A brief overview of some of the IP CCTV terminology.
The market is flooded with IP cameras, they all look very similar and the terminology can be confusing. Selecting the wrong IP camera will mean the IP CCTV system is only good for observation with poor picture detail.
- IP Cameras
Most common types of IP cameras are outdoor bullet, domes, PTZ and covert. There are others such as box cameras, spy cameras, vehicle, etc.
Things we need to consider when specifying a camera for an application is:
Where will they be used indoor or outdoor? Outdoor IP cameras can be mounted internally but internal IP cameras cannot be used externally. Outdoor IP cameras need to be weatherproof with suitable IP rating.
Would you prefer IP Cameras to be discreet or would visible be a better deterrent? IP Bullet cameras are more visible and a good deterrent whereas IP Dome cameras can be more discreet. Dome cameras are also more vandal resistant and suitable for mounting lower down.
- IP Camera Resolution
The term resolution, defines the amount of image that an IP Security camera is able to capture and is measured as number of pixels. The higher the number of pixels, the more image detail the IP camera will be able to capture. Higher number of pixels also helps with digital zoom without too much blurring of the image.
IP Security camera resolution is very important when it comes to the overall video quality of your IP camera system.
- IP Camera Lens
It is very important to select a suitable lens on an IP CCTV camera. IP Cameras with smaller focal length (for example, 3.6mm) have a larger field of view and are referred to as wide angle lenses. Lens with smaller focal lengths are good for covering large areas, however the level of detail in large area will be very poor.
For capturing more detail at distance (like gates etc), larger focal length cameras are better. Field of view will be greatly reduced but with greater detail at longer distances.
- Image Sensor
The image sensor is the most important part of a good IP CCTV security camera. Light (image) passes through the lens on to an image sensor. The quality of the image sensor will determine how well the image is reproduced inside the camera; such as, reproduction of colours, black & white tones, day & night etc.
It’s always best to consider using good quality image sensor; such as SONY, SONY Starvis, Panasonic, OmniVision
- Night Vision (Infra-Red)
Most CCTV IP security cameras on the market have infrared (IR) technology that allows the capture of video at night (in total darkness). Infrared on IP cameras is important for areas that are poorly lit at night. Infra-red (IR) on each IP camera has a range on how far objects can be seen at night; this is called the illumination range. This is measured in meters. IP CCTV Cameras with smart IR will auto adjust to avoid over exposure.