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Surveillance Cameras Things you Need to Know

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It is easy to become overwhelmed when searching for surveillance camera systems. You can walk into any large-box retailer and see many brands selling the same camera. It can be not easy to sort through all the claims made by different brands.

Many people don’t realize that there is another type of security camera available that is directly accessible to the public. It is not sold in big box or warehouse stores. These surveillance cameras are called “commercial-grade” security camera and are used by big box chains to protect their inventory. You will see a dome camera in every aisle of warehouse and consumer electronics stores. It is much larger than the average consumer camera. This is why these companies don’t sell the cameras they use to the public.

Consumer-Grade vs. Security Cameras

There are two main types of security cameras, as you have just discovered. You will find consumer-grade cameras in stores. These cameras usually come with 8-16 cameras and a video recorder. They typically sell for less than 1,000 dollars (US$). The price for commercial-grade cameras is generally around $400 (US per camera – which is significantly more expensive. A separate purchase of the video recorder is required. Commercial grade recorders can cost up to $5000, depending on how much storage you need, the camera connectivity and image processing options.


Although they may look similar on the outside, you can see the difference inside. Consumer-grade cameras can be used in high-performance applications, where failure is not an option. Commercial-grade cameras have been designed for such high-performance applications. Consumer-grade cameras work best when there is ample light. However, if the lighting gets dimmed or eliminated (think night-time or sunset), then their heritage begins to shine. Because they are equipped with larger internal video sensors, and better-quality components that can adapt to low light conditions, commercial cameras perform better than their less expensive counterparts.

It’s simple: If a decent still camera costs at least two hundred fifty dollars (US$), then how can a more advanced video camera be sold at a low price of forty? It doesn’t add up. Manufacturers must make sacrifices in order to offer low prices. The end result is compromised performance. A surveillance camera that works only in bright sunlight is not ideal. While consumer-grade cameras are capable of working in some situations, such as checking in on pets or nanny cams, they can often fail to provide evidence when trying to catch a crime.

Mixed Lighting Conditions

When faced with challenging lighting conditions, commercial-grade surveillance cameras are able to prove their superiority. A business might have a camera pointed at their front door. A lot of sunlight can shine through the front door and flood the sensor’s sensor when someone opens it. Consumer-grade cameras will adjust to the additional light entering the room by opening their shutter to compensate. This causes the doorway to appear properly exposed. However, the store’s interior is now darker than the doorway. The business owner is left with a well-exposed entrance, but an indoor image that is too dark for them to use. The person who walks into the store does not see their face because they are in an under-exposed environment. Although the above example is for a store only, many homes have difficult mixed lighting conditions.


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