Your Cameras Resolution:
This is one of the most important considerations when selecting a camera. For a sharp image, you'll want a camera that can shoot at least in 720p high definition, which means an IP camera. If you want to guarantee that your camera will have a clear, identifiable image, you don't want to cut corners here. Frame rate:
This is another key aspect of a camera — the higher the frame rate, the smoother the video. Video is simply a series of still images stitched together to create a motion picture. The lower the frame rate, the less frequently a still is taken; this results in choppier footage. You'll want to consider the frame rate of the camera you purchase before deciding. For reference, "real time" is typically measured as 30 frames per second. Models:
There are a number of different types of security cameras out there. Some of the more common ones are bullet cameras, which are the rectangular boxes you might see protruding from a wall; dome cameras, which are often attached to a ceiling and housed in a tinted cover; and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, which offer remote-control capabilities to adjust the field of vision. Depending on your particular security needs, you'll want to consider which types of cameras to use in outfitting your system. Indoor/outdoor:
Some security cameras are made specifically for the indoors and won't stand up to Mother Nature quite as well as their outdoor counterparts. If you plan to use cameras outside, make sure you purchase models that are weatherproof. Otherwise, water or dirt might interfere with the quality of your video feeds or, worse yet, break your camera. Security cameras might be minimally resistant to weather or completely weatherproof. Be sure to understand what level of protection from natural conditions your security camera offers. Lighting:
Many security cameras are able to shoot in what is known as "low-light infrared," enabling them to capture clear footage in dark conditions. These cameras rely on infrared LED lights, which cover the darkened area in infrared light. Unlike humans, the camera is able to see this infrared light, so when those wavelengths reflect back, it's as if the camera is shooting footage in an illuminated room. The more IR LEDs that a camera has, the better it is able to see at night. If capturing footage in the dark is a priority, make sure your camera has plenty of IR LEDs. Audio:
Whether audio recording is an option depends on the particular camera and the manufacturer. Some cameras don't pick up audio at all, while others do. Some even enable two-way audio, so a person watching the camera on the other end can communicate with a subject in the camera's field of vision.
Your Video Recorder Storage capacity:
For video recorders, the first question you have to ask yourself is how much storage you will need. The answer hinges on a couple of factors: the number of cameras in your system, each camera's resolution, the amount of archived footage you intend to store and how long you plan to keep recorded footage. If there are many cameras shooting in a higher resolution, the footage is going to eat up storage space quickly. You can set a video recorder to "overwrite" the oldest footage once you reach the system's capacity, but if you're not careful, the system might overwrite archived footage that you still need.
If you're running a large system that has high-quality cameras, you'll want to scale up your video recorder's storage capacity. There are a number of tools online that can help you calculate how much storage space you'll need based on the details of your system.
That's quite a bit of data for a moderate-size system, so it's important to plan accordingly and know what kind of capacity you'll really need. It's also wise to maintain a bit of a cushion beyond that calculated number, so you can store any particularly interesting footage you might need to refer back to. Cloud storage:
Recorded video can be stored on the cloud in addition to on your video recorder. There are a few distinct advantages to doing this, including having remote access to your videos and superior storage volume. It's important to ensure that uploading large video files is done in a manner that won't eat up all the available bandwidth and slow down your network. This can be done by either scheduling video uploads to the cloud or uploading them after peak business hours. In addition, be aware that many cloud services charge a subscription fee to use their offerings, especially to store video files in perpetuity. Make sure the company takes the appropriate cybersecurity measures to protect your data. On the plus side, storing videos in the cloud means that even if your hardware is damaged, stolen or tampered with, you'll still have access to your video archives. Camera compatibility:
Not every video recorder can work with every camera. Of course, DVRs require analog cameras, while NVRs use IP cameras, but the compatibility question extends well beyond that distinction. Some NVR systems, for example, are compatible with the IP cameras only from certain manufacturers and not others. When buying a video recorder, you must first make sure that the device will work with the cameras you've purchased. If you're working with a surveillance system integrator to configure your system, the cameras should be able to provide you with the necessary information. Compression:
Compression is used to eliminate unnecessary data from the footage transmitted to your video recorder, thereby saving space. Two of the more common compression techniques used for high-definition video are MJPEG and H.264. You can also use MPEG4, but the quality tends to be lower than that of MPEG4's aforementioned counterparts. Compression methods are relatively complex and vary in their applications depending on your needs and hardware.