What Is A Security Camera?
The purpose of any camera is to record uninterrupted footage and capture moments. Sports cameras record sporting events, film cameras shoot movies, whilst security cameras monitor areas for security reasons. They are often placed out of plain sight, and they focus on a particular area of interest – be it at home, a parking lot, an office block etc – in order to act as a deterrent for crime, raise the alarm if needed, or provide evidence for a criminal case. There are indeed a number of things they can do, such as help a homeowner see who is knocking at their door in the middle of the night, to keeping an eye on our children when we’re away.
They can even track the movements of a missing person in the city. They can do everything! Okay, they can’t do everything. And compared to a film camera that shoots action-packed blockbuster movies, a security camera actually sounds pretty boring when nothing is happening. You know, when the only thing of note is the mail man struggling to post a big letter into your mailbox before running off, embarrassed. Funny but boring.
Yet their value in our lives as a piece of surveillance cannot – and should not – be underestimated. A security camera’s value is not measured by how many crimes they record; they are measured by how much protection and peace of mind they afford us.
Sometimes, for example, staff are employed by a business or a council to sit at a desk and watch the footage from security camera direct to keep watch for breaches of security, criminal activity and so on. This means the safety of a building is ensured, whilst the people inside are also protected from a potential break-in. If anything amiss is spotted, the alarm can be quickly raised and the police can be called. In this way, security cameras steady our nerves, and make us feel less vulnerable.
The people in charge of watching the footage played back from a security camera are looking for anomalies, and because a business simply cannot afford to employ a whole security team to stand guard at every corner, every nook and cranny of their buildings, the security camera system means that just one single person can check on every area of importance – at the same time!
This basically means the person in charge of watching the security camera footage continuously is omnipresent. They can see everything. They’re basically God but without Heaven and all that other stuff. They’re also saving the business a lot of money. Security cameras, then, are highly economical – and they can also prevent crime.
Types of Security Cameras
There are a few different types of security cameras, some are large, some small, some are static, whilst others are remote. Some outdoor security cameras are hidden from sight, whilst others are in plain sight so that they are clearly visible. Retail stores that suffer from frequent break-ins will usually display their security camera in plain sight to act as a deterrent to potential thieves. Static outdoor security cameras are mounted in a fixed position, where they remain continuously focused on a particular area of interest. For example, they could be trained on a night club entrance.
Home security cameras are another type of security camera that help to give a bit of peace of mind to the homeowner. In particular, homeowners who live in remote areas, or who have in the past suffered from a break-in, will want to install a home security camera to help them feel safer in their own home.
These cameras will monitor the doors, gates, as well as the general perimeter of their grounds. Anyone who has a wealth of valuable possessions in their home should seriously consider investing in a home security camera. The security camera will notify the homeowner if someone is breaking into their property. And if the homeowner has returned home from work or shopping to find an irregularity, they can review the footage on the security camera to find out exactly what happened.
There are also security cameras that can be remotely operated, such as a motion detection camera. These particular wireless cameras are often in use throughout a city, with evidence showing their effectiveness at reducing crime in parking lots. As an example, let’s say that a young man has been approached in a city in the early hours of the morning by another man. No one is around except these two people. The young man waves his assailant away and continues walking.
The assailant follows him. If the camera was static, the pair would trudge away and move out of view of the camera, and if any criminal activity takes place, it wouldn’t be recorded. But because the camera is a motion detection camera, the camera – sensing movement thanks to a function in its DVR software – is able to track and follow their movement and continue filming these two guys. Whoever is watching the footage can then raise the alarm.
What Are The Benefits of a Security Camera?
There are MANY benefits of a security camera. Aside from the usual gripes – for example, the average US citizen is caught on security camera about 300 times a day, which some people are a bit funny about – the advantages do outweigh the negatives.
Video Evidence Is Awesome
Catching criminals in the act is now much easier thanks to security cameras. If your property or your business has been robbed, you can review the footage from your security camera to help bring the criminals to justice.
Moreover, a security camera often catches more than you expected it to. For example, if there is a case of a missing person in a city, the police will review tapes from security cameras to see if the persons last movements can be traced. And if there are things such as fights outsider bars and clubs, a security camera will be able to identify the perpetrators, thus meaning the owners can enforce a ban on them.
They Act As A Good Deterrent
Picture the scene. A hooded youth has cycled up to the gates of your building late at night. He’s snooping around, looking for a way to overcome the huge iron gates. Armed with a baseball bat, he seems pretty confident that he’s going to be able to use his bike to lever himself over the gates and onto your property. He looks pretty mean too, and you’re startled. You can’t finish your dinner. This is TERRIFYING.
But then he notices the security camera! He quickly gets back onto his bike and beats a hasty retreat, almost cycling straight into a hedge. You can wave at him as he cycles off. Your security camera has foiled him! And you have saved yourself the psychological damage that comes from a break-in.
It’s true that thieves are less encouraged to rob a property when they spy a security camera looking down at them. Yes, not all thieves are put off by security cameras. But and by installing one, you could be saving yourself a lot of worry and hassle.
They Help When It Comes To Insurance Claims
Video evidence is great when it comes to validating your insurance claims. Even if you don’t take the footage to court, installing a home security camera actually lowers your insurance premiums int he first place, ensuring that, essentially, your investment pays for itself.
There are a few issues critics have with security cameras, and at the end of the day it could be said that all systems have some flaws – even security cameras:
On Their Own, A Security Camera Is Not Always Enough
A security camera should really be part of a large security system, rather than your complete security system. There is, after all, only so much that a security camera can really do by itself.
Instead, a security camera should be used in conjunction with alarms and electronic access control panels to help strengthen your security.
They Don’t Always Stop Robberies
In our earlier example, we showed how a thief might be deterred by the sight of a security camera looking down at them. But not all thieves will be, and whilst footage from a security camera can bring people to justice and make you feel generally safer, they can’t actually physically stop a robbery from taking place.
If you’re at home when thieves are snooping around your property, you can take action by calling police. But if you’re away, you’re pretty helpless because a camera cannot raise the alarm.
Thieves Can Hide Their Faces
Whilst footage from a security camera can be used as evidence in bringing perpetrators to justice, some thieves are savvy to what is around them and might be hooded or masked, thus hiding their faces.
What Types of Security Cameras Are There?
Earlier we touched briefly on the types of cameras there are. We looked at static cameras, remote cameras, as well as home security cameras. But there are many more different types of security cameras out there which offer different attributes and useful for different circumstances. Let’s take a look at some of these:
Many security cameras are in fact wireless these days, and this gives them greater flexibility as well as versatility. A wireless security camera hooks up to your security system via an Internet connection. Just as easy as the Internet connection itself is to set up, so too is a wireless camera.
And because of the huge advances in the Internet and technology in general, a wireless security camera can be operated remotely from your computer – and even your smart phone. This means oodles of flexibility, and it also gives you great peace of mind, particularly when you’re away for the evening – and especially if you’re away for a few weeks on vacation.
The advantages of a wireless security camera is that they are easy to set up and are usually fairly inexpensive to buy. And because many wireless security cameras are digital advantages include wide transmission range, as well as two-way communication (for example, between parent and child).
To find out more about wireless cameras, you can check out our security camera reviews pages.
Night Vision Camera:
Night vision cameras have been around for a long time now, and are often used in poorly lit areas, such as yards, industrial sites, alleyways and so on. Using infrared technology, a night vision camera is able to record footage at night – when most criminal activity occurs.
Although the actual image quality on a night vision camera has not always been spectacular, these days you can get hold of top quality night vision camera that produces high-resolution images that allows you to record much more accurate footage that has brilliant clarity. Options include either a black and white night vision camera or a color camera, whilst they also come with various light settings and Lux ratings.
Motion Detection Camera:
Motion detection cameras only start recording when they sense movement. Brilliant, hey? This means they are economical because, unlike your average surveillance camera that records hundreds and thousands of hours of footage, a motion detection camera only records useful footage.
This is because of a function in the DVR’s software that is able to scan the frame, looking out for signs of movement. Once it has tracked movement, it begins for record. One of the problems with a motion detection video system is that it could potentially track any kind of movement, such as a piece of litter blowing in the wind. For this reason, you can customize the cameras level of sensitivity so that not just anything triggers the system.
A fake camera might sound like a waste of money because it doesn’t actually record any footage, but if you’re working on a budget, sticking a fake camera in plain sight could act as a good deterrent to any potential thieves. Cheaper than a real security camera, a fake camera won’t give you complete peace of mind – or safety – but it might give you a little.
Whichever type of security camera you choose, the next step would be to decide how many you need. A home security system probably needs only four maximum, whilst the same amount would suffice for a small business. Bigger businesses would require a bigger, more sophisticated security camera setup, because you don’t want any blind spots.
If you want to learn more about security cameras and what they can do for you, why not take a look around our comprehensive website for more information? We at The Security Cameras Guide are here to help you find the right kind of security camera system that suits your needs. We are dedicated to helping you feel more secure today. Get educated – get safe!