Home Surveillance Cameras

First you have to know what you want to accomplish with your Home Surveillance Cameras. Is it going to be used to keep an eye on the home when you are away or are you trying to deter crime? If you are going to be using it to deter crime, then you could use a combination of real cameras as well as some fake cameras. This gives a criminal the feeling he/she is more likely to be seen.

Home Surveillance Cameras



If recording criminal activity in an effort to prosecute is the goal, you will need better equipment. You will have to have higher resolution cameras and recorders. Hidden or covert cameras are sometimes good for this.

Any cameras that you put outdoors will have to be weatherproof (IP 66 or better). Interior cameras can be weatherproof or not. Infrared cameras are an option for night viewing, but will have limited range of vision. A few feet is usually all they are capable of. There are some that can go up to 200 feet but they are a lot more expensive.

The price difference between color cameras and black and white is minimal. Any camera that you get will be black and white at night.

Keep in mind that most DVRs (digital video recorders) will come in four, eight or sixteen camera capability. You can start with fewer cameras, but keep in mind how much you might want to expand later.

digital video recorders

available at amazon

Wireless Security Camera are an option but remember, they will need to have power also. They are not totally wireless cameras. Range is also limited.

Before you purchase, get an idea of the number of cameras you will need and the type of camera and the features you like. Again, allow for expansion at a later time.

These are some of the more popular types of cameras as well as some of their features.

HD Bullet Cameras

are everywhere and can be loaded with features. They can be infrared or just low light. They can have a fixed lens or be variable. Resolutions vary greatly with the higher resolution cameras be more expensive. They can be indoor or outdoor. Outdoor cameras can be weather resistant or water proof. For residential applications a model with a fixed lens is generally used. It can also have IR. These types of cameras are generally easiest to install. They are also some of the least expensive.

HD Bullet Cameras

available at amazon

Dome Cameras

Dome Camera are going to be less likely to be vandalized. They also offer a greater psychological deterrent against crime if they have a dark lens. This is because you cannot really tell the field of view. That is why you see these in many of the bigger retail stores. They are either wall or ceiling mount. Price range is about the same as a bullet camera. Most home surveillance system reviews will include dome and bullet cameras.

Dome Cameras

available at amazon

Covert Cameras

A Covert Camera can be hidden in just about anything. You can purchase them installed in just about anything. You can also purchase just the camera and put it in whatever you want. They are commonly place in books, wall clocks, alarm clocks, stuffed animals, phones, houseplants, etc… Just about anything. If you don’t want someone knowing they are being recorded, these are perfect. There are laws about using them though. Know the local laws before installing one. If a person can expect privacy in an area, even though it is your home, you cannot have a video camera.

Covert Cameras

available at amazon

PTZ Cameras

Pan, tilt and zoom cameras do just that, they pan in a complete 360 degree circle, tilt up and down as well as zoom in or out. This is accomplished with software (or app) or a keyboard type controller. You also have the ability to set up a tour. This is where the camera automatically moves to certain positions continuously. They also compensate for changing lighting as well as the focus. They can zoom way out or way in. I have been able to read a newspaper from a block away with one. They are also a bit on the pricey side. PTZ Cameras are not used a lot in residential applications.

available at amazon

IP Cameras

IP or Network Camera are becoming more and more popular. These are cameras that have a built-in video server and use internet protocol to transmit video. Some even transmit audio with the video. They can be bullet camera, dome cameras or even the traditional box camera. Many will have built-in recorders. This can make network cameras an inexpensive option for designing a surveillance system since a separate recorder is not necessary however they generally only record for a few hours.IP Cameras

available at amazon

They can also be hooked into existing networks so no extra wiring is needed. They can also be wireless or Wi-Fi cameras. This means you can install a wireless IP camera and use your existing wireless router to get the video on your network. You just have to worry about the power. Many of them can be setup in just minutes.

Network cameras are also higher resolution cameras. A typical analog camera is only going to be recorded and viewed at 720 x 480 pixels. A network camera can be recorded and viewed at megapixel resolutions. To give you an idea, a 2 megapixel camera is at 1980 x 1080 pixel resolution, a little over six times the resolution of an analog camera. You can get up to 16 megapixels, however you’ll pay for it.


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