Bullet surveillance cameras are named for their aggressive, bullet-like shape. They are the least compact and most noticeable type of security camera on the market--which is why they provide the greatest deterrence effect. Beyond deterrence, the relatively large form of a bullet camera gives them more internal space for features such as focal adjustment and rotatable lenses. These lens options enable bullet cameras to capture a wider variety of viewing angles and depths than their turret camera and dome camera counterparts.
Like turret and dome cameras, bullet security cameras can be used as CCTV (closed-circuit) surveillance cameras or as IP (internet protocol) cameras. One of the main benefits of IP bullet cameras is that their footage can be viewed over the internet in real-time. On the other hand, a bullet CCTV camera is analog, meaning its footage is viewed on a nearby monitor.
Wireless cameras are not reliable enough for commercial use yet. Instead, we use purpose-built antennae to connect hardwired cameras on light poles and buildings.
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4k or 8MP cameras represent the best value at the moment. Depending on your situation, a 30+ megapixel camera can be installed allowing you to read a seat number from the opposite end of a football field.
While not every bullet camera is the same, their larger form gives them room for more high-value features such as optical zoom. In the process of optical zoom, the distance between the camera lens and its sensor expands to capture close-up, high-resolution images of distant objects. Conversely, the space between the lens and its sensor contracts to capture wide-angle, high-resolution images of nearby objects. Bullet cameras have enough room in their bodies to accommodate both wide-angle shots and zoom-ins. On the other hand, more compact security cameras, such as turret and dome security cameras, have less internal space to focus on distant objects. Dome cameras in particular are designed for wide-angle shots of nearby objects but provide low-quality, unclear footage of distant objects. Deterrence While bullet cameras are also sometimes called "lipstick cameras" for their shape, "bullet" is a more fitting name. These overt security devices are difficult to miss, which is why they are often installed in retail stores and gas stations to reduce shoplifting. They can also be found mounted above parking lots to discourage loitering and would-be intruders.
Whether you are seeking a surveillance installation indoors or outdoors, bullet cameras are the most convenient camera type to mount. They can be mounted vertically on walls, upside-down on ceilings or overhangs, and at angles. A bullet camera is also likely to come with a mounting handle. It is these flexible mounting handles that make bullet cameras hands-down the easiest of all security cameras to reposition after installation. Their dome camera counterparts, in contrast, come with tightly fixed protective domes that must be unscrewed before they can be repositioned. What's more, if any dust or fingerprints get inside the transparent protective dome during repositioning, the result will be blurry or otherwise distorted images.
Bullet surveillance cameras tend to come with excellent built-in IR (infrared) night vision capabilities. Many infrared bullet cameras have IR illuminators around their lenses which light their fields of view in wavelengths that only the camera can see. This enables IR bullet cameras to capture clear and actionable video surveillance footage in low-light situations.
What's more, the large size of a bullet camera allows for larger lenses within a single camera. Bullet camera models with the ability to rotate a larger lens can capture even higher quality surveillance in low-light environments.
Bullet cameras a great choice for outdoor environments not only for their strong night vision abilities but also because they can capture high-resolution footage over a longer range than most other security cameras. In large areas where details of distant objects may be needed, such as parking lots with many cars and license plates, a bullet camera's lens can be the right choice for capturing useful images.
If you're selecting a bullet camera for outdoor installation, be sure to select a waterproof model that has a strong IP (Ingress Protection) rating. Ingress Protection ratings are the international standard by which cameras are tested and judged for their ability to withstand inclement weather conditions.
A camera with a high Ingress Protection rating helps protect your property by functioning during and after the kinds of weather events that result in increased crime. If your property is in a climate that falls below freezing for much of the year, consider bullet cameras with temperature gauges and heaters that can reduce wear and tear and keep them functioning regardless of the external temperature.
With the increased use of security cameras on residential properties over the last several years, legal feuds have popped up between neighbors, typically over issues of privacy. Relying on a bullet camera for outdoor surveillance in residential areas can reduce tensions with neighbors, as well as legal liabilities, because bullet cameras are easy to adjust and reposition. In contrast, surveillance cameras with built-in wide-angle views, such as dome cameras, are much more challenging to reposition and refocus.
While bullet cameras provide great deterrence, there are situations that call for a more discreet security system. Generally speaking, customers in restaurants are unlikely to have pleasant dining experiences if there are cameras pointed in their direction as they eat. Similarly, customers in retail environments may feel unnerved by a bullet camera aimed at them from the wall above. In situations where customer satisfaction is a greater concern than shoplifting and other crimes, the discreet design of a dome camera may be preferable.
There are also drawbacks to using bullet cameras in outdoor environments. A bullet camera's form can attract spiderwebs and even bird's nests. And their lack of a dome covering makes them significantly less resistant to vandalism and unwanted repositioning than their dome camera counterparts.
Bullet cameras are a great security choice where range and flexibility is needed. The large, eye-catching form factor of a bullet camera provides value not only through its deterrence effect but through its increased capacity for focal adjustment. In the final analysis, bullet cameras can satisfy most security needs, but should be avoided in scenarios where discretion and customer comfort are priorities.