What types of CCTV cameras are there for your rural business?

Knowing more about different types of CCTV cameras can help with making informed decisions when it comes to trying or buying CCTV camera systems
Knowing more about different types of CCTV cameras can help with making informed decisions when it comes to trying or buying CCTV camera systems

If you’re one of approximately 2,000,000 Brits who recently watched Channel 4’s Hunted, you won’t be surprised at the capability, capacity and effectiveness of CCTV systems in spotting suspicious characters.

CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) refers to those electronic camera systems which provide video surveillance, with optional recording and even live interaction.

All types of sites, premises and properties - including rural businesses and farms - could benefit from installing CCTV to enhance security and safety.

Knowing more about different types of CCTV cameras, and which features might offer ‘best fit’ for a specific purpose or location, can help with making informed decisions when it comes to trying or buying CCTV camera systems.



For more information or assistance in getting the right type of CCTV camera, speak to SafeSite Security Solutions.

Fixed cameras



Fixed cameras specifically focus on a designated area, and are particularly used for vulnerable access points.

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras

Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras are popular because they offer remote positioning: the camera’s position can be altered remotely to pan across an area, tilt to achieve a better angle of view and zoom in on a subject or item.

The camera housing incorporates the motors and gears to control the camera and adjust its position and view.

Specifications of PTZ cameras vary significantly, and this will influence the relative size and cost of the camera.

Tip: Contemporary PTZ cameras can incorporate Smart tracking features, for live monitoring from surveillance specialists or security guards.

Bullet cameras



This is how most of us recognise CCTV: that classic cylinder/box shape which is a common sight across UK communities, highways and outdoor, out-of-the-way places.

Bullet cameras are named for the bullet-shaped design of the housing surrounding the camera. This housing facilitates better quality images, particularly for long distance surveillance - idea for wider expanses.

The slightly elongated front of the housing reduces reflection and keeps the camera lens cleaner. Although this type of housing can be adjustable as well as fixed, the direction the camera’s ‘looking’ is always evident - a useful ‘got my eye on you’ deterrent.

Tip: bullet cameras can be fitted with fixed or varifocal lenses, so can be adapted to suit the situation and location as required.

C-mount cameras

Unlike most CCTV cameras, which record up to distances of about 35 ft, the alternative lens specifications of C-mount cameras facilitate surveillance across distances greater than 40 ft.

Varifocal lenses are commonly used because they offer enhanced zoom capability, without compromising the focus and quality of image.

Tip: these cameras are bulkier than bullet cameras, which makes them an additionally visible deterrent.

Dome cameras

Commonly used indoors, dome cameras are named after their domed shaped housing, specifically designed so that the orientation of the camera isn’t generally visible.

This is considered an additional deterrent: if opportunists can’t tell which way the camera’s facing, they tend to assume they’re giving a 360o (all around) view, and therefore the chances of being ‘caught in the act’ are greater.

Tip: dome cameras offer enhanced vandal-proof features, so may be suitable for high risk areas.

Varied options for deploying and installing these various types of cameras makes them suitable for specific purposes and locations. However, the resulting footage can also be influenced by specific camera features ...

Remote monitoring

Remote monitoring means viewing what the camera is seeing but without necessarily being on-site: ideal for rural locations.

Observing from a distance, customising display by altering the orientation and focus of the camera, to follow action or double-check areas or characters of concern, is all possible as remote monitoring can be used as a way of tracking and recording any suspicious activity.

Tip: remote monitoring can also be used in conjunction with audio deterrent, in order to warn off intruders.

Internet Protocol (IP) capability

The next step up from analog cameras, IP cameras include megapixel technologies and internet connectivity.

A useful aspect of remote monitoring, installing cameras with IP capability means the premises can be monitored and the images accessed via online systems.

Tip: Analog camera security still has its place, but if online access and monitoring is particularly important, consider the enhanced digital methods of IP camera systems.

High Definition (HD)

IP cameras facilitate viewing online from any location, but the compromise can sometimes be the quality of the image.

HD analog cameras offer an affordable solution which may support better quality images, particularly if you want your CCTV system to gather and record data to be used for identification and evidence purposes.

Tip: high definition capability can significantly improve the quality of recorded footage - something which can make a real difference in being able to achieve a correct identification of a person or a vehicle, for instance through number plate clarity.

Weather resistance

Weather resistance relates to both the hardware durability of the CCTV system and also to the quality of the images.

For example, if you’ve chosen using IP-capable cameras for farm vehicle security, you want to be sure that the weather isn’t going to affect the quality of captured images when reviewing online.

Details such as waterproof ratings on camera systems are available and generally a rating of 65 should suit if installing cameras in a location prone to wet weather.

Tip: weatherproof housings will protect cameras and also offer additional protection for the system against vandalism.

Infrared / Night vision

A useful deterrent against anti-social behaviour as well as criminal behaviour, night vision CCTV is essential if the area is at particular risk after dark:

Contemporary camera systems often include day/night capabilities - switching between high and low light situations as required - through a highly sensitive imaging chip, which manages recording in the dark without using infrared lighting.

Dedicated ‘night vision’ cameras use Infrared technologies which convert invisible heatwaves into an electric signal: that giveaway thermal image of a person hiding or advancing on a property from the shadows.

Tip: consideration should be given to other security measures, such as movement-sensor security lighting which may affect image quality.

Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)

WDR capability is a feature of IP cameras, and balances out light in areas which are mixed, such as when security lighting or bright sunlight casts shadows elsewhere.

Tip: WDR can be particularly useful for providing clearer images in areas where light and dark appear simultaneously (such as commercial and farm building entrances).

Adjustability

The adjustability features required of CCTV cameras can depend on the the location and areas to be covered.

Essentially it’s a case of choosing between those fixed camera views or adjustability so that wider areas can be observed. For frequent changes of visible points, the PTZ cameras may be a useful option.

Tip: installing a camera with a 180o or 360o field of view can mean paying more per camera, ie: a more expensive single camera with enhanced adjustability features, but could result in paying less overall: for instance less than the total cost of four fixed view analogue cameras.

Recording

There’s a discreet difference between CCTV surveillance monitoring and recording. The high visibility deterrent of CCTV, with monitoring in real-time is different to the additional benefit of recording, which is particularly useful for evidence-gathering purposes when taking legal action, or proving an insurance claim.

Tip: Recording itself can also be a deterrent, especially when coupled with appropriate warning signage.

For more information or assistance in getting the right type of CCTV camera, speak to SafeSite Security Solutions.