In an age where security is paramount, outdoor cameras have become an integral part of safeguarding homes and businesses alike.
With a plethora of options available, selecting the perfect outdoor camera can be a daunting task. This guide from the Spy Store team is designed to streamline this process and help you make an informed decision that aligns with your specific security requirements.
Understanding Your Surveillance Goals
The first step in choosing the right outdoor camera is to define your surveillance goals. Are you primarily interested in monitoring your property while you're away, or do you need constant live streaming for immediate threat assessment? Identifying your objectives will narrow down your options and ensure you invest in a camera that serves your specific needs! Factors to consider include...
1. What Resolution and Megapixel count do you need?
The resolution of an outdoor camera determines the sharpness and clarity of the footage it captures. Higher-resolution cameras provide sharper images, enabling users to better identification of people and objects. At a minimum, you should seek out devices that are 720p or 1080p High Definition, and 2 Megapixels (2MP) or higher.
The higher the resolution, the better your viewing experience. The higher your MP count, the better level of detail you can get from your photo or video footage even when zoomed in, or expanded to a larger screen. You can learn more about megapixels and resolutions from TrustedReviews here.
An example of a 1080p, 2MP camera is our 4G 1080p IP Security Camera with 5x Optical Zoom, designed for outdoor security. If you need something with a further-reaching optical zoom for viewing with clarity at even further distances, we've got those too!
2. What Angle or FOV would suit you best?
The field of view (FOV) indicates how much area the camera can see, or cover. A wider FOV is advantageous for monitoring larger areas, while a narrower FOV can provide more detailed images of specific, tighter areas. Tailor your choice based on the layout of the area you intend to monitor to maximize your optimisation!
For outdoor cameras in particular, 90° FOV or higher will enable you to see more without any significant camera adjustments. Some cameras including our PTZ range will enable you to remotely pan, tilt, and zoom your camera after installation.
3. Do you need night vision capabilities?
The night vision feature is crucial for 24/7 surveillance, which enables you to see in low-light and darker conditions late at night. Good outdoor cameras have LED floodlights or Infrared LEDs, with the latter being a more discreet means of 'seeing in the dark' without passersby or suspicious individuals knowing that they're in full view of your security system.
Look for cameras equipped with infrared LEDs, such as the 4G 1080p IP Security Camera with 10x Optical Zoom, which ensures clear visibility and identifiable figures even in darkness up to a range of 60 meters. You can get alerts straight to your phone app, even late at night, if the camera detects someone moving around outside who shouldn't be.
4. Make sure you know about weather resistance.
Outdoor cameras are constantly exposed to the elements, so it's essential to choose models with robust weatherproofing. Cameras with weather resistance are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, ensuring their longevity and reliability. Without an IP-rated outdoor camera of IPX5 of above, your camera isn't likely to last long!
To learn more about IP ratings, check out this great article from RS here.
Worth Mention: The Awaretech Smart HD Floodlight
In addition to traditional outdoor PTZ cameras highlighted, the Smart Floodlight with 1080p HD Wi-Fi Camera is an excellent option we recommend to customers looking for something to suit their Entranceways. This innovative device combines a high-quality camera with a powerful LED floodlight and motion detection setting. It can be customised and controlled through the IoT Living app, along with additional units for every entranceway all viewed in the one app, or in tandem with our range of other Awaretech products, providing you with enhanced security and visibility.
Other Products for Consideration
As mentioned throughout this guide of tips, the 4G 1080p IP Security Camera series offers you some excellent choices. These cameras provide high-definition footage and remote accessibility, making them ideal for both residential and commercial use.
The 60W Solar Panel Li-ion Battery is also a great addition for extended power supply, ensuring uninterrupted surveillance using a solar panel and rechargeable li-ion battery so in the event of a power outage, you've still got plenty of juice in the tank for 24/7 monitoring and recording.
Selecting the right outdoor camera can be difficult, but by understanding your specific needs and considering important factors, you can create a robust surveillance system tailored to your property. Exploring innovative options like PTZ cameras with an added solar-powered could significantly improve your accessibility to the device, and functionality, and extend the life of your camera system. If you've got any questions about choosing the right outdoor camera for you, please reach out to our customer experience team by call, chat or email!
In our next blog, we'll be providing tips on installation, and maximising the effectiveness of your outdoor camera system.
For further guidance on outdoor cameras and security solutions, visit Learn About Outdoor Cameras in our educational resources section.
Note: Before installing any surveillance equipment, it's important to be aware of and comply with local laws and regulations regarding privacy and surveillance.