?

Pan, Tile, Zoom (PTZ) Cameras make it extremely easy to monitor large areas. PTZ cameras have mechanical parts that allow them to pan from right to left, tilt up and down, and zoom in and out. They are generally deployed in areas that need large security camera coverage and up to 360 degree views. PTZ cameras are deployed in large spaces and facilities such as warehouses, manufacturing facilities, parking lots, loading docks, public areas, and more.

Pros of Pan, Tilt, Zoom Cameras

  • Ability to move the camera and zoom in
  • Ability to track moving objects
  • Remote control

Cons of Pan, Tile, Zoom Cameras

  • Relatively high cost
  • Mechanical parts can wear out over time

What is a WiFi Camera?

WiFi cameras do not require a wired network plugin to work. Instead, they rely on connection through a wireless signal. This means they can be deployed anywhere, but can run into issues depending on how reliable the network signal is where they are installed. WiFi cameras are used in various industries and locations such as schools, residential buildings, construction sites, and more.

Pros of WiFi Cameras

  • Easy installation without the need for cables
  • Remote access and control via smartphones and tablets

Cons of WiFi Cameras

  • Vulnerable to signal interference and network congestion
  • Limited range compared to wired cameras
  • Lower reliability in areas with poor WiFi coverage

What is a License Plate Recognition Camera?

License Plate Recognition (LPR) Cameras detect, read, and keep track of license plates. Todau, LPR cameras are powerful and allow users and the authorities to get clear images of license plates to resolve incidents faster. LPR cameras are used for both incident resolution as well as streamlined operations to allow quicker access to locations, improve customer experiences at drive throughs, and to keep track of fleets of vehicles. LPR cameras are used across industries like car washes, warehouses, manufacturing, retail and restaurants, and more.

Pros of License Plate Recognition Cameras

  • High-resolution imaging for accurate plate reading
  • Integration with databases and access control systems

Cons of License Plate Recognition Cameras

  • Relatively high cost
  • Limited use beyond license plate recognition tasks
  • Requires proper positioning and lighting for accurate readings

Ready to learn more? Book a demo today.

Tour the dashboard now

Get Started