Security Camera Buying Guide for Home and Business Owners
Security cameras can be your best weapon against crime, so be sure to choose the one that will suit your needs. Here are several things to consider before buying a surveillance camera system.
- Purchase a camera with a smoked bubble type enclosure so the criminal cannot determine what area the camera covers or where it is pointed.
- Purchase a camera with the highest megapixels available. This will assist in obtaining clear, usable images.
- If you intend to capture images during darkness, make sure you purchase a system that is not affected by artificial lighting.
- Purchase a pan, tilt, zoom system. This type of camera is not stationary and can be set up to view and maneuver from a PC or smart phone that is miles away.
- Purchase ample storage. Images should be kept a minimum of 30 days. If storage is of concern, consider a system with motion activation capabilities.
- Know how to operate the system. Time is crucial in an investigation, and many times the incidents are captured but the homeowner or employee cannot provide a copy to police because they are unfamiliar with the equipment.
- Be aware of the camera’s angle. Many cameras are set at such a steep angle that only the tops of the suspects’ heads are observed and therefore capture few facial or physical identifiers.
- Camera placement is also critical, as many times tree limbs, banners or awnings block the camera’s viewing area. Remember that trees grow. Depending on the season, the sun angle could also have an effect on the image.
- Remember, what the camera sees during the day is not the same what it sees at night. Houses, buildings, trees and even the moon can cast shadows or dark areas that can affect the camera’s ability to capture a clear image. View your angles and images at all hours of the day and night to make sure your system is correctly set up.
- Consult a security camera professional or a member of your local police department for proper placement of cameras.