CCTV camera systems perform three main aspects of surveillance: deterrent, documentation and monitoring. The presence of a camera system helps deter unlawful activity in homes and businesses, and in cases where deterrent was unsuccessful, the cameras provide a documentation of the crime to aid in capturing the criminals. Monitoring allows live viewing of an area, a helpful intervention aid for elderly patients.
To fully function, CCTV cameras require additional components to complete the surveillance system. Besides the camera, a CCTV system includes a transmission method, a monitor and recording media. The images viewed by the camera are transmitted via coaxial cables or a wireless network to the monitor used for viewing. A recording device, consisting of either a computer hard drive or separate digital video recorder, stores the images for later viewing or use as evidence.
Camera Lens Types
The type of camera lens you’ll require depends upon your specific needs for surveillance. CCTV camera lenses come in three basic types, which are based on focal length — normal, wide angle and telephoto. The least expensive type of lens is fixed focal length, meaning the camera lens does not zoom or change focus area. Adjustable focal length, and even zoom CCTV cameras are also available, but are higher priced.
Camera System Types
The design of a CCTV camera system varies depending upon your needs and space available. Entrance and video intercom systems need not hide the cameras from detection, but a “nanny cam” used for discrete surveillance requires more stealth. Outdoor surveillance systems for security and livestock surveillance purposes would require sturdier and more weather-proofed materials than indoor models.
Types of Cameras
Different camera styles fit different needs of surveillance. A dome camera typically oversees businesses such as retail and convenience stores, and consists of the camera placed in a dark dome. This hides the specific angle of the camera, preventing a potential thief from stealing while the camera’s “not looking.” A wall camera, however, provides a very visible reminder of surveillance and vary in options to include infrared, zoom or even bulletproof. Hidden cameras bring to mind the tiny, hidden cameras of spy movies, and are used in covert surveillance needs.