How to Buy a Suitable IP Camera

how to buy ip cameraFor many, having an IP camera provides that extra factor of security for their home. Today, IP cameras are high quality, durable units that provide a clear image of the area that you wish to cover. Both wired and wireless IP camera units are standard parts of security for residences and businesses around the world.

What is an IP Camera & How Does it Work?

The Internet Protocol or IP camera, sometimes called a network camera, was introduced back in the 1990s. Today, IP technology has advanced considerably in terms of transmitting the images created by the camera through a digital data network. In essence, the camera uses the internet to send its images a security room and recording device.

The camera plugs directly into the network router or is connected wireless as with any other network device. The advantage of this process is that unlike traditional analog wires or connections, there is no degradation of the image from the camera to the viewing monitor or recording device, ensuring that the cleanest, clearest image is presented.

A Buyer’s Guide for IP Cameras

In order to get the best IP camera for your needs, you will have to do a bit of research, planning and preparation. The more you know about what you want, the better the IP camera will be to meet your specific needs.

Number: Just how many IP cameras will you require? This means doing a bit of planning by scouting out the areas that need to be covered by the cameras to ensure the best security of your property. The obvious places are all entrances and exits as well as inside rooms containing something that you greatly value.

Location: Are the IP cameras going to be inside, outside or both? Cameras that are outside will require additional protection. Also, there are certain IP cameras that are built to take the more punishing conditions of being outside.

Wireless or Wired: While a wired connection is generally preferable since there is usually less interference, there may be a need for wireless IP camera units as well if running a wire is not practical.

Detail: While most people would prefer the sharpest detail, it will really depend on the purpose of your cameras. For example, if they are for security personnel to watch, then less detail may be needed since identification is not as important as the mere presence of a potential intruder.

Light Conditions: This can be quite important in low light areas to actually perceive the presence of someone in the area.

Other considerations include the network bandwidth that you are using along with the compatibility of your IP camera with other IP devices. Once you have mapped out where the cameras should all go, following the next steps will help you decide what types of IP cameras will work best for you.

Be sure to consult with a professional service as well who may be able to provide a complete package of IP cameras that best suit your needs.

6 Important Steps How to Install a Night Vision Camera

It would be nice if we lived in a world where you could leave your door unlocked while you run out to the store or not have to worry if you locked the back door when you left for vacation.

Unfortunately, times have changed and while we hope that we would never have to rely on it, a home security system and night vision cameras are becoming more common purchases by homeowners; regardless of the location of their neighborhood. Here are the 6 simple steps you to need to know before you decide to install Night Vision Camera at your home:

  1. Make sure you are getting the right camera for the job.  Keep in mind the item(s) that you are going to be monitoring when it comes to selecting the night vision cameras for your security system.  If you’re looking to save a few bucks up front, you will most likely not have the coverage you were hoping for.
  2. You should consider the DISTANCE between the camera and the power source.  The greater the distance, the higher the quality camera and cables for the best picture will be required.  You don’t want to install your system and end up with a poor recording due to poor quality cables.
  3. When installing your night vision camera system, before you even take it out of the box, you should consider the positioning of the camera(s) to ensure that you won’t be any obstructions and that the equipment will not be exposed to the elements.  Water, extreme heat & cold, along with dust and dirt will hinder the effectiveness of the camera.  You should also be aware of any other electronic devices such as microwaves, televisions and radios that are nearby which can create a strong electromagnetic radiation environment.
  4. When you are laying out your camera positions, make sure that they are strategically placed to provide the highest quality recording of every visitor, the door way, or the item in the room that you are specifically monitoring.  Ensure that they cannot be tampered with and free from obstructions.
  5. Before you screw in the mounting bracket, be sure to test the image on the screen for quality.  Make sure the camera is not pointing directly at a light source as you will only see a white blur on your screen.
  6. If you should have any questions about setting up your night vision cameras, do not hesitate in calling a trained professional who will be more than happy to help you with your installation needs.

A Simple Guide to Choosing Suitable Security Camera Lens

security camera lens

Before you purchase a new surveillance camera, it is important to think about the type of security camera lens that will best suit your needs. Focus lenses vary greatly, and so do the images that they produce. If you do not choose a camera with the right lens, you are unlikely to pick up the footage you were expecting. When you are in the security business and need to be sure that you capture useful images, this can be a serious problem.

You should consider several factors when you are deciding which focus lens will work for you. The first of these is focal length, which is measured in millimeters (mm). Generally, the shorter the length you choose, the wider the angle of view your surveillance camera will have. If you choose a greater focal length, your camera will have a narrower angle of view. For example, imagine that you have set up a security camera to take footage of the parking area in front of a building. If you are using a 3.6 mm lens from five feet away, you will be able to capture an image of the back of a parked vehicle along with its surroundings. With a 12 mm lens, you will only be able to pick up an image of that parked vehicle; however, you will easily be able to read its license plate number and identify any other distinguishing characteristics that it may have.

There is a formula you can use to help you decide which focal length is optimal for your situation. Simply multiply the security camera’s expected distance from an object by 4.8, then divide the result by the horizontal or vertical area that you want the surveillance camera to cover. For example, if you wanted to install a surveillance camera 20 feet away from an object and have it capture footage in an area that was five feet wide, you would make the following calculation:

20 x 4.8 / 5 = 19.2

In this case, you would want a focal length of 19.2 mm.

In addition to the focal length, you should think about the depth of field your surveillance camera lens can offer. If it has a large depth of field, your camera will bring almost every object within its field of view into focus. To achieve a greater depth of field, you should settle for a wide angle lens, use an auto iris, and have a high F stop.

Auto iris lenses are ideal for surveillance cameras that are placed outdoors, as they adapt well to changes in lighting conditions. (Manual iris lenses, which do not adapt to lighting changes, are in fact sufficient for cameras that are set up indoors.)  A lens’s F stop is its ability to take in light when it is completely open (maximum aperture) and when it is about to close (minimum aperture).

The size of the CCD image device on your surveillance camera also plays a role in the quality of the images you capture. Surveillance cameras come equipped with 1/4-inch, 1/3-inch, 1/2-inch, or 2/3-inch chip sizes. The smaller your CCD chip, the narrower your camera’s angle of view will be.

Lastly, you should consider the size of the lens mount on your security camera. Mounts come in two standard sizes–“C, ” which measures 17.5 mm from the lens to the image sensor, and “CS,” which measures 12.5 mm. You might also consider whether you should use a video or direct drive, although almost any security camera can use either type.