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Best Outdoor Security Cameras Recommended by the Experts at 123 CCTV

Which outdoor security camera is right for me?

Here's a quick guide on how to choose the right outdoor security camera for your security system. When choosing an outdoor camera there are several factors to consider. These include the following:

  1. Camera Type:
    • Bullet camera
      • Bullet cctv cameras are shaped like a cylinder and come in many varieties similar to dome cameras. They are the most popular for applications where more than 130ft of night vision is required. Their shape and size allows for a lot of infrared LEDs to be packed in to the camera concentrically around the camera lens, making it possible to have night vision up to 300ft in complete darkness. Bullet cameras come in wall mount or 3-axis types that can be mounted to either a wall, ceiling, or any flat surface. In addition to wired forms, there are also several wireless forms available.
    • Dome camera
      • Dome cameras are the perfect choice for applications where you need a small sleek camera. Depending on the amount of infrared LEDs, these cameras come in varying sizes with diameters ranging from 3 inches to 5 inches. Maximum night vision available in the outdoor domes from 123CCTV is 130ft. The size of the camera limits how many infrared LEDs can be packed around the lens before it defeats the purpose of being sleek.
    • Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras
      • These are larger domes that range from 5 to 9 inch diameters. They are the big bubble type of cameras you see in a shopping mall or airport. These cameras have a specialized camera with motorized zoom that is controlled remotely from the recorder with a mouse or joystick, or remotely from your phone, tablet, or computer. When you need a surveillance camera to change the direction of view and zoom in to fine details, a PTZ camera is the camera of choice.
    • Professional Box Camera
      • Box cameras for outdoor use come in a beige colored weather proof enclosure which allows for replacement of the housing if it is damaged, or replacement of the camera and lens combination inside. The greatest benefit is that they are also available with a heater/fan combination inside that allows for the camera to function in a wider temperature range of -20°F to +120°F. Night vision is less common in this type. In addition to wired forms, there are also several wireless forms available.
  2. Build Material
    You need to consider whether the camera is built of metal or plastic. All outdoor security cameras sold by 123CCTV are built of metal, however many companies sell plastic cameras with inadequate weather proof (IP) ratings as outdoor models which leads to premature failure of the camera in an outdoor environment because it is not meant for outdoor use.
    Some dome and bullet cameras offer vandal resistant features which makes it very difficult for someone to alter where the camera is looking, or remove the camera from its mount.
  3. Weather proof rating
    All outdoor cameras sold by 123CCTV come with at least a IP66 rating, meaning the camera can withstand direct contact with water, rain, snow, sand up to a certain pressure level. You can rest assured that our cameras are built to last in common outdoor environments, and we also offer cameras with higher IP ratings up to IP68 that can withstand harsher environments and submersion.
  4. Camera resolution
    • Analog CCTV up to 800TVL
      • Standard CCTV cameras that use BNC video connectors now support up to 800TV Lines of resolution. At a 80 degree angle of view, you can expect facial clarity up to 10ft away from these types of cameras. It is the lens that allows these cameras to see further.
    • High Definition Cameras
      • For situations where more clarity than a conventional CCTV camera is required, you would use a high definition or megapixel camera. These allow for facial clarity up to 25 ft away with a 1 megapixel camera at an 80 degree angle of view. We recommend the following high definition camera types:
        • HDCVI
        • IP Cameras
  5. Lens type
    Security cameras have lens that are either fixed or variable zoom. Variable zoom lens are commonly called varifocal, and unless otherwise specified as motorized, are manual zoom lens that must be adjusted at the camera by hand. One needs to consider how far will the subject(s) be from the camera. For scenarios where a wide angle of view for general surveillance is needed, a 2.8 or 3.6mm lens will be used for a 90 or 80 degree angle of view. If you are trying to see cars/people entering through a gate located 40 ft away, you would use a 20mm lens, or a camera with a varifocal lens of 8-20mm or 5-50mm. A 50mm zoom length allows capture of facial detail up to 100ft away with a 700TVL SONY CCD camera, and a 100mm lens allows facial capture up to 140ft away.
  6. Night Vision
    Infrared LEDs located around the camera lens provide illumination for the camera to be able to see in complete darkness. This light is visible only to the camera, and can only be seen as a slight red glow when near the camera. The intensity and number of the infrared LEDs determines how much night vision a camera has. We carry several cameras that have 10 high intensity infrared LEDs that allow the camera to see up to 260ft in darkness. Don't equate the number of LEDs with night vision distance.
  7. Connection type
    • BNC Video
      • You need to consider camera connection type when choosing a camera for an existing system. Most analog CCTV camera systems use BNC video connections which is standard. New technology (such as HDSDI and HDCVI) has allowed for high definition cameras that also use the BNC coaxial cable connection, but these cameras are not compatible with recorders that accept analog CCTV signals.
    • RJ45 Connector on a computer network
      • A second connection type that has become popular is the RJ45 connector on a network cable. IP cameras use network cables to send high definition video signals digitally over a computer network to a network video recorder or computer.
  8. Voltage
    • 12V DC - Most commonly used in the CCTV industry
    • 24V AC - Less common in the CCTV industry, but popular with professionals since it allows for power runs far longer than 12V DC

You can also view our complete outdoor cctv cameras catalog to browse through our complete outdoor cctv inventory.

Let our experienced representatives help you. Call 716-304-0250