What Are the Best Outdoor Security Cameras?

Lighting, location, weather, and access to electricity should all be considered if you want to seamlessly protect your business.

In the past, finding the best outdoor security cameras tailored for businesses  required extensive research. As technologies improved, all-new and must-have features became more common, and expensive tech has become more affordable.

However, there are many types of cameras on the market today. What are the most important features you should look for in an outdoor security camera?

What are the Best Outdoor Security Cameras?

Modern Parking Surveillance Cameras

Having outdoor security cameras at your business serves several primary functions:

  • The cameras (and signs warning about them) can serve as a line of defense that tells criminals you’re watching.
  • The cameras can record video of criminal activity for later prosecution.
  • Cameras today also include pre-recorded warnings, two-way communication, alarms, and lights.

Imagine an outdoor security camera that can send video over the internet to be stored online. Or a camera that has solar power, so that if the electricity goes out, you can still monitor your property. Cameras today offer much clearer pictures, smart features, and video analytics about your business. These platforms typically include a core offering of virtual security guard services to monitor camera feeds, bolstered by add-ons like thermal imaging or license plate recognition. 

So how do you pick out the right security equipment? Start by comparing cameras based on the following features:

  • Size and weight

    The size and weight of the camera may make a difference in where or how you mount it. Some cameras are slim with a long neck, which makes them easy to point. Others can zoom in or pan. Look for an outdoor camera suitable for the environment you’re seeking to place it in. Is it the right size to mount under the eaves of the roofline? Does it need to be tamper-proof?

  • Video quality

    The level of video resolution matters. The best outdoor security cameras for your business should record in clear HD video so that items and people in the image can be easily identified. This is an area where using a budget camera means “getting what you pay for.” Look for higher-resolution cameras that offer clearer visuals and more realistic motion; 1080p is fairly standard. However, the higher the resolution the better, and not just for viewing a live feed. If you’re reviewing past footage and want to zoom in to review a detail, a higher resolution camera will take you farther into the image before starting to degrade. This equipment allows you (and the police) to zoom in on important details like a license plate or a face, even in low light.

  • Weatherproofing

    Can the unit handle extreme heat or cold, wet weather? How about high winds? Security cameras are ranked by their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions like dust, sun, rain, sleet, and more. The numbers on the cameras correspond to camera durability; the higher the number, the tougher the machine. Look for weather-hardened camera units that can stand up to any weather conditions.

  • Wi-Fi

    The most advanced outdoor security systems can also be IP-enabled. These cameras use the cellular network to transmit a video feed to a cloud-connected device. They can even send alerts when an issue arises that needs attention.

  • Wireless or wired

    Where you place the camera dictates whether it should be wired or wireless. Cameras that have easy access to the power grid make more sense to have wires. On the other hand, cameras that are in remote locations, or are mounted in an elevated position, might be awkward to power through wires. Today there are solar cameras that can operate even when there’s no power. This eliminates the need for costly cabling installations.

  • Zoom lens

    These lenses are important for an outdoor camera responsible for a large space. A varifocal zoom lens can capture wide, panoramic footage or a close-up view. Look for a zoom lens with an auto-focus feature so you aren’t seeing a blurry image.

While these features have more to do with the camera and the installation, there are also considerations for the software housed within the camera. Here are some things to look for:

  • Artificial intelligence

    Artificial intelligence (AI) software can learn from past behaviors, creating a smarter surveillance system. These systems can automatically trigger lights, sirens, and recorded announcements to scare off criminals. AI also enables these advanced video cameras to understand and distinguish sounds. For example, an AI-powered solution can tell the difference between glass breaking and a flag flapping. These tools are coupled with sophisticated data analytics, which analyze footage collected on your property. These algorithms learn what is normal and what is abnormal, understanding things like property boundaries and human behavior. These analytics can tag video clips for searching, run reports, and more.

  • Remote access

    Remote access is the ability to view camera footage (or even control the angle of the camera) from a laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone. This gives your security team the advantage. Most smart security systems today allow for motion detection features that send alerts to your monitoring company. Verify that your security provider can monitor the health of the equipment to be sure it’s always there when you need it.

These are just a few features for an outdoor security camera during the day. But what about the night? To protect your business regardless of your lighting, you’ll need thermal vision and more. 

What is the Best Outdoor Night Vision Security Camera?

Best Outdoor Night Vision Security Camera

Most business owners would agree protecting their business only 50% of the time isn’t an acceptable risk. That’s why an outdoor security camera with night vision is so critical. Today’s tools are enabled with infrared lenses. They also use color night vision to capture clear video in dark and low-light conditions. 

  • Low-light performance: The best outdoor cameras offer some type of low light capabilities. If you want 24/7 monitoring of your outdoor property, this is a necessity. 
  • Color night vision: Capture video footage in a broad range of colors to help with visual identifiers. You’ll be able to see the color of a car at night or what type of clothes a person is wearing. This vision allows the footage to be tagged appropriately, making it easy to find with a quick search in the cloud. (eg. red shirt, blue car, etc.) 

Pro-Vigil is a live video surveillance company that protects what matters to your business. Our cameras offer all of the benefits we’ve covered in this blog—and more. Click here to chat with our team so you can rest easier at night.

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