- Protecting your property is important and technology can play a vital part, with phone apps and warning systems many of the latest security cameras are more affordable than you would think.
- High quality video is an absolute must. It is possible that an arrest and conviction could be obtained from your footage, as well as lost items being tracked down and returned to you.
- It should be noted that cost becomes a factor when it comes to data storage.
It’s a dangerous world out there. These days, you need to do everything possible to keep your home secure. In this handy little guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know if you’re buying a home security camera. This Guide security camera
1. How Do Home Security Cameras Work?
Wireless cameras transmit video data through a radio transmitter. The data is then collected and stored, either via cloud storage or a built-in device. A wired camera works in much the same way, except that the signal is sent to the storage device via wires instead of radio signals.
Infrared LEDs (or IR LEDs) detect the photons that escape an object or animal as it emits heat. These photons are then converted to electrons, which can then, in turn, be processed into visible images, even if the camera itself is surrounded by total darkness.
Some security cameras are small and designed to be hidden in inconspicuous places, while others are placed outside of the house, often with window stickers detailing their presence. This is supposed to act as a deterrent to would-be intruders.
2. What Am I Looking For?
High quality video is an absolute must. It is possible that an arrest and conviction could be obtained from your footage, as well as lost items being tracked down and returned to you. However, this will only be the case only if the footage is clear enough to fully identify the culprit or culprits.
You will also want a camera with a wide field of view (FOV), especially if it is covering a larger area with lots of hiding places (e.g. the back garden or driveway). The FOV is determined by the focal length of the camera lens and the size of the image sensor.
A security camera capable of capturing 80 degrees or more is usually considered to be a ‘wide angle’ security camera. The term ‘super-wide angle’ generally means that the camera can capture up to 180 degrees, while ultra-wide angle (usually IP or CCTV) can capture as much as 360 degrees. It goes without saying that the greater the FOV, the higher your chances are of capturing a suspect on film.
Two-way audio is also recommended. This enables you to receive and transmit audio through the camera. On the fun side, two-way audio will allow you to interact with family pets on your breaks from work. On a more serious note, it will also be possible for you to deter burglars verbally before they even enter the house.
3. What’s Better, 4K or 1080p?
All digital video files have set dimensions; these are named according to the number of pixels in the image. 1920 X 1080p (or simply ‘1080p’) tells us that the image is 1,920 pixels wide and 1,080 pixels high. This is also known as ‘high definition’ or ‘HD’ and provides a very good quality image.
The term ‘4K’ refers to a frame that is 4000 pixels wide (or greater). When dealing with this level of image quality (also known as ‘ultra HD’ or ‘UHD’), resolution is measured by width instead of height.
UHD contains almost 4 times the number of pixels as regular HD. Accordingly; UHD specializes in establishing ultra-fine detail that would be missed by even the best HD cameras.
On paper, then, 4K would seem the better choice. It is the superior technology, after all.
It should be noted that cost becomes a factor when it comes to data storage. However most cameras have a 7-day rolling overwrite of all footage stored.
4. What About Motion Detectors?
Motion detectors constantly scan for movement, alerting you instantly if they capture any. Without this feature, you’d be constantly checking your video feed, which is impractical, not to mention boring!
False alarms can be a pain, however. Remember that the camera doesn’t know the difference between a burglar and the family beagle – and will notify you of the presence of both with equal insistence. Annoyed by this, many users deactivate the motion sensors on their security cameras, something that they can soon regret.
A better tactic by far is to set ‘motion detection zones’ within the home and ensure that they are kept clear when you aren’t at home.
Cameras with PIR sensors actively seek out body heat, meaning that they are less likely to be activated by slight, inconsequential movements and more likely to pick up a human presence in the home as a result.
5. How Does Motion Detection Work?
There are two main types of motion detector available for home security cameras.
The first, software-based motion detection, works by comparing pixel changes between successive frames. The system is activated when a significant amount of pixels is altered within the stationary image (indicating movement).
The second, PIR, seeks out body heat. So when the ambient infrared levels change (indicating the presence of a person or animal), the system springs into action.
Both types of camera do not record constantly. Instead, the ‘record’ function is only activated when movement is detected.
6. Wired Vs. Wireless
Both wired and wireless cameras have benefits and drawbacks.
Wired cameras are very reliable and supportive of larger systems. However, installation can be difficult and can take rather a long time. They are also vulnerable to power outages. However, wired cameras are proven and effective as long-term security solutions.
Wireless cameras, on the other hand, are easier to set up and install. They can be easily removed as well, making them ideal for renters. On the negative side, they can be susceptible to radio interference (which happens when signals get crossed).
Wireless cameras are also dependent on a wireless signal (which, as we all know, is never 100% reliable) and they can still be vulnerable to power outages. In some cases, wireless cameras can even be hacked. Additionally, wireless cameras also tend to be smaller, which limits the amount they can view.