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Types of Security Cameras and Their Uses

Types of Security Cameras and Their Uses

Business owners looking at video security systems want the best, most efficient solution. Different types of cameras offer different benefits and capabilities, so it is important to know what kinds will give you the right features for your needs. Knowing about the common types of cameras will also help you understand what you are getting when a security contractor hands you a quote. Here we’ll cover the typical security cameras you’ll come across so you can make the smartest decision for your company.

Dome Security Camera

Domed cameras can be installed to view the interior of your business or outdoor areas. They typically have one camera lens inside that can give either a zoomed in or wide angle view, depending on the lens used and target to be viewed. Some of the newer domed cameras can see 360° (fish eye panoramic) or 180° (half circle) but these cameras are more expensive. The housing can be darkened for added functionality, hiding which direction the cameras are pointing from anyone watching. Additionally, tamper-proof casing is available and wires are hidden for added vandalism protection. Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) dome security cameras also offer light level adjustment that allow the camera to deliver a great picture – even if the camera has dramatic differences between extreme light and dark areas.  Examples of where a WDR camera would be used would be a front lobby with bright windows allowing a lot of light in, but the room is darker or a warehouse dock area where the warehouse is normal lighting, but open dock doors would typically “wash out” the camera picture if a WDR camera is not used.


60-360 degree view with one dome system
Cameras are protected in dome so are well-suited for areas exposed to dirt, debris, and/or vandals
Good for both indoor and outdoor use


  • Discreet and aesthetically pleasing
  • Up to 360 view allows one system to see large areas
  • Many vandal-resistant features

Box Style Security Camera

Box cameras are what usually come to mind when one hears the term security camera. They have been around for some time so they can be found with just about any type of feature imaginable. Lenses, housing, and cameras can be customized as needed for their application.

Typically used for outdoor applications
Good for both indoor and outdoor use
Rotating and adjusting mounts available
Not as aesthetically pleasing as some other camera models


  • Customizable for placement and application
  • Offers many lens options to fit every need including extreme zoom lens for capturing license plates on vehicles
  • Can have heater and blowers inside to maintain safe working temperatures in extreme climates or locations to protect and extend camera life
  • Easily made vandal-resistant

Bullet Style Security Camera

Bullet style cameras are typically small and discreet, even down to the size of a roll of quarters. Due to their compact, sleek design they are more easily concealed. These cameras usually aren’t able to survey a wide area, however, so they are more suited to small/narrow areas or when cameras need to be hidden. They are also commonly available with low-light surveying qualities.


Small, discreet, and aesthetically pleasing
Good for indoor and outdoor
Typically available with IR illuminators which help the cameras see more clearly in darkness and variable lighting


  • Fully sealed enclosure reduces the need for servicing
  • Discreet and easy to conceal

PTZ Security Camera

PTZ stands for “pan, tilt, and zoom” which describes the unique features of PTZ cameras. The operator can remotely control the camera system’s motion with the capability to zoom into areas with a high level of detail. These are great for when real-time camera viewing is needed in both small and large areas, such as in shopping malls, parking lots, and retail locations.

Have the ability to pan (rotate back and forth, sometimes full 360 degrees), tilt (move up and down) and zoom (focus in and out)
Remotely operated
Can be programmed on a schedule and run viewing patterns


  • View wide, up to 360 degree areas of interest in real-time
  • Focus in on details as needed
  • Auto-track movement

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