Security cameras are handy devices that watch over your security perimeters. Shrinking form factor, faster image- and video-processing capabilities, inbuilt graphic processors, features such as access control, analytics engine, intrusion detection, night vision and wireless connectivity, help these cameras to provide round-the-clock surveillance.
The term ‘security camera’ is often associated with surveillance cameras. Surveillance cameras are passive in nature, which means that their objectives are to observe and record the events in their field-of-view.
Security cameras, on the other hand, are active, which means that these are capable of sending out messages or alerts to concerned people in case of unexpected events in their field-of-view.
Types of cameras
Security cameras can be divided into two types: digital and analogue. Digital—Internet Protocol (IP)—variants send encoded video signals to a network video recorder (NVR) through IP. Whereas analogue cameras direct the video signals to a recorder.
Today, IP cameras are preferred as these provide better resolution, whereas analogue systems often buff up resolutions and the bulky old television lines often have connectivity problems. These are also hard to track and repair.
IP cameras use Power over Ethernet (PoE), so one single cable does the job of handling power and video signals.
Then, there are some video cameras that have artificial intelligence and deep learning based platforms inbuilt, complete with additional graphic processing and storage. Equipped with better resolution and robust technology, these can give up to 4K resolution, crystal-clear video, and are apt for computer vision based security systems to observe and learn while conveniently integrating themselves with analytical platforms. The security system over the IP can be used to take a look at your property from anywhere in the world through any suitable device connected over the Internet.
Choosing the right one
An intelligent security system should be able to send out a message or alert in real time, in case there is a burglary or theft in your premises.
Observing and categorising the types of threat could also be taught to the camera or the processing unit in the background. This is done using advanced graphic simulations, image based analytics and deep learning platforms installed in these. So before buying a security camera kit, go through the aspects discussed in this buyers’ guide.
This is the area at which the security camera is directed. Position of the camera also depends on this attribute, and it is important because it helps in gauging the number of cameras needed and their placement.
Security cameras have resolution in the range of 700 TV lines to 1000 TV lines. This is roughly equal to 720- to 1080-pixel resolution. Higher the pixels, better the video quality and clarity. Cameras with higher resolution would help identify people, faces, things and places better, and the images and video could be reproduced, transferred without losing the overall quality.
Security cameras having Wi-Fi connectivity would find their place in homes, offices and vehicles. These have no visible wires and can be easily installed and instantly connected. Moreover, cameras connected over Wi-Fi and private networks help in active surveillance in real time over long distances, and are hard to be tampered with in case of a physical hack. Cameras with computer vision software can also be linked to high-speed Wi-Fi for advanced level of security surveillance and alert capabilities over the wireless network.
Security cameras now have infrared LEDs to capture clear black-and-white images in the dark. Look out for a high luminosity range while looking for video capturing and surveillance at night.
Security cameras that operate in outdoors need weather-proofing. Look out for rain hoods and camera housings that keep rain, dust and other debris from accumulating on the camera lens.
Cameras that can pan, rotate or tilt to provide a larger area of view are better than stationary ones. This functionality saves installation cost, and one single camera could serve the purpose of surveillance as against multiple static cameras.
Security cameras have evolved to capture motion and send alerts. Image based analytics and deep learning frameworks like Caffe have helped security cameras evolve to observe different motions within their field-of-view and get meaningful insights and type of movements. Some cameras could be set to switch on only when these detect some movement.
Best ones available in India
Wireless monitoring with JOYSTEK.
Security cameras from JOYSTEK come in all forms and sizes, and provide up to 300-metre wireless transmission range. With aviation connectors for stability, anti-jamming features, lightening protection and over-voltage protection, these are great for total outdoor surveillance.
A large field-of-vision with ZOSI.
ZOSI finds itself on this list because of the features it packs. Great for indoor and outdoor installation, the cameras are capable of producing 1080p high-resolution video. These are equipped with better night vision and large field-of-view of about 72 degrees.