Choosing which security system is best for your business can be a tricky affair. There are plenty of commercial security devices available on the market, especially cameras. Sticking with cameras, how do you know which video surveillance camera is suitable for your needs when there are so many to choose from? We'll look at ten distinct types of security cameras and what they're best used for in this article. After all, the sort of surveillance camera you install will be determined by the behavior being monitored.

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Bullet-Type Camera

A bullet closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera is typically installed on the ceiling or wall and pointed at a specific region to be examined. Most are waterproof, even if they aren't designed with pan, tilt, or zoom capabilities. These cameras are most commonly used indoors, but they can also be used outside, depending on the requirement. The moniker "bullet" comes from the camera's slender, cylindrical shape.

Clandestine or Hidden Cameras

Smoke detectors, timers, and motion sensors are common examples of covert cameras. These are security cameras designed to mimic the appearance of ordinary household appliances. Typically employed in situations and locations where the location or person/s being recorded mustn't be aware of the recording device; covert cameras can also be standard cameras hidden in plain sight.

Standard Day & Night Cameras

These cameras are typically used for security purposes outside. The day/night camera, for example, would be an excellent choice for surveying a business's exterior premises or even strategic locations at large open spaces like parks or parking lots. These cameras can record images in varying conditions - direct sunlight, glare, reflections, and even strong backlight - while some cameras transition from color to black and white at night or in low-light situations during the day.

Dome Style Camera

A dome camera is housed in a dome-shaped enclosure that is designed to be discreet but not invisible. Speed domes are camera units that allow the camera to spin swiftly within the housing and are very popular in retail stores since they are discreet yet still visible to customers. Some camera units have smoked coverings that make it difficult to tell which area is being viewed but don't affect the final picture quality. 

High-Definition Cameras

High-definition cameras are frequently utilized in industries where meticulous attention to detail is required. High-end retail establishments, jewelry stores, and casinos, to name a few, are examples of these types of markets. These cameras allow operators to zoom in while keeping a high level of clarity. High-definition closed-circuit television is typically used to transmit images.

Infrared & Nightvision Equipped Cameras

These cameras are popular in both businesses and residences because they allow the operator to see clearly in low-light and no-light situations. During the day, they produce high-resolution color video, while at night, they produce night-vision and infrared video. Because most of these cameras resemble regular security cameras, most criminals are caught off guard by their capacity to record their every move.

Network & IP Enabled Cameras

Network/IP cameras use a dedicated network to send images over the Internet. IP cameras can be hardwired or wireless, and they don't need a separate power supply, or a long cable run to broadcast images over great distances.

Pan, Tilt, and Zoom Cameras

An operator on-site typically controls these cameras with a joystick. The camera's ability to pan, tilt, and zoom, combined with remote viewing software, a DVR, or a pre-set, automatic schedule, provides the operator with unrivaled control over a relatively broad area. PTZ cameras are commonly utilized to cover a large space with only one camera by organizations with a live guard or security specialist watching the video stream. These cameras are more expensive than fixed cameras due to their additional capability.

Varifocal Camera

A camera with a varifocal lens can operate at different focal distances. It varies from fixed lens cameras in that the operator can zoom in and out while keeping the image in focus. These cameras are best used when the organization or operator is unsure about the distance and viewing angles they want to capture.

Wireless Camera

Wireless cameras have a lesser selection than wired cameras and, in many cases, worse video quality. They must not only be powered at the camera site but there must also be no obstructions in the camera's line of sight. These cameras can be IP-based or employ other wireless transmission methods. Finally, the main advantage of these devices is their extraordinary flexibility in terms of installation.


As with any large purchase, the best place to start is to know what you need to survey before choosing a video surveillance camera. The presence or absence of light and the interior or outdoor environment will all play a factor in determining which camera is most suited for the task at hand.