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Beginners’ Guide to Commercial Security Cameras

No time to read? Here’s a summary:

  • Cameras with at least 1080p resolutions are recommended for most commercial spaces, although some cameras offer up to 8K resolution.
  • Types of cameras used for commercial security include turret cameras, dome cameras, bullet cameras, PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras, LPR (License Plate Recognition) cameras, multisensor cameras, box cameras, and fisheye cameras.
  • Each camera type has its own strengths and features. The right camera type for your business security will depend on the areas being monitored, the desired footage, and environmental challenges.
  • Regular cleaning, software updates, and physical inspections are maintenance best practices for optimal camera performance.

$3.4 billion—that's the staggering annual cost of burglaries in the United States, as reported by Inside Indiana Business. With burglaries occurring every 12 seconds in the U.S., businesses and organizations need robust security to prevent massive losses to thieves and other bad actors.

Enter commercial-grade security cameras, the silent guardians of the business realm.

By the end of this guide, you'll have the knowledge you need to begin navigating through the world of CCTV cameras. You’ll know the top four benefits of camera monitoring, the top factors to consider when selecting surveillance devices, and the main types of security cameras on the market today.

Let's embark on this journey together, shall we?

Top 4 Reasons Security Cameras Are a Business Must-Have

Top 4 Reasons Security Cameras Are a Business Must-Have

  1. Deterrence: The mere presence of cameras makes potential wrongdoers think twice before acting.
  2. Evidence Collection: Clear, high-definition, or high-resolution security footage is a game-changer for investigations.
  3. Employee Productivity: It's not about playing Big Brother, but cameras can help maintain a productive work environment.
  4. Liability Protection: Cameras get to the truth, which can protect your business from potential lawsuits.

Top 3 General Considerations Before Selecting Cameras

All right, let's cut to the chase. With countless commercial-grade security cameras out there, how do you begin to narrow down the cameras you may need for an effective security posture?

1. Resolution Matters

When it comes to cameras, it's crystal clear that resolution is queen.

The higher the resolution, the clearer the image.

For commercial spaces, it's recommended to go for at least 1080p resolution cameras, although some cameras offer staggering 8K resolutions.

With high-resolution footage, our cameras will help you spot the devil in the details—quite literally. But be careful with ultrahigh-resolution cameras. The higher a camera’s resolution, the more bandwidth and storage space its data will need.

2. Indoor vs. Outdoor Cameras

Outdoor cameras are built to withstand the elements. They come with weatherproofing and Ingress Protection (IP) ratings that indicate their resistance to fluids (like rain and melting snow) and small particles (like dust and smoke).

Indoor cameras, on the other hand, are designed for use in climate-controlled environments.

3. Wireless vs. Wired Cameras

Wireless cameras offer the most flexibility in terms of placement, but they’re only as reliable as the Wi-Fi they use.

Wired cameras, on the other hand, use cables for power and connectivity.

Wiring is well-suited for commercial-grade surveillance because it supports faster, more reliable, and more secure data transmission between cameras, software, recording devices, and more.

Types of Commercial Security Cameras

Turret Cameras

  • Turret cameras have a ball-and-socket design that allows for flexible camera repositioning after installation.
  • Turret cameras can be mounted on walls, ceilings, and angled surfaces.
  • Turret cameras for outdoor use are built to withstand harsh weather conditions.
  • When repositioning a turret’s angle of view, turn gently to avoid damaging the camera’s ball-and-socket joint.

Dome Cameras

  • Dome cameras are suitable for monitoring large indoor areas, such as lobbies and waiting rooms.
  • Dome-like housings let these commercial-grade security cameras blend in discreetly with most interiors.
  • When installed outdoors, domes are prone to a host of complications that make them unreliable and expensive to maintain. Consider other camera types for most outdoor applications.
  • Position dome cameras away from direct light sources to prevent glare and washed-out footage.

Bullet Cameras

  • Commercial-grade bullet cameras are named for their cylindrical shape.
  • Bullet cameras are ideal for overview monitoring and monitoring specific points of interest. Fixed-focus bullet cameras are ideal for monitoring doorways and narrow halls.
  • Unlike domes and turrets, bullet cameras are hard to miss. As a result, they provide better deterrence than most security camera types.

PTZ Cameras

  • PTZ stands for Pan-Tilt-Zoom. Pan, tilt, and zoom functionalities are ideal for detailed surveillance of distant or moving objects.
  • PTZs support overview and fixed-focus cameras by adjusting their angle and zoom level to capture the details other cameras may miss.
  • PTZ cameras are remotely controlled via mobile/desktop applications, joysticks, and handheld remote controls.
  • Many PTZ models can track people and objects as they move.
  • Constantly using PTZ functions can wear out motors. Periodically check the motors and controls to make sure they’re functioning optimally.

Multi-sensor Cameras

  • Multi-sensor cameras are everything cameras. They feature three to five unique lenses in one unit to cover vast areas without blind spots.
  • Each of the multiple lenses can be adjusted to capture a different angle or field of view.
  • Streams from different lenses can be stitched together by multisensor cameras to provide ultrawide, expansive images without the distortions associated with fisheye cameras.

Fisheye Cameras

  • Fisheye cameras feature ultrawide-angle lenses to capture 180-degree hemispherical views.
  • Fisheyes can reduce the need for multiple cameras in a single area.
  • Distortion, especially at the edges of images, is a major drawback to using fisheye cameras.
  • For optimal surveillance, position fisheye cameras centrally in the areas they monitor.

LPR Cameras (License Plate Recognition)

  • LPR cameras employ video analytics and machine learning algorithms to recognize license plates, process their digits, and add them to databases.
  • LPR cameras are leveraged to monitor company fleets, time-stamp vehicles entering paid parking garages, and more. When integrated with gate access control systems, they can be installed near gate entrances to grant passage to vehicles with authorized license plates while flagging vehicles with unauthorized plates.
  • Avoid placing LPR cameras where they’ll be vulnerable to direct light. Glare can wash out license plate details from an LPR’s field of view.

Facial Recognition Cameras

  • Facial recognition cameras apply advanced algorithms to identify unique facial data points and compare them to faces in a database.
  • Facial recognition is increasingly leveraged in commercial settings for access control verification, recognition of individuals in large crowds, and other enhanced security measures.
  • Privacy concerns come up when facial recognition systems are implemented. Be sure to follow local regulations and post notifications wherever facial data may be collected.

Box Cameras

  • Box cameras have a modular design that makes customization easy.
  • Because the box part of the camera is separate from the lens, end users can seamlessly switch out lenses to adjust the type of footage they collect.

Best Places for Camera Placement

Here are the four most common areas for commercial-grade security camera placement:

Entrances and Exits: This one's a no-brainer. Make certain you have a clear view of everyone coming in or going out.

Secluded Areas: Isolated corridors and other secluded areas inside your property can pose significant security risks. Don't let them go unmonitored.

Parking Lots: A hotspot for incidents, it's crucial to have eyes here.

Storage Areas: Protect your assets by keeping a watchful eye on storage spaces.

Maintenance: Keeping Your Cameras in Tip-top Shape

You wouldn't buy a car and not service it, right? The same goes for cameras. Here's how to keep them running smoothly:

Regular Cleaning: Dust and grime can affect image quality. Gently give your cameras the occasional wipe-down.

Software Updates: Manufacturers often release updates to fix bugs or improve performance. Stay on top of these to resist cybercriminals and keep your cameras functioning and optimized.

Physical Inspections: Periodically check for signs of wear and tear, especially for outdoor cameras.

Mammoth Security: Connecticut’s Premier Security Experts

Mammoth Security: Connecticut’s Premier Security Experts

Well, there you have it! A beginner's guide that's as easy as pie.

There’s more that goes into camera selection and installation, so why not let the team here at Mammoth Security guide you the rest of the way? We’re Connecticut’s one-stop shop for everything from security cameras and access control systems to alarms and structured cabling.

Reach out to us now by clicking on the contact button and filling out the form that pops up. You'll get a free, on-site security assessment and Q&A with an expert from our team.

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FAQ

For most commercial spaces, opt for security cameras with at least 1080p resolution, though some newer camera models now provide staggering 8K resolution footage. The better the resolution, the more clear and actionable your footage will be. The downside to extremely high-resolution cameras is that each image requires significant bandwidth for data transmission and much more storage space to contain the additional visual details. In most cases, the recommended resolution for commercial-grade security cameras is somewhere between 1080p and 4K.

In the business realm, commercial security cameras aren't just about surveillance; they can also help maintain a productive work environment by ensuring employees remain focused on their tasks.

PTZ stands for Pan-Tilt-Zoom, and these cameras are ideal for targeted surveillance as they can adjust their angle and zoom level. In fact, many PTZs apply artificial intelligence to track objects as they move. PTZs are also unique in the world of security cameras because they can be operated via handheld remote controls and joysticks.

Wireless cameras offer flexibility during placement, but they are much less reliable than wired systems because they rely on Wi-Fi connections for data transmission. Wired cameras, on the other hand, use cables for power and Internet connectivity, ensuring faster, more reliable, and more secure data transmission.

Security cameras for commercial-grade security include turrets, domes, bullets, PTZs, LPRs, multisensors, box cameras, fisheyes, and facial recognition cameras.

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