Black/White or Color? Color Cameras are more popular, due to their clearer identifications. But, in low light conditions, B/W cameras are more ideal, because they generally require less illumination. Newer models of Day/Night cameras work as color camera during daytime and B/W at night. 2.What basic equipments are necessary to start video surveillance? Camera body, Lens, Mount, Cable, and Power Supply. Some cameras (like dome and bullet type cameras) come with built-in lenses. You will also need CCTV monitor (or regular TV), quad splitter or switcher to combine more than one camera, recorder (like DVR), outdoor housing case and other accessories. Wireless systems are great way to avoid cabling. Network based Web Cameras and DVRs are for remote surveillance. 3.What if I need more than one camera? A quad splitter, 4 channel or 8 channel switcher, or multiplexer can be used to combine multiple cameras into one monitor or recorder. DVRs usually come with a built-in multiplexer. 4.Hidden Cameras If you want a hidden camera, you have two options; you can either build one with a mini or an ultra-mini camera, or buy one. Some ultra-mini cameras are only as big as a quarter to hide more easily. Hidden cameras built-in clocks, radios, or smoke detectors are also available but are generally more costly. Please note that, in most US states, using hidden cameras with audio in a covert way is prohibited. 5.Placing cameras outdoors You may use an outdoor housing case, with or without heater and/or blower. The heater and/or blower built-in housing cases generally require a separate power source. Some cameras are made water resistant and do not need separate housing cases. Some of these also come with removable sunshields. 6.When are infrared cameras necessary? Economically commercialized infrared cameras, some also water-resistant to be installed outdoor, can see up to 40 to 80ft distance in total darkness. You may also use infrared illuminators, which can illuminate up to 100ft (Color cameras, unless their IR filter is removed, do not work with infrared illuminators.) Infrared cameras work as ordinary video camera during daytime. Color infrared cameras work as B/W ones at night. 7.What is an ideal angle for a lens to cover? Widely used and recommended angle of view of the lens for surveillance purpose is 72o to 78o. Narrower will give you clearer pictures. Wide angles like 92o can cover more area but it may show distorted pictures. 8.Vari-focal vs. Zoom Lens Focal length and focusing for vari-focal lens should be adjusted respectively while zoom lens focuses automatically when the focal length is adjusted. Manual zoom lens needs to be manually adjusted while motorized zoom lens can be controlled with a remote controller. 9.Manual Iris vs. Auto Iris
If the lighting condition changes significantly and frequently, like the sun, an auto iris lens is required. If the lighting remains same, a manual iris or a fixed iris lens is recommended. Most CCTV cameras accept DC auto iris lens while some special cameras use video auto iris lens.