The internet of things (IoT) has caused an explosion in the popularity of security cameras both for homes and businesses. No longer do you need wired cameras attached to an analog recording device. New smart security systems are wireless and allow you to check in on your camera anytime from your smartphone.
There’s a peace of mind that comes from the protection that security cameras afford. They can keep a watchful eye on the front door, ensure no stock is “walking” out the back door, and also help us see that the kids made it home safely after school.
Homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be broken into.
There are a lot of options on the market for home or business security cameras, but not all are created equal. Some offer great picture quality and multiple features, while others might be less clear and more limited.
Before you invest in a security system, read on for important things to consider to ensure that you’re getting the best deal.
How to Invest Wisely in a Home or Business Security Camera
If you end up with a grainy image, that investment in a new security system isn’t going to make you very happy. While the picture might look great on the box, you need to look a bit further to ensure you’re getting a camera that will last and give you the quality you need.
Here are key considerations when choosing your next security system.
Perhaps one of the most important considerations for a security camera is the quality of the image it’s recording and transmitting. There are two key components that go into the picture quality:
- Image resolution
- Frames per second
If you’ve ever visited a website and saw a blurry-looking image, that’s because it had poor resolution. The resolution is the number of pixels of data that are in the image. The more pixels, the higher the detail.
For example, a standard television will be about 480 pixels, while an HD TV will about 1080pixels. There is a balance of course with the higher pixels, which is that the file size of the video will be larger.
So, you want to balance size with quality. But if your images are grainy and don’t have much detail, it could negate some of the benefit of having a camera to keep a watchful eye on your premises.
Some of the standard Megapixel (MP) security cameras to look for will be in ranges such as:
- 1MP: 1280×720
- 2MP: 1920×1080
- 3MP: 2048×1536
- 4MP: 2560×1440
Another factor that impacts image quality is the number of frames per second that the camera takes. This is another balancing act with file size being larger for higher frame rates. The “real time” frame rate is 30fps, which is the standard. Anything less than 25fps generally looks choppy and not very good.
Smart Phone App
It’s incredibly convenient to be able to monitor your security cameras from your smartphone, and most people expect to have this capability now days. But how much functionality you have through the app may differ by manufacturer.
Compare mobile apps for the security systems you’re considering. Do they have 2-way or 1-way voice communication? Do they make it easy to access all cameras in your system? Make sure you’ve got the functionality you need because for most people, the mobile app is their main control panel for a security system.
How far do you need your camera to see? A camera with a larger range can capture clearer images when objects are farther away. A good quality range for a security camera might be about 65 feet, but some can go 300 feet or more.
Of course, the longer the range, the higher the price, so you’ll want to decide how far is far enough for your cameras.
Motion and Sound Sensors
Motion and sound sensors are important features because they can send you an alert if something suspicious is detected, being more of an active sentry than just a static camera.
Not all smart cameras come with one or both of these features, and it’s also something you’ll want to balance with camera price.
Can it See Well at Night?
Do you have cameras pointing into dark hallways at your office building? Do you want to see your exterior at night clearly?
There can be any number of different lighting conditions that can impact the quality of the video your camera records, so if you need one that can record in dim or low light, you’ll want to look for a camera with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), which is a technology that helps capture clear images even with poor lighting conditions.
Need Help Finding the Perfect Security Camera?
Chris’s Tech Repair offers help procuring and installing both home and business security cameras. We’ll find you the perfect fit with the features and quality you need.
Before you go security camera shopping, contact us, and we’ll make sure you get the best options for your security needs!