How to Choose a Surveillance Camera to Your Needs?

How to Choose a Surveillance Camera to Your Needs?

Surveillance Camera

Choose a Surveillance Camera. Summer vacation is in full swing and getting away from home can be a source of concern. For a few years now, surveillance devices have been steadfast and allow you to keep an eye on your house, apartment or garden. As references are multiplying, it can be difficult to navigate and make the right choice. We take stock of the elements to remember before equipping.

How To Choose A Surveillance Camera To Your Needs
How To Choose A Surveillance Camera To Your Needs

Long reserved for companies, surveillance cameras have been targeting the general public for a few years. More cautious, more and more individuals are opting for this type of solution and the market has been growing for several years: according to Market Research Future, the market for home surveillance cameras will also weigh 1.3 billion dollars by 2023. In response to demand, manufacturers are increasing the number of models accessible to the public. They are also taking advantage of the boom in connected objects and the democratization of the connected house to find a place in homes.

However, it is not easy to find your way in the jungle of available references and to choose the surveillance camera really suited to your needs. While summer vacations are good for burglaries, we explain how to choose the right model to monitor your home.

Reassure and dissuade

Zero risk does not exist, but the fact of opting for a video surveillance device makes it possible to secure one’s home and in particular to reassure in the face of the fear of burglaries. While the gendarmerie can watch over your home with the “holiday tranquility operation”, the security camera will allow you to keep an eye on its inside and outside, directly from a website or mobile application, anywhere in the world. the world.

Several criteria must be taken into account when making your choice. For this guide, we are interested in video surveillance cameras also called IP cameras. These are connected to the Internet and will thus allow real-time monitoring or access to functions in the cloud. Consumer models can be installed and configured in minutes, without the intervention of a professional.

Regarding the budget, we can find from a few tens of euros and up to several hundred dollars. The difference can come from the quality of the product, the brand and the features offered. Note that the manufacturers also offer video surveillance systems, more expensive all-in-one kits that carry several elements in addition to the camera, such as door and window opening sensors or more powerful alarms.

What characteristics to take?

After defining your budget, it is time to take an interest in the criteria to take into account before making your choice.

1. For indoors or outdoors?

The location of the surveillance camera is the first important criterion to take into account. Manufacturers offer models intended for indoors or specially designed for the outdoors. Features and expectations will be different.

2. Wired or wireless?

The question will arise when choosing between a wired model with Ethernet port or Wi-Fi. Some models offer both solutions, which is necessarily a more significant. There will also be a question of wire for food. If most models opt for an AC adapter, it is possible to find cameras with a rechargeable battery.

3. What definition / image quality?

IP cameras have long been content with a standard definition (SD). There are now more and more models capable of delivering a stream (or recording) in HD (720p), Full HD (1080p) or 4K Ultra HD. The majority of alerts can take place at night, so we will favor good infrared image quality. We will also give importance to elements such as the visual field or autofocus. Regarding the lens, we will opt for a fixed or motorized camera as needed. Unsurprisingly, the models offering the most detailed image are also the most expensive. Some offer a 4K sensor, but deliver a Full HD image in which it is possible to zoom without losing quality.

4. What audio quality?

If this is not really the number one argument, good audio quality may be important depending on the use of the camera. A good microphone will make it easier to identify the voices and the speaker should not be overlooked when sending a voice warning. Finally, the camera can have an alarm.

5. Local or cloud storage?

Surveillance cameras can have a microSD port that will record their video streams or offer a backup offer in the cloud. While the first is not the most secure – the device can be stolen -, opting for a cloud backup offer can result in additional costs (there are free offers via the cloud). Some manufacturers also offer backups to a NAS or FTP server.

6. The application

For remote monitoring or receiving alerts, the cameras are most often accompanied by a mobile application. Some may stand out in terms of the features offered and the ease of use.

7. The consumption

Here is something to keep in mind if you have to use a surveillance camera all year round. A camera with measured electrical consumption will prevent your electricity bill from skyrocketing.

As a reminder, an individual can install cameras in their home to ensure security. The CNIL specifies that these devices are not subject to the rules for the protection of personal data or to those of the internal security code. However, they must respect the privacy of neighbors, visitors and passers-by.

8. For apartment / house

For your house or apartment, you will prefer a discreet camera equipped with a rotating head. Dome cameras can be particularly attractive by integrating more easily into your interior. The latter can also carry a  fisheye lens which will allow you to enjoy a 180° view.

Good image quality is to be preferred, day and night. We will therefore ensure that the camera offers an infrared lighting system that is powerful enough to offer quality images after dark. Regarding power, a battery-operated camera can be seen as an easy solution. However, they are more expensive and will require regular recharging. If the location allows, we may prefer a model to plug into the mains, more affordable and which allows uncompromising use (image quality, alerts, etc.).

Another advantage for an indoor camera is the presence of a facial recognition feature. An appreciable function to take advantage of a smart camera and receive adapted alerts. For storage, we will favor a solution in the cloud that provides more flexibility. Depending on the manufacturer, a paid subscription may be required to take advantage of all the features (definition of videos and images, alert system, etc.).

In terms of accessories, we can for example associate the camera with door opening detectors. Among the market references, there is the 360​​° Indoor Camera from Bosch which, as its name suggests, offers 360° detection. At Nest (Google), we will use the Nest Cam IQ indoor or the Nest Cam Indoor. Users who need multiple cameras will be able to turn to Arlo kits from Netgear. At Logitech, we can note the presence in the catalog of the Circle 2, a camera offered in wired or wireless version. The latter can be versatile thanks to its many accessories.

Avoid nocturnal burglaries

We will get closer here to the technologies and features offered by indoor cameras. However, care should be taken to choose a model with excellent infrared image quality. We will also opt for a camera equipped with a good microphone, a correct speaker and a powerful alarm of at least 90 decibels and more than 100 for the best models.

Monitor your door

To monitor the entrance, the model may vary depending on whether you live in a house (outdoor camera) or an apartment (indoor camera). Anyway, we will opt for a deterrent and wireless model that can be connected to an intercom or a doorbell. A fixed camera will do the trick, but care should be taken to choose a model equipped with intelligent face detection.

Attention, precautions must be taken during the installation of the device. For example, the CNIL indicates that the images are only consulted in the event of an incident (vandalism, degradation, aggression, etc.) and should not be used to “monitor” in real time the comings and goings of residents or visitors. The manufacturer Yi Technology will be able to stand out with its affordable models for indoors or outdoors.

Also note that some manufacturers offer connected doorbells, sometimes compatible with a connected lock too. While most are suitable for individual houses, such as the Ring or Netatmo models  since they replace a traditional chime, others can be placed on a standard door. The Ring Door View Cam connected peephole replaces a traditional eye cup and includes a Full HD camera. All the doorbells are equipped with it and can therefore be used as a surveillance camera.

If you have a garden

For the garden, we switch to an outdoor camera which will have specific characteristics. Thus, it will be necessary here to opt for a robust model and capable of withstanding difficult conditions. There are notably IP66 certified cameras resistant to dust and water jets which will naturally find their place outdoors. Generally, these models are more imposing (tube cameras) and are offered with a suitable fixing system. We will also choose a deterrent model, motorized and offering good image quality. The visual field may also be important, as can night vision. Here it will be necessary to move towards a model designed for the exterior like the Nest Cam IQ exterior of Google or the Netgear Arlo Pro 2.