If you’re even remotely serious about your home security, you should have a good security system in place. And when you’re building one, whether you get all the components by yourself, or you get one that’s pre-built, the main component of it is a security camera.
The thing is, you don’t just want one, and you don’t want just any security camera. You’ll want as many of them as possible, and you’ll want them to be good in order for them to provide the security you actually need.
That being said, with so many security cameras out there for you to choose from, how do you pick which one is right for you? There are a lot of factors to consider, so let’s take a look at some things you should consider while buying a home security camera.
Will You Hide It?
This is basically the first thing you should consider. With a home security camera, you either get one that’s concealed, or you get one that’s pretty visible and obvious. There are pros and cons to both options.
First, a hidden camera has a smaller chance of being spotted. It someone is looking at breaking into your home, they won’t see it, and there’s a big chance that they will show their face to it at some point.
However, such a small camera is usually powered by batteries, and works wirelessly, because cables coming out of it would easily give it away. Therefore, the quality might suffer a bit and you will need to recharge it pretty often.
On the other hand, a visible camera is, first of all, a big deterrent. If a potential burglar is casing your home, the sight of a camera will let them know that you’re serious about your home security and there’s a much smaller chance of them breaking in.
Also, a larger camera can often house a larger sensor, which directly translates into better image quality.
With recent technological advancements, this isn’t too much of a problem, but it is still true to some extent. However, a large camera is obvious and a thief may try to hide their face better if they see it.
Note the Resolution and Field of View
The main thing that will contribute to the quality of the video (or lack thereof) is the resolution. The resolution is basically how many pixels, both horizontally and vertically, the camera captures.
More pixels equals more details, and consequently, much easier recognition of faces or other small details.
The bare minimum you should go for is a 720p camera, which is a resolution of 1280×720. However, most modern cameras are 1080p, which is 1920×1080 and a massive improvement
The bare minimum you should go for is a 720p camera, which is a resolution of 1280×720. However, most modern cameras are 1080p, which is 1920×1080 and a massive improvement over 720p.
You will also find a lot of somewhat more premium models that offer 4K recording, but that’s a double-edged sword.
Yes, you get more details, but the footage is a lot larger in terms of file size, which might be tricky especially if you’re storing it on the cloud. We would suggest going for a 1080p model as the best variant.
The field of view is the other key thing when it comes to the video itself. It can either be narrow, or wide, and the difference is how much of the room a single camera can capture. With a narrow field of view, you’re only recording a limited part of the room.
In turn, you will need more cameras in order to cover the entire room. The benefit here is a somewhat better image quality overall.
A wider field of view, on the other hand, will capture a much larger part of the scene. You can easily cover a room with a single camera, or maybe two, but not more than that.
The tradeoff is that with the budget, or sometimes even midrange cameras, there’s a noticeable quality loss as you get closer to the edges, something that might be a problem.
Check for Additional Features
Last but not least, a camera can come with, or without, a host of additional features. There are some that are genuinely useful and make the camera a great choice, while others are just gimmicks.
In the first category, we’ll put motion detection. Motion detection will tell the camera to start recording instantly if something happens, making sure you do have the required footage.
There’s also loop recording, which will overwrite the oldest footage if your storage is full, so you always have the latest one.
Among the gimmicks, you’ll find indoor cameras that are waterproof, for example, which is completely unnecessary. That’s definitely not something you want to pay extra for on an indoor camera.
Choosing the right one might be difficult at first, but if you were to take a look at your needs, and consider the things we mentioned above, you should be good to go.