What features should I look for in a business security camera?
Since you’ve made it this far, we’re guessing you already have a pretty good idea of the kind of functionality the right security cameras should offer. Of course, it’s unlikely you’ll need every feature under the sun, and it’s important to navigate an equilibrium between your business’s needs and its budget.
With that in mind, there’s a handful of core features we’d recommend to all businesses:
This feature allows the camera to pick up noise from its surrounding environment, via an in-built microphone.
You’ll also be able to talk ‘through’ the camera, enabling communication between you and that lovely balaclava-clad gentleman standing in your business’s car park.
You don’t have to be an avid shutterbug to know what the ‘zoom’ function does. Less known, though, is the difference between digital zoom and its optical counterpart.
We won’t bore you with the details. Basically, digital zoom compromises image quality. As you zoom in, the centre of the image gets bigger, but at the expense of the outer edges of the image, which are cut away.
Optical zoom lenses don’t suffer from the same issue, and you’ll find that most professional cameras – including the best of the security variety – have one.
Along with the type of zoom lens, you should also be able to see in a camera’s specs what level of magnification it can achieve: the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, for instance, has a 12x digital zoom, while the Foscam FI9926P boasts 4x optical zoom.
The bottom line? Choose a camera with optical zoom for premium picture quality, along with a lens that offers at least 4x image enlargement.
Night vision distance
Okay, so almost every security camera worth its salt should be able to see in the dark. It’s made possible by infrared technology, the same tech that powers thermal imaging devices (like that snazzy D-Link model we saw earlier), and – for obvious reasons – is crucial for maximising the security of your premises.
However, what you need to look for isn’t just the night vision itself – it’s how far your camera can actually see in the dark. With some cameras, that’s as limited as five metres; with Sony’s SNC-VB642D, it’s as far as 100 metres. Certain cameras even offer colour night vision as an added bonus!