What Should You Consider When Upgrading Surveillance Cameras?

In the latest edition of our “Ask the Experts” blog series, Pro-Vigil’s team of video surveillance experts are answering the question: what should you consider when upgrading surveillance cameras?

The Answer:

Many factors go into deciding whether it’s time for a camera upgrade. For starters, are you using analog or IP cameras? Analog (or CCTV cameras as they are commonly referred to) have quickly become outdated and lack the additional features that many modern surveillance cameras offer.

IP cameras, on the other hand, transmit their signal digitally (rather than analog) and offer everything from advanced analytics, to wireless capabilities and even the ability to view footage in real time on multiple devices.

Bank ATM Surveillance Video Cameras

Using IP cameras and still aren’t sure if they are outdated or not? Here are a few factors to consider when deciding if it’s time to upgrade:

#1 Resolution

Difference Between IP and CCTV Camera image quality

Today, 1080P is the standard for high-definition camera surveillance video footage. 1080P resolution is going to offer you clear footage that enhances the way your system operates. If you have anything less than 1080P it’s time to upgrade. If you’re looking to “future proof” your cameras for years to come, you may want to consider purchasing 4K cameras. While we’re still a few years away from 4K becoming the standard, the industry is trending in that direction.

#2 Camera Design

Dome vs. Bullet camera

The physical design of cameras plays an important role as well. There are two common cameras we work with: dome cameras and bullet cameras.

Dome Cameras

Many people choose dome cameras for their aesthetically pleasing design, where the camera is “hidden” from view behind a dome. These cameras offer a cleaner look on the side of a building, however they are most commonly used indoors. They are also more resistant to vandalism since they don’t have an arm that can be moved easily or broken. But when it comes to using these cameras outdoors, sunlight can create periods where it can blind most dome cameras, rendering footage useless. These cameras also tend to be more tedious to clean in order to ensure the dome stays free of obstructions like dirt, dust or raindrops. This can become an issue for locations utilizing multiple dome cameras that require frequent cleaning.

Bullet Cameras

Bullet cameras, on the other hand, are easily adjustable and you can tell exactly what a bullet camera is pointed at. These cameras are often preferred in outdoor environments. Because of their shape and design, they tend to avoid much of the dirt and dust that settles on dome cameras, which can obscure an image. Bullet cameras have a hood over the lens that helps protect it from changing weather conditions and dirt/dust buildup, often requiring less frequent cleaning than a dome camera.

Ultimately, it comes down to preference and what your objective is. It also comes down to strategy. Do you want cameras to be clearly visible to thieves? Or be more discreet and keep them guessing?

#3 Day/Night Functionality

Outside of the technical factors described above, it’s also important to consider how well your surveillance system functions in daytime and nighttime situations. Surveillance cameras operate best when they can “see” 24/7, during daylight hours and during low-light situations at night.

Do your cameras have built-in thermal imaging or other advanced filters? Do you have a need for these features? Beyond considering the best cameras for your business’s needs, this is also a good time to consider adding outdoor lighting to your business where necessary and replace lightbulbs to maximize the functionality of your system.

Do You Need To Upgrade?

If you’re already using IP cameras as part of your security strategy, we have good news: An upgrade may not be necessary! Of course, there are specific situations where this may not be the case. But IP cameras are the standard today and likely provide many of the features required to keep your business secure.

If you already have cameras that are up to date, but you’re looking for advanced crime detection and deterrence capabilities, we have good news on that front as well. In most cases, Pro-Vigil can work with a business’s existing IP cameras to add-on smart features like Artificial Intelligence (AI), which can improve your security posture.

As always, if you aren’t sure if your cameras need an upgrade, or don’t know how to figure that out, it’s a great idea to contact a partner with proven security experience like the Pro-Vigil team. It’s our job to know these things and we are happy to walk you through the process, so you don’t have to figure it out on your own.

Do you have a question for our experts? 

Let us know! Feel free to reach out to our team on Pro-Vigil’s Twitter and LinkedIn pages. Ask away – and your question may just be featured in the next Ask the Expert blog.

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